Humanities Faculty

Dr. Aysha Bodenhamer

Dr. Aysha Bodenhamer is a broadly-trained sociologist with teaching and research interests in a number of substantive areas including: environmental sociology, sociology of health & illness, rural sociology, and public sociology. Much of her research is qualitative and focuses on the impact of extractive industries on environmental conditions, community, and workplace hazards. Dr. Bodenhamer is also a proud alumni of Radford University.

Dr. Scott Dunn

Dr. Scott Dunn is an associate professor in the School of Communication at Radford University. He studies political communication, and his current research interest is young people’s engagement with politics. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Katie Garahan

Dr. Katie Garahan is an Assistant Professor of English and the director of the Writing Center at Radford. She holds a PhD in Rhetoric and Writing and an MA in English from Virginia Tech. Dr.Garahan researches rhetorics of public advocacy and dissent and focuses particularly on educational discourse.

Dr. Matthew Turner

Dr. Matthew R. Turner has taught in the Governor’s School every year since it came to Radford University in 2010.  At Radford, he teaches primarily in the Media Production area including Video Editing and the Media Production Portfolio.   Dr. Turner also enjoys teaching Cinematic Arts and interdisciplinary classes such as a course he originated on Brazilian arts and media.  Dr. Turner received his bachelor’s degrees in Communication and English from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA.  He has worked in Television Production and Engineering as well as video editing and producing professionally before returning to academia.  Dr. Turner received his M.A. in Telecommunication from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Arts also from Ohio University.  Dr. Turner has presented at numerous national and international conferences in interdisciplinary studies, theater, art history, philosophy, English, and film.  He has also published articles and book chapters on comedy westerns, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and the Marx Brothers.  Dr. Turner’s primary research area is in comedy in its various forms.  He enjoys spending time with his family and traveling having been to 6 continents, 34 countries, and all 50 states.

Dr. Gabriella Smith

Dr. Gabriella Smith is a sociologist who earned her BA from the University of Missouri in her native Kansas City, then went on to earn a MA at the University of Kansas and was awarded her PhD from the University of Virginia in May of 2019. Her research interests include the hidden ways that culture, gender, and race intersect. Dr. Smith loves to dive into complicated topics in the classroom, and places special emphasis on making students comfortable talking about difficult subjects like racism. She’s an avowed lover of animals, tea enthusiast, and plant geek.  

Mr. Joe Staniunas, Jr.

Mr. Joe Staniunas teaches a variety of journalism, media law and media production courses in the School of Communication at Radford University. He was an adjunct instructor while an assignment editor at WDBJ-7 in Roanoke, where he also worked as a reporter. A member of NPPA (National Press Photographers Association) RTDNA (Radio Television Digital News Association) and IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors), he continues to do freelance reporting for Virginia public radio stations and for the Catholic Virginian. He is also licensed drone pilot and will be teaching a course in drone journalism in the fall.

Mr. Mike Zarella

Mr. Mike Zarella has six years of experience teaching a variety of philosophy courses for Radford University and two years of experience teaching for The Virginia Governor’s School. He received The Gilburt Goffstein Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2019.