AU Press Releases

Alfred University welcomes new faculty for fall semester

Dr. David Szczerbacki, Alfred University provost, announced the appointment of several new faculty members this fall.

They include:

Dr. Adel Al-Sharkas, who joins the faculty of Alfred University’s College of Business as an assistant professor of finance.

Al-Sharkas, who received his Ph.D. in financial economics in May 2003 from the University of New Orleans, was at AU last year as a visiting professor in the College of Business, teaching courses in International Business, Corporate Finance, and Managerial Finance. During the fall of 2001 and then again in the spring of 2002, Al-Sharkas taught at the University of New Orleans.

Al-Sharkas received a master’s degree in mathematical statistics and a B.S.S. degree in applied statistics from Yarmouk University in Jordan.

Sandra Berry, who is a visiting assistant professor of Fine Arts in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Berry is an accomplished artist skilled in areas such as additive and subtractive sculpture, lithography, photography, as well as drawing and painting. Her work, "Floating at the Starting Point, " was chosen for permanent display in the Powell Campus Center at AU.

In 1989 Berry was awarded the New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowship award in crafts. Since then her work has been shown in many solo exhibitions around the U.S. such as New York City; Atlanta, GA; and Greenwich, CT. Her work has also appeared in a number of group exhibitions as well.

Berry has taught sculpture, drawing concepts, art history, wood carving and painting workshops at many SUNY schools, namely at Buffalo as well as The Rochester School of the Arts.

She has a Master of Fine Arts degree from SUNY Buffalo and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Alfred University.

Dr. Rosanna Cappellato, a visiting assistant professor of environmental sciences in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Cappellato graduated from the University of Rome, Italy, in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She completed graduate studies in biology at the University
of Amsterdam in The Netherlands in 1981, and then earned a Ph.D. degree in biology from Emory University, Atlanta, GA, in 1991.

Her professional experience ranges from that of a visiting professor at
Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, to the director of environmental
study programs at the School for International Training-Study Abroad, in
Brattleboro, VT. She was also a professor of human and natural ecology studies at Emory University.

Professionally, Cappellato has participated in seminars, acted as a textbook
reviewer, participated in committee work, and been awarded many honors, including grants for research work. She was nominated for “excellence in undergraduate teaching, small class,” while at Emory.

William Contino, who will return to the School of Art & Design as a visiting professor of expanded media.
After attending school at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD, Contino completed a BFA degree in 1986 and an MFA in 1988, both from Alfred University.

For the past six years Contino has been teaching drawing and painting/
digital imaging at the American School in London, England. Prior to that, he had been an assistant professor at Alfred University in the fields of foundation drawing, printmaking, and two-dimensional mixed media. He has also worked at D'Youville College and
Villa Marie College in Buffalo and Cornell University in Ithaca.

Contino's work has been exhibited in New York, China, Mississippi, England, Michigan and Maryland. His paintings and drawings have been featured in Vox Magazine and he was awarded the Digital Illustration Award by Print magazine in August 1996.

Mark E. D'Arcy, visiting assistant professor of mathematics in the College of Liberal Arts and Science.

D'Arcy began teaching at Franklinville Central School in Franklinville, NY. From there he went on to be a research assistant and then a teaching assistant at Clemson University for the mathematical sciences department.

During the 2002-2003 school year, D'Arcy was an adjunct professor in the College of Business at Alfred University.

D'Arcy has a Master of Science degree in mathematical sciences with concentration in operations research from Clemson University in South Carolina. He obtained both his Master of Science in mathematics education (1996) and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics (1992) from Alfred University.

Zong Dai, an assistant professor of management information systems in the College of Business.

Dai has previously taught at Mountain State University and Marywood University in the United States. He has also taught at Wuhan University in China.

Dai has an undergraduate diploma in finance and a postgraduate diploma in economics and is a candidate for a doctoral degree in business administration.

Diana Elgersma, who will be a visiting assistant professor of German in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Elgersma earned bachelor's and master’s degrees in German linguistics from the University of Wisconsin, and is a candidate for a Ph.D. degree. She has completed doctoral degree work at the University of Wisconsin and abroad.

