Faculty/Staff Career News June 2020

June 8, 2020
Mark Tarnacki
Staff Writer

logoTo 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 employees without a profile page, the full text of each news item is included here.

Kristyn Achilich, director of the Center for the Environment/instructor of environmental studies & sciences, along with Karen Talentino, director of the health science program/professor of biology, and Doug Facey, professor of biology, all contributed to Saint Michael’s virtual observance of The 50th Annual Earth Day on April 22. The three shared stories with students and colleagues from their personal “first Earth Days” remotely through technology.

George Ashline, professor of mathematics and statistics, during the weekends of January 17-18, March 6-7, and April 24-25, co-taught the course Number Theory for Teachers as part of the Vermont Mathematics Initiative (VMI). He also recently published the article “Leader Lessons Learned: Transition Advice and a Top Ten List from a Former Chair ” in PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies, Volume 30, Number 6, 2020. This paper is part of a special PRIMUS issue.

Doug Babcock, Saint Michael’s director of public safety, was interviewed by Vermont Public Radio reporter Amy Kolb Noyes on February 21 for her report posted online and broadcast, titled “Public Safety on Campus: There’s an App for that,” in which she extensively quoted Doug about campus measures to keep students safe.

Mike Battig, professor of computer science, and Heather Battig of the Applied Linguistics Department, this spring got creative to help international students on campus feel less isolated once most students had to leave campus early in the pandemic: the couple shared a board game online one Friday evening, ‘Zooming’ the non-competitive game with six eager participants in four different locations who originated from three different continents. The Battigs managed the game board and pieces from their Westford dining room.

Mike Bosia, associate professor of political science, is a contributing co-editor for the new Oxford Handbook of Global LGBT and Sexual Diversity Politics that was to be launched at the International Studies Association (ISA) meeting in Hawaii in March, but instead became available starting May 8. Mike also assumed his responsibilities as VP elect, member of the Governing Council, and a member of the Committee on Professional Rights and Responsibilities for ISA.

Jennie Clarke, executive assistant to the VP of Institutional Advancement at Saint Michael’s, is a lifelong Girl Scout and former troop leader who is now the coordinator for the cookie sales in Essex and surrounding towns in Chittenden County. She and a Girl Scout friend in late February went on the local Channel 22/44 ABC/Fox show Morning Brew to talk with host Polikseni Manxhari about National Girl Scout Cookie Week for the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, which ended March.

George Dameron of the Saint Michael’s history faculty has had an essay that he wrote titled “Dante and the Papacy,” published in Approaches to Teaching Dante’s Divine Comedy, second edition (edited by Christopher Kleinhenz and Kristina Olson, New York: The Modern Language Association, 2020).  George, who also is Director of the College’s Humanities Program, was to present papers at medieval history conferences in Florida and the UK this spring and summer on the political economy of grain in medieval Tuscany, but the pandemic canceled those.

Greg Delanty of the Saint Michael’s English faculty has two books forthcoming in fall 2020: a book of his own poems, No More Time, from LSU Press, and a book of translations from the Irish poet Seán Ó Riordáin titled Apathy is Out from Bloodaxe Press, Britain. He was to have a short book of elegies published in early summer of this year in memory his friend, the poet Liam Ó Muirthile, titled The Liam Elegies (Southward Publication). He had a host of other appearances, publications and readings for recent or coming months, see his profile page.

Meggan Dulude ’07, associate athletic director, has been elected chair of the Northeast-10 Conference’s Senior Woman Administrators Committee. She is the first person from Saint Michael’s College to ever hold the position. The senior woman administrator is the highest-ranking female in each NCAA athletics department or conference office. As chair, Meggan will also hold a seat on the four-person Executive Committee, which provides leadership for the NE10’s Athletics Council.  Her term begins July 1, 2020.

Kathryn Dungy of the Saint Michael’s history faculty was among seven scholars speaking at a February 29 symposium at Duke University when that institution’s Graduate School and Forum for Scholars and Publics honored Dr. Julius S. Scott and his book, The Common Wind: Afro-American Currents in the Age of the Haitian Revolution. Kathryn also was a presenter for a 4-part “New Virtual Symposium, Centennial of Women’s Suffrage: One Event, Many Perspectives” for the Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington on May 16.

