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College welcomes seven new faculty members to start academic year

Pictured are, from left: Sarah Henderson (director of Hewes Library), Todd Quick (theatre), Kristina Mouzakis (psychology), Bryce Palar (political economy and commerce), Adrienne Hagen (classics), Alana Newman (classics), Mike Solontoi (physics), Shanna Bruer (political economy and commerce) and Kyle Martin (instructional technology manager).
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MONMOUTH, Ill. – A new academic year has brought seven new faculty members to Monmouth College. The new professors are already hard at work, preparing for the start of the fall semester Aug. 22.

“We’re excited about the new faculty we’re welcoming to the community this year,” said Monmouth interim Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs Mark Willhardt. “They offer a great range of work experience, including marketing in Hong Kong and being the ‘Astronomer in the Box’ at the Adler Planetarium. They also have terrific educational specialties – such as environmentalism in antiquity and the social psychology of college students. We’re sure their many contributions through teaching and research will help bring out the best in our students.”

The Department of Classics is welcoming two new members – Adrienne Hagen and Alana Newman, who will serve as an assistant professor and visiting lecturer, respectively.

Hagen earned a bachelor’s degree in classics with a concentration in Latin from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees in classics from the University of Wisconsin. Previously, she served as a visiting assistant professor for two years at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va.

Newman earned her undergraduate degree in classical civilizations from Ohio University. She completed her graduate studies at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, receiving a master’s degree in classical art and archaeology and a doctorate in classics.

Two new faculty members are joining the Department of Political Economy and Commerce – Assistant Professor Shanna Bruer and Visiting Assistant Professor Bryce Palar.

Bruer earned two bachelor degrees in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois, specializing in food and agribusiness management and in consumer and textile marketing. She holds a master’s degree in agricultural, environmental and development economics from Ohio State University and a doctorate in textile and apparel marketing form North Carolina State University. Bruer comes to Monmouth from Western Illinois University, where she served as an assistant professor of marketing since 2013.

An adjunct professor at Monmouth last year, Palar earned a bachelor’s degree in business management and administration from Bradley (Ill.) University and a master’s degree in business administration from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.

The other new faculty members are joining the departments of physics, psychology and theatre.

An associate professor of physics, Michael Solontoi completed his undergraduate work in physics at Reed (Ore.) College. He holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in astronomy from the University of Washington. Solontoi comes to Monmouth from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., where he served as a visiting lecturer.

Kristina Mouzakis is a visiting assistant professor of psychology. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from DePaul (Ill.) University and master’s and doctoral degrees in social/personality psychology from the University of California, Riverside. Most recently, Mouzakis was a visiting assistant professor at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colo.

A visiting assistant professor of theatre, Todd Quick earned a bachelor’s degree in theatre performance at the State University of New York at Geneseo and a master’s degree in fine arts in acting at Purdue University. Quick comes to Monmouth from the University of Idaho, where he was a visiting lecturer.