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Beloit College board of trustees approves tenure for five faculty members

Monday, February 13, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Hilary Dickinson at or 608-363-2849

The Beloit College board of trustees approved on Friday the tenure and promotion of five faculty members.

They are Carla Davis, in the department of sociology; Scott Espeseth, in the department of art and art history; Beatrice McKenzie, in the department of history; Benjamin Newton, in the department of mathematics and computer science; and Britt Scharringhausen, in the department of physics and astronomy.

In addition to receiving tenure, all five faculty members were promoted to the rank of associate professor. Bios follow on each of them:

Davis’ research and teaching interests include social inequalities, juvenile delinquency, and ethnographic research field methods. Students and alumni praise her ability to transform their perspectives of the world, with many reporting that they see social interactions through a completely different lens after taking her courses.  

Espeseth has introduced his students to collaborative work through projects with Beloit’s Help Yourself Program and by co-teaching a graphic literature workshop with a faculty member from the English department. He has done significant work at Beloit in enhancing the profile of the Victor E. Ferrall, Jr. Endowed Artist-in-Residence Program and the Ginsberg Family Artist in Residence. 

Emphasizing research with primary and secondary materials, including oral histories and work in the college archives, McKenzie includes a multitude of hands-on engagement in her coursework that extends beyond campus with community-focused projects. She has promoted international education on campus, as chair of the Professional and Program Development Committee, and as a key member of the Mellon Labs Across the Curriculum steering committee. 

Newton has published his work in one of the top journals of his field, The Journal of Algebra. One of his external reviewers notes that while engaging in sophisticated and careful mathematics, professor Newton writes for as broad an audience as possible. His teaching reflects a similar commitment to clarity. His students praise his “infinite” patience and flexibility to accommodate individual learning styles. 

In addition to running open houses at the Science Center’s rooftop observatory, Scharringhausen has chaired the Experiential Learning Committee, served on a curriculum design team in fall 2009, and is active in SENCER (The National Center for Science & Civic Engagement). Her students have participated in mission planning for the Cassini spacecraft, have presented posters at national conferences on their Saturn research, and co-authored articles.