Academic Affairs | St. Lawrence University

Academic Affairs


Welcome to the Academic Affairs webpage! We are responsible for the supervision of recruitment of faculty, curricula, assessment, and academic responsibilities of faculty, as well as the budgetary supervision of all academic departments.

Newly Appointed Faculty Fall 2019

Dr. Mark Anders comes from George Mason University where he was an associate professor. Prior to that he was a professor at the US Military Academy at West Point, and for 26 years a professor at Columbia University. He is a geologist who works on faulting and earthquake mechanics and holds a 1989 PhD in Geology from the University of California at Berkeley.

Ms. Jennifer Baker comes to St. Lawrence as an Assistant Professor of Design for Performance and Communication Arts, from a Visiting Assistant Professor position at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Ms. Baker earned her MFA in Theatrical Design and Scenography from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2007. Her research focus involves professional work in theatre, opera and film mediums incorporating visual arts elements and techniques. She will be teaching introductory courses in aspects of theatre ranging from Theatrical Design to Stage Makeup Design.

Ms. Sarah Beck is coming to St. Lawrence as a Visiting Instructor in Performance and Communication Arts. Sarah will earn her Ph.D. in Communication with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Culture from CU Boulder in late summer of 2019. Her research focuses on worldmaking within queer communities. She will be teaching several introductory courses, as well as a seminar focusing on queer everyday life this fall.

Dr. Dorcas Dennis comes to St. Lawrence University as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Religious Studies from a research stint at Florida International University. Dr. Dennis earned her PhD degree in Religious Studies from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand in 2017. Her research area is African and African Diaspora religions. She focuses on the trans-continental flows African/African Diaspora religions are involved in, their historic and contemporary expressions, and their roles in identity creation and performance in communities in Africa and her diasporic extensions in North America and the Caribbean Islands. 

Dr. Neil Forkey has been a member of the Canadian Studies Department since 1998.  He offers courses in Canadian history, and on Québec, and Canadian-American relations.  A specialist in North American environmental history, he is the author of two books and eight articles in the field.  His most recent book, Canadians and the Natural Environment to the Twenty-First Century (University of Toronto Press, 2012) was recognized by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title.  He is currently working on a history of environmental activism in the St. Lawrence River watershed, c. 1950s-2000s.  He is the chair of the department and also serves on Faculty Council.

Dr. Sandhya Ganapathy is an assistant professor in the interdisciplinary Global Studies department. She is a cultural anthropologist by training and was previously a member of the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Her research and teaching interests examine reproductive justice, human-environmental relationships and the ways that bodily and terrestrial landscapes are shaped by settler colonial pasts and presents. Sandhya's scholarship has been supported by grants from the Wenner Gren Foundation, the Institute for Research in the Humanities (UW Madison), and the Mellon Wide Angle Learning Grant in Health Humanities, and she has published her work in top-tiered journals including American Anthropologist and Social Analysis. Sandhya is excited to join the tenure stream faculty at SLU, and contribute to the institutions reputation for exemplary teaching and programmatic development. In her free time, Sandhya enjoys exploring the outdoors with her husband and son.

Dr. Matt Higham earned his PhD in Statistics from Oregon State University in 2019. He joins the St. Lawrence Math, Computer Science, and Statistics department as an Assistant Professor in Statistics. Dr. Higham enjoys research problems in the field of ecological statistics and looks forward to teaching statistics courses for the university.

Dr. Aaron Iverson comes to St. Lawrence University as an Assistant Professor in Environmental Studies after working as a postdoctoral associate at Cornell University. Dr. Iverson earned his PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Michigan in 2015. Dr. Iverson's research focus is agroecology, where he is particularly interested in how agricultural systems can be managed for biodiversity conservation and human livelihood. In his first years, he will be teaching sustainable agriculture, the ecology of agroecosystems, and intro to environmental studies.

Dr. Mert Kartal earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014 and served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for five years.  Earlier this year, he was a guest researcher at the University of Gothenburg’s Quality of Government Institute.  Dr. Kartal’s research focuses on international organizations and good governance. As an Assistant Professor in Government at St. Lawrence, Dr. Kartal will teach a number of courses on international relations as well as a research seminar on political corruption.

Dr. Sookyoung Lee comes to St. Lawrence as an Assistant Professor in English from a postdoctoral fellowship at Connecticut College followed by a lectureship at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. Dr. Lee earned her PhD in English from UC Berkeley in 2015. She works on British and Anglophone literatures throughout the 20th century. She will be teaching survey and methods courses as well as a seminar on global modernism.

