Faculty

G-RAP Faculty

Get to know our faculty.

Steve Chan

Steve Chan - Professor, Political Science
Education: Ph.D. Political Science, University of Minnesota
Fall G-RAP Course: Introduction to International Relations

Undergraduate School & Degree
Tulane University - Political Science, French, and German

Classes Taught at CU
I teaches courses in international relations. I also serve as Director of the Farrand RAP.

Current Research
My research interests encompass theories of international relations (such as democratic peace, power transition) and political economy (such as developmental states, economic sanctions) with a focus on East Asia. My publications include sixteen books and over one hundred and sixty articles and chapters. My most recent books are Enduring Rivalries in the Asia-Pacific (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) and Looking for Balance: China, the United States, and Power Balancing in East Asia (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012).

Carol Conzelman

Carol Conzelman - Associate Director, G-RAP; Instructor, G-RAP
Education: Ph.D. Cultural Anthropology, University of Colorado
Fall G-RAP Courses: Exploring a Non-Western Culture: The Andes; Culture and Power

Favorite Thing About Boulder
I love the constant stream of public performances, music, lectures, and all kinds of gatherings and festivals! I also love the vast network of hiking and biking trails, the farmers market, and the creek.

Most Interesting Travels
Havana, Cuba—the elaborate colonial architecture, the Malecon promenade by the sea, the ancient forts, the mojitos, the old book sellers on the plaza, the live music everywhere…

Hobbies
River trips, hiking, biking, reading, baking with my five year old daughter Mallie, music and film festivals.

Extracurricular Activities
I am a team leader with Global Volunteers, leading service learning projects in small communities around the world; and I bring students to Bolivia with me every summer for a Study Abroad course and independent research.

Marissa Hallo Tafura

Marissa Hallo Tafura - Lecturer, G-RAP
Education: MFA, Dance, University of Colorado
Fall G-RAP Course: Introduction to Dance and Culture

Undergraduate School & Degree
State University of New York at Brockport – Dance

Favorite Thing About Boulder
I love living in a community that's so passionate about healthy living. We have such healthy food options and a lot of people committed to hitting the hiking trail instead of sitting in front of the TV.

Most Interesting Travels
It's hard to choose, but one place is definitely the island of Zanzibar in Tanzania. The Swahili culture, beaches, friendly people, and small-town feel make me determined to return one day soon.

Extracurricular Activities
Each year, I travel to Zimbabwe to visit my husband's family and I also frequently travel to Ghana, where I've been involved with dance and music and have taught middle school students. Recently, I developed an intercultural learning program for college students traveling to Ghana and I plan to bring a group of students to Zimbabwe in May/June 2015 to study dance, music and stone sculpting.

Mike Kanner

Mike Kanner - Lecturer, G-RAP
Education: Ph.D. Political Science, University of Colorado
Fall G-RAP Course: Global Issues and International Affairs

Undergraduate School & Degree
United States Military Academy at West Point – Engineering with a focus on Construction Design

Classes Taught at CU
To quote Marlon Brando, "What do you got?" I teach across all fields of political science, although my focus is on international relations and foreign policy. My favorite courses, of course, are those that deal with security issues, or as I like to say - If it goes BOOM! I'm there.

Most Interesting Travels
Honduras right after the transition to democracy. I traveled a great deal in the Macora Valley in support of nation building and host nation support programs. Second to that would be Panama City, Panama one year after OPERATION JUST CAUSE, when me and another officer drove through downtown only to be told that there was an on-going riot.

Extracurricular Activities
I am an active member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Longmont where I am a mass coordinator, lector and Eucharistic minister.

Jessica Martin

Jessica Martin - Instructor, G-RAP and International Affairs
Education: Ph.D. History, University of Colorado
Fall G-RAP Course: N/A

Undergraduate School & Degree
Northwestern University – American History and Creative Writing

Classes Taught at CU
I teach a variety of history and international affairs courses, many of which deal with 9/11 and its legacies.

Hobbies
In my spare time, I like to knit, read, spend time in the mountains, look for fun new recipes, and - most of all! - hang out with my family, which includes my husband Nick, daughter Maggie, son Finn, and two dogs (Bo and Little Dog).

Tom Metcalf

Tom Metcalf - Instructor, Baker RAP
Education: Ph.D. Philosophy, University of Colorado
Fall G-RAP Course: Introduction to Philosophy

Undergraduate School & Degree
University of Washington, Seattle – Philosophy

Favorite Thing About Boulder
Boulder has a lot of the advantages of a larger city, while maintaining a closely connected community and providing easy access to the outdoors.

Hobbies
In my free time, I like getting out into the wilderness, as well as cooking, dance parties, video games, weightlifting, and more philosophy.

Current Research Topics
I'm currently working mostly on ethics, especially issues surrounding the way philosophers research ethics and the way we teach it to students.

Nathan Pieplow

Nathan Pieplow - Instructor, Program for Writing and Rhetoric
Education: M.Ed., University of Oregon
Fall G-RAP Course: First-Year Writing and Rhetoric

Undergraduate School & Degree
Williams College – Russian

Classes Taught at CU
I teach first-year writing and rhetoric, an upper-division writing course for engineers and science majors, and an upper-division writing course on the rhetoric of humor.

Most Interesting Travels
I spent a winter in Siberia! I've also traveled to Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Egypt, Japan, China, Taiwan, and most of Western Europe.

Extracurricular Activities
I spend a lot of time recording and researching the sounds of birds. I'm currently researching and writing a field guide to bird sounds, to be published in 2016.

