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School of Arts and Sciences

The School of Arts and Sciences is home to several programs and content areas traditionally associated with the humanities, fine arts, and the social and natural sciences. We currently offer majors in Art, American Sign Language and Interpreting, Biology, and Psychology and a minor in Chemistry.

In addition to these programs, the School of Arts and Sciences offers courses in Composition, English Literature, History, Philosophy, Religion, the Performing Arts, Physics, and Math. A select group of courses from these content areas also comprise the bulk of the College’s General Education Program.

Faculty

Photo of R.J. Stewart

R.J. Stewart, Ph.D.

Senior Director for the School of Arts and Sciences
President Joseph R. Harker Professor of Philosophy and Religion

"Teaching at Mac has always been about the students and encouraging and motivating them to understand the world in new ways. It's about pushing people's comfort zones and exploring ideas that are vitally important to our world today. I love the transformative power of education and have been privileged to be part of each student's journey as they invest in their future and their personal growth."

  • Areas of interest: Dr. Stewart is interested in studying women and gender issues in religion, religion in America, non-traditional varieties of Christianity, and First Amendment/Religious freedom issues.
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy — Drew University
  • M.Phil. — Drew University
  • M.T.S. — Drew Theological School
  • B.A. in Religion — Seattle Pacific University
  • Courses taught: Religion in America, New Religious Movements in America, World Religions, Interpreting Christian Traditions, God, Person and World, Women and Religion, Women in American History, Christian Ethics, Contemporary Ethical Problems, Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Religion, Introduction to New Testament, Introduction to Old Testament, God and The State, High Middle Ages to Enlightenment, and The Modern World
Photo of Eric Berg

Eric Berg, Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy

"I love teaching at MacMurray because of the students! They ask great questions, make me laugh, and work hard in and outside of the classroom."

  • Areas of interest: Dr. Berg specializes in the 20th century French intellectual Albert Camus. He serves on the Board of Directors for The Albert Camus Society and is the book review editor for The Journal of Camus Studies. In addition to Camus, Dr. Berg holds a strong interest in the thought of Martin Luther and Martin Heidegger. Outside of the academy, baseball is his second greatest love, after his wife, Christy.
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy — The University of Kansas
  • M.A. in Theory and Doctrine — Luther Seminary
  • B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science — Minnesota State University-Moorhead
  • Courses taught: The Ancient and Classical World, Philosophy of Religion, Contemporary Ethics, Introduction to Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, Modern Philosophy, 19th and 20th Century Philosophy, Philosophy of Sport, Albert Camus, Leadership Ethics, Philosophy Through Film, First Year Experience: The Beauty of Baseball, Rhetoric 102: Indigenous Persons, Business Ethics, Introduction to Logic
Photo of Allan Metcalf

Allan Metcalf, Ph.D.

Professor of English

"I learn as much as I teach from the up-to-date Millennials in my classes. Their expertise in social media helps them achieve academic success."

  • Areas of interest: Dr. Metcalf enjoys learning, writing, and teaching about words — their history and meaning. He has had two of his most recent books, OK, The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word (2011) and From Skedaddle to Selfie, Words of the Generations (2015), published by Oxford University Press. Dr. Metcalf also posts weekly to the Lingua Franca blog of the Chronicle of Higher Education.
  • Ph.D. in English — University of California-Berkeley
  • M.A. in English — University of California-Berkeley
  • B.A. in English — Cornell University
  • Courses taught: Freshman Composition and Advanced Writing, Introduction to Poetry and Short Fiction, Survey of English Literature, Medieval Literature, Chaucer, Survey of American Literature, The Novel, Contemporary Poetry, Structure and History of English, American Dialects, Introduction to Linguistics, Dictionaries, Word Origins, Languages of the World, New Words, Beginning Latin, News Writing and Reporting, Ideas in Perspective (core curriculum), Law and Language
Photo of Jeannie Zeck

Jeannie M. Zeck, Ph.D.

Professor of English

"I love teaching at Mac because I'm able to create courses that are relevant to students' lives as well as exciting and fun. The students deserve the best instruction, wisdom, and texts I can offer; this is a challenge I work to fulfill every class period. Teaching is a two-way street: my students have taught me invaluable lessons about communication and compassion."

  • Areas of interest: Dr. Zeck is spearheading MacMurray's return to theatrical events including improvisation, storytelling, and readers' theater. During the spring of 2017, she taught a series of improvisation classes as a foundation for Mac's improv performance group. Her special interests include women's literature, African American literature, and issues of social justice. Misogyny and sexual assault are serious concerns in our world as are the prison industrial complex, mass incarceration of people of color, and the militarization of police. Literature encourages discussion and understanding of these and other issues. She also enjoys researching and writing literary criticism; in October of 2016, she presented a paper on Annie Proulx's short story "Brokeback Mountain" in Toronto at the Humber College interdisciplinary conference.
  • Ph.D. in Contemporary American Literature — Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
  • M.F.A. in Acting — University of Minnesota-Minneapolis
  • B.A. in Theater (with a concentration in English) — College of St. Catherine
  • Courses taught: Coming of Age in America, Cutting Edge American Plays, Bad Girls in Literature: Speaking Up and Acting Out, American Lives: Surviving and Striving in the Margins, College Research and Writing
Photo of Christopher Strangeman

Christopher C. Strangeman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of History

"I love teaching at MacMurray because I love getting to help students think about why history matters, why studying history has something to say to them about the choices they will make in their own lives."

  • Areas of interest: When Dr. Strangeman has some free time, he enjoys watching baseball (especially when the Cubs win), as well as watching movies of all kinds, from summer blockbusters to art house films. He also loves playing racquetball, and he plays in a league at the local YMCA.
  • Ph.D. in Historical Studies — Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
  • M.A. in European History — Eastern Illinois University
  • B.S. in History, Computer Science, and Management Information Systems — MacMurray College
  • Courses taught: American History to 1865, American History since 1865, Ancient and Medieval History, Modern History, Topics: History through Film, From the Telegraph to the Internet, Topics: Modern Political Thought, Topics: Revolutions, Topics: The West since 1870, The 1960s and the Counterculture Movement, Historical Research, The Modern World, The Person and the Natural World
Photo of Tamara K. O'Hearn-Amman

Tamara K. O'Hearn-Amman, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Composition
Coordinator of the Writing Program

"I love teaching at MacMurray because of the opportunity to help our students learn to both think and write well. MacFam!"

  • Areas of interest: Dr. O'Hearn specializes in rhetoric and composition, creative writing (poetry, fiction, novel), gothic literature, modern and postmodern literature, and literary theory. She also runs a public charity, Gamsby's Project, during the summer/winter breaks, and she enjoys cycling.
  • Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition — Ball State University
  • M.A. in Literature — James Madison University
  • B.A. in English (Writing) — University of Virginia
  • Courses taught: Rhetoric, Zombie Apocalypse