Cornell College Faculty Experts

The Cornell College faculty experts can provide insight and analysis on a number of topics that they’ve researched, taught, and examined for years.

Media seeking interviews or commentary from faculty members should contact Public Relations Director Jill Hawk: or 319.895.4232.


Jill Heinrich

Professor of Education

Expert topic areas:

  • Poverty in education
  • Separation of church and state in American public education
  • Masculinity studies
  • Religious literacy in Italy, Great Britain, and Ireland

Fine arts

Scott Olinger

Professor of Theatre and Dance

Expert topic areas:

Theatre and live entertainment design and technology


Rhawn Denniston

William Harmon Norton Professor of Geology, Environmental Studies Program Chair

Expert topic areas:

  • Environmental science
  • Climate change
  • Past behaviors of El Niño
  • Monsoons
  • Hurricanes

Brian Johns

Assistant Professor of Engineering

Expert topic areas:

  • Mechanical engineering
  • Industrial engineering
  • Surgical simulation

Jai Shanata

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Expert topic areas:

  • Medicinal chemistry (especially how food and drugs interact)
  • Chemical biology
  • Single-molecule electrophysiology
  • Physical organic chemistry and molecular recognition

Catherine Volle

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry

Expert topic areas:

  • Antibiotic resistance
  • New methods of controlling bacterial growth in biofilms
  • Women in STEM
  • Historically excluded groups in STEM

Emily Walsh

Associate Professor of Geology

Expert topic areas:

  • Plate tectonics
  • Earthquakes
  • Volcanoes
  • Mountain formation
  • Mineralogy
  • Rocks

Social sciences

Erin Davis

Professor of Sociology, Associate Dean of the College

Expert topic areas:

  • Gender identity/expression/inequality
  • Identity issues
  • Sexualities
  • Legal issues surrounding gender
  • Transgender issues
  • Feminist and queer theory
Megan Goldberg

Megan Goldberg

Assistant Professor of American Politics

Expert topic areas:

  • American politics
  • Campaigns and elections
  • Polling and public opinion
Christopher Hagan

Christopher Hagan

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Expert topic areas:

  • Suicide
  • Non-suicidal self-injury
  • Murder-suicide
  • Mass shootings
  • Mental health

Todd Knoop

David Joyce Professor of Economics and Business

Expert topic areas:

  • Financial economics
  • Business cycles
  • Macroeconomics (growth, business cycles)
  • Unemployment
  • Fiscal policy
  • Monetary policy
  • International trade policy
  • Inflation

Steve Neese

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Expert topic areas:

  • Cognitive and behavioral neuroscience
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Learning and memory
  • Cognitive aging
  • Hormonal impacts on learning and memory
  • Dietary impacts on learning and memory

Additional faculty experts

Christi Johnson

Assistant Professor of Kinesiology

Expert topic areas: Sport and exercise psychology, performance enhancement psychology, lifetime fitness and wellness, exercise and health among older adults

Chris Hoklotubbe

Assistant Professor of Religion

Expert topic areas: New Testament, origins of Christianity and its development, intersection of Christianity with politics, ethics, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality

Marty Condon

Professor of Biology

Expert topic areas: Evolutionary ecology and tropical biology

Craig Teague

Professor of Chemistry

Expert topic areas: New materials for carbon dioxide capture, nanoscience, surface chemistry, ionic liquids, physical and computational chemistry, guided inquiry learning and development of guided inquiry labs, physical chemistry curriculum revision