Visiting Faculty Profiles
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Visiting Faculty Profiles


         
Negussie AbebeNegussie Abebe is a Visiting Professor originally from Ethiopia. He received his BA and MA degrees in the Teaching of English from Addis Ababa University. In Ethiopia, he taught Freshman English, Sophomore English, Advanced Composition, and Research Writing Methods. He was also department chair in one of the universities where he had been teaching. He has written English grammar books for high school students and has also translated several novels. Since coming to the United States, Mr. Abebe has been teaching at Texas Southern University, DeVry University, and Lonestar Colleges.
abebezn@tsu.edu | 713-313-7660
 
Martin BellerMartin Beller is a Visiting Assistant Professor. He earned his MA in Folklore and his PhD in Literature at The Ohio State University. In addition to teaching at New York University, Long Island University, and the University of Houston, Dr. Beller was a high school teacher for ten years, four of them at YES Prep in Houston. He is co-author of Interpreting Poetry, and has published critical articles on Shakespeare, Chaucer, and other topics in Medieval and Renaissance English literature. He has also published or presented papers on Dickinson and Whitman, and on 19th Century European novelists (Stendhal, Flaubert, Tolstoy).
bellerm@tsu.edu | 713-313-7536
 
Michon BensonMichon Benson is a Visiting Assistant Professor. She is a graduate of Jack Yates High School and long-time resident of Houston’s Third Ward community. Dr. Benson has been a secondary school teacher and an instructional leader for over 25 years. In 1990, Dr. Benson received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Studio Art, a Master’s degree in Rhetoric and Composition from Texas Southern University in 1996, and her PhD in African American Literature in 2007. As a Visiting Professor of English, Dr. Benson has earned excellent performance evaluations for her work in Freshman Composition and African American Literature courses. Additionally, Dr. Benson actively engages community service. On campus, she sponsors student-led organizations and mentors members of the Student Senate. Off-campus, she is a guest host on KCOH Radio show “Interchange” with Larry Payne. She serves on the advisory council of the Community Artists’ Collective. Dr. Benson’s most recent scholarship includes an essay in the Journal of the College Language Association, entitled “SOS – Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader” (2016), and she collaborates with a team of TSU Science professors as co-Project Investigator on an 2017-2020 HBCU-UP grant through the National Science Foundation. bensonma@tsu.edu | 713-313-7613
 
LaToya Douglas-ButlerLaToya Douglas-Butler Butler is a Visiting Professor and holds a BA and MA in English from Texas Southern University. Her teaching career began in 2001, and she possesses experience in Developmental Reading, Writing and freshman level English courses on both the community college and university levels. Since the fall of 2014, she has served as Co-Director of Freshman English 131 and 132. She is a member of the Enrollment, Retention and Graduation Rates committee (English Department), and her organization affiliation includes NADE (National Association for Developmental Education). Overall, her primary goal is to provide students with an engaging and productive learning environment that fosters creativity and self-direction. douglaslc@tsu.edu | 713-313-7723
 
Kimberly FainKimberly Fain is a Visiting Professor and licensed attorney. Fain holds a JD from Thurgood Marshall School of Law, a MA from Texas Southern University, and a BA degree from Texas A&M University at College Station. Fain has received writing and teaching fellowships and awards from organizations and universities such as ABYDOS, Houston Teachers Institute at University of Houston’s Honors College, Norman Mailer, Rice University, and the SAYPO (St. Agnes Young Professional Organization). She is a regular on The Ellison Report heard on WEAA FM Baltimore radio. Her publications include books, book reviews, essays, and chapters in various journals and presses, such as Buffalo Journal of Gender, JSTOR Daily, Law & Social Policy, McFarland, Modern Fiction Studies, National Book Review, Ploughshares, Scarecrow, and Southern Studies. Lastly, Fain has served as Associate Editor of World Literary Review and has published two books: Black Hollywood: From Butlers to Superheroes, the Changing Role of African American Men in the Movies (Praeger, 2015) and Colson Whitehead: The Postracial Voice of Contemporary Literature (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015). Kimberly.fain@tsu.edu | 713-313-7021
 
