Liberal Arts Faculty
Cindee Calton is an anthropologist with a specialization in linguistic anthropology. She has an M.A. and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Iowa. She also has a B.A. in mathematics and anthropology from the University of Northern Iowa. Cindee's research examines a variety of topics, including language ideology, the anthropology of education, American Sign Language, Deaf studies, and disability studies. Her ethnographic research focuses on how teacher and student identities and ideologies influence how teaching and learning happens. Her publications include an article in Disability and Society analyzing of the role socioeconomic class in the parenting of disabled children, and a chapter on the history of sign language linguistics in the edited volume Deaf Gain: Raising the Stakes for Human Diversity.
In addition to working at McNally Smith, Cindee is a Teacher Professional Development Specialist at the Science Museum of Minnesota. She works with a team to develop and facilitate professional development for K-12 educators that focuses on access and equity for each and every student in the classroom. One of the reasons that Cindee chose anthropology is that it allows her to teach a wide variety of topics. She has taught linguistic anthropology, cultural anthropology and biological anthropology at the University of Iowa and Black Hawk College. She is working to develop this experience into anthropology classes at McNally Smith, starting with the course Language and Culture.
Micah Chibana is an acoustician, educator, and musician. He worked as a noise control engineer for Trane Co. for five years, specializing in reverberation room test methods and sound prediction modeling. He earned a B.S. in physics and M.S. in aerospace engineering from Purdue University and currently teaches acoustics at McNally Smith and mathematics at Minneapolis Media Institute. Musically, his 15 years of experience spans indie rock, folk, classical guitar, and Japanese traditional music. In 2010, Micah independently released his solo debut album Like Trees and continues to perform and record his original compositions.
William G. Franklin received a Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) with a minor in Art History from the University of Minnesota in 2002. He tailored this individualized degree to the examination of Surrealism as an extreme development of several vital aspects of Modernism. With a background as a musician and producer, he served as humanities faculty and student advisor at the Institute of Production and Recording in Minneapolis for three years. He is a certified Pro Tools operator music level. He also works as an independent art curator.
Gary has been a professional musician for 45+ years, working throughout the industry as a performer, composer, arranger and programmer. He studied piano with Lorna Michelson, Herb Wigley, Manfredo Fest, and Jill Dawe; Organ with Stephen Gabrielsen and Peter Hendrickson; and Guitar and Viola with True Sackrison and Ewa Bujak. Gary has performed with Tony Sandler, Marilyn McCoo, Robert Robinson, Brian Duncan, Ernie Watts, Othello Molineaux, Tim Ries, and the Minnesota Vikings Band. He continues to perform regularly with Marv Dahlgren, Yolanda Bruce, Cynthia Johnson, Judi Donaghy, the Sevilles, The Sleepers, his own band and others. As a composer/ synthesist with Herb Pilhofer Music, Gary composed music and designed sounds for numerous national TV ads including spots for Coca Cola, Discover Card, Target, and Porsche. He also performed on the soundtrack for the movie “Beautiful Girls” and coached the lead actor, Timothy Hutton, in piano technique. Gary hols a B.A. in Music from Augsburg College and a M.M. in Music Education from Boston University.
Shai Hayo is a percussionist and educator who specializes in traditional and contemporary drumming styles of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and West Africa. He has performed and taught nationally and interntaionally, sharing the stage with artists and ensembles, such as Tony Orlando, Ann Margaret., Shelie E. Andy Montanez, Nachito Herrera, Sowah Mensah, Paracumbe, Shi-Daa Cultural Troupe, Salsa del Soul, The Macalester College African Music Ensemble, the Minnesota Orchestra, and, most currently, Paul Anka. An experienced language instructor, Shai teaches Spanish I and II in the Liberal Arts division.
Hayo holds degrees in Anthropology (B.A. Macalester College, 1996) and Education (MaEd, Hamline University, 2006) and has carried out anthropological and ethnomusicological research in Puerto Rico (1994 - 1995) and Ghana, West Africa (1998).
Bruce H. Hinrichs is a psychology professor, artist, and author. He has taught at numerous colleges and universities and specializes in General Psychology and Biological Psychology. Bruce was also the bass player in a 1960s-style rock band, The Fables, and was singer, songwriter, and rhythm guitar player in a punk-style band, The Necroids in the 1980s. Bruce was previously a glass-blower and is now an abstract painter and the author of nonfiction books in psychology, brain science, film, and art, and short stories often with a humorous tone.
