Niedziela, Strempek appointed to named professorships

Linda Niedziela and R. Barth Strempek have been appointed to named professorships at Elon. They were recognized at opening ceremonies of the annual faculty/staff planning week, Aug. 20. Details...

R. Barth Strempek, associate professor of business administration, is the first Doherty Professor for Entrepreneurial Studies in the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business. As part of the professorship, Strempek serves as a leader for Elon’s entrepreneurship education programs. He works to further develop a three-course entrepreneurship concentration for the business administration major and a two-course entrepreneurship sequence for the MBA program.

Strempek holds a bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master’s degree from the Harvard graduate school of business and a doctorate from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He has helped to build entrepreneurship at Elon over the past decade by engaging students in entrepreneurial experiences and securing grant money from the U.S. Department of Education.

The Doherty Professorship is funded by a gift by Edward and Joan Dherty of Saddle River, N.J. Ed is a member of Elon’s Board of Trustees and together with Joan served on Elon’s Parents Council. Their company, Doherty Enterprises, Inc., is one of the nation’s leading franchisee operators of quality family restaurants, including Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Panera Bread and Chevys Fresh Mex.

Linda Niedziela, associate professor of biology, is the Japheth E. Rawls Professor for Undergraduate Research. This rotating three-year professorship is for a faculty member in biology, chemistry or physics fields. The professorship is funded through a gift from the estate of Dr. Japheth E. Rawls Jr. ’35 and Virginia Riddick Rawls. It aims to support the efforts of science faculty to engage students in the scholarship of scientific discovery.

Niedziela holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate in genetics and developmental biology from West Virginia University. She has worked previously at the University of Richmond. During her time at Elon she has done extensive work in undergraduate research, mentoring 13 students in the past six years. Niedziela’s most recent research includes, “The search for growth arrest and DNA damage (gad) genes in brine shrimp” and “Evaluation of oil dispersant toxicity in Artemia franciscana.”

Also appointed to a named professorship is Michael E. Pregill, instructor of religious studies. He has been named
Distinguished Emerging Scholar in Religious Studies. The professorship
recognizes a junior faculty member who has potential for a
distinguished academic career in religious studies. The professorship
provides support for research, travel and professional development for
a term of up to six years.

Pregill received his bachelor’s
degree in religion with a concentration in Middle Eastern languages and
cultures from Columbia University. He went on to study the Hebrew Bible
and Jewish studies for his master’s degree at Harvard Divinity School,
and returned to Columbia to complete a doctorate in religion with a
concentration in Islam. He has taught at Columbia University, Hofstra
University and New York University. Pregill was the recipient of a New
York University College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award
in 2007.