Skip to main content

College of Arts and Sciences

Recognition of Promotion to Emeritus Status

The following faculty were promoted to the rank of Professor Emeritus:


It is difficult to summarize briefly Paul Benson’s contributions to the University of Dayton over the past nearly 40 years. While Paul holds a special place in the hearts of those of us in the philosophy department, given his origins therein as faculty member and then department chair, it is safe to say he is among the most respected and widely beloved administrators in UD’s history over the past few decades.  

Paul received his Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton in 1984 and began at UD as an assistant professor in 1985. He became department chair in 2001 and served in that capacity for several years before entering the dean’s office as an associate dean in 2005. He became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 2007 and began serving in the provost role in 2014. Among his many contributions as an administrator at all of these levels is his ongoing commitment to diversity. As chair, he made assiduous efforts to increase the department’s number of women and minority faculty, and, as dean and provost, he has been a forthright and consistent leader in the university’s efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion.  

Paul has remained impressively active as a scholar despite his duties as a high-level administrator. His CV lists 17 peer-reviewed articles, as well as numerous book reviews, a good number of them being published since he began serving as dean and  provost. In addition, he has given countless conference and other professional presentations, some philosophical and others focused on university life and administration, again with many occurring while he was dean and then provost.  

As an administrator, Paul has built and maintained supportive personal connections with many individual faculty. One faculty member with a foreign name recalls that Paul “was one of the few people on campus who learned my name and pronounced it correctly the first time we had a conversation. He also remembered the content of our in-person conversations and referred to them correctly later.” Another faculty member recalls that, over the years, Paul has taken care to inform him of relevant professional opportunities and of recent research that might be of use to his scholarship, as well as joining him for several philosophical discussions over lunch.

Paul has been unfailingly supportive of academic freedom and the entitlement of faculty to research and teach according to their own professional judgment. One faculty member recalls that, as dean, Paul “backed my right to teach environmental concerns in my engineering ethics classes. Some students objected to my critical analysis of the use of nuclear power and dirty energy. Paul was familiar with some of the material I assigned and upheld the value of teaching these topics.” Another reports that, when she informed Paul of an upcoming publication that would likely prove controversial, he emphasized her freedom to publish the material in question and gave helpful advice for anticipating and handling any potential fallout.  

In addition to his many duties as an academic administrator, Paul has been a civically committed citizen of the Dayton community. One faculty member recalls that when the City of Dayton was trying to weaken drinking water well field regulations, Paul and his wife Stephanie testified at the City Commission meeting for preservation of strong water quality regulations. Another faculty member remembers that “Paul spoke on behalf of UD leadership at the gun violence forum I organized to mark the anniversary of the Oregon District shooting. It was the first big event I’d organized in Dayton, with numerous civic leaders and political officials present, and I was naturally quite nervous. Paul’s poise and readiness to speak to the moment put me at ease and helped make the event a success.”

Alongside his unfailing professionalism, Paul can also be quite funny. One longtime philosophy faculty member recalls that, as department chair, “Paul came into my intro class to tell me he had added three more students to the section (for a total of 38). I asked him if he thought it was fair that what he was doing in this class was precisely what I would be talking about in my next class: Marx's account of exploitation, profit and the labor theory of value. He paused and laconically enough said ‘probably not.’ ”

As one faculty member observes in summary, “somehow, in spite of his numerous promotions, Paul has managed to retain his ethical compass and his interest in philosophy.” Another aptly calls him “scholarly, elegant, and witty ... a gentleman and a mensch.” We in the philosophy department, alongside so many others in the UD community — students, faculty and staff — will miss Paul a great deal, and we wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement.

During his 22 years at the University of Dayton, Rob Crutcher established an impressive record of scholarship, teaching, thesis mentorship and service to the department and the university. Rob is a cognitive psychologist, and his program of research examines memory processes, human learning and skill, expert-novice differences, language processes, the use of verbal report methodologies in studying mental processes and applications of cognitive psychology to improving human memory and thinking skills. He is widely regarded as an expert in his areas of specialization, and his work features meticulously conducted, multi-study investigations of memory processes that require precise, single-subject data collection. His work has been featured in some of the highest impact journals in the field. 

Rob’s contributions to the education of our students have been equally impressive. Rob routinely taught several of the most challenging and foundational courses offered by the department. He is widely regarded by colleagues and students as a truly exceptional instructor. Students routinely sought out his courses, despite his reputation of being among the most challenging instructors in the department. Students regard him as knowledgeable, fair, caring, organized, passionate and rigorous. His peers have also recognized his teaching excellence. A peer reviewer of one of his graduate statistics classes once noted that he “wished (Rob) had been my statistics professor when I was in graduate school.” 

Rob’s many contributions to the department will be felt for years to come. Rob has been a trusted and knowledgeable voice in the department and a close friend to many. He will be missed greatly, and the department will not be the same without him.

No profile provided.

Since joining the UD faculty in 1998, Susan Gardstrom has led and shaped the Music Therapy program, making it the largest major in the Department of Music and earning recognition as a leading music therapy program in the country.

Her stature as a researcher in the field, with a recent focus on music therapy for women with additions, has been recognized this spring with a lifetime achievement award from the Great Lakes Region of the American Music Therapy Association.

Her research has informed her teaching and mentoring through work on the pedagogy of music therapy, as well as many publications and presentations co-authored with UD students and alumni.

Part of the remarkable legacy she is leaving in the Department of Music is that two of her former students are now members of our faculty. Susan has not only been a wonderful mentor to these young colleagues, but has embraced and encouraged the new ideas and directions they have brought.

