Vitae

PETER KERRY POWERS

PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYMENT

EDUCATION

ACADEMIC ADMINISTRATION AND SERVICE

PUBLICATIONS

TEACHING

CONTACT

PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYMENT

Messiah College.

  • Dean, School of the Humanities, July 2008 to present (Interim 2008-10)
  • Chair of English, 2001-08.
  • Director, Writing Across the Curriculum, 2005-08.
  • Professor of English, 2007 to present.
  • Associate Professor of English, 2000-07.
  • Assistant Professor of English, 1997-2000.

Hampden-Sydney College. Visiting Assistant Professor, 1992-93.
Duke University. Graduate Tutor, 1986-91.
University of Montana. Teaching Assistant, 1984-85.

EDUCATION

Ph.D., Duke University. English. Dissertation: Principalities and Powers: Religion and Resistance in Contemporary Ethnic Women’s Literature. Director: Jane Tompkins. 1991.
M.A., Duke University. English. Herman Melville. Director: Buford Jones. 1987.
M.F.A., University of Montana. Creative Writing. Thesis: The Company You Keep and Other Stories. Director: William Kittredge. 1985.
B.A., magna cum laude, Wheaton College. English. 1982.
Continuing Education: Senior Leadership Academy. Council of Independent Colleges and Universities. 2014-15; Institute for Management and Leadership in Education. Graduate School of Education, Harvard University. July 2012.

ACADEMIC ADMINISTRATION AND SERVICE

    INSTITUTIONAL PLANNING AND POLICY DEVELOPMENT

Co-Chair, Strategic Plan Implementation Committee, 2016-2020.
Chair, Undergraduate Research Strategic Planning Sub-Committee, 2016-2020.
Co-Chair, Messiah College Strategic Planning Executive Committee, 2014-16.
Provost’s Representative, Term-Tenure Review Task Force, 2013-15.
Chair, FTE Review Task Force leading to college-wide FTE reductions, 2008-10.
President’s strategic planning team related to communications initiatives, 2012-14.
Served as Provost’s representative on term-tenure review task force, 2012-14.
Served on President’s video strategic planning task force, 2013-14.
Served on President’s Generative Thinking committee, 2010-16.

    ASSESSMENT AND ACCREDITATION

Reviewed programs for 10 departments, centers, and programs, 2008-18.
Proposed and piloted revised institutional program review process, 2015-16.
Co-Chaired Messiah College’s Middle States Accreditation Steering Committee, 2011-2013.
Co-Chaired Messiah College’s Middle States Educational Program sub-committee, 2011-13.
Reviewer, Mount St. Mary’s College for Middle States Accreditation, 2015.
Reviewed and discontinued M.A. in Youth and Young Adult Ministries, 2012-13.
Reviewed and discontinued Humanities major, 2011-13.
Coordinated school response to state requirements for education certification, 2008-09.

    PROGRAM AND CURRICULAR DEVELOPMENT

Chair, Undergraduate Research Committee, 2018-2021
Oversaw Funding and Development of new Humanities Lab for Digital Humanities and Center for Public Humanities, 2016-18.
Developed new minor in Digital Humanities, 2017.
Oversaw development of Youth Theology Institute, 2016-17.
Oversaw development of Young Filmmakers Workshop, 2016.
Developed new humanities programs to promote undergraduate research, 2015-17.
Oversaw development of new facilities for Film, Digital Media, and Broadcasting, 2013-15,  and for the Center for Public Humanities and the Digital Humanities Initiative, 2016.
Established Digital Humanities Initiative, featuring Digital Harrisburg, in partnership with Harrisburg University and community partners, 2012-15.
Implemented required/recommended internships in all majors in the School, 20012-14.
Established Public Humanities Student Fellows program, 2013-14.
Established Humanities Scholars program , 2013-14.
Supervised revision of majors in Film, Journalism and Broadcasting, 2012-14.
Supervised capital budget and equipment purchases in Communication, ongoing.
Supervised curricular revisions improving career preparation, 2012-14.
Developed Young Writers Workshop, to extend educational mission, 2012.
Developed majors and minors in Chinese Studies, Business, and Education. 2010.
Developed new major in Digital Media, 2010-12.
Developed new major in Ethnic and Area Studies, 2010-12.
Developed college-wide student media program, 2010-12.
Coordinated Dept. of Education review of MA in Youth & Young Adult Ministries, 2010-11.

    FACULTY HIRING, DEVELOPMENT, AND EVALUATION

Conducted 14 full-time faculty searches that have diversified the faculty and curriculum.
Evaluated numerous faculty in the tenure and promotion process.
Conducted annual review and approval of faculty professional development goals
Implemented individual professional development programs for faculty.
Planned and offered faculty professional development opportunities that have:
• improved advising
• improved use of digital technology in the classroom
• increased awareness of pedagogical strategies for teaching students with disabilities
• deepened engagement with religion, reason, and learning issues
• deepened engagement with issues of diversity on campus.

    INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND FUNDRAISING:

Raised $100,000 for Young Writers Workshop and Young Filmmakers workshop through State of Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit program, 2016-2018.
Co-wrote Bringing Theory to Practice Grant, $5,000, 2017
Oversaw and co-wrote Lilly Youth Theology Institute Grant, $417,000 2016-2020.
Procured $3,000 Lilly Fellows Network grant to address faith and work, 2015.
Established $25,000 Hess Scholarship in the Humanities, 2015.
Established $25,000 Nisly Endowment for Literature, Peace and Social Justice, 2008-10.
Assisted in fund raising for the Public Humanities Fellows Program, 2013-16.
Established scholarships for Young Writers Workshop, 2014-16.
Raised matching funds for $500,000 NEH challenge grant, Center for Public Humanities, 2008-13.

    PROGRAM PROMOTION AND ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT

Led President’s initiative for Humanities recruitment, 2014-16.
Initiated programming for Humanities recruitment, 2010-16.
Enhanced program visibility through social media, video, and web design initiatives, 2010-16.

    OTHER LEADERSHIP ACTIVITIES

Commencement Speaker Selection Committee, 2017-18.
Served as co-chair of Deans and Chairs Advisory Council, 2009-13.
Chaired task force to AACU institute on inclusive excellence, 2009.
Served on President’s team attending CCCU national conference, 2014.
Delivered address at opening college convocation, “Education for Worship,” 2010.
Spokesperson to prospective students on nature of Messiah College education, 2009-10.

    SELECTED ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS CHAIR OF ENGLISH

Hired and mentored seven new faculty members in seven years.
Developed policy and procedures manual.
Developed assessment plan and completed program review.
Completed Pennsylvania Department of Education review.
Established departmental endowment fund.
Organized Poetry and Peacemaking symposium and ongoing writers series.
Reviewed and revised Journalism, English and English Education majors.
Revised Honors program in English.

    SELECTED ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS DIRECTOR OF WRITING

Developed mission and identity statement for Writing Across the Curriculum program.
Organized faculty development activities.
Developed Writing Across the Curriculum web page.
Developed and revised student placement policy.
Organized Best of First Year Seminar competition.
Completed assessment plan.

    SELECTED OTHER COMMITTEES AND INSTITUTIONAL SERVICE:

Co-Chair. Micah Task Force on Racial Justice and Multicultural Education.
Served as presidential or provost representative to committees and task forces including: Community Standards Committee, Retention Committee, Racial Justice and Multicultural Education Committee.
Served as ex officio member of multiple committees providing college-wide leadership and planning, including: College Council, Academic Council, Provost’s Cabinet, Graduate Steering Committee, Graduate Council, Curriculum Committee, General Education Committee.
Served as college spokesperson on numerous occasions, and have served as college representative to external professional organizations, including: President’s representative to Parents Day events, Master of Ceremonies for Clark Associates Scholarship luncheon, Administrative representative to the Lilly Fellows program.

SELECTED SERVICE TO EDUCATIONAL AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Served regularly and in multiple capacities in academic service for professional organizations, including on an editorial board, as a manuscript referee, association leadership boards, conference session organizer, and in other capacities. Recent activities germane to administration include:
• Session Organizer. College in Crisis. Northeast MLA. Toronto, 2015.
• Session organizer. Critical Vocationalism. Northeast MLA. Harrisburg, 2014.
• Facilitating consultant. Middle States Self-Study Institute. Philadelphia, 2013.
• External program reviewer. English Literary Studies. York College of PA. 2010.
• Group leader. Administrators Workshop, Lilly Fellows Conference. 2008-2010, 2015

.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
(Full list of publications and presentations available upon request.)

Published two books, and have published or presented over 100 articles, reviews, occasional essays, and conference presentations. A third book on liberal arts and higher education is in process. The focus of published work has been on multi-ethnic American literature, culture, and religion, on book history and culture, on pedagogy, and most recently on issues associated with college life, administration, and the humanities. Recent or significant publications include:

BOOKS:

Goodbye Christ? Christianity, Masculinity, and the New Negro Renaissance. University of Tennessee Press. 2018.
Recalling Religions: Resistance, Memory and Cultural Revision in Ethnic Women’s Literature. University of Tennessee Press. August 2001. Nominated: Modern Language Association Prize for a First Book.

SELECTED ACADEMIC ESSAYS (15 Total):

“Knowledge and Praise: An Open Letter to Christian Students at the Journey’s Beginning.” The Cresset. Michaelmas 2014. Vol. 78, No. 1.
“A Clash of Civilizations: Religious and Academic Discourse in the English Classroom.” Profession (2008): 66-73.
“The Treacherous Body: Isolation, Confession and Community in James Baldwin.” American Literature. 77.4 (December 2005): 787-814.
“My Culture, Their Culture: Literature, Cultural Property, and Student Identity in the Multicultural Classroom.” MELUS. 30.2 (Summer 2005): 49-64.
“The Ghost in the Collaborative Machine: Expression, Authority and the White Male Teacher in the Multicultural Classroom.” In Race in the Classroom: Pedagogy and Politics. Bonnie TuSmith ed. New Brunswick NJ: Rutgers UP, 2002. (Winner of the 2003 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award in the area of bigotry and human rights).