April began her career teaching all areas of English and Speech Communications for eight years in secondary schools. In 2003, she moved into higher education, teaching at St. Cloud State University, The College of St. Catherine, Inver Hills Community College, University of Wisconsin-River Falls and for three years as an adjunct at McNally Smith. Primarily, she’s taught introductory composition, but has also branched out to creative and argumentative writing. In addition to teaching, April participated in community, high school and college theater for 15 years. She was involved in all aspects of production including acting, singing, lighting, set and costume design, and directing. She was a founding director of Mora Area Community Theater and directed plays for several years in that community.
An experienced performer as a soloist and with a wide variety of musicians, Chris Olson holds an M.M. degree in Jazz Studies/Performance from the University of North Texas and a B.M. degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. Chris is on the board of directors of the Minnesota Guitar Society, and teaches at guitar and jazz camps in Shell Lake, Wisconsin and here at McNally Smith. Chris has been a performer and clinician at camps and festivals from Green Bay, WI to Cordoba, Argentina.
Kevin is a musicologist, writer, editor, DJ, and composer living in the city of West Saint Paul, MN. He received a PhD in musicology from the University of Minnesota in 2010. He also holds an MM in composition from the University of Massachusetts—Amherst and a BA in music and English from Hamline University. His research focuses on expressions and transformations of race, gender, and sexuality in contemporary popular culture. Specifically, he has written and published works exploring reparative and revisionist perspectives on traditional and "classical" cultural histories, as well as convolutions of "authentic" and "synthetic" musical identities, as enacted by pop, rock, and hip hop songwriters and performers. His research and writing has ranged from approaches to independent queer punk to transformations of drag house culture to uses of the Western art music canon in the work of contemporary alternative and art folk musicians, as well as the role of disability studies in music scholarship. He is currently writing a memoir exploring the contradictions and frustrations of being a gay club and wedding DJ in an era of politicization of same sex relationships.
Kevin has taught music history, composition, music theory, writing, and cultural studies in a variety of roles in a variety of institutions, including Saint Catherine University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Saint Thomas. In addition to teaching music history and cultural studies, he is an academic editor at Walden University, working with PhD, EdD, and DBA candidates as they compose their capstone projects.
Associate Dean of Assessment and Accreditation | Department Head, Liberal Arts
Janis Weller serves as the associate dean of assessment and accreditation and heads the Liberal Arts Department of McNally Smith College of Music, in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she also teaches the capstone course, Creating a Life in Music, and woodwinds. With several colleagues from around the world, she is co-author of a book called Life in the Real World: Making Music Graduates Employable, published by Common Grounds Press (2013). She has developed and taught innovative courses in career development and music business at the University of Minnesota, Augsburg College, and the University of St. Thomas; and flute at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and MacPhail Center for Music, where she is a former dean of individual and group instruction.
Active with the International Society for Music Education, Dr. Weller served as Chair of the Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician organizing the 2012 CEPROM Seminar in Athens, Greece for participants from twelve countries. As part of CEPROM/ISME, she has presented workshops and papers internationally in Spain, Vietnam, U.K., Italy, China, Greece, and Brazil. In the U.S., she has presented at conferences and meetings of the College Music Society, Association for Popular Music Education, Minnesota Music Educators Association, National Careers Conference, Minnesota Career Development Association, National Flute Association and others.
Dr. Weller specializes in artist career development, assessment in higher education, curricular design, and the role of a liberal arts education for professional artists. As a flutist, Dr. Weller has premiered more than 100 new works ranging from traditionally notated pieces to graphic notation and sculptural scores. She performs with Improvestra, the Crocus Hill Trio, and freelances in the Twin Cities.
Teresa (Terri) Whitman writes poetry, stories, and essays. Her work has been published in the anthologies Mixed Voices: Contemporary Poems about Music, Two Words Walking, Looking for Home, and in numerous journals including Mizna, Water~Stone Review, and Mid-American Review. As winner of the 2012 Cambria Eisteddfod Poetry Competition, she was chaired as bard of Blue Earth County.
She has been awarded Minnesota State Arts Board grants in fiction and in poetry, a Jane Kenyon poetry prize, a Loft-McKnight Award, a Loft Creative Nonfiction Award, an AWP Intro Award, a Loft Mentor Series Award, and an Academy of American Poets Award. She earned her M.F.A in Writing from the University of Minnesota and her B.A. in English from Williams College.
Interested in the creative practices shared by musicians, writers, and other artists, Terri believes in the power of the arts to transform consciousness and therefore lives. She has taught writing and literature courses at the University of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas. She has also co-owned a bakery, given tours at the Walker Arts Center, managed a darkroom, and edited legal journals for Butterworth Legal Publishers.
At McNally Smith College of Music, Terri teaches Creative Writing, Writing about Music, and Music Research and Bibliography. She is the faculty adviser to Composed: The Literary Journal of McNally Smith College of Music.