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Marietta College grants tenure to four faculty members PDF Print E-mail

howald-craigMarietta College’s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that four faculty members—Dr. Craig Howald, Marshall Kimball, Dr. Mark Schaefer and Bob Van Camp—will receive tenure.
They will officially become tenured on July 1 and become associate professors.

kimball-marshallThe Trustees also approved the promotion of Miranda Collins from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor in the Physician Assistant Studies Program.
The Marietta College Faculty Handbook explains tenure as something “awarded after at least five years of experience which may be a combination of years teaching at Marietta as well as at other institutions. During that time, the faculty member is reviewed several times to make sure they are doing the job they were hired to do.”
schaefer-markThe review process entails the professor being observed by the department chair, the Provost, and the College’s Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Committee. Student evaluations are also taken into strong consideration. And, the faculty member being reviewed is also required to prepare a portfolio including student evaluations, course materials, research and committee work.
Provost Dr. Rita Smith Kipp congratulates the faculty members granted tenure and thanks this year’s RTP for its diligence in the essential task of peer review.
Howald earned a Ph.D. from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College in Minnesota. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and he published six papers as a graduate student. He has been at Marietta College since 2004. Working with student assistants, he has constructed a research laboratory at Marietta College for studying the electronic interactions between molecules and metal surfaces on the atomic scale.
van camp-bog“Being granted tenure is a very empowering feeling, particularly in that it shows that other people appreciate the work that I do,” Howald said.
Kimball earned both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from Ohio University. Kimball is the Director of Bands and Instrumental Activities at Marietta College, after completing a 30-year career as a band director in the Ohio public school system. Kimball's duties include: Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, all Small Instrumental Ensembles, Recital Attendance, Applied Percussion lessons, Instrumental Methods Courses, Advanced Instrumental Conducting, and Music Education Courses. He served two years on the Curriculum Committee and is a member of the College’s Wellness Committee and serves as chair of the Technology Advisory Group Committee.
“I am thrilled with receiving tenure at Marietta College. It is a vote of confidence by colleagues, administration and the Board of Trustees that the work I have been doing is a respected element of my being,” Kimball said. “I love teaching and to have this confirmation and recognition of the quality of my work means a great deal to me.  It also gives some true respect to the instrumental music program on campus.”
collins-mirandaSchaefer has been at Marietta College since 2005. He teaches courses in International Relations, Foreign Policy Analysis, and International Political Economy. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Arts in Political Science at West Virginia University. He also earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from West Virginia University. Schaefer's research interests are in American grand strategy, alliances, and the causes of war. He is a co-sponsor of the Model UN team and the College’s pre-law advisor. He is also the coordinator of the College’s Pizza and Politics program.
“I am truly honored to have been granted tenure.  I look forward to a long career at Marietta,” Schaefer said.
Van Camp earned his Bachelor of Science from West Liberty State College. He then went on to earn a Master of Science at the University of West Virginia College of Graduate Studies and is currently working on a Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems at Nova Southeastern University. Previously, Van Camp held various positions at West Virginia University at Parkersburg, his most recent as a professor of computer science. He helps coordinate the new Information Systems major at Marietta College. He is also the principal investigator for an NSF grant in computational thinking.
“It is a privilege to teach here at Marietta College. It is gratifying to work with the students and watch them grow in their knowledge, problem-solving ability and as people,” Van Camp said. “In addition, the faculty and staff have been extremely supportive making this an excellent place to work.”

MC wraps up Excellence in Mathematics Teaching PDF Print E-mail

Marietta College officials agree the recently completed inaugural Excellence in Mathematics Teaching (EMT) program was a huge success as close to 60 teachers from grades kindergarten to seven wrapped up the 10 days of classes.

The program, intended to help reduce math anxiety and increase math knowledge, was developed by a team led by Dr. Laura J. Little, Instructional Technologist and Director of the Title III Grant at MC.

Evelyn Bryant, lecturer of education, Kathleen Finley, adjunct professor and teacher in Marietta City School system, and Elaine O'Rourke, instructor and director of field and clinical experience, taught the classes. Dr. Dave Mader, professor of computer science, Dr. Matt Menzel, assistant professor mathematics, and Dr. John Tynan, assistant professor mathematics and director of institutional research, provided lunchtime programming.

"As this is the first year of the program, there are always little bumps to work out," Little said. "However, the teachers and participants were terrific and I have gotten some positive feedback from them as well."

The program works with area principals and superintendents to recruit teachers from the region, as a way to strengthen ties between the College and Washington County schools and provide a valuable continuing education experience close to home. There were 57 teachers from 21 different public and private schools including: Marietta St. Mary's School, Lowell Elementary, Washington Elementary, Harmar Elementary, Putnam Elementary, Belpre Elementary and Newport Elementary to name a few.

