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Idaho State University

College of Arts & Letters Welcomes New Visiting Faculty Members and Lecturers for 2018-2019 School Year

The College has welcomed six visiting assistant professors and lecturers to the College for the 2018-2019 school year.

“The College is excited for the new faculty members that will be joining us this year,” said Dean Kandi-Turley Ames. “We believe that each faculty member will bring new, exciting and innovative ideas both inside and outside of their classrooms that will mutually benefit the College and ISU.”  

New visiting assistant professors and lecturers include:


Tracie Amend, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Global Studies and Languages, has taught beginning Spanish and advanced reading courses at ISU’s Intensive English Institute and in the Department of Global Studies and Languages since 2015. She earned a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Kansas, a M.A. in Spanish language and literature from the University of Nevada, Reno and a B.A. in Spanish with a minor in history from the University of Wyoming. Before coming to ISU, Amend acted as assistant professor of language and literature at Wayne State College, instructing courses in Spanish conversation, literature, history and culture. Her published works include examinations of Hispanic literature and drama. In addition to Spanish and English, she knows varying levels of German, Basque and French. Amend’s experience teaching and interpreting will benefit departmental instruction in Spanish language topics.


Jason Appelman, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Communication, Media, and Persuasion, received an M.F.A. in creative writing from Boise State University and a B.F.A. in creative writing from Michigan State University. He specializes in contemporary poetry and non-fiction, including true-crime, memoir and screenwriting. In 2016 and 2011, he served as the State of Idaho Writing Fellow in Literature for his works of non-fiction; the fellowship was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Idaho Commission on the Arts. Appelman’s work includes writing for Netflix documentaries, two books of poems, essays, radio hosting and investigative writing focused on issues of human trafficking and criminality. His writing in this area is aided by his experience as a private investigator, which inspired a true-crime memoir entitled The Kill Jar. From Appelman, students can learn about such subjects as screenwriting, podcasting, documentary development and writing for digital media. His expertise in a variety of communication fields will help strengthen the department’s multi-platform offerings.


Allison Edgren, visiting assistant professor of history, received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Notre Dame. She acted as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination at Loyola Marymount University and has experience instructing courses about poverty, Christianity and medieval Europe. Her research, for which she received a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, explores the lives of beggars in medieval Germany. Edgren also received a Fulbright Research Grant from the German-American Fulbright Commission. She earned a M.A. in liberal arts from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in history and mathematics from Vassar College. At ISU, Edgren will teach courses such as foundations of Europe, the historian’s craft and Roman religion.


Jennifer McDonald, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, received her Ph.D. and M.S. in experimental psychology at Idaho State University. Before coming to ISU in 2012, she attended California State University Channel Islands and earned a B.A. in psychology. Much of her work explores the judgability of personal values and personality traits; she is also interested in mindfulness and empathy. McDonald has experience teaching theories of personality, motivation and emotion, research methods and other departmental courses. While working toward her psychology degrees at ISU, she acted as a graduate research assistant in Tera Letzring’s and Maria Wong’s labs and helped complete projects on development and personality judgment. She has presented her research at multiple conferences and published several papers in psychology journals. Within the Department of Psychology, she will instruct introductory, upper-division and graduate courses.


Daniel Shelden, assistant lecturer in the Department of Communication, Media and Persuasion, grew up in Boise until he moved to Pocatello to join the ranks of ISU in 2011. Daniel graduated with a B.A. in theatre in 2015 from ISU, then spent a year living in Los Angeles, where he studied improv at Upright Citizens Brigade. In 2016, he returned to ISU and completed his M.A. in communication with an emphasis in strategic corporate communication. Within the Department of Communication, Media and Persuasion, he will teach Principles of Speech and Professional Communication courses.


Megan Warnement, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, earned her Ph.D. in public administration, public policy process and disaster policy from North Carolina State University. She received her M.P.A. with an emphasis in public policy process and a B.A. in political science from University of Dayton. Her research focuses include narrative policy and multiple streams framework, crisis management and theories of the public policy process. As a graduate student, Warnement taught courses in American government, film and politics, disaster policy and public policy. She has received two grants to study policymaking and has acted as a teaching and research assistant at Duke University. Outside of academia, she has worked as a field representative and constituent liaison for an Ohio congressman and as a law clerk. Her experience studying and teaching both political science and public administration will help contribute to interdisciplinary education within the political science department.


Written by: Madison Shumway, College of Arts & Letters intern