Faculty/Staff Career News July 2021

July 15, 2021
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’05, director of the Center for the Environment and instructor of Environmental Studies & Sciences, led students in tapping maples and boiling maple syrup this winter into spring, across campus and at the College Farm. In May, Kristyn organized and led a week of activities culminating in a special volunteer planting push on Vermont Green-up Day.

George Ashline of the mathematics and statistics faculty once again served this year as a faculty consultant for the online 2021 Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus Readings, held June 11-17, with the preparatory Pre-Reading from May 29 – June 10.  Also, on Monday, June 28 George was interviewed for about half an hour by Ric Cengeri as part of the WDEV Math Show, a feature for his “Vermont Viewpoint” series. This spring, George also gave an invited virtual presentation on “Number Pattern Challenges” for the Vermont State Math Fair.

Jeffrey Ayres of the political science faculty (and the former dean), when the COVID-19 pandemic this year precluded travel to Asia  for Freeman Foundation internships, explored alternatives and arranged for virtual internships in Vietnam through The Education Abroad Network, otherwise known as TEAN, which dedicates itself to helping college students enter the world of international professional internships. He also is teaching an online class that includes a group from the Czech Republic.

Valerie Bang-Jensen of the Saint Michael’s education faculty presented “ Literacy Moves Outdoors: Story Walks, Word Gardens, and Interpretive Signage”  at this year’s virtual National Children and Youth Gardening Symposium, run by the American Horticultural Society. Also, she and Mark Lubkowitz of the biology faculty have presented virtually, far and wide, on their co-authored book Sharing Books, Talking Science, and celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Teaching Gardens with an online presentation for educators at LSU.

Claudine Bedell, Rebecca Haslam, Amy Knight, Amy Saks Pavese, and Becky Wigglesworth of the education faculty shared at the Teaching Professor Conference in June their experiences designing and coordinating the new Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program launched in May 2019. The conference included both a virtual component and an in-person presentation in New Orleans. The team’s presentation was “Fostering Engaged Participation to Promote Relevant and Rigorous Learning.”

Krista Billingsley of the anthropology/sociology faculty and director of criminology on March 4 had her Research Methods of Anthropology class “conduct research in Guatemala” remotely via Zoom. Students were invited to conduct participant observation and write field notes during a one-hour virtual tour on Zoom with Gabriela Maldonado in San Juan La Laguna of various sites of interest. Krista and Ms. Maldonado attended graduate school together at the University of Tennessee in the Department of Anthropology).

Michael Bosia of political science this spring “attended” the International Studies Association annual conference virtually. He took office as one of three Vice Presidents, a member of the executive committee, and chair of the committee on rights and responsibilities. Last year, he also had prominent roles and presented a paper on LGBT politics in Uganda and Serbia. On June 12, he arranged, through personal connections, a live online tour of Mont-Saint-Michel in France, which connects historically to the founding religious order of Saint Michael’s, the Edmundites.

Fr. Michael Carter, SSE ’12 of Saint Michael’s College’s founding resident religious order and the College religious study faculty, shared on social media before the July 4 national holiday a video of his piece on the week’s Sunday readings in U.S. Catholic. Fr. Michael, on his video YouTube reflection for this national Catholic magazine and website of wide circulation, reflected on the readings for July 4, 2021 —  the fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B), tying the readings into thoughts about American Independence Day holiday and its meaning for him.

Brian Collier of the Saint Michael’s College fine arts/art & graphic design faculty recently was featured in the cover story of a national trade magazine called Private University Products and News (the June 2021 edition). The piece was titled “Ecology, Art, and Environment at Saint Michael’s College, by writer Cynthia Mwenja, spotlighting the “dizzying and inspiring array of impressive personal and professional projects” centering on issues of ecology and the environment, along with close examination of human interventions.

Paul Constantino ’92 of the biology faculty has recently published two more scientific papers. The first, called “Dental chipping supports lack of hard-object feeding in Paranthropus boisei,” is in the Journal of Human Evolution and was written with recent graduate Katy Konow ’21. Paul’s second paper is a review of some of the work he and his colleagues have done applying fracture mechanics to dental tissues. The paper is part of a symposium issue on Anthroengineering and will be published in the British Royal Society journal Interface Focus.

