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Beloit College board of trustees approves promotion of four faculty members

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Beloit College board of trustees approved on Saturday (April 27) the promotion of four faculty members to full professor.

They are Darrah Chavey in the department of mathematics and computer science, Natalie Gummer in the philosophy and religious studies department, Cynthia McCown in the English department, and Sue Swanson in the geology department.

Chavey is a professor of mathematics and computer science whose special interests include the design and analysis of algorithms, software engineering, parallel programming, geometry, and ethnomathematics. He published a series of papers on the geometry of tilings and authored “Drawing Pictures with One Line: Exploring Graph Theory” (1983). He also coached the college's teams in the annual Associated Colleges of the Midwest Computer Programming Competition, including two teams that went to the international finals. He earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Gummer is a professor of philosophy and religious studies, who is also a literary and cultural historian of Buddhism. She studies the intersection of textual practices and ethics in premodern Mahāyāna Buddhist literary cultures, and she teaches courses in comparative religion and Asian religions, with particular attention to religious ethics, processes of acculturation, and religious conceptions of language in both contemporary and premodern contexts. Gummer also contributes actively to Asian Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, and International Education on campus. She earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

McCown is a professor of English and theatre arts. She teaches literary studies, American studies and world drama. She has published in The Eugene O'Neill Review, on the arts in America 1900-1909 in the research encyclopedia American Decades, and on pre-Depression-era American drama. She is editor of a collection of essays titled Searching for the Magic Door: Eugene O’Neill, Domesticity and Dispossession, forthcoming from McFarland Press. Her specific interests are in 20th century American literature and post-colonial theatre and drama. McCown is also chair of the American studies program at Beloit. She earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University.

Swanson is a professor of geology, chair of the environmental studies program and the Weeks Endowed Professor in Physical and Human Geography. Her teaching interests include environmental geology, hydrogeology, geomorphology, and geographic information systems (GIS), and her research interests include wetlands hydrogeology, spring flow, and heterogeneities in sedimentary bedrock aquifers. She also has interests in the effects of urbanization on surface water and groundwater resources. Swanson earned a Ph.D. in hydrogeology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.