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K-State Today

June 5, 2015



College of Arts & Sciences announces five new department heads

By Tom Roesler

The College of Arts & Sciences has announced five new department heads to begin the 2015-2016 academic year.

"Excellent academic programs rely on outstanding leadership," said Peter Dorhout, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. "We have been very lucky to have had great leaders in the college serve their departments these past few years, and we are looking forward to these new heads taking their departments forward and continuing to do marvelous work."

The new department heads are listed in alphabetical order by department:

Michael Krysko will serve as chair of the history department. Krysko's research and teaching specialties focus on the history of technology, mass media and U.S. foreign relations. He earned his doctorate at Stony Brook University in 2001 and spent five years on the history faculty at Dowling College in New York before joining the K-State department of history in 2006. Krysko has served on the executive board of the Mid-America American Studies Association since 2008, and was elected to serve a term as president during 2011-12. Krysko will replace Louise Breen, the previous chair, whose term expires in June. Breen will continue her teaching and research responsibilities in the history department.

Derek Hillard has been selected as the department head of the modern languages department after serving one year as the interim department head. Hillard came to the K-State modern languages department in 2002 as an assistant professor of German, before becoming an associate professor in 2008. During his time at K-State, Hillard has taught courses in German language, literature and culture, German and European Studies, and advanced undergraduate and graduate seminars. Hillard earned a bachelor's degree in Germanics from the University of Washington, which included one year as a student at the Universität Tübingen in Germany. He went on to earn a masters and doctorate in Germanic Studies from Indiana University in 1995 and 2001, respectively.

Kurt Gartner will serve as the interim director of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Prior to joining the K-State music faculty in 1999, he served for 10 years at Purdue University where he was associate professor of bands. He has served as associate director of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance since the school was established in 2012, overseeing the music program. Gartner teaches applied percussion and percussion methods. He also directs the percussion ensemble, keyboard percussion quartets and the Latin Jazz Ensemble. Gartner's prior service to K-State includes appointments as special assistant to the provost and coordinator of the Peer Review of Teaching Program. Gartner replaces Gary Mortenson, who will be the dean of the School of Music at Baylor University after serving as the inaugural head of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance since 2012.

László Kulcsár, professor of sociology, will be the next department head for the sociology, anthropology and social work department. His field of expertise is social demography, with a particular emphasis on migration, urbanization and regional development. Kulcsár teaches courses on population dynamics, social gerontology, immigration and sociological methodology. Kulcsár holds a doctorate from Cornell University in development sociology. His master's degrees are in sociology and in public administration studies. Prior to his academic career he has been a consultant on various EU rural development projects, and has worked in the poll opinion industry in Hungary. Kulcsár replaces Betsy Cauble, who has served as department head since 2005. Cauble will continue her teaching and research responsibilities in the department.

• Angela Hubler has been selected as the interim department head for women's studies. Hubler's research and publication focuses on gender in young adult and modern American literature. Hubler also serves as board president of The Crisis Center, Inc, which provided services to survivors of sexual and domestic violence in Clay, Geary, Marshall, Pottawatomie and Riley counties. She was awarded her master's degree and doctorate in English with a graduate certificate in women's studies by Duke University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from The College of Wooster. Hubler began teaching at K-State in 1990 and replaces Michele Janette, who had served as department head since 2010. Janette will continue her teaching and research in Vietnamese and Asian American literature and film.

In April, the College of Arts & Sciences announced the selection of Matthew Gaynor as the new art department head.