Maura D’Amore of the English faculty this spring had her “Letters” class sample the letters of Willa Cather, who is most famous for writing O Pioneers! and My Ántonia. Melissa Homestead, professor of English at the University of Nebraska and author of a significant forthcoming book on Cather, in March joined Maura’s class to discuss her editorial role in the digitization project and the letters’ historical and academic value.

Ben Davidson, Henry G. Fairbanks Visiting Humanities Scholar-in-Residence, this spring learned he has been awarded a 2021 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend. He will use the award to complete writing for two chapters of his book manuscript, Freedom’s Generation: Coming of Age in the Era of Emancipation. Ben’s work was the only project funded by NEH for anyone in Vermont this cycle. He also was recently added to the Scholarly Advisory Board of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Greg Delanty of the English faculty had a poem from his new book No More Time appear in February as the “Poem of the week” in The Irish Times. He also read from the book for the Burlington Irish Heritage Festival in March, and saw a positive review from Irish Times later in March; He was interviewed by BBC Radio about the book too. He won the new David Ferry and Ellen LaForge Poetry Prize in April, and the Irish prime minister joined a Zoom ceremony. This summer, the prestigious Times Literary Supplement reviewed No More Time favorably.

John Devlin of the College’s Fine Arts/Theatre faculty this spring directed a production of Silent Sky, a historically-rooted play by the widely popular young American dramatist Lauren Gunderson based on the life of the pioneering astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt, as the Mainstage spring 2021 production. The production took place in McCarthy Arts Center Theatre though the St. Mike’s campus remained closed to outside visitors due to the pandemic, but the play was streamed live on YouTube. Cast members wore masks.

Kathryn Dungy, chair of history, was a guest in March on Vermont Viewpoint, the morning show hosted by Ric Cengeri on Waterbury station WDEV. Kathryn is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and spoke with Ric about the intersection of U.S. history, African American history and the ideals and values of the sorority and other Divine9 service organizations. In June, she was panelist on VPR for a program titled (“Un)fractured: Experiencing Intersectionality In Vermont” —  a community conversation in a series exploring racism and inequality.

Kristin Dykstra, distinguished scholar in residence, participated in a virtual online event organized by Emory University in April for a program titled “Bilingual Poetry Reading with Reina Maria Rodriguez & Kristin Dykstra.” Rodríguez read new work along with poems from her book The Winter Garden Photograph (winner of the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. The free event was in both Spanish and English with live captioning … and open The online Zoom event was open to the public registrants.

Dawn Ellinwood, vice president for student affairs/dean of students at the College, joined the Mercy Ecospirituality Board as of July 1 after six years on the Mercy Connections Board, where she was chair for three years. Mercy Connections is a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy in Burlington. Programs and offerings include Education & Transition Programs, a Women’s Small Business Program, and a Justice & Mentoring Programs.

William “Bill” Ellis of the fine arts/music faculty in June curated a stage of five concerts for Burlington’s Discover Jazz Festival called “Conversations” that paired local jazz musicians with those from world traditions. Brian McCarthy, also of the Fine Arts/Music faculty, who also had his own band set, was one of the acts that Bill booked. Other concerts included Amber deLaurentis (who teaches voice at Saint Michael’s).

Ruth Fabian-Fine of the biology/neuroscience faculty and Anne Crowley, the College’s instructional technologist, this spring assured that Saint Michael’s students would have a chance to have an Academic Symposium as has been traditional in recent years, despite COVID —  though in a virtual world of live Zoom or pre-recorded presentations. Also, the Saint Michael’s College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) announced in April that Ruth has earned its 2021 Dr. Dave Landers Faculty Mentor Award.

Cameron Farnsworth started work this week on April 26 as a Human Resources Generalist in the Saint Michael’s Office of Human Resources. Before coming to Saint Michael’s, Cameron worked in a human resources position for Camp Kanata in Wake Forest, NC.

