Loyola University Maryland

Graduate Program in Liberal Studies


Faculty desk with papers and books stacked on top

The faculty in Graduate Program in Liberal Studies vary across multiple disciplines to provide a broad spectrum of knowledge and course offerings for students. They are experts in their field and passionate about their subject matter. They are anxious to share their knowledge with their students and promote dialogue and further exploration of the course material.

The list below provides a thumbnail sketch of the professional interests and background for faculty currently teaching in the Graduate Program in Liberal Studies.

Nicolino Applauso is an Affiliate Assistant Professor of Italian. He received his Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Oregon. His main research interests pertain to history, political satire, humor, ethics, and poetry in medieval and modern Italy, Europe, and the U.S. His research has been published in the U.S., Italy, England, Germany, and in the Netherlands. He is currently completing three books: one on Dante and medieval political invective in Italy, an edited volume on Dante and satire, and a monograph on the history of Italians in Baltimore and Maryland from colonial times until today.

Julia Brandeberry holds theatre degrees from Stephens College and the University of Kansas and has over twenty years of experience in the professional theatre. She has worked extensively as an actor in the area, with such companies as The Shakespeare Theatre in DC, Center Stage, and Everyman Theatre in Baltimore. She is a certified combatant with Society of American Fight Directors and Fight Directors of Canada, and has done fight choreography for multiple shows in the Loyola Theatre Program. She has taught Theatre at Carver Center for the Arts in Towson, Everyman Theatre, the Lab School of Baltimore, and the Ionia Correctional Facility in Michigan. In her words, “All stories relate to society in different ways and each individual involved in the creation of bringing the story to life—whether it be the reader, actor, director or designer—plays a part in making that connection to the world at present.”

Steven A. Burr is Director of Program Operations and an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Graduate Program in Liberal Studies, and the Editor of Confluence–The Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies. His first book, Finite Transcendence: Existential Exile and the Myth of Home (Lexington Books, 2014), examines the human engagement, aesthetically and existentially, with the finitude and limits that define human existence. More recently, he has written essays on identity, marginalization, and liberal education for the journal Zeteo. He completed his doctoral work in liberal studies at Georgetown University, where he also developed and taught courses until 2012.

Randall Donaldson is an Associate Professor of German in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and Director of the Liberal Studies Program. He has taught in the Liberal Studies program since the mid-eighties. Dr. Donaldson did his doctoral work at Johns Hopkins, where he developed a special interest in German-American literary relations. He has made numerous presentations on German-American culture and published a number of articles on the topic as well. He currently edits the Report, the journal of the Society for the History of the Germans in Maryland, and has just completed a number of projects on the history of the German element in Maryland, including the foreword to the reprint of Dieter Cunz’ classic, The Maryland Germans.

Winsome G. Gayle is a supervising attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.  She focuses on reforming systemic unconstitutional practices in juvenile justice, including by juvenile courts and police departments.  She also leads the Division’s efforts to increase the right to counsel to indigent defendants.  Prior to her current work, she was an appellate attorney with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and worked with the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP, where she conducted international white-collar criminal and securities fraud investigations. She was born in Jamaica and is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Rutgers College.

Catriona Hanley was the founding director of Loyola’s Peace and Justice Studies Program. She presents papers internationally in the field of Peace Studies, most recently on the Italian anti-fascist philosopher of nonviolence, Aldo Capitini. Her doctoral work at Loyola University Chicago was preceded by degrees from McGill and the Université de Montréal. Research interests include the philosophy of peace, peace and justice studies, twentieth-century continental thought and Greek philosophy. Her first love and enduring interest is in “big question” philosophy, as her work on Aristotle, Heidegger and the question of being attests.

