Faculty/Staff Career News February 2020

February 5, 2020
Mark Tarnacki
Staff Writer

To read complete versions of these abbreviated news items, where you see a faculty name as a live link, click to reach the faculty member’s personal page. Then visit that page’s “Recent News” tab, where this current item in fuller detail beyond the first few lines shown here will be at the top. For staffers without a faculty page, the full text of each news item is included here.

George Ashline, professor of mathematics and statistics, recently gave invited workshops to several classes/groups of students at Browns River Middle School in Jericho, Vermont. He led five separate 8th grade groups (around 80 students total) through the hands-on investigation/activity “Correlation Properties and Applications.” He also led several students in the BRMS math club through an investigation of the “Number Pattern Challenge – Thousandaire” activity … and has done many, many similar school programs.

Jeffrey Ayres, professor of political science and former dean, was a guest on Vermont Public Radio’s show Vermont Edition this fall to discuss Canadian elections. Jeff is an expert on Canadian politics and is sought frequently for his insights on news from Canada. While still on a sabbatical from Saint Michael’s this fall semester as a Visiting Scholar at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management at the University of Maryland, he was able to do Skype or phone interviews about the elections with various outlets …

Valerie Bang-Jensen of the education faculty was a winner of one of this year’s major faculty awards at the Annual Academic Convocation in the fall, being presented with the Joanne Rathgeb Teaching Award. She and Mark Lubkowitz of the Saint Michael’s biology faculty presented a session at the annual Vermont Science Teachers Association conference, “Science for All Learners” on October 24, in Fairlee, VT. They addressed teachers, curriculum coordinators, and college professors on scientific crosscutting concepts in literature….

Michael Bosia of the College’s political science faculty has been nominated to one of three Vice President positions at the International Studies Association for a term to begin at the annual meeting in March, 2020, which is in Hawaii. Since Feb 2017, Mike has served as Chair of the Committee on the Status of Representation and Diversity (his term ends in 2020).  Prior to that, he was Secretary-Treasurer of the LGBTQA Caucus, and had been Awards Committee Chair and a founding member of the executive committee.

America Gabriel Ochoa Brenneman of the Classical and Modern Languages/Spanish faculty put together a Day of the Dead display with a few Spanish students that was viewable from October 31 through November 4 in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literature new office suite in Joyce Hall There were pictures of a few friends of Saint Michael´s, family members and students’ friends who are no longer with us. Everyone was welcome to bring a picture of a friend or family member who has passed away.

Robert Brenneman, Saint Michael’s College professor of sociology, spoke on The Dave Gram Show on Waterbury, VT, radio station WDEV the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to discuss the College’s new criminology major that stresses social justice. “There were two callers who wanted to talk about policing and race/ethnicity as well as the need for a language requirement (which there is),” reports Bob. Also, on November 8, Bob spoke at the Institute for Social Research at the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

James Byrne of the religious studies faculty this past fall semester was the focus of a feature in The Irish Times, a widely read Irish daily broadsheet newspaper and website launched as a paper in 1859, and published every day except Sundays in its recent era. In a feature called “Welcome to My Place,” which learns about the lives of Irish living abroad, Jim and his family were in the spotlight under a quote-headline concerning Vermont that read, “The four seasons are so distinct here. Fall is rightfully famous…”

Rev. Michael Carter, S.S.E. of the religious studies faculty has begun writing regular movie reviews appearing on the web page of Saint Michael’s College’s founding resident religious order, the Society of Saint Edmund. The enjoyable feature is titled “Eddies at the Movies” — a blog based on Fr. Michael’s strong side-interest as a deeply knowledgeable and insightful film enthusiast. Fr. Michael also teaches religious studies courses at St. Mike’s and carries out ministry work on and off campus.

Laurence Clerfeuille, associate professor of classical and modern land literature: French, became a U.S. citizen this fall during a ceremony at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier. She is a native of France and now a dual citizen. She also organized a Senegalese film festival over fall semester relating to a trip she co-led recently to Senegal; in past years she has organized Quebec and French film festivals on campus. She also accompanied the Saint Michael’s College French Club on its annual trek to the province of Québec in November.

Laura Crain became Saint Michael’s College’s new director of library and information services in Durick Library starting August 1 with the departure of longtime director John Payne. She was the College’s Collection Manager since 1996 until her recent promotion.

