Hiram College

Sandra Madar, Ella Kirk, Laura Van Wormer, and Debra Rodriguez named Full Professors at the January meeting of the Hiram College Board of Trustees.

Upon the recommendations of the Appointment, Tenure, and Promotion Committee and President Thomas V. Chema, the Hiram College Board of Trustees promoted the following four faculty members to Full Professor:

  • Sandra Madar, Professor of Biology
  • Ella W. Kirk, Professor of French
  • Laura Van Wormer, Professor of Physics
  • Debra Rodriguez, Professor of Spanish
Professor Madar came to Hiram College in 1994. She completed her B.S. at the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. Madar’s scholarship in science is impressive as well as her work in program development. In addition to being Co-Director of the Center for Literature, Medicine, and Biomedical Humanities, she has been a key contributor in some of the Hiram’s most important committees including its Graduate Studies Council, Academic Programming Committee, and the Ethics and Values Committee. Madar’s accomplishments in the classroom are exemplified by her mutual respect, professionalism, and genuine caring and commitment to her students. Madar currently serves as the Interim Dean of the College.
Professor Kirk has been teaching at Hiram since 1993. She received her B.A. in French and M.A. in Education from Ball State University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in French from The Ohio State University. Kirk is well known on campus for they way she treats her students as her family, whether it’s in her home in Ohio or on a study abroad trip in France. She works to broaden her mastery of the French language and its literature, but also studies Japanese and Arabic. She was instrumental in establishing Hiram’s experiment in distance-learning language courses. In addition to her service at Hiram College, she developed language enrichment programs at Garfield Elementary School, Garrettsville, Ohio.

Professor Van Wormer came to Hiram in 1994. She completed her B.S. in physics and mathematics at the University of Toledo and her M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Notre Dame. Van Wormer is equally adept at teaching students with a serious interest in physics as well as students taking general education classes in the sciences. Her contributions to the Hiram curriculum include a first-year colloquium Real World Physics and an interdisciplinary course Physics and Modern Drama. Van Wormer’s dedication to Hiram includes service as faculty chair and science division convener. In both roles, she worked to advance the mission of the institution by encouraging collaboration among academic departments.

Professor Rodriguez began teaching Spanish at Hiram in 1990. She completed her A.B. at Youngstown State University, her M.A. at Kent State University, and her Ph.D. at The Ohio State University. Among her significant contributions to Hiram is her participation in service and community events and her encouragement to others to do the same. She contributes to the Appointments, Tenure, and Promotion Committee and the Academic Programming Committee. Her personal research regarding the techniques and methods of academic assessment is significant scholarship, and was instrumental helping the faculty comply with the goals of the new general education program. She is present at many departmental and campus wide events. Current students, former students, and colleagues described her as dynamic, passionate, enjoyable, and a dedicated and effective teacher.