In many ways, the 2019-20 academic year has been the most unusual in Wagner College history since World War II — yet we still celebrate the milestones of academic life: tenure, promotion and retirement. Please join us in observing these markers in the lives of our faculty colleagues.
English professor Anne Schotter, Ph.D., has retired after 37 years at Wagner College. She earned her B.A. from Cornell, her master’s from Stanford and her Ph.D. from the City University of New York. She was a co-editor of the Longman Anthology of British Literature’s volume on the Middle Ages, which has gone through multiple editions. Schotter joined Wagner College’s English faculty in 1983. Her long and varied experience of teaching in the Wagner Plan’s First-Year Program was one of the subjects of a 2018 Wagner Magazine story. Dr. Schotter, who has served at Wagner as associate dean of the faculty and director of writing, was honored by her peers last year with election as faculty marshal.
Accounting professor Margaret “Peg” Horan, DPS, CPA, has retired after 40 years as a Wagner College professor; she joined the Wagner business administration faculty in 1980. She earned her doctor of professional studies degree from Pace University, her MBA from Wagner College and her bachelor’s degree from St. Francis College. Over four decades she taught and mentored accounting students, many of whom have gone on to successful careers. She advised student organizations, served on a number of college committees, directed the graduate program in accounting, and brought her knowledge to the general public through a weekly column that was published in the Staten Island Advance. She served as the faculty marshal for the 2017 commencement program. Visit her profile website for further details.
Jonathan Blaize, Ph.D. (Department of Biological Sciences) was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor. Dr. Blaize first joined the Wagner community in 2012 as an adjunct professor, and in 2013 became a visiting assistant professor. He teaches courses in genetics, gene expression and development, and neuroscience. He earned his doctorate in neuroscience from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2013; he had previously earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in biology from the College of Staten Island.
Theresa McCarthy, MFA (Performing Arts Department) was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor. McCarthy joined the Wagner College Theatre faculty in 2014. She graduated with an MFA in acting from the University of California, San Diego, in 1988. Her early training in theater was geared toward a career on the non-musical stage. She has worked with writers including Adam Guettel, Ricky Ian Gordon and Maury Yeston as well as directors Anne Bogart, Molly Smith and Richard Jones. As a teacher, McCarthy developed curriculum and trained students in beginning and advanced acting. She has also taught vocal music to non-singers and advanced singers. She directed new works through a program she initiated, the New Music Theater Collaborative at the Playwrights Horizons Theater School, operated by NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. At Wagner College, McCarthy directed an original performance in 2016 by Wagner freshmen of the personal accounts of local Holocaust survivors, later moved to Staten Island’s historic St. George Theatre as an annual Holocaust remembrance performance. In 2017 she introduced the New Works Agenda program to the WCT curriculum and repertoire, later rebranded as “The Originals,” a workshop process that involves Wagner students in the production of new works for the stage.
Arunkumar Sharma, Ph.D. (Department of Physical Sciences) was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor. Arun Sharma, a chemistry professor, joined the Wagner College faculty in 2014. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in 2011, has decades of research that has identified students’ different learning styles, and he teaches for optimal learning based on this knowledge. His teaching philosophy: “Teach the scientific method and engage students holistically to achieve lifelong learning.” He has enjoyed teaching at all levels and in a variety of roles. Sharma previously taught at Christopher Newport University, where he taught the undergraduate Physical Chemistry sequence along with General Chemistry lectures and laboratory sections. His research goal is to pursue biomolecular simulations and develop solutions to long-standing problems in the fields of protein structure, function and stability. For current information on his research in computational chemistry, visit the Sharma Lab website.
Aleksandra Zagorin, DNP (Evelyn L. Spiro School of Nursing) was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor. Aleksandra Zagorin joined the Wagner College faculty in 2014. In January 2019 she was appointed director of undergraduate studies for the nursing school, where she teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She earned her B.S. in nursing from Wagner College, her master’s degree in adult primary care and geriatrics from New York University, and her doctor of nursing practice degree from NYU, where she was a recipient of the Brookdale Foundation Group Scholar Award. Her educational focus is on the preparation of the new generation of registered nurses and advanced practice nurses. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, since 2002, Dr. Zagorin holds a faculty clinical position in the Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics at Maimonides Medical Center. She is board certified in adult primary care and geriatrics. Dr. Zagorin is an expert in home-based primary care of chronically ill older adults with a clinical focus on improvement of healthcare in the community through interprofessional collaborations. For further details, visit her profile website.
Celeste Gagnon, Ph.D. (Department of Culture and Economy) was promoted to professor. Celeste Marie Gagnon earned her B.A. in anthropology from the University of Delaware, her master's in anthropology from Arizona State University, and her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of North Carolina. She joined the Wagner College faculty in 2008. She is a broadly trained anthropologist specializing in the study of human skeletal remains excavated from archaeological sites. By examining skeletal indicators of diet and disease and interpreting these data within archaeological and biocultural contexts, she investigates the dietary and health consequences of sociopolitical change and how changes in diet and health affect economic, social, and political lives. Her research areas include the Moche Valley of North Coastal Peru and the Susquehanna Valley of New York and Pennsylvania. In addition to her teaching and other service responsibilities, Dr. Gagnon chairs the college's Department of Culture and Economy. Visit her profile for further details.
Lauri Young, DMA (Department of Performing Arts) was promoted to professor. As an accomplished pianist, Lauri Young earned her bachelor of music degree from Oberlin College, her master of music degree from the University of Louisville, and her doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. She came to New York in 1990, pursuing a freelance performing career; in 1993 she transitioned into theatrical music direction. She joined the Wagner College Theatre program faculty in 1999. On her profile page, Dr. Young says that she finds great joy in seeing her students accomplish things that they did not think were possible. “Teaching in the arts is a sacred profession by which we can help human beings honor their own unique creative impulses,” she says. “The most important journey is the one we take within.”