Beginning this year, the Lynch School of Education will hire three new faculty members every year for three years, for a total of nine new faculty hires. Two of the three new hires have been confirmed for this year, and one prospective hire has been offered a position, but has not yet accepted.
According to Dean of LSOE Stanton Wortham, the new round of hiring is in response to a recent spate in retirements. The authorization of nine new hires came after previous additions to LSOE faculty last year. In fact, Wortham was among the three new faculty members who began this year. With the natural cycle of tenured faculty leaving at a rate of one or two every year, Wortham said that it is time for a new generation of professors to be hired.
“We’re excited about this new opportunity, and we’re excited that the University is supporting us,” Wortham said. “It’s nice to be able to bring in some new young people. Almost all of them will be at the assistant professor level.”
The new hires will be professors who have just finished their degrees or are early on in their careers, and have just been trained in the “newest things,” Worthan said.
Andres Castro Samayoa and Jon Wargo have both accepted the offer to work at LSOE, and Gabrielle Oliveira is expected to accept.
Castro Samayoa is from El Salvador, and is currently finishing his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania. He researches Hispanic-serving institutions, and has been hired to the department of educational leadership and higher education.
Wargo is an assistant professor at Wayne State University, and researches the intersections of language and literacy education, technology, and cultural studies. He is motivated by a strong passion for educational equity.
Oliveira is from Brazil, and is currently a lecturer at the Teachers College of Columbia. Her research and dissertation have focused on female Mexican migration to the U.S.
“I’m excited about these three new colleagues,” Wortham said. “They’re all smart people, they’re coming from excellent doctoral programs, and they do interesting research.”
Lynch plans to hire three people each to the educational research, measurement, and evaluation department; the counseling, developmental, and educational psychology department; and the educational leadership and higher education department.
“The environment for hiring faculty is a good environment,” Wortham said. “BC is an attractive place for a faculty person—excellent students, it’s got enough resources, in a good city—and because of that, we can pick really good people to come.”
When looking at prospective hires, Wortham outlines three crucial criteria—quality, diversity, and sense of community. He describes a quality candidate as a smart NS energetic researcher doing meaningful research who can work with other areas of discipline creatively. He said that they aim to hire people who are not “too specialized,” because education is constantly changing, and Lynch is not looking for people who are too narrowly focused and unable to apply their speciality in different ways.
Wortham said the second criterion, diversity, is especially important to maintain Lynch as a rich and dynamic learning space. During the hiring process, Wortham said Lynch is looking for people with different backgrounds and experiences, who may not have been born in the United States and may not speak English as their first language, and who come from underrepresented minority groups.
The third criterion is having a sense of community. While many top universities have very competitive faculty members who have the goal of furthering their own careers through their own research, Wortham said, BC, and Lynch in particular, are highly collaborative communities.
“My third criterion is that we want to hire decent human beings who are going to contribute to the community and not just do their own thing and hide in their office,” Wortham said.
Featured Image by Alex Gaynor / Heights Staff