Tag: faculty research

Lawrence faculty members promoted, granted tenure

Two members of the Lawrence University faculty have been promoted to full professor and four others were granted tenure appointments by the college’s Board of Trustees.

Andrew Mast in the conservatory of music and Lifongo Vetinde in the French and Francophone department, were promoted from associate professor to the rank of full professor. Tenure was granted to Ian Bates, Lori Hilt, Erin Lesser and Mark Phelan. In addition to tenure, each also was promoted to rank of associate professor.

“We are extremely pleased that two excellent faculty colleagues have been promoted to the rank of professor and four outstanding faculty have earned tenure,” said David Burrows, provost and dean of the faculty. “Each has done an outstanding job in all areas — teaching, scholarship, creative activity and service. They all have added significantly to the quality of our educational programs through their devotion to student learning, development and success.

“The two senior colleagues have fully developed programs that help keep Lawrence in the first rank of quality small universities,” Burrows added. “The newly tenured faculty add new ideas and approaches that help keep our programs vibrant. We look forward to many years of high quality performance by each of these colleagues.”

Andrew Mast
Andrew Mast

Mast, the Kimberly Clark Professor of Music and director of bands, joined the Lawrence conservatory in 2004. Since the fall of 2015, he also has served as associate dean of the conservatory. He began his career at St. Ambrose University, where he spent five years as director of instrumental activities.

The conductor of the Lawrence Wind Ensemble, Mast also has conducted the symphonic band and the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra. Under his direction, the wind ensemble was recognized with a national award from DownBeat magazine in its annual student music awards competition as the nation’s best in the classical group division. The ensemble also was one of only nine in the country invited to perform at the national conference of College Band Directors National Association in 2013.

Mast was recognized with Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award in 2009 and the Freshman Studies Teaching Award in 2011.

He earned bachelor and doctorate degrees from the University of Iowa and holds a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota.

Lifongo Vitende
Lifongo Vitende

Vetinde, a native of Cameroon who came to the United States when he was 20, joined the Lawrence French department in 1996.  He is a scholar of Francophone African literature and cinema, with a focus on works produced by colonial writers in the mid-19th century from the region of Saint-Louis, Senegal, a UNESCO World Heritage city.

Vetinde was the recipient of a U.S. Fulbright Teaching and Research Fellowship in 2012 that took him to the Université Gaston Berger in Senegal where he taught courses on American literature by minority authors.

Aside from his Fulbright Fellowship, Vetinde has spent considerable time in Senegal as a four-time director of Lawrence’s 10-week off-campus study program in Dakar.

He has studied in Cameroon and France and earned a master’s degree in French and a Ph.D. in romance languages with an emphasis in Francophone African literature from the University of Oregon.

Ian BatesBates, who teaches music theory in the Lawrence conservatory, joined the faculty in 2011 after teaching appointments at Yale University and the University of Western Ontario. A devoted admirer of Johann Sebastian Bach, whom he describes as “the Baroque master of tonal counterpoint,” Bates’ research interests focus on 20th-century tonality and modality, theories of harmonic function, music theory pedagogy and relationships between performance and analysis.

A pianist who grew up in Ontario, Canada, Bates earned a bachelor’s degree in theory and composition from the University of Western Ontario, where he was a National Scholar and faculty gold medalist.

Hilt, a 1997 Lawrence graduate, returned to her alma mater as a member of the psychology department in 2011, where she teaches courses on developmental psychology, psychopathology, and child clinical psychology.

Lori Hilt
Lori Hilt ’97

She also also teaches in the neuroscience program and directs the Child and Adolescent Research in Emotion (CARE) laboratory, which focuses on issues related to adolescent depression, emotion regulation and suicide prevention.

Much of Hilt’s scholarship focuses on rumination, which involves the tendency to passively dwell on negative thoughts and emotions that can lead to anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and binge-drinking/eating. Mindfulness is one of the primary strategies Hilt is investigating to combat the ruminative process.

Born in Chicago, Hilt earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lawrence and master’s and doctorate degrees from Yale University in clinical psychology. She also spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow in the psychology department at UW-Madison.

