Gustavus Grants Tenure to Seven Faculty Members

Posted on February 2nd, 2009 by

Gustavus Adolphus College is pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has granted continuous tenure to seven faculty members, effective Sept. 1, 2009.

The newly tenured faculty members are Margaret C. Bloch Qazi (biology), Priscilla Briggs (art and art history), Scott K. Bur (chemistry), Casey Elledge (religion), Elizabeth A. Jenner (sociology and anthropology), Sujay Rao (history), and Michelle L. Twait (library). Shortened biographies of each faculty member are available below.

“I offer my congratulations and am humbled by the achievements of our seven faculty colleagues,” said Gustavus Provost Mary E. Morton. “These members of our community have been awarded continuous tenure by our Board of Trustees for having met the criteria for teaching excellence, an emerging pattern of professional activities, an emerging pattern of involvement in activities of the College, and continuing evidence of sympathy with the aims and purposes of the College. In addition, each has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor, effective next fall.”

Margaret C. Bloch Qazi holds a B.A. in biology from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in biology from Tufts University. Since arriving at Gustavus in 2003, Bloch Qazi has received three research grants including a Presidential Faculty/Student Collaborative Grant in 2005. She has served on the Faculty Development Committee since 2006 and has been a Kendall Center Faculty Associate for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning since 2008. She is also the advisor for the College’s pre-veterinary program

Priscilla Briggs holds a B.A. in graphic and language arts from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.F.A. in photography and digital imaging from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Briggs served on the Faculty Development Committee for one year and is currently a member of the International and Domestic Programs Committee. Briggs is also the advisor for the College’s radio station. In the fall of 2008, Briggs received a $25,000 fellowship from the McKnight Foundation to support her work in the field of photography.

Scott K. Bur holds a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Texas, Austin. Since arriving at Gustavus in 2003, Bur has received six research grants including one from the American Chemical Society. He is currently a member of the Faculty Senate, the Program Assessment and Development Committee, and the Nobel Hall Space Committee. Bur previously served one year on the Academic Operations Committee.

Casey Elledge holds a B.A. in English from Centenary College, and both a M.Div. and Ph.D. from Princeton Seminary. Elledge is Chair of the Gustavus Lecture Series as well as a member of the Achievement Recognition Committee and the Academic Petitions Committee. Since arriving at Gustavus in 2002, Elledge has been a part of five major academic publications and four general audience publications. His publications include Life after Death in Early Judaism: The Evidence of Josephus and The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls: An Introductino to Qumran and Its Literature.

Elizabeth A. Jenner holds a B.A. in women’s studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and both an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jenner has been a member of the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Committee since 2002 and was President of the College’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for three years from 2006 to 2008. She has taught at Gustavus since 2002.

Sujay Rao holds an A.B. in history from Cornell University and both an A.M. and Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. In 2007, Rao received a summer stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2008, he received the Diversity Honors Award from the College. He has served as Director of the First Term Seminars Program since 2007. He is currently a member of the Curriculum Committee, the Health Plan and Benefits Advisory Committee, and the Faculty Compensation Subcommittee. Rao has taught at Gustavus since 2003.

Michelle Twait holds a B.A. in history from Gustavus, an M.S. in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an M.A. in psychological foundations of education from the University of Minnesota. She has served as an academic librarian since 2000 and an assistant professor since 2002. She is currently Advisor for the College’s chapter of Alpha Phi Omega and the Faculty Advisor for the MacArthur Scholars Fellowship Program. She is also a current member of the International and Experiential Education Committee and the Course Approval Subcommittee.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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