Deborah Keene

Associate Director, Foundations Coordinator

147 Blount Living-Learning Center | (205) 348-3334 | dakeene@ua.edu

Deborah Keene is an archaeological scientist who specializes in Southeastern U.S. prehistory. She started excavating with the Schiele Museum when she was 15 and went on to work for various private archaeological firms while an undergraduate and then graduate student. She worked as a principal investigator at the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology after earning her Ph.D. She specialized in ceramic analysis, shallow geophysics, households, and subsistence strategies. After moving to Alabama, her focus changed from fieldwork to education. She uses her anthropological and scientific backgrounds to teach liberal arts courses for the Blount Scholars Program.

Kendra Abbott

Senior Fellow

Mary Harmon Bryant Hall 357 | (254) 653-7300 | kabbott3@ua.edu

Kendra is a professional nature photographer, educator and outdoor enthusiast. She is an ecologist and has focused on endangered species and conservation issues much of her career.

Seth Bordner

Senior Fellow

333 Ten Hoor Hall | (205) 348-5942 | seth.bordner@ua.edu

Website

Seth Bordner joined the University in 2011 after finishing his doctorate at UNC Chapel Hill. Originally from central Pennsylvania, he is a first-generation college student who never took the sensible advice to get a real job. He teached the History of Philosophy sequence (PHL 211 & 212) in the philosophy department, along with regular sections of Intro to Ethics and Philosophy of Sport. His research is an eclectic mix of history of philosophy and contemporary applied issues in science and sports. Fall 2017 is his first semester teaching in Blount.

Jennifer Caputo

Senior Fellow

1210 University Hall | (205) 348-1656 | jlcaputo@ccs.ua.edu

Website

Jennifer Caputo began teaching at UA in 2008 as an instructor in New College and currently teaches a range of on-campus and distance arts and humanities courses. She is originally from New York and holds degrees in percussion performance/music education and ethnomusicology. She was introduced to the music and culture of Ghana in 1998 while taking a weekly class that met regularly in Riverside Park in NYC. She has been studying and performing Ghanaian and West African music ever since. Fun fact: while attending the Ghanaian music class in 1999 in Riverside Park, the Dalai Lama (who was scheduled to appear in Central Park in August) walked by with his entourage and stopped to listen to our rehearsal.

Toni Copeland

Senior Fellow

201 Oliver-Barnard Hall | (205) 348-1706 | toni.copeland@ua.edu

“But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world, and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” (E.B. White 1969).

Toni Copeland is a biocultural medical anthropologist interested in how biological, cultural, and social factors interact to influence health and illness. Her research as primarily been in Kenya and the American Deep South.

Andrew Dewar

Senior Fellow

221 Lloyd Hall | (205) 348-9928 | adewar@ua.edu

Website

Andrew Raffo Dewar is a composer, musician, ethnomusicologist, and arts organizer.

As a composer and performer of experimental acoustic and electronic music, his work has been presented throughout North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia, and he appears on nearly two dozen commercially released recordings.

As a scholar, Dr. Dewar’s research interests include experimentalism in the arts, jazz and improvisation, music technologies, intercultural music, and 1960s intermedia arts. His writing has been published in the Journal of the Society for American Music, Leonardo Music Journal, Jazz Perspectives, the New Grove Dictionary of American Music (2nd Edition), Musicians and Composers of the 20th Century, and the Jazz Research Journal. He also has chapters published in Negotiated Moments: Improvisation, Representation and Subjectivity, edited by Gillian Siddall & Ellen Waterman (Duke University Press, 2016), and Experimental Music in Practice: Perspectives from Latin America, edited by Alejandro Madrid, Ana Minutti, Eduardo Herrera (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Dr. Dewar is an Associate Professor in New College and the School of Music.

Matt Feminella

Senior Fellow

263-B BB Comer Hall | (205) 348-9067 | mfeminella@ua.edu

Matt Feminella is an Assistant Professor of German in the Department of Modern Languages and Classics and the Fulbright Program Advisor for UA. He received his PhD from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2016. When he isn’t teaching undergraduate and graduate German courses, Dr. Feminella spends his time researching eighteenth-century intellectual history and theater cultures.

