HPU Welcomes New Faculty to College of Arts and Sciences

HPU Staff

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 16, 2018 – High Point University welcomes 12 new faculty members to the College of Arts and Sciences.



Dr. Silvana Rosenfeld, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Rosenfeld teaches courses on cultural anthropology, archaeology, anthropology of food and collapse of societies. Rosenfeld’s research interests include ancient ritual, foodways, bone technology and animal domestication in the central Andes of South America.

At HPU, Rosenfeld is hoping to engage students in discussing how much we can learn from the past and from different cultures around the world. Before coming to HPU, Rosenfeld was an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of South Dakota.

Rosenfeld received her master’s degree and Ph.D. in anthropology from Stanford University. She received her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina.


Dr. Jarrett Lancaster, Assistant Professor of Physics

Lancaster is teaching classical mechanics, physics of sound and music, and a modern physics lab at HPU. He focuses on emergent phenomena, or how simple patterns or behaviors emerge within massively complex systems. Most of his work has taken place within the context of biological systems or quantum mechanical 


Lancaster believes physics is more of a program for studying and analyzing natural processes than a collection of facts. He wants to be able to meet students where they are by showing them how physics can provide an alternative way of looking at their own interests, like music and sports. He believes all one really needs to tackle interesting questions is courage and the belief that whatever knowledge is needed can be picked up along the way.

Before joining HPU, Lancaster was visiting assistant professor of physics at Roanoke College, where he taught introductory physics courses and supervised undergraduate research. He was also a post-doctoral research associate at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering at UNC-Greensboro and North Carolina A&T University.

Lancaster earned his bachelor’s degree in physics and applied mathematics from UNC-Greensboro and his Ph.D. in physics from New York University.


Dr. Gregory Lipton, Assistant Professor of Religion

Lipton specializes in Islamic studies and the study of mysticism. His research focuses on how medieval formations of Islamic mysticism have been reimagined in Western modernity.

Lipton received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has taught at UNC-Chapel Hill, Guilford College, and most recently at Macalester College, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he held a Berg Postdoctoral Fellowship and was a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies.

At HPU, Lipton will be teaching courses on Islam, comparative religion and comparative mysticism.



Dr. Matthew Sayre, Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Associate Professor of Anthropology

Sayre is teaching anthropology, archaeology, career development and courses on cultural heritage. His focus areas include ancient agriculture and long-term human relationships with the environment.

Sayre’s work has been published in various publications including Latin American Antiquity, Anthropological and Archaeological Sciences, Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment (CAFÉ). Sayre published and co-edited a book in 2017. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Global Heritage Fund, the Brennan Fund, the Open Society Foundation and the South Dakota Humanities Council.

Sayre was previously associate professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of South Dakota. Prior to that he was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University with a teaching focus on heritage issues. He completed his master’s degree and Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley and his bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies and anthropology at the University of Chicago.


Dr. Evelyn Hiatt, Instructor of Biology

Hiatt will be teaching introductory biology courses at HPU. Her area of expertise is plant genetics. She uses a variety of educational tools to help students learn. Her goal is to be supportive while helping students find their paths.

For 13 years, she was associate professor of biology at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, Kentucky. She and her husband are both North Carolina natives who have moved back home. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master’s degree in agronomy from Clemson University and a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Georgia.




Dr. Michael Rizzo, Instructor of Biology

Rizzo’s area of research was G-protein coupled receptors during his doctoral studies at Wake Forest University. He focused on their role in cell signaling and other interesting aspects of their biology.

He is very passionate about cell biology with hopes to bring an element of excitement to the classroom and show students that cell biology is both incredibly important but also extremely relevant to their day-to-day lives.

His undergraduate studies were completed at the University of Virginia, and his doctoral studies were completed at Wake Forest University.