Jonathan D’Amore, chief of staff to Saint Michael’s President Lorraine and the recent assistant dean, was a panelist on the nationally broadcast radio quiz show Says You! that was pre-recorded in August the Elley-Long Music Center on the Saint Michael’s north campus and aired in September.

Patti Delaney of the Saint Michael’s anthropology faculty in January 2020 helped welcome a new scholar to campus, emailing St. Mike’s colleagues: “I am writing to introduce you a new member of our community who is joining us for the full Spring 2020 Semester. Professor Gulnora Nasirova is a Faculty Enrichment Program (FEP) Fellow from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The FEP Program is a brand new initiative of the U.S. State Department and is similar to the more well-known Fulbright Program.”

John Devlin, professor of Fine Arts, theatre, is attending three of the eight Kennedy Center American College Theater Festivals this season in his capacity on the National Executive Committee as Design, Technology and Management member-at-large. In all three regions he is seeing invited productions and providing feedback for national recognition awards to the artistic director of the festival. In Abilene, TX at the end of February he will respond to student work and offer his resumes workshop again …

Mike Donoghue, former longtime Saint Michael’s College Journalism Adjunct Professor, was recruited by My NBC 5 (WPTZ-TV) to talk on the anniversary of 9/11 about the unprecedented attack on U.S. soil and the effect on newsrooms gathering information that day. Mike who still runs the Vermont Press Association out of the Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts Department on campus, discussed the impact the attack had on Vermont, and specifically mentioned the loss of three St. Michael’s College Alums at the World Trade Center collapse.

Chris Donovan, veteran head coach of the Saint Michael’s College women’s ice hockey team, over the summer of 2019 was quoted in an article in USA Hockey Magazine, titled “What’s the Rush? Should Your Child Play Up?” The piece by Christie Casciano Burns explores the wisdom of talented young hockey players moving up to a higher age-bracket than where they would typically play. Chris in the article weighs the chance of achieving more prominent notice by moving up against the pressure that such a move brings.

Kathryn R. Dungy, associate professor of Caribbean and Latin American History, presented a paper at the international conference, “Slavery in the African World: Interrogating the Past and Confronting the Present,” hosted by Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN in March 2019. Her conference paper was titled “We point to Liberia as our promised Land”: The Liberia Colonization project through the eyes of colonists John B. Russwurm and Martin Henry Freeman on the conference panel, Historicizing Slavery across Time and Space.” Kathryn also gave an Invited Lecture at Spelman College, Atlanta GA Tuesday, February 4, “An Experience of a Lifetime:  Developing your Professional Interests through Study Abroad  – _ A Talk with Dr. Kathryn Dungy, CIEE Board of Directors Member & Spelman Alumna ’91.” Kathryn is also  under contract with Cognella, Inc to co-edit a textbook tentatively entitled Becoming Latin America: A Social and Cultural History of Colonial Latin America from pre-Columbian times to 1825.

Kristin Dykstra, distinguished scholar in residence at Saint Michael’s, was named a Finalist for the 2020 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. She is principal translator and wrote the introduction for the book that was nominated, The Winter Garden Photograph, by Cuban writer Reina María Rodríguez; the book includes twelve poems that Kristin co-translated with Nancy Gates Madsen and was published by Ugly Duckling Presse in 2019. She also co-edited and co-translated Materia Prima, a 2019 anthology featuring the late Uruguayan poet Amanda Berenguer, published by the same press …

William Ellis of the Saint Michael’s fine arts/music faculty wrote the cover story for the a recent edition of Folk Art Messenger, journal of the Folk Art Society of America, on Vermont artist Larry Bissonnette, and Jerry Swope of the Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts faculty took the striking photos accompanying the piece.

Doug Facey, a veteran biology professor at Saint Michael’s and fish specialist, agreed to make the 90-minute snowy drive over to Lowell in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom on January 8 prior to resumption of St. Mike’s spring semester classes so he could meet and talk with students at Lowell Graded School there  about fish hatcheries and brook-stocking controversies. The students in middle school science classes watched a documentary about fish hatcheries and became fascinated by the topic.

