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College of Arts and Sciences

Recognition of Promotion to Emeritus Status

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


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

Dr. Burky is 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 has played a significant and meaningful role in shaping the Biology Department and our students since the day he first set foot on campus in 1973.

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

He has been 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 has been 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 our current facilities in Fitz Hall.

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

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

Particularly noteworthy is the way in which Dr. Davis has always worked to integrate her research with her mentoring of students. Dr. Davis has given 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 describes her approach.

Over the past 20 years, between eight and 22 undergraduate students, as research assistants, have 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 has written and submitted literally thousands of recommendation letters of support, and with her research assistants as co-authors, she has offered over 200 presentations.

None of these facts convey the importance of Dr. Davis simply having been present in the Department of Psychology. She acts as an advisor, an advocate, a mentor and a close friend to many. We are better department, and many of us are better people because of her.

Dr. Dennis Doyle has 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 continues 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.

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

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

Dr. Andrew Evwaraye is 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 has 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 believes that mentoring is the best tool for positively impacting the lives of our students. He has 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 has encouraged underrepresented groups in STEM through his leadership with STARS over the last 30-plus years.  

Dr. Evwaraye is an effective and challenging teacher. He brings out the best in our 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 has served the Physics Department, the College of Arts and Sciences and the University of Dayton exceptionally well with pride and distinction.

Dr. James Farrelly has been a faculty member at UD for 55 years. He earned tenure in 1974 and was promoted to the rank of Professor in 1988. He has 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 is 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. 

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 has 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 as 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.

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 has been 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 has often been cited by students as the highlights of their undergraduate years and fondly remembered long afterward.

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

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.

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

She has 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 has woven her research into her teaching and service and has been 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 approaches all challenges knowing that there is a solution, and that, with collegiality and shared interests, all things are possible.

Dr. Tim Wilbers began his career at UD in 1983 and has served the university for 39 years. He has 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 has always been the voice of reason in department conversations. He was the first faculty member in the photography area to embrace digital technologies, designing our 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. 


I’m both pleased and saddened to bid this personal and professional farewell to Peggy DesAutels, who’s been not only a valued colleague but a mentor and friend to me since I came to UD.

Peggy earned her PhD at Washington University in 1995, and in 2001 she arrived at UD, where she’s been full professor since 2012. She has co-edited three anthologies including Feminists Doing Ethics, Global Feminist Ethics, and Moral Psychology: Feminist Ethics and Social Theory. The latter is near and dear to my heart because I had an article therein, and Peggy really liked it. My understanding is that she therefore had some mysterious but significant role in my own arrival at UD in 2003. She has also authored upwards of twenty articles and book chapters, whose titles give 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 has a gift for crossing disciplinary boundaries and working collaboratively with other scholars, as evidenced in her recent 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 both a beloved and a demanding teacher, Peggy has been 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 our discipline more diverse and inclusive. Peggy’s efforts on the diversity and inclusion front have benefited our own 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 says “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 reports, “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 writes that “She helped me when I needed advice for publishing papers, and she taught me how to negotiate and advocate for myself.” And another points 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.”

Peggy, thank you for inspiring us and leading the way. We wish you the very best in your retirement, and we will miss you!

- Rebecca Whisnant, Department of Philosophy

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 has 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 ten years, that is the physics course without mathematics. He found 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 is 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 has 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 ten 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’s 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.” If only Spotify had been around at the time!

I congratulate John on his promotion to professor emeritus and thank him for his years of service, his humor and level-headedness and his commitment to our students, colleagues and the mission of the institution.

- College of Arts and Sciences Dean Jason Pierce

It’s with respect and gratitude that we bid goodbye to John Inglis, who among his many contributions, served as our 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 PhD 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 is 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 I mentioned, John served as department chair for eight years until I took over the role in 2016. He led us 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 both our department and all UD students are the better for it. What I most remember about John as chair is that he always said yes to things I asked him for - a most welcome quality in a department chair. He was unfailingly supportive and encouraging to all of us; 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 says that “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.”

I’ll give the last word to yet another colleague, who calls John “noble in many ways: as a person, as an intellectual, as a colleague and as a leader. I have learned from him that one can be important but modest, profound but simple, and independent but relevant. There have been a few people in my life whose acquaintance has given me hope that human existence is not absurd; John is one of them.”

We will miss John enormously, and we wish him all good things in his retirement.

- Rebecca Whisnant, Department of Philosophy

It’s with both pride and regret that we bid farewell to a revered colleague and undoubtedly our department’s most prolific scholar, Messay Kebede.

Messay came to UD in 1998, after earning his PhD 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 US as a political refugee and it took some time to arrange for his family to leave Ethiopia and join him here. I’m told 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 both 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 is a longtime frequent contributor to various popular websites and news publications, many in Ethiopia, demonstrating both 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 has contributed greatly to the range and diversity of our 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 reports 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 our students on critical thinking as well as on expanding and complicating their worldviews.

Another colleague shares 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 writes, “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.”

I know that 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. We wish him all the best, and we will miss him.

