Four Klein College professors, Dr. Scott Gratson, Dr. Adrienne Shaw, Dr. Tracey Weiss and Professor Laura Zaylea, will start the 2018-2019 academic year with new titles.
Gratson was named full professor in a surprise ceremony during the Lambda Pi Eta Honors dinner on May 1. He also serves as director of the Communication Studies Program and as director of undergraduate studies at Klein College.
"To have the respect of one's peers is truly uplifting," said Gratson. "I love teaching, and this is the highest rank I can achieve as a teacher. This really reinforces [Klein College's] commitment to instruction."
In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Gratson advises Lambda Pi Eta, coordinates the annual TURF-CreWS Symposium and leads and/or participates in numerous other initiatives for undergraduate students.
"I have the best job in the world," Gratson said. "I get to watch these students come in as gangly freshman, and see all of their growth. How grounded and mature they become."
Gratson's colleagues employed serious stealth to surprise him with the honor. A meticulous host, Gratson said that he was so focused on the fact that the the ceremony was going off script, that it took him several moments to realize that his colleagues were giving tribute to him.
"I was so utterly shocked," he said.
Zaylea was promoted to associate professor of instruction. She teaches a number of courses in traditional and new media in the Department of Media Studies and Production.
"I'm ecstatic," she said via Skype from Dublin, where she was teaching a study away course with Klein College Global Opportunities. "I'm very committed to my work and it's wonderful to feel that that commitment is mutual."
Zaylea, who won both the Temple University Innovative Teaching with Technology Award
and the Klein College Junior Faculty Teaching Award in 2017, is looking forward to doing more collaborative work with her colleagues. This fall, she'll be co-teaching a new class for second-year master of arts students with Shaw.
"I'm very excited for this kind of teaching, and the opportunity to find more creative projects to collaborate on," she said.
Shaw, who was promoted to professor and received tenure, is known as an award-winning scholar and author of "Gaming at the Edge: Sexuality and Gender at the Margins of Gamer Culture."
"The security of having a guaranteed job, of no longer having to wonder, 'Does this count for tenure?' when I decide to do something, and letting go of that pre-tenure, 'Am I doing well enough?' anxiety are all very nice," she said.
Shaw teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in media and culture in the Department of Media Studies and Production. She says she's very happy to be making Klein College her academic home. "My department and Klein [College] generally are uniquely friendly places to work, and I've always felt supported by my colleagues."
Also recently promoted, Dr. Tracey Weiss will serve as associate professor of instruction. Weiss is also excited to be serving as director of the online graduate program in communication management.
"I had a business consulting career for many years, and I only wanted to come back to Temple to inspire students to broader horizons," said Weiss. "So it's a tremendous honor."