|Eight Lebanon Valley College Faculty Members to Retire in December
Eight Lebanon Valley College faculty members have chosen to participate in a generous Voluntary Early Retirement Program offered by the College this spring. Twenty-one faculty members were eligible for this benefit. The eight retiring faculty members will continue teaching full-time through the fall 2014 semester and some will continue beyond in part-time, adjunct roles. This extended transitional period will enable the eventual retirees to mentor their departmental colleagues, extending a long-time College tradition.
These faculty include Dr. Jean-Marc Braem, associate professor of French; Dr. Elizabeth French, assistant professor of education; Dr. Mark L. Mecham, chair and Clark and Edna Carmean Distinguished Professor of Music; Dr. Owen A. Moe, Vernon and Doris Bishop Distinguished Professor of Chemistry; Victoria Rose, assistant professor of music; Dr. David V. Rudd, Eugene C. Fish Distinguished Chair of Business and professor of business administration; Gail A. Sanderson, professor of accounting; and Thomas M. Strohman ’75, professor of music.
“Generations of successful LVC graduates, and current students, have been positively influenced by these outstanding teachers, mentors, and educational leaders,” said Dr. Lewis E. Thayne, president of Lebanon Valley College. “I look forward to their continued strong relationship with the College, our students, and alumni.”
“This is the perfect time for me to step away from the College and leave the Department of Business and Economics in the hands of a very talented faculty with great leadership under Dr. David Setley,” Dr. David Rudd said. “The department has met all the conditions to continue its Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accreditation for our undergraduate programs so we are clear until our re-affirmation self-study year in 2019-2020.”
While only the second time it has been offered in the last quarter century at Lebanon Valley College, Voluntary Early Retirement Programs have been offered, and even initiated by the faculty themselves, at many U.S. institutions of higher education. For example, Dickinson College has offered this benefit twice in recent years. These programs provide excellent opportunities for participating faculty to continue their personal and professional relationships with the College. It will also benefit the College’s strategic planning process, granting flexibility in program development and the evaluation of student demand.
“I plan to remain engaged with the Chemistry Department, in part by maintaining some level of research activity,” Dr. Owen Moe said. “I also plan to develop an interdisciplinary course in energy/climate change, a topic that has become a recent interest.”
“The option to offer this voluntary opportunity to our faculty is in line with best practices at colleges and universities nationwide,” noted Dr. Michael Green, vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty. “While I will miss working so closely with these impressive colleagues, I am pleased that they are excited about having more time to focus on their research, teaching, and performance interests.”
The retiring faculty members include:
Jean-Marc Braem, associate professor of French, joined the Lebanon Valley College faculty in 2002. He graduated from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, and completed a master’s degree and Ph.D. at Princeton University, where he was also an instructor of French. Braem teaches courses on all levels of Francophone language, culture, and civilization. He has written on censorship in French literature and the instructional use of films in French. His most recent publication discussed the influence of the Provence on the writing of the novelist Émile Zola.
He forged strong bonds with his students, such as alumnus and musician Freddie Long ’05, who said, “My relationship with Dr. Braem was indicative of countless relationships I was fortunate enough to have while at the College, and I have carried the impact of those relationships with me long after graduation.”
Elizabeth M. French, assistant professor of education, earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Mansfield University, and her doctorate from Widener University. She has also earned numerous education certifications. French teaches courses in special education and supervises student teachers, in addition to advising the Kappa Delta Pi education honor society and the Delta Alpha Pi honor society for students with disabilities, which she was instrumental in establishing at LVC.
Her research interests include disability service programs and participating students in higher education, and engaging student and faculty in learning and inclusionary practices. She is a member of the American Association of University Women, Council for Exceptional Children, National Association of Professional Women, Lebanon County Educational Honor Society, Kappa Delta Pi, and Delta Alpha Pi.
Mark L. Mecham, chair and Clark and Edna Carmean Distinguished Professor of Music, has chaired the Music Department successfully for 24 years and has done much to enhance the quality of the music program and the educational experiences for students. He completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music at the University of Utah and earned his D.M.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Conductor of the LVC Concert Choir and Chamber Choir, Dr. Mecham also serves as an adjudicator, clinician, and consultant. He was honored by the student body as the Educator of the Year during the 2012 Commencement and received the Thomas Rhys Vickroy Distinguished Teaching Award, the College’s highest teaching honor, in 1998.
“I consider myself fortunate to be one among hundreds of students Dr. Mecham has impacted throughout his tenure at LVC,” said Jon Wescott ’93. “As a member of both the Concert and Chamber Choirs, having indeed been part of the very first cohort is a point of personal pride. In turn, Dr. Mecham was among a select few who were most influential during my time at the College. His capacity to listen, empathize, and genuinely care extends well beyond both the choral room and classroom.”
Owen A. Moe, Vernon and Doris Bishop Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, completed his undergraduate education at St. Olaf College and earned his Ph.D. from Purdue University. He also served as a NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University. Moe’s research, in the area of biochemistry, uses kinetic methods to study catalysis at enzyme active sites. He also develops upper-level laboratory experiments involving mass spectral, chromatographic, and spectroscopic instrumentation.
