Fifteen faculty hirings reflect growth, expansion into new program areas

Fifteen faculty hirings reflect growth, expansion into new program areas
September 29, 2009

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094

The times they are exciting. Benedictine University has announced the hiring of 15 new faculty members for the 2009-2010 academic year. Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Don Taylor characterized the addition of the new faculty members as a reflection of the University’s overall growth and expansion into new program areas. “It is an exciting time at Benedictine,” he said. “The institution is growing as a comprehensive university offering undergraduate, graduate and doctorate programs. We are moving into new program areas. This is an impressive group of faculty both in breadth and depth. They have tremendous applied experience, some with as many as 20 to 30 years of corporate experience.” The University now has 112 full-time faculty members, the most in its 122-year history. The new faculty members include: Philip Novack-Gotschall, a resident of Oak Park, has been named assistant professor of Biology. Novack-Gotschall earned a Ph.D. in Biology at Duke University. An expert in comparative paleoecology and ecology of invertebrate animals and marine communities, he spent four years as an assistant professor at the University of West Georgia. Jayashree Sarathy, a resident of Aurora, has been named term instructor of Biology. Sarathy earned a Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Illinois-Chicago and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Previously, she was an adjunct at Benedictine and Waubonsee Community College. Kari Stone, a resident of Naperville, has been named an assistant professor of Chemistry. Stone earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Pennsylvania State University and was a postdoctoral associate at the University of California-Irvine. Her expertise is in the area of synthetic inorganic chemistry. Akira Sano, a resident of Woodridge, has been named term assistant professor of Mathematics. Sano earned a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Illinois and had been a visiting professor at the University of Missouri since 2006. Previously, Sano was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Mathematics at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. Sunil Chand, a resident of Wheaton, has been named professor and director of the Higher Education and Organizational Change program. Chand earned a Ph.D. in Literature from Kent State University. He is the President Emeritus of College of DuPage and former executive vice president for Academic and Student Affairs at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio. Susan Bailey, a resident of Forest Park, has been named assistant professor in the Master of Public Health program. Bailey earned a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of North Carolina. An expert in health-risk behaviors among youth, she previously served as a research associate professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago and as a research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Chris Birks, a resident of Geneva, has been named assistant professor of Communication Arts. Birks earned a Master of Arts in Mass Communication at Northern Illinois University and has more than 15 years of experience in news journalism. Olga Lambert, a resident of Lisle, has been named assistant professor of CORE Humanities and Language and Literature. Lambert earned an Ed.D. in Human Development and Psychology with a concentration in Language and Literacy at Harvard University. Fluent in French and Russian, Lambert recently published an article on adult immigrants learning English in the Adult Basic Education and Literacy Journal. Phil Hardy, a resident of Winfield, has been named term instructor of Political Science. An expert in American government, Hardy is a Ph.D. candidate in American Politics at Arizona State University and has been an adjunct at Benedictine University since the Fall 2007 term. Teresa Parker, a resident of the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, has been named term instructor in Fine Arts and curator of the Benedictine Art Collection. Parker earned a Master of Fine Arts at Illinois State University and has taught as an adjunct professor at Benedictine since 2005. Rita George Tvrtkovic, a resident of Chicago, has been named assistant professor of Theology and CORE Humanities. Tvrtkovic earned a Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame and is an expert in Catholic historical theology and contemporary Catholic ministry. Thomas Yu, a resident of Naperville, has been named instructor in the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) and Master of Science in Accountancy (M.S.A.) programs. Yu earned a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering at Texas A&M University and Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from Arizona State University. Lu Zhang, a native of Shanghai, China, has been named instructor in the M.B.A. and M.S.A. programs. Zhang earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Iowa State University and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Jiao Tong University in Shanghai. Deborah Hockman, a resident of Geneva, has been named director of the Business with Science Applications program in the College of Business. Hockman earned a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry at Loyola University and has more than 25 years of global executive leadership experience in Fortune 500 companies. Jim Gustafson, a resident of West Des Moines, Iowa, has been named Leadership Scholar-in-Residence and Director of Executive Education in the College of Business’ Center for Values-Driven Leadership. Gustafson earned a Ph.D. in Organization Development from Benedictine University and an M.B.A. from the University of Redlands, Calif. Gustafson is the former director of Organization Transformation at U.S. Cellular Corporation, a founding member of the editorial peer review board for the Journal of Servant-Leadership and former editor-in-chief of the Organization Development Journal.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.