June

Sacred Heart Faculty Earns Tenure, Promotions

News Story: June 4, 2018

Tenured Professors in 2018
From left are recently tenured faculty members Bernadette Boyle, Colleen Butler-Sweet, Walker Hughen,
Cara Erdheim Kilgallen, Gordon Purves, Tuvana Rua and William Yousman

Sacred Heart University has awarded tenure and promotions to seven faculty members. Additionally, nine other professors earned separate promotions.

Bernadette Boyle of Fairfield, associate professor of mathematics

Boyle started teaching at Sacred Heart University in 2012 after finishing her doctorate at the University of Notre Dame. Her research is in the area of commutative algebra and algebraic geometry, focusing on pure O-sequences and the index of numerical semigroup rings. In the classroom, Boyle loves working with all her students, exposing them to the beauty of mathematics, while enabling them to break down problems and think critically. Boyle also enjoys working with the SHU cross-country and track and field teams as a faculty mentor. Along with receiving tenure, Boyle was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor.

Colleen Butler-Sweet of East Hartford, associate professor of sociology

Butler-Sweet’s teaching responsibilities include introductory courses in sociology, changing families and the sociology of youth and childhood. Her primary areas of interest include sociology of the family, race and ethnicity and racial identity. Her research focuses on racialized family structure and explores the combined impact of race and class on identity development in varying family contexts. In recent articles in Social Identities and The Journal of Comparative Family Studies, she examines how middle-class identity is learned and negotiated in families in which parents and children may not be of the same race, particularly families formed through transracial adoption. The next phase of her research expands on the racialized family structure theme by exploring the dynamics of transracial adoptions by same sex couples. She also is a regular contributor to U.S.News & World Report. She writes about social and political issues. Beside tenure, Butler-Sweet was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor.

Walker K. Hughen of Fairfield, associate professor of finance

Hughen joined Sacred Heart University in 2015. Previously he held positions at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University of Connecticut, University of California at Berkeley and Duke University, where he taught courses in finance and mathematics. He also worked briefly as a quantitative analyst at an energy company. In addition to achieving tenure, Hughen was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor.

Cara Erdheim Kilgallen of New York City, associate professor of English

Kilgallen started at Sacred Heart University in the fall of 2010. Since then, she has thoroughly enjoyed teaching students across majors and colleges through her first-year seminars on sports literature, seminars in the Catholic intellectual tradition and foundational core classes in experiencing literature. Her upper-level courses range in topics from disability literature to writings about fitness and food. An avid athlete involved in competitive figure skating and tennis, she feels particularly passionate about American sports writing as an area of teaching and scholarship. Her research and writing focus on American literature, environmental theory, disability studies and sports narratives. Working on a book project about American literature, disability and sports, Kilgallen also has published in the fields of 20th-century American literature, African American writing, literary naturalism, ecocriticism and cultural food studies. Beside tenure, Kilgallen was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor.

Gordon Purves of Pittsburgh, associate professor of philosophy

Purves’ interests focus more on the applications of philosophical methods and ideas to more concrete problems. His main interests are the philosophy of science—in particular, questions concerning what makes certain scientific methodologies and investigations successful (or unsuccessful) and producing true knowledge—and applied ethics, principally animal and environmental ethics. Purves joined the Department of Philosophy in 2012. Along with receiving tenure, Purves was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor.

Tuvana Rua of Trumbull, associate professor of management

Rua has extensive international business experience with a concentration in management and marketing. She worked in the marketing field, where she created, adapted and supervised marketing campaigns. During her tenure at EMEK, a marketing firm headquartered in Turkey, Istanbul, she facilitated the introduction of new products and foreign companies to the Turkish market. Prior to that, Rua served as the international marketing manager for Balnak Freight Forwarding, an international logistics organization in Istanbul, Turkey. In addition, Rua worked as a business consultant and marketing specialist and consulted small businesses (start-up and existing) with their business plans, development plans, marketing plans, market research, marketing campaigns, media buying plans, websites, promotional and marketing items to reach their business goals in the tristate area. Her research focuses on decision making specifically in the areas of ethics, negotiations, creativity and entrepreneurship. In addition to receiving tenure, Rua was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor.

William Yousman of Hartford, associate professor of communication and media studies

Yousman joined the School of Communication & Media Arts at Sacred Heart University in 2015. He is the former managing director of the Media Education Foundation and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in media literacy. These courses stress critical analysis of media industries, content and social impact. Yousman’s research focuses on media and the construction of ideology, the role media representations play in shaping perceptions of race and the relationship between media and democracy. His scholarship includes critical analyses of media images of the prison industrial complex, ideology in the films of Spike Lee and the social impact of rap music and hip-hop culture. Besides obtaining tenure, Yousman was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor.

Nine other faculty members have received promotions:

Professor: Eid Akjhatib, chemistry; Maureen Conard, psychology; Beau Greer, exercise science; Anca Micu, marketing; and Joshua Shuart, marketing.

Clinical Associate Professor: Eleni Diakogeorgiou, athletic training; and Wendy Romney, physical therapy.

Clinical Professor: Wendy Bjerke and Peter Ronai, who teach exercise science.