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Dresher Center Staff

Jessica Berman, Director
PAHB 217

Jessica Berman is Professor of English, and Affiliate Professor of Gender + Women’s Studies and Language, Literacy and Culture at UMBC. She is the author of Modernist Commitments: Ethics, Politics and Transnational Modernism (2011) and Modernist Fiction, Cosmopolitanism and the Politics of Community (2001); co-editor of Virginia Woolf Out of Bounds (2001) and the American Comparative Literature Association’s Report on the State of the Discipline (forthcoming, 2016); and editor of A Companion to Virginia Woolf (2015) and Purdah and Polygamy by Iqbalunnisa Hussain (reprint, forthcoming 2017). Berman also co-edits the Modernist Latitudes book series from Columbia University Press. Her new project investigates global radio in relation to transnational modernism.

A former chair of the UMBC English Department, Berman has served on the American Comparative Literature Association board and the MLA’s book publication committee. She is currently President of the Modernist Studies Association. In 2013 she was a Mellon-funded external fellow at the Institute of the Arts and Humanities at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She holds a Ph.D. (with Honors) in Comparative Studies in Literature from the University of Chicago and an A.B. (Highest Honors) in History from Princeton University.


Rachel Brubaker, Assistant Director for Grants and Program Development
PAHB 218

Rachel Brubaker has developed and managed humanities grants and programs for over 20 years at UMBC and the University of Baltimore. She has also worked in education marketing and design for non-profit and governmental organizations, where she created print, digital, and social media campaigns. She has overseen the development of K12 history education curricular resources, including websites and apps, in collaboration with school systems and historical institutions. Ms. Brubaker earned an M.A. degree in Historical Studies from UMBC and a B.F.A. degree in Communication Arts and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University.


Timothy Phin, Director of the Humanities Scholars Program
PAHB 442

Timothy Phin is a Roman historian and a specialist in Latin language and literature. He earned his B.A. in Ancient Studies from UMBC in 2004, and completed his graduate work at The Johns Hopkins University in 2016. Tim’s research focuses on the intellectual and cultural history of the Roman empire. He is particularly interested in the formation of Roman identity, the frequent use of authorial personae in Latin literature, and the lives of women, children, slaves, cinaedi, and other marginals on the edge of Roman society. Much of Tim’s work engages with prose authors like Quintilian, Pliny the Elder, and Tacitus, but he admits to being fondest of Martial’s piquant epigrams.

Tim teaches courses on Roman and Greek history, Latin language and literature, mythology and the ancient imagination, children and childhood, gender and sexuality in the ancient world. He was an Honors College faculty fellow from 2012-2014, and again in 2016-2017, when he was named Honors College faculty fellow of the year. He has taught for the Humanities Scholars Program, and is currently serving as Acting Director of the Humanities Scholars Program.

Courtney C. Hobson,
PAHB 215

A native of Lanham, MD, Courtney C. Hobson has a B.S. degree in History and Government from Bowie State University and received her M.A. in Historical Studies from UMBC. Previously, she was the Program Assistant for Maryland History Day, Chautauqua, and Veterans’ Programs at Maryland Humanities. Courtney has also worked in educational and administrative capacities for museum consultants and small historical organizations. In addition to work at UMBC, Courtney is the Vice President of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project, Inc., a non-profit that works to advance the cause of reconciliation in our state by documenting the history of racial terror lynchings, advocating for public acknowledgement of these murders and working to honor and dignify the lives of the victims.


La Atwater, Administrative Assistant
PAHB 215

Priscilla (La) Atwater is a native of Catonsville, MD. She came to UMBC after working for ten years at the business she started with her husband, Atwater’s. Her professional life includes owning an upholstery business and opening several restaurants in Minneapolis-St. Paul and Baltimore but her favorite job has been raising three successful daughters.


Vernise Bolden, General Associate for Inclusion Imperative Programs
PAHB 215


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Advisory Board

Rebecca Adelman, Associate Professor, Media and Communications Studies

Beverly Bickel, Clinical Associate Professor, Language, Literacy, and Culture Doctoral Program

Denise Meringolo, Associate Professor, History, and Director of Public History

Ana Oskoz, Associate Professor, Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication,
and Director, Humanities Scholars Program

Margaret Re, Associate Professor, Visual Arts

David Rosenbloom, Associate Professor and Chair, Ancient Studies

Constantine Vaporis, Professor, History, and Director of Asian Studies