Luther announces tenure and promotions for faculty

March 19, 2010

Luther College President Richard Torgerson and Dean of the College William Craft have announced grants of tenure and promotions for faculty members.

At its February meeting, the Luther Board of Regents approved grant of tenure for Craig Mosher, associate professor of social work, and grant of tenure and promotion to associate professor for Barbara Bohach, education; Brian Caton, history; Karen Kanakis, music; Sook-Young Lee, communication studies; Todd Pedlar, physics; Gregory Peterson, music; Jeannette Pillsbury, education; Craig Rabe, economics and business; Olga Rinco, chemistry; Brian Solberg, health and physical education; and Sören Steding, modern languages and literatures.

Regents also approved promotion to full professor for Odette Bruneau, education; Wanda Deifelt, religion; Philip Freeman, classics; and Jessica Paul, music.

Craig Mosher

Craig Mosher, social work, has been with Luther College since 2003. Mosher holds the bachelor of arts degree in chemistry from Antioch College, the master of arts degree in psychology from Columbia University, the doctoral degree in psychology from Union Institute and University, and the master of social work degree from the University of Iowa school of social work.

In 2006 Mosher received the Iowa Governor’s Award “in recognition of efforts to develop or preserve independent living units to ensure people with disabilities have access to housing in their community.”

Mosher is the author of numerous published articles and guest editorials. He is currently the director of the Luther social work program and chair of the sustainability council.

Barbara Bohach

Barbara Bohach, education, joined the Luther faculty in 1992 as a clinical instructor in education. Bohach holds the bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Viterbo College and the master of arts degree and the doctoral degree in education from the University of Northern Iowa.

Bohach frequently gives academic presentations including her most recent “Digital Dialogues: Pre-service Teachers Assess Fluency and Comprehension of At-Risk Readers” presentation at the conference of the International Reading Association in 2009.

Bohach was an Iowa Summit Participant in 2008. She was the principal writer for the Donaldson Grant for Technology Research Project received by Howard-Winneshiek Elementary School in 2008.

Brian Caton

Brian Caton, history, joined the Luther faculty in 2003. Caton holds the bachelor of arts degree in international relations, with honors in government, from the College of William and Mary, the master of arts degree with distinction from South Asia Regional Studies and the doctoral degree in history from the University of Pennsylvania.

Caton is involved in numerous scholarly societies including the Association for Asian Studies, American Historical Association, American Veterinary Medical History Society, American Society for Environmental History, American Institute for Pakistan Studies and the Society for Advancing the History of South Asia, where he is both a founding member and a member of the executive committee.

Caton is currently composing a text titled “Local Power, Colonial State: Herders and the Building of British Punjab in the Nineteenth Century.” He is the author of numerous articles and monographs published in professional and academic journals.

Karen Kanakis

Karen Kanakis, music, joined the Luther faculty in 2004. Kanakis holds the bachelor of arts degree cum laude from Missouri State University, the master of music degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and the doctor of musical arts degree in vocal performance from the University of North Texas.

From 1999-2000 Kanakis attended Hochshule für Musik Westfalen-Lippe as a Rotary International Scholar in Detmold, Germany.

Kanakis holds numerous professional organization memberships including the College Music Society, National Association of Teachers of Singing, Phi Eta Sigma and Pi Kappa Lambda.

Kanakis is a frequent performer. Her most recent performances in 2009 were in Verdi’s  “Falstaff” in Italy and Puccini’s “Suor Angelica,” also in Italy. She received the NATS Young Leader Award in 2008.

Sook-Young Lee

Sook-Young Lee, communication studies, joined the Luther faculty in 2002. Lee holds the bachelor of arts degree in journalism and mass communication from Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea, and the master of arts degree in speech communication. She holds the doctoral degree from the Ohio University school of interpersonal communication.

Lee has had three manuscripts published in refereed journals, including her most recent, “Becoming an Alien,” in the Iowa Journal of Communication in 2009. Lee is currently working on a book titled “Alien Diary.”

Todd Pedlar

Todd Pedlar, physics, holds the bachelor of arts degree in physics, summa cum laude, from Whitman College, and the doctoral degree in physics from Northwestern University. He joined the Luther faculty as a visiting assistant professor of physics in 2003.

Pedlar is extensively involved in small particle physics research. Over the past five years he has received several grants for research in heavy quarkonium spectroscopy with the CLEO and CLEO-c experiments from the National Science Foundation, the Research Corporation and Iowa College Foundation.

Pedlar maintains membership in several scholarly and professional organizations, including Phi Beta Kappa Society, American Physical Society and American Association of Physics Teachers.

Gregory Peterson

Gregory Peterson, music, has been with the Luther faculty since 2005. He holds the bachelor of arts degree in music from Luther College and the master of music degree from Yale University, where he was Hugh Giles Scholar in the Institute of Sacred Music and received the Harry B. Jepson Memorial Scholarship. He earned the doctor of musical arts degree in organ performance and pedagogy at the University of Iowa, where he was a Rahn Scholar. He has studied in master classes at the Gothenburg International Organ Academy in Sweden and the Summer Institute for French Organ Study.

Peterson is involved in professional organizations including the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (serving as president 1997-2001), the American Guild of Organists, the College Music Society and Pi Kappa Lambda national music honor society.

He is a frequent recitalist and has performed as an organ soloist in important venues throughout the United States and Europe.

Jeannette Pillsbury

Jeannette Pillsbury, education, holds the bachelor of arts degree from Sweet Briar College, the master of education degree in administration and supervision and the doctorate degree in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Virginia.