Carla Francis, development and gift planning officer for the Saint Michael’s College Office of Institutional Advancement, this summer joined the board of the New Hampshire and Vermont Council of Charitable Gift Planners.

George Goldsworthy, the College’s manager of print & mail, recently was unanimously elected to serve an unprecedented 5th term as the President of the Association of College & University Mail Services (ACUMS) which remotely celebrated its 43rd anniversary during the pandemic. The organization serves the professional development of collegiate mailroom managers throughout the Northeast with members from SUNY Schools to Harvard and everything in between.

Traci Griffith of the Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts faculty, on a leave from teaching last year, did frequent media appearances on a wide range of issues in recent months; on March 5, she was a guest on VPR Morning Edition to discuss the documentary Coded Bias; Traci helped organized online screenings of this film in 2020 and again this year. Also, a June report on NBC5 local TV by reporter Lauren Granada included an interview with Traci about the new federal Juneteenth holiday.

Sarah Hastings, began work July 1 at Saint Michael’s as professor of psychology and director of the Master’s Program in Clinical Psychology. She previously was a professor at Radford University in Radford, VA, from 2006-2021, and before that at Baker University in Baldwin City, KS, from 2001-2006. She is living in Essex Junction and has two adult children

Liz Inness-Brown, recently retired from the English faculty, has taken on the role of market manager for the Champlain Islands Farmers’ Market. She says it involves a lot of “signage, schlepping, and schmoozing,” but she loves it because she gets to be in a beautiful setting and work with “the best, most wonderful farmers and craftspeople.”

Todd Johnstone-Wright, who founded and for decades led the College’s Wilderness Program/Adventure Sports Center, has developed and will direct a new program for the College called Undergraduate Professional Endorsements, which aims to provide students with opportunities to prepare for the workforce, gain professional experience, and receive credentials in areas of interest such as Fire & Rescue, Adventure Sports or student government to name a few life-changing signature programs.

Josh Kessler ’04, the College’s director of athletic information, this summer achieved a milestone goal that has been a long time coming – visiting all of Vermont’s 251 towns (and a few extra locations just for kicks).

Ari Kirshenbaum of the psychology faculty reports two recent publications of his academic papers: “Reinforcement enhancement by nicotine: A novel abuse-liability assessment of E-cigarettes in young adults” in Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology; and, “Medical Aid in Dying in New York State” in Health Law Journal. He also made virtual presentations to professional conferences, international and national, in his field. He’s using a major NSF grant to develop a mobile app measuring cannabis effects, with wide media interest.

Sarah Klionsky, counselor from Bergeron Wellness Center, was the chair of Ditch the Dumpster within the campus Sustainability Committee this spring in an expanded environmental effort from previous years to save tons of goods from the landfill as students moved out of their Saint Michael’s College residences.

Richard Kujawa, professor of geography, completed his three-year service on the American Association of Geographers (AAG) Honors Committee. Richard was elected nationally by the more than 12,000 members of the AAG.  He was elected to serve a three-year term, which ends in 2022, representing the New England and Saint Lawrence Valley region on the governing council of the organization.

Declan McCabe of biology continues to write a regular nature column called The Outside Story, assigned and edited by Northern Woodlands magazine .and also appearing in newspapers. Often he writes about research work with Saint Michael’s students. In March he was featured on WCAX, the CBS Burlington affiliate, for a story on the College Natural Area and a federal conservation easement for the site. On April 9, central Vermont’s WDEV radio host Ric Cengeri had Declan on his show to talk about beavers, a recent topic in Declan’s nature column.

Ben Morton in April joined the College’s Adventure Sports Center as the Center’s assistant director. Ben brings over a decade of adventure sports coaching with a strong focus in paddle sports supported by experience in a variety of adventure sports disciplines. He holds a master’s in science in performance coaching from Stirling University and possesses significant expeditionary programming experience. Ben will officially join the staff in August, working with Eben Widlund, the current director.

