What to expect from new professors on campus


Robby TiersteinContributor

Due to all the professors who have recently retired or left Southern; the university experienced a noticeable change in faculty during the fall 2022 semester. 

Daniela Wolin, Ph.D., is a new adjunct professor in the anthropology department. She formerly taught at Eastern Connecticut State University and was contacted by anthropology chairperson Michael Rogers, Ph.D., through a previous lecturer. Wolin is “really excited to join Southern as a lecturer” in biological anthropology. 

“Southern has a very strong anthropology program, it has classes in biological anthropology, cultural anthropology and archaeology,” said Wolin. “It’s a really wide-ranging department.” 

“I’m excited to be teaching at Southern just because there are a lot of resources within the department of anthropology including a lab space and an extensive teaching election of casts,” said Wolin. 

Wolin is joined by Dave Paulson, another recent adjunct professor of anthropology who was contacted by Rogers over the past summer. Paulson is also currently working on his Ph.D. in anthropology at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  

Paulson is an alumnus who graduated in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a minor in psychology and Asian studies. He “was very active on campus” and was “committed to the field of anthropology during that time as an undergraduate student.” 

Paulson is an instructor at the university’s interpreting culture’s course. This course is “themed in anthropology” with the intention of teaching critical thinking skills, “learning argument structures” and analyzing information that is presented to them in their daily lives. 

Paulson is eager to teach at his alma mater, the same place that fostered the skills he needed to become the person he is today. 

“Coming full circle, it’s very much a homecoming for me to come back to the place where I developed as a student and got my early beginnings as an intellectual,” said Paulson. “And now as I progress into my professional career, I can give back to the university that raised me in a meaningful way.” 

When it came to addressing the changes in faculty in the anthropological department, Rogers said that it was a relatively smooth process. 

“We did not have any full-time faculty retire, we just had part- time faculty retire,” said Rogers. “It’s a little bit easier because part- time faculty only teaches one or two classes per semester.” 

“We have an easier time recruiting part time because full-time is a tenured track, it’s a permanent position, it’s a yearlong nationwide search,” said Rogers. “We didn’t have to do that since we had only part time people retire on us.” 

Heather Wagner is a new full-time assistant professor with a bachelor’s degree in music therapy. She was contacted by music chairperson Joshua Groffman, Ph.D., to become the coordinator of the first music therapy academic program in Connecticut. Unlike other new professors, she has not replaced a previous faculty member. 

Groffman said that “we have not had any retirements in our faculty” but there is “a number of new faculty this fall.” 

Wagner was previously a full-time assistant professor at The State University of New York at New Paltz. Wagner was able to apply for her current position after the university was able to propose a music therapy program. She was eager to finally be able to work in her home state. 

“The past ten years of my life were advocating for a music therapy program here in Connecticut,” said Wagner. “I looked at different universities in the state and was considering where might be a good fit for a music therapy program and Southern was one of them.” 

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