She has maintained fertile soil and planted seeds that will ensure long-term growth in our program, and we wish her all the best as she turns this energy to her own garden in retirement.

Pete Hovey has been associated with the University of Dayton for most of his life. His father worked at UDRI, and Pete himself joined the UD family when he enrolled as a mathematics major in 1971. He graduated in 1975 and went on to earn a Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Kentucky. He returned to UD to join the Research Institute in 1980. Except for a three-year stint at AFIT, he worked at UDRI until 2011, when he joined the Department of Mathematics as a tenure-line faculty member. 

Pete’s first project at UDRI was a statistical evaluation of probability of detection (POD) for nondestructive inspections of aircraft structures. He was the first to use logistic regression to analyze the data, and he became a world-renowned expert in estimating POD. Pete was one of the developers of the probabilistic software PROF, which projects the probability of fracture in aircraft structures based on limited information about crack sizes, as well as the probability of detecting cracks during routine inspections of the aircraft. This became the standard program used by the Air Force’s Air Logistics Centers to help manage aging aircraft, and Pete represented the Air Force Research Laboratory in intergovernmental committees on using probabilistic risk assessment in the design of aircraft structures.

As a faculty member in Mathematics, Pete has taught introductory statistics for non-STEM majors, a statistics course for computer science and other STEM majors, the probability and statistics sequence for mathematics majors and four different graduate statistics courses. He has often volunteered to teach the actuarial probability seminar, which prepares actuarial science minors for Exam P, the first of many actuarial exams – even though this teaching assignment constitutes an overload. He has supervised seven graduate Math Clinics, eight undergraduate capstone projects and two honors theses. He has served on six Ph.D. committees and nine M.S. committees in the School of Engineering and the School of Education and Health Sciences. 

He has been involved in organizing the department’s annual events. The Biennial Alumni Career Seminar invites our alums back to campus to talk to our current students about their careers and Undergraduate Mathematics Day is a conference that showcases students’ work in mathematics and provides them with the opportunity to network with students from other institutions. Pete served on the search committees for all but one current tenure-line statistics faculty, chairing three of them. He was the advisor to UD’s chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, a national mathematics honor society.

Pete’s research has largely been collaborative. He has made many contributions to research related to POD, and he has an extensive collaboration record with colleagues in civil engineering. He has given numerous presentations at statistics conferences, and he has been very involved in the American Statistical Association. His professional activities within the ASA have included serving as chapter representative for the Dayton Chapter, organizing a conference held at UD and serving as chair of the Section on Physical and Engineering Sciences.

Pete has been a great department citizen. He has always provided thoughtful input in departmental discussions. He loves the department and wants it to succeed in providing an excellent education for the mathematics majors and every other student who takes a mathematics or statistics class. His colleagues will miss his presence and cheerful participation in department activities.

Dave Johnson joined UD’s Chemistry department in 1985. During Dave’s time at UD, he taught a variety of classes including general, environmental, analytical chemistry and, most recently, courses for the Premedical programs office and advised numerous students.

Research played a big role in Dave’s time at UD, and he spent most of his research time engaged in aircraft lubricant development with researchers at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Not surprisingly, Dave’s work led to numerous research publications.

Not being one to shy away from a challenge, Dave was appointed as department chair twice starting in 2004 and 2014. As chair, Dave oversaw numerous renovation projects which helped modernize the chemistry department. The most recent (and extensive) project was the consolidation (and renovation) of multiple laboratory spaces into a shared instrumentation facility and an advanced synthesis laboratory.

Dave has been an integral part of the chemistry department and UD community as a whole for over 37 years and will be missed by his colleagues.

Dr. Jayne Robinson has faithfully served the Biology department, the College of Arts and Sciences and the University for 28 years. She joined UD in 1994 as an assistant professor in the Department of Biology, was promoted to associate professor in 2000 and to full professor in 2005. Jayne’s primary teaching and research areas are microbiology and microbial ecology.

Jayne served as Associate Director of the Honors and Scholars program from 2000-05 where she was instrumental in expanding the quality and impact of the Stander Symposium from a three-hour event to the current multi-venue multi-modal event.  As part of the Honors Program, Jayne developed the River Stewardship and Global Responsibilities program in 2004 with then Honors Program Director Dr. Steve Dandaneau. Their objective was to expose the students to service in the spirit of UD and to explore in depth the role of the rivers in the history of Dayton and the immense resource of which students must be “stewards”. This program laid the groundwork for the incredibly successful UD Rivers Institute and their flagship River Steward program.

Jayne served two four-year terms as the Department of Biology Chairperson during which she successfully hired eight tenure line faculty and saw the doubling of the departmental research funding and number of majors. While serving as chair, she also maintained an active and well- funded research program right up to her retirement in July 2022.

Jayne has mentored 20 undergraduate Honors Thesis students and 17 graduate students. Her research effort has resulted in $2M-plus of funded research, 30-plus publications, and Intellectual Property (two patents awarded, one in-process). Her research effort also resulted in the establishment of the SMART Center with Dr. Shawn Swavey (Chemistry) which was renamed as our current Integrative Science and Engineering Center (ISE).

Jayne’s strong commitment to teaching, research and service has contributed to the success we have today in the Department of Biology, the College of Arts and Sciences and the university. She has been a role model for being successful in all three faculty areas: high-quality teaching, high-quality research and scholarship, and impactful service.

