Chair Search for Georgia Tech School of Modern Languages

John Lyon Named Chair of the School of Modern Languages

John Lyon headhot.

John Lyon has been selected to serve as chair of the School of Modern Languages in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, effective Aug. 1.

Lyon will also be appointed as the College’s inaugural Charles A. Smithgall Jr. Institute Chair.

David Shook, associate professor of Spanish, has agreed to continue to serve as interim chair until July 31. Effective immediately, Shook will work closely with Lyon to ensure a smooth transition of School leadership.

“Dr. Lyon’s accomplished record as an educator, researcher, scholar, and administrator will serve the School of Modern Languages well,” said Kaye Husbands Fealing, dean and Ivan Allen Jr. Chair of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. “I know he will provide exceptional vision and leadership to the School as it continues to strengthen its reputation as a leader in modern language instruction, cross-cultural humanities education, and interdisciplinary research.”

Lyon, a professor and chair of the German Department at the University of Pittsburgh, and has also taught at Duke University, Colby College, and Carleton College. His research and teaching interests include German literature, philosophy, and culture of the 18th and 19th centuries. He is the author of two monographs: Crafting Flesh, Crafting the Self: Violence and Identity in Early 19th Century German Literature (2006), and Out of Place: German Realism, Displacement, and Modernity (2013); and co-editor of two volumes: Theodor Fontane in the Twenty-First Century (2019) and Gender, Collaboration, and Authorship in German Culture: Literary Joint Ventures, 1750-1850 (2019).

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Job Profile

The advisory search committee has developed a job profile comprised of the job description, an overview of the School of Modern Languages, and the leadership and administrative management responsibilities for the School Chair position.

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Search Timeline

January 31, 2023 — Deadline to submit application materials for optimal consideration

February/March 2023 – Semi-finalist Interviews

March/April 2023 – Finalist Interviews

April/May 2023 – Hire Decision

No later than August 2023 – Hire Date

Search Committee

The search committee members are:

  • Cassidy Sugimoto (chair), Tom and Marie Patton School Chair and Professor, School of Public Policy
  • Edward Able, financial manager II, School of Modern Languages
  • Kelly Comfort, associate professor of Spanish and director of undergraduate studies, School of Modern Languages
  • Narin Hassan, associate professor and director of the Master of Science in Global Media and Cultures program, School of Literature, Media, and Communication
  • Galen Hughes, graduate student, School of Modern Languages
  • Hyoun-A Joo, assistant professor of German, School of Modern Languages
  • Dina Khapeava, professor of Russian, School of Modern Languages
  • Jada Marcum, director of Development II, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts
  • Elyane McGrail, undergraduate student, School of Modern Languages
  • Stephen Ruffin, associate dean for academic affairs in Georgia Tech Professional Education and professor in the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering
  • Satomi Suzuki-Chenoweth, senior lecturer of Japanese, School of Modern Languages

Will Jimerson, college administrative officer, will serve as an ex-officio member and administrative coordinator for the search process.

For more information about the School of Modern Languages, please visit

For more information about the search process, please email

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