Erin Lesser
Erin Lesser

Lesser, who teaches flute, joined the conservatory of music faculty in 2011. A critically acclaimed soloist and chamber musician, Lesser has performed nationally and internationally throughout the United States, Canada, China, Brazil and Europe.

Specializing in contemporary music, Lesser has been instrumental in a community outreach project that brings classical chamber music to non-traditional venues. Known as “Music for All: Connecting Musicians and Community,” the program presents interactive concerts by students and faculty members at locations throughout the area, including the Fox Valley Warming Shelter and the Riverview Gardens.

She performs as a member of numerous ensembles, among them New York City’s Decoda, the Wet Ink Ensemble, Argento Chamber Ensemble and Due East, which won the 2008 National Flute Association Chamber Music Competition.

A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Lesser earned a bachelor of music degree at the University of Ottawa, and a master’s and doctoral degree from the Manhattan School of Music.

Mark Phelan
Mark Phelan

Phelan joined the philosophy department in 2011, where his scholarly interests include theory of mind, linguistic pragmatics, philosophies of mind, language and cognitive science and figurative language. He spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow in the philosophy and cognitive science department at Yale University before joining the Lawrence faculty.

Some of Phelan’s current research is focused on the relationship between one’s views of morality and their belief in God and the ways people talk about art.

He has had nearly two dozen scholarly articles or reviews published and has presented research at major conferences around the world, including Leeds, England, Eindhoven, Netherlands, Istanbul, Turkey and Riga, Latvia.

Originally from Arkansas, Phelan earned a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy at Ouachita Baptist University, a master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Utah, and a master’s and doctoral degree in philosophy at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Six Tenure-Track Appointments Joining the Lawrence Faculty This Fall

With research interests ranging from poetry on the interconnection of war and religion to evaluating risk in rural-to-urban migration in Indonesia, six new tenure-track faculty members will join Lawrence University for the start of the 2014-2015 academic years year.

The departments of English, economics, anthropology, mathematics and theatre arts welcome new assistant professors as colleagues, some of whom are already familiar faces at Lawrence.

The new faculty appointments include: Hillary Caruthers and Jonathan Lhost (economics); Adam Loy (statistics); Lavanya Proctor (anthropology); Keith Pitts (theatre arts); and Melissa Range (English). They join Amy Abugo Ongiri and Copeland Woodruff, who were named to the endowed faculty positions of Jill Beck Professor/Director of Film Studies and Director of Opera Studies, respectively, earlier this year.

“We are extremely pleased with all of the persons who have been appointed to tenure-track positions at Lawrence,” said David Burrows, provost and dean of the faculty. “Each one is energetic, talented and devoted to the ideals of liberal education. They will continue Lawrence’s tradition of building the excellence of the university on a foundation of highly qualified faculty who excel at student-centered education.”

Hillary Caruthers_newsblog
Hillary Caruthers, assistant professor of economics

• Hillary Caruthers, economics

Caruthers spent the  2013-14 academic year as a visiting assistant professor of economics at the Campbell School of Business at Berry College in Georgia. She also spent two years as a staff leader at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Business Learning Center and held a visiting instructor appointment at Vietnam’s Hanoi University of Agriculture in 2011. A specialist in developmental economics, her research interests include labor migration, risk, applied microeconomics and East and Southeast Asian studies, especially the role of risk in rural-to-urban migration in Indonesia. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in agricultural and applied economics from UW-Madison.

Jonatham Lhost_HR_newsblog
Jonathan Lhost, assistant professor of economics

• Jonathan Lhost, economics

Lhost earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Amherst College and a master’s and doctoral degree in economics from the University of Texas-Austin. As an assistant instructor of economics at UT-Austin, Lhost was awarded the university’s Graduate Teaching Scholars Scholarship and Seminar Certificate. His research interests include industrial organization, game theory and microeconomics. He has delivered presentations on the effectiveness of clicker technology in introductory economics and has written papers on topics ranging from the effects of merchants placing surcharges on transactions to the effects of spectrum acquisition on wireless carriers.

