Trine University promotes faculty members

April 04, 2023

The Trine University Board of Trustees recently approved the promotion of 16 university faculty members.

“We are grateful for all our outstanding faculty at Trine, and proud to recognize these individuals for their teaching excellence and service to the university, their professional field and their students,” said Catherine Swick, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs. “Congratulations to those who earned a promotion in rank, and thank you to all our faculty for the excellent service and expertise they provide to our students.”

Instructor to assistant professor

Two faculty were promoted from instructor to assistant professor: Vinzenz Lang, Rinker-Ross School of Health Sciences, and Timothy (TJ) Murphy, Reiners Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Lang was noted for having a great rapport with students, graduates and colleagues, and for engaging students with subject matter. In a section of Lifetime Wellness, one student wrote that the course “greatly affected my overall health for the better” and Lang employed “hilarious jokes and videos to make the class even better.”

Murphy has been the faculty advisor for the Trine student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers for 13 years. In this role, he has led the student chapter from nearly being suspended to becoming the second-ranked chapter in the world.

7 promoted to associate professor

Seven faculty were promoted from assistant professor to associate professor: Max Gong, Ph.D., Bock Department of Biomedical Engineering; Kinsey Kelly, Ph.D., Bock Department of Biomedical Engineering; David Quist, Ph.D., Rinker-Ross School of Health Sciences; Megan Tolin, Franks School of Education; Anthony Vasaturo, Ph.D., Department of Mathematics; Emily Watkins, DPT, Rinker-Ross School of Health Sciences; and Godfred Yamoah, Ph.D., Department of Mathematics.

Gong connects students to the larger field through his research, involvement in the field and securing grants to bring students into direct research. Students who are currently research assistants at top research institutions attest to his influence as being a strong reason they have continued in the field.

Kelly has three publications in preparation. In addition, she published seven papers prior to joining Trine. She has initiated applications for two funded grants and currently serves as chair for the university’s Institutional Review Board.

Quist’s university service includes advising the student chapter of the American Chemical Society, National Chemical Week demonstrations for students and prospective students, designing laboratories for the newest Best Hall addition, judging the Northeast Indiana Tri-State Regional Science Fair and serving on multiple university committees. His scholarly activities involve continued investigation of aspects related to his doctoral research, which has inspired students to select these topics for senior research projects.

Tolin continues to present at numerous conferences and trains educational communities in elements of educational technologies. She is involved with many committees on campus, including the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Open Educational Resource Committee and the University Experience 101 Redesign Ad Hoc Committee. Additionally, she mentors students in the Theta Phi Alpha sorority, volunteers during finals week events and assists in coordinating Franks School of Education visits and recruitment material.

Vasaturo is a frequent attendee of Mathematical Association of America meetings. He is a co-founder of the “Modern Number Theory and Algebraic Geometry” Discord and the associated “Expanding the Margin” Number Theory blog. He has served as a member of university’s Ethical Standards Committee since spring 2022, advisor for the Trine Powerlifting Club since spring 2022, and a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee since fall 2020. He also serves as a coordinator for Math Colloquia.

In addition, Vasaturo has earned online teaching certifications and developed and taught new courses for Angola campus students and TrineOnline.

Watkins’ service to the university includes student advising, advising the Health Sciences Association, and advising the Exercise Program Signage for the Local Trails Network. Her scholarly activities include student research projects and kinesthetic and neuromuscular learning patterns as they relate to physical activity and potential for lower extremity injuries. She has published two research articles in her first three years at the university.

Yamoah has presented four Indiana-Mathematical Association of America talks. He also has four published papers and one accepted. He serves on the university’s Institutional Research Board and its Ethical Standards Committee, and has secured about $10,000 in summer research funding for a Trine University undergraduate. He also has submitted other external grant requests.

Promoted to full professor

Seven faculty were promoted from associate professor to full professor: Maria Gerschutz, Ph.D., chair, Bock Department of Biomedical Engineering; Gary Greene, Ph.D., chair, Reiners Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Anthony Kline, Ph.D., dean, Franks School of Education; Amanda Malefyt, Ph.D., chair, McKetta Department of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering; Hong Park, Ph.D., Rinker-Ross School of Health Sciences; Kelly Trusty, Ph.D., Ketner School of Business; and Kevin Woolverton, Ph.D., Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Gerschutz earned the university’s Barrenbrugge Award for Faculty Excellence in May 2021, as well as McKetta teaching awards in 2015 and 2019, including the Moore Overall Excellence in Teaching Award in 2019. She also was named ASEE Illinois – Indiana Outstanding Teacher in 2016.

Gerschutz has served as chair of the Bock Department of Biomedical Engineering since 2014. While chair of this new department, she acquired ABET accreditation and provided leadership through two cycles of accreditation. She also initiated the STEM Design Symposium and the BME Industry Day.  

She has published several articles and is an active member of ASEE.

Greene is the current Dresser Chair for the Reiners Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and has won two McKetta teaching awards at Trine. He is very active in professional development activities, including a summer as visiting professor for the National Academy of Sciences. He also has earned a $10,000 grant for student research, and is chair of a very active American Concrete Institute subcommittee.

He is an active member of the university lab safety and ethical standards committees. He also develops 3D models for numerous faculty in the Allen School of Engineering and Computing.

Kline has an accomplished list of presentations at the national, state and local level, as well as multiple publications. He continues to inform educators on current, relevant topics such as culturally diverse teaching, social-emotional learning and student-centered teaching.

Kline has led a complete redesign of Trine’s education programs, including course creation and revision, grant applications, discipline-specific course of study revisions and increased recruitment efforts. During his tenure as dean, enrollment in the Franks School of Education has grown by 187%.

As the chair of the McKetta Department of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, Malefyt navigated the ABET recertification process with a report submitted in 2020.  She serves as faculty advisor for Omega Chi Epsilon Honor Society and the Bridge Club. In addition, she is a member of the Humanities Institute Board and the Faculty Development Committee. She also has contributed to professional publications. 

Park has taught 10 different courses with laboratories, some of which he developed in their entirety. His university service includes academic advising, search committees for new faculty, Budgetary Committee, design of new labs in the newest Best Hall addition, Northeast Indiana Tri-State Regional Science Fair judge, guidance of student research and presentations at Butler University, and consultation with DeKalb High School biology teachers.

Park’s genetics research was published in refereed scientific journals in each of the last four years. He collaborates with faculty in other universities on research and has presented his research in several international forums.

Trusty recently completed her MBA at Trine, in addition to already holding a Ph.D. She completed updates to a supervision textbook in the fall and added Dare to Lead Courageous Leadership training to her extensive list of certifications.

She leads the Ehinger Fellows, which provides leadership opportunities each year to 30 business and engineering students, and P2, which provides programming on many topics outside of traditional academic programs. She also serves on Trine’s Promotion Committee and on the steering committee for the new makerspace. In the community, she is actively involved with the Friends of Pokagon and the Steuben County Community Foundation. 

Woolverton received a McKetta Teaching award in 2020. He was integral to the development of the Master of Science in Information Studies program at Trine. He serves as faculty advisor for the Amateur Radio Club and has been vice president of the Faculty Advisory Committee.

Woolverton has served as presenter and panel guest at the Arizona SciTech Conference and is an active member of ASEE and IEEE. He received an Indiana Space Grant in 2019 for a Mars Electrical Rover.

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