Dr. Erica Morrell comes to St. Lawrence University as an Assistant Professor in Sociology from postdoctoral and visiting positions at Middlebury College. Dr. Morrell earned her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Sociology from the University of Michigan in 2016. Her research focuses on environmental justice, activism, and knowledge production. She will primarily be teaching environmental sociology courses in the Department of Sociology and supporting the Sociology-Environmental Studies Major.

Dr. Amanda Oldacre comes to SLU as an Assistant Professor in Chemistry after her post-doctoral research at Lehigh University. Dr. Oldacre earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from SUNY Buffalo in 2018. Dr. Oldacre's research focuses on using supramolecular structures at catalysts for small molecule activation and to degrade organic pollutants. She will be teaching general and environmental chemistry.

Dr. Lucia Pawlowski hails from Minnesota, where she earned her PhD in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Minnesota in 2012.  After serving as Assistant Professor of English at the University of St. Thomas, she begins this fall as the Director of the Munn Center for Rhetoric and Communication, known on campus as the WORD Studio, where all your students can seek support in writing, reading, research, oral communication, and visual design.

John Payne is our new Director of Libraries. He comes to us from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, where he served as Director of Library and Information Services for 13 years.  During his time there he also served as chair of the college’s strategic planning committee and accreditation steering committee. He previously worked as Associate Director of Libraries at Furman University in South Carolina and Dean of Learning Resources at Mars Hill College in North Carolina.  He has served terms as president of the Vermont Library Association, the Vermont Consortium of Academic Libraries, and the Mountain College Library Network.  John has a bachelor’s in European History from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a master’s in library science from the University of South Carolina, with additional coursework in medieval history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He has taught courses in history, humanities, and computer science, including “Faith and Reason in the European World” and most recently “Medieval Science and Magic.”  John is a North Carolina native, and says he considers himself an expatriate Southerner.  His personal interests include ancient and medieval history, alternative music, and speculative fiction.

Dr. Jacqueline Pinkowitz comes to St. Lawrence as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Film and Representation Studies, having recently completed her doctorate in Media Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research centers on cultural and industrial histories of popular media in relation to identity and difference, focusing especially on race, region, and gender. She will be teaching several introductory Film Studies classes as well as a course on blackness in American film and television.

Ms. Niu (Christine) Qingqing comes to St. Lawrence as a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Chinese teacher from Henan University of Economics and Law, China. Miss Niu earned her Master’s Degree in English Literature and Linguistics from Henan University in 2014. Miss Niu’s research focus is English Linguistics. She will be teaching a number of advanced courses on Chinese.

Ms. Kate Salathé  joined the Libraries & Information Technology division as Systems Librarian in July 2019, where her new role includes evaluating, managing, and supporting the use of the integrated library systems, including the online catalog and discovery platforms. She has been at St. Lawrence since 2016, having previously served as the Assistant Director of the Brewer Bookstore. Kate received her undergraduate degree in zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University, and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Dr. Alice Tarun comes to St. Lawrence as an Assistant Professor in Biology after faculty positions at SUNY Alfred State College of Technology and the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Tarun earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley and was originally from the Philippines. Dr. Tarun’s research focus is on the analysis of soil and plant root microbial community (microbiome) and development of bacterial biosensors. She will be teaching a two-semester course in General Biology and a major- level course in Genomics.”

Ms. Rebecca Terry joins St. Lawrence as an instructor in the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics.  Rebecca earned an M.S. in 2016 and is completing her Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Utah.  Rebecca's research interests are in applied mathematics, particularly in the areas of mathematical biology and the mathematics of planet earth.  She will be teaching a variety of mathematics courses, including Calculus this fall.

Professor Joe Wilkins comes to St. Lawrence as the Viebranz Visiting Professor of Creative Writing from Linfield College. Professor Wilkins earned his M.F.A. from the University of Idaho in 2007. He is the author of a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers, and three poetry collections, including When We Were Birds, winner of the 2017 Oregon Book Award in Poetry. His debut novel, Fall Back Down When I Die, praised as “remarkable and unforgettable” in a starred review at Booklist, is now available from Little, Brown. He will be teaching creative writing courses and a course on the literature of contemporary rural America.

Dr. Shuwei (Jolly) Zhang comes to St. Lawrence as an Assistant Professor in Economics. Dr. Zhang earn her Ph.D. in Economics from Auburn University in 2019. Dr. Zhang’s research focus is fiscal & monetary policy and time series. She will be teaching money and banking as well as co-teaching the Fed Challenge.