Paul GriffithPaul Griffith is a Visiting Assistant Professor. He earned a BA in English (Upper Second Class Honors—1978) and MPhil (1986) at The University of the West Indies. He taught high school, chaired the English Department, and taught at the University of the West Indies (1978-1988) before completing doctoral research in Black Diasporic and Postcolonial Studies at Penn State University (1995). He taught English at the University of Georgia (1996-1997), Lamar University, Texas (1997-2013), and currently teaches at Texas Southern University (2014-present). Dr. Griffith has published several articles on Caribbean and African American literature and culture. Wha’ Sweeten Goat Mout’: Short Caribbean Tales was published in 2011. His recent article “Spiritual Adventure through Song” appears in the 2016 October edition of Symbolism. His book Afro-Caribbean Poetry and Ritual was published by Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Rowan and Littlefield released Dr. Griffith’s book Art and Ritual in the Black Diaspora: Archetypes of Transition in 2017.  griffithpa@tsu.edu | 713-313-7819  
 
Donna HarmonDonna Harmon is a Visiting Professor at TSU and a native Houstonian. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Houston with an undergraduate degree and a MA in Literature from the University of Houston. She served as a public school teacher for 12 years. Professor Harmon is a published poet and playwright. In 1987, The Young People’s Drama Workshop produced her play, And Where Was Adam? In 1995, she published her master's thesis in a book of poetry entitled, Bitchin. Her play Uncle Nate Needs to Be Born Again was produced. Her ongoing mission is to teach, write and to produce creative works with great messages that teach healthy life lessons.
Harmon_dj@tsu.edu | 713-313-7669
 
Hakeem HarrisHakeem Harris is a Visiting Professor who joined Texas Southern University in Fall 2003. He has served on the Faculty-Student Disciplinary Committee and as assistant Director of MTM Writing Clinic, and advisor for campus organization. Professor Hakeem received his BA and MA in English from Jackson State University, and will receive his MA in Communications from Texas Southern University. Hakeem’s teaching interests include first year composition, African American Literature and rhetoric and literacy. His primary research interests are in the field of African American Literature and Shakespeare. Specifically, he is interested in examining the influence of poverty and violence, at the family and community levels, on the social, emotional, behavioral, cognitive and academic development of children and youth in literature. Hakeem also aspires to write and produce films and television programs. Hakeem resides with his family in Houston, TX. In his free time, he practices yoga, coaches youth basketball for NBA player Rashard Lewis, and explores the city for good vegetarian cuisine and instances of public art. Hakeem.harris@tsu.edu | 713-313-4390
 
Jo Beth Benton HarrisJo Beth Benton Harris is a Visiting Professor in English with a PhD (Capella University) and Master of Science (University of Houston). Dr. Harris teaches Composition and Rhetoric courses as well as an upper level - The Teaching of English course. Her specialization areas include online instruction in writing, reading, and foundations courses. Dr. Harris brings experience in creative and technical writing and the use of effective online learning strategies. She has worked in the field of education in the Houston Independent School District in all areas of instruction and school administration. She has served as an English teacher for the Gifted and Talented Program, Teacher Technologist, Technology Training Specialist, and other areas. Dr. Harris has provided presentations on differentiated instruction, positive behavior management and effective online instructional writing and reading methodologies. Her research interests include the impact of effective online instructional pedagogy for the development of outstanding readers and writers.                 harrisjb@tsu.edu | 713-313-7910
 
Austin JamesAustin James is a Visiting Professor who loves to teach and learn. His formal education includes a BA from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX, an MBA from the University of Dallas, and a Master of Fine Arts from Naropa University in Boulder, CO. He believes in students. Professor James is a painter, poet, and professor. He has published several books on poetry and painting through Lawrence and Crane. He ran an art gallery for ten years (2001-2010) in Houston, TX. jamesaa@tsu.edu | 713-313-7667
 
