Five Centre faculty members receive endowed professorships

Crounse HallFive faculty members were recently awarded endowed professorships, once again demonstrating that Centre College is a place where great teaching is prized. Centre currently retains thirty endowed professorships, thanks to the generosity of alumni, friends of the College and foundations. This overwhelming support of faculty members speaks to their exceptional teaching and research endeavors and furthers Centre’s dedication to attracting and maintaining professors of the highest caliber. The following appointments have been made:
Peggy RicheyPeggy Richey, Ewing T. Boles Professor of Biology and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
The Boles professorships were established by a bequest from Ewing T. Boles, Class of 1916 and denote leadership in academics and public affairs in the region and beyond.
Richey joined Centre’s faculty in 1989 and currently serves as the chair of the biology program. A magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Kentucky, Richey also holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in plant pathology from UK. Her primary area of research interest involves the identification of novel chemical inhibitors of bacteria and her work has been published in academic journals such as “Phytopathology,” “Journal of Bacteriology” and “Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology.”
Steve AsmusSteve Asmus, H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Biology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
The Stodghill professorships, now 11 in number, were established by a bequest from Mr. and Mrs. Stodghill. Mr. Stodghill was a member of Centre’s Board of Trustees and a member of the class of 1936.
Asmus joined Centre’s faculty in 1996 and currently serves as the chair of the biochemistry and molecular biology program. In 2011 he was named a Centre Scholar, an honor that recognizes excellence in teaching, scholarly work and contributions to the College community. Asmus earned a B.S. degree from Cleveland State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and conducted a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience at Case Western Reserve University before coming to Centre. He specializes in the field of developmental neurobiology and has published his research in journals including “Brain Research,” “Developmental Biology” and the “Journal of Neuroscience.”
Lisa Williams
Lisa Williams, Paul L. Cantrell Associate Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing Program
The Cantrell professorships in humanities, established by a gift from Board Chair J. David Grissom ’60, rotate every three years and are named after Paul L. Cantrell, who taught English and drama at Centre for more than 40 years.
Williams joined Centre’s faculty in 2001 and currently serves as the director of the creative writing program. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry writing from the University of Virginia, her Master’s in Literature from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Arts in English (with French minor) from Belmont University. Williams is the author of three collections of poetry—“The Hammered Dulcimer” (Utah State University Press, 1998), “Woman Reading to the Sea” (W.W. Norton, 2008) and “Gazelle in the House” (New Issues Press, 2014). She is also the recipient of an array of writing prizes and fellowships, including the Barnard Women Poets Prize, the May Swenson Poetry Award, the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship and the Brown Foundation Fellowship.
Melissa Burns-Cusato
Melissa Burns-Cusato, Elizabeth Molloy Dowling Associate Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience
The Dowling professorships in science, established by a bequest from Elizabeth Molloy Dowling, Class of 1907, rotates every three years and recognizes promise and achievement among faculty in the science and mathematics division.
Burns-Cusato joined Centre’s faculty in 2006 and currently serves as the chair of the behavioral neuroscience program. In 2010 she was named a Centre Scholar. She holds a B.A. degree in animal behavior from Southwestern University and a Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research investigates the formation and maintenance of monogamous relationships in birds and the anti-predator behavior of free-ranging Caribbean green monkeys. Her work has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals including “Behavior, Physiology & Behavior,” “Journal of Comparative Psychology” and “Psychobiology.”
John Kinkade
John Kinkade, Charles T. Hazelrigg Associate Professor of English
The Hazelrigg professorships in humanities, established by a gift from J. David Grissom, rotate every three years and are named after Charles T. Hazelrigg, Class of 1941, who taught English at Centre for more than four decades.
Kinkade graduated from Centre in 1995 and joined the faculty in 2006. In the past he has served as the faculty director of the Writing Center and was named a Centre Scholar in 2010. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Centre with degrees in English and government, and earned a master’s and Ph.D. in English literature at the University of Texas at Austin.
by Caitlan Cole