John Wyatt – Staff Writer
For students, one of the biggest draws to Centre is the quality of faculty that the college continually brings in each year.
This year, with the addition of more new faculty members, Centre has again brought in exceptional professors in a variety of subjects.
In total, there are 18 professors, with eight in the Humanities division, five in the Social Studies division, and five in the Science and Mathematics division.
Many of these new faculty members come in with previous teaching experience. “I just spent two years at DePaul University in Chicago,” Professor John Harney said. Harney is a history professor who specializes in East Asian history.
“I also taught a little bit at the University of Texas as a graduate student/ teacher’s assistant.”
“I actually taught here from 20092011,” Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Brett Werner said. Werner, who specializes in environmental studies and public policy, was brought in to help the growing Environmental Studies program.
“As a graduate student I taught at University of Minnesota… This past year I was at University of IllinoisSpringfield,” Werner said. “All in all I think I’ve taught about ten years… it freaks me out.”
“I have taught at three different universities prior to Centre,” Professor Daniel Arbino said. Professor Arbino is a new Assistant Professor of Spanish, who specializes in Afro-Latin America and the Caribbean.
“From 2006-2008, I taught Spanish at the University of New Mexico. From 2008-2010 and 2011-2013 I taught at the University of Minnesota. Finally, between 2010-2011, I taught English at a University in Querétaro, Mexico,” Arbino said.
For several professors, the students have been one of the main reasons that working at Centre is so exciting. In fact, Werner cites students as the reason he returned to the College. “That’s why I came back. Students are smart and well-prepared,” Werner said.
Several other professors share the same feeling. “I enjoy walking into class and knowing that I have students who are ready to work,” Arbino said. “What stood out to me most was the one-on-one, student relationship,” Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry Heather Bass said.
Professor Bass specializes in inorganic chemistry and earned her PhD from the University of Tennessee.
“When I visited, I was with Preston [Miles] and students were coming up to him and talking to him.”
While the new faculty has embraced the Centre community, they have also spent time adjusting to Danville. Several faculty members have enjoyed their short time living in the area.
“I like Kentucky because it really reminds me of Ireland, which is where
I’m from originally. The scenery is really similar and all the equine stuff around is really great,” Harney said. Professor Bass also is looking forward to experiencing Kentucky’s love for horses.
“I’m looking forward to going to Lexington to see a horse race at
Keeneland,” Bass said. Despite what students may think, professors like to spend a lot of their free time the same way Centre students do.
Several professors enjoy watching sports, including both Harney and Arbino.
“I am really into the NBA, so I watch that when I can,” Arbino said. “I really like to watch a lot of soccer, and college football. I’m a big
Texas Longhorns fan,” Harney said. Several professors like spending their time outdoors, hiking, walking, and doing other similar activities that the area will provide.
“I’m looking forward to being able to hike around here,” Bass said. “I also like walking around the park with
Like any good Environmental Studies professor, Werner also enjoys spending time outdoors.
“I like outdoor activities; hiking, kayaking, etc. I didn’t get to do that before and I’d like to do that now that I’m back [at Centre]. I don’t like having to do my work inside.”
Some professors also enjoy more unique hobbies. Arbino, for example, has a creative flair.
“I also like to write creatively and, back in the day, I published some short stories and poems. I haven’t been able to work on that as much in the past two years, but I’m hopeful to get back into it,” Arbino said.
Professor Werner also claims a quite unique hobby.
“The strangest thing I’ve gotten into is flying drones…not the military grade, but the smaller versions which can take aerial pictures and videos.”
Regardless of what they decide to do in their freetime, it’s obvious these new faculty members are both experienced and knowledgeable in their chosen fields of study.
This experience and knowledge will serve both student and teacher, allowing the educational traditions of Centre College to continue.
For a full list of the new faculty, and for full biographical information on both the professors and their education, visit Centre’s website.