Kristin Dykstra, distinguished scholar in residence, has two 2019 books that have been in the news this spring. She is principal translator of The Winter Garden Photograph, by Cuban writer Reina María Rodríguez, winner of the 2020 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and longlisted for the 2020 Best Translated Book Award. Kristin is co-editor and co-translator of Materia Prima, an anthology featuring the Uruguayan poet Amanda Berenguer, a Finalist for the Best Translated Book Award; and she did notable interviews on her translation work.

William Ellis, professor of fine arts/music, is writing liner notes for a Reverend Gary Davis CD boxed set coming out later this year, and also contributing to a festschrift (an academic term referring to a book honoring a respected person). The festschrift will be for one of Bill’s mentors, blues scholar David Evans.

Ruth Fabian-Fine, professor of biology, with her research students, recently had another paper accepted for publication in a Springer Publishing Group Journal called Cell and Tissue Research. Their paper was titled “Distribution of the neuroactive peptide proctolin and co-localization with glutamate in the nervous system of Cupiennius salei,” and the student-researcher co-authors with Ruth were Elizabeth Senior, Hailee Poulin, Madison Dobecki and Bradley Anair.

Delaney Goodman ’20 joined the Saint Michael’s College Finance Office shortly after her graduation as Staff Accountant after completing several years as a student worker in that office.

Erin Grainger, adjunct of the Fine Arts/Music faculty, and this past year the director of the Saint Michael’s Chorale, led the group in creating a virtual video of Vermont state song during spring semester. The Vermont state song is These Green Mountains (words and music) by Diane Martin, arranged by Nat Lew of the music faculty (and regular Chorale director who was on sabbatical), in the version on the recording, which was directed and edited by Grainger.

Traci Griffith of the media studies, journalism and digital arts faculty this spring spoke with WCAX anchor Celine McArthur about media layoffs brought on by domino effects of the coronavirus. In another appearance, Vermont Public Radio reporter John Dillon posted an extended story about the regular press conferences of Vermont Gov. Phil Scott and his team during the pandemic, and a key analyst he quotes in the piece is Traci. In the story she gives Scott high marks for transparency and talking directly to Vermonters.

Chris Kenny ’86, director of athletics, will move from vice chair to chair of the Northeast-10 Conference’s Executive Committee, leading the league’s Athletics Council.  He is the first person from Saint Michael’s to ever hold the position. The NE10 Athletics Council is composed of the Directors of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrators from each of the 14 member institutions, and provides comprehensive leadership for NCAA Division II’s preeminent athletic conference. His new appointment begins July 1, 2020.

Ari Kirshenbaum of the psychology faculty early spring semester presented a Public Radio “Academic Minute” about his research concerning e-cigarettes. As the introduction to the segment notes, Ari’s current work on human psychopharmacology of e-cigarettes is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Drug Abuse. Other areas of study include toxicology, bioethics, and public-health policy.

Richard Kujawa, professor of geography and chair of environmental studies and science, in partnership with Clare Ginger, Professor of Natural Resources, from the Rubenstein School at the University of Vermont, has been informed that their poster titled “Community Resilience, Climate Change, and Governance in Vermont: An examination of hazard mitigation, emergency response and water quality policy and practices” has been accepted for the International Symposium for Society & Resource Management (ISSRM) 2020.

Mike Larsen, co-chair of Mathematics and Statistics, was awarded a pilot research grant from the Vermont Genetics Network, funded by the National Institutes of Health, to research missing data methods as applied to dental research studies. Mike also is engaged in evaluating statistical methodology for the Statistics of Income (SOI) Division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Survey of Income and in reviewing confidentiality considerations in HHS database publications.

Robert Letovsky of the business administration and accounting faculty was a guest over spring semester 2020 on What Matters This Week is a politics and issues show, hosted by anchor Lauren Maloney, which airs Sunday mornings on Local 22 (ABC) and Local 44 (FOX). Robert talked at some length with the anchor-host about the role and importance of branding in American presidential elections. Marketing and branding are areas of expertise for Robert in his teaching and research at Saint Michael’s.

