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CLA names new chairs for five departments

The College of Liberal Arts welcomes new department chairs Tessa Carr, Alicia Carroll, Jorge Muñoz, Doug Rosener and Nicolas Ziebarth


The College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University started the 2023-2024 academic year under new leadership in five of its departments.

As chairs, these faculty members will support faculty, staff and student success in their departments for the next three years.

Tessa Carr, Theatre & Dance

Associate Professor Tessa Carr will lead the Department of Theatre and Dance.

“I work with an excellent faculty and staff. I appreciate and am honored by the trust that they have put in me to serve as chair,” Carr said. “The colleagues and students in the Department of Theatre and Dance made it easy to say yes to the position. I look forward to continuing the collaborative, exciting and challenging work of educating student artists and supporting the creative research of my colleagues.”

At Auburn, Carr teaches directing, introduction to theatre for majors and non-majors, and dramatic history and literature courses. She directs productions for Auburn University Theatre, and she also serves as the co-director of Mosaic Theatre Company — a company sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts that is committed to creating original work fostering conversations about issues of diversity. Her research interests include autobiographical performance and feminist performance strategies.

Carr earned her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in communication studies with an emphasis in performance studies and a portfolio in women’s and gender studies. She holds a master’s degree in theatre history and criticism from Louisiana State University and a bachelor’s degree in theatre and history from Lees-McRae College.

Alicia Carroll, English

Professor Alicia Carroll will lead the Department of English.

“Being named department chair in English means that I'm responsible for guiding us through a moment when research and teaching in the humanities must respond to new technologies and even new criteria for the evaluation of higher education itself,” Carroll said. “What I'm most looking forward to is working closely with faculty, students and administrators to protect and advance the significant gains we've made in faculty publishing and student achievement, while fostering new initiatives to meet the challenges we face in the future.”

Carroll specializes in Victorian studies and ecocriticism, and mentors both graduate and undergraduate students working in the fields. She is a member of both the UKI Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment and the American Association for Studies in Literature and the Environment, serving as a member of the Diversity Caucus in the American branch.

Carroll’s research interests include 19th-century British literature and culture, green cultural studies, Victorian studies, ecocriticism and environmental humanities and women’s and gender studies.

Carroll received her PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Jorge Muñoz, World Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Associate Professor of Spanish Jorge Muñoz will lead the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

“Becoming chair of the WLLC department has been a very humbling experience for me,” Muñoz said. “I will try and do my best to make sure that we are not known just as a language department but as a department that has much more to offer than just the learning of foreign languages. We play an essential role in educating our students to become real world citizens by providing them with the right tools to achieve cultural literacy and to succeed in whatever they do once they leave the comfort of Auburn University.”

Muñoz was previously named the director of international and exchange programs, overseeing the International Studies major, the CLA International Exchange program and study abroad programs within the college. His research interests include contemporary Spanish literature and film, postmodernism and the cyberpunk approach in Spanish novels and films.

He received his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Doug Rosener, Music

Professor of Percussion Doug Rosener will lead the Department of Music.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve our students and faculty in pursuit of the music department’s mission of educational excellence, elevated student experience and community engagement,” Rosener said. “I’m very much looking forward to watching our students grow and thrive in our newly expanded and modernized academic programs, as well as experiencing the outstanding artistry of our students and faculty through the numerous performances we present each year.”

In addition to teaching the applied percussion studio, Rosener teaches courses in percussion literature, percussion skills and Finale techniques, and he directs the Auburn percussion ensemble and Auburn University Marching Band drumline.

As chair, he will also oversee the completion of Auburn Music’s state-of-the-art recording studio.

Rosener earned a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University, Master of Music from the University of North Texas and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Nicolas Ziebarth, Economics

Professor Nicolas Ziebarth will lead the Department of Economics.

“It’s one thing to be a regular faculty member and feel a duty to the students in your class and your grad students. As a chair, it’s now a duty to all the students taking classes in your department, all the graduate students and all your fellow faculty members,” Ziebarth said. “I am looking forward to contributing to the academic mission of Auburn in a new way. I have spent my career until this point focused on my research and teaching, so it is exciting to start in this new role.”

Ziebarth is the Robert B. Ekelund Jr. and Robert F. Herbert Endowed Professor in Culture and Applied Economics. His research interests include economic history and macroeconomics.

He earned his PhD from Northwestern University.

Tags: Theatre and Dance English World Languages Literatures and Cultures Music Economics Faculty

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