Before joining the Luther College faculty in 2004, Pillsbury worked in K-12 education as a teacher and administrator. She has taught in small town, suburban, and inner city school districts in Virginia, Maine and Massachusetts. Pillsbury is the author of several published articles including her most recent, “Updating Math Teaching and Learning for Pre-Service Elementary Education Teachers,” in the Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics Journal, 2009.

Craig Rabe

Craig Rabe, accounting and management, has been with Luther faculty since 2004. Rabe holds the bachelor of arts degree magna cum laude from Luther College and the master of business administration degree from the University of Minnesota.

Rabe serves with numerous community and civic organizations including council member of the First Lutheran Church, member of the finance committee, co-chair of Decorah Community School District Shareholders Group and treasurer of the board of directors of the  Northeast Iowa Montessori School.

Olga Rinco

Olga Rinco, chemistry, joined the Luther faculty as a visiting assistant professor of chemistry in 2003. Rinco holds the bachelor of science degree in chemistry and mathematics from McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, and the doctoral degree in physical organic chemistry from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Rinco is involved in host-guest research in the field of photochemistry. In 2007, Rinco received the Doris and Ragnvald Ylvisaker Endowment award from Luther College. Over the past five years she has received several grants for her research from the Monticello College Foundation and recently from the Grow Iowa Values Fund initiative of the Iowa government.

She published an initial paper on her research with seven student co-authors in fall 2009 in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A. She also is highly involved in campus activities and organizations as well as professional societies.

Brian Solberg

Brian Solberg, health/physical education, joined the Luther faculty in 1992. He holds the bachelor of arts degree in physical education from Luther College and the master of arts degree in athletic training from the University of Iowa.

Solberg is president of the local board of the American Heart Association and a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church; he has been a volunteer at the Decorah Teen Center.

Sören Steding

Sören Steding, modern languages and literatures, joined the Luther faculty in 2004. Steding holds the master of arts degree in German literature from Vanderbilt University and the doctorate degree in Germanistik from the University of Regensburg. He also holds another graduate degree from the University of Regensburg, Germany.

Steding, an accomplished creative writer, was a finalist for the 2009 Agatha Christie Krimipreis and the winner of the Kärntner Krimipreis, Austria’s only literary award for criminal short fiction.

Steding currently holds memberships in professional organizations including the American Association of Teachers of German, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the German Studies Association and the German Honor Society Delta Phi Alpha.

Odette Bruneau

Odette Bruneau, education, joined the Luther faculty in 1995. Bruneau holds the bachelor of science in elementary education from the University of Minnesota, the master’s degree in special education from the University of St. Thomas and the doctoral degree in special education from Texas Woman’s University.

Before coming to Luther College, Bruneau served 15 years as a general education teacher, special education teacher, special education program coordinator, and evaluation specialist. She has taught at the University of New Mexico, College of Santa Fe, Texas Christian University, and University of Texas at Lamar.

Bruneau has also taught English to elementary, high school, and college students in both Chengdu and Jinan, Peoples Republic of China.

Her most recent publication, “The Developing Portfolio: Assisting College Students in Creating Quality Portfolios,” co-authored with Andrea Bie, appeared in the 2008 issues of the International Journal of Learning.

Wanda Deifelt

Wanda Deifelt, religion and philosophy, holds the bachelor of theology degree from the Faculdade de Teologia, Escola Superior de Teologia in Sao Leopoldo, Brazil; the master’s degree in theology from the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary; and the doctoral degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and Northwestern University.

A member of the Luther faculty since 2004, Deifelt was previously a professor of systematic theology at Escola Superior de Teologia in Sao Leopoldo. Author of numerous publications, she has presented at many conferences, including the Lutheran Ethicists Conference, World Forum on Theology and Liberation and the International Network of Advanced Theological Education, covering topics such as women in the church, theological studies, leadership, and church and community.

Philip Freeman

Philip Freeman, classics, holds the bachelor of arts degree in classics from the University of Texas and both the master’s degree in Celtic languages and literatures and the doctoral degree in classical philology and Celtic languages and literature from Harvard University. 

A member of the Luther faculty since 2004, he was previously a visiting scholar at Harvard Divinity School. He is the author of numerous publications, including the books “St. Patrick of Ireland,” “Julius Caesar” and  “The Philosopher and the Druids: A Journey Among the Ancient Celts.” 

Freeman frequently presents his research at conferences. He has recently completed research in Greece for a biography of Alexander the Great. Freeman holds the Orando W. Qualley Chair of Classical Languages at Luther College.

Jessica Paul

Jessica Paul, music, has been with the Luther faculty since 1985. Paul holds the bachelor of music degree in piano performance from Northwestern University, the master of music degree in vocal coaching and accompanying from the University of Illinois and the doctorate degree in vocal coaching and accompanying, also from the University of Illinois.

She is frequently engaged as a collaborative pianist and guest clinician, and she has worked with such opera companies as the Pittsburgh Opera Theatre, Opera Theatre of Illinois, National Opera Company, Cleveland Opera Theatre, Virginia Opera Association, Lake George Opera Festival, Cedar Rapids Opera, and Pine Mountain Music Festival.

She is the former principal conductor and artistic director of the Dorian Opera Theatre and she serves at Luther College as vocal coach, collaborative pianist, and teacher of accompanying. Her on-going research projects include the study of art song of Lithuania and the vocal works of women composers, specifically 20th century American composers.