The Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences announces several new leadership roles within the College
Dr. Mary Biddinger
Dr. Mary Biddinger, professor of English, is interim chair of the Department of English and the Department of Modern Languages . Biddinger joined the University in 2005 and currently serves as assistant chair in the Department of English. Since 2008, she has been the editor of the Akron Series in Poetry at the University of Akron Press. From 2009-2012, she served as director of the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. She was awarded the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences Service Award in 2008 and the Chairs’ Award for Outstanding Achievement in Professional and Community Service in 2006.
Dr. John Huss
Dr. John Huss professor of philosophy, is chair of the Department of Philosophy. Huss joined the University in 2007, and in 2013 received its Outstanding Researcher Award. From 2013-2014 he served as a Fulbright Scholar in the Institute of Philosophy, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland. He is a faculty member in the Integrated Bioscience Ph.D. program at UA and served as interim dean of the Williams Honors College from 2018-2019.
Dr. Maria Zanetta
Dr. Maria Zanetta, distinguished professor of Modern Languages, is assistant chair of the Department of Modern Languages. Zanetta joined the University in 1995. In 1999 she received the Buchtel College Chairs’ Award for Outstanding Early Career Achievement and in 2002 received the Buchtel College Early Career Research Award. In 2005, Zanetta received the UA Alumni Association and Provost Outstanding Teacher Award. Zanetta was named Distinguished Professor in 2016 and served as chair in the Department of Modern Languages from 2013-2016 and interim chair from 2018-2019.
Dr. Yang Lin
To support the recent approval of the Interdisciplinary Global Studies degree within Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences and to identify expertise and assistance in pursuit of the College’s strategic priorities, Dr. Yang Lin, professor of communications, has been appointed to serve as director of the Global Studies program. Lin joined the University in 2009. He served as the director of UA’s Confucius Institute from 2008-2011, and again from 2016-2021, and as special assistant for Global Affairs at UA from 2014-2015. He was a member of the University Institutional Review Board from 2004-2007 and a member of the 2006-2007 Academic Leadership Forum, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Council of Deans.
Dr. Jess Otto
To support faculty leadership development within the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences and to promote the College’s strategic priorities, Dr. Jess Otto has been appointed to serve as faculty fellow for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity. As faculty fellow, Otto will lead efforts throughout the College to advance inclusion, diversity and equity goals – including curricular, outreach, recruitment and retention efforts – creating a stronger and more vibrant community. Otto joined the Department of Philosophy at UA in 2016. She is a member of the Women’s Studies Advisory and the Rethinking Race committees. Her areas of specialization include the philosophy of race, human rights, mass incarceration and gender.