Diverse Careers for Humanities Scholars panel session

ericadamman.jpeg.jpgErica Damman (Interdisciplinary Studies), Ravenel New Media Consulting

Erica L Damman is a SEO Specialist at Ravenel New Media Consulting who routinely finds herself doing things in a digital marketing world that she previously did not even know existed within the profession including transferring an entire client base to a new technology platform, auditing and creating meta data, and explaining to small business owners how Google works and why they aren’t showing up on the map or search or anywhere. She holds an MFA in Sculpture and a PhD in Environmental Humanities from the University of Iowa and serves on the board of directors for TOSS, an arts-based non-profit serving Title 1 schools in Western North Carolina.

Peter Bezanson (Philosophy), BASIS.edpeterbezanson.jpg.jpg

Peter Bezanson leads all of the day-to-day business of BASIS.ed and BASIS Educational Ventures, including: academic, financial, operational and administrative affairs, school management, marketing and sales, expansion, research and development, curriculum creation, and community and government relations. BASIS.ed manages some of the world’s best schools, providing education management services to the 27 BASIS charter schools in various states. Peter’s initial professional academic experience was in the classroom, where he taught numerous classes, including courses in calculus, physics, and philosophy. Peter received his B.A. from St. John’s College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Iowa.


Dan Schulz (Philosophy), U.S. Department of Energy

Dan Schulz defended his dissertation Simplicity in Science in 2012. The research focused on the role of simplicity judgments in scientific theory construction and testing. During Dan’s graduate studies, he developed custom computer programs to manage his research, professional, and teaching documents. Dan had adjunct and visiting professor positions at Drake, Clarke, and St. Ambrose Universities. In 2014, Dan took a position with the DHI group, a corporation based in Des Moines where he was using the kinds of computer programming methods developed in graduate school to manage enterprise data. In 2016 Dan took a position as the manager of data analytics for ClearanceJobs.com, where he was actually able to apply some of the theory construction and testing notions worked out in his dissertation. In 2018, Dan moved to the Los Alamos National Laboratory to continue this kind of work in data and data science. Lab employees cannot disclose their titles or what kind of work they do.

Diverse Careers Across Education panel session

actual-picture-900x600.jpgMichael Ayers (Language, Literacy & Culture), City High School

Michael Ayers is a member of the English department at City High School. Prior to his current position, Ayers spent 15 years of his education career teaching at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids. Now in the nineteenth year of his teaching career, he teaches United States literature, research skills, and essay writing. In 2011, he earned his doctorate from the Language, Literacy, and Culture program in the College of Education at the University of Iowa.

Lenore Maybaum (Language, Literacy & Culture), Kirkwood Community College

headshot.jpg.jpg​Dr. Lenore D. Maybaum is Associate Professor of English and Director of Kirkwood’s Iowa City campus’ Writing Center. She received her Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from University of Iowa in 2013 and has been teaching at Kirkwood since 2005. Currently, she holds one of the college’s Endowed Chairs to support her own writing and publishing.



Scott Samuelson (Philosophy, Emory University), Kirkwood Community College


Scott Samuelson studied philosophy at Grinnell College (BA, 1995) and Emory University (PhD, 2001). Since 2000 he has taught at Kirkwood Community College. He is the author of Seven Ways of Looking at Pointless Suffering: What Philosophy Has to Say about the Hardest Mystery of All and The Deepest Human Life: An Introduction to Philosophy for Everyone, both published by the University of Chicago Press. His article “Why I Teach Plato to Plumbers” in The Atlantic has been widely circulated. In 2015 he won the HiettPrize in the Humanities for his work in bringing the humanities to the public.​



Jama Stillwell (Musicology), Cornell College

Jama Stilwell is Professor of Music at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. She teaches Music Theory and History, as well as topics courses on music and gender, and on the concept of originality and authorship in music. Jama’s research focuses in part upon opera and popular culture in eighteenth-century Paris; her 2010 article on this topic in Music and Letters won national recognition as the recipient of the Alfred Einstein Award of the American Musicological Society. She is also interested in the pedagogy of Music Theory and History, especially as it relates to teaching on Cornell College’s unusual “One-Course-at-a-Time” calendar. Jama holds degrees in Musicology from Northwestern University (M.M.) and the University of Iowa (Ph.D.), and an undergraduate degree in Flute Performance from the University of Iowa, where she studied with Betty Bang Mather. In her spare time, Jama loves playing the one-keyed eighteenth-century traverso.

unknown-2.jpegElizabeth Sutton (Art History), University of Northern Iowa

Elizabeth Sutton is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Northern Iowa. Her scholarship, while specializing in issues of globalization and power in art and in art history, also has included active pedagogical research. Dr. Sutton’s most recent project, Angel De Cora, Karen Thronson, and the Art of Place: How Two Midwestern Women Used Art to Negotiate Migration and Dispossession, is forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press, and uses visual culture to investigate the overlap of Norwegian settlers onto Native American territory in Iowa and Kansas in the nineteenth century. She has published Art, Animals, and Experience: Relationships to Canines and the Natural World (Routledge, 2017), Capitalism and Cartography in the Dutch Golden Age (Chicago, 2015), and Early Modern Dutch Prints of Africa (Ashgate, 2012). She edited Women Artists and Patrons in the Netherlands, 1400-1700 (University of Amsterdam Press, 2019). Her current interests include various interdisciplinary projects that seek to amplify feminist and anti-racist research, methodology, and pedagogy.