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Three Hamilton College faculty members were approved for tenure by the College’s board of trustees during a recent meeting. The board granted tenure to Jessica Burke, Hispanic studies, Jane Springer, English and creative writing, and Nigel Westmaas, Africana studies.

The granting of tenure is based on recommendations of the vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, and the committee on appointments, with the president of the college presenting final recommendations to the board of trustees. The tenures are effective July 1. With the granting of tenure comes the title of associate professor.

Jessica Burke received her Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese languages and cultures from Princeton University in 2005.

Burke's research and teaching interests include Latin American literature and culture with a special emphasis on Mexico. She has taught at Princeton and Rutgers University and has lived and studied in Spain, Argentina and Mexico.  Areas of Expertise: Latin American literature, Mexican literature and culture and gender studies.

Jane Springer received her Ph.D. in creative writing from Florida State University.

Her first book, Dear Blackbird, won the Agha Shahid Ali prize for poetry (University of Utah Press, 2007) and her second, Murder Ballad, won the Beatrice Hawley Award (Alice James Press, 2012). Other honors she’s received include a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writers' Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, among others.

She’s currently working on a collection of poems (Albedo) and a some essays, one which will appear in an anthology on Appalachian literature titled Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean (Ohio State University Press, 2014). Her academic interests include poetry, poetics, nonfiction and Southern literature.

Nigel Westmaas earned his master’s and Ph.D. from SUNY Binghamton and bachelor’s degree from the University of Guyana. He joined the Hamilton faculty in 2006.

Westmaas has published articles in journals and magazines, including Against the Current, Small Axe, Emancipation Magazine, Caribbean Studies, Guyana Art Forum and An Introductory Reader for Women’s Studies in Guyana. He is the co-editor of a UNESCO assisted booklet Guyanese Periodicals: 1796-1996. Westmaas also contributes guest articles to the Stabroek News, one of the national newspapers of Guyana.

His research work for and contributing introduction to the Marcus Garvey Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers, Caribbean series project was published by the University of California Press (2011).

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