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Honoring Excellence: Cedar Crest’s Promotion & Tenure Ceremony 

Cedar Crest Professors

Cedar Crest College prides itself on academic excellence, and that starts with recognizing the dedicated faculty that make the College shine. On April 20, 2024, the College did just that – taking time to honor its accomplished faculty during the annual Promotion and Tenure Ceremony. 

John A. Cigliano, Ph.D., was promoted to professor emeritus of biology, effective upon his retirement at the end of the spring 2024 semester. 

Since joining Cedar Crest in the fall of 2000, Cigliano has served as a Professor of Biology and Director of Environmental Conservation. He’s taught courses in ecology, animal behavior, and conservation biology, and studied tropical and marine ecology. Outside of the campus community, Cigliano has been an adjunct research faculty member at the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, was previously a president of the Marine Section of the Society for Conservation Biology, and is currently the President of the Participatory and Citizen Science Working Group of the Society for Conservation Biology. He was also the co-chair and chair of the scientific program committee for the 2023 International Congress of Conservation Biology.  

LuAnn McCracken Fletcher, Ph.D., was promoted to professor emerita of english, effective upon her retirement at the end of the spring 2024 semester. 

McCracken joined Cedar Crest in 1993 and was originally hired as an Assistant Professor of English. She was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor of English in 2000 and obtained the title Professor of English in 2007. A long-time fixture of the College, McCracken developed over twenty different courses for the English and Honors programs, several of which featured study abroad components. She is most proud of creating, “Narrating Your Success: Professional Development for Humanities Majors,” a platform for her students to discover their personal potential while developing their career toolkit.  

Michael C. Zalot, Ph.D., MBA, was promoted to associate professor of business and awarded tenure in the department of business, management, and economics. 

Zalot has been a member of the Business Department since 2018 and is Chair of the Business, Management, and Economics department. His time working in higher education spans over twenty years, several departments, and dozens of classes. His research interests are eclectic and cross-disciplinary, ranging from business to communications, to such niche topics as coastal tourism.  

Margaret C. Mills, MFA, was promoted to associate professor of art in the department of art. 

Mills has been part of the Cedar Crest community since 2016 and has been an engaged faculty member ever since. Outside of her work on campus, Mills is President of the Board of Brush with the Law, a service-based art program that invites people in recovery from substance use disorder, from the behavioral health community, and in re-entry after incarceration to participate in community beatification projects. Her studio work addresses the effects that climate change and isolation have on our contemporary spaces and the legacy that we leave to subsequent generations through these spaces. 

Chelsea E. Toth, DSW, was promoted to associate professor of social work in the department of social work. 

An ‘08 alum and faculty member of Cedar Crest, Toth has been the Director of Field Education for the Social Work program since 2018. As an educator, Toth utilizes her social-work practice experience by bringing her clinical expertise to the classroom. She teaches field education, social-work practice courses, an interdisciplinary addiction course, and research courses. Toth is the co-chair of the College’s assessment committee, a member of the Academic Integrity Review Board, an executive board member of the Lehigh Valley Research Consortium, and a board member of the Cystic Fibrosis Mental Health Advisory Committee and Research Subcommittee. 

Jennifer D. Hayden, Ph.D., was promoted to associate professor of biology in the department of biological sciences. 

Hayden has been teaching in the Department of Biological Sciences since 2017. While pursuing her education, she had the chance to study stress responses in bacteria and later research the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. She is passionate about microbiology and women’s education, and she’s committed to expanding educational opportunities for people who have been traditionally marginalized.  

Hollie B. Gibbons, DHS, MPH, RD, was promoted to associate professor of health sciences in the department of health sciences. 

Gibbons has served as a full-time faculty member at Cedar Crest since 2018 and previously served as an adjunct professor. She is currently the Program Director for the Master of Public Health program and has served on several committees at the College. Through the Lehigh Valley Research Consortium, Gibbons has engaged in community research with nonprofit organizations including New Bathany Ministries, the Center for Humanistic Change, Community Services for Children, and Communities in Schools, while incorporating service-learning opportunities for public health research students. 

Christine A. Carpino, Ph.D., was promoted to associate professor of political science in the department of humanities, political science, and global studies. 

Carpino has been a full-time faculty member at Cedar Crest since 2019 and has taught a variety of political science courses and seminars. She currently serves as chair of the Humanities, Political Science, and Global Studies department. In addition to her work at the College, she serves as the Director of the Lehigh Valley Research Consortium, a faculty-led initiative that advances research in the region through fostering collaborative research relationships between LVAIC academic institutions and regional community partners.  

Sarah J. Carlson, MFA, was promoted to associate professor of dance in the department of performing arts. 

Carlson first began teaching at Cedar Crest as an adjunct in 2012 and was hired as an Assistant Professor in 2018. In 2008, she founded DanceLink to promote community and to use the wisdom of the body to unpack life’s big questions. She is also the recipient of the 2023 LVAIC Dance Consortium’s Dance Service Award. 

Patricia L. LaSalle, MS, RDN, CDCES, LDN, was promoted to senior instructor of nutrition in the department of nutrition. 

A member of the Cedar Crest Community since 2015, LaSalle has previously served as an adjunct professor and full-time instructor for the undergraduate DPD program. Before coming to Cedar Crest, LaSalle focused on working within hospital networks and diabetes centers, but a new focus on teaching, preparing, and mentoring aspiring nutrition students brought her to her role at the College.  

Congratulations to all!