Six Professors Earn Tenure in 2009

Story posted February 12, 2009

Six Bowdoin faculty members have been promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure, effective July 1, 2009. The Board of Trustees voted on their promotion during their Feb. 5-7, 2009, meeting on campus.

Those faculty members are: Charles Dorn, assistant professor of education; David M. Gordon, assistant professor of history; Aaron W. Kitch, assistant professor of English; Elizabeth A. Pritchard, assistant professor of religion; Vineet A. Shende, assistant professor of music; and Laura I. Toma, assistant professor of computer science.

About the promoted faculty members:

Charles Dorn
Chuck Dorn

Charles Dorn is an educational historian whose recent research examines the civic functions of education in the United States. He is a leading expert on the founding of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and is author of the book, American Education, Democracy, and the Second World War (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2007). Dorn earned a B.A. in American Studies from The George Washington University, a M.A. in education from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in education from the University of California, Berkeley. Dorn's career as a scholar and Bowdoin professor was preceded by over a decade of teaching in public and private secondary schools, making him a valued mentor for dozens of Bowdoin students working toward their teacher certification. In 2007, he was awarded the Karofsky Prize for Junior Faculty, the highest prize given to honor distinction in teaching at the College. Read more.

David Gordon
David Gordon

David M. Gordon is an historian, with a research specialty in southern and central African studies, and African environmental movements. He has been widely published in journals including Journal of African History, Journal of Southern African Studies, and African Studies, and is author of the book, Nachituti's Gift: Economy, Society, and Environment in Central Africa, which was a finalist for the Herskovitz Award for Best Book in African Studies in 2006. A native of South Africa, Gordon earned a B.A. in Economic History and Sociology at the University of Cape Town, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Princeton University. He taught at the University of Maryland before joining the Bowdoin faculty in 2005, where he has taught wide range of interdisciplinary courses, including "Conquest, Colonialism, and Independence: Africa since 1880," and "From Montezuma to Bin Laden: Globalization and Its Critics." Gordon has earned support for his research from the Rockefeller Foundation and Rice University Humanities Research Center, among others. Read more.

Aaron Kitch
Aaron Kitch

Aaron W. Kitch is a scholar whose research interests include early modern drama, economics and literature, and the history of printing. He joined the Bowdoin faculty in 2002, and has delighted students with his inventive approach to the study of Renaissance drama and literature. A recent course "Race-ing the Renaissance," examines representations of ethnic and cultural otherness in authors from Shakespeare to Thomas Browne. Kitch has published essays on Renaissance literature, economics and culture in journals such as Renaissance Drama, Studies in English Literature, and Religion and Literature and served as managing editor of Journal of Modern Philology. He earned a B.A. in English and philosophy from Yale, an M.A. in English literature from University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. Kitch has served widely on College committees, including the Judicial Board, First-Year Seminar Committee and Committee on Governance. He is organizer of the Medieval and Renaissance Faculty Seminar. Read more.

Elizabeth Pritchard
Elizabeth Pritchard

Elizabeth Pritchard is a scholar of modern religious thought, whose research interests include feminist and gender studies in theology, comparative models of secularization, and Christianity and culture in the modern West. A highly involved teacher, Pritchard has taught on subjects as wide-ranging as "Marxism and Religion," "Monotheism and Masculinity," and "Sex and the Church." She has presented widely and has published in journals including Harvard Theological Review and is a frequent contributor to Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, where she has served as managing editor, guest editor and editorial board member. Pritchard earned her A.B. from Boston College, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, before studying at Harvard University, where she earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in study of religion, and an M.T.S. in theology and ethics from Harvard Divinity School. She joined the Bowdoin faculty as a visiting professor in 1998 and as assistant professor in 2002.

Vineet Shende
Vineet Shende

Vineet Shende is a composer whose works often span musical genres and mingle classical and world traditions. He won the prestigious ASCAP Young Composer Award in 2001, followed by a commission for the National Symphony Orchestra, Razzle, which premiered at the Kennedy Center with conductor Leonard Slatkin. He has composed over 30 works including commissions for the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Aeolian Chamber Players, Flexible Music, and Seal Bay Festival, among others. A dynamic teacher and musician, Shende teaches a wide range of composition and music theory courses and directs Bowdoin's electronic music program. He also performs as a concert guitarist, sitarist and vocalist. He earned a BA from Grinnell College, a Master of Music from Butler University, and a Ph.D. in composition from Cornell University. He has taught at Bowdoin since 2002. Read more.

Laura Toma
Laura Toma

Laura Toma is a computer scientist whose research focuses on I/O-efficient algorithms and data structures. Her most recent work involves terrain processing and scalability issues in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). She recently established a GIS lab at Bowdoin and has worked with student researchers to develop open source software that greatly reduces computation time for large amounts of geographic data. Toma has published widely in journals and presented her research at conferences around the world. Her research has received funding from the National Science Foundation. Toma is a native of Romania, who earned a B.S. and M.S. from the University Politehnica in Bucharest, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from Duke University, before joining the Bowdoin faculty in 2003. Read more.

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