McKendree University Welcomes New Faculty and Staff Members

(LEBANON, Ill., August 27, 2018) — Several new professors and staff members joined McKendree University over the summer:

  • Michael Louison, assistant professor of biology, studied natural resources and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois, where he designed and taught a new course that used software to analyze data taken from behavioral and physiological experiments on fish.

  • Francesca Ortegren, visiting assistant professor of psychology, was the assistant department chair at the University of Southern Indiana. The Texas Tech graduate has taught cognitive psychology, research methods, and sensation and perception.

  • Maria Salari, assistant professor of chemistry, is a physical chemist who served as a visiting assistant professor at Bucknell University and at the University of Illinois at Springfield. At Rutgers University, she received the 2014 Reid Award for Excellence in Research from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

  • Tyson Thomas, assistant professor of economics, taught courses in corporate finance, labor economics, and money and banking at Blackburn College. His current research focuses on understanding the demand for professional sports.

  • Sara Frank ’06, assistant professor of speech communication, was an assistant professor of communication studies at Randolph-Macon College, where she taught courses in communication theory, health communication, and interpersonal and small group communication.

Marilee Montanaro is the university’s new vice president for administration and finance. She is the former director of finance and administration for Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester in New York, and was employed in financial management positions at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.

Also joining the Lebanon campus were Emily Eilers ’11, financial aid counselor and Bianca Bergman, head cheer coach. The Office of Residence Life welcomed Calvin Wertman, assistant director; Leslie Ditlow and Carlie Johnson, resident directors; and Saranda Lund and Alex Fiks, residence life area coordinators.

Joining the Radcliff, Ky., campus were Laura Stover, MBA ’15, student services specialist; and Chrystal Mingus and Jacob Vittitow, recruiters.

The Department of Athletics welcomed several new coaches this summer; read about them at