Seven Faculty Members Awarded Tenure

News Story: June 2, 2015

Sacred Heart University’s faculty was celebrated recently at the University’s annual Faculty Reception. During the ceremony, University Provost Laura Niesen de Abruna announced that seven faculty members have been awarded tenure by the Board of Trustees. They are:

  • Kwamie Dunbar of Oxford, assistant professor of finance. Dunbar graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of the West Indies, a master’s in business administration from Sacred Heart University, a master’s in applied mathematics from Fairfield University and a doctorate in financial economics from Fordham University. He is the former director of Credit Risk Research at MasterCard International. Prior to that, Dunbar spent several years at GE Capital and GE Asset Management in various capacities. He teaches a number of classes at both the undergraduate and graduate levels for SHU’s Jack Welch College of Business (WCOB), including financial management, international finance, portfolio management and risk management. His research concentrates on asset pricing, international financial markets, monetary policy transmission, credit derivatives and dynamic portfolio optimization.

  • Anna Greer of Bridgeport, associate professor of exercise science. Greer graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science from Furman University, a master’s in health education and behavior from University of Florida and a doctorate in health promotion, education and behavior from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. She also holds a certificate of graduate studies in gerontology from the University of South Carolina. Her interests include physical activity initiation and healthy aging. Greer is a member of the certified health education specialists, certified health and fitness specialists, the American College of Sports Medicine and the Gerontological Society of America.
  • Dawn Melzer of Trumbull, associate professor of psychology. Melzer holds a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Binghamton, and a master’s and doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Melzer joined SHU in the fall of 2009. She previously taught at Adelphi University, Stonehill College and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She encourages an interactive classroom and strives to create an environment where students feel comfortable expressing their ideas to enhance classroom discussions. She incorporates her research experience with young children into her classes and collaborates with her students on her research.
  • Heather Miller-Kuhanek of Southington, associate professor of occupational therapy. Miller-Kuhanek graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Boston University, a master’s degree in occupational therapy from Ohio State University and a doctorate in public health from the University of Connecticut. Her interests include pediatric occupational therapy with a specialty in autism and sensory integration, as well as working with families and siblings of children with autism. Miller-Kuhanek has received several awards and grants for her research in these areas.
  • ‌Patrick Morris of Norwalk, associate professor of criminal justice. He has been a member of the faculty since the fall of 2005 after a 26-year career with the Norwalk Police Department. His research interest is the law enforcement response to domestic violence. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware, a master’s in public administration from the University of New Haven and a doctorate from CUNY Graduate Center. He currently teaches courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs in criminal justice.
  • Christopher Kelly of Hamden, associate professor of theology and religious studies. Kelly earned his doctorate from the University of Iowa, and his bachelor’s and master’s in religious studies from the University of South Florida. Kelly’s general area of expertise is historical theology and church history from Christian late antiquity to early middle Ages. His particular academic interests are in the development of Christian monasticism, particularly as it migrates from East to West. He also has interests in pedagogy, specifically with respect to the Catholic intellectual tradition.
  • Mary Treschitta of Fairfield, associate professor of art and design. Treschitta has 30 years of experience in graphic design and holds a dual master’s in art/education. Additionally, in 2009 she completed her master’s in fine arts, specializing in graphic design, at the Miami International Institute of Art and Design. Before coming to Sacred Heart, she taught graphic design at Gibbs College in Norwalk as an adjunct professor for six years. She is president of Visual Connection, a graphic design studio and is currently the creative director for The Independent, a New Haven newspaper.

Dunbar, Greer, Melzer, Miller-Kuchanek, Morris, Kelly and Treschitta also received promotions from assistant professor to associate professor. Other promotions were Patricia Carl-Stannard, professor of social work, from clinical assistant professor to clinical associate professor and Brian Stiltner, professor of theology and religious studies, from associate professor to full professor.

To view photos from this year's Faculty Awards, click here.