Terry Tomasek - Associate Professor of Education

Terry Tomasek, associate professor of education. Photo courtesy of Elon University. 

During the 18 years Terry Tomasek has been a part of the Elon community, she has served as an associate professor in the department of education and wellness, the faculty in residence for the Colonnades Neighborhood and the director of Elon Academy. As an Education professor, Tomasek primarily served as the secondary science coordinator, assisting students who planned to teach middle or secondary school science. 

“All of my favorite memories at Elon center around my engagement with students,” Tomasek said. “Whether in the Colonnades T-room, various locations abroad, in and out of the classroom or with Elon Academy scholars, I will cherish times spent with students. I've also enjoyed my collaboration with faculty and staff across campus. In particular, the Elon Academy staff has shaped my life for the better!”

Cassie Kircher - Senior Faculty Fellow in English

Cassie Kircher, senior faculty fellow in English. Photo courtesy of Elon University.

Cassie Kircher began working with Elon in 1993, serving as the chair of the Academic Council, the promotions and tenure committee and the co-chair of the Presidential Task Force on Second Language Learning. She was also a professor on-site in London, Florence, Alaska and Hawaii. 

While teaching literature and writing, Kircher designed a class that allowed Elon students to teach weekly creative writing sessions within the Alamance-Burlington School System. In her retirement, she hopes to continue the work that started with that class and bring creative writing to public school students. She also has plans to travel to and hike in Sardinia, Italy, for two weeks next fall with a group of women she met while working as a park ranger with the National Park Service. 

"What I love about teaching: seeing students care about their short stories or poems or personal essays,” Kircher said. “This happens often which is why walking into a classroom has felt like a gift to me these past thirty years."

Mary Knight-McKenna - Professor of Education and Director of Master of Education

Audrey Geib | Elon News Network

Mary Knight-McKenna, professor of education. 

After joining the Elon community in 2005, Mary Knight-Mckenna has served as an assistant, associate and full-time professor, teaching special education and early childhood courses — mainly focusing on literacy courses in the Teacher Education Program. She has also spent the last six years as the director of the Master of Education Program. 

After retiring from Elon, Knight-McKenna plans to travel to Italy and spend time in North Carolina with her 10 grandchildren.

“I was very excited to get feedback from someone who was interviewing graduates of the program, and a few of them said, ‘Every day I use something that Dr. Knight-McKenna taught me,’” Knight-McKenna said. “It’s what every professor wants to hear, so that was very fulfilling for me.”

Nim Batchelor - Senior Faculty Fellow in Philosophy

Nim, Batchelor, senior faculty fellow in philosophy. Photo courtesy of Elon University. 

Nim Batchelor joined Elon in 1990, serving as an associate professor in philosophy, where he also led global classes, served as the director of the pre-law program and a teacher for the LSAT prep course. 

In the future, Batchelor plans to travel across the country to visit cities and towns where his ancestors once lived. He also has aspirations of starting a YouTube channel documenting his travel and his wife’s ancestry work so that other people can learn about their family’s past as he has. 

While Batchelor is home and not traveling, he plans to continue working in his woodshop and leading his role as the president of the Alamance County Makers Guild. He will also remain involved in the leadership of the Piedmont Woodturners Association and volunteer his time once a month in partnership with the North Carolina Repair Cafe, helping to fix community members' broken things. 

“I am grateful to Elon for providing an environment that focused on pedagogy, encouraged pedagogical growth and rewarded good teaching,” Batchelor said.

Katie King - Associate Professor of Psychology

Katie King, associate professor of psychology. Photo courtesy of Elon University. 

Throughout her 31 years, beginning in 1993, Katie King served as both an assistant and an associate professor, chair of the psychology department, the first associate director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and the co-director of the Master of Education program. 

King enjoys hiking, running, kayaking and riding her bike outside. She plans to take trips both locally and across the country, visiting friends and family.

“I am happy to have made my career here at Elon,” King said. “I was able to do a lot of different things and have had amazing colleagues and students. The university has changed a great deal over time but retains a focus on engagement in teaching and learning, engagement in community, and engagement in life.”