Past Promotions to Emeritus Status

Albert Burky, Department of Biology

Since arriving at UD in the Fall of 1973, Dr. Albert Burky’s teaching and research has focused on ecology and evolution, and he's been particularly motivated to introduce students to the excitement of scientific discovery and to nurture them as they find their vocation.

In the last five decades, Dr. Burky shepherded a research program in the Department of Biology that deeply engaged UD undergraduates and graduate students in fieldwork, lab work, data analysis and publishing. Undergraduate student researchers had been contributors on more than 100 combined publications and meeting presentations, and Dr. Burky published 45 peer-reviewed research papers and dozens of other works in books and conference proceedings.

Dr. Burky was an exemplary colleague, a skilled mentor for undergrad and grad students and junior faculty, and literally the 49-year corporate memory for the Biology Department. He played a significant and meaningful role in shaping the Biology Department and students since the day he first set foot on campus in 1973.

John Clarke, Department of Art and Design

John Clarke began his career at UD in 2001 and served the university for over 20 years. He was an outstanding faculty leader serving as the area coordinator for graphic design for many years, chairing multiple department committees, taught and mentored countless students and dedicated his career to the field of graphic design. You may recognize his typographic work in UD's MLK memorial.

He was tireless in his dedication to student success and providing opportunities for student learning through such classes as Design Science Synthesis and mentoring students on the design of the infographics for the Solar Prairie at Curran Place. He was deeply engaged in the design and use of department facilities, most recently at the HUB and prior to that with the design of and move to Fitz Hall.

His clarity of thought, leadership and dedication to his field will be missed.

Susan Davis, Department of Psychology

Over her 20 years with UD, Dr. Susan Davis made countless contributions to the Department of Psychology and the University as a whole.

Particularly noteworthy is the way in which Dr. Davis always worked to integrate her research with her mentoring of students. Dr. Davis gave over 240 undergraduates and 30 graduate students experiential opportunities to learn and apply research from “appetizer to dessert” (conception to presentation and publication), as she described her approach.

Over 20 years, between eight and 22 undergraduate students, as research assistants, developed their research skills under Dr. Davis’ leadership. A large number of those research assistants have gone on to achieve at and matriculate from graduate school positions in acclaimed psychology programs around the country, law programs and medical schools. Needless to say, she wrote and submitted literally thousands of recommendation letters of support, and with her research assistants as co-authors, she offered over 200 presentations.

None of these facts convey the importance of Dr. Davis simply having been present in the Department of Psychology. She acted as an advisor, an advocate, a mentor and a close friend to many. 

Dennis Doyle, Department of Religious Studies

Dr. Dennis Doyle accomplished a lot in his time at UD. Here are just a few of the highlights: 

  • Internationally recognized scholar: Received grants from the German government for research and was a guest lecturer at several German universities, cultivating some of UD's relationships there. Also, co-convener of the international Ecclesiological Investigations group and planned international conferences. 
  • Author of multiple well-received books, including Ecumenical Perspectives Five Centuries after Luther's Reformation, and Communion Ecclesiology: Visions and Versions.
  • Instructor in UD's CORE program for many years, has directed or co-directed five doctoral dissertations, and continued to be an innovative and well-loved teacher, most recently in piloting the Religious Studies Department's new hybrid M.A. programs
  • Member of the Roman Catholic-Methodist dialogue and member of the College Theology Society board, as well as numerous service activities on behalf of the department, college and university
  • Received the University Scholarship award in 2019.

Paul Eloe, Department of Mathematics

How should one describe Dr. Paul Eloe? Paul Eloe loves mathematics.

  • Dr. Eloe was a renaissance man, as far as mathematics was concerned. He was interested in and knows something about every area of mathematics. He was a prolific researcher; during his 40-plus years at UD, he published more than 160 refereed articles and a book.
  • He taught 30 different undergraduate and graduate courses at UD, many outside his area. He never said no to a teaching assignment. His courses were challenging, but anyone who saw him work one-on-one with a student knows how much he cares about this students’ success.
  •  Dr. Eloe believed in nurturing mathematicians, students and faculty alike.

Dr. Eloe is a champion of graduate education. As graduate program director for many years, he provided graduate training to many students from underrepresented populations. He saw the need for new directions in graduate education and spearheaded the creation of master’s programs in financial mathematics and in mathematics education.

During his tenure as chair of the Department of Mathematics, the department hired 11 new tenure-line faculty and five faculty earned tenure and promotion to associate rank. He took great interest in junior faculty’s research and his questions sometime lead to surprising collaborations.

As chair, he supported the creation of our biennial undergraduate conference, Undergraduate Mathematics Day, and he funded the Electronic Proceedings of Undergraduate Mathematics Day to give student presenters a publication outlet. He significantly expanded the biennial Alumni Career Seminar, and both events are anchored by the annual Kenneth C. Schraut Lecture.

Dr. Eloe was an important voice of the Mathematics Department. His colleagues will miss his thoughtful input and incredible work ethic. They will miss his jokes and his cryptic references to his beloved Giants. They will miss Paul Eloe, the friend.

Andrew Evwaraye, Department of Physics

Dr. Andrew Evwaraye was a semiconductor physicist in the Department of Physics, where he established a Center for Material and Device Characterization that uses capacitance transient spectroscopy techniques to characterize defects in semiconductors. He collaborated quite successfully with researchers at the Airforce Research Laboratory (AFRL), Wright State University, Carnegie-Mellon University and in other countries. His research includes analyzing lunar rocks from the Apollo program in search of evidence of the elusive magnetic monopole.

