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From newly tenured Cornell faculty

Three professors earned tenure starting with the 2013-14 school year: Rebecca Entel, Tori Barnes-Brus ’97, and  Jim VanValen. We asked each of them to share some of the latest developments in their respective fields.

Rebecca Entel, Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing
Rebecca Entel Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing

“The field of American literature has been transformed by scholars’ investigations of the transnational networks in which both texts and authors traveled. We can see authors influencing and responding to one another across national boundaries and their ideas circulating through international publishing and translation. My work on Civil War-era abolitionist literature has been reshaped by a consideration of American authors’ understanding of slavery and abolition in a global context.”


Tori Barnes-Brus ’97, Associate Professor of Sociology
Tori Barnes-Brus ’97 Associate Professor of Sociology

“The discipline of sociology is exploring new ways to engage with the world and promote the sociological imagination within and to general audiences. Public sociologists are working in the trenches of civil society to question power relations, unveil the structure of society, and promote social change. Feminist sociologists such as myself expand our work beyond the academy to promote sociological understandings of issues such as poverty, the visibility and constraints of mothering, and reproductive justice within the public arena.”

Jim VanValen Associate Professor of Theatre
Jim VanValen Associate Professor of Theatre

“I am always excited about the liminal space that exists within the theatrical event: the thin line between actor and character, performer and audience, the imaginary and the so-called real. As storytellers, we are called to examine the human experience, to venture into the in-betweens, and cross beyond any separations that might be imposed by time, space, culture, or circumstances. And the manner of our telling stories is constantly being reexamined when we consider the power of live performance where artists and audience members share a common space and time together in the present moment. Patsy Rodenburg and her Second Circle work and the legacy of Sanford Meisner continue to inspire me in their contributions to the nobility of this art form; and they remind me that the skills explored and developed in actor training are not simply confined to the stage; they are the same skills crucial to living a more fully-realized life as we all search for our individual place and purpose in this shared space called planet Earth.”

“Cornell College has been a fantastic place for me to enjoy the best Iowa has to offer without compromising a world-class liberal arts education. Cornell provides a unique environment for students to learn, by combining the small town Iowa community of Mount Vernon with the vast diversity of the student body. Cornell gives students the very best of both Iowa and the rest of the world. I love being a Cornell student because it gives me the opportunities of a much larger school, yet still remains intimate and personal without compromising on liberal-arts ideas. And it’s close to home.” —Logan Schultz ’14 Dubuque, Iowa

Telling the story of Cornell

Cornell College alumni are among the college’s most passionate and effective advocates. Their experiences provide powerful stories to communicate the value of a Cornell education.

Civil rights activists assemble on the stairs of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, Montgomery, Ala., where the Montgomery Bus Boycott was organized in 1955-1956. John Watson ’68 is at center. Roger Davis ’65

The March for Freedom

It was March 1965 and news of brutal attacks on civil rights marchers from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., hit the Cornell campus. A small group of students quickly coalesced to drive down and join the reinforcements.