College awards tenure to seven faculty

TJ Watkins

The College announced on Jan. 6 that seven professors will be receiving tenure effective July 1, 2020: Michelle Apotsos, art; Corinna Campbell, music; Charlie Doret ’02, physics; Susan Godlonton, economics; Leo Goldmakher, mathematics; Pamela Harris, mathematics; and Greg Phelan, economics. The Board of Trustees had previously voted to appoint Nelly Rosario for tenure on Oct. 17, 2019, with the appointment retroactively taking effect on July 1, 2019.

Apotsos is the author of Architecture, Islam, and Identity in West Africa: Lessons from Larabanga.  She teaches on Islamic architecture in Africa, as well as African art history and practice. Prior to her work at the College, she was a research associate at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art.

Campell is an ethnomusicologist whose research has centered around Maroon communities in Suriname. Her interest in musical traditions spans across Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Doret does research at the forefront of experimental physics regarding simple atomic and molecular systems. As part of his research, he has trapped ions, making him one of the few to have done so in a liberal arts college research program.

Godlonton, a microeconomist, has studied how preventative care can reduce rates of HIV transmission. Her previous field research in Malawi, Burkina Faso, Rwanda and Senegal has frequently involved students at the College.

Goldmakher is a number theory scholar who focuses on analytic number theory and character sums. 

Harris has extensively researched algebra and combinatorics, with awards from the National Science Foundation and the Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics. She has organized events for the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science’s national conference.

Phelan has conducted research in macroeconomics, financial theory, economic theory and international finance. He often co-authors articles with students.

Rosario is the author of Song of the Water Saints: A Novel, among other works. Her research includes fields as diverse as creative writing, world literature, history, graphic novels, archival studies and data visualization. Her courses at the College cover Latina/o identities and creative writing.

The newly-tenured professors report that their interactions with students have inspired their scholarship. Students have pushed “the boundaries of numerous disciplines in transformative ways, playing a direct role in shaping future knowledge,” Apotsos said.

Several professors expressed interest in expanding and refining their courses and other academic pursuits. Apotsos and Rosario said they are working to develop more interdisciplinary courses, while Apotsos additionally plans to rework her system of course evaluation so as to put less pressure on grades. Phelan is developing a new class on advanced topics in economic theory, and Rosario’s main goals are fourfold: to write more, to finish pending book projects, to develop interdisciplinary courses and to help foster visionary writers.