Paul Sandberg

Paul Sandberg - Lecturer, G-RAP
Education: Ph.D. Anthropology, University of Colorado Boulder
Fall G-RAP Course: Introduction to Physical Anthropology 1

Undergraduate School & Degree
Colorado College - Anthropology

Classes Taught at CU
I teach Introduction to Physical Anthropology I and II, Quantitative Methods in Anthropology, Primate Behavior, Advanced Osteology

Most Interesting Travels
A rainforest in Madagascar. Almost every plant or animal you see is found nowhere else, and the primates are especially cool (including the humans, of course).

Current Research
My current research topics include the reconstruction of diet, health, and life history in the archaeological record, small-mammal and hominin paleoecology in South Africa, and modern primate dietary ecology and habitat use. Much of my research involves the stable isotope chemistry of bones, teeth, and hair.

Ann Schmiesing

Ann Schmiesing - Associate Professor, Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures
Education: Ph.D. German, Cambridge University
Fall G-RAP Course: Fairy Tales of Germany

Undergraduate School & Degree
Willamette University – English and German

Classes Taught at CU
I teach courses in English on German fairy tales and the European Enlightenment, as well as courses in German on German literature and culture.

Hobbies
In my free time, I knit, volunteer as a dog-walker for the Longmont Humane Society, and also do volunteer work for the St. Vrain Historical Society.

Current Research Topics
I'm currently writing an article about conceptions of marriage in eighteenth-century Germany, as well as a couple articles pertaining to the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. My book on disability in the Grimms' fairy tales will be published in fall 2014.

Vijaya Sharma

Vijaya Sharma - Instructor, Libby Arts RAP
Education: Ph.D. Economics, University of Colorado Boulder
Fall G-RAP Course: Principles of Microeconomics

Undergraduate School & Degree
University of Roorkee, India - Mechanical Engineering

Favorite Thing About Boulder
Its natural setting, the mountains, Boulder Creek and the diversity of people and ideas

Most Interesting Travels
Traveling itself is exciting, no matter what the place.

Current Research
Determinants of level of awareness of health care facilities among pregnant women in rural areas of Nepal

Otha Barrow

Otha Barrow - Academic Advisor, College of Arts & Sciences
Education: B.A., Business Finance, Henderson State University
Fall G-RAP Course: Open Option Seminar: Academic Exploration and Critical Decision Making

Undergraduate School & Degree
I went to a tiny liberal arts university in Arkadelphia, AR called Henderson State University. While at Henderson, I majored in Business Finance and minored in German.

Most Interesting Travels
My favorite place is a tossup between either Berlin, Paris, or Rome. It’s hard to decide which is my favorite as each has its own unique quality.

Hobbies
I like to learn new languages and play the piano.

Current Research
My current research interests revolve around the study of the literary absurd in French and Russian “classic” texts.

Scott Spanbauer

Scott Spanbauer - Lecturer, G-RAP
Education: M.A., Spanish and Spanish American Literature, University of Colorado
Fall G-RAP Course: Intensive First-Year Spanish

Undergraduate School & Degree
University of Colorado Boulder – Spanish and Psychology

Most Interesting Travels
I lived in Santiago, Chile in 1980-81, and have traveled to Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Spain and a few other places where they don't speak Spanish.

Extracurricular Activities
In addition to teaching, I work as a bilingual editor, translator, and interpreter. I recently completed a translation of Uruguayan poet Laura Cesarco Eglin's book Sastrería (Tailor Shop) and recently saw several of my translations of her poetry published.

Hobbies
I enjoy vinyl, Japanese archery, learning languages, and playing guitar, bass or pretty much any instrument lying around.

Nancy Vavra

Nancy Vavra - Lecturer, G-RAP
Education: Ph.D., History, University of Colorado
Fall G-RAP Course: Western Civilization II: 16th Century to the Present

Undergraduate School & Degree
University of Colorado Boulder – History

Classes Taught at CU
I teach classes in Modern European History and Russian History. I am currently teaching Western Civilization II, Revolution in History: Russia, and War and Society: Russia in the Twentieth Century.

Most Interesting Travels
Interesting travels include a visit to Yalta, Crimea to view the site of the Yalta Conference and a stop at the location of the Battle of Austerlitz/Slavkov while living in Moravia, Czech Republic.

Hobbies
Every day I walk my dog in or near the foothills, read fiction and non-fiction, and try to write.

Doug Snyder

Doug Snyder - Lecturer, G-RAP
Education: Ph.D., University of Colorado
Fall G-RAP Course: Modern U.S. Politics and Diplomacy: The Road to 9/11

Classes Taught at CU
I have taught early and modern American history at CU, and have helped with the G-RAP course on 9/11 and After. In addition to History 2126, I am teaching IAFS 3000: Statebuilding in the 21st Century this fall. I will be teaching Hist 2166: The Vietnam Wars for G-RAP in the spring. It’ll be my first time teaching a full class devoted to Vietnam, which is my research focus and academic passion, so I’m quite excited about the course.

Most Interesting Travels
As cliché as it may seem, to me, nothing beats walking through the streets of Paris. I’ve wandered around Paris many times and still can’t wait to get back to France to discover more.

Hobbies
I love to golf, though I’m not nearly as good as I’d like to be. I also love to travel, see live music, and follow Denver and Detroit (my hometown!) sports.

Current Research
I am currently revising my dissertation into a book manuscript. The project draws from research I conducted in archives across the U.S., England, and France. It looks at how cultural stereotypes influenced American and French leaders to disagree about the relevance of studying the French war in Vietnam when the U.S. began fighting its own war there just ten years later.