Redefining the Classroom

New faculty bring academic talent, years of work experience

Posted: August 30th, 2014

NEW FACES FOR 2014 - Faculty who are joining Lake Superior State University this fall pose for a group photo during a break in their orientation. Front row, from left, are Zakaria Mahmud (engineering), Heather Shay (sociology), Marta Diaz (business), Lloyd Eddy (arts and humanities), Lucas Kirby (aquatic ecology), David Leach (engineering), and Jude Rariden (criminal justice). In the back row, Kevin Kapuscinski (biology), Michael Everett (EMS), Sandra Allen-Cary (nursing), Thomas Tobin (geology), Shellie Masters (business), and James Allen (psychology). (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. - Who can restore aquatic macro-invertebrates, ponder the depths of astrobiology, and make conversation over cocktails about the Confederate flag in South Carolina? A few of the 12 new faces - plus one familiar one - who signed on this fall as faculty at Lake Superior State University.

Kevin Kapuscinski began working for LSSU in July as co-director of the Aquatic Research Laboratory, and now joins the School of Biological Sciences as an assistant professor. Kapuscinski comes to LSSU from the State University of New York in Syracuse, and has also worked as a biologist for the states of Wisconsin and Montana. His holds a Ph.D. in ecology from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry; and a baccalaureate and a masters in fisheries from UW-Stevens Point. Kapuscinski is also associate editor of the North American Journal of Fisheries Management.

Marta Diaz signs on as a temporary instructor in LSSU's Lukenda School of Business. She holds a bachelor's in math from MIT, a master's of accountancy from Auburn University, and an MBA from U of M. She plans to complete a master's in finance by 2016. Diaz works as an independent government and business consultant.

Lucas Kirby is hired as a temporary instructor of aquatic ecology. He earned his master's in fisheries and wildlife biology and a doctorate in ecology from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. His research has primarily focused on the monitoring and restoration of fish, aquatic plants, and aquatic macro-invertebrates (insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and spiders) in Onondaga Lake, N.Y., which was once considered the most polluted lake in the United States.

Jude Rariden was appointed to assistant professor in criminal justice last January. Rariden earned a Ph.D. from Michigan State University, his master's from the University of Detroit, and a BA from the University of Michigan-Flint, all in criminal justice. Prior to his coming to LSSU, he was in charge of criminal investigations in Grand Blanc Township, Mich., where he retired in 2011 at the rank of captain.

Heather Shay joins LSSU as an assistant professor in sociology. Shay comes from North Carolina State University, where she recently earned her Ph.D. in sociology. She specializes in social psychology and social inequality. Shay's master's thesis at Florida Atlantic University explored the Confederate flag controversy in South Carolina. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Kentucky in psychology and sociology.

Thomas Tobin joins LSSU as a visiting assistant professor of geology. He graduated with a Ph.D. from University of Washington-Seattle in geology and astrobiology. His doctoral thesis investigated tracer isotopes from a mass extinction of some three-quarters of plant and animal species on Earth - including all non-avian dinosaurs - that occurred over a geologically short period of time 66 million years ago. Tobin acquired a bachelor's in geology at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn. Tobin grew up on the opposite end of Lake Superior, in Duluth, Minn.

James Allen joins the faculty as an assistant professor in the psychology. He recently concluded a one-year term as assistant professor in the psychology department at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. A native of Toronto, Allen, completed his undergraduate education at Wilfrid Laurier University and earned his master's of science and Ph.D. from the University of Victoria in British Columbia. Allen brings a strong background in developmental psychology and cultural psychology. He has worked in partnership with Indigenous communities in Canada to explore how young people’s cultural participation is related to a number of aspects of their cognitive and social development.

Michael Everett joins as an associate professor in the College of Arts, Letters, Social Sciences and Emergency Services. The Marquette, Mich.-native returns to the U.P. after four years in McCall, Idaho. Everett has more than 30 years in EMS education and holds both a paramedic and EMS Instructor/coordinator license in the State of Michigan. He has a strong interest in leadership and decision-making under duress, and hopes to continue his research in this area.

Sandra Allen-Cary joins LSSU as an assistant professor in nursing. Allen-Cary comes from Munson Home Health Care, where she was a nursing case manager for Antrim, Charlevoix and Otsego Counties. She also taught as an adjunct instructor in allied health at North Central Michigan College. Allen-Cary graduated with a master's degree from University of Cincinnati as a women's health nurse practitioner.

Zakaria Mahmud joins engineering as an associate professor. He has held research and teaching positions at North Dakota State University, Georgia Southern University, and Texas A&M University. Mahmud is originally from Bangladesh and has been living in this country for the past 16 years. His background is in experimental fluid mechanics with specialization in aerodynamic flow control.

Shellie Masters joins as temporary instructor in the Lukenda School of Business. She is an LSSU graduate and long-time resident of Sault Ste. Marie. Masters brings a strong background in sales, management, and marketing. She has been active in local business and in the financial services industry for most of her career.

David Leach accepts a position as instructor of mechanical engineering and engineering technology. Leach previously worked six years for the LSSU Product Development Center. Prior to that, he spent 12 years in the car industry, specializing in product development, program management, and quality systems engineering. A native of Pickford, Mich., and a graduate of Michigan Tech University with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, he is currently pursing a master's in mechanical engineering through MTU.

Lloyd Eddy joins as an assistant professor of arts and humanities in LSSU's College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences. He holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Siena Heights University as well as a master of fine arts from the prestigious Cranbrook Academy of Art. Eddy has been teaching college art, painting, drawing, design, foundations, figure drawing, humanities, and other courses for almost twelve years. He is a practicing fine artist and has exhibited nationally.


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