Four Ivan Allen College Faculty Members Earn Promotion and Tenure

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Four Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts assistant professors — Kate Pride Brown, Todd Michney, Natalie Khazaal, and Rachel Whitlark — will be promoted associate professor and granted tenure, effective Aug. 1, 2022.


Kate Pride Brown – History and Sociology

Kate Pride Brown is an environmental and political sociologist whose research spans a range of issues, including environmental activism in Russia and conservation policy in the United States. Her teaching focuses on globalization in the modern area, environmental sociology and social theory.

Brown’s 2018 book, Saving the Sacred Sea: The Power of Civil Society in an Age of Authoritarianism and Globalization, examines the conflict between local and transnational environmentalists, multinational corporations, and the Russian government over the future of Lake Baikal, the largest, deepest and oldest freshwater lake on Earth. Her essay publications have appeared in Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Energy Research and Social Science, Environmental Politics, Environmental Sociology, Ethnography, Memory Studies, Nature and Culture, Research in Political Sociology, Social Movement Studies, and Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy. 

Brown has received a Fulbright Fellowship, a Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State, and funding from the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research.

Brown earned her doctorate in sociology from Vanderbilt University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment. She also has a master’s degree in sociology from Vanderbilt University and a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College.


Todd Michney – History and Sociology

Todd Michney teaches on race, ethnicity, and urban society in the U.S. and around the globe. His research has focused on digital and urban history, and he has published articles in the Journal of American History, Journal of Social History, Journal of Urban History, Journal of Planning History, and Reviews in American History.

Michney’s 2017 book, Surrogate Suburbs: Black Upward Mobility and Neighborhood Change in Cleveland, 1900 –1980, chronicles the struggles of that city's Black middle class for decent housing and better life opportunities in neighborhoods at the urban periphery.

Michney served as a member of the Center for Urban Innovation's research team from 2015 to 2017. He also earned three consecutive DILAC grants from 2016 to 2019 to digitize the Ivan Allen Mayoral Papers and develop a customized search interface for that collection. Among several major appointments, he sat on the board of the Urban History Association, has served as the Institute-wide Chair of Georgia Tech's Library/Faculty Advisory Board since 2018 and twice served as a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant evaluator. Michney was the 2019 winner of the award for Excellence in the Educational Use of Historical Records for the project from the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council.

Michney earned a master’s and a doctorate in history from the University of Minnesota, and a bachelor’s degree in history from Case Western Reserve University.


Natalie Khazaal – Modern Languages

Natalie Khazaal studies the connections among disenfranchisement, media, and language, and her teaching centers on Arabic culture and language. Her 2018 book, “Pretty Liar: Television, Language, and Gender in Wartime Lebanon,” is the only study that explores the role of audiences in the development of media legitimacy during violent crises with a focus on Lebanon. She also has been internationally recognized for her work on speciesism in the media.

Khazaal was the founding faculty advisor for No Lost Generation – Texas, a student initiative that connects with aid organizations, NGOs, governments, and the private sector to help with global refugee and migrant crisis relief efforts. She was also a founding board member of the Cannon River STEM School and a cultural consultant for the 2005 Steven Spielberg movie Munich and other popular productions. She is a 2019 fellow of the ACLS/Luce Program in Religion, Journalism, and International Affairs, for which she is doing research on the making of a novel minority of atheists in Arab communities. 

Khazaal has a doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from the University of California, Los Angeles. She earned a master’s in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a master’s and bachelor’s in Arab Studies from Sofia University, Bulgaria.


Rachel Whitlark – International Affairs

Rachel Whitlark is a political scientist whose interests lie within international security and foreign-policy decision-making, including nuclear proliferation, counter-proliferation, and military intervention. Much of her work investigates the role of the individual executive in foreign and security policy. She teaches courses on U.S. foreign policy, international security and proliferation.

Her 2021 book, All Options on the Table: Leaders, Preventive War, and Nuclear Proliferation, highlights individual leaders' beliefs to explain when preventive military force is the preferred strategy. Her essay publications have appeared in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, Texas National Security Review, International Studies Quarterly, Security Studies, and International Studies Perspectives.  

Prior to Georgia Tech, Whitlark held fellowships with the Project on Managing the Atom and International Security Program within the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, as well as with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Security Studies Program.

Whitlark earned her Ph.D. in political science and a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and French from George Washington University. She also holds a master’s degree in international policy studies from Stanford University.


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