Liberal Arts professors named Cornerstone Faculty Fellows
John Edens (Psychology), Harland Prechel (Sociology), and Lori Wright (Anthropology) have been awarded the Cornerstone Faculty Fellowship in Liberal Arts for 2012-2016. These fellowships support ongoing research projects for a four year period and are awarded to selected full or advanced associate Liberal Arts professors annually.
“Recipients of the Cornerstone Fellowship have extremely strong and well-rounded records in research, teaching, and service,” said Liberal Arts Dean José Luis Bermúdez. "The Cornerstone fellows are future leaders in Liberal Arts, and we are delighted to support their research and recognize their outstanding achievements at this stage in their career.”
These achievements include producing scholarly or creative works for academically prominent publications and seminars; receiving awards and recognitions from distinguished agencies or groups; teaching at an outstanding level; and serving on various committees, editorial boards, or review panels.
Harland Prechel, professor of sociology, received his doctorate in sociology from the University of Kansas in 1986. He began with his first teaching position in the Department of Sociology at Texas A&M University in 1991 as an assistant professor, then continued on to earn the titles of Associate Professor in 1993 and Professor in 2001. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in social theory, complex organizations, political sociology, and social class. Prechel’s research program focuses on issues that are central to political economy and organizational studies. He has published four articles in the top-ranked sociology journal American Sociological Review. He also published in a number of other top-ranked journals including Social Problems and Social Forces. Prechel’s current research on financialization and financial malfeasance that was published in the American Sociological Review (2010) has attracted international attention. In 2011 and 2012, he was invited to present his work in England, Taiwan and Ireland. This research has received awards from the American Sociological Association, the American Academy of Management, and the American Society of Criminology. His second line of research focuses on the political economy of environmental pollution and examines the relationship between organizational characteristics and carbon and toxic emissions. An article on this research was recently published in Social Forces (2012). Prechel is also a former editor of Research in Political Sociology and has served on National Science Foundation review panels.
John Edens, professor of psychology, earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from Texas A&M University in 1996. Edens is currently teaching graduate courses in Assessment Practicum and Special Topics in Psychology and Law, along with an upper level undergraduate course in Forensic Psychology. Edens is interested in personality assessment, forensic psychology, psychopathy and antisocial conduct, and risk assessment, and his research covers the interaction between psychology and the legal system. His research also focuses on the development and improvement of technology and instruments used for personality assessment in forensic and correctional settings, along with the negative effects of the label “psychopath.” In addition, Edens conducts research on the assessment and management of violence risk as a result of human aggression. He stays active in his research, having earned over $2 million in grants and contracts through external and internal (university) sources. Edens was also a recipient of the 2001 Saleem Shah Award for Early Career contributions to Law and Psychology, which was awarded to him by the American Psychology-Law Society and the American Academy of Forensic Psychology.
Lori Wright, professor of anthropology, received her doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1994. After a year of lecturing at the Loyola University of Chicago and postdoctoral work at McMaster University, Wright joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1996 as an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. Since then, she has taught five undergraduate and six graduate courses and is now specializing in bioarchaeology, Ancient Maya, paleodiet, paleopathology, and inequality. In her bioarchaeological research on the Ancient Maya of Central America, Wright studies how cultural behaviors and health leave their marks on the human skeleton. Wright’s early research on the 9th century collapse of Classic Maya civilization revealed a change in the social distribution of foods, which influenced her to change her focus to social inequality in diet and health. Her current work explores dietary and health distinctions among social groups and through time at the ancient Maya city of Tikal, Guatemala, aiming to expand her research to other Maya cities in the future. Wright’s most recent representative publication was “Bilateral talipes equinovarus from Tikal, Guatemala,” which appeared in a 2011 volume of the International Journal of Paleopathology.