New faces join several departments this semester

September 16, 2016

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 the new semester gets under way.

ALABA APESIN, Business Administration and Accounting

Alaba Apesin, a new tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Business Administration and Accounting, graduated with a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership in 2015 from University of Maryland Eastern Shore and an M.B.A. in 2009 from Delaware State University. She received her first degree in Food Technology in 1991 from Yaba College of Technology in Nigeria. Prior to her graduate studies, she worked for a multinational (Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Group, Nigeria branch) as a training and development manager, an assistant quality assurance manager, and a certified quality, health and safety auditor. As a graduate student (M.B.A. and Ph.D.), she worked as an adjunct instructor at the College of Business in Delaware State University and the School of Business and Technology at University of Maryland Eastern. Afterward, she worked as a visiting professor in the college of business at Delaware State University. Courses taught included economics, international management, statistical analysis, and computer application. Her research interest included the study of the predictors of student leadership development, the relationship between students’ leadership practices and their learning outcomes, and the effect of faculty leadership behaviors on students’ non-cognitive learning outcomes. Here objective is to continue investigating the variables that positively and significantly influence students’ leadership and their readiness for the workplace.

“Teaching and the sharing of knowledge to support the development of effective future leaders and managers is a fulfillment of the expectation that their positive impact in the workplace will make significant change to our society and the world,” she says.


Daniel French joins the Education Department this year as Coordinator of the School Leadership graduate program and instructor. An experienced Vermont educational leader, Dan has served as President of the Vermont Superintendents Association and was named Vermont Superintendent of the Year in 2009. Dan earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Vermont in 2014. He is also a graduate of Plymouth State University (M.Ed.), the University of Connecticut (B.A.), and the Defense Language Institute (Honors Diploma, Korean). His research interests are focused on various dimensions of educational systems change including the superintendency, ethics, board governance, Policy Governance, innovation in education, and Open Education. He is frequently consulted by school districts and policy makers on issues surrounding the impact of technology on the future of education, and he is a regular presenter at state, regional and national conferences.

“I enjoy working with aspiring educational leaders. Our education system is at a pivotal moment in history, and I believe the key to our future success will be competent and visionary leadership.”

PETER GALLO, Humanities (Fairbanks Scholar)

Peter Gallo received his B.A. from Middlebury College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Art History from Concordia University in Montreal, where he was also a member of the part-time faculty. His dissertation explored the impact of biopolitics and medical science on modern and contemporary artistic experience. He is a visual artist and his paintings and mixed media work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe, most recently at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (2014), and Angels Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain (2016). He is represented by Anthony Reynolds Gallery in London, and Horton Gallery in New York. For many years he wrote articles and reviews for notable publications including Art in America and Art New England. Recently Gallo has taught courses in Art History and theory at Champlain College and St. Michaels; as Fairbanks Visiting Scholar in Residence he will teach courses in the Humanities and Art History as a visiting instructor.

TANIA HAYES, Education

Tania Hayes joins the Education Department as instructor in the undergraduate and graduate programs. Tania earned both her Master’s Degree and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies leading to licensing endorsements as Special Educator, English/Language Arts Specialist and Administrator at Saint Michael’s College. She has been an educator the past 17 years, serving as a special educator and most recently as director of special education for the Burlington Public Schools.

“I am thrilled to be back at St. Mike’s in this new role. I look forward to sharing my passion for learning and personal growth to support new and veteran teachers as they acquire perspectives and skills necessary to meet the challenges and opportunities presented in public education,” she said. “Likewise, I am honored to have joined the compassionate and committed staff and students here at Saint Michael’s and look forward to continuing my own learning within this community.”

PATRICIA LAROSE, Applied Linguistics

Patricia LaRose received her B.A. in Comparative Religion from the University of Vermont and her MATESOL from Saint Michael’s College. For the first several years of her career in ESL, she taught in New York City at Queen’s College and then at Pace University, while teaching in the summer ESL programs at St. Michael’s. From the beginning, she has enjoyed developing content courses believing them to provide the strongest opportunity for second language acquisition. This belief has led to a strong interest in curriculum design. Several years ago, when she began teaching year-round at Saint Michael’s, she joined both the curriculum and assessment committees. Currently, she is exploring studies in Functional Grammar, as it seems to reflect her classroom practice.

“My job is to help my students be as excited as I am about the English language; otherwise, all the strategies in the world won’t work. It all has to come back to the language,” she said. “We also need to help them be as autonomous as possible so that learning continues after classes end. Under all the strategies and work, there also needs to be a fundamental respect and affection for them for their courage in undertaking this difficult work away from their families and cultures. If we don’t engage them as human beings, we all lose.”


Joining the Mathematics Department this fall as an instructor is Barbara O’Donovan. Barbara was raised in an Irish-Catholic family in the Boston area. After completing a B.S. in Mathematics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, she taught high school mathematics in Ware, MA This led to a summer research fellowship at the Wind Energy Center at UMass, which she enjoyed so much that she went on to complete a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the UMass Wind Energy Center. After working in industry for several years, she realized her true passion was teaching and returned to the classroom. For over twenty years, Barbara has been teaching mathematics and engineering at a variety of colleges across the country. She continues to pursue her passion for mathematics education with a specialty in teaching students with learning differences, and the applications of mathematics in our ever-changing and high-tech world. Barbara currently lives in Grand Isle with her husband and three terrific kids. During her free time, she enjoys hiking and biking with her family, and knitting.

“Learning to solve problems in mathematics is an exercise in critical thinking and not a list of rules and facts to be memorized,” she said. “Instead of memorizing a list of steps to execute to solve problems, I encourage students to use critical thinking to develop problem solving strategies.”


Brian Swisher joins the Biology Department as lab program coordinator and instructor. He earned both his B.S. and M.S. in Biology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, ultimately concentrating his studies on interactions among multiple predators and their prey in structurally complex vegetated freshwater habitats for his master’s thesis. During this time, he discovered the intellectual joys of conducting ecological experiments incorporating the behaviors of aquatic animals and the rewards of teaching others in the laboratory and in the field. His career in science is diverse, including several positions at academic intuitions studying a myriad of aquatic natural resource issues. Throughout his career, he worked with undergraduate and graduate students in biology, aquatic ecology, and natural resources. Once settled in Jericho, Vermont with his wife Gretchen and two sons, Henry (age 5) and Will (age 2), he completed the Teacher Apprenticeship Program and taught in a variety of settings. He continues his commitment to natural resources protection in Jericho as a member of the Jericho Conservation Commission. He is delighted to join the outstanding team that is the Saint Michael’s College Biology Department.

ADJUNCTS: New Saint Michael’s adjuncts this year with their departments or specialties: Thomas Daniel, Accounting; Joanna Grossman, Environmental Studies; Amy Knight, Graduate Education; Thérèse Lorenz, Chemistry; Jean Mileham, MATESOL; Peter Neissa, Modern Languages; Amy Redman, Sociology; Tanya Stone, Graduate Education; Fran Toomey, Psychology.

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