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St. Lawrence Welcomes New Tenure-Track Faculty

As a newly appointed assistant professor of education, Jeff Frank said he is excited to have the chance to bring together an education curriculum within a liberal arts teaching environment.

“It’s rare to have an education program at a traditional liberal arts institution,” said Frank, who previously taught at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. “So, I’m excited to have the opportunity to teach at a place like St. Lawrence. The students here appear to be incredibly engaged, and I can’t wait to meet them.”

Frank is one of the 10 newly appointed tenure-track faculty members at St. Lawrence University, who will begin teaching this semester. The new teaching faculty bring with them areas of expertise that include the humanities, performing arts, and both the hard and social sciences.  

Mark Sturges, assistant professor of English, teaches environmental literature. Because of its location near the Adirondacks, Sturges said St. Lawrence was a great fit for him both professionally and personally.

“I grew up in Western New York and used to camp in the Adirondacks,” he said. “I’m interested in becoming involved with the Adirondack Semester and hopefully taking students to Cape Cod in the spring. I wanted to teach where there was a strong sense of region, and St. Lawrence seems to have that.”

Jennifer Thomas, assistant professor of performance and communication arts, will teach courses in performance theory. Thomas said she is interested in interdepartmental collaboration and is also in working with the Department of Gender Studies.

“Inviting multiple voices to the discussion is something that is very attractive to me,” she said. “St. Lawrence seems to have a supportive environment for faculty and offer funding for teachers to find what it is that they want to teach while servicing the needs of the department.”

Newly Appointed Tenure-Track Faculty

Stephen Barnard, assistant professor in sociology, held interdisciplinary postdoctoral positions at the University of Denver in media, film and journalism studies and the University of Missouri in journalism and peace studies. Barnard earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Missouri in 2012, where he developed a research agenda focused on the sociology of new media, culture, and communication. He will teach several introductory-level courses on technology and social change.

William Collins, assistant professor of education and Coordinator of the Educational Leadership Program, was a visiting professor last year at St. Lawrence. Collins has his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Boston College. He served as a school principal for a decade, most recently at the William E. Norris School located in Southampton, Massachusetts, where teacher-leadership is an integral part of the school’s culture. Collins is founder of the Pioneer Valley Literacy Conference and is the co-author of Leader of Leaders: The Handbook for Principals on the Cultivation, Support, and Impact of Teacher-Leaders.

Jeff Frank, assistant professor in education, previously taught at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. Frank earned his Ph.D. in philosophy of education from Columbia University in 2010. His research focuses on feminist and African-American philosophies of education. He will teach courses in the Department of Education.

Adam Harr, assistant professor of anthropology, who was a visiting professor last year at St. Lawrence, is a linguistic and sociocultural anthropologist who studies contemporary intersections of ritual practice and political discourse in eastern Indonesia. His book manuscript, Marginal Centers: The Culture of Local Politics in Eastern Indonesia, examines the constitution of local political voices as the Indonesian state undergoes democratizing and decentralizing reforms. Harr has conducted over two years of participant-observation in village councils in the highlands of central Flores, exploring the interplay among language ideologies, theory of mind, and processes of building consensus.

Emir Malikov, assistant professor of economics, earned his Ph.D. in economics from Binghamton University (State University of New York), where he specialized in econometrics, macroeconomics and economics of financial intermediation. His current research focuses on semi- and nonparametric panel data models applied to studies of U.S. banks and credit unions. Malikov will teach intermediate and upper-level macroeconomics and econometrics courses.

David Murphy joins St. Lawrence’s Department of Environmental Studies from a joint position as a faculty member at Northern Illinois University and a research associate with Argonne National Laboratory. Murphy has researched the intersection of energy, the environment and economics. He will teach Introduction to Environmental Studies and Energy and the Environment as well as courses on energy and economics.

Mark Sturges, assistant professor of English, received his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University and spent the past year as a post-doctoral teaching fellow. He studies early American literature and environmental literature, and he enjoys taking his students outside. Sturges will teach courses in American literature and nature writing and hopes to teach classes about the literature of Cape Cod and the Adirondacks.

Jenny Su, assistant professor in psychology, previously taught at National Taiwan University. Su earned her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2008. Su’s research focuses on culture and self-regulation. She will teach introductory psychology and courses related to cultural- and cross-cultural psychology.

Jennifer Thomas, assistant professor of performance and communication arts, previously taught at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Thomas earned a Ph.D. in theater art and a graduate certificate in women’s and gender studies at the University of Oregon in 2010. Her research areas include gender and performance, adaptation theory and 20th-century British theater. She will teach introductory performance and literature courses as well as upper division special topics courses.

Penny Vlagopoulos, assistant professor of English, previously taught at Texas A&M International University. Vlagopoulos earned her Ph.D. in English and comparative literature from Columbia University. Her research and teaching focus on 20th- and 21st-century American literature, particularly U.S. ethnic literatures in a transnational context. She will teach an American literature survey and contemporary American literature as well as a special topics course on literature and globalization.