Dr. Andrew Bibby  |  Dr. Anna DeJong  |  Dr. Laura Lamontagne  |  Dr. Laura Puaca  |  Dr. Eric Silverman  |  Dr. Jonathan White


Dr. Andrew BibbyDr. Andrew Bibby

Visiting Assistant Professor

Leadership and American Studies

Bibby recently published an essay in The Wall Street Journal about Frederick Douglass’ celebrated Independence Day oration. Bibby argues that Douglass’ intentions in the speech are often misunderstood as a denunciation of an America that celebrates its liberty while simultaneously permitting slavery — but that Douglass challenged the nation to uphold the ideals of freedom enshrined in the Constitution.

“It’s hard to overstate Douglass' importance to later generations of writers and leaders,” Bibby says. “Here was an ex-slave, invited to speak to a large audience mostly of whites, to celebrate the Fourth of July. It's an Independence Day classic, but it also sheds light on today’s debates about the meaning of the Constitution. He changed his mind, but he came to reject the view that the Constitution was a pro-slavery instrument.” Bibby also thinks the speech is a model of good writing. "Douglass is also a master rhetorician. He is a powerful example of how a good argument works. If this means anything to us today, it's that democracy thrives on reasoned and reasonable debate.”

Bibby's research focuses on American political thought. He is also interested in the history of ideas and the intersection of American politics, literature and film. He holds a PhD from Michigan State University.

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Dr. Anna DeJongDr. Anna DeJong

Assistant Professor

Physics, Computer Science and Engineering

DeJong was awarded $49,000 from the National Institute of Aerospace to study the Northern lights and their effect on Earth’s atmosphere, as well as similar “space weather” on Jupiter and Saturn. The funding will also provide tuition and a stipend for graduate student Justin Denno (’12), who is studying related phenomena on Mars. DeJong’s study will help to form a clearer picture of how space weather can affect GPS signals and well as high-altitude airplane and satellite flight.

DeJong earned her PhD from the University of Michigan and specializes in space weather, heliophysics and Earth's magnetosphere.

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Dr. Laura LamontagneDr. Laura Lamontagne

Assistant Professor

Economics

Lamontagne was featured in a WalletHub study about energy costs across the U.S. It measured the prices of various fuel sources against the amount consumed to determine the highest and lowest overall expenditures. Her contribution concerned energy efficiency and the effectiveness of tax deductions for energy efficient improvements. “Tax deductions may not have as large of an effect as intended. New energy-efficient technology is expensive, so for the tax deductions to be effective, the tax credit and the decreased electric bill must be larger than the initial investment,” she says.

Lamontagne’s research interests include energy economics, environmental economics, applied microeconomics and empirical industrial organization. She earned her PhD from Clemson University.

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Dr. Laura PuacaDr. Laura Puaca

Assistant Professor

History

Puaca recently published Searching for Scientific Womanpower: Technocratic Feminism and the Politics of National Security, 1940-1980. Her book sheds new light on the history of American feminism, the politics of national security and the complicated relationship between the two.

"This book reveals an important but largely overlooked strand of feminist activism," says Puaca. "It challenges not only our thinking about women's roles in mid-20th century America, but also the perception that feminist interest in science emerged fully formed from the women's movements of the 1960s and ‘70s. By understanding the longer history of encouraging women in STEM fields, we can better comprehend the range of female reform taking place in a period that is popularly remembered for its emphasis on domesticity as well as the little-known roots of current-day efforts."

A recent feature on Puaca's book can be found at slate.com.

Puaca earned her PhD from the University of North Carolina and specializes in women’s history, gender history, U.S. history and the history of education.

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Dr. Eric SilvermanDr. Eric Silverman

Assistant Professor

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Silverman is the recipient of a $57,000 grant backed by the John Templeton Foundation to edit a collection of essays that explore death, immortality and the concept of heaven. Silverman, along with his research partner, Dr. T. Ryan Byerly of Regent University, will invite submissions from international experts in the field. “Rarely have philosophers investigated distinctly philosophical issues around the concept of heaven,” Silverman says. “What is heaven like? What do people do there? What is there to learn? What will relationships be like? There’s a whole set of questions we’d like to open up. We want to investigate what is entailed by the idea of spending eternity in paradise.” Silverman and Byerly hope to eventually publish the essays in a collection.

Silverman earned his PhD from Saint Louis University and specializes in medieval philosophy, ethics, philosophy of religion, history of philosophy, and popular culture and philosophy.

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Dr. Jonathan WhiteDr. Jonathan White

Assistant Professor

Leadership and American Studies

In his recently published *Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln*, White offers a compelling reinterpretation of the presidential election of 1864. Lincoln’s victory in that election helped secure the defeat of the Confederacy and the death of slavery, but White argues that the election results have been largely misunderstood, and that soldier support for Lincoln and emancipation was not nearly as universal as scholars have generally believed.

The book has received high praise from leading Civil War scholars. Historian Gary W. Gallagher of the University of Virginia says the book is “the best analysis, by far, of United States soldiers in the critical election of 1864” and “is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand Abraham Lincoln’s reelection to a second term.”

White is a fellow at CNU’s Center for American Studies and the pre-law adviser. He is a specialist in the American Civil War with a particular interest in Abraham Lincoln, American politics and the U.S. Constitution. He earned his PhD from the University of Maryland.

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