New year brings new faculty

By: Hadley Bjerke, News Editor

In fall of 2013, then-Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader announced in her State of the
University Address plans to add 100 new faculty positions by the year 2020. This decision
came after seeing the significant student growth of recent years and the unequal increase in
faculty and staff. Although Dr. Christopher G. Maples has now become the university’s
interim chancellor, the hiring initiative is still underway and has brought 29 new members
into the S&T family. This jump brings the goal’s progress to 71.

The computer science department saw five additions including Dr. Santosh Gupta, assistant professor of computer science. Gupta brings insight into smart buildings, internet-of-things architecture, cyber-physical systems, wireless systems and tech entrepreneurship with his research. He is joining the university from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he served as a post-doctoral research associate, and earned his Ph.D. in electrical, computer and systems engineering. Dr. George Markowsky, chair and professor of computer science, has joined the Miner family as well. Markowsky has a background in entrepreneurship, international education and cybersecurity research, and is transferring from the University of Maine where he served as a professor of computer science.

The new members have impacted all areas of education at the university including history and political science. Dr. Justin Pope will be bringing his background in colonial North America, the American Revolution, U.S. history to 1877 and modern world history and Dr. Alanna Krolikowski will share her focus on contemporary relations between China and the United States in high-technology sectors. Both will be assistant professors of history and political science. Prior to joining Missouri S&T, Pope served as visiting professor of history at Beloit College and Krolikowski comes to S&T from the University of Alberta, where she served as a post-doctoral research fellow.

In addition to the new members, the university has seen several internal changes in the
past year including the changes of chancellor and vice chancellor for finance and operations. Walt Branson, vice chancellor for finance and operations since August 2013, will retain the title and become chief business officer as well at Wright State University in mid-September. Cuba Plain will move into his position in the interim one week after he begins elsewhere. She is the current assistant vice president for budget planning and development for the University of Missouri System. Her addition, as well as the other faculty members, will help lead Missouri S&T into another successful school year.