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St. Norbert College Announces Faculty Tenure and Promotions

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From St. Norbert College, June 1, 2021
by Mike Counter, mike.counter@snc.edu, 920-403-3089

The following faculty members were approved by the board of trustees for tenure and promotion at St. Norbert College.

Tenure and promotion to associate professor:

Adam Brandt (Biology)
Philip Klickman (Music)
Valerie Kretz (Communication & Media Studies)
Matthew Sprague (Chemistry)


Promotion to associate professor:

Carrie Kissman (Biology and Environmental Science)

Tenure and Promotion to professor:

John Miller (Dean of Curriculum, Senior Diversity Officer)

Promotion to professor:

Bola Delano-Oriaran (Teacher Education)
Seth Meyer (Mathematics)
Jamie O'Brien (Business Administration)


More about Adam Brandt

Adam Brandt’s teaching and research interests are in molecular ecology, specifically evolution, phylogenetics, population and conservation genetics. Using a blend of traditional molecular techniques and new technologies (e.g., next-generation sequencing), he aims to use genetics as a tool to assist local and international agencies in making sound conservation and management decisions. He favors the use of noninvasively collected DNA samples (such as buccal swabs, feces or shed feathers) and joint collaborations with state wildlife agencies and international conservation groups to further his research goals.

A major component of Brandt’s research is student involvement. He has reached this point in his career by assisting professors and graduate students with their projects. He tries to provide the same opportunities and encourage students to take an active role in developing new skills and exploration of their interests.


More about Philip Klickman

Philip Klickman joined the St. Norbert College music faculty in the fall of 2017. His duties include conducting the Wind Ensemble and the Concert Band, and teaching courses in conducting and instrumental music education. Klickman also serves as director of the St. Norbert Community Band.

Phillip previously served as the director of bands at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland, where he conducted the Wind Ensemble and the Marching Bobcats, and taught courses in conducting and instrumental music education. He was also the Collegiate Membership Chair for the Maryland Music Educators Association. Prior to his collegiate career, Klickman taught public school music in the suburbs of Chicago.

He is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, the College Music Society, the National Association for Music Education, the Society for Music Teacher Education and the International Horn Society.


More about Valerie Kretz

Valerie Kretz joined the St. Norbert College faculty in 2015. With a passion for media psychology, her scholarly interests lie at the intersection of mass media and personal relationships.

Kretz’s current projects focus on entertainment media and various aspects of individuals’ romantic lives, which she investigates using quantitative or qualitative research methods. Her recent works address fans’ responses to the death of a beloved fictional TV character and adults’ television and movie exposure, endorsement of romantic ideals and relationship satisfaction.

Prior to receiving her Ph.D., Kretz was a strategic communications professional for many years in different corporate settings. Those experiences inform her courses and advising.


More about Matthew Sprague

Matthew Sprague received his B.S. in chemistry and B.A. in physics from Ithaca College (2005), and his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) (2012). He then served as the course coordinator for general chemistry at Caltech for one year, and as a postdoctoral scholar at the National Institute of Standards & Technology for two years, before arriving at St. Norbert in 2015. He currently teaches general chemistry, physical chemistry and the associated labs. His teaching interests include introducing students to chemical modeling and computational chemistry across the curriculum.

Sprague’s main research agenda is to identify new chemicals and reactions that could impact our understanding of atmospheric chemistry, in particular factors that may affect ozone and smog chemistry. He uses the tools of computational chemistry to study these chemical species, which uses the laws of quantum mechanics to simulate various molecular properties. He is the author or co-author of nine peer-reviewed journal articles and has presented his work at national and international conferences. At St. Norbert, Sprague has established a computational chemistry laboratory with state-of-the art computers and software, used for both classroom teaching and student-faculty collaborative research.


More about Carrie Kissman

As an instructor and mentor, Kissman aims to foster critical thinking, curiosity and the excitement of learning and experiencing biology and ecology in the classroom, lab and field. In the classroom, she uses discussion of ecological and global concerns to help students make direct connections between human activities, biodiversity and environmental change. As part of the lab experience, Kissman engages students in field research to solidify the concepts they learn in the classroom, excite them about the environment and help them reconnect with nature. She provides students with opportunities to participate in hands-on research experiences in the field and lab where they will experience how exciting it is to contribute intellectually to the scientific community and get “hooked” on studying biology and ecology. Kissman’s research program is focused on understanding how disturbance (e.g., eutrophication, land use change, invasive species and climate change) affects aquatic ecosystems. Disturbances that occur at one trophic level are likely to affect other levels either directly or indirectly, leading to altered food web dynamics, community composition and function. Her focal study organisms include algae, crustacean zooplankton, invasive zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha), bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides).