Dr. Evwaraye believed mentoring was the best tool for positively impacting the lives of our students. He encouraged minority students to work in his laboratory to gain skills that are not ordinarily taught in basic physics courses and is known to have purchased, at his own expense, computers and printers for a number of students. He was the Campus director of STARS from 1996-2010, and encouraged underrepresented groups in STEM through his leadership with STARS over the last 30-plus years.  

Dr. Evwaraye was an effective and challenging teacher. He brought out the best in the talented physics majors, preparing them for further studies at elite graduate programs. Before coming to UD, Dr. Evwaraye helped establish The University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria where he was physics chair, dean and provost. In 1987, he became a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science. It was in Nigeria that Dr. Evwaraye first met the Marianists.

Dr. Evwaraye served the Physics Department, the College of Arts and Sciences and the University of Dayton exceptionally well with pride and distinction.

James Farrelly, Department of English

Dr. James Farrelly was a faculty member at UD for 55 years. He earned tenure in 1974 and was promoted to the rank of Professor in 1988. He advocated for faculty on the faculty board for over 30 years.

His career can be summarized in the motto from Chaucer, "gladly will he teach and gladly will he serve." He was known in the English Department as a colleague who fights for what he believes and holds no grudges regardless of the outcome.

Every year an alum calls the department looking for him, just to tell him thanks. The department thanks him, too. The department will not be the same without him. 

Richard Ghere, Department of Political Science

Dr. Richard Ghere is a colleague and instructor known for his dry humor, candor and intense interest in his student's success and career preparation.

His career evolved from a scholar of traditional organizational theory to a recognized expert on ethics and public service (including service as an editor of the journal Public Integrity) and a key faculty member in starting the human rights studies program while his teaching and scholarship grew to encompass non-governmental organizations in developing countries, including starting the Malawi Rights Practicum with partner NGO.

Dr. Ghere consistently pushed his students, and prodded his colleagues to consider different perspectives, a task not easy to do, but one he succeeded in, and, in turn, made us all better people.

Dan Goldman, Department of Geology

Dr. Dan Goldman joined the department in August 1997. He was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor in 2006, and full professor in 2015.

He served as chair of the Department of Geology from 2011-19.

During his 25-year tenure at UD, Dr. Goldman was an active scholar with a track record of over 50 publications and $1.3 million in grants. He was awarded University of Dayton STARS Research and Scholarship Award in 2012 and UD Chapter of Sigma Xi George Noland Award for Faculty Research in 2009. He was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2020.

Dr. Goldman taught a wide range of introductory and advanced courses in geology and led numerous field expeditions with his students for classes and research projects. Such field experience was often been cited by students as the highlights of their undergraduate years and fondly remembered long afterward.

Dr. Goldman was also a collaborative colleague and supportive mentor for other faculty members of the department. He made a transformative impact on the department, faculty and students.

Jeffrey Griffin, Department of Communication

In the 1990s, Dr. Jeffrey Griffin helped launch the Department of Communication study abroad program, a program that is now a core element of the Communication Department on a daily basis.

Initially hired as a journalism professor, his research and teaching interests shifted to film and television, especially international film and television, leading to new additions for teaching in the department.

Dr. Griffin was an immensely popular instructor and students who took three of his classes before they graduated would always show up at the senior dinner and give themselves certificates inducting them into "The Order of the Griffin."

He published one book, two book chapters and 16 articles in his time at UD.

Jayne Matlack Whitaker, Department of Art and Design

Dr. Jayne Matlack Whitaker began her career at UD in 1993 and served the university for 29 years. She was an outstanding colleague and department leader, as well as serving the university in many service and administrative capacities.

She mentored numerous faculty, taught and mentored countless students who are now employed across the country and beyond and dedicated her career to the advancement of the department, the graphic design major and its students.

When she was hired, she was the only woman in graphic design (then known as visual communication design) and only one of three women in the entire department.

She wove her research into her teaching and service and was a leader in community engaged experiential scholarship connecting students and clients across the city and the university in a truly collaborative approach to educating for the greater good and the whole person.

She approached all challenges knowing that there is a solution, and that, with collegiality and shared interests, all things are possible.

Timothy Wilbers, Department of Art and Design

Dr. Tim Wilbers began his career at UD in 1983 and served the university for 39 years. He taught and mentored countless students, served in various service and administrative capacities (including as an assistant dean in the College of Arts and Sciences for nine years), has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things curricular and has worked tirelessly in exploring the photographic and related mediums.

He was critical in the design and adoption of the department's UD Sinclair Academy Pathways and was always the voice of reason in department conversations. He was the first faculty member in the photography area to embrace digital technologies, designing the very popular digital processes classes and to take seriously the role digital imaging will play in the future of photography.

He is the kindest, most giving soul one could hope to meet. 

Peggy DesAutels, Department of Philosophy

Peggy earned her Ph.D. at Washington University in 1995, and, in 2001, she arrived at UD, where she’d been full professor since 2012. She co-edited three anthologies including Feminists Doing Ethics, Global Feminist Ethics, and Moral Psychology: Feminist Ethics and Social Theory. She also authored upward of 20 articles and book chapters, whose titles gave a sense of the range of her expertise: from "Moral Perception and Responsiveness” and "Sex Differences and Neuroethics" to "Resisting Organizational Power" and “The Perils of Whistleblowing,” the latter two topics pointing the way to some of Peggy’s own unfailing courage in doing what she thinks is right. Peggy had a gift for crossing disciplinary boundaries and working collaboratively with other scholars, as evidenced in her latest article with Jack Bauer, titled “When ‘Life Gets in the Way’: Generativity and the Development of Non-Idealized Virtues in Women’s Life Stories.”

