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Pacific Humanities Scholars Program
Courtney Lehmann, Ph.D.
Director of Pacific Humanities Scholars Program, Professor of English / Film Studies

Faculty Profiles

The Pacific Humanities Scholars Program draws from distinguished faculty members across the liberal arts disciplines. Students in the program will be learning from professors who are highly regarded specialists in their fields and who have a flare for inspiring the best in their students. Highlighted here are faculty members who play an especially integral role in the Pacific Humanities Scholars Program.

Dr. Courtney Lehmann
Courtney Lehmann, Ph.D.

Director, Pacific Humanities Scholars Program

Professor, English Department / Film Studies

From her involvement as the director of the Humanities Center to her role as a faculty advisor for Calliope -- the University's award-winning student literary magazine -- Dr. Lehmann uses her spirit and passion to motivate students to new levels of thinking. Having received her Ph.D. in English at Indiana University and taught at Pacific since 1998, she understands the importance of scholarship in the humanities and of stretching one's mind to new horizons.

An aficionado of soccer and Shakespeare, Dr. Lehmann draws on her past experience as a member of four NCAA Division One National Championship teams at North Carolina, to bring enthusiasm, energy, and spunk to students in her Shakespeare classes and bring life to the characters, conflicts, and ideas that arise in the reading they explore. Full profile

Dr. Kierand Holland
Kierand Holland, Ph.D.
Associate Professor,
Physics Department

You can imagine the type of professor Dr. Holland is from his teaching philosophy: "A teacher must convey the fun and excitement in learning, which comes naturally to someone who is passionate about the subject. An enthusiastic teacher makes a huge difference by grabbing the students' attention and provoking them to start questioning and thinking."

Dr. Holland exemplifies the liberal arts -- which includes the natural sciences -- through his keen ability to associate disparate concepts, look beyond the obvious, and see the beauty in science. "There is remarkable intricacy, delicacy and symmetry in the physical laws of Nature that mankind has discovered," said Dr. Holland. "The community that explores these ideas has existed for centuries, and the truths we are looking for are universal."

Having earned his Ph.D. at MIT, Dr. Holland has continued to search for such truths through his research in the area of Lattice Gauge Theory, a branch of particle physics in which the mathematics of the quantum nature of subatomic particles is formulated in a way that enables the equations to be solved by computers.

Dr. Ray Rennard
Ray Rennard, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair,
Philosophy Department

Philosophy professor Ray Rennard continually has a dedicated following of students whom he inspires through "thought experiments" -- hypothetical and sometimes strange scenarios that help to elicit intuitions about abstract and complex issues. His students also are given the opportunity to enrich their minds through the pursuit of questions about the nature of truth, language, and science, and to explore new ways of thinking through meaningful and animated discussions.

Since receiving his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Rennard has continued to work on issues in the philosophy of mind and language. In recent years, he has studied the ways we think and talk about the mental states of others when we predict and explain their behavior. This work often finds its way into his courses. For example, his Philosophy of Mind course focuses on our natural capacity to understand others, and his Theory of Knowledge and Metaphysics courses address the nature of the self and self-knowledge. He has presented his work at meetings of the American Philosophical Association and to special interdisciplinary conferences in the cognitive sciences.

Dr. Lisa Tromovitch
Lisa Tromovitch, M.F.A.
Associate Professor and Chair,
Theatre Arts Department

In addition to directing theatre productions at Pacific, professor Lisa Tromovitch coaches young actors through the Theatre Arts curriculum -- from the Beginning Acting course to the upper division Onstage Theater Practicum. To Professor Tromovitch, allowing and encouraging freedom of ingenuity, exploration, and experimentation is key in developing the necessary creative and intellectual skills to unlock the door to the myriad possibilities of the arts.

Following her education at Dartmouth and Southern Methodist University, she has made an impressive impact in the field of theatre arts as a professional, an educator, and a volunteer. Professor Tromovitch is the founder and Artistic Director for Shakespeare's Associates, a professional theater company that brings theater excellence to the Tri-Valley community in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company's Livermore Shakespeare Festival offers invaluable opportunities for accomplished students to gain experience in the world of professional theater.  

Dr. Camille Norton
Camille Norton, Ph.D.
English Department

Camille Norton has distinguished herself as a poet and creative collaborator since completing her Ph.D. in English and American Literature and Language at Harvard University. She is the author of Corruption, a National Poetry Series winner published by HarperCollins in 2005. Her poem, "The Prison Diary of Bartlett Yancey Malone," appears in The Best American Poetry 2010. Since the early 1990s, she has collaborated with visual artists and composers on projects that include gallery installations, art performance, music performance, and inter-textual media. She is currently collaborating on a second multi-media music and poetry project with composer Jarek Kapuściński of Stanford University.

Dr. Norton's acclaim as a writer has not diminished her ability to connect with students. She teaches a poetry workshop every spring that brings her into contact with creative students from all backgrounds and disciplines. After inspiring English major and Iraq war veteran Victor Inzunza '11 to pursue his talent for poetry, she teamed up with Victor to initiate a Veterans Writing Circle at Pacific, a series of writing and discussion sessions for veterans of war and family members and friends. As an English professor, she inspires students to think critically about the beauty and power of language as a creative instrument of the thinking mind. She believes that a student of literature is also a student of history, philosophy, religion, art, and science.