- Rebecca Whisnant, Department of Philosophy

Joe Mashburn has 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 has 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 is an excellent teaching colleague with a broad teaching agenda. He has taught 27 different courses, ranging from a remedial course in algebra to every one of the 8 calculus classes we offer, to upper-level electives like topology and set theory and a graduate course in differential equations. He is willing to teach wherever he is needed, even if that means a less-than-desirable teaching schedule. As the one responsible for building the mathematics composite, I can tell you that this is very much appreciated.

Joe has served the university in many different ways. He was department chair for eight years. During his tenure, we 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 has 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 has had a great impact on our students, the mathematics department and the university.

On a personal note, Joe was the chair of the search committee that hired me and a member of my tenure subcommittee, providing guidance throughout my pre-tenure years. He was my immediate predecessor as department chair, and he has been willing to provide input whenever I sought his advice on a matter related to my chair responsibilities. I value his council greatly.

I know I speak for my colleagues when I say that we will greatly miss his quiet leadership and his selfless service.

Wiebke Diestelkamp, Department of Mathematics

Dr. Portier earned an MA in theology from Washington Theological Union in 1972 and a PhD 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.

I first met Dr Portier in 2003 as a hapless graduate student at Duke University. He came to Duke to give a seminar on what would eventually become one of his most universally-known and cited papers, “Here Come the Evangelical Catholics.” This was a paper that, among other things, characterized Duke students - and it was notable that he didn’t just write about a new generation but came and walked among us. I remained in correspondence with him, and could today probably could fault him for getting my job at UD. But of course I had no idea at the time that one day, I would be the department chairperson offering these remarks.

I start with this anecdote to underscore that when I think of Dr. Portier, I think here is a man whose entire life is relationships. And that fact is crucial for understanding his significance in the field of theology and in our own department, most especially our doctoral program.

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. I 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 sees 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 brings this communion of saints to us today, not only by writing about them, but also by sharing with us 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 gives us 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 has truly infused the field of theology with contextual theology.

But Dr. Portier also meets his students and colleagues in our own contexts. COVID or not, he can always be 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 our doctoral program: he has directed 19 doctoral dissertations to completion, with another two on the way, in addition to directing seven MA theses, and an undergraduate honors thesis. His students hold a number of successful appointments in academic and beyond, and he has been 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. Our doctoral program is known in our field, our students are hired, in part because of the way Dr. Portier has extended his hand in friendship time and time again.

So again, I say: here is a man whose entire life is relationships. Our lives here at UD have been greatly enriched by being in relationship with him. I conclude with a song he often names from Crosby Stills and Nash: A new day, a new way, I knew, I should see it along Go your way, I'll go mine, And carry on.

So we’ll be carrying on here - in the love of God, and trusting that all the relationships Dr. Portier has cultivated so painstakingly over the years will remain even as he will now be Professor Emeritus of the Department of Religious Studies, and even though we will not have the immense pleasure of stopping by his office just to say hey. With good will and Godspeed, we wish you all our best.

- Jana Bennett, Department of Religious Studies

It is my honor and pleasure to say a few words about my colleague and friend Dr. Mike Sandy.

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 told me: “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 (or exactly 1/3 of a century), 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 both an aversion to campus meetings and a weakness for gourmet cookies that drew him to those meetings. (Can you even imagine such decadent days!) He published 60+ articles in leading journals, book chapters and books, and 80+ abstracts presented at national and international meetings. He was the recipient of both the College and University awards for outstanding scholarship. He has also mentored many students and junior faculty over the years. I still remember when I first got here, he took me on campus tours and field trips to show me local geology, and we were happily throwing acid on the Indiana limestone that makes up the walls of the Kennedy Union. With his outstanding achievement in scholarship, teaching and service, Mike has led a truly rich and impactful academic career. Congratulations, Mike!

Finally, Mike would like me to pass some words of appreciation. He is particularly grateful to his parents, who did not dissuade him from his interest in the natural world. His first wife Zena accompanied him on the transatlantic voyage to Ohio and supported him on his path to Full Professor at the age of 39. On this day, the “final promotion,” he wishes to send his love, kisses and hugs to his two daughters in the United States, Heather and Jillian, to his wife Yuliana and youngest daughter Marie with him in Bulgaria, and to friends and colleagues in Geology and Environmental Geosciences at UD and beyond. Last but not least, a very special mention for Chuck Ritter - wishing you a “Happy 90th Birthday” - tomorrow. God Bless You!

Thank you, Mike, for your contributions to our department and the university. We will miss you.

Shuang-Ye Wu, Department of Geology


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 has 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 has 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 1984-1986 and assistant to the vice president and treasurer from 1984-1992.

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.

- Daniel Thompson, Department of Religious Studies chair

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

In his career he has 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 has 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 has also been 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.

- David Johnson, Department of Chemistry chair

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.

- Julia Randel, Department of Music chair

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 has 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 embraces her faith as a foundational part of her life through a number of services and communal activities to help those in need. She is 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.

- Joseph Valenzano, Department of Communication chair



College of Arts and Sciences

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