New faculty and staff join Saint Michael’s

August 27, 2015

Here are the names and backgrounds of new faculty and staff joining Saint Michael’s College since last year who will be part of the community as a new semester starts August 31.

New Faculty

MAURO JOSÉ CARACCIOLI – Political Science (Visiting Instructor)

Joining the political science faculty this fall as visiting instructor is Mauro José Caraccioli, an expert in the history of international political thought and the politics of nature-society interaction.

He earned his doctorate in political science at the University of Florida (2015), after a research fellowship in political geography at Florida State University (2009-10), and completing both a master’s in international studies (2009) and a bachelor’s in philosophy and international relations (dual major) from Florida International University (2006). At Saint Michael’s he will be teaching Introduction to International Relations and American Foreign Policy.

For his primary research, Caraccioli studies the interplay of faith, nature, and empire in Latin America. His work brings the history of ideas into conversation with environmental politics, drawing on themes like narrative, lived-experience, and political ecology to broaden the theoretical boundaries of international relations scholarship.

“I have always thought the best educators to be those who gave selflessly of their time and energy,” Caraccioli said. “That sentiment, however, comes with a necessary caveat: that giving is not to scatter one’s services recklessly, but rather to model learning via an embodied sense of responsibility.” Caraccioli hopes to bring an interdisciplinary and Inter-American perspective to his work at Saint Michael’s, “a community,” he says, “with a deep thirst for social justice.”

LUCY QIAN DONG – Modern Languages

Joining the Modern Language and Literature Department as instructor this summer is Lucy Qian Dong, whose experience and expertise is teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.

She was awarded both her Bachelor’s Degree in English Language Education and her Master’s Degree in Chinese Philology by Yunnan Normal University, China. She has been teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language for approximately 15 years, not only in China, but also in the United Kingdom and the United States. She began teaching Chinese at Yunnan Normal University, and then taught at UVM in 2007-2008 as a visiting scholar. At Saint Michael’s College, Lucy Qian Dong will teach first, second, third and fourth semester Chinese and take an active role in developing the Chinese program.

“A student’s success in acquiring a second language is an accurate reflection of a teaching philosophy and program. I relish the opportunity for my philosophy to be continuously challenged and refined each year. I teach in search of excellence and tirelessly strive to serve my students to the best of my ability,” she said. “I am excited about the possibility of developing a Chinese program here at Saint Michael’s College and look forward to seeing it achieve its full potential.”


Ruth earned her doctorate in biology/neuroscience in 1999 at the Johan Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt Germany after completing her master’s in biology in 1995 in the same laboratory. After completion of her doctorate she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Open University in Milton Keynes, England, in a collaborative project with the National Institute for Medical Research in London, England. During this time she investigated cellular aspects of synaptic transmission during learning and memory in the vertebrate hippocampus.

From 2000-2002 she was awarded a postdoctoral Killam Fellowship at Dalhousie University where she remained focused on cellular aspects of synaptic transmission in both vertebrate and invertebrate models. After a maternity break (she and her husband have three children, ages 9, 10 and 13) she returned to the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Dalhousie as a research associate.

“We are currently living in a very special time. Never before has our knowledge been so strong, yet the biological challenges we face been so monumental such as pollution, climate change, looming mass extinction,” says Fabian-Fine. “I firmly believe that education is the key to successfully addressing a great number of pressing social issues at many levels. I have had the privilege to teach a number of classes over the past years. For me teaching is a privilege – learning is life changing! I enjoy the interaction with my students and the challenge of facilitating their learning and assist them fulfill their goals and help make a change.”

RAICHLE FARRELLY – Applied Linguistics

Raichle Farrelly received her doctorate in linguistics from the University of Utah. For the past two years, she served as an assistant professor in the MA TEFL Program at the American University of Armenia. Her main academic interests include second language teacher education, second language acquisition by adults with limited print literacy skills, and curriculum design. She has delivered numerous workshops for English language teachers working in community-based, academic and EFL settings, as well as trainings for professors of all disciplines in higher education. She has taught ESL for over 10 years with a focus on international students in academic settings as well as immigrant and refugee populations in community-based language programs. She has presented posters, papers and plenary talks at various international conferences in the USA, Latin America, the Middle East, and the EU.


Born and raised in China, Rowena He received her doctorate from the University of Toronto and has conducted her postdoctoral research at Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. Her book Tiananmen Exiles: Voices of the Struggle for Democracy in China has been named one of the Top Five China Books of 2014 by the Asia Society. Tiananmen Exiles was published simultaneously in paperback and hardcover in 2014 by Palgrave-MacMillan.

