First-Year Seminar Instructors

Photo of T. J. AndersonT. J. Anderson III, Professor, English

T.J. Anderson III has taught in the English department of Hollins for over 20 years. A former Fulbright Scholar, Anderson lived in Cairo, Egypt, where he taught at Cairo University and conducted research on the influence of jazz on contemporary Egyptian music. He is the author of the poetry collections At Last Round Up (1996), River to Cross (2009), and Cairo Workbook (2014). He is also the author of the critical book on jazz poetry, Notes to Make the Sound Come Right: Four Innovators of Jazz Poetry (2004). He received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, a master’s of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in English from SUNY Binghamton.


Jon BohlandJon Bohland, Associate Professor and Director, International Studies

Jon Bohland has been teaching at Hollins since 2002 and is the rare Hollins faculty member that is actually from Southwest Virginia (Blacksburg). He is a political and cultural geographer with interests in critical and popular forms of geopolitics. Jon has published scholarly work focused on diverse topics such as understanding international relations theory through science fiction (chapter in a book on Battlestar Galactica and International Relations), neo-Confederate nationalism and popular music, and the rise of transnational identities within international football. He is the program director for the International Studies major and teaches a number of courses focused on topics such as globalization, social theory, critical geopolitics, cultural studies, and international travel. He watches too much television, listens to lots of 90’s indie rock, likes local craft beers, and is a huge Hokie and global soccer fan.


Photo of Vladimir BraticVladimir Bratic, Associate Professor, Communication Studies

Professor Bratic came to Hollins in the fall of 2006 after receiving his Ph.D. in mass communication from Ohio University. Prior to coming to the United States,. Bratic lived in the Czech Republic where he graduated from the Faculty of Pedagogy and Philosophy at the Palacky University. He is originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he began his research on the role of the media in conflict and peace. He has published journal articles and teaches about how media can help promote peaceful transformation of violent conflict across the world.


Peter CooganPeter Coogan, Associate Professor, History

Peter Coogan escaped from the snows of New York to get his B.A. at Duke University and his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has taught at Hollins University since 1988, where his specialties include explaining why nations periodically try to slaughter each other and why modern America does the things it does. He is currently completing a book on Franklin Roosevelt’s worldview. Professor Coogan became a historian because he was too small and untalented to become the starting free safety for the New York Giants. In his “free time,” he watches football and dreams of what might have been, he listens to Howlin’ Wolf, Social Distortion, and Gaslight Anthem, and he reads just about everything that falls in front of him.


LeeRay CostaLeeRay Costa, Professor, Anthropology and Gender and Women’s Studies

LeeRay Costa is proud to be the first person in her family to attend college and complete her B.A. at the University of California, San Diego. She is passionate about mentoring students and is deeply grateful to her undergraduate advisor, sociologist Bennetta Jules-Rosette, for encouraging her to earn her Ph.D., which she did in 2001 at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa. Trained as a feminist cultural anthropologist, Costa’s research focuses on social change and social justice. She has published on women’s activism, nongovernmental organizations, and transgender youth in Thailand, where she lived for three-and-a-half years. She has also conducted research on the local food movement in Hawai’i, her family home. She chairs the gender and women’s studies program and teaches courses on gender and sexuality, women and social movements, food, culture and social justice, spiritual activism, and girlhood studies. Inspired by her daughter, in 2012, Costa founded the nonprofit organization Girls Rock Roanoke that provides a space for the empowerment of girls and women through music, creative expression, and collaboration. This year, Costa completed her yoga teacher training certification and launched the Hollins Contemplative Collective which seeks to create spaces and opportunities on campus for developing practices of mindfulness and healing that are embodied, inclusive, and both individually and collectively transformative.


Michelle DeGroot

Michelle De Groot, Assistant Professor, English

Michelle De Groot is pleased to be entering her third year teaching in the English department at Hollins. She holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia and completed her Ph.D. in medieval English literature at Harvard University. Her research interests include the Middle Ages as well as modern science fiction and fantasy. She finds that her professional interest in sci-fi and fantasy has well equipped her for pop-culture conversations with her nieces and nephew. Even her dog, a snaggletoothed pug/lab/beagle/pit/pointer/boxer/snugglebug, has an interest in this genre from watching television, though she doesn’t seem very knowledgeable about the Middle Ages. De Groot’s other interests include homemade kefir, making people listen to panegyrics on her favorite ice dancers, knitting, and playing the piano.


Angel Diaz MirandaÁngel Díaz Miranda, Assistant Professor, Spanish

Ángel Díaz Miranda is an assistant professor of Spanish and Latin American literature and culture at Hollins. He received his doctoral degree from Emory University. In 2014, he was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Graduate Fellowship. Díaz Miranda has published journal articles on Mexican poet Octavio Paz, surrealism and trauma; Leopoldo Panero’s phantasmatic overtaking of his son Leopoldo María Panero’s poetic voice, sacrificial violence, and contemporary Colombian novels and on Mexican film director Alfonso Cuarón, Korean-American photographer Miru Kim, and the aesthetics of apocalypse. He is currently finishing articles on David Huerta’s poetics and on the scopic (micro-, tele-) views in the works of Chilean authors Álvaro Bisama and Diego Zúñiga. His latest book project examines Roberto Bolaño’s poetics and the aftermath of revolutionary drives by minoritarian subjects on both sides of the Mexican border. He has presented his work in national and international conferences, more recently in Chile. Miranda is also a poet.