Kara Lowe, director of athletic internal operations, attended an NCAA two-day workshop January 19-20 titled “Lessons in Management” in Anaheim, CA. Kara says she was nominated to attend by Meggan Dulude, associate director of athletics/senior woman administrator.

Brandon Majmudar was promoted from development officer to major gifts officer in the Office of Institutional Advancement.

Declan McCabe, professor of biology, has repeatedly captured wonderful wildlife photos with his trail cameras throughout the campus’s Natural Area in recent years, and a large crowd February 24 learned technical and strategic tips from the professor on selecting, using and optimally deploying these outdoor cameras., Protect Our Wildlife Vermont, sponsored the event, and Declan reprised his talk for the March trustees meeting. Declan also continues to write columns on the outdoors for area publications.

Brian McCarthy, adjunct faculty of Fine Arts/Music, unearthed his project “The Better Angels of Our Nature” on March 7, at the McCarthy Arts Center. The jazz composer first issued the suite of music in 2015. After considerable research and study, Brian deconstructed and reworked a collection of Civil War-era music, transforming the 19th-century pieces into a fresh selection of modern jazz. Brian released the work as an album in 2017 to local and national critical acclaim.

Ron Miller of the Saint Michael’s psychology faculty and director of its master’s program in clinical psychology, accepted an invitation from AMI- Quebec (Action on Mental Illness) and the Concordia University’s psychology department to give the “Low-Beer Memorial Lecture for 2020” on the evening of October 8, 2020 and then to offer a psychiatry department grand rounds lecture at the McGill University Health Center on October 9.  Both lectures will draw from his 2015 book Not So Abnormal Psychology: A Pragmatic View of Mental Illness.

James Nagle of the education faculty on April 21, 2020 gave testimony with fellow educator John Downes of the University of Vermont to the Vermont Senate Education Committee. James is co-director of the Middle Grades Collaborative along with being an education professor. The Vermont news website vtdigger took excerpts from their testimony before the committee to post as a commentary on April 27. The topic of their testimony and hence the commentary piece is the view of these two experts that “doing school” remotely is unsustainable.

Tara Natarajan, dean of the faculty and professor of economics, gave the keynote address for the virtual induction ceremony of the Saint Michael’s members of Phi Beta Kappa, the prestigious national academic honor society, for which Saint Michael’s has hosted a chapter since 2004. The ceremony was April 17, via Zoom, though normally it would be in McCarthy Recital Hall. She spoke eloquently of her life growing up in India and how she later realized the experience to be a liberal arts education with many threads of culture and learning weaving together meaningfully.

Barbara O’Donovan, instructor of engineering and mathematics & statistics/engineering Program coordinator, and Eric Roy from the College’s MakerSpace collaborated on a creative solution for the Introduction to Electronics exercise that had been planned for O’Donovan’s students in Introduction to Engineering, after the abrupt pandemic transition in March and educators were confronted with the need to translate lessons to the “remote learning” landscape. The two prepared packages in the MakerSpace to send to students.

Susan Ouellette of the history faculty was a presenter for a four-part “New Virtual Symposium, Centennial of Women’s Suffrage: One Event, Many Perspectives” presented by the Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington the afternoon of May 16. Susan presented on “Emma Willard, Women’s Education, and the Campaign for Women’s Suffrage.” She also gave a talk on the Boston Massacre for the Homestead that ran on a local cable TV channel.

Ray Patterson of the College’s religious studies faculty was selected as a 2019 FAR Fellow and attended the FAR Fellows Institute held at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis in September (as well as attending the NCAA Conference in Anaheim. Ray is Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) for Saint Michael’s College; he was nominated by the NE10 Conference and his application chosen with 17 other DII FARs from leagues across the nation, to attend the FAR Institute, which focused on the development of leadership and mentoring skills.

Jacob Pelletier ’14 M’21 has joined the Saint Michael’s College Office of Institutional Advancement as the new assistant director of alumni engagement. Jacob previously served as an admission counselor for the College. He graduated as a double-major with undergraduate degrees in political science an anthropology/sociology and did an internship in the office of U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT ’61.

