May 21, 2019

Nine Longtime Faculty Members Retire

The college calendar filled with celebratory gatherings throughout spring as Beloit witnessed a wave of retirements, including nine faculty members who received emeriti status during an April recognition event.

Three legendary teachers and scholars in mathematics and computer science alone received emeriti honors: Paul Campbell, David Ellis, and Steven Huss-Lederman. Campbell has dedicated more than 40 years to teaching and scholarship at Beloit. He started the college’s Mathematics Colloquium, served as longtime editor of a prestigious mathematics journal, and wrote a book on contemporary applied mathematics that’s been used by more than a million students nationwide. David Ellis, an expert on topological dynamics, taught for more than 30 years at Beloit with the perspective that mathematics is a liberal art, a compelling subject that requires and leads to difficult and interesting questions, rather than a set of procedures. Steven Huss-Lederman, professor of computer science, developed and oversaw programs that encouraged more women and minority students to pursue majors in computer science, and instilled students with a social responsibility as they worked under his leadership on open source software (free to users) that colleges can use to monitor energy usage.

András Boros-Kazai has taught interdisciplinary courses on Central Europe and Central Asia under the auspices of the political science department for the past 30 years. A native of Hungary, he shared his Hungarian language expertise at Beloit, teaching students a language few other liberal arts colleges offer. He has been a productive translator over his tenure, and a voracious reader who keeps up with the latest scholarship covering a large territory of the world stretching from Europe to China.

Bill Green, who retired as director of the Logan Museum of Anthropology after 17 years, substantially improved an already highly regarded museum. On his watch, the Logan attracted more than $1 million in external grants, expanded exhibits, increased research on collections, fostered student involvement, and became one of two nationally accredited academic museums in Wisconsin. In addition to teaching anthropology and museum studies, he has been a central figure in educating people about Beloit’s Native American burial mounds.

Since 1981, Ian Nie has taught music theory, piano, and music technology, and served as a role model for students of all ages — both at the college and in the larger community. In 2005, with the opening of Beloit’s entrepreneurship center, he took on additional responsibilities as director of Maple Tree, the center’s music studio. Born in Tianjin, China, and raised in Hong Kong, Nie studied music in the United States and Italy and has performed in the United States, China, Italy, and Switzerland.

John Rapp, professor of political science, joined Beloit’s faculty in 1986. He founded the Asian Studies program, which he helped develop into one of the college’s signature offerings. He taught a broad range of comparative politics courses on China, Communist and post-Communist systems, and industrial democracies, as well as courses on comparative revolutions, dissent, anarchism, and political fiction. Rapp has been a friend and mentor to countless Chinese and Asian students, who found him to be a dedicated and passionate advocate.

Larry White leaves a legacy of engaging his students in the study of psychology but also teaching them about culture, history, and law, and perhaps most importantly, how to be lifelong learners. Over a 35-year teaching career as a professor of psychology, he has taught courses in social, forensic, and cross-cultural psychology, and the history of the discipline, and directed study abroad programs in Australia, Estonia, and Morocco. He conducts research on eyewitness testimony and false confessions, consults on criminal cases, and serves as an expert witness.

Professor of Biology Ken Yasukawa, a highly regarded behavioral ecologist and expert on the reproductive behavior and ecology of birds, started teaching at Beloit in 1980. A remarkable teacher and prolific scholar, he has involved students extensively in his field research, regularly co-authoring articles and giving presentations with them at professional conferences. He developed and taught Biometrics, the biology department’s experimental design and biological statistics course. In addition, Yasukawa was a beloved volleyball coach at Beloit for 30 years.


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The Controversial Speech That Never Happened

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