In addition to her scholarly work and her standing as a beloved and a demanding teacher, Peggy was a leader in making the profession of philosophy more diverse, and in particular more fair and hospitable for women. For a number of years, she directed the site visit program of the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on the Status of Women. In this program, a team of three philosophers trained in diversity issues visits philosophy departments to assess their climate and opportunities for female and minority students and faculty and make recommendations for change. She also co-organized a 2013 conference on diversity in philosophy, bringing philosophers from all over the country, and even the world, to UD to discuss making the discipline more diverse and inclusive. Peggy’s efforts on the diversity and inclusion front have benefited our institution as well, with her service as Equity Advisor in College of Arts and Sciences and her work, funded by an ADVANCE grant, to promote women in STEM fields. For these and other contributions, Peggy received the College’s Award for Outstanding Service in 2012.

Comments from departmental colleagues emphasize not only Peggy’s independence and courage, but also her unflagging support for junior colleagues. One newer faculty member said, “My very first memory of Peggy was of her grilling me during my campus interview, and of feeling like I was bungling every answer. But my second and third (and fourth and fifth) memories are of her telling me how happy she is that I joined the department. Her encouragement and support made me feel incredibly welcome.” An associate professor reported, “During my first interview at UD, Peggy went out of her way to emphasize that I would be free to publish whatever I wanted, teach whatever I wanted and the department would back me. It was important to her that I leave the room assured that we have intellectual independence here.” A female colleague wrote that “She helped me when I needed advice for publishing papers, and she taught me how to negotiate and advocate for myself.” And another pointed out that “Peggy, along with a handful of other women, caused a seismic shift in UD’s administration, ushering in a new era where diversity, equity and inclusion are taken more seriously. She took a tremendous risk and sacrificed a great deal for the good of us all.”

John Erdei, Department of Physics

Dr. John Erdei earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Cincinnati in 1983, the same year he joined UD’s Department of Physics as an assistant professor. While John is a trained theoretical physicist, he taught just about every course in the physics curriculum, as is the department’s long-standing expectation of their faculty. In addition to teaching upper-level and advanced courses, John embraced the challenge of teaching the introductory physics course for over 10 years, that is the physics course without mathematics. He founded this course one of the most challenging and most rewarding because as he put it, “It’s tempting to lapse into the math if you can’t explain it well at the conceptual level. But having the ability to explain physics conceptually to non-physics students is the meat and potatoes.”

Another favorite class of John’s was his astronomy course, which attracted students from across the university. Those who know John can hear his voice when answering why astronomy was one of his favorites: “Because it’s stinking interesting.”

Beyond the classroom, John dedicated significant time and professional effort to serve in a number of important administrative leadership roles. He served as Director of Premedical Programs for five years, where he helped to promote Premedical Programs as a distinct program and expand the program’s reach to all students across the University interested in medically oriented careers. He convened the Stander Symposium for its first 10 years and played a critical role in expanding Stander from a few hours of posters primarily from the natural sciences to a multi-day multi-disciplinary celebration of student scholarship, including the arts and music. He also served for eight years as assistant dean in the College, working primarily with natural science majors. Most recently, he served as chairperson of the physics department. Looking at his current administrative appointment, John celebrates the collaborative work with faculty and staff colleagues to promote excellent instruction, growth in sponsored research and student research.

John’s collaborations have gone beyond the department and campus. He was a visiting scientist for seven years at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where he researched fractals and chaotic behaviors in materials among other topics. One fond, if unexpected collaboration, that emerged from his fractal search, came in partnership with music faculty member Phil Magnuson. Combining John’s fractal research with Phil's composition skill, the two partnered to generate music using electroencephalograms. John and Phil wryly named their paradigm shifting piece, “Fugue on EEG.”

Ellen Fleischmann, Department of History

No profile provided.

John Inglis, Department of Philosophy

Among his many contributions, John Inglis served as department chair from 2008 to 2016, and departed that role as widely beloved as he had entered it.

John arrived at UD in 1993 after earning his Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky. He became full professor in 2006. He is an internationally known expert in medieval philosophy and theology. He has authored several books in the field, including On Medieval Philosophy, On Aquinas, and Spheres of Philosophical Inquiry and the Historiography of Medieval Philosophy. His edited or co-edited volumes include Thomas Aquinas, the Blackwell History of Medieval Philosophy, and Medieval Philosophy and the Classical Tradition in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. His numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters include “The Philosophical Implications of Aquinas’s Replication of the Acquired Moral Virtues,” “Towards a Balanced Historiography of Medieval Philosophy” and “Philosophy in a Religious Age.”

In addition to his scholarly accomplishments, John was a beloved teacher and longtime contributor to the Core program as well as to the graduate program in Religious Studies. As several colleagues mentioned, he is known for going out of his way to reach students. One recalls “students from Core telling me how they loved philosophy from the moment they watched John Inglis get so worked up during a lecture that he threw a shoe across the room.” Another remembers John making pedagogical points by, on one occasion, climbing onto a window ledge from his second floor humanities classroom, and on another occasion eating chalk.