John Reuwer, who is an adjunct professor of Conflict Resolution at Saint Michael’s College as well as a retired emergency physician, wrote an opinion piece for the Vermont news website vtdigger this week titled “The F-35 in a time of global plague.” He examined issues of war and peace. Also, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements, Vermont Catholic Professionals met the morning of April 29 on a live-stream Zoom event and heard John present on his peace activism.

Eric Roy, technical coordinator for the Saint Michael’s College MakerSpace in Dion Family Student Center, recently joined a flurry of activity launched in the “Maker Community” nationally to leverage Urban Manufacturing and Rapid Prototyping tools to respond to the rapid increase in need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other medical tools. Through that MOVE opportunity provided by the College for service, Eric helped Generator in Burlington to beef up its 3D printer fleet to make PPE.

Elizabeth “Liz” Scott, the College’s archivist in Durick Library, has found a useful worthwhile project to pursue remotely while in isolation during the pandemic at her home in Jericho “I have been working with Jen Purcell [history faculty] and Mike Stefanowicz [director of admission] to put together something for the future,” inviting all members of the Saint Michael’s College community “to help us in documenting this unprecedented time. We are piloting a project that is intended to capture thoughts and feelings as we meet the day-to-day COVID-19 challenges.”

Patricia “Trish” Siplon of the political science faculty in March was invited to share her insights with reporter Devin Bates of local Channel 22/44 ABC/FOX about Super Tuesday and primaries going forward for the Democratic candidates, and soon after she was a source or guest several times again for radio, print and television reports on Super Tuesday and the presidential election primary season.. Later in the semester she did several interviews with reporter Kit Norton of the Vermont news website vtdigger for stories about Bernie Sanders.

Kendra Smith ’09 has returned to lead the Saint Michael’s Human Resources office where she started as a student worker in 2005 before rising to increasingly responsible duties as an employee starting in 2012 prior to leaving briefly at the end of 2019 for a project at Burlington’s Howard Center that she recently wrapped up. Rob Robinson, vice president of finance, announced in late March that Smith has accepted the position of Director of Human Resources, effective on Monday, March 30.

Trevien Stanger of the Environmental Studies and Sciences faculty recently authored a piece titled “What Happens When You Plant a Tree?,” appearing on a website of The Center for Action and Contemplation, founded on the ideas of Franciscan Fr. Richard Rohr, and dedicated to contemplation and healing with Christian and environmental focus.” Trevien also had a piece about tree-planting published in this year’s Onion River Review, the student literary and arts journal at Saint Michael’s.

Mike Stefanowicz ’09, director of admission,  did an interview spring semester with reporter Liz Strzepa from the Burlington-Plattsburgh local TV station NBC5 about different ways that colleges and universities are offering virtual experiences to prospective, admitted students given that April vacation is usually a busy time for campus tours.

Melissa VanderKaay Tomasulo of neuroscience/ psychology and Dagan Loisel of biology learned this semester that a grant of $25,000 through Vermont Space Grant Consortium for which they applied earlier this year has been funded in full. The goal of the study funded by this grant is to identify stress-relieving countermeasures that astronauts could use during long-duration space missions. They will be collaborating with scientists from NASA’s Human Research Program at Johnson Space Center, which made match for a total award of $50,000.

Jeffrey Trumbower, vice president for academic affairs and professor of religious faculty, is author of a book titled Rescue for the Dead: The Posthumous Salvation of Non-Christians in Early Christianity, and recently reporter Dave Roos for the webpage “How Stuff Works” gave Jeff a call recently to interview him for an article titled, “A short history of hell.”” The article quotes Jeff extensively on how more modern ideas about Hell evolved through history, art and literature.

Jeff Vincent, a veteran staff member of the College’s Student Life office, has a new role as director of residence life and community standards at Saint Michael’s. Also, Jeff was re-elected to another term as Vermont state coordinator for the Association of Student Conduct Administrators; and, he was nominated to join the volunteer planning group of the Restorative Justice Network of Catholic Campuses (RJNCC).


















Follow us on social.