Johnson State Appoints Six New Full-Time Faculty Members

Johnson State College will welcome six new, full-time faculty members starting in the fall 2014 semester to support new academic initiatives and strengthen existing programs:

Award-winning writer Jensen Beach comes from the English Department at the University of Jensen BeachIllinois, where he has taught courses in composition, literature, literary editing and fiction writing. He will join JSC's Department of Writing & Literature as assistant professor with a focus on fiction writing. He has published numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including the short story collection For Out of the Heart Proceed (Dzanc Books and Dark Sky Books) and the forthcoming Swallowed by the Cold (Graywolf Press). He is working on a novel, Slow to Anger, set in 1960s West Africa during the Nigeria-Biafra conflict. His stories and reviews have appeared in American Short Fiction (web), Cincinnati Review, Fifty-Two Stories, Kenyon Review Online, Ninth Letter, Sou'wester and Witness, among others. Beach has an M.F.A. in fiction from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an M.A. in English from Stockholm University.

Staci Born has been hired as an assistant professor in Department of Behavioral Sciences to teach in the graduate counseling program. Most recently a faculty member at Minnesota State University in Mankato and as a therapist in private practice, she has an M.S. in in mental health counseling from Mankato State, where she is an Ed.D. candidate in counselor education and supervision. Her dissertation is a qualitative study of infertility-related stress among women. As a clinician, Born specializes in early childhood mental health and women's mental health related to reproduction. Her research and scholarly has focused on the impact of women's health and medical treatment on their mental health status; perinatal mood and anxiety disorders; and early childhood experiences.

Timothy Saeed will join the Department of Fine & Performing Arts as visiting assistant music professor, teTimothy Saeedaching piano and music theory. Saeed comes to JSC from Louisiana State University, where he taught undergraduate music theory and recently earned his Ph.D. in music theory. He holds an M.M. in piano performance from the University of New Mexico and an M.M. in music theory from Boston University. In addition to his academic work, Saeed has served as staff pianist for churches in Baton Rouge,La., and Albuquerque, N.M.

Rob Schulze has been hired as an assistant professor in the Education Department to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in special education. Schulze most recently taught in the College of Education at University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he held the Excelsior Fellowship and recently earned his doctorate in special education. In addition to his Ed.D., Schulze holds an M.Ed. in special education from Westfield State University. His public school experience includes serving as special education supervisor and assistant special education director for two years at Longmeadow Public Schools in Longmeadow, Mass., and as a special education teacher for five years in Massachusetts middle and high schools. Schulze's research interests focus on several aspects of special education, including leadership theory and practice, teacher preparation and retention, and law.

Kaja Tretjak, a native of Croatia, comes to JSC as a visiting assistant professor in the BehavioKaja Tretjakral Sciences Department, where she will teach anthropology and sociology and help JSC develop a program in criminal justice/justice studies. A lawyer-turned-anthropologist, Tretjak has a J.D. from the University of California's Berkeley School of Law and a Ph.D. in anthropology from City University of New York. Her interests in law and justice, political culture, and U.S. and transnational social movements have informed her teaching in the areas of law, anthropology and foreign policy at SUNY Buffalo Law School, CUNY's John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY-Baruch College and the University of California, Berkeley. Tretjak helped with research on a 2005 report by the Commission on International Religious Freedom that examined the effects of an immigration procedure known as "expedited removal" on those seeking asylum. In 2008, she provided legal representation and worked with an organization in South Africa advocating for people living with HIV/AIDS in the Cape Town area.

Michael Zebrowski will teach sculpture and 3D art as an assistant professor in JSC's Department of Fine & Performing Arts. His work explores art, architecture and science through the lensMichael Zebrowski of "material culture" — the physical objects, artifacts and spaces used by people to define their culture. He is the principal designer of the design brand this end up and the founder of O P E N, an exhibition and event space in Geneva, N.Y. His most recent projects, installed at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, include the design/build Cube and the design Brooks Light Lab. He has a master's degree in architecture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan and has held academic positions at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of Buffalo, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Morgan State University, the Maryland Institute College of Art, and Mississippi State University.

The six faculty members coming to Johnson were identified as the top candidates for their respective positions during an extensive faculty-search process, notes JSC Academic Dean Dan Regan. "Each of them is extremely well-qualified and eager to work in an environment such as ours, where they can work closely with students and guide their success during college and beyond," he says. "They are master teachers with outstanding credentials, and we are tremendously excited they will be joining us."