As previously mentioned, John served as department chair for eight years. He led with his characteristic humility, good sense and good humor, as well as with an unfailing dedication to promoting the importance of philosophical study in the UD curriculum. For instance, when the Common Academic Program was first proposed, it did not include the requirement for Advanced Philosophy. John was dogged and determined in his ultimately successful efforts to get that requirement included, and the department and all UD students are the better for it. As one colleague recalls, “His sincere compliments helped me to take risks and to believe that I could make changes for the better.” Another remembers that “While the other members of the team that interviewed me put on their serious, interviewing faces, John was exuberant, practically bouncing out of his seat. He had me convinced that UD is a welcoming place: a place where I could thrive. And he did everything to make sure of that once I arrived.”

Speaking of exuberance, one faculty member said, “One of my first impressions of John is his laugh. You can hear it down the hall, and you know there's only one guy it can be. It's genuine every single time. It's a shame we're losing John while a pandemic is on, because in his last year we didn't have that laughter in the halls.”

Messay Kebede, Department of Philosophy

Messay came to UD in 1998, after earning his Ph.D. at the University of Grenoble and then teaching for a number of years at Addis Ababa University, where he also served as department chair for over a decade. He came to the U.S. as a political refugee and it took some time to arrange for his family to leave Ethiopia and join him here. It's said that on his job tour of campus, Messay brightened up upon seeing that the Marian Library has a copy of the critical edition of almost 100 volumes of ancient Ethiopian texts. He was quick to note that Italy stole the originals and should return them.

He has published six single-authored books, including his most recent monograph, Bergson’s Philosophy of Self-Overcoming. Earlier books include Ideology and Elite Conflicts: Autopsy of the Ethiopian Revolution; Africa’s Quest for a Philosophy of Decolonization; and Meaning and Development.

Messay has also published no fewer than 43 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, in both English and French, just a few of whose titles indicate the impressive range of his knowledge and expertise: “From Otherness to Universal Humanism: Negritude’s Idea of Race,” “The Ethiopian Conception of Time and Modernization,” “Action and Forgetting: Bergson’s Theory of Memory,” and most recently, “The Nature and Challenges of Ethnicity: The Case of Ethiopia.”

Given this rate and range of scholarly production, it’s not surprising that Messay won the Alumni Award in Scholarship in 2006 and the College of Arts and Sciences Award for Outstanding Scholarship in 2009.

In addition to his strictly scholarly work, Messay was a longtime frequent contributor to various popular websites and news publications, many in Ethiopia, demonstrating his stature as a public intellectual and his continuing knowledge of and commitment to his home country. These more popular pieces — both erudite and broadly accessible, and widely read in Ethiopia — discuss political and cultural issues, mostly related to Ethiopia, but also to Africa more broadly and to US foreign policy.

As a teacher, Messay contributed greatly to the range and diversity of the department’s curriculum, regularly teaching such courses as Marxist Philosophy, African Philosophy and Political Philosophy, as well as Culture, Modernization, and Multiple Modernities. One colleague reported that when she followed him teaching in the same classroom, “his blackboard was always covered in chalk, with students remaining behind with questions.” Messay worked tirelessly with students on critical thinking as well as on expanding and complicating their worldviews.

Another colleague shared that when she interviewed for her position, “Messay was part of the group who took me to dinner at an Indian restaurant and Messay ordered his at a heat level 12 on a scale of 1-10. Then, he added even more of the hot chili when it came out. . . . The other memorable part of meeting Messay was that he asked me if I had read Frantz Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks, which I had not. But, once I did, it transformed the way I approached intro to philosophy and made sure that I was attentive to non-western philosophical traditions.”

A third colleague wrote, “I feel so lucky to have met a great philosopher like Messay in my lifetime. Someone who has dedicated his life to both theoretical and practical wisdom. He is a perfect role model for those who strive to be a thinker and a teacher all at the same time.”

A scholar like Messay will not slow down in retirement; rather it will give him the chance to focus even more devotedly on his research. In addition, the government of Ethiopia is negotiating with him at present, hoping that he will return and take on a leadership role.

Joe Mashburn, Department of Mathematics

Joe Mashburn served the University of Dayton for 40 years, having joined UD in 1981 after earning a PhD in Topology from the University of California, Riverside. 

Joe had a distinguished career. He published in some of the best topology journals in the country. He is the sole author of most of his publications – a rarity in mathematics where collaborations are the norm.

Joe was an excellent teaching colleague with a broad agenda. He taught 27 different courses, ranging from a remedial course in algebra to every one of the eight calculus classes offered, to upper-level electives like topology and set theory and a graduate course in differential equations. He was willing to teach wherever he is needed, even if that means a less-than-desirable teaching schedule. 

Joe served the university in many different ways. He was department chair for eight years. During his tenure, he created a minor in actuarial sciences, developed several new undergraduate and graduate courses and shepherded eight CAP courses through the approval process. Joe oversaw a major revision of our tenure and promotion document, and the resulting policy is still in effect today. The department grew in size with the university while Joe was chair: we added three new tenure lines and two lecturer lines. 

Throughout his long career at UD, Joe served our students, the department, the college and the university in a variety of ways. He served on various iterations of the department executive, curriculum and vision committees, the tenure committee, the promotion committee and the lecturer promotion committee, as well as more than 10 search committees. He was the academic advisor for numerous students, both math majors and discover science students.

Beyond the department, Joe served on the dean’s executive council, the science center steering committee, the college lecturer promotion committee, the Research Council, the academic senate and CAP-C, to name a few. Joe has also been a long-time tutor for the Study Tables program of what is now the Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center (MEEC). For his service, he was honored with a proclamation expressing appreciation and gratitude for his consistent dedication to the program, modeling positive interactions between students and faculty and encouraging students to cultivate meaningful relationships with faculty. 