Photo of Genevieve HendricksGenevieve Hendricks, Assistant Professor, Art

Genevieve Hendricks grew up in Upstate New York but has spent summers in Virginia all her life and is happy to have moved to Roanoke! She is currently an assistant professor of modern and contemporary art history and earned her B.A. in art history and English literature from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.A and Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She teaches courses in modern art ranging from the History of Photography to Feminism and Contemporary Art. Her research focuses on 20th century art and architecture, particularly in France, and she loves to travel, take long walks, and hang out in museums.


Pablo HernandezPablo Hernandez, Associate Professor, Economics

Pablo Hernandez completed his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Notre Dame. He is a bilingual scholar who came to Hollins University in the fall of 2007. He has taught introductory and upper-level courses in economics. Professor Hernandez’s research interests lie in development, environmental and natural resource economics and ecological economics with several publications and presentations in these areas. Two of his most recent publications appeared in the International Journal of Women, Social Justice and Human Rights and EconoQuantum. He has served as referee for the journals Ecological Economics, EconoQuantum, Latin American Research Review, Revista de Estudios Fronterizos, and the Virginia Social Science Journal. His current research interests center on alternative regimes governing common property resource management in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. Professor Hernandez is an avid listener of classical keyboard music. He enjoys traveling with his family, camping, and hiking in Mexico and the U.S.


Photo of Jeanne LarsenJeanne Larsen, Professor, English

Jeanne Larsen started traveling when she was five days old, and she started reading…sometime before she started remembering things. When she was in fourth grade, she decided that when she grew up she’d write novels with magic in them. After getting her B.A. from Oberlin College, her M.A. from Hollins, and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Iowa, she did just that. She started publishing poetry while she was in grad school, then began translating poems by women of medieval China. Her latest book of poetry, What Penelope Chooses, will be published next January. Larsen likes to recharge her brain by taking part in summer seminars for college teachers: This has given her the chance to learn new things at the University of Michigan, UCLA, the School for Criticism & Theory at Northwestern, the Center for Hellenic Studies in D.C., an intensive Chinese language school in Taiwan, and the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. When she’s not writing, going to literary events, or cleaning cat hair off the couch, she is likely to be found in a yoga class—or out on one of the many hiking trails around the Roanoke valley.


Joe LeedomJoe Leedom, Professor, History

Joe Leedom grew up amid the wilds of southern California and the rich urban environment of Wyoming before attending the University of Wyoming as an undergraduate and receiving his Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara. His research interests lay in the areas of medieval law and society, but he’s recently turned to Roman persecution (as a research field, not a hobby) and early Christian history. He has been at Hollins now for an undisclosed number of decades, where he teaches a variety of courses on mostly old stuff.


Photo of Jennifer Anderson-Printz

Jennifer D. Printz, Associate Professor, Art

Although she grew up in the Southeast, Jennifer D. Printz spent time in the Midwest and Los Angeles before coming home to Hollins. She is a practicing studio artist with an M.F.A. from the University of Georgia, and her artwork is replete with labor-intensive obsessions. She has an innate curiosity and so makes art about the imperceptible quality of stars in the noonday sun, the forces that hold clouds up in the sky, and what might arrange the sundry of the universe. Recently, Printz has exhibited her artwork in places ranging from Lexington, Kentucky, to Alijó, Portugal. When not in her art studio, you can find her in the gym lifting weights, home making a mean pizza, or relaxing at Smith Mountain Lake.


Alison Ridley

Alison Ridley, Professor, Spanish

Alison Ridley grew up in England, Norway, France, and Venezuela, but she completed her university studies in the United States. She received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Spanish from Michigan State University where she specialized in the literature of the Golden Age. Her current research interests include 20th-century Spanish drama, Hispanic cultural studies, and translation studies. Since arriving at Hollins in 1991, she has taught language, culture, and literature courses, as well as business Spanish and a Short Term service-learning course on Appalachia. She has led two Short Term trips to Mexico and Costa Rica and is passionate about introducing students to different cultures, languages, and ways of life. When not at work, she enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, working out, eating chocolate, and spending time with her husband, Mark, and her Miniature Schnauzer, Dieter.


Annette Sampon NicolasAnnette Sampon-Nicolas, Professor, French

Annette Sampon-Nicolas, professor of French; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison. She teaches courses on Francophone cultures, French children’s literature, nature, global food studies, and French gastronomy. Born in the French-speaking region of Belgium, she lived in France, Portugal, Québec, Wisconsin, and California before moving to Virginia.  Her fascination with food and cooking stems from an early age when she would join her mother in the kitchen and help prepare gourmet meals for family and friends. With her father, a master gardener, she learned to cultivate French leeks, Belgian endives, grapes, and a multitude of vegetables. Cooking soon became her avocation. Her cooking experiences expanded when she worked at Château de Beusdael in Belgium as chef for a summer camp. Like Chef Louis, singing and dancing, she happily cooked “les poissons, les poissons”; in this case, small fish caught in the château’s moat by cub scouts! In France, she frequently cooked for friends’ dinner parties, and she helped put herself through graduate school working as the chef of La Maison française at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. She loves making homemade French fries, though admittedly, they are of Belgian origin, just like the best chocolate! Recently, she has been getting interested in molecular gastronomy and new culinary techniques but is devoted to the pure essence of ingredients. She can whip any vegetables up into a delightful soup and when stressed, bakes bread. Like French chefs, she cooks au pif , by instinct regarding proportions. She holds a special place in her heart for fresh baguette slathered in exquisite butter and anything with dark Belgian chocolate. In Virginia, she loves preparing gourmet meals with her family and watching Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, No Reservations and The Taste.