New faculty join Paul Smith’s College

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

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

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

The new faculty and instructors are:

¯ Michelle Casson, chemistry lab instructor, holds a Bachelor of Science from SUNY College at Fredonia, including majors in Biology and Medical Technology. Although she has extensive experiences working in local science laboratories, Casson comes to Paul Smith’s 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 13 years of age with her outdoor adventure group from school.

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

¯ Amanda Cording, associate professor of environmental science, holds a Ph.D. in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Vermont. She joins the college from the University of Hawaii, where Cording is a research affiliate in the Water Resources Research Center and a senior ecological designer at EcoSolutions, LLC. Cording’s research is focused on maximizing the pollutant removal mechanisms in ecological design features such as bioretention, permeable pavement and constructed wetlands. She has worked in the environmental field for 20 years, in both the private and nonprofit sectors, including projects in the northeastern U.S. as well as Colorado, India, Norway, Africa and most recently Hawaii.

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

¯ Camille Goethals, horse barn manager and teamster, holds a Bachelor of Arts 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 renowned for her performances in the draft horse arena.

¯ Emily Grausgruber, associate professor of biology, holds a Ph.D. in Fisheries Biology from Iowa State University. Grausgruber brings extensive experience in teaching, along with a history in both securing grants and publishing research.

¯ Joe Henderson, associate professor of social sciences, holds 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, holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Mathematics from Concordia University. A known quantity at Paul Smith’s College, Linehan has served in multiple teaching capacities, especially in the Natural Sciences Department, for nearly 20 years.

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

¯ Catherine Pelkey, assistant professor of mathematics, holds her Master of Science in Special Education and Grades 7-12 from SUNY Plattsburgh. While she supported TRiO at Paul Smith’s College 10 years ago, Pelkey returns to Paul Smith’s with experiences working with students in the mathematics 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 more recent experiences teaching in higher education, Sheach brings extensive knowledge and nearly two decades of experience in international humanitarian disaster response.

¯ Lizz Schuyler, assistant professor of environmental science, holds a Ph.D. in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University. While she has developed excellent teaching and publishing skills, Schuyler brings a wealth of work experiences, engaging in positions like wildlife biologist, field ecologist, and Sage Grouse technician. The focus of her research is to understand how disturbance influences habitat use and population dynamics of harvestable or vulnerable species. Schuyler’s enthusiasm for the great outdoors began as 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 Paul Smith’s College in order 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 we are committed to attracting a vast cross section of scientists to teach in our experiential learning model. This will only enhance the student experience.”


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