While at the University of Wisconsin, Elgersma has been an assistant and head teaching assistant of German and Dutch. She has also been a member of the graduate recruitment committee and the co-president of the German and Dutch graduate student association.

Dr. Matthew M. Hall, who will join the faculty in the School of Engineering as an assistant professor of biomedical materials science engineering and glass.

An alumnus of Alfred University with a Ph.D. degree in glass science, he received the Dr. Richard C. Martin Award for outstanding work as a teaching assistant from what was then the School of Ceramic Engineering and Materials Science at AU.

Hall graduated from the University of Missouri in Rolla in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in ceramic engineering. He received his Master of Science degree in glass science from Alfred University in 2000, and recently completed his Ph.D. in glass science, also from AU.

Hall has had numerous articles on his research published in such journals as The Journal of Nuclear Medicine and The Journal of Biomedical Materials Research.

Dr. Ollie A. Johnson III, a visiting lecturer in African-American studies in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences for the fall semester.

Johnson is a professor of political science at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, in Quito, Ecuador. He has a Ph.D. in political science and an M.A. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. Johnson received a B.A. degree in
international relations and Afro-American studies and an M.A. degree in Brazilian studies from Brown University.

He has been an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD; a lecturer at Mills College; and head teaching assistant at U.C. Berkeley.

Johnson received a certificate of teaching excellence from the University of Maryland, and is the recipient of numerous other grants, honors and awards.

Lara Kuhn, who will join the Alfred University teaching staff as an instructor of sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Science.

Kuhn has been a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the College of Liberal Arts at Rochester Institute of Technology. While there, she was co-organizer and co-chair of a conference on forensic psychology.

After attending school at Beloit College in Beloit, WI, and University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Kuhn received her bachelor’s degree in social psychology from the University of Rochester in 1993. She did graduate studies at Philipps-Universität Marburg in Marburg, Germany, and is a candidate for a Ph.D. degree from the School of Criminal Justice, at Rutgers University in Newark, NJ.

Dr. Brian Newsome, assistant professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Newsome has a Ph.D. degree from the University of South Carolina with expertise in modern Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East, and United States since 1789. His master’s degree comes from the University of South Carolina as well and his bachelor’s degree from Augusta College.

Newsome has had articles published in East European Quarterly, The Proceedings of the South Carolina Historical Society and Richmond County History: The Official Journal of the Richmond County Historical Society.
He began his teaching career in 1993 as an instructor at Augusta College in the Department of Continuing Education. He has also taught at Kaplan Educational Center, Midlands Technical College Department of Humanities, the University of South Carolina, Kennesaw State University, and most recently at Berry College.

Newsome is also a member of several professional societies and has won a number of awards and fellowship.

Sean O’Skea, assistant professor of theatre, design, and technical theater director for the Division of Performing Arts in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

O'Skea' received an associate’s degree in broadcasting at Centralia College in Centralia, WA, then earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama in 1995 and a Master of Fine Arts degree, also in drama, from the University of Portland in Portland, OR, in 2002. He also holds an MS degree in historic preservation from Ball State University, Muncie, IN.

O'Skea spent two years as the technical director in the performing and visual arts department at Concordia University, also in Portland, prior to accepting the post at AU. He also served as a adjunct faculty member in theater, and worked with MADE for
Kids as a music, art and drama education summer camp instructor and administrator.

Dr. Mohsen Souissi, an assistant professor of accounting in the College of Business.
Souissi received his Ph.D. in Accounting from Osaka City University's Graduate School of Business in Osaka, Japan, in 1999. He received a bachelor's degree in economics from the Faculty of Economic Science and
Management in Sfax, Tunisia, and a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Tunis, Institute of Higher Commercial Studies in Tunis, Tunisia, and also earned a master's degree in accounting from
Wakayama University in Wakayama, Japan.

He has been a teaching assistant at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a visiting assistant professor at the Monterrey Institute of Technology on the Guadalajara campus in Mexico.

Souissi has been a tax inspector in the Tunisian Tax Office in Tunis, Tunisia.
His work has been published in the International Journal of Management.