New faculty bring a fresh perspective to Lakeland

Amanda Smith, Staff Reporter

Seven new faculty members joined the Lakeland community this fall, and the new lineup is said by Margaret Albrinck, vice president for academic affairs, to have already brought a new energy to the campus.

The psychology department has welcomed Associated Professor Dr. Anthony Liguori and Assistant Professor Dr. Jessica Kalmar. The business department received Assistant Professor of International Business Rene Ryman and Adjunct Instructor of Business James Dagley.

Other new additions to Lakeland’s faculty include Assistant Professor of General Studies Jodie Liedke, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Dr. Melissa Tetzlaff-Bemiller and Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands Christopher Werner.

According to Albrinck, they all bring experience and positive energy to the table.

“The fresh perspective they bring can help us as we refine our curriculum,” said Albrinck. “They will also help us to meet the needs of students and to create new courses.”

A few of the new faculty members were needed to meet the growing needs of the school while others were replacements. There were two retirements last year and two former professors moved onto other careers, which necessitated some of the new hires.

The qualities that the search committee looks for in a new hire is dependent on the needs of the department that they will be working in.

“First and foremost, I think every faculty member we hire has to be a great teacher and has to be open to collaboration because we are a tight nit community. Often times, they will have to teach and interact with students who are not majoring in their program,” said Albrinck.

The hiring process at Lakeland is not easy. The search committee conducts a national search to find potential faculty members. After they find four to seven possible hires, a phone interview is held with each candidate and the list is narrowed down to three or four finalists.

The last step is a visit to Lakeland in which a potential hire meets with faculty, Interim President Dan Eck, Albrinck, Human Resources, the search committee, and students. Next, the search committee decides whether or not to hire the candidate.

While the process may seem lengthy, administrators believe it the best way to ensure only quality hires are welcomed into the Lakeland College community.

Seven new faculty members explain what they are most excited about to be at Lakeland.

“I am most excited about the opportunity to teach many different types of psychology courses to students with so many different backgrounds and interests. I believe psychology is the most fascinating subject in the world, and I look forward to sharing my excitement about it with as many Muskies as possible,” said Dr. Anthony Liguori, associate professor of psychology.

“One of the things that attracted me to Lakeland is the opportunity that professors have to really get to know the students and have an impact on their academic careers and life choices. I am also thrilled to be playing an active role in revising the psychology curriculum with my amazing new colleagues and shaping it into an even more exciting and well-balanced major for the students,” Dr. Jessica Kalmar, assistant professor of psychology.

“As an alumna of Lakeland, I’m eager and thrilled to join the faculty and inspire students to challenge their ideas through writing and critical thinking. My students will be encouraged to ask and answer tough questions by evoking their passions in life and bringing them to the page,” Jodie Liedke, assistant professor of general studies.

“I am thrilled to be part of such a close-knit community and am looking forward to getting to know my students and fellow coworkers. I am excited to have the opportunity to work at a place that emphasizes a strong community, students and student success,” Melissa Tetzlaff-Bemiller, assistant professor of criminal justice.

“I’m excited to be a part of the Lakeland community, which is my alma mater. I truly enjoy bringing practical experience to the classroom to highlight business application and theory,” Jim Dagley, instructor of business administration and internship coordinator.

“I really enjoy the students and I like the smaller classes. The students seem very dedicated to their work. When I interviewed here at Lakeland, I liked the atmosphere and environment. For me, it seemed like the perfect place to work,” Rene Ryman, assistant professor of international business.

“The support of the faculty and enthusiasm of the students–everyone is very excited to see the program continue to grow and be successful,” Christopher Werner, assistant professor of music and director of bands.