Tenure and promotions announced for six Centre faculty members

by Cindy Long

Centre College News
Young Hall

Centre College is pleased to announce six members of the faculty were granted tenure and promotion to associate professor at the January 2023 meeting of the Centre College Board of Trustees. 

Kristen Fulfer faculty member

Kristen Fulfer joined the Centre College faculty in 2017 as assistant professor of chemistry. Her research interests include exploring the chemical species which exist in solutions using a combination of infrared spectroscopy and computational modeling. Fulfer earned her B.S. in chemistry and mathematics at Texas State University and her Ph.D. in chemistry at Louisiana State University. Her Ph.D. work, focused on using electronic spectroscopy to explore the electron re-scattering phenomena occurring during photoionization and photorecombination processes. She continued as a postdoctoral fellow at Louisiana State University where she used infrared spectroscopy to study the structure and dynamics of carbonate-based lithium-ion battery electrolytes. As a first-generation college student in a male-dominated field, Fulfer is especially committed to supporting underrepresented students in STEM.




jennifer goff

Jennifer Goff joined the faculty of Centre College in 2017 as assistant professor of theatre. Goff is an active actor, director and scholar.  She teaches courses in acting, dramatic literature, theatre history and improvisation and directs in the Centre College season. She also co-teaches a class, Science on Stage, on the intersection of science and theatre with a chemistry professor. Her scholarship focuses on historical and contemporary women playwrights, women in comedy, and comic theory. Goff completed her B.A. at the University of Portland, her M.A. at the University of South Carolina, and her Ph.D. at Wayne State University.






Prayat Poudel joined the Centre College faculty as assistant professor of mathematics in 2017. Poudel’s research interests include gauge theory and low-dimensional topology. Recently, he has begun studying protein folding using the mathematical branch of knot theory. Poudel enjoys working on research projects with students, and they are using mathematics to devise winning strategies for board games.  He helped redesign Centre’s statistics course, which now introduces students to the R programming language— one of the fastest growing programming languages in the world.  He is a champion of diversity and inclusion initiatives, leading sessions on these topics at national math conferences and at Centre.  Poudel earned a B.A. in physics and mathematics at Hanover College, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Miami. Before coming to Centre, Poudel was a post-doctoral fellow at McMaster University.




Ellen Prusinski joined the Centre College faculty and staff in 2014 as coordinator of engaged and experiential learning and assistant professor of education. Since 2018, she has been teaching full time. Prusinski has worked in a variety of educational settings, including community organizations and policy institutions in the U.S., high schools and universities in China, and nongovernmental organizations in Indonesia. Her primary research interests are in gender and education, non-formal and community-based learning, environmental education, and international education studies, particularly in Asia. She is especially interested in the role of community knowledge, both inside and outside of the classroom, and in issues of educational equity among groups historically excluded from formal education. Prusinski’s favorite classes to teach are those that rest at the intersection of theory and practice, including Education Policy and Social Change; Practicum and Introduction to Education; and Approaches to Environmental Education. She earned her M.P.A. and her Ph.D. in education policy studies at Indiana University, where her Fulbright-supported dissertation focused on the educational processes surrounding women’s transnational labor migration in Indonesia. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College, where she majored in German and Political Science.



Jamie Shenton joined the faculty at Centre College as assistant professor of anthropology in 2017. In 2021, she received a Kirk Award for excellence in teaching. Her areas of interest include cultural anthropology; gender and sexuality; human rights; globalization; disease, healing, and health inequalities; modernity, social change, and Indigenous resilience; media studies and popular culture; and body image and eating disorders. She is a contributor to the edited volume The Shaman in the Flash Drive and Other Explorations in Indigenous Media Engagement in Latin America. Her scholarly articles have appeared in journals such as Anthropological Quarterly, Journal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change, and Cultural Dynamics. She received a B.A. in anthropology and sociology and Spanish from Centre College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from Vanderbilt University, where she taught in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.





Christian Wood joined Centre’s faculty in 2016 as visiting assistant professor of French and was converted to a tenure-track position in 2018. Wood’s academic interests lay primarily in the intersection of Francophone literature and philosophy, with an emphasis upon phenomenology and the ways that considerations of love inform intellectual and intercultural discourses. His work focuses upon engaged thinkers and authors, such as Simone de Beauvoir, Emmanuel Levinas, Albert Camus, Kamel Daoud, and Chantal Spitz. Since 2019, Wood’s trajectory focuses upon Tahitian art, literature and philosophy of land, timely sources of inquiry for students on campus and in study abroad. Wood regularly guides students to explore community relations and know-how in study abroad, and he is currently developing ways of linking many different types of partnerships with communities in Tahiti. Wood received a Ph.D. in Philosophy and a Ph.D. in French Studies from the University of New Mexico. He also received M.A. degrees in French Studies and Philosophy from the University of New Mexico and his undergraduate degree in Philosophy from the University of California – San Diego.