Joe is not one to tout his own accomplishments or service, but he had a great impact on our students, the mathematics department and the university.

William Portier, Department of Religious Studies

Dr. Portier earned an M.A. in theology from Washington Theological Union in 1972 and a Ph.D. from St Michael's College at the University of Toronto in 1980. He taught at Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg MD from 1979 to 2003, before joining UD in 2003 at the University of Dayton as the Mary Ann Spearin Chair of Catholic Theology.


Dr. Portier’s theological method highlights his intense focus on relationships, which brings to life not only intellectual debates but the woundedness and upheaval of the people caught up in these debates. Think of his well-reviewed book Divided Friends, where he writes about the Christian theology of the communion of saints. Christians say we “believe in the communion of the saints” - that is, the belief that death does not end our communion and fellowship with other people in the Church; on the contrary Christians remain in relationship to those who have gone before. That theological point underscores how he saw his work as historical theologian, quote: “to attempt to bring the dead to life.” In the case of the book Divided Friends, he brought to life Modernists and the Modernist controversy in ways that demonstrate: he knows John Slattery and Denis O’Connell, though many of them were long gone before he started studying them. More than that, he brought this communion of saints to campus, not only by writing about them, but also by sharing today how they continue to be part of conversations.

His is a deeply contextual theology that “locates the work of theology in history and culture with attention to the United States.” Located theology is a key marker of what it means to study theology at the University of Dayton. Dr. Portier provided multiple examples of contextual theologies with his three additional books, four edited books, 36 peer reviewed articles, 17 book chapters, 63 book reviews, 30 invited lectures, six named lectures and five keynote addresses. He truly infused the field of theology with contextual theology.

But Dr. Portier also meets his students and colleagues in their own contexts. COVID or not, he was always counted on for good conversation - from the most mundane life advice to the most academically astute point about a recent book. His relationships with graduate students have been crucial for the development and building up of the doctoral program: he directed 21 doctoral dissertations to completion, in addition to directing seven M.A. theses, and an undergraduate honors thesis. His students held a number of successful appointments in academic and beyond, and he was honored by his array of students with a festschrift and other mentions. He was president of one of our professional organizations, the College Theology Society from 2014 to 2017 and the faculty representative for the Lilly Program for doctoral students. The doctoral program is known in the field, students are hired, in part because of the way Dr. Portier extended his hand in friendship time and time again.

Michael Sandy, Department of Geology

Dr. Michael Reginald Sandy arrived at Dayton International Airport on the day after Thanksgiving in 1986 to start at UD the following January. Life would never be the same.

Mike attended Beverley School, a State school in London during the 1970s. Of the graduating class, six continued to university. He attended Queen Mary College at the University of London for his geological training followed by a post-doc at the University of Aberdeen.

His first UD encounter was a chance meeting with a UD field trip in 1985 on an isolated beach along the scenic Dorset coast of England. As Mike said: “I proceeded to explain the local geology but sat most of the time - as earlier that morning the seat of my pants had split!”

When he started at the University of Dayton a bit over a year later, he joined a geology department with two full-time faculty, Chuck Ritter and George Springer. He was the first foreign national faculty member in the department. During the next 33 years and a semester, he pursued his passion to share geological knowledge with students, teachers, and the public, in addition to “living his dream” of being a paleontologist. No, not dinosaurs, but marine invertebrates that are typically less than one inch in diameter. When people ask, “What’s the most exciting fossil you ever found?” and it turns out to be a brachiopod, they often end up wishing they hadn’t asked. Just in case you are wondering what the heck is a brachiopod, here is some show and tell!

During this time, Mike served as Chair of the Department of Geology for eight years and subsequently developed an aversion to campus meetings and a weakness for gourmet cookies that drew him to those meetings. He published 60-plus articles in leading journals, book chapters and books, and 80-plus abstracts presented at national and international meetings. He was the recipient of the College and University awards for outstanding scholarship. He also mentored many students and junior faculty over the years. With his outstanding achievement in scholarship, teaching and service, Mike led a truly rich and impactful academic career. 

Samuel Wallace, Department of Communication

No profile provided.

P. Kelly Williams, Department of Biology

No profile provided.

Vincent Branick, Department of Religious Studies

Dr. Vincent Branick began his career at the University of Dayton in 1976, when he was appointed assistant to the director of the Marian Library. Before taking that position, Dr. Branick had already earned an M.A. in philosophy from the Catholic University of America (1964), a doctorate in philosophy (1971) from the University of Freiburg, and a doctorate in sacred scripture (1975) from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. Over the course of his time at the University of Dayton he added an M.B.A. (1983) to his already impressive list of academic accomplishments.

Dr. Branick started teaching in the Department of Religious Studies in 1977. He became an associate professor in the department the following year and joined the graduate faculty in 1981. He earned tenure in 1983 and promotion to full professor in 1990.

Dr. Branick is an internationally recognized expert on the Scriptures, particularly on the letters of St. Paul in the New Testament. He is the author of eight books, including Understanding the New Testament and Its Message (1998), which received a 3rd place award from the Catholic Press Association; The House Church in the Writings of Paul (1989; 2nd ed., 2012), which has been translated into Portuguese and Korean; and Understanding the Historical Books of the Old Testament (2011), also translated into Korean. He is the author of numerous articles, including the entry on “Galatians” in the revised version of the prestigious Jerome Biblical Commentary. Dr. Branick has also written dozens of book reviews and offered academic addresses locally, nationally, and internationally.

