Professor Daniel Carter, Environmental Studies

Daniel is a long time resident of Jasper, TN a small town in the South Cumberland Plateau Region of Appalachia. He is currently teaching environmental studies courses related to land-use and agriculture and plans to offer a new course in community development in the spring of 2018 through Sewanee’s Collaborative for Southern Appalachia Studies. Prior to teaching at the University of the South at Sewanee, Daniel was a County Government Consultant with the University of Tennessee’s County Technical Assistance Service, serving rural county elected officials in Tennessee. Daniel is a second-generation cattle and sheep farmer, raising two boys with his wife Rachel. 

Professor Maha Jafri, English

Maha received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University and her B.A. from Johns Hopkins University. She specializes in Victorian literature, with research and teaching interests in the history of the novel and narrative, psychology, ethics, and intellectual history. Her work has appeared in the Oxford Forum for Modern Language Studies and The Henry James Review. She is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Between Us: Gossip, Sociability, and the Victorian Novel. A recent arrival in Sewanee, Maha is utterly enchanted by the beauty and community of her new home on the Domain.

Professor Stephanie McCarter, Classical Languages

Stephanie has taught in the Classics Department at Sewanee since 2008. She received a BA in Classics and English from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 2000 and an MA (2002) and PhD (2007) in Classics from the University of Virginia. Her research centers on the Latin poetry of the early Roman Empire, especially its philosophical and historical contexts. Further research and teaching interests include the study of women and gender in Classical Antiquity. She is the author of Horace between Freedom and Slavery: The First Book of Epistles (Madison, 2015) as well as academic articles on the Roman poets Statius and Vergil. She has also recently published popular pieces in the online magazines The Millions and Eidolon. Her major current project is a translation of Horace’s lyric poetry, the Epodes and Odes. She enjoys spending her free time with her husband, fellow Classics professor Daniel Holmes, and their two adorably mischievous children, Rory and Edie (ages 4 and 2).

Professor Bethel Seballos, Chemistry

Bethel has been a professor of chemistry at Sewanee since 2009 and teaches courses at the introductory and advanced levels as well as courses for non-majors. She is currently the director of the biochemistry major program. She worked in both biotech and pharmaceutical research settings before embarking on her teaching career. Her research lab is staffed entirely by undergraduate students who have worked on projects ranging from the impact of oxidative stress on connective tissue to developing sensors for the detection of toxins. One of her current projects involves understanding connective tissue remodeling in the presence of low levels of metallic nanoparticles (now found in many consumer products). Bethel received her undergraduate training in biochemistry at the University of Southern Mississippi, and her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. When she is not working with the Sewanee Chemistry Club doing science outreach in local schools, she roams the domain with her family and their trusty terrier.

Professor Geoffrey Harris Ward, Organist and Choirmaster

Geoffrey commenced his duties as University Organist and Choirmaster at the University of the South in July 2016. He is also on the faculty for the Department of Music teaching organ and conducting lessons, directing the University Choir, and teaching courses in music history and theory. Dr. Ward came to Sewanee from Memphis, TN where he served Saint John’s Episcopal Church and was the Artistic Director of the Memphis Boy Choir Inc. He also taught organ lessons at the University of Memphis. His doctorate is from the University of Kansas, where he met his wife Hilary, who also teaches in the Department of Music at the University of the South. This past year at Sewanee has included many great experiences for Dr. Ward including the 57th Annual Service of Lessons and Carols, Spring Break Choir Tour to the Washington National Cathedral, hosting Artist in Residence Stephen Cleobury from King’s College Cambridge and the highlight of the part 12 months – welcoming Geoffrey Harris Ward II to the family. He was born on orientation weekend in August 2016 and it has been non-stop blessing ever since. 


with student

Professor Dan Backlund, Theatre Arts, Director of the Sewanee Summer Seminar

Dan is beginning his twenty-ninth year as a Professor of Theatre Arts at Sewanee where he teaches scenic design, lighting design, scenic art, construction, CAD, model making, Asian theatre and scuba diving. Since 1976, Dan has worked professionally as a designer, scenic artist, and member of the production staff for more than 550 projects in nineteen states and two countries creating scenery, lighting, and environmental designs for theatre, dance, opera, television, special events, live concerts, designed public space murals, museum, library, and restaurant environments, as well as residential, commercial, and other public spaces. Dan received his undergraduate training at Bradley University in Illinois, and received his Master of Fine Arts from the North Carolina School of the Arts. Dan also serves on the Franklin County Rescue Squad, and as a State Instructor for Dive Rescue and Rural Search and Rescue classes. He also is a Flight and Instrument Instructor (Airplane), a Master Scuba Diving Instructor, and is certified as a Master Underwater Criminal Investigator.