New staff, professors arrive at Lasell Reply

Claire Crittendon & Ruth KehindeFeatures Editor & Digital Editor

To add to the changes on campus, the school welcomes many new hires in different departments this fall. There are two new area coordinators, Kevin Castiglioni and David DupreWilson. Two new assistant professors were hired, Leanna Farnam and Nickki Pearce Dawes along with visiting instructor, Julia Khodor.

“It’s been great,” said DupreWilson. “I have been introduced to a lot of people on campus, had a lot of opportunities to meet people and work with different people and serve on different committees and just make some connections.”

Both Castiglioni and DupreWilson are enjoying their time here, noting the welcoming atmosphere on campus. “I’ve been very happy with how I’ve been treated by the staff,” said Castiglioni.

The pair are proving to be qualified employees. Castiglioni holds a masters degree from Rutgers University, and DupreWilson has degrees from Merrimack College and Salem State University under his belt. DupreWilson pays respect to his to his alma mater, saying how his time at Merrimack really prepared him for his role here, given the similarities in the demographics.

Castiglioni provides a much different view. “I’ve never worked at a small school and I’m seeing the same people a lot, Rutgers was 60,000 people,” he said. “Here, you… see the same faces all the time, so it’s just a smaller community.” He now oversees the residence halls Woodland, Carpenter, Case, Gardener, and Cushing.

Junior Allison Smith, a resident assistant in DupreWilson’s staff, says, “he’s really eager and ready to tackle anything that comes his way. He is also very supportive of his staff and wants to make sure they succeed.” DupreWilson oversees the residence halls McClelland, Van Winkle, East, Spence, and Haskell.

Dawes took on the role of Director of the Center for Community-Based Learning and Internship Programs. Her affliation with Lasell’s classrooms are with the Psychology Department. Dawes received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Jackson State University which led to her previous job working in the Department of Psychology. This experience guided her to Lasell in Social Sciences Psychology and related courses.

Her favorite aspect of working at Laser is interacting with her colleagues and students. In this particular role, teamwork is a factor. She doesn’t have to take on a task on her own to show various pathways for students achieve their goals.

“No matter what role you have, you’re always connecting with students,” Dawes says. “I love the challenge of getting to the next phase..it’s like a puzzle, every day you come into work and put in another piece together, getting closer to the finished project.” Student enhancement and success motivates Dawes.

Farnam started her career as a forensic scientist for the State Police Crime Lab. She also worked as a forensic DNA analyst, forensic serologist and a crime scene investigator. She additionally worked as a research scientist with the Department of Defense, helping develop a new eld of forensic DNA testing.“In my last position, I managed the Genetic Department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston,” Farnam says. Lasell gives Farnam a different sense of community.

Here Farnam is teaching general chemistry lectures and three of the general chemistry labs. She trusts she can apply her personal experiences to her class so her students can relate and understand the fundamentals of Chemistry.

On the other hand, Julia Khodor is a visiting instructor, teaching one section of Intro to Biology and one section of a lab.

Although Lasell’s institution is much smaller in size than where she previously taught at Bridgewater State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Khodor loves how it gives her the opportunity to interact with her students.

Khodor describes working at Lasell as, “exciting, it’s very interesting working with the students who are coming in knowing that they want to be biology majors…there’s always something I’m looking forward to.”

Photos by Ruth Kehinde and courtesy of Castiglioni’s LinkedIn Profile

(Top left) Professor Nikki Dawes, David DupreWilson (top right), Kevin Castiglioni (bottom right) and Leanna Farnam (bottom left) are some new faculty and staff hired this fall.

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