The Westminster College Board of Trustees approved four professors for tenure at the February 2016 board meeting:
Professor Elise Bartley
An assistant professor of accounting at Westminster, Bartley earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Accountancy from the University of Missouri and became a Certified Public Accountant. She then worked as an auditor at Ernst & Young in Kansas City before coming to Westminster in 2010 as an assistant professor of accounting. Bartley regularly leads her students on community service projects, and since she joined the Westminster faculty, her students have gone on to work at “Big 4” accounting firms Ernst & Young, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and KPMG.
In fall 2013, she was chosen as the Dean’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Award winner for the Social Sciences Division, and she was selected by Westminster’s seniors to receive the Patricia Klein Liebling Parents Association Faculty Award at the May 2014 commencement ceremonies. In 2015, she was also the recipient of the Lee Hunter Fellowship in Business.
Dr. Abby Coats
An assistant professor in Westminster’s psychology department, Coats is responsible for teaching a wide variety of classes for both psychology and education majors. Her leadership positions are varied as well; she serves as chair of psychology and was elected to the Faculty Personnel, Assessment and Ethics in Research committees.
Coats serves as an adviser to 18 to 38 students each year; offers a freshman seminar class that emphasizes critical thinking; and regularly works with students on research, publication and presentations for journals and conferences, all while pursuing her own research interests. Coats is the lead author on three widely cited journal publications, and she was recognized at the 2015 Alpha Chi induction ceremony for her exceptional care about the lives and success of her students (click here for video).
Dr. Lisa Fein
An assistant professor of sociology, Fein’s research and teaching interests include citizenship, ethnicity, gender and cultural practices from a global perspective. She earned her A.B. in Russian studies from Columbia University and an M.A. in Russian and East European studies, an M.A. in sociology and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan. At Westminster, Fein has developed nine new upper-level sociology courses, created a human services track within the sociology major and serves as director of the new criminal justice minor, which she designed.
Fein is the author and co-author of three peer-reviewed journal articles, has presented at numerous conferences and has served as department chair for sociology and anthropology and secretary and chair of the Curriculum Committee. Currently, she serves on the Faculty Executive Committee, the Committee on Teaching and Learning, the Ethics in Research Committee, the Professional Standards Committee and the Sexual Misconduct Review Board. Fein was recognized at the 2015 Alpha Chi induction ceremony for her exceptional care about the lives and success of her students (click here for video).
Dr. David Schmidt
Schmidt is an assistant professor of environmental science at Westminster, where he’s known for bringing energy and enthusiasm to the classroom. He has earned exceptional IDEA results and multiple Alpha Chi student recognitions, as well as this year’s Buschman Junior Faculty Award for the Natural and Mathematical Sciences Division. He has served Westminster on the Executive Committee and Honor Commission, helped established the College’s first Summer STEM Academy, co-authored multiple abstracts and given several conference presentations. Schmidt is also deeply involved in research with undergraduates and has become widely known for his summer field trips with students to the Badlands of Nebraska and South Dakota, work that has resulted in several award-winning poster presentations for Westminster students.
Also during the February meeting, the Westminster Board approved promotions for Bartley, Coats, Fein and Schmidt from assistant professor to associate professor. In addition, Dr. Bill Carner and Dr. Sue Serota were approved for promotions from associate professor to professor.
Congratulations to these faculty members, and thank you for your dedication to Westminster students!