Two new professors join NVU faculty


Gunter Kliest

Emily Scott

Two professors have joined the NVU-Johnson faculty in full-time positions: Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences Dr. Emily Scott and Assistant Professor of Natural and Environmental Sciences Dr. Bill Landesman. Both are filling positions left vacant by retirement or resignation.
Scott came to NVU-Johnson after getting her PhD in psychology at the University of Utah with a focus in cognitive neuroscience. She says she was drawn to NVU for its “more intimate, smaller setting” as well as its access to nature.
This semester, Scott is teaching Introduction to Psychology and Social Psychology. While she doesn’t have a favorite class to teach, Scott said, “There’s certain content areas that I enjoy more than others. I love everything about the brain, but, the benefits of psychology and teaching psychology classes is that you can apply psychology to almost anything, so it’s really easy to make those real-world connections.”
Scott’s psychology classes are intended to provide students with a basic understanding of human behavior, and she believes all students can benefit from taking a psych class.
“You don’t always have to be trying to fix people to benefit from a psychology class,” she said. “[It can be] just having that awareness of how people act in groups or how people can be influenced, how you can persuade people to change their minds or change their attitudes or having more of an understanding about mental health and mental health disorders. Having the knowledge makes you more empathetic toward someone who may be going through them.”
Scott said she would love to get a research lab started and to get NVU-Johnson students more involved in research.
“We are facing some challenging times, and college itself can be a challenge on its own. It’s okay to ask for help! Reach out if you are struggling,” Scott said.
Dr. Bill Landesman is beginning his 11th year as a biology professor.
Previously, Landesman worked at Green Mountain College as well as the University of Bridgeport. His academic passions are soil ecology and vector-borne diseases, with a specialty in using “DNA sequencing techniques to study ticks and the microbes that live in ticks.”

Bill Landesman with his favorite machine (Gunter Kliest)

Landesman first visited the Johnson campus years before accepting a position at NVU. “I actually first visited [here], I think it was 2014. I was working at Green Mountain College, I came up here for a meeting, and some of the faculty members were nice enough to give me a tour of the science labs, and I was just blown away,” he said. “I was like, ‘Wow this is great! This just looks like a great place to work.’ And so, when the position became available, I was really excited about it.”
When it comes to picking a favorite class to teach, Landesman has a plethora of responses. “I love teaching genetics,” he said. “That’s probably one of my favorites. And I like microbiology too. I mean it’s really a tie, genetics, cell molecular biology, and microbiology, and ecology, it’s like a four-way tie.”
He said he hopes to incorporate more research opportunities into his teaching. “I think my ultimate goal would be to have, not just a flow of students who are working on my projects, but to eventually watch students branch out into their own research that’s related to mine and that I can support. That would be the ultimate goal,” he said. “I envision a continuous flow of students working with me on different projects in the lab, as an extension of the classroom, because there’s so much teaching that goes on.”
Landesman said he is eager to meet new people on campus — students, faculty, and staff alike. “I love talking to people, and I’m always happy to hear from people, so if anyone wanted to just shoot me an email or stop me around campus and say hi, you’d make my day,” he said. “Don’t be shy. I’d love to get to know every single student on campus if I could because everyone is just so interesting.”