Assumption College Announces Faculty Promotions and Tenure Awards

Eight members of the Assumption College faculty have been promoted; in addition, seven faculty members, including three of those who were promoted, have been granted tenure.

“I am pleased to announce the tenure awards and promotions of this esteemed group of educators and scholars – faculty members who are engaged and committed to the success of each Assumption student,” said Assumption College Provost and Academic Vice President Francis Lazarus. “They represent Assumption’s tradition of academic excellence balanced with real-world knowledge, skills and experience.”


Arlene DeWitt, assistant professor of marketing and organizational communication, has been granted tenure. She joined the faculty in 2005 and has an M.B.A. from Clark University, Graduate School of Management, and a B.A. in American studies from Elmira College (NY). She has published in Understanding and Managing Diversity, The American Journal of Business Education and Global Business Today and has also presented her research and published in national and international conference proceedings in Spain, Belgium and Austria. She is responsible for the organizational communication major and the internship in business course. Co-founder of the College’s Women’s Leadership Forum, DeWitt also taught in the Tagaste Program for first-year students.

Esteban Loustaunau, associate professor of Spanish, has been granted tenure. Loustaunau directs the Latin American Studies Program and has served on numerous Assumption committees and teaching assignments in the Honors, Community Service Learning, and Women’s Studies programs. He began teaching at Assumption in 2008 and holds a B.A. from Carleton College (Minn.) and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Ohio State University. He is widely published in professional journals and has presented at conferences and conventions and previously taught at Ohio State and Augustana College (Ill.).

Daniel Maher, associate professor of philosophy, has been granted tenure. A specialist in ancient philosophy and medical ethics, Maher has taught an array of undergraduate courses since his appointment at Assumption in 2008. He has been widely published in professional journals and made numerous presentations of his work. Maher earned B.A. and Ph.L. from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., (CUA) and a Ph.D. from Boston College. He has teaching experience from Ave Maria University (Fla.), CUA and Providence College.

Carrie Nixon, associate professor of art, has been granted tenure. Nixon began teaching at Assumption in 2008. She earned a B.A. from Yale University and M.F.A. from Wayne State University (MI). A talented and accomplished artist, she has shown her work in numerous exhibitions throughout the eastern U.S. and several foreign countries. Nixon has served on several College committees and donated her considerable talent to various local organizations.

Tenured and promoted to associate professor:

Molly Flynn has been promoted to associate professor of philosophy and granted tenure. A faculty member since 2006, Flynn holds a B.A. from Mount Saint Mary’s College (Maryland) and a M.A. and Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.). She has taught several philosophy courses, as well as offerings in the Tagaste (First-year) and Honors programs. Flynn has published numerous articles in professional publications, as well as several book chapters.

Toby Norris has been promoted to associate professor of art history and granted tenure. A member of the faculty since 2006, Norris earned a B.A. from Magdalen College, University of Oxford; a M.Phil. from Glasgow University (Scotland) and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. He previously taught at Northwestern and DePaul University. He has published articles in scholarly journals and made presentations at professional conferences.

Smriti Rao has been promoted to associate professor of economics and granted tenure. Rao joined the faculty in 2006. She earned a B.A. from Birla Institute of Technology (India) and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Rao previously taught at Bates College and has taught numerous courses in economics and global studies at Assumption. She has served the College extensively through various committees and by serving as the chair of the Fulbright Committee for the past two years, helping four students win Fulbright awards during that time. She has also been published in scholarly journals and made presentations at professional conferences.

Promoted to associate professor:

Nanho Vander Hart has been promoted to associate professor of special education. Chair of Assumption’s Department of Education and director of special education, Vander Hart has taught at Assumption since 1999. She earned a B.A. from Ewha Women’s University (Seoul, Korea), an M.A. from the University of Northern Colorado and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. She has served on many Assumption committees and has had her works published in scholarly journals.
Promoted to professor:

Colleen Fahy has been promoted to professor of economics. Fahy began teaching at Assumption in 1992. She earned a B.A. from St. John Fisher College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from State University of New York at Binghamton. Published and presented widely, she has served the College on numerous committees and has been active in the community as well. Fahy has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at Assumption and has received several Faculty Development Grants to fund her research. She previously held teaching positions at SUNY-Binghamton, Catholic University of America and Clark University.

Paula Fitzpatrick has been promoted to professor of psychology. A faculty member since 1995, Fitzpatrick holds a B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. She served as director of the College’s Honors Program and has chaired the Psychology Department. Fitzpatrick has extensive experience in publishing her works in scholarly journals and presenting research at professional conferences. She has served on several Assumption committees and earned many Faculty Development Grants. Fitzpatrick previously taught at UConn.

Nalin Ranasinghe has been promoted to professor of philosophy. Ranasinghe joined the faculty in 2001 and has published and presented widely. He earned an M.A. from the University of Dallas and a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University and authored The Soul of Socrates in 2000 and Socrates in the Underworld: On Plato’s Gorgias in 2009. He teaches courses about ethics, Plato and the philosophy of history, among others.

Owen Sholes has been promoted to professor of biology. A faculty member since 1978, Sholes has served Assumption as chair of the faculty senate, chair of the Department of Natural Sciences (twice) and on numerous committees, including those for curriculum enhancements and new course development. He holds an A.B. from Carleton College and a Ph.D. from Cornell University. The recipient of several Faculty Development Grants, his works have been published in numerous scholarly journals and he has made presentations at many professional conferences.

Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College @AssumptionNews