Seven New Faculty Begin this Semester

August 14, 2020

By Parker Petruney '21

As the 2020-2021 academic year begins, seven new faculty members join the Saint Anselm College community, bringing with them a wealth of knowledge and a love of learning to share with their students.


Meet Our Newest Anselmians

Fredrick Bedsworth

Assistant Professor, Department of Economics and Business

B.A., California State University San Marcos

M.S., Florida State University

Ph.D., Florida State University

Professor Fredrick Bedsworth is an assistant professor of economics in the Department of Economics and Business. He earned his Ph.D. in economics at Florida State University in 2018, and taught at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio for the past two years. Professor Bedsworth is currently teaching business statistics and principles of economics: micro. He specializes in health economics and public economics, and he studies insurance policies and the effects of insurance on individual behavior.


Fredrick Bedsworth

Jordan Burke

Instructor, Criminal Justice

B.A., La Salle University

M.A., Rutgers University

Ph.D., University of New Hampshire (expected 2020)

Professor Jordan Burke is an instructor in the Criminal Justice Department. He received his M.A. in English in 2009 from Rutgers University-Newark, and taught various English courses in their First Year Writing Program for seven years. He also taught in New Jersey's prison system, both their maximum-security facilities and youth correctional facilities, through an initiative called NJ-STEP. He completed graduate school from the University of New Hampshire in 2015, and is expected to receive his Ph.D. in sociology this fall. Professor Burke is teaching introduction to the criminal justice system, theories of crime, and the juvenile justice system this fall. His primary research interests include racial violence and inequality in the criminal justice system, and he also conducts research on race, mental health, and American drug policy.


Jordan Burke

Danielle Higgins

Instructor, Department of Politics

B.A., New York University

M.A., Brandies University

Ph.D., American University (expected 2020)

Professor Danielle Higgins is an instructor in the Politics Department. She is finishing up her Ph.D. program at American University, where she also taught classes in American politics, comparative politics, political theory, and public policy. This semester, she is teaching the introduction to comparative politics, and a seminar on Middle East politics. She has a few different research interests, all of which relate to gender, labor, employment policies, and inequality in some way. Professor Higgins dissertation focuses on the way that family leave policies impact attitudes towards female politicians, as well as other beliefs about gender egalitarianism, over time and around the world. She says, “I'm very excited to be at St. A's and thus far, I have found it to be one of the most welcoming communities I have ever stepped foot in. It's nice as well to be so close to nature--one of the perks of New England!”


Danielle Higgins

Shannon O’Leary

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology

B.S., University of Constance

Ph.D., Stony Brook University

Biology Professor Shannon O’Leary has moved around quite a bit since finishing graduate school on Long Island. She spent some time in Baltimore teaching, and also did research on various fish in the Gulf of Mexico out of Corpus Christi, Texas. Most recently, she spent 10 months doing research at Michigan State. She is currently teaching conservation biology and an intro biology lab. Professor O’Leary studies the molecular ecology and conservation genomics of commercially exploited and endangered fishes. Professor O’Leary says, “I'm interested in understanding how natural and human-caused differences in the landscape (or seascape if you will) affects connectivity among populations and leads to patterns of local adaptation.”


Shannon O'Leary

Laura Shea

Assistant Professor, Department of Fine Arts

B.A., Gettysburg College

M.A., Richmond American International University in London

Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Professor Laura Shea is an assistant professor in the Fine Arts Department. She recently graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but she’s been living and teaching in St. Louis, Mo., for the past few years. Professor Shea teaches art history courses, and this semester is teaching 19th Century art, the history of photography, and intro to art. She specializes in the history of photography and the intersections of photography, gender, and travel.


Laura Shea

Alexander Smith

Assistant Professor, Department of Physics

B.S., University of Waterloo

M.S., University of Toronto

Ph.D., University of Waterloo

Ph.D., Macquarie University

Professor Alexander Smith is an assistant professor in the Physics Department. He was formally a junior fellow in the Dartmouth Society of Fellows, and received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Waterloo, Canada. His research interests include quantum information science, quantum field theory on curved spacetimes, and relational formulations of quantum mechanics. He says, “As a theoretical physicist, my work takes an information-theoretic approach to investigate phenomena at the intersection of quantum theory and gravitational physics.” This semester, Professor Smith is teaching calculus-based physics and classical mechanics.


Alexander Smith

Daniel Bird Tobin

Theater Specialist, Department of English

B.A., Washington State in St. Louis

M.F.A., Arizona State University - Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

Daniel Bird Tobin is a theatre specialist in the English Department. He was recently at Virginia Tech as an instructor of directing in the School of Performing Arts and a senior faculty fellow in the Center for Communicating Science. Before that, he was a post-MFA fellow in applied performance after receiving his master’s in fine arts in theatre performance from Arizona State University. Professor Tobin will be teaching beginning acting as well as serving as director of the Abbey Players. “I am a theatre director, performer, and writer. I call my work theatre archaeology meaning I build theatrical performances from everyday artifacts,” Professor Tobin says. He also has specialties in solo performance, movement, devised performance, and science communication. In addition to his work in the theatre, Professor Tobin has also been on multiple archaeological digs in the U.S.


Daniel Bird Tobin

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