Redefining the Classroom

New faculty officially come aboard for fall semester

Posted: September 4th, 2012

NEW FACES FOR 2012 - Faculty who are joining Lake Superior State University this fall pose in front of the Cisler Center during orientation. Front row, left to right, are Robert Boston, Christopher Smith, Andrea Munoz-Hernandez, Martha Hutchens, Charla Gordon, Kelli Verdecchia, Catherine White, and Thu Nguyen. Back row, left to right, are Alexandru Herescu, Kevin Egan, John Adair, Mark Walton, Christopher Heth, Adam Mosey, Christopher Lee, and Elisa Muto. Not pictured are Frank Tridico, Alyssa Bancroft, Ashley Smith, Jaskirat Sodhi, Jennifer Hunter, and Norm Jahn. (LSSU photo by John Shibley)

A print-resolution photo that runs with the caption above can be found by clicking here.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Twenty-two new faces have signed on as faculty at Lake Superior State University for this fall.

Jennifer Hunter joins the School of Arts and Humanities as an assistant professor in theatre. She is coming from Mt. Hood Community College in Portland, Ore., where she has been teaching intro to theatre, theatre history, stage movement, and three levels of Acting theory. Outside of teaching, she was artistic director for ComedySportz, a national improvisational franchise. She also performed and directed with professional companies in the Portland area, including Vertigo Theatre, where she headed public relations and oversaw internships. Hunter holds a BFA from the University of Montana; an endorsement in English from Eastern Washington University, where she also obtained a master's in education with an emphasis in secondary education; and an MFA in directing from the University of Portland.

Frank Tridico has been hired as an assistant professor in LSSU's School of Criminal Justice, Fire Science, and EMS. He attained a baccalaureate in psychology, a hybrid bachelor of arts in criminology and sociology, along with a master of arts degree in race and ethnic relations from the University of Windsor. His Ph.D. in sociology with a minor in criminal justice comes from Wayne State University. Over the past 15 years, he has published several articles and books and has taught at Wayne State University, Western Michigan University, and Adrian College.

Alyssa Bancroft has been hired as a one-year temporary professor of geology in the School of Physical Sciences to replace Lew Brown, who retired this past year. Bancroft scheduled to complete her Ph.D. in Geology this year from Ohio State University. She holds an MS in geology from Ohio State University, and baccalaureates in geology and biology from LSSU. Her research interests are in conodont biostratigraphy and taxonomy. Recently she has been teaching courses at Ohio State.

Ashley Smith has been hired as a one-year temporary assistant professor in the School of Physical Sciences. Smith received her baccalaureate in human biology life sciences from the University of Toronto. She subsequently completed a master's in biology from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine & Laurentian University. She recently has been employed as an instructor for Algoma University, where she has been teaching courses in chemistry and biology.

Jaskirat Sodhi
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Jaskirat Sodhi joined the School of Engineering and Technology this past January as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering. He is a native of India, where he obtained a baccalaureate in aeronautical engineering from Panjab University, Chandigarh. Jaskirat earned his master's and doctoral degrees from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), where he developed mathematical models that predict how polymers and bio-materials that retain shape regardless of how much they are compressed. While gaining his doctorate, Sodhi taught courses in computer-aided engineering and design, system dynamics, and the kinematics of machinery. He also designed and assembled for an industrial client a toroidal gearbox that formed the heart of a submersible power generator.

Alexandru Herescu
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Alexandru Herescu joins the School of Engineering and Technology as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering. Herescu is a native of Romania. He is currently completing a doctorate through Michigan Technological University with the dissertation topic, “Two-phase flow in Microchannels: Morphology and Interface Phenomena." His master's degree from Purdue dealt with aerodynamics and low-gravity fluid mechanics. He is a trained aerospace engineer through the Bucharest Polytechnic Institute. Herescu's post-graduate research includes modeling and measuring microfluid dynamics in fuel cells (at MTU) and, at Purdue, wind tunnel tests on ways to reduce drag on the trailing edge of aircraft wings.

