New faculty bring additional expertise to Lycoming College

Several new faculty members at Lycoming College will fill vacancies for existing positions and add expertise to support expanded academic programming.

Kat Bartlow, Ph.D., and Robert Smith, Ph.D., have been hired as full-time, tenure-track assistant professors in the biology department.

Bartlow will expand the College’s expertise in neuroscience studies. Her work focuses on the way neurons (brain cells) send and receive signals using chemicals called neurotransmitters, particularly dopamine. Dopamine is vital for voluntary movement and motivated behavior, and is involved with many neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, addiction, ADHD and schizophrenia. She earned her doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh.

Smith will assume the ecology and environmental coursework of professor Melvin Zimmerman, Ph.D., who retired from teaching last spring. Smith is an aquatic ecologist who examines basic and applied questions about natural and human-impacted freshwater ecosystems. While rooted in basic ecology, his research is intimately tied to the restoration and management of aquatic systems. He received his doctorate from the University of Maryland - College Park. Zimmerman will continue as director of Lycoming College’s Clean Water Institute.

“We had a great year of faculty recruiting at the College. The faculty have top-notch academic credentials, a lot of prior teaching experience and a true passion to teach in a liberal arts environment,” said Philip Sprunger, provost and dean of the College.

Two new library faculty will assist all faculty members and students with research projects and support a range of academic learning activities. The College welcomes Taryn Bartholomew, assistant professor and coordinator of access services, and Emily Hardesty, assistant professor and coordinator of information literacy outreach.

Additional new faculty members include: Angela Kurtz, Ph.D. candidate at the University of New Hampshire, is a visiting instructor of sociology; Laissa Rodriguez Moreno, Ph.D., from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, is a visiting assistant professor of Spanish; Andrew Stafford, Ph.D., from Pennsylvania State University, is a visiting assistant professor of French; and Gordon Steenbergen, Ph.D., from Duke University, is a visiting assistant professor of philosophy.

Allyson Yankle, Ph.D., from the University of Connecticut, and Kevin Lucas, Ph.D., from the University of Minnesota, are visiting assistant professors of political science who round out the department’s staff as political science professor Jonathan Williamson, Ph.D., assumes his new duties leading the College’s efforts to open the Center for Energy and the Future.

New faculty at Lycoming College

Standing, from left: Laissa Rodriguez Moreno, Emily Hardesty, Bob Smith, Kat Bartlow, Andrew Stafford, Gordon Steenbergen, Allyson Yankle, and Kevin Lucas. Seated: Angela Kurtz and Taryn Bartholomew.