Professor He has taught for Harvard’s Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard’s Freshman Seminar Program, the Harvard Extension School, the Harvard Summer School and Wellesley College. Her seminars on the 1989 Tiananmen Movement and its aftermath have earned her the Harvard University Certificate of Teaching Excellence for three consecutive years.

In addition to her scholarly work, the professor speaks and publishes widely outside the academy. She has been a keynote speaker for the Canada Human Rights National Symposium, and delivered lectures and testimonies for the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Congressional Hearing, Harvard Human Rights Journal, Canada International Council, and Rights and Democracy in Canada.

Professor He’s writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Guardian, and the Globe and Mail. She has been interviewed by AI Jazeera, Associated Press, BBC, Boston Globe, Boston Public Radio, CBC, Christian Science Monitor, CTV, Daily Telegraph, Globe and Mail, Guardian, Harvard Gazette, Harvard Crimson, Harvard Magazine, Harvard Political Review, Los Angeles Times, NBC, Public Radio International, Radio Free Asia, Radio Canada International, Time, Voice of America, Wellesley News, and various other international media.

CRAIG JENSEN – Mathematics

Craig Jensen obtained his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1998 under Karen Vogtmann. From 1998-2001 he was a Zassenhaus Assistant Professor (postdoctoral position) at The Ohio State University. From 2001-2015 he had a tenure track position at the University of New Orleans, and has been an Associate Professor there since 2007. His wife’s job search led them to Vermont, and he was very happy to have been offered a position at St. Michael’s College.

His research interests include topology and algebra, as well as mathematics education. He has many published papers in the area of geometric group theory. Along with John Meier and Jon McCammond, Jensen solved the Brownstein-Lee Conjecture about the cohomology of the symmetric automorphism group of a free group. At UNO, he participated in many mathematics education grants involving professional development with local teachers.

On a more personal note, he roasts his own coffee using an outdoor grill that has been converted to a coffee roaster with a rotisserie kit. He enjoys hanging out with his family. He is also a big tennis fan, and loved spending some time at Roland Garros in Paris on a recent anniversary with his wife.

THOMAS VAN DZURA, CMA, CFM — Business Administration/Accounting

Tom Van Dzura currently serves as the CFO for the Society of St. Edmund, the founding, Non-Profit Religious Order of St. Michael’s College.  Prior to this, he spent nine years at National Life Insurance Company (Montpelier, VT) holding various positions within the Treasury and Financial Reporting departments.  He has also served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Business Administration and Accounting at Saint Michael’s during 2007-2010.

He is a 1989 graduate of Saint Michael’s College (BS in accounting) and completed his graduate studies there as well in the college’s MSA (Masters of Science in Administration) program in 2003.  He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration degree through Walden University. Van Dzura holds the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Certified in Financial Management (CFM) designations sponsored by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), of which he is a member. With regard to outside volunteer activities, he has served as the Chair of the Mater Christi School (Burlington, VT) Finance Committee and a member of its full board.  He also serves on the Finance Council of St. Pius X Church in Essex, VT, the Audit Committee of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, VT, and the Band Boosters at Essex High School.

Van Dzura and his wife Brenda (also an ’89 St. Mike’s graduate) live in Essex with their three sons, Kyle (18), Darren (16) and Joseph (14).  All family members enjoy running, are sports fans, appreciate the gift of each day, and spending quality time together, while not taking themselves (or life) too seriously and regularly embracing laughter.


Jenny Stearns has been a member of the adjunct faculty at Saint Michael’s for the past 3 years, teaching both undergraduate and graduate students in the Education Department. Jenny is from Sheffield, England, where she taught early childhood education with both college and university students for over 20 years. In addition to her teaching experience, Jenny has also worked in child and family health and she is a qualified nurse, midwife and children’s play therapist. She is the author of several books about children’s play and early learning and currently writes and reviews teaching materials for the National Early Years Advisory Board in the UK. She has master’s degrees in both Education and Education Management and her main area of research has been in children’s emotional literacy. She lives in Colchester and enjoys all the wonderful outdoor opportunities that Vermont has to offer.

BEN WHITE — Applied Linguistics

Interested in the complexities of language, language learning, and language teaching, White has worked as an ESL/EFL teacher and a teacher trainer in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Spain, and the United States. He holds a Ph.D. in Second Language Studies from Michigan State University (2010) and an M.Ed. in Bilingual Education, ESL, and Multicultural Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2001). At Marshall University (2010-2015), he helped establish a TESOL Area of Emphasis within the English M.A. program. Through his role as the Academic Programs Director of INTO Marshall, he also helped orchestrate the design and implementation of new English language programs for international students. White’s current research interests focus on the application of cognitive linguistics and sociocultural theory to second language instruction. He is particularly interested in new ways to conceptualize and teach hard-to-learn areas of grammar.

