Posted 02/03/2020  |  Back

Welcome to the Library’s Spotlight on Fitchburg Faculty Scholarship!  Learn more about what our faculty are researching by reading below and also visit the main level of the library to see our display of their work. You can learn more by viewing this list of books published by other Fitchburg State faculty.

Ben Railton, Ph.D., is originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, and both of his parents were educators. Between living in an area of such rich cultural heritage and his parents’ professional backgrounds, Ben was inspired to pursue a career in education and American Studies. He attended Harvard University where earned his B.A. in American History and Literature in 2000, and later earned his Ph.D. in English and American Literature at Temple University in 2005.

Ben has been an English Studies professor at Fitchburg State University for 15 years. His course material mainly focuses on American literature and history. His main goal is to start a conversation with his students and also the community about the national identity of Americans and what the future holds for us. This conversation of American identity also reflects in his written works. In 2008, he published his first book Contesting the Past, Reconstructing the Nation: Literature and Culture in the Gilded Age 1893-1976 which talks about the literature following the Civil War and how it has been shaped by issues of race, gender and culture. His latest book We the People: The 500 Year Battle over Who is American was published just last year, and it discusses the exclusionary and inclusive definitions of American identity, and also the conflicts between white supremacy and diversity.

Ben lives in Needham, MA with his two sons Aidan and Kyle. When he is not working or parenting, he finds time to indulge in literature, film & television, particularly historical fiction, science-fiction and fantasy. He also enjoys visiting historical sites and museums, (especially in Salem, MA), and hiking around Walden Pond or along the beaches of Chappaquiddick on Martha’s Vineyard.

View a list of his books. 


Ben Levy, Ph.D., is originally from Litchfield, Connecticut. In his early life, he married his high school sweetheart and began his career as an educator. He started off as a middle and high school teacher at a boarding school before he decided to move onto higher education. He graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in 2008. He later studied at the University of Tennessee where he earned his M.S. in 2013 and then his Ph.D. in 2016.

Ben began his career at Fitchburg State University in 2016 as a mathematics professor. His research and publications are based on combining math and biology in order to examine environmental issues including (but not limited to) population modeling of animal species, and the spreading of infectious diseases. Living near the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee inspired him to conduct research on their wild hog population. In 2017, he published his article “Evaluating Wild Hog Preferences to Guide Control Strategies in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park” in Natural Resource Modeling. He has also spent time in Southern Africa and has collaborated with mathematicians of the Southern African Mathematical Sciences Association. In 2017, he published his article “Modeling the Role of Public Health Education in Ebola Virus Disease outbreaks in Sudan” in Infectious Disease Modeling. A year later, he published “Exploratory Investigation of Region Level Risk Factors of Ebola Virus in West Africa” in Peerj.

Ben lives with his wife Rachel and daughter Elena in Fitchburg, MA. His hobbies include wood-turning, hiking, camping, and playing baseball and other sports. He also enjoys traveling as part of both work and leisure.

Levy, B. (2017) Evaluating Wild Hog Preferences to Guide Control Strategies in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Natural Resource Modeling, 30(3)

Levy, B. (2017). Modeling the Role of Public Health Education in Ebola Virus Disease Outbreaks in Sudan. Infectious Disease Modeling, 2(3), 323-340.

Levy, B. (2018). Exploratory Investigation of Region Level Risk Factors of Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa. PeerJ.