Gustavus faculty explore their beliefs about teaching, scholarship, and service
This anthology is drawn from statements that fifteen faculty members at Gustavus Adolphus College wrote for their tenure and promotion files, exploring why they teach, what drives their research, how they serve the community, and how all of those things align with the college's mission.
About the Authors
Though all faculty who go through the tenure and promotion process write eloquently about their work and how it supports the mission of the college, the following faculty volunteered to have their statements made public.
Jennifer Ackil is a professor of psychological sciences and chair of the department. Her research deals with human memory processes. Recent publications concern different influences on the formation of false memories and the relationship between stress and children’s memory.
Margaret Bloch-Qazi is an educator who teaches courses in organismal, invertebrate and developmental biology. Her research, which involves undergraduate students, examines aspects of insect female reproductive physiology. She is in her third year as the director of the college’s faculty development center, the Kendall Center for Engaged Learning.
Priscilla Briggs is an artist who teaches Digital and Darkroom Photography, Video Art and Interactive Media. Her work has been exhibited at various venues including the Manchester Craftsman’s Guild in Pittsburgh, Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, the Minnesota Center for Photography in Minneapolis; her videos have been screened at Charles Theater in Baltimore, MD, the Women’s Caucus for the Arts International Film Festival in Boston, MA, and the School of Visual Arts in New York, NY.
Barbara Fister (the editor of this collection) is a librarian who teaches library research methods. She writes regularly for Inside Higher Ed and Library Journal. Her research interests include popular literacy and the future of publishing.
Colleen Jacks is a professor of biology who teaches genetics and cell and molecular biology. Her research focuses on gene expression and how gene expression is regulated using the plant model organism Arabidopsis.
Pamela Kittelson is a professor of biology and environmental studies with a particular interest in processes that generate and maintain diversity within and among plant populations. She has served for many years as department co-chair and led the Semester in India. Her recent publications are on grasslands, oak savannas, and on the pedagogy of peer mentoring in the sciences.
Kate Knutson is an Associate Professor in the Political Science Department, teaching courses on American politics and public policy. She recently completed a book manuscript, The Unlikely Ties That Bind: How Jews, Christians, and Muslims Work Together to Influence Policy, which focuses on the work of an interfaith advocacy group active in Minnesota politics.
Michele Hollingsworth Koomen is an associate professor of education. Her teaching and scholarship focus on pre-service science and mathematics teacher preparation, exemplary teachers, and learning by under-represented youth in science and math classrooms, including youth with exceptionalities and second language learners in regular education classrooms. She co-authored a paper with Jamie Mitchell ’10, “Descriptive Inquiry in the Throes of Learning to Teach: Can Prospective Teachers Learn to Teach and Study their Teaching Closely?” that won the Association of Science Teacher Education 2012: Award IV: Innovation in Teaching Science Teachers paper.
Paschal Kyoore had his university education in four countries, three continents, and five different institutions, and has published on francophone writers as well as African folklore. He is a Professor of French, and Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies, and is the Director of the African Studies Program.
Tom LoFaro is a professor and chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department. He has been involved in developing differential equations modeling projects for over 10 years. Tom’s nonacademic interests include fly fishing and coaching little league soccer.
Peg O’Connor teaches applied ethics, racism and sexism, formal logic, and a seminar on feminism and popular culture. Her current scholarship focuses on interrogating the mind/body dualism from the perspectives of abuse and trauma survivors and philosophical approaches to issues of addiction and recovery. Some of her essays on this topic have been published in The New York Times.
Carolyn O’Grady is a professor of education and currently serves as the director of the Center for International and Cultural Education. She is one of the editors of The Spirit of Service: Exploring Faith, Service, and Social Justice in Higher Education (Anker, 2006).
Matt Panciera received his PhD from the University of North Carolina and has taught at UNC-Greensboro, the College of Charleston, Hamilton College, the Intercollegiate Center for Classics Studies in both Rome and Catania, and is now an associate professor of Classics at Gustavus Adolphus College. He enjoys teaching a little of everything at Gustavus, but his highest highs come in Introductory Latin.
Alisa Rosenthal teaches constitutional law, a course on sex, power, and politics, as well as other courses in the political science program. Her research is in the areas of political theory, reconciliation studies, constitutional law, and feminist theory.
Michelle Twait is an Associate Professor in the Library at Gustavus Adolphus College. Since her tenure review, she has taken on a more active role in grant-writing for the library. She also recently co-authored a chapter in Librarians as Mentors in Librarianship for Adults and Students (McFarland, 2011).
Esther Wang is a pianist who has appeared on numerous concert series, including the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago and the A. Mozart Fest Series in Austin, TX. She performs and lectures on J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier as a member of The Bach Four and has recorded solo and chamber works by Jan Radzynski on the Centaur label.