New position:

Kristyn Achilich ’05 joins the Office of Sustainability as the college’s new Academic Program Coordinator of the Organic Garden and Permaculture Site.  In this role, Achilich will offer critical support to students, faculty, and community members who utilize the Saint Michael’s Organic Garden and Permaculture Site for educational and research purposes. She will be a resource for faculty as they plan their own lessons in the outdoor classroom, and model skills that students need to be proficient in ecological farming practices. Achilich will be responsible for the overall management and design of the facility, to insure maximizing of its function for research, teaching and community-engaged learning.

Her past roles include participating in the Governor’s Institute of Vermont’s Food, Farms and Your Future Institute as a teaching assistant; Market Garden Assistant at Trillium Hill Farm; research student and assistant in UVM’s Food Systems program; and more recently she was the curriculum coordinator for the Farm at the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. She received a Bachelor of Science in biology from Saint Michael’s College, has a Master’s of Science from the University of Vermont in Food Systems, and is a Master’s of Education candidate from Saint Michael’s.

New Staff in the Office of Admission

Recent Saint Michael’s graduate Jacob Joseph ’15 is the Office of Admission’s newest admission counselor. He will be traveling to schools in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and parts of New York.

Shirley Sebo is the new Welcome Center & Visitor Services Coordinator, coming to the College after a number of years working in the Colchester School District. Sebo will be greeting visitors at the Hoehl front desk and supporting campus-visit efforts.

New Staff

Staff members joining Saint Michael’s College so far in 2015 (with their departments and start dates) include:

Allison Tilton, digital media marketing strategist, Marketing and Communications (1/5/2015)

Timothy Dusablon, classroom technology specialist, Information Technology (1/5/2015)

Ryan Longe, physical services worker, Facilities (1/6/2015)

Kimoi Seale, assistant director of the Center for Multicultural Affairs and Services/Assistant Dean of Students, Student Life (1/8/2015)

Conor Leland, assistant men’s soccer coach, Athletics (3/22/2015)

Laura Yayac, project manager-VT EPSCoR, Vermont Epscor Center (3/30/2015)

Heidi Sullivan, student financial services counselor, Student Financial Services (4/7/2015)

Scott Robar, dispatcher (Telephone & Dispatch Services (4/13/2015)

Emily Thomas, HR and payroll assistant, Human Resources (6/1/2015)

Michaela Rivers, assistant director for annual giving, Annual Giving (6/2/2015)

Joel Ribout, assistant director of facilities/construction and planning, Facilities (6/15/2015)

Alessandro Bertoni, director of marketing & communications, Marketing & Communications (7/20/2015)

Laura-Jean Wolf, administrative assistant, Facilities (6/15/2015)

Jasan Bedard, head golf coach, Athletics (7/1/2015)

Megha Adhikari, custodian-nights, Facilities (7/13/2015)

Tacy (Vanda) Lincoln, associate athletic director, Athletics (8/10/2015)

Shane Bufano, assistant women’s soccer coach, Athletics (8/17/2015)

Dina Lehrer, staff nurse, Student Health Services (8/17/2015)

Sarah Klionsky, personal counselor, Student Health Services (8/17/2015)

Nicholas Hunter, personal counselor, Student Health Services (8/17/2015)

Kirstin Van Luling, administrative assistant, TESOL Programs, Applied Linguistic/Graduate (7/27/2015)

Rev. Michael Cronogue, SSE, senior associate director of Edmundite Campus Ministry, 8/1/2015)

Aditeei Lagu, associate director, employment & diversity, Human Resources (8/17/2015)

Brian Mas, assistant men’s soccer coach, Athletics (8/17/2015)

Amanda-Lee Eldridge, assistant women’s rugby coach, Athletics (8/24/2015)

Elaine Ezerins, circulation services specialist, Library (8/24/2015)

Ryan Magee, assistant women’s tennis coach, Athletics, (8/24/2015)

Erik Haversang, Fire Unit Chief, Public Safety (8/17/2015)

Arielle Hanudel, cooperating artist: music, Department of Fine Arts (8/31/2015)

Megan Hoffman, graduate assistant – MATESOL, Applied Linguistics/Graduate (7/22/2015)

Kelsy HenneBarrows, graduate assistant – grad psychology (8/31/2015)

Kayla Westcom, temporary – Printing & Mailing (8/24/2015)

Douglas Babcock, Director of Public Safety, Public Safety (9/8/2015)

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