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Nine new members join Benedictine faculty for 2014-15 academic year

September 8, 2014

Lisle, Illinois – Nine new members have joined the faculty at Benedictine University for the 2014-15 academic year, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maria de la Camara, Ph.D., announced recently.

A graduate of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., David Rubush earned a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Colorado State University in 2012 and served as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., before joining the Benedictine faculty as an assistant professor of Chemistry.

Sarah Elizabeth Shaner, assistant professor of Chemistry, earned an undergraduate degree from Marietta College in Ohio and a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Chicago in 2011. Prior to joining Benedictine, Shaner was a visiting assistant professor of Chemistry at Colgate University and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin.

A graduate of the Benedictine University-Illinois Institute of Technology Engineering program, Grace Mirsky earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Northwestern University in 2008 before being named an assistant professor of Computer Science. Prior to joining Benedictine, Mirsky worked as a signal and image processing engineer at Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Darya Aleinikava, a graduate of Belorussian State University, earned a Ph.D. in Physics from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2012 before joining Benedictine as an assistant professor of Physics. She also holds an appointment as resident associate in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division of Argonne National Laboratory.

Patricia Brown, assistant professor in the Department of Nursing and Health, earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.P.N.) from Rush University in Chicago. Prior to joining the faculty at Benedictine, Brown was director of the Nursing program and interim dean of Career and Technical Education at Morton College.

An assistant professor in the Department of Nursing and Health, Deborah Jezuit earned a Ph.D. from Rush University in Chicago. Jezuit served as director of Nursing Education at the College of Lake County prior to coming to Benedictine. She has also previously served as an adjunct professor in graduate nursing at Benedictine and Olivet Nazarene University.

Gena Lewis, assistant professor in the School of Education, earned an Ed.D. in Reading and Language from National Louis University and is certified in Elementary Education, Reading and English as a Second Language. Prior to coming to Benedictine, Lewis served as the reading lead teacher in West Chicago Elementary School District 33.

A former academic support instructional coordinator at Naperville North High School and K-12 Literacy/REACH coordinator in Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205, Kathleen Liace has been named assistant professor in the School of Education at Benedictine. Liace earned an Ed.D. in Reading and Language from National Louis University.

Todd Kelsey, assistant professor of Undergraduate Business, earned bachelor's and master's degrees in Communications from Wheaton College and a Ph.D. in TechnicalCommunication from the IllinoisInstituteofTechnology. Prior to his appointment at Benedictine where he will teach cyber marketing, Kelsey was a researcher and consultant at Communications For The World in Chicago.


Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 15 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country’s fastest-growing campuses between 2002-2012 in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the fourth consecutive year in 2014. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the sixth largest in the Chicago area in 2014.

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