Barry McNamara  |   Published September 04, 2020

College Welcomes 11 New Faculty Members

New professors include Maxwell Holle ’15 in chemistry and returning faculty member Sara Kitsch in communication studies.

Communication studies professor Sara Kitsch teaches a class from her home across the street from ... Communication studies professor Sara Kitsch teaches a class from her home across the street from campus on East Broadway.MONMOUTH, Ill. – A familiar member of the campus teaching community and an alumnus are among 11 new faculty members at Monmouth College for the 2020-21 academic year.

That total also includes new tenure-track professors in two of the College’s newest majors, engineering and neuroscience.

Farzad Ahmadi is the new member of the physics department who will also teach engineering. Ahmadi began his higher education in Iran, earning three degrees related to electronics and electrical engineering there. He also holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Akron. Ahmadi comes to Monmouth from another Ohio university, Youngstown State, where he was an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computing Engineering.

The new neuroscience professor is Janet Ugolino, who was previously a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Biology at Roanoke (Virginia) College. She earned her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania and a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Maryland.

The Department of Communication Studies has two new faces, including Sara Kitsch, who joined the College’s faculty in 2017 as an adjunct and has also served as a visiting assistant professor. Kitsch now holds a tenure-track position as an assistant professor. At Central Michigan University, she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with minors in speech communication, leadership, family studies and human sexuality and a master’s degree in communication. She holds a doctorate in communication from Texas A&M University.

The other new face in the department is Joel Reed, who comes to Monmouth from Washington, D.C., where he was an APSA/MCI-Communications Congressional Fellow and served as the deputy communications director for Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in communication from Missouri State University. Reed holds a doctorate in communication from the University of Missouri.

The alumnus returning to teach at Monmouth is Maxwell Holle, who graduated in 2015 with a degree in biochemistry. Holle then attended the University of Illinois, where he completed his doctorate in food science. Holle taught the science of fermented food at Illinois and was a departmental research fellow in the Food Microbiology Lab in the university’s Food Science and Human Nutrition Department.

The College’s departments of history, accounting and psychology are each adding a tenure-track faculty member. The new addition in history is Valerie Deisinger, who has been teaching undergraduate students at Stanford University while earning her doctorate in U.S. history. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history at the University of Illinois. Deisinger also holds a law degree from Northwestern University.

Licensed certified public accountant Ann Capion earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Northern Iowa and a master of business administration from the University of Iowa. She has taught at Black Hawk College and Eastern Iowa Community College. Most recently, she was a staff member in client services at Anderson, Lower, Whitlow, PC in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Sydney Greenwalt comes to Monmouth after working as an adjunct at a pair of Kansas City universities – Rockhurst and Avila. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Coker College in South Carolina; a master’s degree in clinical-adult psychology from Southern Illinois University; and both a certificate of college teaching and career preparation and a doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Three others have joined Monmouth’s faculty as visiting assistant professors. Rachel Gevlin will teach in the English department after serving as a teaching assistant and instructor of record at Duke University, where she received a doctorate in English. She completed her undergraduate studies at Bennington College in Vermont.

Mathematics professor Steven Noren comes to Monmouth from a visiting assistant professor position at Illinois Wesleyan University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Concordia College and a doctorate in mathematics with a statistics minor from Iowa State University.

Israel Rolon-Barada will teach Spanish. He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Puerto Rico; a master’s degree in Spanish linguistics with a minor in literature from Georgetown University; and a doctorate in Spanish literature and theory from the University of Málaga in Spain. He comes to Monmouth from Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he was a lecturer in the Department of Global Studies and Modern Languages.

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