New Professors Join Paul Smith’s College | News, Sports, Jobs

New cohort of faculty and instructors among the most diverse in the university’s history. (photo provided)

PAUL SMITHS — Paul Smith’s College has recently hired 12 professors and instructors.

The incoming faculty and instructors are among the most diverse in the university’s history, with eight of the 12 new hires being women in a traditionally male-dominated field.

The new teachers and instructors are:

¯ Michelle Casson, a chemistry lab instructor, has a Bachelor of Science from SUNY College in Fredonia, which includes minors in biology and medical technology. Although she has extensive experience working in local science labs, Casson comes to Paul Smith from the Saranac Lake Central School District, where she was a teaching assistant. Casson first explored the Adirondack Park while hiking the high peaks at age 13 with her school outdoor adventure group.

¯ Matt Clemens, Associate Professor of Biology, has a Ph.D. in Geology from Southern Methodist University. As a paleontologist who has described new fossil species of frogs, Clemens will share his knowledge with his students in Chordate Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy courses this year. His paleontological fieldwork included jobs in the United States, Canada, and Ethiopia excavating fossils ranging from Cretaceous horned dinosaurs to Miocene clawed frogs.

¯ Amanda Cording, an associate professor of environmental sciences, has a Ph.D. in Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Vermont. She joins college from the University of Hawaii, where Cording is a Research Affiliate at the Water Resources Research Center and a Senior Ecological Designer at EcoSolutions, LLC. Cording’s research focuses on maximizing pollutant removal mechanisms in green design features such as bioretention, permeable pavement, and constructed wetlands. She has worked in the environmental field for 20 years, both in the private and nonprofit sectors, including projects in the Northeast US, Colorado, India, Norway, Africa, and most recently, Hawaii.

¯ Alex K. George, assistant professor of forestry operations, has a Ph.D. in Forest Resources from the University of Maine. While he brings teaching experience in higher education, George also worked as a program officer in Uttar Pradesh, India, when he conducted wood product audits and made related recommendations. George will teach a variety of forest operation courses, including timber harvesting and forest production.

¯ Camille Goethals, a horse stable manager and team driver, has a bachelor’s degree in American and gender studies from the University of Notre Dame. In addition to her experiences as a high school teacher and summer camp counselor, Goethals brings years of experience as a 4H draft horse instructor, already recognized for her performances in the draft horse arena.

¯ Emily Grausgruber, associate professor of biology, has a Ph.D. in Fisheries Biology from Iowa State University. Grausgruber brings extensive teaching experience, along with a track record in both grantmaking and research publication.

¯ Joe Henderson, associate professor of social sciences, has a Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Interdisciplinary Environmental Education from the University of Rochester. His research focuses on climate change education and American political culture. In addition to serving as a member of the Saranac Lake Central School District Board of Education, Henderson is also a board member of the Adirondack Research Consortium.

¯ Kelly Linehan, Associate Professor of Mathematics, has a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Mathematics from Concordia University. A well-known figure at Paul Smith’s College, Linehan has served in multiple teaching capacities, most notably in the Department of Natural Sciences, for nearly 20 years.

¯ Marina Morandini, an assistant professor of conversational biology, has a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environment, with an emphasis in Wildlife Conservation and Management, from the University of Arizona. Morandini has worked extensively as an educator in both the K-12 and university settings, and has a publishing record related to the behavior of the Mount Graham red squirrel, which is an endangered species. More broadly, Morandini’s research interests include animal responses to disturbance and management techniques that focus on conservation. Her passion began while she was growing up in a small town in the middle of the Alps, and she hopes to foster a similar enthusiasm in her PSC students as they learn in the Adirondacks.

¯ Catherine Pelkey, assistant professor of mathematics, has her Master of Science in Special Education and Grades 7-12 from SUNY Plattsburgh. While supporting TRiO at Paul Smith’s College 10 years ago, Pelkey ​​returns to Paul Smith’s with experiences working with students in the math content area.

¯ Chris Sheach, assistant professor of disaster management, is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Fire and Emergency Management Administration from Oklahoma State University. In addition to his most recent teaching experience in higher education, Sheach brings extensive knowledge and nearly two decades of experience in international humanitarian response to disasters.

¯ Lizz Schuyler, assistant professor of environmental sciences, has a Ph.D. in Wildlife Sciences from Oregon State University. While she has developed excellent teaching and publishing skills, Schuyler brings a wealth of work experience, holding positions as a wildlife biologist, field ecologist, and Sage Grouse technician. Her research focus is understanding how disturbances influence habitat use and population dynamics of exploitable or vulnerable species. Schuyler’s enthusiasm for the outdoors began when she was a child growing up in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains, and she is happy to return to them.

“We are excited to have recruited some of the best and brightest in their respective fields to join Paul Smith’s College to strengthen our students’ academic experiences.” said Nicholas Hunt-Bull, president of Paul Smith’s College. “The diversity of our incoming faculty and instructors demonstrates that we are committed to attracting a broad cross-section of scientists to teach in our experiential learning model. This will only enhance the student experience.”

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