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New Faculty

New Faces on Campus: UD Welcomes 8 New Faculty Members


Date Published: Sept. 15, 2016

University of DallasEight new faculty members have joined the University of Dallas for the 2016-17 academic year. They will further strengthen the university in a number of important areas, including theology, economics, Italian, biology and accounting.

Douglas Dailey, postdoctoral instructor of mathematics, earned a B.A. in mathematics with a German minor from the University of South Dakota, graduating summa cum laude. During his undergraduate years, he was a Goldwater Scholar. Dailey received both an M.S. and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research specializations include commutative and homological algebra.

Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, O.P., affiliate assistant professor of theology, is a member of the St. Cecilia Congregation of Dominican Sisters in Nashville, Tennessee. She earned both her bachelor’s in English and an M.A. in theology from the University of Dallas. She also has a Baccalaureate of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.), a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) and a Doctorate of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.), all from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, Italy.

Tammy Leonard, associate professor of economics, is an economist specializing in interdisciplinary applications of urban, health and behavioral economics. She graduated magna cum laude from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and earned M.S. and doctoral degrees in economics from the University of Texas at Dallas. Leonard has more than 25 peer-reviewed publications and is co-director of the Community Assistant Research (CARE) initiative, which leverages interdisciplinary relationships between academic researchers and community stakeholders to improve research related to low-income households.

Anthony Nussmeier, assistant professor of Italian, previously taught at Kansas State University and Indiana University, where he earned M.A. and doctoral degrees in Italian language and literature before joining UD. Nussmeier focuses on medieval and Renaissance literature (specifically Dante), medieval poetry, manuscript culture and early-book culture. Nussmeier’s first book, Dante and the Politics of Literary Script, will be published with the University of Toronto Press.  

Deanna Soper, assistant professor of biology, earned a B.S. in science education from Trine University, an MBA from Indiana University Northwest and a doctoral degree from Indiana University. She has also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Iowa. Her area of expertise is the evolution of reproduction. She taught high school biology for seven years and has obtained funding for research from Indiana University, the University of Iowa and the National Science Foundation.

Jennifer Yardley, affiliate assistant professor of accounting, earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in accounting and finance and a Master of Accounting degree from Texas Christian University, as well as a doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is a certified public accountant in Texas and has previously worked in the area of international tax.

In addition, two faculty members, while not new to UD, were welcomed as well to full-time positions.

Irene Alexander, assistant professor of theology, earned master’s and doctoral degrees in theology from Ave Maria University; her area of expertise is moral theology. Alexander previously served as affiliate professor of theology at UD. She is currently working on a book titled Human Dignity, Virtue, and the Common Good.

Father James P. Oberle, S.S., affiliate assistant professor of theology, is a member of the Society of St. Sulpice. He earned a doctoral degree from the University of Maryland with a focus on health care policy. He entered the seminary and studied at the American College in Rome, earning a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) summa cum laude from the Pontifical Institute of Spirituality. Father Oberle first joined UD seven years ago as an adjunct faculty member while also serving in Holy Trinity Seminary. In 2013, he received the Spirituality and Aging Award from the American Society on Aging.

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