SELECTED ACADEMIC REVIEWS (21 Total):

Channette Romero. Activism and the American Novel: Religion and Resistance in Fiction by Women of Color. African American Review. 47:1 (Spring 2014): 224-226.
Tuire Valkeakari. Religious Idiom and the African American Novel, 1952-1998. Christian Scholar’s Review 38.3 (2009): 402-405.
Tracy Fessenden. Culture and Redemption: Religion, the Secular, and American Literature. Christian Scholars Review. 38.1 (2008): 181-185.

SELECTED GENERAL INTEREST AND OCCASIONAL ESSAYS (20 Total):

“Courageous Leadership: A Meditation for Epiphany.” Cresset. Fall 2015.
“Maggots: Or, My Father’s Stories.” The New Philosopher. August 6, 2015.
“Messiah College’s Goal Isn’t to Shelter Students.” The Patriot News. 20 October 2011.
“Knowledge and Praise.” Indelible: President’s Report, Messiah College. Fall 2009. 17.
Anne Burlein. Lift High the Cross: Christian Century. 22 March 2003: 52-55.

SELECTED CONFERENCE ESSAYS AND INVITED LECTURES (45 Total):

“Whose Freedom? Whose Humanity?: Slavery, the Humanities and the Liberating Arts.” Humanities Symposium. Messiah College. 2017.
“For Its Own Sake: Conceptualizing Freedom, Intellectual Work and Human Flourishing in the Liberal Arts and Professions.” Symposium on Faith and Culture, Higher Learning. Baylor, 2016.
“Image of the Humanities/Humanities of the Image.” Humanities Symposium. Messiah College. 2016.
Panelist. “From Mission to Meaningful Lives: Student Success in Church-Related Higher Education.” Lilly Fellows Program Administrators Workshop. Xavier. New Orleans, 2014.
“Utility and Freedom: Career Development as a Liberal Art.” NEMLA. Harrisburg, 2014.
“Sustainability, Sacrifice, and Education.” Humanities Symposium. Messiah College, 2014.
“Curricular and Career Development: Transforming the Humanities to Prepare Students for Professional Life.” Humanities and the Professions Conference. University of Richmond, 2013.
“Humanities and the Wealth of Nations.” Humanities Symposium. Messiah College 2013.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Taught over 120 course sections ranging from first year seminars to supervision of senior honors theses. Primary areas of teaching interest have focused on multi-ethnic and modern American literature, with secondary interests in literary theory and criticism and creative writing. Most recently I have taught courses for our College Honors program: Spring course for 2016 is a Senior Honors Seminar focusing on current topics concerning racial division in the United States titled, “Race Matters.” Spring course in 2015 was a Senior Honors Seminar focusing on higher education in America titled, “Colleges in Crisis: Higher Education and Contemporary American Culture.”

SELECTED AWARDS AND HONORS

Participant. CIC Senior Leadership Academy.
Participant. Harvard Institute on Management and Leadership in Education.
Presidential Scholar. Messiah College.
Creative Teaching Grant. Messiah College.
Fellowship in Arts Commentary. Pennsylvania Council for the Arts.
Coolidge Fellow. Association for Religion and Intellectual Life.
University Award for Teaching Excellence. George Mason University.

ACADEMIC SOCIETIES

Modern Language Association; Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS); Northeast MLA.

CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Pursued professional development in a variety of venues, most significantly by being selected to attend the Harvard Seminar on Management and Leadership in Education, and to participate in the Senior Leadership Academy sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges and Universities. Other recent and significant professional development activities include:

Council of Independent Colleges Conferences.
• Baltimore 2015, focused on collaboration between academic officers and development.
• Portland 2014, focused on collaboration between chief financial officers and CAOs
• Pittsburgh, 2013, focused on collaboration between academic and student life.
Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Workshop. Pittsburgh, 2014.
• Focused on developing basic fundraising skills.
Strategic Grant Development Workshop. University of Pennsylvania. June 2013.
Lilly Fellows Conference. Administrators workshops.
• Multiple topics, 2008-2017, on college mission and various aspects of institutional life.
• Invited speaker, New Orleans 2014, on panel focused on liberal arts and career preparation.
Rethinking Success Conference. Wake Forest University, 2012.
• Conference focused on engaging liberal arts and careers.
AACU Institute. “Leadership to Make Excellence Inclusive.” Vanderbilt, 2010.
Pennsylvania Association of Liaisons and Offices of Multicultural Affairs Workshop. “Creating a Comprehensive Network of Policies and Actions for Inclusive Excellence.” Harrisburg, 2009.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Phone: 717 766 2511
e-mail: ppowers @ messiah dot edu