Ten faculty members are retiring from Elon University

Terry Tomasek – Associate professor of education

Terry Tomasek, associate professor of education. Photo courtesy of Elon University.

During Terry Tomasek’s 18 years in the Elon community, she served as an associate professor in the Department of Education and Wellness, faculty in residence for the Colonnades Neighborhood, and director of the Elon Academy. As an education professor, Tomasek served primarily as a secondary science coordinator, assisting students planning to teach middle or high school science.

“All of my favorite memories at Elon revolve around my involvement with students,” Tomasek said. “Whether it is in the Colonnades T-room, in various locations abroad, in and out of the classroom or with Elon Academy scholars, I will cherish the time I spend with students. I have also enjoyed working with faculty and staff across campus. The Elon Academy staff in particular has shaped my life for the better!”

Cassie Kircher – Senior Faculty Fellow in English

Cassie Kircher, senior English faculty member. Photo courtesy of Elon University.

Cassie Kircher began working with Elon in 1993 and served as chair of the Academic Council, Promotion and Tenure Committee, and co-chair of the Presidential Task Force on Second Language Learning. She was also a professor locally in London, Florence, Alaska and Hawaii.

While teaching literature and writing, Kircher designed a class that allowed Elon students to conduct weekly creative writing sessions within the Alamance-Burlington School System. When she retires, she hopes to continue the work that started with that class and bring creative writing to public school students. She also has plans to travel to Sardinia, Italy, for two weeks next fall and hike with a group of women she met while working as a park ranger with the National Park Service.

“What I love about teaching: seeing students worry about their short stories, poems, or personal essays,” Kircher says. “This happens a lot and that’s why walking into a classroom has felt like a gift to me for the past thirty years.”

Mary Knight McKenna – Professor of Education and director of Master of Education

Audrey Geib | Elon News Network

Mary Knight-McKenna, professor of education.

After joining the Elon community in 2005, Mary Knight-Mckenna has served as an assistant professor, associate professor, and full-time professor teaching special education and early childhood courses, with a focus on literacy courses in the teacher education program. She also served as director of the Master of Education program for the past six years.

After retiring from Elon, Knight-McKenna plans to travel to Italy and spend time in North Carolina with her 10 grandchildren.

“I was really excited to get feedback from someone who interviewed graduates of the program, and a few of them said, ‘Every day I use something that Dr. Knight-McKenna taught me,’” Knight-McKenna said. “It’s what every professor wants to hear, so that gave me a lot of satisfaction.”

Nim Batchelor – Senior Faculty Fellow in Philosophy

Nim, Batchelor, senior faculty member in philosophy. Photo courtesy of Elon University.

Nim Batchelor joined Elon in 1990 as an associate professor of philosophy, where he also led global classes, served as director of the pre-law program, and as an instructor for the LSAT prep course.

In the future, Batchelor plans to travel the country to visit cities and towns where his ancestors once lived. He also has ambitions to start a YouTube channel documenting his travels and his wife’s ancestry work so that other people can learn about their family’s past like him.

While Batchelor is home and not traveling, he plans to continue working in his wood shop and leading his role as president of the Alamance County Makers Guild. He will also continue to be involved in the leadership of the Piedmont Woodturners Association, volunteering once a month in partnership with the North Carolina Repair Cafe to help fix community members’ broken items.

“I am grateful to Elon for providing an environment that focuses on pedagogy, encourages pedagogical growth and rewards good teaching,” said Batchelor.

Katie King – Associate professor of psychology

Katie King, associate professor of psychology. Photo courtesy of Elon University.

During her 31 years beginning in 1993, Katie King served as both an assistant and associate professor, chair of the psychology department, the first associate director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, and co-director of the Master of Education program.

King enjoys walking, running, kayaking and cycling outdoors. She plans to take trips, both locally and across the country, to visit friends and family.

“I’m glad I’ve made a career here at Elon,” said King. “I have had the opportunity to do many different things and have had great colleagues and students. The university has changed a lot over time, but remains focused on engagement in teaching and learning, engagement in the community and engagement in life.”

