Surveys of our graduating seniors confirm the countless observations I hear from students: Alvernia’s faculty are knowledgeable, skilled as teachers, dedicated to students’ learning and exceptionally caring about each student as an individual. At the annual senior leaders’ dinner, I regularly hear about faculty members outside each student’s major whose courses were memorable and who have had a positive, personal impact.
None of this is surprising. All of us at Alvernia expect this of our faculty. And our faculty—to their credit—expect it of themselves.
Our students take none of this for granted. They recognize that the quality of our faculty’s effort is directly related to the quality of their Alvernia experience. In some fields, students know their faculty members have extensive practical experience, whether as counselors and clinical psychologists, healthcare professionals, business consultants, or other professional practioners.
But most students are not aware that many of their faculty members are productive scholars, with impressive accomplishments. They publish articles and deliver formal, invited addresses. A large number have also published books.
Recently, we recognized 15 faculty members who have authored books, an impressive number indeed for a faculty of our size with extensive teaching and other duties. So here is your chance to meet some interesting and distinguished faculty authors!
Within the past year, three of our talented young humanities professors—JOSH HAYES (Philosophy), KEVIN DONNELLY (History), and JANAE SHOLTZ (Philosophy and Women’s/Gender Studies)--have published well-received books.
• Josh’s area of interest is ancient philosophy, with emphasis on Aristotle. The subject of his innovative co-edited volume is Aristotle and the Arabic Tradition.
• Kevin teaches European and world history, including courses on the history of happiness, the history of science, World War I, and the global slave trade. His recent book is Adolphe Quetelet, Social Physics, and the Average Men of Science, 1796-1874.
• Janae is currently one of our two prestigious Neag Professors, a distinction that recognizes excellence in teaching and research. Her focus is on 20th century and contemporary philosophy, with special interest in social and political philosophy. Janae’s book is The Invention of a People: Heidegger and Deleuze on Art and the Political.
Two senior professors in philosophy—BONGRAE SEOK and SR. JACINTA RESPONDOWSKA—have multiple books.
• Sr. Jacinta has published two volumes in her Come Along series, We are Truth-Bound Volumes I and II. She is currently working on Volume III, We are Glory-Bound.
• Bongrae, another Neag Professor, has a new book, Embodied Moral Psychology and Confucian Philosophy, reflecting his interdisciplinary interests and expertise in Asian philosophy. It builds on seven previously published books.
Another humanities faculty member, TOM BIEROWSKI (English), author of Kerouac in Ecstasy: Shamanic Expression in his Writings, teaches a range of literature and writing courses and mentors many student writers.
Two psychology faculty members, ANA RUIZ and JUDY WARCHAL, collaborated on Service-Learning Code of Ethics, reflecting their pioneering commitment to this important pedagogy.
• Ana has also recently co-authored another book, Service Learning in Psychology: Enhancing Undergraduate Education for the Public Good. She teaches a range of courses in our psychology program.
• Judy is the lead faculty member in our counseling program and a licensed psychologist.
Another impressive collaboration involves three business professors, SCOTT BALLANTYNE, BETH BERRET, and MARY ELLEN WELLS. Their book Planning in Reverse: A Viable Approach to Organizational Leadership combines the trios’ academic expertise with their experience as practioners.
• Scott teaches finance and leadership courses and lends his expertise to departments such as education, healthcare science and nursing.
• Beth specializes in human resources.
• Mary Ellen teaches courses in law, negotiation, conflict resolution and accounting.
Similar combinations of technical expertise and field experience are reflected in the work of DOLORES BERTOTI (Physical Therapy and Athletic Training) and CHRIS WISE (Physical Therapy).
• Chris specializes in both his clinical practice and research endeavors in the subject of his second textbook, Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy: From Art to Evidence. • Dolores teaches courses for several departments in kinesiology, neuroscience, human biology and electrotherapy. Her co-authored textbook, Brunnstrom’s ClinicalKinesiology, is in its 6th edition. It and an earlier volume have been translated into multiple languages.
Two more scholars, both former Neag Professors, SPENCE STOBER (Biology & Leadership Studies) and DONNA YARRI (Theology), have published prolifically, both separately and together.
• Donna, a specialist in Christian ethics, writes and teaches on the ethical treatment of animals, popular culture, and the intersection of religion and science. She has penned books on topics including The Ethics of Animal Experimentation, and Kafka's Creatures.
• Spence’s interests include environmental sustainability and nature-centered leadership. He has two recent volumes—Transitions to Sustainability: Theoretical Debates for a Changing Planet (co-edited) and Nature-centered Leadership: An Aspirational Narrative (co-authored with Alvernia doctoral students Tracey L. Brown and Sean J. Cullen.) He’s also published God, Science, and Designer Genes: An Exploration of Emerging Genetic Technologies, co-authored with Donna.
So the next time you are facing a daunting writing assignment, students, take heart: you are in good company. There are authors all around you!