Over his nearly 45 years of teaching at the University of Dayton, Dr. Branick offered the gamut of courses on the Scriptures at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. In addition to his course offerings, he has served on the examination and thesis committees of numerous M.A. and Ph.D. students in theology. In connection with his other roles at the University, he also taught business ethics for many years in the department and also offered courses on Greek and philosophy.

Dr. Branick complemented his research and teaching with a wide range of forms of service. In addition to the many departmental committees on which he has served, he was an acting assistant dean in the College of Arts and Sciences from 1984-86 and assistant to the vice president and treasurer from 1984-92.

To all of these tasks, Dr. Branick brought his characteristic passion for and commitment to Marianist and Catholic education at the University of Dayton. After his retirement, he intends to continue his scholarly work, including a manuscript on the textual composition of the Torah. He is also learning Arabic in order to allow him better access to other scholarly sources for his work on the Hebrew Scriptures. Even in retirement, therefore, he plans to stay engaged with the scholarly work which has shaped his entire academic career and which he still wishes to bring forth for the benefit of the University, academy and church.

Kevin Church, Department of Chemistry

Dr. Kevin Church retired from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Dayton on May 15, 2020, after a 30-year career. He was an essential member of the department faculty over those many years and was part of the growth of the department.

In his career he taught thousands of students the subject of organic chemistry. He was an important part of the modernization of the course and the development of a modern organic program. He developed a course in medicinal chemistry as an advanced elective for chemistry and other majors.

Over his career, Dr. Church published numerous research papers in the area of medicinal chemistry. He guided numerous undergraduate students and several graduate students in research projects and the completion of their thesis. He was instrumental in the chemistry department obtaining a modern NMR instrument, which is an essential tool for research in many areas of chemistry. He also maintained the instrument for more than five years and trained many students in its use.

Dr. Church was instrumental in developing the proposal for the reinstatement of the graduate program. He was also an important part of the development of the Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Bachelor of Science in Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry programs. These programs have become the most popular majors in the department.

Dr. Church was also an academic advisor to hundreds of chemistry and premedical students. He has guided those students into successful careers and on to prestigious professional and graduate schools.

Dr. Church’s quiet manner and attention to detail will be missed by his students and colleagues alike. His retirement is a real loss to the department and the University of Dayton.

Linda Hartley, Department of Music

Dr. Linda Hartley, professor of music and associate dean in the School of Education and Health Sciences, leaves an extraordinary legacy of contributions to the University and to music education on our campus, in our community, and beyond.

Dr. Hartley earned her Bachelor of Music Education at Bowling Green State University, and a Master of Music and Ph.D. in Music Education at Kent State University. In 1991, she was appointed as the coordinator for music education at UD, and also served as a coordinator for athletic bands until 1999, directing the Flyer Pep Band and Pride of Dayton Marching Band, and teaching a wide range of music education courses. From 2002-2015 she was the coordinator for graduate music education, creating and directing the master’s degree program.

Dr. Hartley was recognized in 2000 with the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award, and in 2003 with the University of Dayton Outstanding Teaching Award. She has been a beloved and revered mentor to generations of students, many of whom are now leading music educators in our area and around the country.

In 2000, she established the New Horizons Band program for older adults learning or reviving skills as instrumentalists. In addition to providing music-making opportunities for community members, Dr. Hartley has made New Horizons a place for UD music education students to practice their conducting. She will continue to direct this program in retirement.

Dr. Hartley’s scholarly record includes publications in major music education journals and presentations at leading conferences. In addition to her work on music learning for older adults, she has written on gender issues facing women band directors, retention of students in school music programs and other aspects of music pedagogy. Her service to the profession, has included chairing the Ohio Music Education Association annual conference and editing the OMEA’s newsletter.

Teri Thompson, Department of Communication

Teresa L. Thompson came to the University of Dayton in 1985 with an expertise in health communication and disability studies. She had previously been a faculty member at the University of Delaware. Teri taught a wide range of courses over the years, although her primary responsibilities have been in delivering the department’s gateway course, Communication Theories and Research, graduate methods courses, and in creating and delivering two different health communication courses and a course titled Dialogue, Diversity and Power.

Over the years Teri has cultivated a following of alumni whose lives she significantly impacted in a variety of positive ways. In fact, one of those students partially endowed a scholarship in her name. Teri’s impact has gone well beyond her students.

She was the founder and longtime editor of what has become the leading journal in the field of health communication, authored seven books, 30 peer-reviewed articles, and performed work for entities like the World Health Organization. She has advised numerous theses and reviewed for several dissertations over the years, mentoring several future doctoral students and faculty members. Teri also served the department as graduate director, as a member of the CAOP Leadership Committee and she has made numerous other contributions to the life of the profession and department.

Teri had a penchant for late night work, and would often reply to emails in the late night and early morning hours. She was tirelessly dedicated to her students, relentlessly supportive of her colleagues and utterly dedicated to advancing the mission of the University. Teri was a convert to Catholicism, and embraced her faith as a foundational part of her life through a number of services and communal activities to help those in need. She was often the first person to lend a hand, even opening her home to help those in need. A consummate professional and colleague, she is in no small way a major factor in the development of the current Department of Communication. We wish her long days and pleasant nights as she spends time with her family, and in particular her grandson.

Patrick Donnelly, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work

John Heitmann, Department of History


College of Arts and Sciences

O'Reilly Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0800