chad spigel pointing at a book next to two students
Trinity Announces 2020-21 Faculty Promotions and Tenure
13 faculty promoted; 9 granted tenure

Trinity University is proud to announce the following faculty promotions, which took effect for the Fall 2020 semester on September 1.

The following faculty members have been awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor:

Lanette Garza, MSLS
Promoted to Associate Professor at Coates Library and Granted Tenure
Garza’s work and research in the library focuses on the assessment of electronic resources, resource management, and best practices for collection assessment. She also serves as the library liaison to the School of Business, where she provides information literacy sessions and research appointments.   

Amy Holmes, Ph.D.
Promoted to Associate Professor of Accounting and Granted Tenure
Holmes enjoyed a career in public accounting for almost 30 years before beginning a second career as an accounting professor. Her years of experience help provide real-life examples to engage students in the classroom. She is passionate about mentoring students, finding ways to encourage them to develop confidence as active learners and to recognize that knowledge opens doors.

Sarah Beth Kaufman, Ph.D.
Promoted to Associate Professor Sociology and Granted Tenure
As part of her doctoral research, Kaufman spent two years watching hundreds of hours of death penalty trials across the United States. She is interested in the ways sociology intersects with the performative arts in particular. She co-authored a play titled To Be Honest, drawn from 172 qualitative interviews with Texans during the 2016 presidential election. As a performance, it makes visible the high stakes when the religion of Islam becomes a topic for political debate in the US. Kaufman also just published a book on her research about the death penalty: American Roulette.

Andrew Kraebel, Ph.D. 
Promoted to Associate Professor of English and Granted Tenure
Kraebel researches in the history of literary criticism in the Middle Ages, working to recover the many different ways in which men and women from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries engaged with their most authoritative texts, especially the Bible and the poetry inherited from Latin antiquity. His most recent book, Biblical Commentary and Translation in Later Medieval England: Experiments in Interpretation (Cambridge, 2020), presents a new framework for understanding the interpretation of the Bible in England before the Reformation, drawing attention to many new and previously neglected sources.  

Corina Maeder, Ph.D.
Promoted to Associate Professor of Chemistry and Granted Tenure
Maeder’s research centers on characterizing a key mechanism in gene expression, pre-messenger RNA splicing. Her current work focuses on identifying the mechanisms by which several essential splicing proteins regulate spliceosome assembly and activation. Since coming to Trinity, she has published four peer-reviewed publications with students and was awarded over $1.5 million in funding to support her research from multiple sources, including NIH, NSF,  the Welch Foundation and the San Antonio Area Foundation. Most recently. Maeder received a Voelcker Young Investigator Award from the Max and Minnie Tomerlin Voelcker Fund in support of her work in degenerative eye disease.

Shana McDermott, Ph.D.
Promoted to Associate Professor of Economics and Granted Tenure
Trained as an applied microeconomist, McDermott’s research focuses on jointly determined human and natural systems and developing policies that will enable humans to better manage natural resources. Her current research examines invasive species valuation and management, the unintended behavioral effects of environmental policy, and the indirect health benefits provided by ecosystem services.  

William E. Jensen, Ph.D. 
Promoted to Associate Professor of Human Communication and Theater and Granted Tenure
Director of the Trinity debate team, Jensen’s teams have frequently been ranked in the top 20 in the nation. Most recently, his team was ranked 14th overall, a historic first for Trinity. In addition to his work with the debate team, he researches contemporary American political discourse, focusing on the argumentative strategies and rhetorical techniques of campaigners and activists. 

Adam Schreiber, MFA
Promoted to Associate Professor of Art and Art History and Granted Tenure
Broadly speaking, Schreiber’s work examines the relationship between photographic materiality and the impulse to archive. His work typically addresses sites of minor architecture as repositories of unfinished history and markers of institutional withholding. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States.  

Patrick D. Shay, Ph.D.
Promoted to Associate Professor of Health Care Administration and Granted Tenure
Shay’s research applies organization theory to understand and explain phenomena facing health care organizations, including the differentiation and integration observed among local multihospital systems, as well as the impact of regulation on post-acute care providers, among others. Currently, he teaches graduate courses on topics including health services organization, organization theory, health policy, health care innovation, and population health management. Prior to his doctoral studies, he worked as a healthcare administrator for a post-acute system in south Texas.

The following faculty have been promoted to full professor:

Michele Johnson, Ph.D.
Promoted to Professor of Biology
Johnson’s lab group is interested in the ecological factors that influence social behaviors and the physiological mechanisms that underlie those behaviors. Most of the lab’s work uses Caribbean lizards in the genus Anolis, or anoles, but they also explore the diversity of lizards that occur at local field sites in south-central Texas. She uses field observations, laboratory experiments, molecular genetics, neuroendocrine techniques, and comparative methodology to explore behavioral evolution.

Michael Schreyach, Ph.D.
Promoted to Professor of Art and Art History
Schreyach investigates twentieth-century abstract painting from technical, formal, cultural, historical, and philosophical standpoints. He is the author of Pollock’s Modernism (Yale University Press, 2017) as well as articles on Barnett Newman, Hans Hofmann, John Dewey, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Cy Twombly, and Anne Truitt. His second book, Newman’s Totality, is under contract with the University of California Press. 

Chad Spigel, Ph.D.
Promoted to Professor of Religion
Spigel’s research and teaching interests include the role of synagogue worship in ancient Jewish communities, approaches to the study of Jews and Judaism, and the use of archaeology and the Bible in popular media. He has worked on several archaeological excavations and from 2011-14 he was an area supervisor for the excavation of the ancient village of Huqoq in Israel. Spigel is currently the director of the Mellon Initiative for Undergraduate Research in the Arts and Humanities at Trinity, a councilor for the Arts and Humanities division of CUR, and is working on a book about undergraduate research in religious studies. 

Ben Surpless, Ph.D.
Promoted to Professor of Geosciences
Surpless conducts research in a variety of locations, including West Texas, Nevada, and Utah, using advanced technology to survey folds and faultlines in the Earth. The National Science Foundation has funded his research, allowing Surpless to provide data that helps advance our understanding of faultlines and how they grow and interact through time. Such data impacts things like groundwater, geothermal energy, gas, and oil. He has also been using drones to analyze and build on work from the past, building 3D models of faults and creating landscapes with exact physical dimensions. This year, he received Trinity’s Z.T. Scott award, the highest honor bestowed on a Trinity faculty member.


Sydney Rhodes '23 helped tell Trinity's story as a writing intern for Strategic Communications and Marketing.

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