Avery JohnsonAvery Johnson is a Visiting Professor of English. He completed undergraduate studies at Alcorn State University and holds the MA in English with an emphasis on African American literary studies at Texas Southern University. He has several years of teaching experience in both collegiate and secondary education classroom atmospheres. His associations include the College Language Association and the National Association of Black Journalists. His interests consist of the triple parallel studies of African, African-American, and Ancient Egyptian Literature and the plight of the female perspective as presented through a comparative study of novels by diasporic women writers of African  descent.                        avery.johnson@tsu.edu | 713-313-6743
 
Philip R. JonesPhilip R. Jones Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Graduate Faculty, holds a PhD in Education – Adult, Professional, and Community Education with a concentration in rhetoric and composition from Texas State University. Dr. Jones holds a MA in English with a concentration in 19th Century British Literature from University of Houston-Clear Lake, a second MA in English with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition from Indiana University-East, and a BM in Vocal Music from The University of Houston. His research specialization focuses on rhetoric and composition, specifically on nontraditional African American students’ writing experiences in the freshman English composition classroom.
Dr. Jones teaches courses in English Composition, World Literature, and advanced undergraduate and graduate level English courses. Current publications include articles highlighting violence against African American men, early African American authors’ use of John Milton’s rhetorical style, African Americans use of satire during the Harlem Renaissance, and nontraditional student writing experiences in the English composition classroom. Professional affiliations include Rhetoric Society of America, National Council of Teachers of English, College Language Association, Modern Language Association, Southern Conference on African American Studies Inc., and the National Council for Black Studies. jonespr@tsu.edu | 713-313-6793
 

Josie Pickens-DecaturJosie Pickens-Decatur is a Visiting Professor. She received both her BA and MA in English from Texas Southern University. In addition to teaching in the Department of English at TSU, Ms. Pickens-Decatur is an activist, journalist, and cultural critic whose work focuses primarily on race and gender. She writes regularly for Ebony Magazine, both print and digital editions. Her essays have also been featured at The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Root, Mic News, and The Rumpus’.           

decaturjm@tsu.edu | 713-313-4353

 
Albert Uriah Turner. JrAlbert Uriah Turner, Jr. is a Boston native who earned his PhD in American Studies at the University of Massachusetts- Amherst. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Texas Southern University. Dr. Turner teaches courses in African American literature, American literature, literary theory, World literature, creative writing, and composition. His scholarly interests include post-Civil Rights era African American films and historical novels about slavery, African American masculinities and the construction of heroes, and representations of the rhetoric of minority speech communities in 20th century and contemporary American fictions. His recent publications include a study of Walter Mosley’s detective fiction, an analysis of Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father, and poetry. turnerau@tsu.edu | 713-313-7616
 
Tiffany L. WareTiffany L. Ware is Visiting Professor in English Composition and Reading. She earned her BA in English/Education from Texas Southern University and her MLA from Houston Baptist University. Professor Ware serves as the Director of Minnie Metters Writing Lab.                  wareTL@tsu.edu | 713-313-1070
 
Emily TuckEmily Tuck has a BA in English literature from the University of Texas with a minor in Classical languages (Latin and Greek) and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin Madison with an emphasis in Rare Books and Special Collections. In addition, she has 48 hours of graduate level coursework in English Literature, Medieval Latin, Art History, European History, and Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, and the University of St. Thomas. She worked as an editor for a worldwide publisher of trade books, as a Curator of Rare Books and Prints, and as Data Standards Manager at the Museum of Fine Arts. She has curated numerous exhibitions of books and prints, initiated a popular city-wide lyceum lecture series (so faculty from area universities could share their research interests with the public), and helped to bring the annual ABAA (Antiquarian Book and Print) fair to Houston. Her areas of interest include Medieval, Reformation, and Early Modern English literature. tucken@tsu.edu | 713-313-7402