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Carleton College Announces Faculty Promotions

June 24, 2013

The Carleton College Board of Trustees recently approved the promotion of eight faculty members, effective September 1, 2012.

The following faculty have been promoted from associate professor to professor: Stacy N. Beckwith, professor of Hebrew; Amy Erickson, professor of physical education, athletics, and recreation; Gretchen E. Hofmeister, professor of chemistry; David R. Musicant, professor of computer science; Lori K. Pearson, professor of religion; and Linda Rossi, professor of art.

Stacy N. Beckwith, professor of Hebrew, earned a BA in international relations and Hebrew from the University of Toronto and a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Minnesota. She completed research for her doctoral dissertation at the University of Tel Aviv with the support of a Fulbright fellowship. Her scholarship focuses on expressions of collective memory and national identity in modern Israeli, Palestinian, and Iberian Spanish literature. Beckwith established Carleton’s full time Hebrew program in 1999 and was at the forefront of bringing Arabic to the College in 2007. In 2010 she helped to create the Department of Middle Eastern Languages and has served as chair for the past three years. She has also directed Carleton’s program in Judaic Studies since 2008.

Amy Erickson, professor of physical education, athletics, and recreation, earned her BA in psychology from Moorhead State Univeristy and a MS in kinesiology from Michigan State University. She came to Carleton in 1998 as the interim head softball coach, later assuming a full-time faculty position later that year. Erickson teaches badminton, weight training for women, theory of coaching and rock climbing. Outside of the classroom, her teaching also extends to the softball field where she is Carleton’s all-time winningest softball coach, entering this season with 166 wins, more than double the next closest total. Erickson has guided the Knights to double-digit win totals for nine straight seasons, a new program standard.

Gretchen E. Hofmeister, professor chemistry, earned her BA in chemistry from Carleton College (Class of 1985) and her PhD in synthetic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. She was an NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a faculty member at Gustavus Adolphus College before coming back to Carleton College in 2002. Her research is focused on developing and understanding catalytic processes in order to improve the selectivity and efficiency of chemical transformations and reduce the adverse impacts of chemistry on the environment. In the classroom, Her primary love is teaching organic chemistry, where she emphasizes reactivity and understanding reaction mechanisms. She has developed laboratory experiments at the intermediate and advanced levels that are designed to provide students with research-like experiences and expose them to sophisticated and modern synthetic techniques. Hofmeister also currently serves as the chair of the chemistry department at Carleton.

David R. Musicant, professor of computer science, earned a BS in mathematics and a BS in physics from Michigan State University, and MS in computer science, an MA in mathematics, and a PhD in computer sciences from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Musicant came to Carleton in 2000, and currently serves as department chair for his third year. He teaches a variety of computer sciences classes, including both introduction to computer science and data structures, and specializes in teaching the upper-level electives of artificial intelligence, data mining, database systems. He has also taught programming languages for ten years. Musicant’s research in data mining and machine learning is driven by a passion for uncovering secrets hidden in large sources of data, with a particular interest in doing so within interdisciplinary applications. He has collaborated with atmospheric scientists in studying datasets of airborne aerosol particles, which are known to contribute to climate change. He has also worked extensively with Wikipedia in a variety of capacities, studying how it has worked historically from a social dynamics perspective, and he has also built tools to help improve the quality of its content. A Wikipedia-related paper he collaborated on recently won the best paper award at an important conference in the field, and two of his past research students have gone on to win National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

Lori K. Pearson, professor of religion, earned her BA from St. Olaf College in philosophy and religion and her MTS and ThD from Harvard Univeristy. Pearson taught at Luther College before coming to Carleton in 2003, where she specializes in the history of Christian theology with particular interests in 19th-century German Protestant thought, modern philosophy of religion, and contemporary theories about culture, race, and gender. For six years, Pearson has been chair of the Nineteenth-Century Theology Group of the American Academy of Religion. At Carleton, Pearson’s teaching focuses on a wide range of topics in the study of Christianity, including historically-oriented courses on the New Testament and the Protestant Reformation, and thematic courses on modern Christian theology in relation to questions of truth, religious pluralism, power, and liberation. She also contributes to the programs in European studies, women’s and gender studies, and African and African American studies.

Linda Rossi, professor of art, earned a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Minnesota and an MFA in photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Prior to coming to Carleton, Rossi designed and headed the photography program at the U of M’s College of Visual Arts. For 15 years she taught in the media studies undergraduate and graduate programs at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) in addition to the Philadelphia College of Art, the University of Minnesota and the American School in London. At Carleton, she teaches introductory and advanced film and digital imaging, color photography, and experimental photography. Rossi has worked as an installation artist since 1977 when she presented electronic sculptures and photographs at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in their photography gallery. As a multi-disciplinary artist, she has created theatrical works with Laotian Hmong performers for the Minnesota History Center and a video and sculptural installation with several Russian poets for Intermedia Arts. She has exhibited nationally and internationally at such venues as the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran; the Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum; and the Sol Mednick Gallery in Philadelphia. Rossi is the recipient of two Minnesota State Arts grants, three McKnight Foundation grants, and two Jerome Foundation grants. Rossi’s work is in numerous permanent collections including those of the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts and the Cray Foundation. Her work has been published and reviewed in an assortment of periodicals, including The World of Design, International Quarterly Illustrated Journal, Aperture’s “The Making of a Collection,” and “Fresh Air” on National Public Radio. Rossi currently serves as chair of the Department of Art and Art History

The following faculty have been promoted from assistant professor to associate professor: Luciano Henrique Battaglini, associate professor of physical education, athletics, and recreation; and Robert S. Carlson, associate professor of physical education, athletics, and recreation.

Luciano Henrique Battaglini, associate professor of physical education, athletics, and recreation, earned his BS in psychology from Oklahoma Christian University and his MS in Family Science from Oklahoma State University. He began teaching at Carleton in 2007, where he also serves as the head coach of the women’s tennis team. The team has flourished under his leadership, winning the 2011-2012 MIAC championship and receiving the ITA All-American Academic Award and advancing to the NCAA national tournament. Battaglini is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2011 Wilson/ITA Division III National Coach of the Year award. In the classroom, he specializes providing students with a sociological, psychological, and philosophical framework to address contemporary athletic issues such as performance-enhancing drug use, Title IX, and the role of athletics in society.

Robert S. Carlson, associate professor of physical education, athletics, and recreation, received a BA in political science from St. Olaf College and an MEd from Loyola University in Chicago. In 1997 he came to Carleton to serve as the head men’s soccer coach. Under his leadership, the men’s soccer program has won MIAC titles in four of the last six years. In 2008 he was voted National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) Regional Coach of the Year and in 2007 and 2008 he was named MIAC Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year. Carlson has been equally successful in the classroom, embracing Carleton’s distinctive culture and serving as “a great ambassador for Carleton sports.”

For more information, contact the Carleton College Dean of the College Office at (507) 222-4303.