Richard Landesberg - Associate Professor of Journalism

Rich Landesberg, associate professor of journalism. Photo courtesy of Elon University.

Richard Landesberg was a broadcast journalist for 25 years before coming to Elon in 2004 to teach students about the industry. Landesberg has served as an assistant professor, associate professor, mentor and adviser to student-run news station Elon Local News, part of Elon News Network. Landesberg looks forward to first relaxing, but he plans to later spend time traveling in the off-season since he previously could only travel during peak summer breaks.  

“I always tell my students, ‘We don’t work for awards, but we always strive to do award-winning work,’ and I have lived by the motto in the 20 years I have worked here,” Landesberg said. “I want my students to be motivated to do this job for the right reasons, that being to serve their community and to make their world a better place. Whether they become journalists or do something else, as long as they are working to make the world better and they are good human beings and decent and kind to one another, I am over-the-moon excited about what they will be doing.” 

Bud Warner - Senior Faculty Fellow in Human Service Studies

Bud Warner, senior faculty fellow in human service studies. Photo courtesy of Elon University. 

After joining Elon in 2006, Bud Warner has served as an assistant professor, associate professor, department chair, faculty fellow for service-learning, civic engagement and Periclean Scholars mentor. Before joining the Elon community, Warner worked as a social worker in child welfare and juvenile delinquency and was a professor or administrator at Malone University, Warren Wilson College and Presbyterian College. 

After retirement, Warner plans to travel with his wife, who retired three years ago from Elon, to the only state he has not been to — Alaska. Until then, he is taking his time and enjoying retirement. 

“The thing that makes Elon so remarkable is its people,” Warner said. “Whether it’s the administrators, the faculty, the staff or the students, it is a unique place, and I really enjoyed my time being part of it.”

Catherine Wasson - Associate Professor of Law

Catherine Wasson, associate professor of law. Photo Courtesy of Elon University. 

Starting in 2008, Catherine Wasson worked to help shape the Elon University School of Law into the institution it is today, joining the law school during its second year. In her 16 years at Elon, she has served as an associate professor, teaching upper-level skills courses, and director of Legal Methods and Communication, a program within the law school where she worked to establish the Legal Research and Writing Program within the Law School.

Wasson is deciding what she wants to do after Elon but knows she wants to travel — specifically to Japan — with her son, who leads tour groups. She also expressed that she wanted to continue teaching on the side in some capacity. 

“There are moments in law teaching when you can actually see someone step out of the role of student and into the role of future lawyer,” Wasson said. “Those moments are magical and profound. It has been a privilege to have helped so many students make that transition.”

Pranab Das - Professor of Physics

Pranab Das, professor of physics. Photo courtesy of Elon University. 

Pranab Das began working at Elon in 1993 and retired last year after 30 years, serving in many roles, including department chair, assistant professor, associate professor and full-time professor. 

Since retiring, Das has been involved in an international study with university partners worldwide on different kinds of intelligence in humans, non-human animals and machines. He has also been studying bio-robotics and artificial intelligence based on biological models. 

Das additionally works with a group based in the Himalayas, studying how Buddhism and Buddhist spirituality, specifically the Buddist model of care, can be brought into new artificial intelligence models. Amongst his work with Buddhism and Buddhist spirituality, Das is working with the government of Buton, Indonesia, in their initiative to bring Buddhist spirituality to technology by developing a new city based on mindfulness.

“While Elon is intensely focused on undergraduate teaching in the classroom, one of the things I think is important to remember is that our faculty need to be outward facing as well to bring their experiences from the bigger world back to the classroom,” Das said. “So that we are not simply classroom teachers but that we have some expansive and broader experience to share personally with our students.”

Wonhi Synn, professor of finance. Photo courtesy of Elon University.

Wonhi Synn - Professor of Finance

Wonhi Synn has been working at Elon since 1989 and established experiences such as the student-managed investment fund, which gives students experience in investing real money, and led the business school’s first Winter Term student abroad trip.

Throughout his time at Elon, Synn received numerous awards, including the Wesley R. Elingburg Professor of Finance for excellence in teaching, research and mentoring, as well as the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Wonhi Synn did not respond to Elon News Network’s request for comment.