Laurie Gagne, Saint Michael’s adjunct professor of Peace and Justice, recently authored a review of the book “Plowshares: Protest, Performance, and Religious Identity in the Nuclear Age,” by Kristin Tobey for the Journal for Peace and Justice Studies, Vol. 29, Number 1. Laurie also recently was interviewed about “why the difficult writings of Simone Weil are needed by this generation as much as they were by her contemporaries,” for Mars Hill Audio Journal, a bi-monthly audio magazine of contemporary culture and Christian conviction, Vol. 145.

Traci Griffith of the Saint Michael’s College Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts faculty joined a panel for a Vermont Public Radio Vermont Edition program that had the headline on the VPR website “Understanding Major News Mergers and What They Mean for Vermont’s News Media” for the August 20 edition. Other panelists were Candace Page, (longtime Free Press reporter) and Paul Heintz, staff writer and political editor for Seven Days. She continues to be very active as a national and state leader of the American Civil Liberties Union.

David Heroux of the chemistry faculty presented a program October 26 and 27 for children at the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, a premiere nature and science museum on the Burlington waterfront; the program featured a variety of fun experiments led by Saint Michael’s College volunteers. David, the Green Mountain area coordinator for the American Chemical Society, led the event in honor of National Chemistry Week. This year’s theme was Marvelous Metals.

John Hughes, emeritus political science professor, who taught constitutional law fall semester still, was sought out in November by media for his insights about the impeachment process as hearings in Congress focused on constitutional aspects of impeachment. John joined veteran Vermont newsman Dave Gram, who hosts a weekday call-in news and current events talk show on radio station WDEV in Waterbury, to talk about impeachment; John was a guest What Matters This Week, a local TVABC/Fox news interview show.

John Izzi of the Saint Michael’s philosophy faculty was asked by the award-winning French novelist, Sylvie Germain, to have a selection of his writings included among her personal archives at IMEC (L’institut mémoires de l’édition contemporaine). The national French research institute houses the archives of contemporary writers and is located in the former abbey d’Ardenne, Normandy, France …

Michelle Jordan started work on August 12 as the new Marketing Communications Manager for the College’s Office of Marketing and Communications. Her most recent previous employer (2015-2019) was Asure Software, based out of Austin, TX, with an office in Burlington, VT. Previously she had worked with Garrett Hotel Consultants, Dakin Farm and Kids VT Newspaper in various marketing and customer service roles. She earned her economics degree from Wheaton College (MA).

Katherine Kirby of the philosophy faculty was a winner of one of this year’s major faculty awards at the Annual Academic Convocation in the fall, being presented with the Norbert A. Kuntz Service Award. Students Katie’s new Saint Michael’s College junior seminar titled “Ethics and Community Engagement,” organized a “Winter Wonderland Party” on December 10 in the International Commons to celebrate an ongoing fruitful partnership that Katie initiated in 2008 for her students with residents at Saint Joseph Residential Care Home in Burlington.

Allison Kuklok of the philosophy faculty learned in December that she is the recipient of a prestigious, highly competitive $60,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) year-long Fellowship, which she will use to work on a book about the status of the human being in John Locke’s natural philosophy. She said a big part of her project will look at Locke’s views on language, and how language informs our picture of the world.  She was the only Fellowship recipient in Vermont, and one of 75 out of 1027 approved fellowship applications.

Adrie Kusserow of the anthropology and sociology faculty was a winner of one of this year’s major faculty awards at the Annual Academic Convocation in the fall, being presented the Scholarship and Artistic Achievement Award.

Shane Lamos, associate professor of chemistry, this past year attended an Exam Writing Committee meeting during the American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in San Diego, California. Shane is a co-author for the upcoming 2020 Organic Chemistry ACS National Exam produced by the Society’s Exams Institute. The ACS Exams Institute produces nationally normed exams for most chemistry courses, ranging from high school through the entire undergraduate chemistry curriculum in the United States.

Mike Larsen, co-chair of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, coauthored one peer-reviewed paper on hypothesis testing methods in PLoSONE and two reports to the U.S. Veterans Administration on their 2019 health enrollee survey. He continues as associate editor of Annals of Applied Statistics and will be an assistant guest editor for a special volume on data integration of Statistics in Transition, the journal of the Polish Statistical Society. He was nominated and will stand for election to the American Statistical Association’s Council of Chapters Governing Board and its Board of Directors.

