Bjella, Fares, Peregrine Promoted to Full Professor at Lawrence University, Nine Faculty Members Granted Tenure

Three members of the Lawrence University faculty have been promoted to the rank of full professor and seven others have been granted tenure appointments and promoted to associate professor by the college’s Board of Trustees. In addition, two faculty members who already held associate professor rank also were granted tenure appointments.

Richard Bjella, Gustavo Fares and Peter Peregrine have been promoted from associate to full professor while assistant professors Patrick Boleyn-Fitzgerald, Karen Hoffmann, Eugénie Hunsicker, Joy Jordan, Randall McNeill, Karen Nordell and Katherine Privatt have been promoted and granted tenure. Associate professors John Daniel and Patricia Vilches also were granted tenured appointments.

Bjella, director of choral studies, joined the Lawrence faculty in 1984. He directs the Lawrence Concert Choir, Lawrence Chorale and the early music ensemble Collegium Musicum, as well as teaching conducting and choral methods. In prior years, he also directed the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Lawrence Chamber Singers and the Choral Society. In addition, Bjella is musical director of the White Heron Chorale, a 55-member community choir.

He has performed as guest conductor at more than 350 festivals and workshops in 25 states and has conducted choirs in Prague, Paris and London. Bjella earned his bachelor’s degree from Cornell College and holds a master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Iowa.

A member of the Lawrence Spanish department since 2000, Fares’ research interests focus on Argentinean literature and Latin American art. In 2004, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholars Program grant to teach a graduate course at the National University of Cuyo in Argentina.

Fares, a native of Argentina, is an accomplished artist who also holds a law degree from the University of Buenos Aires. In addition, he earned his doctorate in Latin American literature from the University of Pittsburg, a pair of master’s degrees from the University of West Virginia — one in foreign languages and literature and one in fine arts, painting and printmaking — and has conducted post-graduate studies in painting, drawing and art history in Buenos Aires. Before coming to Lawrence, he spent 11 years teaching at Lynchburg College.

Peregrine, a cultural anthropologist, joined the Lawrence faculty in 1995 after five years on the faculty at Juniata College. A specialist in the evolution of complex societies, culture contact and culture change, he has conducted field research for more than 10 years at Tell es-Sweyhat in northern Syria, a Bronze Age Mesopotamian burial site.

Peregrine has contributed extensively to the Encyclopedia of Prehistory as a writer and editor and his scholarship has appeared in American Anthropologist and Cross-Cultural Research, among others. He earned his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees at Purdue University.

Since his arrival in the Lawrence philosophy department in 2001, Boleyn-Fitzgerald has coordinated the annual Edward R. Mielke Lecture Series in Biomedical Ethics. He also serves as a consultant to Appleton Medical Center and Affinity Health System on issues of confidentiality, competency and end-of-life treatment decisions. His research interests include the relationship between health care professionals and the philosophical virtues of gratitude, forgiveness and compassion. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Miami University and his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

Daniel, a classical trumpet player, joined the Lawrence conservatory of music faculty in 2002 after teaching positions at Penn State University (nine years) and Texas Christian University (11 years). He has served as principal trumpet with the San Angelo Symphony Orchestra and Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra and has performed with the San Antonio Symphony, Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Earlier this year, he released the jazz CD “A Calling,” which he recorded with four Lawrence colleagues. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Ball State University and a master’s degree at the University of Iowa.

Hoffmann, a 1987 Lawrence graduate, returned to her alma mater in 1998 as a member of the English department. Her research interests focus on early 20th-century British and American literature, gender and literature and African-American literature, including the Harlem Renaissance. Her scholarship has been published in the Journal of Modern Literature and Arizona Quarterly. She earned her Ph.D. in English and American literature from Indiana University.

A member of the Lawrence mathematics department since 1999, Hunsicker’s research interests include the geometry behind string theory. In 2003, she co-founded PRYSM — Partners Reaching Youth in Science and Math – an outreach program with women students at Lawrence serving as mentors and tutors with eighth-grade girls in Appleton. That same year, she received the Mathematical Association of America’s Trevor Evans award for her article, “Simplicity is not Simple.” Hunsicker earned her bachelor’s degree from Haverford College and her doctorate degree from the University of Chicago.

Jordan joined the Lawrence faculty in 1999 as the mathematics department’s first-ever assistant professor of statistics. Her research and professional interests include the study of order restricted inference, categorical data analysis, duality and statistical education and her research has been published in the Journal of Statistics Education. In 2001, she was recognized with Lawrence’s Outstanding Young Teacher Award. She graduated from Indiana University and earned her doctorate from the University of Iowa.

McNeill, a specialist in Latin poetry, particularly the work of Roman poet Horace, as well as Greek and Roman history, joined the Lawrence classics department in 1999. He is the author of the 2001 book, “Horace: Image, Identity and Audience” and was honored in 2003 as the recipient of Lawrence’s Outstanding Young Teacher Award. He earned is bachelor’s degree at Harvard University and his Ph.D. from Yale University.

A 1988 graduate of Appleton East High School, Nordell returned to Appleton and joined the Lawrence chemistry department in 2000. Specializing in materials chemistry, Nordell’s research interests focus on nanoscale science. She joined Hunsicker as the co-founders of the PRYSM program, which was cited by the Appleton Rotary Club with its “Cutting Edge” award. In 2004, she was presented Lawrence’s Outstanding Young Teacher Award. Nordell earned her bachelor’s degree at Northwestern University and her doctorate at Iowa State.

Privatt, whose research interests include corporate funding on Broadway and the art theatre movement, joined the Lawrence theatre department in 1999. She has directed six main stage productions at Lawrence, most recently 2005’s “First Lady,” as well as several smaller student productions. She also has served as a guest director for Appleton’s Attic Theatre and worked with the Memorial Presbyterian Church on a series of “reader’s theatre” productions. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Central Missouri State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska.

Vilches, a specialist in Latin American culture and literature as well as Italian Renaissance literature, joined the Lawrence faculty in 2000 as an associate professor of Spanish and Italian. Before coming to Lawrence, she spent eight years on the faculty at the University of Evansville. At Lawrence, she created two new courses for department, Spanish Phonetics and Hispanic Issues, which explores contemporary cultural issues facing Hispanics in Latin America and the United States. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago and her doctorate at the University of Chicago.