St. Mary's College of Maryland
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Faculty News

Written by Barbara Geehan


Starting in the fall, students will have the option of a new major, Asian Studies. The last time a new major was created was when the Sociology/Anthropology department was split two years ago. Whatmakes this new course of study particularly relevant is the interdisciplinary format. Students will design their own major, picking courses from various other departments, such as political science, international languages and cultures, and philosophy and religious studies.


Laraine Glidden

Psychology professor Laraine Glidden, known for her groundbreaking research on raising children with developmental disabilities, received the Arc of the United States' 2008 Distinguished Research Award. Her research demonstrates that both adoptive and birth families are, by and large, extremely resilient and find great rewards in meeting the challenges of raising children with special needs. This proved to be true for families who had children with Down syndrome and other kinds of developmental disabilities.

 "I have learned a great deal from the families that I have studied," says Glidden. "They have taught me the meaning of Winston Churchill's distinction between an optimist and a pessimist. My results demonstrate that almost all families find opportunity in difficulty rather than difficulty in opportunity." Glidden has taught at St. Mary's since 1976 and has worked in the disability field for more than 40 years. The Arc, formerly the Association for Retarded Citizens, is the world's largest community-based organization of and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Asif Dowla

In recognition of his scholarship, commitment to students and classroom teaching, Professor of Economics Asif Dowla has been named holder of the Hilda C. Landers Endowed Chair in the Liberal Arts. Dowla has taught at St. Mary's for 17 years. The Landers Chair honors a faculty member whose accomplishments in the liberal arts have set him or her apart from academic peers. Dowla is co-author of The Poor Always Pay Back: The Grameen II Story, a book about the Nobel Prize-winning Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. The book is in its second printing and has been translated into several languages. Says President Maggie O'Brien: "...Such an economist, thinking in human terms, might also make a marvelous teacher. Such is the case with Asif Dowla. The human value behind each student's ideas and comments is as clear to him as any economic theory."


Incredible Edibles

Her edgy, whimsical ceramic creations have won art professor Sue Johnson a Maryland State Arts Council 2009 Individual Artist Award in Visual Arts in the crafts category. This is Johnson's fourth Individual Artist Award in 14 years. This most recent award is for "The Incredible Edibles" body of work. The high-gloss cast ceramic sculptures are of dinnerware and popular foodstuffs depicted with humor and a focus on the themes of consumption, marketing and mass production.


The Academic Affairs Committee approved the following promotions:

Reappointment with tenure and promotion

Colby Caldwell, associate professor of art
Sanford Ganzell, associate professor of mathematics
Randolph K. Larsen, associate professor of chemistry
Carrie Patterson, associate professor of art
Katherine Socha, associate professor of mathematics
Jennifer Tickle, associate professor of psychology

Promotion to full professor
Thomas Barrett, professor of history
Walter Hill, professor of political science


  • Punish honey
  • Few first books make such a heady contribution to poetics, one reviewer states about Punish honey (Carolina Wren Press), a collection of poems by Karen Anderson, assistant professor. Says another: It made great use of the rich lexicon of tulips, bees, beekeeping, and fauna generally. A lovely collection to read out loud and savor on the tongue.

  • Professor Jeffrey Hammond's new book, Small Comforts: Essays at Middle Age is a collection of essays which explores the amusements and anxieties of being no longer young but not (yet) old.

  • Professor Don Stabile's The Living Wage: Lessons from the History of Economic Thought reviews the history of economic thought related to the idea of the living wage. Stabile's book is unique in that it presents a debate between two ideologies, the moral economy and the market economy, as applied exclusively to labor.