Centre College awards faculty tenure, promotions

April 27, 2004

Several Centre College faculty members were granted tenure and/or promotions during the spring meeting of the board of trustees.

Laurence Bitensky, assistant professor of music; Matthew Hallock, assistant professor of dramatic arts; and Alex McAllister, assistant professor of mathematics, received tenure.

McAllister also was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor, and Jennifer McMahon, who teaches philosophy, was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor.

Promoted to the rank of professor from associate professor were Christine Barton, biology; Patricia Finch, Spanish; William Johnston, mathematics; and Phyllis Passariello, anthropology.


Bitensky came to Centre College in 1998. He is a composer and pianist, specializing in teaching composition, music theory, musicianship, world music and piano. His compositions have been performed throughout the United States and abroad.

Hallock joined the Centre faculty in 1997. He is involved in the college's three major productions each year, serving as scenic, costume and lighting designer as well as teaching the technology and design portion of the dramatic arts curriculum.

McAllister came to Centre in 1999 from teaching positions at Dartmouth College and the University of Notre Dame. His scholarly interests include mathematical logic and computability theory with a focus on exploring the essential limitations of mathematical reasoning and idealized computers.

McMahon has taught philosophy at Centre since 1997. She has expertise in existentialism, 19th- and 20th-century continental philosophy, philosophy and literature, Asian philosophy, aesthetics and biomedical ethics.

Barton, who came to Centre in 1981, teaches biology and has served as chairwoman of the division of science and mathematics. Her research interests have focused on behavioral and ecological interactions in aquatic systems.

Finch has taught Spanish at Centre since 1991. She is co-writing a book, "Don Quijote in Western Art and Thought," and has been commissioned to prepare a Spanish-language edition of "La Celestina."

Johnston, associate dean at Centre, joined the mathematics faculty in 1988. He authored a textbook on introductory statistics. Johnston has chaired the mathematics program and created several new mathematics courses on mathematical modeling, game theory, decision-making and applied mathematics.

Passariello has taught at Centre since 1988. She involves her students in field work and collaborative research in a variety of areas, including cross-cultural examination of pilgrimage, tourism and sustainable development. Passariello has led study-trips all over the world, from Spain and Morocco to the South Seas. She has served as director of Centre's program in Quito, Ecuador, and will direct Centre's program in the Yucatan, Mexico, next fall.

Prior to joining the Centre faculty, she taught at several branches of the University of Maine and at Bowdoin College and worked in museums in Maine, Connecticut and California.

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