He has educated hundreds of Lebanon Valley College during his professional career, which began at The Valley in 1973. Except for a visiting scientists post in 1981 and a visiting professor post in 1995 at the University of Delaware, Moe has devoted his teaching life to LVC. He received the prestigious E. Emmet Reid Award for Excellence in College Chemistry Teaching from the American Chemical Society, was named Camille and Henry Dreyfus Scholar by Dreyfus Foundation, and was presented with the College’s Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.
Victoria Rose, assistant professor of music, earned a bachelor of music degree from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University and a master of music degree from Towson State University. Teaching applied and class voice at The Valley since 1993, Rose is an active recitalist and oratorio soloist in Central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.
Rose has appeared as soloist for the Baltimore Choral Arts and Chamber Chorus, the Harrisburg Symphony, the Harrisburg Choral Society, the nationally known Susquehanna Chorale, the Alumni Chorale of Lebanon Valley College, the Central Pennsylvania Choral Festival, and Music at Gretna's Celebrate Bach Festival. She has been a featured soloist on four European tours, performing in Italy, Germany, England, Ireland, and Wales, with Masterworks Choral and Orchestra conducted by the late Dr. Pierce Getz, emeritus professor of music at LVC. Rose trained under the late Thomas Houser, an internationally known voice clinician, and remains a voice student of Ruth Drucker of the Peabody Conservatory and the prestigious Britten/Pears School of Music in England.
David V. Rudd, Eugene C. Fish Distinguished Chair of Business and professor of business administration, obtained his doctorate in marketing with a supporting field in public administration from George Washington University after an extensive career in business. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and an M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota. His experience in business includes five years as a research and manufacturing engineer, eight years in packaged goods marketing, and 20 years in direct marketing. He has worked for General Mills, a Fortune 500 company, and for several entrepreneurs, including the founder of The Sharper Image.
Along with numerous conference papers and presentations, he has published as a solo author in the Journal of Marketing Management and as co-author in the Case Research Journal. Rudd's major focus in teaching, especially the Principles of Marketing and Marketing Management classes, is to immerse students in the role of marketing manager in varying situations including preparing the students to market themselves and their careers. In May 2011, he was named Educator of the Year, which is voted on by the students. Then-student government president Ashten O’Brien ’11 presented the award, saying Rudd “is a dynamic professor who displays a love for LVC both in and out of the classroom… This enthusiastic professor certainly meets the mission of this historic liberal arts college with his investment in students’ academic and co-curricular lives.”
Gail A. Sanderson, professor of accounting, earned a bachelor’s degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an M.B.A. from Boston University. A Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.) and Certified Valuation Analyst (C.V.A.), Sanderson has professional experience in accounting, income tax, computer systems analysis and design, and business valuation and has been with the College since 1984.
She teaches courses in introductory financial, managerial accounting, intermediate accounting, advanced accounting, and government and nonprofit accounting, and develops a great rapport with her students. Alyssa Wargo ’11 named Sanderson her favorite instructor because “she teaches in a style that I liked and understood.” A champion of high-impact learning, Sanderson was instrumental in launching the College’s first short-term study abroad program in the Netherlands. She also developed a course, Business in the European Union, to better prepare her students for the annual study-abroad program.
Thomas M. Strohman ’75, professor of music, directs the Jazz Band and Sax Ensemble, teaches Orchestration, and gives private lessons in Saxophone and Jazz Studies. He is a founding member of the jazz ensemble "Third Stream." Strohman started playing piccolo at the age of six. Under the tutelage of his father, H. Herbert Strohman ’40, he studied flute, saxophone, and clarinet. Strohman continued his studies at Lebanon Valley College with Frank Stachow, eventually graduating with a B.S. in music education. In addition to earning a M.M. in Jazz Performance from Towson University, he has also studied with Joe Allard, Phil Woods, Walter Bishop, Jr., Adolphe Sandole, Charles DeLaney, and John Oberbrunner.
Strohman received the Nevelyn J. Knisley Award for Teaching in 1993 and was honored by the student body as Educator of the Year in 2004 and 2008.
As a freelance musician, he has performed for entertainers Patti Page, Al Martino, Sonny and Cher, Eddie Fisher, The Four Aces, Della Reese, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Vinton, Johnny Mathis, and Clay Aiken. Strohman also recorded for Johnny Winter and Dan Hartman. As a solo performer, he has had the pleasure of working with the following musicians: Bobby Rosengarten, Ira Sullivan, Buddy DeFranco, Al Grey, Steve Gilmore, Dave Stahl, David Schnitter, John Blake, Jonny Coles, Steve Rudolph, and John Von Ohlem. Strohman was inducted into the Central PA Friends of Jazz Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Lebanon County Musicians’ Hall of Fame in 2013.
Dr. Phil Billings, professor of English, and Jane Yingling, associate professor of education, retired after the spring 2014 semester.
Dr. Billings earned a B.A. from Heidelberg College and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Michigan State University. He taught world and American literature as well as poetry and fiction writing course. His publications include poems and articles in various magazines and three books of poems based on the lives of people in the immediate area.
Dr. Yingling earned a B.S. from Lock Haven University, an M.A. from Shippensburg University, and her Ph.D. from Marywood University. She served as assistant to the director of special education, oversaw required field experiences, and supervised student teachers. Her areas of interest include working with children with mild to moderate learning disabilities, inclusion, brain-based learning and resiliency, and literacy.