Two new faculty to join JSC in fall

Two new full-time faculty members will join the Johnson State College family in the fall semester of 2012. Dr. Amy Welch will be the new Associate Professor of Health Science, and Dr. David Plazek will be the new associate professor of political science.

Professor of Enviornmental and Health Sciences Hans Haverkamp is excited to have Welch join his department as a full-time professor. “Amy by training is an exercise psychologist, which is cool because I am an exercise physiologist, so we’ll be able to complement each other nicely,” he said.

Welch, who taught for five years at Iowa State University, will enter the fall semester teaching several courses, including Anatomy and Physiology I, Psychological Response to Exercise, Psycho-physiology of Stress and Contemporary Health Issues.

As time goes on, not only will she be teaching more classes, but Haverkamp looks forward to substantially revising the Bachelor of Health Sciences major with her expertise. Having another full-time faculty member in the Health Science department will also be beneficial in the long run because there will be another advisor specifically for Health Science majors.

“We also anticipate that, within a year or two, that we’ll have a research lab here and she’ll be a scholar on campus,” Haverkamp said. “There’s quite a lot of room for us to collaborate on research projects. We’re really excited and really appreciative that we were given the opportunity to hire a new individual.”

Department Chair and Professor of Humanities Fred Wiseman is equally grateful for the opportunity to hire a new full-time faculty member, despite numerous budget cuts. Dr. David Plazek will be joining the college as a full-time assistant professor of humanities specializing in political cience. “We advertised late last spring, and we had three really good people, but interestingly enough, the best one was right in our neck of the woods,” Wiseman said, referring to the fact that Plazek will be leaving Lyndon State College to teach at Johnson. “It actually works really well because he already has an established presence in the Vermont State College system, so everything was quite simple.”

Plazek will be taking over retired professor Jerry Anderson’s courses and a good number of Introduction to Political Science courses. In the future, however, Plazek is interested in exercising his connections with Canadian politics, and has suggested taking students to Canada to get a closer look at their political system. “The goal is to get people out of Johnson, and that was one of the things that really sold us on Plazek,” Wiseman said. Plazek has also expressed interest in creating a First Year Seminar class. “He’s really tall, quite talkative, and a really cheerful guy. He’s got research, teaching, public service, and he’s been up here talking to several classes, so we’ve seen him in action lecturing,” Wiseman said.

As department chair, Wiseman has high hopes for what Plazek will bring to Johnson. “David’s going to bring new ideas, new perspective, new interests, new breadth to this department, and I’m hoping he’s going to revitalize our Political Science majors,” he said.