Faculty & Staff

Our faculty includes professors from:

… making for a lively blend of perspectives from different disciplines.

This mix offers you an opportunity for integrating your varied interests as you build an intellectual community with faculty, as well as your fellow students. Western has a long and vibrant tradition of close interaction among faculty and students who seek to enrich their teaching and learning by extending them beyond the classroom.

Chuang, Wen-Ching

PhD, Sustainability, Arizona State University

photo of Wen-Ching Chuangis an assistant professor whose research focuses on community resilience to natural hazards. Through the lens of geospatial science, she combines theories of vulnerability and resilience with empirical studies on the interdependence of human and natural systems. She conducts research that evaluates impacts of environmental change and ecosystem-based climate-change adaptation. Her work and teaching are interdisciplinary and informed by the fields of urban geography, environmental management, and sustainability. Her research has been published in journals including Environmental Health Perspectives and Journal of Environmental Management. Before joining Miami University, she was a research fellow at the National Risk Management Research Laboratory of US EPA. [Personal Website]


Cummins, Hays

PhD, Oceanography, Texas A&M University, 1984

photo of Hays Cumminsgrew up in the swamps and bayous of Louisiana, where he first connected with the world of nature. When he was thirteen, he had over 100 pet snakes that he caught himself. These reptiles were kept in his backyard before letting them go back to nature. Hays received his PhD in Oceanography from Texas A&M. He is an avid photographer, has a passion for "all things weather" and astronomy, and is a dedicated ecological restorer of impacted landscapes. He was recognized as a "Distinguished Educator" and "Distinguished Teacher" in 2013 and he is a co-founder of Project Dragonfly here at Miami. Dragonfly is an ongoing education program that provides field-based inquiry courses (and graduate degrees) for in-service teachers and other educators. He has led over 75 international field courses to such wonderful places as the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Belize, Bonaire, Africa, and Australia. His research focuses on the reconstruction of past ecological communities in marine systems and understanding ecological change, particularly the impacts of global change on coral reefs. And, yes, he loves the Western program! [Personal Website]


Daugherty, Jacqueline

PhD, Educational Studies, University of Cincinnati, 2012

photo of Jacqueline Daughertyis a sociologist with interests in classical social and political theory, inequality, class/gender/sexuality/race, and the sharing economy. She is also the acting director of the Western Center for Social Impact and Innovation. Her current research investigates the structures of organizations and the experiences of people involved in The Sharing Economy. She earned an individualized, interdisciplinary undergraduate degree and started her career in nonprofit social services, before returning to the university. She graduated with her PhD from the University of Cincinnati. She is committed to ensuring her teaching and research explores complex social problems and solutions from interdisciplinary perspectives.


Hill, Zackary

MA, English, Miami University, 2005

photo of Zack Hillis the Coordinator and Advisor of the Western Program. He’s spent over ten years in academia as either an instructor (of English and Creative Writing) or an advisor. His background is in English and Psychology, and he is an aspiring screenwriter.


Liu, Xiuwu

PhD, Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society, University of Minnesota, 1994

photo of Xiuwu Liuis an Assistant Professor who has been teaching at Western since 1994, and is a jack of all trades—including pingpong—and master of none. Recently he's taught Self and Place, Science and Faith, and Chinese Satire. He has published three books.


Money, Nicholas P.

PhD, Biological Sciences, University of Exeter, UK, 1986

photo of Nicholas P. Moneyis the Director of the Western Program and Professor of Biology. He is a fungal biologist and science writer. His most recent books are, The Rise of Yeast: How the Sugar Fungus Shaped Civilization (OUP, 2018), and The Selfish Ape: Human Nature and Our Path to Extinction (Reaktion, 2019). In addition to his scientific interests, he is a self-described expert on the poetry of John Milton.

He says: "My research and teaching are defined by my love of science and belief in its power to make sense of life, the universe, and everything else." His engagement in the Western Program has allowed him to explore his wider interests in the relationship between science and the arts.


Randriana, Anita

photo of Anita Randrianais the Program Associate for the Western Program. Her love for interdisciplinary studies began as a student at Vanderbilt University, where she received her B.A. in American Studies. Before joining Western, Anita worked for Tinney Contemporary Art Gallery, the Nashville Public Library Foundation, and Claremont Graduate University. She enjoys her current role as general organizer and facilitator, and loves being a part of Western’s passionate and creative community. Contact Anita to reserve Leonard Theater and other rooms in Peabody Hall.


Simms, Billy

MFA, Two-Dimensional Art, Miami University, 2017

self-portrait of Billy Simmsis an educator and artist. He has a BA in Theatrical Scenic Design and Lighting from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, an MS in special education from The Johns Hopkins University, and an MFA in studio art from Miami University. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his teaching, writing, and art work.