Jolene Hubbs

Senior Fellow

ten Hoor Hall 106C | (205) 348-5940 | jhubbs@ua.edu

Alan Lazer

Senior Fellow

201 Oliver-Barnard Hall | (205) 348-1706 | adlazer@ua.edu

Hank Lazer

Hank Lazer

Senior Fellow

138 Blount Living-Learning Center | (205) 348-8324 | hlazer@ua.edu

Website

Hank Lazer has published thirty-two books of poetry, including field recordings of mind in the morning (2021, BlazeVOX – with 15 music-poetry tracks with Holland Hopson on banjo – available from Bandcamp), COVID 19 SUTRAS (2020, Lavender Ink), Slowly Becoming Awake (N32) (2019, Dos Madres Press), Poems That Look Just Like Poems (2019, PURH – one volume in English, one in French), Evidence of Being Here: Beginning in Havana (N27), (2018, Negative Capability Press), Thinking in Jewish (N20) (2017, Lavender Ink).  Lazer has performed jazz-poetry improvisations in the US and Cuba with musicians Davey Williams, Omar Pérez, Andrew Raffo Dewar, Holland Hopson, and others.  Lazer’s Brush Mind books have been transformed into video installations and performances in several art gallery venues.  In 2015, Lazer received Alabama’s most prestigious literary prize, the Harper Lee Award, for lifetime achievement in literature.  Lazer has been quarantining in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and at Duncan Farm in Carrollton, Alabama.  To order books, learn about talks, readings, and workshops, and see photos of Duncan Farm see Lazer’s website: https://www.hanklazer.com

 

 

 

 

Yolanda Manora

Senior Fellow

Morgan Hall 213 | (205) 348-9270 | ymanora@ua.edu

Marni Presnall

Senior Fellow

Rowand-Johnson Hall 10 | (205) 348-7959 | mpresnall@ua.edu

Richard Richards

Senior Fellow

335 ten Hoor Hall | (205) 348-5942 | rrichard@ua.edu

Website

Richard Richards, professor and chair of the philosophy department, has been involved with the Blount Scholars program since its first year. His research is in the philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, and he has two books published by Cambridge University Press, The Species Problem: A Philosophical Analysis, and Biological Taxonomy: A Philosophical Introduction.  He is finishing a third book with Cambridge, The Biology of Art.  

Stephen Schwab

Senior Fellow

352 ten Hoor Hall | (205) 348-1238 | schwa008@ua.edu

Website

Dr. Stephen Schwab, former (and retired) official at the Central Intelligence Agency, is now an adjunct assistant professor of history at The University of Alabama. Since 2009, he has been doing his best to inspire or, if necessary, “spook” young Blount Scholars into doing their best to succeed as undergraduates and later in life.  

Stephen Tedeschi

Senior Fellow

224 Morgan Hall | (205) 348-5065 | satedeschi@ua.edu

Website

Steve Tedeschi is an English professor at UA.

Claire Thompson

Senior Fellow

ten Hoor Hall | (205) 454-4954 | cethompson1@bama.ua.edu

Dr. Claire Thompson is an anthropologist who specializes in Southeastern archaeology. She enjoys bringing a cultural perspective to the Blount Foundations courses that she teaches.

Alexa Tullett

Senior Fellow

410 | alexa.tullett@ua.edu

Alexa is a social psychologist who examines scientific, religious, and political beliefs, and the factors that facilitate or impede belief change. Some of her work takes a meta-scientific approach, using psychological methods to study the beliefs and practices of psychological scientists. Inspired by her students, she has recently become interested in how classroom environments can foster the right balance of agency and humility.

Deborah Weiss

Senior Fellow

Morgan Hall 227 | (205) 348-7950 | dweiss@ua.edu

Amber Bird

Junior Fellow

abird@crimson.ua.edu

Amber Bird is a PhD student in the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies at the University of Alabama. Her research and teaching interests include sixteenth- and -seventeenth century English devotional poetry, Christian poetics, and the materiality of forms. She has recently presented on limits of representation, tensions between form and content, and the embodiment of devotion at the international Renaissance Society of America and the Conference on John Milton.

Camille Morgan

Junior Fellow

ccmorgan2@crimson.ua.edu

Camille Morgan is a PhD student in the Anthropology department. Primarily trained as a bioarchaeologist, her dissertation focuses on the different ways in which human remains are displayed in North American contexts, from prehistoric to modern times, what these displays can tell us about the power dynamics between the groups involved, and how these messages are shaped by histories of aggression.