Dr. W. H. Davin Townley-Tilson, Instructor of Biology

Townley-Tilson will be teaching first-year cell biology and genetics courses while helping faculty collaborate on different research projects. He is interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control heart disease, which is the leading cause of death worldwide. His research focuses on proteins that respond to cardiac stressors, mediating the response of heart by modifying other proteins that control important cardiac functions like contraction.

Townley-Tilson is engaging students through experiential, active learning techniques, demonstrating the different ways science and biology impacts everything we do as a planet and using current trends and advances in biology that are impacting them now. 

Townley-Tilson received his Bachelor of Science in biology from Plymouth State University, his Ph.D. in cell biology and molecular physiology at UNC-Chapel Hill, and completed postdoctoral training in the Department of Medicine and Cardiovascular Research Institute at Baylor College of Medicine. He started teaching biological sciences as an undergraduate biology tutor for ESL and international students. Most recently, he was an adjunct professor of biochemistry at the University of Houston-Downtown and a molecular biology course instructor at the Dan Duncan Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Baylor College of Medicine.


Ann Marie Brasacchio, Instructor of Chemistry

Brasacchio teaches general chemistry lecture and lab at HPU. She wants to help students make connections between the atomic world and the world we can perceive with our own senses. She wants to show them that their lives are dependent on the interactions of atoms and molecules that can’t be seen.

She received her Bachelor of Arts in chemistry from Wheaton College (MA) and a master’s degree in inorganic chemistry from UNC-Chapel Hill.






Erica Horhn, Instructor of English

Horhn teaches College Writing and Public Life. As both an Americanist and African-Americanist with a focus on popular culture and humor, her expertise is rooted in life and literature as found in African American studies, English, education and sociology. Her current research is on black women’s humor and educational properties of humor.

Horhn wants to influence her students through her current research. Though laughter is universal, she believes what we choose to laugh about is not. She anticipates students will be eager to learn more about the ways humor and laughter impact our current society.

She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Baldwin-Wallace University and a master’s degree in African American literature and English from N.C. A&T State University. She is currently writing her dissertation in educational studies and cultural foundations from UNC-Greensboro, where she will receive a Ph.D. in educational studies and cultural foundations.


Dr. Lynne Norris Murray, Instructor of English

Murray teaches College Writing and Public Life and Questioning Authority at HPU. Her area of expertise includes dialogic discussion, writing pedagogy and teaching Shakespeare through performance.

She hopes to engage students in conversation about ideas important to them and to become empowered to answer their own questions. Before joining HPU, she taught dual enrollment English and was employed as a secondary English curriculum specialist for Guilford County Schools. She also worked as a student success coach and adjunct instructor at HPU.

Murray earned her bachelor’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, M.Ed. and Ph.D. from UNC-Greensboro and is a National Board Certified Teacher AYA-ELA.



Gordon Ballingrud, Instructor of Political Science

Ballingrud teaches American Politics at HPU. He hopes to start a student reading group called the American Founding Group. He specializes in American politics, particularly the Supreme Court. He has published in political philosophy and has an active research agenda in modern philosophy.

Before coming to HPU, Ballingrud taught American political thought and was a teaching assistant for a class in introductory American politics at University of Georgia. He is currently finishing up his Ph.D. at University of Georgia. He received his bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Davidson College and master’s degree in religious studies from Duke University.

“I try to connect the lessons from the class to present day or recent political experience, and although I try to avoid stoking all-too-common political outrage, or expressing my own opinions on current affairs, I prompt my students to think about the things they learn in the context of their interactions with politics and with news,” says Ballingrud.


Dr. Angela Broadnax, Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Angela Broadnax teaches organic chemistry and assists students with understanding concepts of the subject. She hopes her enthusiasm and passion for organic chemistry becomes infectious and they, too, will be excited to learn the language of organic chemistry. She teaches her students how the subject is relatable to everyday life.

Broadnax earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from N.C. A&T State University, her master’s degree in chemistry from UNC-Chapel Hill and Ph.D. in chemistry from Wake Forest University.

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