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VOL. 44 | NO. 40 | Friday, October 2, 2020

Race, religion scholar among 3 joining VU faculty

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Michael Eric Dyson, a globally renowned scholar of race, religion and contemporary culture, will join Vanderbilt as Centennial Chair and University Distinguished Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies in the College of Arts and Science and University Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Society in the Divinity School on Jan. 1.

A professor of sociology at Georgetown University, Dyson also is a prominent commentator across several national media outlets and a contributing opinion writer at The New York Times. In addition, he serves as contributing editor at The New Republic and The Undefeated, a website from ESPN.

In addition to Dyson, Major Jackson, an accomplished poet and essayist who has spent the past 18 years at the University of Vermont, and Shatema Threadcraft, an award-winning author and associate professor at Dartmouth College, will join the Vanderbilt faculty in January.

Dyson’s extensive scholarship has spanned a wide range of topics including race, religion, politics, hip-hop, popular culture and contemporary issues in the African American community. He is a noted author of more than 20 books, including the forthcoming “Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America” and the 2017 bestseller “Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America.”

In addition, he has received two NAACP Image Awards and an American Book Award, the latter of which he received for the 2007 title “Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster.” Dyson’s other publications have explored a range of iconic American figures and themes, from the politics of race during the Obama presidency to the legacy of rapper Tupac Shakur among African American youth.

A native of Detroit, Dyson earned a Ph.D. in religion from Princeton University. Throughout his career, he has held teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, the Chicago Theological Seminary and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, among others.

As an ordained Baptist minister, Dyson also holds a long-standing interest in theology. Emilie Townes, dean of the Vanderbilt Divinity School, said that this part of his background grants him a “unique and holistic approach to questions of spirituality, individuality and social justice in the modern era.”

Jackson’s work includes five volumes of poetry: “The Absurd Man” (2020), “Roll Deep (2015), Holding Company” (2010), ”Hoops” (2006) – all published by W.W. Norton & Co. – and “Leaving Saturn” (2002, University of Georgia Press), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems. He also edited the annual anthology Best American Poetry 2019. His work has appeared in American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review and Ploughshares, and he has received awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Fellowship in the Arts, and the Library of Congress. Jackson holds a master of fine arts from the University of Oregon. He joins Vanderbilt’s College of Arts and Science as Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English.

Threadcraft, who earned her Ph.D. from Yale University in political science in 2010 and a Master of Science in philosophy, policy and social value from the London School of Economics, is the author of “Intimate Justice: The Black Female Body and the Body Politic” (2016, Oxford University Press). She joins the Vanderbilt Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies in the College of Arts and Science as associate professor.

GEODIS names new president, CEO

GEODIS has promoted Mike Honious to president & CEO of GEODIS in Americas.

Honious is responsible for freight forwarding, transportation management, business development, strategic management office, legal, accounting & finance, human resources, engineering & technology, ProVenture, shared service center and information technology.

Honious will succeed Randy Tucker, who is retiring after serving in the position for five years. Tucker is joining the GEODIS board of directors and has agreed to serve in an advisory capacity effective immediately after turning over his appointment of President & CEO.

A 15- year-veteran of GEODIS, Honious previously was the chief operating officer of GEODIS in Americas. He previously held several senior level operations positions at Gap, Inc.

Honious earned his B.S. in industrial engineering technology from University of Dayton.

John Grubor is joining Honious as executive vice president chief operating officer.

Grubor joined GEODIS in 2011 and led the modification of GEODIS’s labor management and productivity practices as vice president engineering and most recently was responsible for US warehousing and fulfillment operations as head of contract logistics. He earned an MBA at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in industrial engineering from Lehigh University.

Bell & Associates picks Pyle to lead building division

Bell & Associates Construction has promoted Eric Pyle to lead the company’s building division.

Pyle joined Bell in 2002 as a team member in the field. After graduating with a degree in construction engineering technology from Murray State University in 2007, he was hired by the company as a full-time project engineer. Since then, he has risen through leadership ranks to his most recent role as partner and project executive.

In his new role as head of the building division, Pyle will provide leadership and oversight of numerous projects, work with clients to help them achieve their construction goals and develop team members. Pyle will also be a key player in maintaining client relationships and ensuring project success from the ground up.

Pyle is active in the industry and currently serves as vice chair of the American Builders and Contractors’ Greater Tennessee Chapter. He has served on the ABC board since 2018 and on the organization’s executive and legislative committees since 2019.

Turner Construction hires project executive

Turner Construction Company has added Brandon McCulloch as a project executive in Nashville.

McCulloch will be responsible for the oversight and management of all phases of multiple projects, from preconstruction through completion. Additionally, he will manage project budgets and timelines, and will be responsible for securing new business and developing long-lasting relationships with clients and partners.

McCulloch joins Turner from Yates Construction, where he served as a project executive after being promoted from project manager in 2017. He began his career with Balfour Beatty in 2007 as a senior project engineer and was promoted to assistant project manager/assistant QC manager in 2010.

McCulloch earned a degree in civil/structural engineering from Tennessee Technological University, and an MBA from West Virginia University. He holds a number of certifications, including LEED AP and USACE’s Construction Quality Management for Contractors (CQM), and is a Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC).

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