More about Bola Delano-Oriaran

Bola Delano-Oriaran, Ph.D., is an advocate for equity and multiculturalism in education and society. She earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees at Savannah State University, Georgia, and her Ph.D. at Pennsylvania State University before joining St. Norbert College, where she also serves as director of the Student-Teaching Abroad program.

Delano-Oriaran has more than 30 years of experience in engaging students from marginalized communities to pursue higher education opportunities. She continues to apply her teaching and scholarship focus, especially in the areas of positioning people of color for academic and professional success and engaging predominantly white communities and school districts in critical conversations on issues of race and social injustice.

Her teaching and research focus on diversity and inclusion issues in schooling and society, authentic, critical, culturally engaging service-learning; closing the opportunity gap; engaging teachers for successful diverse classrooms; and multicultural education. She has published papers in refereed journals and books, and she consults and speaks publicly on issues of diversity and inclusion and best practices in community engagement. She is the lead editor of two volumes on service-learning: 2015 SAGE Sourcebook of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement and the forthcoming volume on Culturally Engaging Service-Learning with Diverse Communities.

Delano-Oriaran is the founder and co-founder of numerous initiatives, including African Heritage Inc.; Umoja, a Black Heritage program for transracial families with Black/African-American children; and the African Heritage Emerging Student Leaders Institute. She is the recipient of numerous awards on diversity issues and community change, including the 2020 Ethics in Action Award, Sister Joel Read Civic Engagement Practitioner Award, the City of Appleton’s Toward Community Unity in Diversity Award, St. Norbert College’s Scholarship Award, the Wisconsin State Human Relations Association’s Outstanding Human Relations Educator Award, and St. Norbert College’s Bishop Morneau Community Service Award. She was also recognized as one of the 28 most influential African-Americans in Wisconsin.


More about Seth Meyer

Seth Meyer received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin in 2012 before joining St. Norbert College. He received tenure in 2017 and was awarded the college’s Leonard Ledvina Outstanding Teacher Award in 2019.

In addition to teaching courses for math majors and minors, he enjoys teaching math education courses and has contributed to the ongoing partnership between the teacher-education and math disciplines. In line with this, he is involved with the National Science Foundation grant aimed at increasing the number of science teachers licensed by St. Norbert.

His scholarly interests lie in combinatorial and inverse problems in discrete mathematics and linear algebra, including those with connections to physical systems. He has authored or co-authored seven papers in mathematics journals in this area since starting at SNC, and his work has been externally supported through an NSF institute (the American Institute of Mathematics). He has also mentored several research students and has one paper submitted with an undergraduate co-author.


More about Jamie O'Brien

Jamie O’Brien is professor of business administration - management in the Donald J. Schneider School of Business & Economics. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Limerick, Ireland, in 2012 for his work on knowledge-assessment frameworks using case-study approaches. In addition, he held the position of research fellow at the Centre for Information & Knowledge Management at the University of Limerick, where he taught both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Prior to academia, he worked with the comptroller and auditor general of Ireland, DePuy Orthopaedics and Creganna Medical as a consultant. His primary areas of teaching include leading through change, organizational behavior, strategic management and knowledge management.

O’Brien’s research focuses on the psychological effects of change on individuals and organizations. He also explores knowledge management in organizations and writes pedagogical case studies in the area of organizational behavior and strategy for use in undergraduate and graduate classes. His case “Mystery Over the Atlantic: The Tragic Fate of Air France 447,” published in The Case Journal, is used in his organizational behavior classes at the graduate and undergraduate levels. This particular case explores the events of June 9, 2009, where, on a routine flight carrying 220 people from Rio de Janiero to Paris, Air France 447 crashed in the mid-Atlantic Ocean. Drawing from various first-hand accounts (cockpit voice recorder) and secondary evidence of the tragedy (news reports, the ensuing French investigation and online sources), the case provides a detailed account of the key events that took place leading up to the accident. The case explores such management topics as overconfidence bias (overconfidence with regard to one’s judgment), recency effect (overemphasizing information that is readily available), diagnosis bias (labeling things based on our first opinion of them), complex systems (the way several factors interact to enhance the risk of a catastrophe), and the dangers of automation in modern airplanes. In this way, O’Brien intentionally brings his research into the classroom. He has published in The
Case Journal, The Journal of Information & Knowledge Management, Knowledge Management: An International Journal, Vine: The Journal of Information & Knowledge Management Systems, The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management and others.

He is the recipient of the college’s Leonard Ledvina Award for Excellence in Teaching. His paper, “The Need for Competing Commitments Research: Coping with Change in Knowledge Management,” was the winner of the International Award for Excellence in the Organization Studies Journal Collection. He has given more than 30 lectures and workshops in the local community, including “Cognitive Bias and Decision Making,” “Strategies for Dealing With Change,” “The Challenge of Adaptive Change” and “Adaptive Change - The New Status Quo and Why People Struggle With It.”

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