Graduate Council

The UNC Asheville Graduate Council is responsible for advising and assisting the MLAS Program Director in the overall administration and functioning of the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences Program. These responsibilities include advising and assisting the Director in overall planning for the academic curriculum of the program including: course development; faculty recruitment; and revision and development of program design. Council members will also assist the Director in interviewing and making admissions decisions on all applicants for the MLAS program. The council will advise and assist the Director in maintaining the academic excellence of the program and in effectively administering it. Faculty terms will be for three years, with one faculty member rotating off each year. The faculty members will be elected by the Senate, and one will serve as Chair of the Graduate Council.

2014-15 Graduate Council

Randy Booker, Department of Physics

Randy Booker has been teaching at UNC Asheville since 1986 and has been teaching in the MLAS Program since 1991. He teaches the popular MLAS 560 Astronomy and Cosmology class. He has served on the MLAS Graduate Council off and on since 1991. He is currently serving as Chair of the Graduate Council during 2010-2011, and he has served as Chair of the Graduate Council many times over the past years. He is a member of the UNC Asheville Physics Department, where he served as Chair from 2000-2010. He teaches UNC Asheville undergraduate courses in introductory Astronomy, Modern Physics, Thermal Physics and upper-level courses in Astronomy for the Astronomy Minor. He received the UNC Asheville Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992. His research interests are in radio astronomy, the study of the interstellar medium, the microwave spectra of molecules and new energy sources based on hydrogen technology.

Brian Hook, Department of Classics

Associate Professor, Department of Classics, and Director, Humanities Program

Dr. Brian S. Hook is a native of the Carolinas. He came to the University of North Carolina at Asheville in 2001, and both Asheville and UNC Asheville now feel like home. Dr. Hook received the 2007-2008 Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities. He and his wife have two daughters.

Dr. Hook was one of the editors for The Asheville Reader: The Ancient World (2004) for UNC-Asheville's Humanities 124 course and is currently serving as the coordinator for the course.

Tommy Hays, Core MLAS Faculty, Interim Member of the Graduate Council

Tommy Hays' novel, The Pleasure Was Mine,has been chosen for numerous community reads, including the One City, One Book program in Greensboro and the Amazing Read--Greenville, SC's first community read. Read on NPR's "Radio Reader", it was a Finalist for the SIBA Fiction Award. His other novels are Sam's Crossing and In the Family Way, winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. What I Came to Tell You, a young adult novel, will be published in the fall of 2013 and is excerpted in 27 Views of Asheville. He has an essay in the forthcoming Literary Dogs & Their South Carolina Writers. He is Executive Director of the Great Smokies Writing Program and Lecturer in the MLAS at UNC Asheville. He teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Murray State University and will be the Sara Lura Matthews Self Writer-in-Residence at Converse College in January.

Holly Iglesias, Core MLAS Faculty, Interim Member of the Graduate Council

Holly Iglesias earned a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Humanities from Florida State University and an Master of Arts in History from the University of Miami. She is the author of "Souvenirs of a Shrunken World" (Kore Press, fall, 2008), a poetry collection, and "Boxing Inside the Box: Women’s Prose Poetry" (Quale Press, 2004), a critical study. "Angles of Approach," another poetry collection, will be published by White Pine Press in the fall of 2010. She is a 2011 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry and has been the recipient of fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council, the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Edward F. Albee Foundation. Her teaching interests include American studies, documentary studies and a creative/scholarly approach to history through poetry and to poetry through archival photographs and ephemera.

Keya Maitra, Department of Philosophy

Associate Professor Keya Maitra, has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Connecticut and a second Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Hyderabad in India. She has specialized in Indian philosophy, philosophy of mind and philosophy of language. Her book, On Putnam was published in 2002. Dr. Maitra is a member of the Indian Philosophical Society, the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, and the Association for Asian Studies.

Mike Neelon, Chair of the Graduate Council, Department of Psychology

Michael Neelon received his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin in experimental psychology where he studied dynamic auditory perception and multimodal selective attention. He then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Wisconsin Hospital investigating the effects of selective attention on neural responses recorded directly from human auditory cortex. Since arriving at UNC Asheville, his teaching has focused on the relationship between brain and behavior.

Gerard Voos, Director of the Office of Graduate Studies, Continuing Education, and Sponsored Programs

Gerard Voos is the Director of the Office of Graduate Studies, Continuing Education, and Sponsored Programs, core instructor in the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences Program, and serves as the Chief Research Officer at the University of North Carolina Asheville.  He received his doctorate in soil ecology from the University of Rhode Island, a Master of Science degree in soil science from Colorado State University, and his Bachelor of Science in agronomy from the University of Kentucky. He also received a post-doctoral fellowship in biogeochemistry at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory in Aiken, South Carolina. At UNC Asheville, he has taught Climate and Society, A Sustainable Culture, Consumerism and the Environment, Environmental Literature & Media, Getting Grants: Basic Skills and Strategies, and World Agriculture in the MLAS program.