Christopher Lee
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Christopher Lee joins the School of Business as an associate professor of quantitative management. He earned his doctorate at the Saint Louis University with a major in decision sciences and a minor in finance. In addition to his work as a management consultant, Lee has held faculty posts at both Central Washington University and Pacific Lutheran University. Among other things, Lee's ongoing research interests include mathematically modeling the financial distress of tech start-up companies and study of the econo-physics behind international capital markets. He consults in areas of investment, management, and systems development services.

Robert Boston
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Robert Boston joins the School of Business as a temporary economics instructor for this academic year. He earned a master of science in finance (cum laude) from the University of Arizona. His thesis topic was “Arbitrage Profits in the Financial Futures Market.” In addition to holding several leadership roles in automotive sales in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Boston has served as an adjunct for LSSU between 1990 and 2010. He has served on the Board of Governors for Sault (Ont.) College, as well as membership on the school's audit and building and finance committees since 2011.

Kevin Egan
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Kevin Egan comes aboard as an instructor in LSSU's School of Criminal Justice, Fire Science, and EMS. He earned a baccalaureate from the University of Michigan. He has more than 25 years of EMS experience in Metropolitan Detroit. He is a certified critical care and special operations paramedic instructor coordinator, and will be leading our paramedic education and accreditation process. Egan is coming from Grand Rapids, Mich., where he was the EMS coordinator with the company Life EMS.

Norm Jahn
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Norm Jahn also joins LSSU's School of Criminal Justice, Fire Science, and EMS as an assistant professor. He earned a baccalaureate in criminal justice from Michigan State and a master's in public administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Jahn has more than 20 years of experience with the Las Vegas Police Department; he is a past police chief of a Wisconsin community for three years; and has many years of experience in private security. He has past teaching experience with LSSU, as well as UNLV, and the College of Southern Nevada.

Martha Hutchens
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Martha Hutchens has been hired as a tenure-track assistant professor of biology. Hutchens teaches LSSU's medical laboratory science program. She received her bachelor of science in medical technology from Michigan State in 2003, and her Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Michigan in 2008. She spent a few years in Tennessee as postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University, but came back up north and started teaching at Lake State, last January. Her most recent research at Vanderbilt explored how a human or mouse cell detects a pathogen and relays an alarm to the nucleus. Among other things, she helped refine a protein that modulates the alarm and reduces inflammation.

Adam Mosey
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Adam Mosey has been hired as a tenure-track assistant professor of chemistry. He received his baccalaureate in chemistry from Northern Michigan University in 2003 and was awarded a Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 2010. Upon completion of his Ph.D. studies, he joined the lab of Prof. Paul Floreancig at the University of Pittsburgh as a postdoctoral scholar working on the development of targeted drug delivery systems. Mosey also served as an instructor both at Michigan State University in 2008 and at Northern Michigan University during the 2008-2009 academic year. He is married to Dr. Thu Nguyen Mosey, who also was recently hired at LSSU.

Thu Nguyen
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Thu Nguyen has been hired as a one-year temporary assistant professor of chemistry in the School of Physical Sciences. She is from Minneapolis and received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn. She then went on to perform cancer research at the University of Minnesota for two years before heading to Michigan State University to obtain a Ph.D. in organic chemistry. After completing her graduate degree, she spent a year at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute as a research specialist.

Andrea Munoz-Hernandez
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Andrea Munoz-Hernandez has been hired as a tenure-track assistant professor in the School of Physical Sciences. She received her undergraduate degree in geology from the University of Sonora in Mexico. She then completed her master's in geology - also from the University of Sonora - and a master's and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University. She recently has worked for a private environmental engineering firm in Marquette and also has worked as an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Technological University.

Christopher Heth
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Christopher Heth completed his bachelor of science in education with a major in chemistry at Minot State University in 1999. After a couple years substitute teaching, he returned to MSU and completed a baccalaureate in chemistry in 2004, followed by a Ph.D. in materials chemistry from North Dakota State University in Fargo in 2010. Following grad school, Heth worked as a postdoctoral researcher at NDSU's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering before accepting a position teaching analytical chemistry at LSSU.