Robert Letovsky of the Saint Michael’s business administration and accounting faculty was interviewed for a local TV news report in January about the recent closings of some retail stores in South Burlington. In December, Robert helped veteran local TV reporter and anchor Stewart Ledbetter on news channel NBC5 explain for viewers the impact for Vermonters and beyond emanating from a new “NAFTA 2.0” agreement with solid bipartisan support affecting U.S. trade with Mexico and Canada.

Crystal L’Hote of the philosophy faculty this past summer was interviewed by The Independent, a British online newspaper established in 1986 as a politically independent national morning newspaper published in London. It was for a recent feature by writer Sam Hancock, titled “How close are we to achieving the transhumanism seen in ‘Years and Years’?  Crystal probes ethical angles on a new study of the interface of machines and human brains.

Mark Lubkowitz of the Saint Michael’s biology faculty and Valerie Bang-Jensen of the education faculty presented a session at the annual Vermont Science Teachers Association conference, “Science for All Learners” on October 24, in Fairlee, VT. They addressed teachers, curriculum coordinators, and college professors on scientific crosscutting concepts in literature and beyond. He and Valerie are finding that local and national organizations are interested in their seminal work in using children’s literature to teach scientific crosscutting concepts.

Will Marquess, emeritus English professor, was honored at a November campus event sponsored by the Humanities, celebrating the publication of Will’s new short story collection titled Badtime Stories, Copies of the book were  available for purchase. Publicity from the publisher about the book describes it thus: “These ten linked stories follow the entwined paths of a small Vermont family. Stories are a way to navigate bad times.”

Kristin McAndrew became the College’s Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing effective early September 2019. Kristin previously served as Director of Admission for Graduate Programs at the University of Notre Dame. She brings close to twenty-five years of experience in the field of enrollment and has a highly successful record of meeting and exceeding enrollment goals. Prior to serving at Notre Dame, she was at Saint Mary’s College, a private, Catholic, liberal arts institution in Notre Dame, Indiana, where she served as Director of Admission until 2014. She also served as the Director of Admission at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. Kristin holds a Master of Arts degree in integrated marketing from Emerson College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Humanistic Studies from Saint Mary’s College.

Declan McCabe of the Saint Michael’s biology faculty worked this summer with a Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) group of eight students from Burlington high schools plus their crew leaders, building steps on a steep part of the trail through the College’s Natural Area across Route 15. He continues to write a natural science column called The Outside Story, assigned and edited by Northern Woodlands magazine and sponsored by the Wellborn Ecology Fund of New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

Tara Natarajan, professor of economics, became Dean of the Faculty effective July 1, 2019. She was appointed dean on faculty recommendation.

Laura Neville, career education coach for the Career Education & Alumni Engagement Center, on November 22 and January 31 attended two internship conferences sponsored by the Vermont Internship Professionals Network.

Sarah Nosek joined the Saint Michael’s faculty as visiting assistant professor of psychology on August 19, 2010.  Her first faculty position was as a visiting assistant professor of psychology at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA from 2008 to 2010. Most recently Sarah was an associate professor of psychology at Southern Vermont College in Bennington VT from 2010 to its closing in May 2019.  Her main research involves the investigation of factors that influence perceptions of individuals with cancer.

Elizabeth Peterson returned to Saint Michael’s College starting Fall Semester as an instructor in the Education Department. She had most recently been principal of the Warren School in Warren, Vermont, where she has been the past four years. Prior to that she was an instructor at Saint Michael’s for 10 years, and before that, a special education teacher and administrator in several schools.

Ingrid Peterson, director of career education, was interviewed in July by John Walters who writes the popular weekly political column for the Burlington-area weekly newspaper and website Seven Days. The column quoting Ingrid explored the phenomenon of young Vermonters being priced out of staying in Vermont.

Jennifer J. Purcell, associate professor and chair of the History Department, has a publication, “Mother of the BBC: Mabel Constanduros and the Development of Popular Entertainment on the BBC, 1925-57 (Bloomsbury)” coming out in March: Jen also recently signed paperwork to become series editor for The Mass Observation Critical Series with Bloomsbury.  This will be a massive, long-term endeavor putting out multiple volumes derived primarily from the work of Mass Observation from scholars across disciplines …

Maria Rinaldi, web support specialist for the College Admission Office, has a new project outside of work: Vermont’s Freedom & Unity Chorus is a new choral group she has launched “to spread the message of peace and justice across the Green Mountain State.” Maria, an accomplished singer and experienced director, will be the musical director of this developing chorus.

