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GATE Professors

Dr. Hui Wu

Hui WuHui Wu (Ph.D. Texas Christian University 1998) is Professor of English and Chair of the Department of Literature and Languages at The University of Texas at Tyler. Before joining UT Tyler, she served as Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing, Director of the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Education Project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, and the Founding Executive Director of the Confucius Institute for Arkansas at the University of Central Arkansas.

Her scholarship encompasses classical rhetoric, comparative studies of rhetoric, global feminist rhetorics, and archival research in rhetoric and writing. Her essays appears in scholarly anthologies and journals, such as College English, College Composition and Communication, Rhetoric Review, and Rhetoric Society Quarterly. Her essay “Lost and Found in Transnation: Modern Conceptualization of Chinese Rhetoric” has won the 2009 Theresa J. Enos 25th Anniversary Award for the best article in Rhetoric Review.

Wu’s Chinese translation (Jiangxi Education Press, 2004) of C. Jan Swearingen’s Rhetoric and Irony: Western Literacy and Western Lies offers Chinese academics an alternative perspective of the history of Western rhetoric. Her critical anthology in translation Once Iron Girls: Essays on Gender by Post-Mao Chinese Literary Women was published by Lexington Books in 2010. She continues to study post-Mao Chinese literary women’s writing, while studying and translating China’s first book on rhetoric, Master of the Ghost Valley (400-320 BCE).

Dr. Robert Sterken

Bob Sterken

Robert Sterken (Ph.D. Texas Tech University) is Associate Professor of Political Science at The University of Texas at Tyler and regularly teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in international relations, international political economy, international law, and Asian Politics as well as American Government.  When not writing his international relations blog, his research interests are focused on Nongovernmental Organizations. Dr. Sterken has several years of direct legislative experience which inform his teaching of power and politics. His work in the international arena has afforded Robert many opportunities to travel, teach, and study around the world, including a course on NGOs at King's College, London each summer. He also regularly teaches in an exciting the Compass program in which students study international relations in five European cities.  Robert's works include publications in the International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, the Harvard University Library of Political Research Online, Political Research Quarterly, and the Texas Journal of Political Studies.

Dr. Catherine Ross

Catherine RossDr. Ross, (PhD. The University of Texas at Austin, 1998), is Associate Professor of English at UT Tyler and 2011 Winner of the UT Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. A child of three generations of army officers, Dr. Ross was born in Germany, has lived all around the US, attended American high schools in Germany, and studied at St. Anne’s College, Oxford University. She has traveled widely in Europe; and has participated in scholarly conferences in the US, England, and Spain.

Dr. Ross approaches her scholarly studies of 19th-century British literature from a new-historicist cultural perspective. Her other academic work includes the history and practice of rhetoric and the history of science and its relationship to literature and cultural production. She has published on the poets William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Robert Browning; on the Romantic-era chemical philosopher Humphry Davy; on pedagogy; and on the effects of the classical educational tradition on culture and writing in 19th century Britain. She is presently at work on a book, “Trying all things,” The Educational Impulse in the British Romantic Period.

Dr. Ross has taught British Literature and rhetoric and composition for twelve years at UT Tyler; additionally, she has taught in the UT Tyler Honors Program and continues to work on curriculum development for the Department of Literature and Languages. Her commitment to undergraduate education includes a belief in making the historical and cultural contexts of all texts as real and present for today’s students as possible. To this end, learning about life and society in other lands is essential, and it is this belief that attracted her to participate in the GATE Program.

Dr. Mickie Mwanzia Koster

Mickie Mwanzia KosterDr. Mickie Mwanzia Koster is an Assistant Professor of History at The University of Texas at Tyler. She has a B.A. in Mathematics and Information Science from Chatham College, MBA from Case Western Reserve University, M.A. in History from Cleveland State University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Rice University.

She teaches both introductory courses in History along with upper-level and graduate courses like World Civilizations I and II, History of Pre-Colonial Africa, History of Colonial and Modern Africa, and History of East Africa.   In her courses, she is keen to pull in global themes like identity, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, culture, capitalism, trade, nationalism, power, environment, technology, peace, and war that take on varied contours depending on time and place.

Dr. Koster’s research interests focuses on African liberation, revolution, and empowerment. Her manuscript under review, The Power of the Oath: The Making of Mau Mau in Kenya, 1952-1960 examines the centrality of reconstituted oath rituals taken by the freedom fighters to join the Mau Mau war. Her new research project focuses on African poverty, youth social movements, popular culture, and justice. This research is based on Kenyan field work (oral interviews and surveys) as well as archived files in Africa, Europe, and the United States. She regularly conducts presentations on her work in the United States and in Africa. In July 2011, Dr. Koster presented on Mau Mau at Egerton University in Nakuru, Kenya and Maseno University in Kisumu, Kenya.

She is particularly excited and interested in the GATE program because the opportunity it offers students to think and become more global. Global knowledge and understanding will position students to effectively participate in a changing, diverse, and integrated world.

 Dr. Stephen Krebbs

Stephen KrebbsI was born and raised in what’s known in West Texas as the “hub of the plains” or Lubbock. Aside from my freshman year of high school when I attended San Marcos military school, all my K-12 education was spent in Lubbock public schools. Upon graduation, I attended Texas Tech University majoring in philosophy and I minored in communications.

After my B.A. degree I moved to Southern California. After working several years in sales, I attended California State University, Long Beach where I earned an M.A. degree in philosophy. After graduation from CSU Long Beach I moved to Boulder, Colorado where I completed 36 hours of post graduate work in philosophy. From Boulder I moved to Tyler, Texas where I have been teaching since 1982. In 1990 in conjunction with my teaching duties ay UT Tyler, I began my doctorate program at the University of Texas at Austin where I earned my Ph.D. Throughout my university education in philosophy my area of interests were primarily existential philosophy and Asian philosophy, specifically Buddhism.

The courses I have taught over the past 30 years include intro philosophy courses, ethics, ancient and medieval philosophy, history of psychology, modern philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, comparative religious philosophy, and existentialism, et al. I have conducted travel study courses to China, Thailand-India-Nepal, and Turkey. In 1992 I was chosen to be one of the American philosophers to travel to China to meet with scholars there through the Eisenhower Scholar Institute. Beginning in 1999, I was the first director of the Freshman Seminar—a required critical thinking course for all entering freshman, and in 2008 I created the Asian Studies program. Also in 1999 I was chosen to participate in the Fulbright Scholar program in Turkey where I spent 5 weeks immersed in the that culture.

In 2006 I was chosen my the University of Pennsylvania to participate in their Japan Seminar program which culminated in 3 weeks in Japan directly studying and experiencing all facets of Japanese culture. The following year I was asked to return Japan where I entered a Tofukuji Zen Monastery in Kyoto, Japan where I lived and worked that summer as a lay Zen Buddhist priest under the direct guidance of Zen Roshi, Keido Fukushima. In 2009 I created with Dr. Barbara Haas the proposal that led to the creation of the GATE program. In 2010 I help to initiate the Religion Studies program which will begin in the fall of 2010. Presently I am advisor to all philosophy minors, director of Asian studies and Religion Studies majors.