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FLC announces faculty promotions and tenure
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FLC announces faculty promotions and tenure

Fort Lewis College is celebrating the promotions of some of its faculty to associate professor and full professor. Many of the faculty also received tenure with their promotions, strengthening academic leadership for years to come. 

"Congratulations to all of the faculty who received tenure and promotion earlier this year! The faculty are the heart of Fort Lewis College, creating the strong student-faculty teaching and mentoring relationships that our students remember for a lifetime," says Cheryl Nixon, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. "We thus want to reward and celebrate the faculty's life-long commitment to Fort Lewis with these recognitions!”

This summer, the FLC Board of Trustees voted to promote six faculty to professors and 13 faculty to associate professors for the 2020-21 academic year. The faculty promoted to associate professor also received tenure.

Rebecca Austin
from Associate Professor to Professor of Anthropology and Environment & Sustainability

Rebecca Austin joined FLC in 2010. Austin is an applied anthropologist with many years of experience working with tribal governments in the southwestern U.S. She has researched the scholarship of pedagogy, human relationships with the environment, public perceptions of lawns and landscapes, human rights for environmental activists, and integrating anthropology with human ecology for teaching and applied projects.

David Blake
from Associate Professor to Professor of Biology

David Blake joined FLC in 2009. His research focuses on the cellular events in pulmonary macrophages and epithelial cells that initiate immunological changes using human and mouse models. He studies numerous cell biology topics including how inhaled environmental toxins and particulates alter the antioxidant/oxidative balance in the lung to the effectiveness of sattabacin against the Varicella Zoster Virus infection in human fibroblast cells.

Susan Cannata
Professor of English
Tenure

Susan Cannata specializes in British literature, young adult literature, and honors education.

Lorien Chambers Schuldt
from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of Teacher Education
and Tenure

Lorien Chambers Schuldt joined FLC in 2014. In the Teacher Leadership program, Professor Schuldt teaches and advises on topics related to assessment, instructional coaching and teacher learning, classroom literacy instruction, and language development. Chambers Schuldt’s research focuses on fostering rich literacy instruction in classrooms, particularly for students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Elizabeth Dorman
from Associate Professor to Professor of Teacher Education

Elizabeth Dorman joined the college in 2013. Dorman’s research focuses primarily on contemplative pedagogy and practice, social-emotional learning, social justice education, and the intersection among these areas.

Kathleen Hilimire
from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of Environment & Sustainability
and Tenure

Kathleen Hilimire teaches in the Department of Environment & Sustainability and is coordinator of the Regenerative Food Systems certificate. Her research focuses on sustainable food systems, particularly in the western United States. Hilimire supports students aspiring to futures in food systems and works with them to innovate new learning practices and spaces at FLC and the Old Fort in Hesperus, Colorado. Trained as an interdisciplinary agroecologist, Hilimire has conducted research and published in both the natural and social sciences of food systems.

Jeffrey Jessing
from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of Physics/Engineering
and Tenure

Jeffrey Jessing joined FLC in 2013. He is currently investigating the unique electrical and optical properties of porous silicon, with an eye to the development of several high impact technologies in the fields of sensors, computing, and instrumentation. Jessing has considerable experience in research and manufacturing environments.

Caroline Kulesza
from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of Biology
and Tenure

Caroline Kulesza joined FLC in 2015. Her research focuses on Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV), a herpesvirus that causes life-threatening illness in patients immuno-compromised by bone marrow and solid organ transplantation, HIV/AIDS, and cancer chemotherapy. Beyond the impact of these viruses in the public health sphere, study of this extensive family of large DNA viruses offers many opportunities to elucidate fundamental aspects of biology, such as DNA replication, gene expression, protein function and immune recognition of pathogens.

Ross McCauley
from Associate Professor to Professor of Biology

Ross McCauley joined FLC in 2008. He is a botanist with a particular specialty in plant systematics and taxonomy. His research interests focus on understanding the ecological and organismal factors that contribute to the creation and maintenance of plant biodiversity. McCauley is the curator of the FLC Herbarium, a scientific reference collection that documents the flora of the San Juan Mountains (and the largest herbarium collection on the western slope of Colorado).

Astrid Oliver
from Associate Professor to Professor of Library

Astrid Oliver joined Reed Library in 2005, and has performed research in the areas of copyright and the library, faculty-librarian partnerships, and the evolution of librarianship.

John O’Neal
from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of Music
and Tenure

John O'Neal joined FLC in 2015. O'Neal is a percussion specialist and has performed throughout the United States and Europe. He is currently the Principal Timpanist with the San Juan Symphony in Durango, Colorado.

Ellen Paul
from Associate Professor to Professor of History

Ellen Paul joined FLC in 2004. Paul’s research focuses on East Central Europe, Modern Russian, and East Central European History.

Kay Phelps
from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of Teacher Education
and Tenure

Kay Phelps joined FLC in 2011. She teaches and advises on topics related to STEM equity, science and art integration, culturally responsive home-school-family partnerships, and teacher leadership in cultures of change. She advocates for arts integration, promoting the critical role that the arts play in stimulating creativity and in developing vital communities.

Cory Pillen
from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of Art & Design
and Tenure

Cory Pillen’s research focuses on 19th and 20th-century U.S. visual culture. Her first book, which addresses posters produced by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the 1930s and early 1940s, explores various ways WPA posters addressed contemporary social concerns such as leisure, conservation, health, and housing through the promotion of knowledge and literacy.

Di Ryter
from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of Teacher Education
and Tenure

Di Ryter joined FLC in 2015. Ryter’s experiences and interests in teaching social sciences education focus on awareness and concern for diverse learners, multiculturalism, social justice, and global connections.

Ryan Schwarz
from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of Biology
and Tenure

Ryan Schwarz specializes in honeybee biology and health and invertebrate immune systems.

Stacey Sotosky
from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of English
and Tenure

Stacey Sotosky specializes in documentary filmmaking, multimedia production, motion graphics and animation, media literacy, broadcast journalism, cultural studies, interdisciplinary studies, and performance cinema.

Lorraine Taylor
from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of Tourism & Hospitality Management
and Tenure

Lorraine Taylor joined FLC in 2013. Her research interests include tourist decision making, niche tourism, marijuana tourism, spurious loyalty, and vacation guilt.

Melissa Thompson
from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of Health Sciences
and Tenure

Melissa Thompson joined FLC in 2013. Her research currently focuses on understanding how different types of sensory feedback influence our walking and running patterns, how different clinical and orthopedic conditions (such as diabetes mellitus and joint fusions) alter gait, and how terrain and footwear influence running mechanics and the implications for injury.

Natasha Tidwell
from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of Psychology
and Tenure

Natasha Tidwell joined FLC in 2014. She is an editorial board member for Cogent Behavioral Science and an ad-hoc reviewer for a number of other journals. She specializes in advising undergraduate research projects in the areas of psychology and social psychology.

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