"My favorite aspect of the program was the openness and the amount of good ideas I have to take back to the classroom," said Rebecca Johnson, of Warren Elementary. "The program exceeded all of my expectations by far."

Participants learned how to teach mathematics using inquiry methods, which are teaching and modeling children how to think and figure out mathematical concepts on their own, instead of just memorizing a bunch of rules out of the text.

"By the conclusion of the program the teachers should have an increased collegiality with their colleagues at other schools, that way they can have access to all of the best ideas across Washington County," Little said.

The participants will also meet on the Marietta College campus for two days in the fall so they can continue to work with these new methods after having taught them in their home classrooms.

Marietta's Potter ranks among best undergraduate math students PDF Print E-mail

Harrison Potter '08 is a math junkie.

He loves the challenge of solving a difficult equation or collaborating with fellow mathematicians on a perplexing problem.

It's not too often that the Marietta College student who is double majoring in math and physics is stumped. But that was before he took on the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition.

"I first asked about taking the Putnam Exam in the fall of my freshman year. So I asked Dr. (John) Tynan if I could take it expecting to hear that it was only for a very few kids in the country and that Marietta College didn't offer it," Potter said. "I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he could order the test so that I could take it, along with a few other math majors."

Excited but not sure what to expect, Potter's first attempt at one of the nation's most challenging math competitions was an eye-opener for the Rochester, N.Y., native.

"I was sure it couldn't possibly be as hard as everyone made it out to be," he said. "I was surprised at how puzzling most of the problems were. Often I didn't know how to start or even what was being asked. I enjoyed the experience, played with some of the problems, and managed to get two points total on the exam (out of 120 possible points)."

With a normal median score of 1 to 2, Potter's performance was actually commendable for a first attempt. He followed that performance with a 0 and 6 his sophomore and junior years.

Determined to give it his best effort this year, Potter excelled by scoring a 24 and placing among the top 500 in the nation in the 68th annual competition (out of 3,753 contestants).

"I really just wanted to prove to myself that the test was difficult, but not impossible," said Potter, a McCoy Scholar. "So I'm happy with my score. Better than another 6 or a 0 for sure. I am not eligible to take the test ever again, but I plan to one day work through most of the past Putnam Exam problems, as they can usually be found online and they are really very clever and interesting problems to work through most of the time. Often there are several ways to do them as well. It's good mental exercise."

Dr. Matt Menzel, assistant professor of mathematics, said Potter contacted him about doing an independent study in problem solving in the fall. They met weekly to go over competition problems and Potter's solutions.

"We talked about not only how to solve problems but also how to effectively write complete solutions for the problems that he had solved. Harrison has done extremely well at regional mathematics competitions while at Marietta College. He had struggled, however, with the Putnam Exam, which forces students to work independently on significantly more challenging mathematics problems," Menzel said. "In his free time, Harrison often would work through past Putnam problems he found interesting and present them to anyone who was interested on the white board in the Math/Computer Science office suite. Harrison's internal motivation simplified the process, as he always had plenty of problems and solutions to go over."

Potter will continue his education in the fall as a graduate student at Duke University.

Students gain real-world experience from summer internships PDF Print E-mail

Marietta College's Josh Gilbert '08 and Drew Hicks '08 gained quite a bit of professional experience after some busy summer internships - both Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Summer Programs.

Gilbert, a native of Springboro, Ohio, is a computer science major who has acquired an extensive amount of knowledge from his experience at Marietta College that proved helpful during his internship with John Deere.

"The internship brought classroom lessons to life as I interacted with members of the Information Technology department there," Gilbert said. "I was able to take the knowledge from classes such as Operating Systems, Database Design, and Programming and apply them in a demanding corporation such as Deere."

Gilbert not only used his skills from the computer science field in his internship but he was also able to apply skills he has gained from being apart of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

"Some of the more important lessons I have taken away from Marietta had little to do with my field of study. I used the professionalism, time management and organizational skills I've gained from my fraternity to give me the edge in a competitive internship," he said.

Gilbert plans to continue his experience with John Deere when he starts his position there after he graduates in December.

"I am excited to apply the skills I've learned from Marietta College in my future position at John Deere," Gilbert said.

Hicks, also a computer science major from Parkersburg, W.Va., spent his summer using his Marietta College skills doing research on his choice of topic "Using Games for Computer Science Education," at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

"The REU experience was a really good chance for me to strengthen the skills I've picked up at Marietta," Hicks said. "It was a glimpse at what grad school will be like."

He plans to continue his research topic into graduate school and the whole experience helped him in the future decisions about his education.

"The experience was a really helpful experience in terms of solidifying the direction I want to take my education."

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