“Life Stories” highlights Centre College faculty
Members of Omicron Delta Kappa, Centre College’s leadership honor society, are hosting the annual Life Stories Event this Thursday, March 20 at 8 p.m. in Weisiger Theatre. Speakers for this year’s event are Professor of Dramatic Arts Patrick Kagan-Moore (Division I), Paul L. Cantrell Professor of Religion and College Chaplain Rick Axtell (Division II), and Professor of Chemistry Ed Montgomery (Division III).
Patrick Kagan-Moore is professor of dramatic arts at Centre College, where he has taught since 1992. He has held the Hazelrigg Professorship in Dramatic Arts since 2004.
A teacher and producing theatre artist for more than 20 years, Kagan-Moore teaches a wide range of courses in Centre’s dramatic arts program as well as humanities courses in the College’s general studies program. He regularly directs at least one of Centre’s three major productions each year. Recent successful shows have included Charlotte’s Web, The Voice of the Prairie and Dancing at Lughnasa. Three cast members from The Voice of the Prairie were nominated for the Irene Ryan Award, and the production received the highest possible rating in adjudication at the Kentucky Theater Festival. Lughnasa was an alternate selection in the American College Theatre regional competition.
Since his first directing experience in a student production at Oregon State University, Kagan-Moore has directed or acted in nearly 75 productions, including professional, academic, community theatre, opera and film. His professional directing credits include a 1994 Off-off-Broadway production of Nikolai Gogol’s The Marriage in New York City, Macbeth for the Central Coast Shakespeare Festival (San Luis Obispo), Julius Caesar and Inherit the Wind with Shakespeare in the Park (Lexington, Ky.), and Little Murders for the Oregon State University summer stock company.
His acting roles have ranged from Macduff in Macbeth to Brian in Joe Egg. Kagan-Moore was a regional finalist in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition, and he received several acting and directing awards from the Bellingham (Wash.) Theatre Guild and Oregon State University.
Kagan-Moore holds a B.S. from Oregon State University, an M.A. from Western Washington University, and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.
Rick Axtell initially taught at Centre during 1992-93 and returned to the college in 1995. He was named a Centre Scholar in 2008. Concerned about issues of hunger and homelessness, he has served as director of Louisville United Against Hunger and also was a case manager working with homeless men through the St. Vincent DePaul Society.
Axtell’s travels in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Serbia and Thailand have informed his teaching on issues of hunger, human trafficking, sustainable development and peacemaking. In 2006, he taught in the UNESCO International M.A. Program in Peace and Development Studies at Universitat Jaume I in Castellon, Spain.
Recent research includes employment trends for day laborers in Louisville’s homeless population and collaborative research interviews with public housing residents who have been relocated as a part of Louisville’s HOPE VI housing redevelopment projects. Both as Centre’s chaplain and in his classroom teaching, Axtell encourages Centre students to come to grips with hunger and homelessness. His students have slept in homeless shelters and visited Lexington and Louisville agencies that serve people of the area.
Axtell has also studied liberation theology and religion and violence in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua. His articles on the topic of religion and violence have appeared in the Encyclopedia of Religion and War and The Merton Annual.
Axtell holds a B.A. degree from Mississippi College. He earned M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has completed other advanced studies at the University of Notre Dame.
Ed Montgomery joined the Centre college faculty in 2000. Prior to that, he served 28 years on active duty in the United States Navy, retiring in October 1999 with the rank of Captain. Montgomery was principally assigned to construction, overhaul and repair of nuclear-powered submarines. He also spent two years on the chemistry faculty of the United States Naval Academy, where he taught general and physical chemistry.
His last assignment before retirement was Chief of Staff of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, the Navy’s research, development, test and evaluation center for submarines, autonomous underwater vehicles and undersea weapons systems. His military awards include the Legion of Merit (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (four awards) and the Navy Commendation Medal.
A native of Lancaster, Kentucky, Montgomery graduated from Berea College in 1968 and earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the University of Kentucky in 1971. He is also a graduate of the Program Management Course, Defense Systems Management College, Ft. Belvoir, Va. Montgomery is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Society of Sigma Xi and Phi Kappa Phi.