Tag: scholarship

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.

Professors Padilla, Frederick, Guenther-Pal recognized for excellence in teaching, scholarship at commencement

Three members of the Lawrence University faculty were recognized for teaching and scholarship excellence Sunday, June 11 at the college’s 168th commencement.

Anthony Padilla, associate professor of music who teaches piano, received the Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes outstanding performance in the teaching process, including the quest to ensure students reach their full development as individuals, human beings and future leaders of society.

Anthony Padilla
Anthony Padilla

The top prize winner of the 2000 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, one of numerous awards he has won in his performance career, Padilla joined the Lawrence conservatory faculty in 1997.

A native of Richland, Wash., he made his debut at the age of 17 with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and has since become a popular performer with orchestras and music festivals throughout the world.

A review following his New York City debut at Merkin Concert Hall hailed Padilla as “a strong-willed, steel-fingered tornado; he plays the piano with absolute authority and gives new meaning to the idea of ‘interpretation’ to the extent that the U.S. Patent Office might well grant him a number. Nobody could copy him.”

In presenting the award, David Burrows, Provost and Dean of the Faculty, credited Padilla for his many hours in one-one instruction and “a nurturing approach both in and out of the studio.”

“Your success comes from focusing on both solid technique, founded on rich traditions of technical musical skill, and on encouragement for each student to develop an individual style and artistic voice,” said Burrows. “You work individually to develop in each of them a unique style and personality that enables them to create a strong musical message.”

A founding member of the Arcos Piano Trio, which has been a recipient of an Artistic Excellence grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Padilla created the “Notable Firsts” program, which features the first published works of such composers as Brahms and Schumann, to promote music that is not often performed.

He earned a bachelor of music degree from North Illinois University and a master of music degree from the Eastman School of Music.

Jake Frederick, associate professor of history, received the award for Excellence in Scholarship. Established in 2006, the award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated sustained scholarly excellence for a number of years and whose work exemplifies the ideals of the teacher-scholar.

Jake Frederick
Jake Frederick

A member of the faculty for the past 11 years, Frederick is a scholar of colonial Latin America, with a specialty in Mexico. His research interests focus on ethnicity issues, including native uprisings in 18th-century Mexico and municipal infrastructure in colonial Mexican cities. He has conducted extensive research in Mexico and spent a year at the country’s National Archive as the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship.

Frederick is the author of two recently published books: “Riot! Tobacco, Reform and Violence in Eighteenth-Century Papantla, Mexico” last fall and just this spring, “Spanish Dollars and Sister Republics: The Money That Made Mexico and the United States,” which he co-wrote with Tatiana Seijas, and examines the shared history of Mexico and the United States as told through the vehicle of money.

Burrows cited Fredericks’ books as “a wonderful example of how knowing history can help us understand the present and overcome significant biases in our beliefs” in recognizing him with his honor. “You are truly a skilled, prolific and engaged scholar whose work helps make Lawrence an outstanding institution.”

Fredrick, the son of award-winning novelist K.C. Frederick, spent five years as a fire fighter with the National Park Service before embarking on an academic career. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and his Ph.D. in history at Penn State University.

Alison Guenther-Pal, assistant professor of German and film studies who also teaches courses for the gender studies major, received the Young Teacher Award in recognition of demonstrated excellence in the classroom and the promise of continued growth.

Alison Guenther-Pal
Alison Guenther-Pal

She initially joined the faculty in 2007 as part of Lawrence’s postdoctoral fellowship program and was appointed assistant professor in 2012. Her research interests include German cinema, 20th-century German culture and feminist film theory. She was the 2015-16 recipient of the university’s Mortar Board Award for Faculty Excellence.

Calling it one of her “distinctive strengths,” Burrows cited Guenther-Pal’s ability “to create the quality of self-direction in your students. You not only teach them, you give them the power to teach themselves. This is the highest achievement we could ask for in a faculty member, and is greatly admired by colleagues and students.”

“Your drive to make students think critically is combined with great support and compassion. You insist on setting high expectations, but you are also supportive and kind,” said Burrows.

Guenther-Pal has served on the President’s Committee on Diversity Affairs and the Sexual Harassment and Assault Resource Board and serves as faculty advisor to the Lawrence Film Club, Downer Feminist Council and GLOW (Gay Lesbian or Whatever).

She earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz and a master’s and doctorate degree in Germanic studies at the University of Minnesota.

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.