March 10, 2014 - Seven King's College faculty members were recently granted tenure by the College’s Board of Directors.
Promoted to associate professor were Dr. Joan Blewitt, business and management; Dr. Todd Gutekunst, mathematics; Rev. Dan Issing, C.S.C., theology; Dr. Noreen O’ Connor, English; Dr. Ayesha Ray, political science; Dr. Isaac VonRue, chemistry; and Dr. Jill Yurko, education.
Blewitt earned her doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania. She served as director of King’s Office of Career Planning and Placement and as an adjunct professor from 1981-2006. She has since taught in the Department of Business and Management in the McGowan School of Business, publishing academic articles in journals and presenting at national and international conferences.
Gutekunst earned his doctorate from the University of Delaware, where he served as an instructor before joining King’s in 2008. He has written textbooks for King’s courses Math 127: Logic and Axiomatics, and Math 250: Linear Algebra, and new curriculum for Math 236: Geometry. He has had academic articles published in two peer-reviewed mathematical journals.
At King's since 2007, Father Issing holds a licentiate in sacred theology from the Jesuit School of Theology and a doctorate in theological ethics from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif. Previous to King's, Father Dan served as the Director of Campus Ministry at Stonehill College. His scholarship focuses on Catholic social teaching, and his interests are the ethics of Catholic higher education and the role of forgiveness in society.
O'Connor earned a doctorate in literature at George Washington University. She has presented her research on the local silent film industry to the Back Mountain Historical Society and Luzerne County Historical Society. She also presents her work at national conferences and has published on Sylvia Townsend Warner, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, and Santa Claus. She hosts "Off the Page," a program dedicated to student writing on King’s radio station, WRKC.
Prior to joining King's in 2008, Ray earned her doctorate in political science from the University of Texas at Austin. She published her first book, “The Soldier and the State in India,” with SAGE Publications India. She will present at 2014 Global Studies Conference this summer in Shanghai, China. She has also been featured in several international media outlets, including “The Sunday Guardian,” “Zee News India,” and the radio program, “Urdu Voice of America.”
A polymer chemist, VonRue was the principal investigator on a grant of nearly $88,000 awarded to King’s from the National Science Foundation to purchase a differential scanning calorimeter. Prior to coming to King’s in 2008, he earned his doctorate in chemistry from the University of North Carolina and served as a visiting professor at the University of Puget Sound and Stetson University.
Yurko earned her doctorate of education from Temple University. She is director of the Graduate Program in Reading at King’s. Her research on integrating literacy and science into the curriculum will be presented at a conference this fall. Her work on using writing activities to assist students with the comprehension of content area learning was published in “Pennsylvania Reads Journal.”
The King’s College Board of Directors also announced four faculty members earned promotions. Dr. Robert Liebler and Dr. Tara Shawver of the Accounting and Finance Department were promoted to full professor. Robert Richards, education, and Amy Swiatek, mathematics, were promoted to associate technical professor.
King's College is a Catholic College sponsored by the Congregation of Holy Cross.
Dr. Joan Blewitt
Dr. Todd Gutekunst
Rev. Dan Issing, C.S.C.
Dr. Noreen O’ Connor
Dr. Ayesha Ray
Dr. Isaac VonRue
Dr. Jill Yurko