Adam Loy, assistant professor of mathematics
Adam Loy, assistant professor of mathematics

• Adam Loy, mathematics

Loy spent the 2013-14 academic year as a visiting assistant professor of statistics at Lawrence. His scholarship interests focus on mixed and hierarchical linear models as well as utilizing statistical methods to solve engineering and physical science problems. He has led multiple workshops on the R programming language and has delivered more than a dozen presentations on topics ranging from visually monitoring data streams to on-time flight performance in the United States. Loy earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics/statistics at Luther College and earned both a master’s degree and Ph.D. in statistics from Iowa State University, where he served as a consultant for Statistics in the Community (StatCom), which provides pro bono statistical advice and expertise to area nonprofit organizations.

• Keith Pitts, theatre arts

Keith Pitts, assistant professor of theatre arts
Keith Pitts, assistant professor of theatre arts

A member of Lawrence’s theatre arts department since 2012, Pitts has served as set design and staging coordinator and well as department lecturer. He has worked on six Lawrence productions, including designing the set for this year’s play and opera versions of “Street Scene.” Prior to Lawrence, Pitts spent seven years teaching at Columbia College Chicago and three years as summer lab instructor at the University of Chicago Laboratory School. His extensive experience includes set design work on more than 85 productions at four universities and nearly 20 regional and professional theatres throughout Wisconsin and Illinois, including the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre. He earned a bachelor’s degree in technical theatre from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree in theatre design from Northwestern University.

• Lavanya Proctor, anthropology

Lavanya Proctor, assistant professor of anthropology
Lavanya Proctor, assistant professor of anthropology

Proctor returns to Lawrence after spending 2010-2012 here, first as a visiting assistant professor and then as a Schmidt post-doctoral Fellow. She rejoins the faculty from SUNY-Buffalo State, where she was a lecturer in the anthropology department for two years. She is currently completing a book entitled “An Embattled Education: Language, Class and Mobility in New Delhi.” The recipient of an American Anthropological Association Leadership Fellow position in 2013, Proctor has focused her scholarship interests on linguistic anthropology, gender, class, education and India. She earned a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees in sociology at the University of Delhi as well as a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Iowa.

Melissa Range_newsblog
Melissa Range, assistant professor of English

• Melissa Range, English

Range received her Ph.D. in English and creative writing from the University of Missouri. She has been the recipient of several national prizes in creative writing for poetry, including the 2011 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize, and was recognized with the University of Missouri’s teaching award for creative writing in 2013. Range has conducted more than a dozen invited poetry readings, has written numerous journal publications and is the author of the book “Horse and Rider: Poems,” which centers on violence and power in religion and the natural world. Range earned her bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from the University of Tennessee, her master’s degree in creative writing from Old Dominion University and also holds a master of theological studies from the Chandler School of Theology at Emory University.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence University Receives $1 Million Gift for Faculty Research Fund

A $1 million bequest from an anonymous donor will provide valuable research support for Lawrence University faculty while honoring the college’s 14th president, and his wife, Lawrence officials have announced.

Rik-&-Margo_newblog
Former Lawrence President Richard and Margot Warch

The bequest establishes the Richard and Margot Warch Fund for Scholarly Research. The fund will be administered by Provost and Dean of the Faculty David Burrows for faculty scholarship, travel expenses, student research support and the purchase of research materials, including instrumentation and books.

“One of the great strengths of a Lawrence education is the opportunity for students to work closely with faculty who are engaged in scholarly or creative projects,” said Burrows. “Our faculty are outstanding scholars and creative artists as well as excellent teachers. These funds will enhance the support available to faculty. All faculty will be eligible to apply for small grants that will help them complete such projects.”

The endowed fund honors Richard “Rik” Warch, former dean of the faculty and the second-longest serving president in Lawrence history, who led the college from 1979-2004, and his wife, Margot. President Warch passed away in September, 2013 at the age of 74.

“Rik felt interactions between faculty and students were the essence of the Lawrence experience,” said Margot Warch. “He celebrated the work and achievements of each faculty member as dean of the faculty and as president was always looking for dollars to encourage scholarship and development projects. He would be thrilled to know that a fund bearing our names now exists to support faculty research.”

Funds to support faculty research will become available beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.