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Carthage congratulates its 2020 faculty and staff retirees

By Emma Swain ’20

May 20, 2020

The Carthage community offers its warmest congratulations to many beloved faculty and staff members who are retiring this semester after long and dedicated terms of teaching at Carthage. These retirees include Professor Doug Arion, Professor Anne Cassidy, Professor Mary Elliott, Professor Mark Miller, Professor Tom Noer, Professor Kurt Piepenburg, Professor Jean Preston, Professor Ingrid Tiegel, Staff Member Carol Weyrauch, and Professor Paul Zavada. Together, these ten individuals have devoted an astounding 200+ years of service and teaching to Carthage students.

Professor Doug Arion

Professor Douglas ArionProf. Doug Arion, who taught courses in physics, astronomy, and entrepreneurship, joined the Carthage faculty in 1994. He brought his experience as a scientific researcher and former corporate executive to Carthage and was the key force in developing Carthage’s innovative ScienceWorks program, the nation’s first and longest-standing technology entrepreneurship program for undergraduates. Prof. Arion was also instrumental in furthering the study of astronomy at Carthage through the founding of the Carthage Institute of Astronomy. His interests include designing and building telescopes, competitive cycling, and ice hockey — for a time, he also served as the head coach of the Carthage ice hockey program! He earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in physics from the University of Maryland, and his A.B. in physics from Dartmouth College.

Prof. Arion with the Carthage hockey team in 2001

Professor Anne Cassidy

Anne CassidyProf. Anne Cassidy of the Art Department joined the Carthage faculty in 2005. Prior to teaching at Carthage, Prof. Cassidy earned her B.A. from Rutgers University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University, where she also subsequently taught. After her graduate studies, Prof. Cassidy became deeply involved in advocating for tribes during the repatriation of American Indian art, an experience that offered a deeper understanding of the power and universality of the aesthetic activity itself. She approaches her teaching with a strong belief that works of art should be studied as primary sources, and that students should interrogate these sources to access fundamental concepts and questions. Students in her classes have reaped the benefits of her extensive experience, enthusiasm, and caring nature, noting that “she helps integrate students who are not art majors into the program and get them excited about art” and that “she’s very helpful” because she “understands life happens outside of the classroom.” 

Professor Mary Horton Elliott

Professor Mary Horton Elliott has been a registered nurse for all of her adult life and taught in the Nursing Department at Carthage. She earned her B.S. in nursing from Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska; her M.S. with a clinical nursing specialist concentration from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia in Richmond; and her doctorate of nursing science from Rush University Medical Center, Chicago. Her experience includes work in almost every mental health setting, and she has held positions as staff nurse, instructor, mental health clinic nurse, assistant and associate professor of nursing, nurse manager, and nurse administrator/dean of nursing. She has participated in the writing of many journal articles, was a contributing author on the textbook Nursing Leadership and Management Theories, Processes, and Practice, and has attended a host of conferences and meetings of nursing and psychiatric/mental health nursing all over the country. Prof. Elliott says that “she LOVES nursing”, something which is clearly evident in her teaching and nursing practices over her many years of service. 

Professor Mark Miller

Mark MillerProfessor Mark Miller, who taught courses in business, marketing, and management, joined the Carthage faculty in 2004 after 31 years of business experience with CNH in Racine, WI. He is known nationally for his expertise in supply chain management functions, has published more than 30 articles, and developed and taught numerous courses, seminars, and workshops. His professional certifications include certified purchasing manager and certified integrated resource manager. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War and had his wartime experiences published in his memoir, “My Confessions from Vietnam,” in August of 2016. Prof. Miller received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Saint Thomas University and his M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. This May, Prof. Miller was honored by Bob ’72 and Diana Placko with a generous donation to endow a scholarship in his name, a tribute to his dedication to creating a powerful learning environment that students say “truly impacts their college experience.”

Prof. Miller in 2006

Professor Tom Noer

Professor Thomas NoerProfessor Tom Noer joined the Carthage faculty in 1973 and has been teaching in the History Department ever since. An expert in U.S. History and foreign policy, Prof. Noer also holds the title of Valor Distinguished Professor in the Humanities and has previously been a recipient of the Carthage Distinguished Teacher Award. Prof. Noer actually began his college career studying English, but switched to History after volunteering in the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project of 1964, an experience which opened his eyes to “the changes that were going on all around me”. He received his B.A. in History from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota during the height of the Civil Rights Movement; his M.A. from Washington State University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Students in Prof. Noer’s classes praise his commitment to the material, noting that he is an “excellent professor” and that “you can really tell he loves history when he talks”. Professor Noer has surely made an impact on the countless students who have passed through his classes during his astounding 47 years at Carthage.

