CC welcomes four new tenure-track faculty members, two of whom are CC alumni, and says farewell to six faculty members: Bruce Kola, Paul Kuerbis, Victor Nelson-Cisneros, Adrienne Lanier Seward, Yunyu Wang, and Laurel Watkins (not pictured.) See more about the retiring faculty members’ plans and comments.

Ryan Bañagale, Assistant Professor of Music

Ryan Bañagale ’00 earned his Ph.D. in musicology from Harvard University after receiving an M.A. in music history from the University of Washington and majoring in music and drama at Colorado College. He also taught at CC as a Riley Scholar-in-Residence in the music department in 2011-12. Both his teaching and research focus on the process of constructing historical narratives from music, using music as a window into aspects of various cultures. To enrich his music studies and teaching, Bañagale routinely uses source materials from under-represented traditions and cultures. His specific teaching interests include American jazz, rock, and pop music, as well as the music of Asia and of Asian Americans. Bañagale’s research on Asian music focuses on gong and percussion ensembles, as well as sacred music and the diaspora. His work has been supported by the American Musicological Society’s AMS-50 and Howard Mayer Brown fellowships. In addition to maintaining a musicological blog, he is working on expanding his dissertation on Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue into a manuscript that provides the first thorough comparison of the three original sources for the composition.

Amy Dounay, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Amy Dounay ’96 returns to the college after working as the senior principal scientist in neurosciences medicinal chemistry at Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development in Groton, Conn. She has worked as a principal scientist at Pfizer since 2004, when she completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the National Institutes of Health at the University of California, Irvine. In 2001, she received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Minnesota, where she wrote a dissertation on the synthesis of spiroketal domains of marine natural products. At Pfizer, Dounay designed novel small molecules for six drug discovery projects in psychiatry and neurodegeneration.

Heidi Lewis, Assistant Professor of Feminist and Gender Studies

Heidi Lewis completed her Ph.D. in American Studies at Purdue University in 2011 and holds an M.A. in English literature from Ohio University. Both her master’s essay and dissertation explore father-daughter relationships and narratives. More specifically, much of her graduate and postdoctoral research examines gender, race, and sexuality issues in literature and the media. Lewis taught at Colorado College in the feminist and gender studies department as a Riley Scholar-in-Residence and a visiting assistant professor in 2010-11 and 2011-12. Her teaching interests include feminist, gender, and sexuality studies, popular culture, African American and 20th-century American literature and culture, and critical race theory. In addition to presenting her work at several conferences including the National Council for Black Studies, Lewis has received numerous awards and fellowships that reflect her achievements. These include the Committee for the Education of Teaching Assistants (CETA) Award, the Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship, a Brown-Forman Travel Grant, a Community Service and Social Justice Award, and a Purdue Doctoral Fellowship.

Matthew Whitehead, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science

Matthew Whitehead holds a B.A. in mathematics from Willamette University, an M.S. in computer science from Washington State University, and a Ph.D. in computer science from Indiana University (2010). His dissertation work focused on machine learning through dataset preprocessing, and his research interests include data-mining, information retrieval, artificial intelligence, cryptography, and computer security, among other topics.  After earning his degrees, Whitehead began teaching as a visiting assistant professor in the mathematics and computer science department at Colorado College. In addition to his research and teaching experience, he has worked as a software engineer at several organizations including Google, Inc. and Apple, Inc.