Richard Landesberg – Associate professor of journalism

Rich Landesberg, associate professor of journalism. Photo courtesy of Elon University.

Richard Landesberg was a journalist for 25 years before coming to Elon in 2004 to teach students about the industry. Landesberg has served as an assistant professor, associate professor, mentor and advisor at the student-run news station Elon Local News, part of Elon News Network. Landesberg is looking forward to relaxing first, but plans to spend time traveling later in the offseason, having previously only been able to travel during the busy summer holidays.

“I always tell my students, ‘We don’t work for awards, but we always strive to do award-winning work,’ and I have lived by this motto in the 20 years I have worked here,” Landesberg said. “I want my students to be motivated to do this work for the right reasons, namely to serve their community and make their world a better place. Whether they become a journalist or do something else, as long as they work to make the world a better place and are good people and decent and kind to each other, I’m thrilled with what they’re going to do.”

Bud Warner Senior Faculty Fellow in Human Service Studies

Bud Warner, senior faculty member in human service studies. Photo courtesy of Elon University.

After joining Elon in 2006, Bud Warner has served as an assistant professor, associate professor, department chair, faculty associate for service-learning, community engagement and Periclean Scholars mentor. Before joining the Elon community, Warner worked as a social worker in child welfare and juvenile delinquency and was a professor or administrator at Malone University, Warren Wilson College and Presbyterian College.

After his retirement, Warner plans to travel with his wife, who retired from Elon three years ago, to the only state he hasn’t been to: Alaska. Until then, he’s taking his time and enjoying his retirement.

“What makes Elon so remarkable is its people,” Warner said. “Whether it is the administrators, faculty, staff or students, it is a unique place and I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it.”

Catherine Wasson Associate professor of law

Catherine Wasson, associate professor of law. Photo courtesy of Elon University.

Beginning in 2008, Catherine Wasson helped shape Elon University School of Law into the institution it is today, starting her second year at the law school. In her 16 years at Elon, she has worked as an associate professor, teaching upper-level skills courses, and was director of Legal Methods & Communication, a program within the law school where she worked to establish the Legal Research & Writing Program within the Law School. School.

Wasson is deciding what she wants to do after Elon, but knows she wants to travel – especially to Japan – with her son, who leads tour groups. She also indicated that she wanted to continue teaching in some capacity on the side.

“There are times in law education when you actually see someone step out of the role of student and into the role of future lawyer,” Wasson said. “Those moments are magical and profound. It was a privilege to help so many students make that transition.”

Pranab Das – Professor of physics

Pranab Das, professor of physics. Photo courtesy of Elon University.

Pranab Das started working at Elon in 1993 and retired last year after 30 years. He held many positions, including department chair, assistant professor, associate professor, and full-time professor.

Since his retirement, Das has been involved in international research with university partners around the world on different types of intelligence in humans, non-human animals and machines. He also studies biorobotics and artificial intelligence based on biological models.

Das is also working with a group in the Himalayas and investigating how Buddhism and Buddhist spirituality, especially the Buddhist care model, can be brought into new artificial intelligence models. In addition to his work in Buddhism and Buddhist spirituality, Das is working with the government of Buton, Indonesia, on their initiative to bring Buddhist spirituality to technology by developing a new city based on mindfulness.

“While Elon is intensely focused on teaching students in the classroom, one of the things I think is important to remember is that our faculty must also look outward to bring their experiences from the larger world back to the classroom, ” said Das. . “So that we are not just teachers in the classroom, but that we have an extensive and broader experience that we can share personally with our students.”

Wonhi Synn, professor of finance. Photo courtesy of Elon University.

Wonhi Synn – Professor of Finance

Wonhi Synn has been with Elon since 1989 and has had experiences such as the student-managed investment fund, which gives students experience investing real money, and led the business school’s first overseas trip during the winter term.

During his time at Elon, Synn received numerous awards, including the Wesley R. Elingburg Professor of Finance for excellence in teaching, research and mentorship, as well as the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Wonhi Synn did not respond to Elon News Network’s request for comment.