Prof. Noer in 1985

Professor Kurt Piepenburg

Professor Kurt PiepenburgA Carthage alumnus, Professor Kurt Piepenburg earned his B.A. from Carthage College and his Ph.D. and M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He joined the Carthage faculty in 1984 and has spent the last 36 years teaching courses in geomorphology, meteorology, physical geography, remote sensing, and field methods. Prof. Piepenburg has also directed two student field experiences on the eastern Caribbean island of Antigua, during which students completed field analyses of abandoned Holocene beaches and water quality in English Harbour. In addition, he has served as chair of the Geospatial Science Department and the conservation program. He held the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College at Carthage from 1995-2009, and also served the College as the Dean of Students from 1990 through 1994.

Prof. Piepenburg in 1985

Professor Jean Preston

Prof. Jean PrestonCarthage alumna, Prof. Jean Preston never thought she would graduate college, let alone work at one. Now, she holds an M.F.A. in creative writing/poetry from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Writing Program. She has also directed the Brainard Writing Center at Carthage for the last 14 years, taught as an adjunct assistant professor of English, and served as the 2013-2015 Poet Laureate of the City of Kenosha, Wisconsin. In addition to her latest book, Like a Small Bird Soaring, she is the author of a photo journal, Tete’s Story; an earlier poetry collection, All the Queen’s Horses; a chapbook, Sixteen Mothers; and a children’s book, Banner and the Butterfly. She believes that working every day with dedicated and talented Writing Fellows and Writing Center clients from all disciplines, and at all levels of writing ability, is the very best job on campus. 

Professor Ingrid Tiegel

Professor Ingrid TiegelA Carthage faculty member since 1980, Prof. Tiegel is a developmental psychologist who chaired the Psychological Science Department at Carthage for many years, along with teaching most of the classes offered by the department over the years. She is also active in the Mount Pleasant and Kenosha communities and frequently consulted for community programs relating to the development and education of young children and for youth at risk. She is also well-recognized for her work in the areas of health psychology and early childhood. In 2017 she contributed a chapter titled “Diathesis-Stress Model for Understanding Physiological and Psychological Effects of Stress” to a new book, “Stress in the Modern World: Understanding Science and Society.” Prof. Tiegel received her B.A. from Stanford University, her M.A. from San Jose State University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. 

Prof. Ingrid Tiegel in 1986

Carol Weyrauch

Carol Weyrauch, Business OfficeStaff member Carol Weyrauch has been at Carthage since 1972 when she joined the Business Office. Most recently, her position involved working in the Student Accounts office as the accounts receivable coordinator and student account specialist. Over her astounding 48 years of service at Carthage, she has helped countless students work out their financial account needs in order to attend and continue to return to Carthage each year. Without Carol’s expertise, hard work, and dedication, many students and their families would not be where they are today. 


Carol Weyrauch in the Business Office

Professor Paul Zavada

Prof. Paul ZavadaProfessor Paul Zavada has been with the Carthage faculty since 2005, where he taught courses in education, special education, and educational administration courses. He earned his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; his M.S.T. and M.S.Ed. from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater; and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prof. Zavada brings an extensive background in education to all of his classes and students; he served for 20 years as a teacher in public and private schools and for 14 years as a superintendent of schools. In addition to teaching courses at Carthage, he also served as chair of the Education Division and head of graduate studies. His research interests include teacher induction and teacher career stages.

• • •

Reading through these lists of achievements and accolades, it’s easy to see why the Carthage community has benefited so much from the impact of these individuals. These professors and staff are innovators. They are artists. They have made history. They are intelligent and intellectual. They are pioneers of research and thought. But most of all, they are well-loved mentors and friends! They are forces of change in their students’ lives. They care deeply. They offer assistance, a listening ear, and an open heart. And they shape, grow, and forever impact the students that pass through their classrooms.

Congratulations to all on their well-deserved retirements! These retirees will be greatly missed, but we send them off knowing that their impact on the generations of Carthage students they have taught has been profound and meaningful. We only wish that the current circumstances allowed us to celebrate these wonderful retirees in person, but we hope that they know we are cheering them on from afar.