• Honors Faculty

    Susie Steinbach
    Professor of history and director of Honors Program


    Susie Steinbach is a professor of history in Hamline University's College of Liberal Arts, a faculty affiliate of the Women's Studies department, and the director of the University Honors Program. She is the 2006 winner of the Conger Prize for outstanding scholar work by a faculty member in the humanities. Her research focuses on gender, theatre, and the law in Victorian Britain. She earned her BA magna cum laude from Harvard College and her PhD from Yale University. View Dr. Steinbach's full profile.

    Why She is Involved with Honors

    Professor Steinbach is passionate about our University Honors program because it promotes a culture of excellence at Hamline and because it welcomes a diverse range of students, in particular students who may not have demonstrated excellence before they came to Hamline but are ready to do so now. She believes that higher education should be both challenging and transformative and that University Honors can be a central part of making a Hamline education both, in part because it demands that students leave their comfort zones. Students interested in Honors at Hamline are encouraged to contact Professor Steinback.

    Rob Routhieaux
    Associate professor of management, marketing, and public administration


    Rob Routhieaux is an associate professor of management in the Hamline School of Business. From 2011 to 2015, he served as the director of Nonprofit Management Programs. He teaches a wide variety of courses, including Foundations of Nonprofit Leadership, Human Resource Management for Nonprofit Organizations, Nonprofit Government Finance and Law, and Entrepreneurship. His research focuses on succession planning, leadership development, and collaborations. He has worked with a wide variety of nonprofits, with a special focus on arts and culture organizations. Rob earned his master's and PhD in management, with special emphases on organizational behavior, human resources management, and communication from the University of Arizona. View Dr. Routhieaux's full profile. 

    Why He is Involved with Honors

    Professor Routhieaux is involved with the Honors Program at Hamline because he is truly amazed by Hamline students. He draws inspiration and motivation from his students and feels blessed and honored to be a part of the development of these scholars and leaders. He is particularly drawn to the Hamline Honors Program due to the emphasis on making Honors available to any interested student who can demonstrate the drive and determination to be successful. The breadth and depth of skills and understanding that students must exhibit, and the lifelong learning that embodies the Honors Program philosophy, are key attractions. Rob enjoys learning with and from students, and the Honors Program provides countless opportunities for doing so.

    Lisa Ferguson Stegall
    Assistant professor of biology and director of the Public Health Science Program


    Lisa Ferguson Stegall is an assistant professor of biology at Hamline, teaching in the Health Sciences and Exercise Science programs. She earned her PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Texas at Austin, where she worked with Dr. John Ivy in the Exercise Metabolism & Physiology Lab. She received further training as a NIH post-doctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota Medical School in muscle physiology and aging biology. Dr. Ferguson Stegall earned her MS in exercise science from the George Washington School of Public Health and Health Services, where she also completed graduate work in public health approaches to activity, nutrition, and health status. View Dr. Ferguson Stegall's full profile.

    Why She is Involved with Honors:

    Professor Ferguson Stegall is excited to be a part of Honors, as she strongly believes that the four ares that Honors espouses (academic excellence, research experience, contributions to community, and development as a lifelong learner) are critical aspects for success in today's world. As a scientist and researcher, she encourages students to become critical thinkers, always curious about the questions of how and why, and enjoy the process of learning at Hamline and beyond.

    Allison Baker

    Assistant professor of studio art


    Allison Baker is an assistant professor of studio art with a focus in sculpture and 2D/3D design fundamental. She earned her MFA in sculpture from The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) as well as a BFA in sculpture and BA in gender studies from Indiana University. She has been shown at Flux Factory in New York City; The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Ana, California; and the University of Austin Texas, among others. Allison has held residencies nationally and internationally, including at Franconia Sculpture Park, where her work is currently on exhibit. Recently, Allison has pursued publication as a means to further incorporate her academic training with her sculptural practice. She has been published in the Tulane Review, Blue Stockings Magazine, and Synecdoche Magazine in conjunction with support from Brown University. Her studio practice focuses on utilizing traditional sculptural techniques within a contemporary art practice, where she investigates hegemonic social structures as sites of transgression and resistance. View Allison Baker's full profile.

    Why She is Involved with Honors:

    “University Honors exemplifies the mission of Hamline where all students—regardless of prior success—can find a space to flourish as people and scholars. I am proud to serve as an Honors faculty member to empower students to seize their education and craft the experience that they desire. University Honors helps students find a path of success forward and pushes them out of their comfort zone while maintaining a rich network of support.