James Nagle of the Saint Michael’s education faculty, along with his collaborator, Professor Penny Bishop at the University of Vermont, has published an article titled “Students: The Missing Link in Teacher Professional Development,” in Education Leadership, the most widely read and disseminated education journal. Nagle and Bishop run the popular statewide Middle Grades Institute every summer—with a booster January conference—and this article showcases their assertion that middle grade students can help inform professional development for teachers.

Bob Niemi of the Saint Michael’s College English faculty learned this winter that The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature has published his revised and expanded essay, “Proletarian Literature” (9,500 words) as part of their February 2021 update.

Kevin O’Brien, the College’s Rugby Club coach, this spring was selected to the Class of 2021 inductees for the USA Rugby Hall of Fame.

Paul Olsen of the business administration faculty presented critical incident cases and teaching notes at MBAA International in March: “Good Samaritan or Poor Performer?” and “Land O’ Lakes Abandons Native American Logo: Virtue Signaling?” Paul also had a paper published by the North American Management Association (NAMS): “Teaching Leadership during a Global Pandemic.”

Susan Ouellette of the history faculty says a VPR episode of Brave Little State, for which she was interviewed about Vermont’s French-Canadian, originally broadcast in 2018 — was rebroadcast this spring in response to wide interest. On June 2, Susan gave an interview that will be part of a new TV program in Quebec called Paul Dans Les Etats, on French-Canadian roots in the U.S. She brought along St. Mike’s Administrative Assistant to the Associate Dean Jane Viens, also a descendant of French Canadians, to be interviewed.

Catherine “Kate” Palopoli ’98 started work at Saint Michael’s as the College’s controller on April 26, 2021. Kate earned her St. Mike’s degree in accounting and just moved to Vermont with her family from Massachusetts in late June when she started working from her campus office rather than remotely. She most recently worked for nearly three years as director of financial planning, analysis & reporting for Richelieu Foods in Braintree, MA.

Molly Peters, the College’s Nordic ski coach, and her parents and sibling was featured in an article in April appearing in the Burlington-area newspaper and website Seven Days. It was a story by reporter Carolyn Shapiro about Sleepy Hollow Inn, Ski & Bike Center in Huntington.

McKenna Poppenga ’21 in Information Technology this spring was named (while still a St. Mike’s senior) as the College’s new Technical Coordinator for the Makerspace. McKenna started in the Makerspace in 2017 and quickly moved to student manager in 2018. She was an Art and Design. She became full-time in the new role on June 1.

Jennifer Purcell of the history faculty gave a virtual talk for the Vermont Humanities First Wednesday Program on May; originally this talk was to be presented in person at the First Congregational Church of Manchester, but due to the COVID-19 crisis, this year’s First Wednesday talks were only online. Her topic was “How did British housewives experience the Second World War and contribute to the war effort?” Jen told stories of seven housewives from across Britain who grappled with wartime challenges.

Lauren Richter on March 8 started her position with the College in the Academic Affairs Office as a new administrative assistant for faculty. Prior to Saint Michael’s, Lauren worked as an office manager at a Marketing Agency in South Burlington, and as a local recruiter in Plattsburgh, NY, prior to that.

Stella Santos started work on March 8 as assistant director of admission. Previously she worked as an assistant director of admissions and special events at Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine in Stony Brook, NY. She also has worked as an assistant director of admissions at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, and as an admissions counselor at the University of Delaware in Newark, DE.

Lara Scott, director of the MOVE volunteer service office within Edmundite Campus Ministry at Saint Michael’s, was a panelist in March for a podcast about the wage gap for women. Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) presented the second in a series of (un)Equal Pay Day video podcast conversations on March 24, the day into the year women need to work before their earnings catch up to those of men in 2020 due to the wage gap

Jonathan Silverman, Education professor emeritus, is now principal co-editor of the International Society for Education through Art’s Art Education Visual Journal, and co-edits Learning through Art: International Pictures of Practice. His chapter, “Activating Curiosity, Heart, and Artistic Identity to Engage Ecojustice” will be in a coming Routledge publication, Decolonizing Art, Craft, and Visual Culture Education. He will again lead an academic study trip to Japan (2021 winter break) with former St. Mike’s professor, Hideko Furukawa.