Christopher Smith
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Christopher Smith has been hired as a tenure-track assistant professor in the School of Mathematics and Computer Science. He is originally from Pickford, Mich., and received a baccalaureate in computer and mathematical sciences from LSSU in 1984. He went on to the University of Michigan where he received a master's of science in computer science and engineering. He spent more than four years in suburban Chicago working at Northrop-Grumman and Motorola before returning to graduate school in 1991. In 1996 he received a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Minnesota. He was previously an associate professor of computer science at Gonzaga University, an assistant professor of computer engineering at the University of New Mexico, and an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Colorado-Denver. He has published papers in computer vision, robotics, and wireless sensor networks.

Mark Walton
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Mark Walton has been hired as a tenure-track assistant professor in the School of Recreation Studies and Exercise Sciences. He received his undergraduate degree and master's degree in exercise science from Arkansas State University. He has completed all but his dissertation for a doctorate in human performance at Middle Tennessee State University. He comes to LSSU from the Georgia Public Schools where he has served as a strength and conditioning specialist and football coach. Prior to that, he worked at the University of Tennessee at Martin as an assistant professor in the department of Health and Human Performance, and a high school performance coach.

Kelli Verdecchia
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Kelli Verdecchia was hired on last fall as an assistant professor in the School of Nursing. She graduated from Lake State with a BS in nursing, and holds a master of science in nursing, in nursing leadership with a focus on education, from Regis University. Before coming to LSSU, she was a staff nurse in medical-surgical, critical care, oncology, and nephrology at War Memorial Hospital for 18 years and held the position of director of renal services for the last two years. Verdecchia holds memberships in the Sigma Theta Tau national honor society of nursing; the international honor society Alpha Kappa; the American Nephrology Association; and the National Renal Administrators Association.

Catherine White
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LSSU alum Catherine White has been hired as assistant professor in the School of Education. She earned her education specialist degree in educational administration and supervision, and a master's in learning disabilities from Northern Michigan University. She completed a bachelors degree in elementary education at Lake Superior State University. White has worked in a range of educational settings, from preschool through the post-secondary level. Prior to joining the Lake Superior State University faculty last fall, she was the special education supervisor at JKL Bahweting Anishnabe in Sault Ste Marie, Mich. Previously, she taught special education and was the Title I director at the Ojibwe Charter School in Brimley, Mich.

Charla Gordon
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Charla Gordon is hired as an assistant professor in the School of Nursing. Gordon is a registered dietician, certified diabetes educator, and a certified health education specialist. She holds a master of arts in health education from Central Michigan University with an emphasis in public health. Before coming to LSSU, she was the tribal nutritionist with the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Gordon has been teaching at LSSU as an adjunct professor since the Fall of 2009.

Elisa Muto
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LSSU alum Elisa Muto has been hired as a one year temporary instructor in the School of Biology to replace Dennis Merkel, who is on sabbatical this year. She received a technologist diploma in integrated resource management from Sault College in 2002, a bachelors in general biology from Lake Superior State University in 2005, and a master's in environmental biology from the University of Guelph in 2008. Since then, she has worked for both the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Canadian Forest Service. She also teaches as a seasonal Instructor at Algoma University.

John Adair
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John Adair come aboard with a one-year appointment as an assistant professor in criminal justice. Adair earned a baccalaureate in criminal justice from LSSU and a master's degree in public administration from Northern Michigan University. He recently retired from the Michigan Department of Corrections after 25 years of honorable service, where he worked in various security levels, including administrative segregation within five correctional facilities; completed numerous policy audits, leadership training, and staff/prisoner investigations; conducted many years of substance abuse/alcohol counseling; and completed numerous administrative support tasks relating to American Correctional Association (ACA) standards. Adair is also a Persian Gulf War veteran with the Michigan Army National Guard. He has been an adjunct instructor for LSSU for the past ten years.


CONTACTS: John Shibley, e-mail, 906-635-2314; Tom Pink, e-mail, 635-2315.