Four Faculty Members Promoted to Full Professor

The College of Arts & Letters is pleased to honor Kristie Dotson, Christopher Frilingos, Mohammad Khalil, and Kyle Whyte who each have been promoted to full professor. They were recognized November 19 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center during a special ceremony honoring all faculty across the university promoted to full professor this year. 

Kristie Dotson

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Dr. Kristie Dotson


A member of the Department of Philosophy faculty, Dr. Dotson is a leading researcher in the areas of epistemology, feminist philosophy (particularly black feminism and feminist epistemology), and critical philosophy of race. Her work seeks to understand how ignorance and oppression affect young black women in our society. 

Dotson recently led the Department of African American and African Studies vision process, which brought interested faculty together to imagine and construct a new Department of African American and African Studies in the College. This past summer, she was named Interim Chair of that department.

Dotson was selected as the 2019 Donald J. Cowling Distinguished Visiting Professor at Carleton College, which she completed this past spring. She also was a visiting professor at the University of Auckland during the summer of 2018 and was a Presidential Visiting Associate Professor at Yale University during spring 2018. 

Christopher Frilingos

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Dr. Christopher Frilingos


Dr. Frilingos is a highly esteemed and productive scholar, inventive and attentive in the classroom, and a dynamic and collaborative colleague in the Department of Religious Studies.

He specializes in early Christianity, an area in which he has published numerous scholarly articles as well as public online essays. In 2017, he published his second book, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph: Family Trouble in the Infancy Gospels.

“I thank my colleagues in Religious Studies for supporting my promotion,” Frilingos said. “I plan to use my time in senior rank continuing to pursue new research projects, teach and mentor undergraduate students, and serve my Department and the College of Arts & Letters.” 

Mohammad Khalil

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Dr. Mohammad Khalil


A member of the Department of Religious Studies faculty and Director of the Muslim Studies program, Dr. Khalil is a nationally known scholar and expert on how Islam engages with non-Muslim communities. His research encompasses a range of other topics such as law, ethics, gender, and historiography. 

Khalil has published multiple articles and recently published his fourth book, Muslims and U.S. Politics Today: A Defining Moment. In 2017, he won the Michigan State University Excellence in Diversity Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated their efforts toward a more diverse and inclusive community. He also received the MSU Teacher-Scholar Award in 2015, which recognizes a professor who, early in their careers, have earned the respect of students and colleagues for their devotion to and skill in teaching. 

“I am honored, humbled, and grateful,” Khalil said. “I feel a sense of completion; and yet I also feel like I'm just getting started. So much to learn and do!”

Kyle Whyte

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Dr. Kyle Whyte


A member of the Department of Philosophy faculty, Dr. Whyte currently holds the Timnick Chair in the Humanities in the College of Arts & Letters and also has a faculty position in the Department of Community Sustainability in the College of Agriculture of Natural Resources. 

Whyte’s research addresses moral and political issues concerning climate policy and Indigenous peoples, the ethics of cooperative relationships between Indigenous peoples and science organizations, and problems of Indigenous justice in public and academic discussions of food sovereignty, environmental justice, and the anthropocene. He is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and is involved in a number of activities and organizations that advance Indigenous research methodologies and education, including diverse projects in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Institute of the College of Menominee Nation. He is a recipient of the 2015 Bunyan Bryant Award for Academic Excellence from Detroiters working for environmental justice.  

"While I persevered through a lot of adversity, my promotion really makes me reflect on how many fantastic supporters, advisors, and role models I have had who encouraged me so much to get to this point,” Whyte said, “and many of whom are faculty in the College of Arts & Letters or MSU more broadly.”