Daniel Simmons, of the political science faculty this spring virtually attended the Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting. He chaired a panel on Policy in the Criminal Justice System and was a panelist on roundtable discussions: sharing advice with grad students on academic job talks, and on interviewing at a teaching school; he also presented research with co-author Carlos Algara (UT El Paso) examining how elite endorsements and vaccine attributes affect the public’s likelihood of agreeing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Patrick Standen of the Saint Michael’s philosophy faculty has been as busy as usual. He writes: “VPR picked one of my poems … for their Between The Lines feature in April to celebrate poetry month; a haiku of mine was chosen and printed on the Vermont State Human Resources Monthly Newsletter; my poem, “Leander and Hero” was published in our College literary magazine, Onion River Review;  I was interviewed as an expert in a medical ethics case involving a do not resuscitate order in Florida, with comments highlighted in the Treasure Coast newspaper; in March, I lead a cross country sit-ski clinic for instructors from all over the state at Craftsbury Outdoor Recreation center; I was appointed to the ECHO Center’s Accessibility Leadership Council. I also took a course on virology and started studying Spanish.”

Trevien Stanger, instructor of Environmental Studies and Sciences, recently was elected state director in Vermont for the Society of Ecological Restoration’s (SER) Northeast Chapter. Trevien was elected in large part due to his active participation in restoration efforts in the Saint Michael’s College Natural Area and throughout the Champlain Basin. SER advances the science, practice and policy of ecological restoration to sustain biodiversity, improve resilience in a changing climate, and re-establish a healthy relationship between nature and culture.

Jerry Swope of the College’s Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts faculty in March participated in a Journalism and Digital Media (Zoom) panel organized by the One World Leadership Center and the Vermont Council on World Affairs. The panel included Russian journalists from Burlington’s sister city Yaroslavl who previously had visited Vermont through programs of the Zoom panel’s sponsoring/participating agencies.

William Tortolano, professor of fine arts/music emeritus/ College organist emeritus, was featured on a radio show called Pipe Dreams on NPR this spring. Tortolano, the 91-year-old former longtime director of the College Chorale and its Music Department founder, was on the February 17 program in honor of Black History Month; a recording of him performing three Coleridge Taylor pieces on the Chapel Casavant pipe organ eight years ago was the piece played on the show. Bill also played a concert in the Chapel on May 25, his 54th annual presentation.

Melissa VanderKaay Tomasulo of the psychology/neuroscience faculty and Dagan Loisel of the biology faculty believe astronauts might combat stress and reduce health risks in space using virtual reality meditation; they spent the past year testing their theories on students and emergency responders at Saint Michael’s, funded by $50,000 in NASA grants and $8,000 of internal funding through the Vermont Biomedical Research Network. Recently they learned they will receive an additional $50,000 in grants through the Vermont Space Grant Consortium.

Eben Widlund this spring was named to be the new director of the College’s Adventure Sports Center, taking over from the longtime director and founder of the program (formerly known as the Wilderness Program, Todd Johnstone-Wright. Eben joined the (then) Wilderness Program staff as the assistant director in 2006, responsible for instructor training, expedition programming and program development, and now his duties will expand further.

Clayton Williams of the environmental science and studies faculty recently published an invited review article as part of a commemorative issue of Biogeochemistry, “Celebrating Biogeochemistry: Over 35 Years of Publication.” The article on dissolved organic matter composition in freshwater: was a collaboration among Clay and several of the world’s leading aquatic biogeochemists. Clay also is in line for a year of research funding from the U.S. Geological Survey related to affordable sensors of algal and cyanobacteria in Lake Champlain.

Xinting Zhen, assistant professor of business administration at Saint Michael’s, recently achieved another research publication in June 2021. Xinting’s research paper, “Banking Deregulation and Investment Cash Flow Sensitivity”, co-authored with Dawei Jin, Haizhi Wang, and Tianyu Zhao, has been published in Review of Business in June 2021.

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