Suzanne Keilson is an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Department. She joined the Loyola College community in 1994. She was Assistant and the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2004 to 2014. She earned her B.A. in Physics from Yale University and her Master’s and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Columbia University. She worked for Perkin-Elmer on the Hubble Space Telescope and was a post-doctoral researcher at the Johns Hopkins University Biomedical Engineering Neural Encoding Laboratory studying the encoding of sounds by the peripheral auditory system. Her current interests include innovation and entrepreneurship, sustainability, signal processing, materials science, and engineering education. She has taught engineering for undergraduates, including developing a first-year introduction to engineering course on Design, Creativity and Problem-Solving.

Drew Leder has an M.D. from Yale University, and a Ph.D. from S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook. He is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola, having won awards there, both for his original research and his “engaged” teaching and scholarship, which includes books about prison life (written in conjunction with inmates), medicine and embodiment, paradigms of aging, and the spirituality of everyday life (as in his latest book, Sparks of the Divine). He has given lectures, workshops, and radio appearances around the country, and had his work featured in places as diverse as The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Family Circle, and New Age magazine.

Brian Murray is a Professor in the Writing Department. He has published books on H.G. Wells and Charles Dickens, and has been an advisor to the Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature. His essays and reviews have appeared in the Weekly Standard, The Reader (UK), First Things, and the Dictionary of Literary Biography, among other places, and have been reprinted or excerpted in the Concise DLB, Contemporary Literary Criticism, and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism (forthcoming). For the DLB, he has written about such figures as D.H. Lawrence, G.K. Chesterton, Bram Stoker, and C.P. Snow. His biographical essay on the television writer Rod Serling appears in the Winter 2016 issue of The New Atlantis. A Professor in the Department of Writing, he also teaches in the Film Studies and Honors programs.

James Quirk, a Loyola alumnus, teaches at American University and The Catholic University of America. His work has taken him to the Balkans, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and a Loyola service-immersion mission to Mexico. He has published articles in U.S. and foreign journals, is actively engaged in the emerging scholarship about online education, and blogs for the Foreign Policy Association. He has taught in the Liberal Studies program since 2003.

James Snow is a Professor, Philosophy Department. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Temple University. He is a member of the Department of Philosophy at Loyola University Maryland and has an editorial position with the International Association of Genocide Scholars. His research focuses on philosophy and genocide, nineteenth-century German philosophy, and the European invention of race. He frequently presents papers at conferences in Europe as well as the United States. His most recent publication is “’Don’t Think But Look:’ Using Wittgenstein’s Notion of Family Resemblances to Look at Genocide,” Genocide Studies and Prevention Vol. 9, No. 3 (2015). His current project is titled “Framing Gender in Historical Films: The Case of Genocide in Rwanda.”

Thomas Ward is a Professor of Spanish and Director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program. He has published three dozen research articles and a number of books, including La anarquía inmanentista de Manuel González Prada (New York: Peter Lang, 1998), Pumping Images (London: Minerva Press, 2000), Teoría literaria (Mississippi: Romance Monographs, 2004), and Resistencia cultural (Lima: Universidad Ricardo Palma, 2004), as well as a translation of the Peruvian poet Domingo de Ramos, China Pop, which appeared this past year in a bilingual edition (Cardboard House Press, 2016). His latest book, Decolonizing Indigeneity: New Approaches to Latin American Literature (Lexington Books/Rowman and Littlefield) is due out soon. He has developed a variety of courses for the Liberal Studies program on topics ranging from Latino literature, Central American literature, the Latin American Boom novel, and most recently Liberation Thinking. In 2011, he received The Harry W. Rodgers, III Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award. 

Karsonya Wise Whitehead is an Associate Professor of Communication and African and African-American Studies in the Department of Communication at Loyola University Maryland and the author of four books including the award-winning Notes from a Colored Girl: The Civil War Pocket Diaries of Emilie Frances Davis. She is also a K-12 Master Teacher in African American History, an award-winning former Baltimore City middle school teacher, a three-time New York Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker, and a 2016–2017 guest commentator and Op-Ed columnist for WYPR 88.1 FM and the Baltimore Sun.