Academic Spotlight
Faculty Research, Performance and Exhibitions

Five Faculty Members Earn Tenure in 2010

Story posted February 11, 2010

Five Bowdoin faculty members have been promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure, effective July 1, 2010. The Board of Trustees voted on their promotion during their Feb. 4-6, 2010, meeting.

Those faculty members are: Michael M. Franz (government); Laura A. Henry (government); Hadley Wilson Horch (biology and neuroscience); Thomas Pietraho (mathematics); and Margaret Hanétha Vété-Congolo (romance languages French).

The Board of Trustees also approved the hire of a new faculty member in English-creative writing, with tenure: Brock Clarke, winner of the Pushcart Prize for Fiction, who will join the Bowdoin faculty July 1, 2010. (Read more about him in an upcoming Academic Spotlight.)

About the promoted faculty members:

Michael Franz

Michael M. Franz is a political scientist whose research focuses on the efficacy of political advertising and the role of interest groups on the electoral process. He is the author of two books, most recently: Choices and Changes: Interest Groups in the Electoral Process (Temple University Press, 2008. Franz is frequently sought out by major media as an expert on campaign advertising and has appeared in the New York Times and Al Jazeera. He is winner of the E.E. Schattschneider Award from the American Political Science Association and the Congressional Research Award from the Dirksen Congressional Center. Franz earned his B.A. in political science and American studies at Fairfield University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from University of Wisconsin, Madison. His doctoral dissertation was named best in the field in 2007 by the American Political Science Association. Franz teaches a wide variety of courses, including Introduction to Political Behavior; Money and Politics; Quantitative Analysis in Political Science; and Mass Media in American Politics. He joined the Bowdoin faculty in 2005. Learn more.

laura henry

Laura A. Henry is a political scientist with a special focus on post-Soviet studies, especially state-society relations and environmental issues in post-communist Russia. She was co-organizer of the 2009 Bowdoin conference, "Redefining the Common Good after Communism. Henry has published widely and is author of two books, including Red to Green: Environmental Activism in Post-Soviet Russia (Cornell University Press, 2010). She earned her B.A. in political science/history at Wellesley College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in political science at the University of California, Berkeley. Her courses include: Democracy and Democratization; NGOs in Politics; Post Communist Russia: Politics of the European Union; and Social Protest and Political Change. Henry's work has received widespread honors, including a Fulbright Fellowship, Social Science Research Council Fellowship; and Visiting Scholar, Center for Independent Social Research, St. Petersburg, Russia (2007-08). Henry is the winner of the 2009 Sydney B. Karofsky Prize for Junior Faculty and recipient of two Fletcher Family Research Fund awards from Bowdoin. She joined the Bowdoin faculty in 2004. Read story.

Hadley Horch

Hadley Wilson Horch is a molecular neurobiologist whose primary research focuses on regeneration, behavior, and development in the auditory system of the cricket. Her work has garnered numerous federally funded grants, including the National Institute of Health, IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), Grass Foundation, and SOMAS. She was awarded a highly competitive Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in 2005. Horch's articles have appeared in top-tier journals including Developmental Neuroscience and Journal of Comparative Neurology. A highly committed mentor, Horch has worked with 22 students in her lab, 15 of whom have completed projects and presented at national meetings and over half of whom have gone on to graduate school. She has served on several major College committees, including the Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee and Faculty Appeals and Grievances Committee. Horch earned a B.A. in biology at Swarthmore College, a Ph.D. in neurobiology at Duke University, and was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University. She joined the Bowdoin faculty in 2002. Read more.


Thomas Pietraho is a mathematician whose work focuses on representation theory of reductive Lie groups, geometric quantization, the combinatorics of representation theory, and mathematical modeling of real-world problems. His courses include: Integral Calculus; Functions of a Complex Variable; Algebraic Topology; Differential Geometry, and several independent studies on Financial Mathematics. Pietraho's work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Algebraic Combinatorics, New York Journal of Mathematics, and Journal of Algebra and he has lectured widely at institutions around the country. Pietraho has helped organize several lecture and colloquia series, including an ongoing lunchtime mathematics seminar at the College. He earned his B.A. and M.S. in mathematics at the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Pietraho received two Fletcher Family Research Awards from Bowdoin. He joined the Bowdoin faculty in 2001.


Margaret Hanétha Vété-Congolo (romance languages-French) is a scholar of African and Caribbean orality and literature, whose areas of research include: Francophone oral and written literatures; Francophone literature from the Caribbean and from West and North Africa; the 20th century French novel, French History, and Caribbean history and sociology. She is an accomplished writer whose 2009 collection of poems, Avoir et Etre (Le Chasseur abstrait, Paris, 2009) included an introduction by the prize-winning African novelist Alain Mabanckou. Vété-Congolo teaches a wide range of classes, including Francophone Cultures; Voices of Women, Voices of the People; Jewish and Black Figures in French Texts. She is author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and was director of the 8th International Conference of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars (Martinique, 2002). She received course enrichment funds, a Fletcher Family research award and a course development award from Bowdoin. Vété-Congolo earned her B.A., M.A., DEA, and Ph.D. at the Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, Martinique. She joined the Bowdoin faculty in 2001.

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