Fall Semester Opens With 44 New Faculty Members

Columbus State University has opened the fall 2005 semester with 44 new, full-time faculty members, 14 of whom fill new positions added to the faculty ranks.

CSUs acting Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas Harrison said the fall 2005 class of new faculty is significant both in terms of quality and quantity. Efforts by academic leaders to bring highly qualified faculty to CSU this year have been successful; and it is already apparent that the 2006 cohort of new faculty are eager, well-prepared, and excited to become a part of the CSU family.

Harrison also said this years new class of full-time professors allows the university to better serve a growing student population, projected to total 7,500, up from 7,224 last fall. The addition of new faculty positions is a response to recent student enrollment growth, and to meet projections of continued growth and to maintain high standards of academic excellence. Additional new, full-time faculty positions will be needed next year as well.

This years group includes four part-time instructors who have advanced to full-time Susanne Howard, Hannah Israel, Birgit Kristina Reuterberg in the Department of Art and Lynda Byrne in the Department of Language and Literature. Four more hold CSU bachelors and masters degrees: YongMi Kim (computer science), Deirdre Greer (education), Bridget Downs (criminal justice) and Randall Casleton (learning support mathematics) who previously taught mathematics for 11 years at Pacelli High School in Columbus.

Greer arrives from Wynnton Elementary School where she taught from 1997-2005 and earned the schools Teacher of the Year honors for 2000-01.


Kim, an Auburn University doctoral candidate, has parlayed her CSU degree experience in biology (undergraduate) and computer science (graduate) to bring expertise in Bioinformatics an emerging information technology subfield aimed at expediting the information gathering process for biomedical researchers.

Kim represents an influx of leading-edge expertise for the TSYS Department of Computer Science, said Wayne Summers, professor and Chair of the department. Were excited that we emerged from our search landing three professors who will help keep computer science at CSU viable in the continuous and the fast evolving realm of information technology. Our faculty additions will help us advance both our curriculum and our ability to recruit quality students.

In addition to Kim, new professors Rodrigo Obando and Angkul Kongmunvattana provide experience in robotics and visualization the concept of computers collaborating with humans to perceive and manipulate the environments they occupy. Visualization in this context applies to subjects including robotics, medical systems, environmental monitoring and planetary exploration.

Obando, who arrives from Fairfield University, has studied robotic vision at NASAs Langley Research Center where he also worked on fault tolerant computing (enabling a system to effectively respond to an unexpected hardware or software failure) in a postdoctoral fellowship. Summers also points to Obandos background in computer gaming that is especially attractive to prospective computer science majors. However, the importance of gaming transcends leisure as the underlying technology also can be used in enterprise management, electronic commerce, security and military operations.

Kungmunvattana joins CSU from the University of Nevada Reno where he conducted research in cluster and grid computing (enabling collaboration and access to resources for science, technology, engineering and business), fault-tolerant systems and advanced microarchitectures (resources and methods used to achieve computer specifications). Kongmunvattana also is expert in embedded computing (a computer as a component of larger systems such as cars, aircraft and medical devices).

The new faculty class this fall also brings CSUs first geographer (Amanda Rees) a new department chair for communication (Richard Baxter) and the latest appointee as the Elena Diaz-Verson Amos Eminent Scholar in Latin American Studies Hildegardo Cordova-Aguilar.

Aguilar will teach Andean Biogeography the distribution of life, past and present in the Andean region and Urban Problems in Latin American Cities. He arrives from Lima, Peru where he serves as executive director of the Center for Research in Applied Geography at the Pontifical Universidad Catolica del Peru.

While Aguilar will teach at CSU for one semester, Rees joins CSUs from the University of Wyoming with expertise in cultural landscapes, and as the universitys first geographer in the regular faculty ranks.

Additional fall 2006 changes among CSU faculty include Patricia Ramsey (art), Andrew Zohn (music) and Paul Vaillancourt (music) who have been promoted from temporary-to-tenure-track status. For a brief biography on all the faculty members, please see http://faculty.colstate.edu/newfacfa05.htm