    I am particularly passionate about the research experience for fine arts students, where we do not always consider ourselves researchers. Creative research is valuable and important although often messy and intangible. As member of the Honors faculty, I hope to encourage more students to reframe themselves as scholars contributing to the larger cultural conversation.” –Professor Allison Baker


    Máel Embser-Herbert
    Professor of sociology


    Máel Embser-Herbert is a professor of sociology at Hamline. She earned her BA in sociology at George Washington University, her MA in sociology at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and her PhD in sociology at the University of Arizona. Dr. Embser-Herbert also holds a JD from Hamline University. Her courses center primarily on social problems and inequality. Dr. Embser-Herbert has led study abroad courses in the Netherlands and Rwanda. She currently serves as director of Hamline’s Center for Justice and Law. View Dr. Embser-Herbert’s full profile.

    Why She is Involved with Honors:

    "When I left my undergraduate institution, I became aware of all the things I had not taken advantage of as a student living in Washington, DC. At Hamline, our Honors program is one way to provide students with opportunities to do the very things I might have done had there been an institutional nudge for doing so. That alone makes it wonderful! Additionally, anyone can pursue honors. You walk in the door with 'a clean slate.' Thus, each and every student has the chance to really dig in to all that Hamline and the Twin Cities have to offer—and to demonstrate their excellence, academic and otherwise. For these, and other reasons, I am honored—no pun intended—to be a part of the program." –Professor Máel Embser-Herbert


    Katrina Vandenberg
    Assistant professor of creative writing


    Katrina Vandenberg is an assistant professor of creative writing and teaches creative writing, poetry, creative process, and literary publishing. She earned an MFA in poetry from the University of Arkansas then spent a year as a Fulbright fellow in creative writing at Universiteit Utrecht in the Netherlands, working on her first book of poems, Atlas. At Hamline, Professor Vandenberg continues to write and publish creative nonfiction and poetry, bringing first-hand knowledge of the writer's craft to Hamline's award-winning national magazines, runestone and the Water~Stone ReviewView Katrina Vandenberg's full profile.

    Why She is Involved with Honors:

    "When I was a first-generation college student, being part of an honors program changed my life. I met professors and mentors who engaged with and challenged me and students I might never have met otherwise. The honors program was a community of curious and passionate people who pushed my work to new levels, taught me how to be a lifelong learner, and also became my lifelong friends. I'm eager to pass on to students what that experience gave me. 

    Even so, I wish my college's honors program had looked more like Hamline's. I am enamored with our program's focus on process and deep change rather than merely checking off the classes a student has taken or making sure that student has earned a certain GPA. This program is thoughtfully structured to help students developed holistically in four areas—as academics, researchers, members of the community, and lifelong learners—in order to become the next generation of change-makers. And any Hamline student who wants to take on the challenge has the opportunity to be a part of it. I feel lucky to be a part of such a dynamic community." –Professor Katrina Vandenberg

    Frank Shaw
    Lecturer in mathematics


    Frank Shaw has taught mathematics at Hamline since the January term of 1997. Over the past 20 years, he has taught the entire mathematics curriculum and, to spice things up, four different FYSem courses on subjects ranging from food justice to the plays of Tom Stoppard. He also led the Hamline in York program (teaching Medieval Stained Glass) during the 2010–2011 academic year. His educational background is firmly rooted in the liberal arts: an Oberlin BA in English and master's degrees in medieval studies (York, England) and civil engineering (Duke), followed by five years working as a structural analyst for various aerospace companies. He then returned to poetry in a way with a PhD in pure mathematics from the University of California, Riverside. His research work has been in statistical support of quantitative geneticists around the world, and he's taken two years off to work in research institutes abroad: the Roslin Institute in Scotland and the University of Arts and Sciences in Montpellier, France. He serves on the Roseville Area School Board and as the faculty liaison for the Hamline to Hamline collaboration. He coleads the Presidential Scholars Colloquium, taking students to cultural events around the Twin Cities. View Frank Shaw's full profile.


    "I feel an affinity with honors students because of my broad academic background and my appreciation of how academics gets better and better the more you dig in. Thus, I encourage students to study in areas outside of their comfort zone and, within their chosen discipline, to research beyond the standard expectations. I myself have not always done this (it takes time as well as energy, and time can be valuable for things outside of academia), but I strive to and have rarely been disappointed in the attempt. So I'm here to advise, encourage, and celebrate students' ambitious, curious—perhaps even reckless—work." –Professor Frank Shaw


    Hossein Akhavi-Pour
    Professor of international economics


    Hossein Akhavi-Pour is a professor of international economics in the Hamline School of Business. He teaches a wide variety of courses, including International Economics, International Economic Development, and capstone Senior Seminar Economics. His research focus is on regional and international economics topics. He has worked with US and Minnesota government agencies and private firms in a variety of research topics. Hossein earned his BS in law and economics from Tehran University School of Law and his MS and PhD in international and regional economics from Kansas State University. View Dr. Hossein Akhavi-Pour's full profile.

    Why he is Involved with Honors:

    Hossein is involved in the Honors Program because he would like to be part of the Honors students' engagements and growth in critical areas such as academic research and contributions to community. Since joining the Honors Program in 2016, Hossein has learned a lot from Honors students and would like to learn more from them in future.