Jonathan Silverman, Education Department emeritus professor, was a Visiting Professor fall 2019 at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. He brought his Saint Michael’s College experience in aesthetic education and interdisciplinary curriculum to a Holistic Education Program.  Jonathan, former Education chair, was named the 2018 Vermont Art Educator of the Year. As an educator, Silverman’s goal is to help students become “more imaginative, resourceful and critically reflective practitioners.”

Patricia Siplon of the Political Science Department was faculty adviser for Saint Michael’s College students who participated the 2019 national Fall Uprising of the Student Global AIDS Campaign held at Georgetown Law School in Washington, DC, from October 26-28.  During the national meeting they participated in workshops and heard from policy experts and leaders in the struggle for an AIDS-free world. Following the two-day conference, the group spent a morning on Capitol Hill meeting with four Senate Offices …

Kelly I. Smith started her new job as an admission counselor for the College in July. Her territories are New Hampshire, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, and Georgia to recruit and work with prospective students and their families. Kelly graduated from Saint Michael’s this past May 2019 with a BA in Environmental Studies and a minor in Sociology. During her undergraduate time at Saint Michael’s, she also worked at a Doggy Daycare, and then a Child Care Facility.

Patrick Standen of the philosophy faculty spoke to faculty and staff in late October on the topic of teaching students with disabilities. As president of the Northeast Disabled Athletic Association and an instructor of medical ethics at the University of Vermont, Patrick brought years of experience and a philosophical lens to the conversation. Attendees were asked to engage in questions of history, language, and perception, rethinking the concept of disability and how culture come to define what it means to be ‘able’ …

Jerry Swope of the Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts, who is a professional photographer, had several images published in the Wall Street Journal January 19. Jerry was contacted by a Journal photo editor with whom he had worked before and asked to shoot still images and video for a recurring series in the prestigious paper’s Health section called “What’s Your Work Out.” His photos also appeared in a feature in Folk Art Messenger.

Father David Théroux, S.S.E. of the religious studies faculty reflected on The Apostle Paul and His Letter to the Galatians on Aug. 21 at Saint Anne’s Shrine in Isle La Motte. This was part of a special summertime reflection series offered to the public by the Edmundites. Father Théroux explained some of Saint Paul’s main thoughts about becoming a Christian.

John Trono, professor of computer science, was one of 128 US delegates participating in the 30th annual European Conference on Operational Research (aka EURO 2019) this past summer. This conference offered over 2000-plus presentations (only one talk per attendee) during a three-day period – as hosted by UCD (the University College of Dublin, Ireland) from June 24-26. John was invited to be a session chair on “Uncertainty” after his abstract submission was accepted; he gave his 20-minute presentation during two sessions …

Melissa VanderKaay Tomasulo of the neuroscience and psychology faculty joined Saint Michael’s neuroscience majors Jenna Blain ’21 and Megan Kain ’21 in presented their research on November 9 at the Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the New England Psychological Association held on the campus of Southern New Hampshire University …

Catherine Welch, assistant dean of students/Title IX coordinator, has been appointed to serve on a newly convened state-wide Task Force on Campus Sexual Harm.

Ben White, MATESOL director and chair of Applied Linguistics, recently was invited to Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain. He delivered a workshop entitled “Reflection and Collaboration: Building Listening Skills through a Metacognitive Approach” to faculty and graduate students at the university’s Institute of Spanish Language and Culture.

Todd A. Johnstone-Wright, director of adventure sport for Saint Michael’s College, appears on this season 2 of the Netflix program Confession Tapes’ Episode titled “Deep Down.” This stemmed out of Todd’s ongoing work on the Angilika Graswald case which centers on a mysterious death involved kayaking on the Hudson River – Graswald was charged with killing her fiancé while they were on a kayaking trip. Todd is one of the world’s most highly certified authorities on kayaking …

Xinting Zhen, who joined the Saint Michael’s Department of Business Administration and Accounting in fall 2018 to teach finance, obtained a research award recently from Emerald Publishing. Her doctoral research has been chosen by the editorial team of Managerial Finance as a Highly Commended Award winner of the 2018 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards in the Finance category.  Xinting also had a co-authored research paper published by Managerial Finance on April 6, 2019 …


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