Former professors reflect on UD

Molly Wierman, News Editor

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The University of Dallas will be missing some of its most familiar faces from both the Irving and Rome campuses this fall.

Interim dean of Constantin College, associate professor and Department Chair of Biology Dr. Marcy Brown Marsden, affiliate professor of philosophy Dr. William Tullius and visiting assistant professor Dr. Frank Scalambrino all left the university over the summer.

Brown Marsden graduated from UD in 1991 and then completed her Ph.D at Purdue University before returning to teach at UD.

She taught at the university for 18 years. While at UD, she initiated research programs in Costa Rica for biology students, led nature walks during Alumni & Family Weekends, and helped found UD’s five-year nursing program through a partnership with Texas Woman’s University.

D Magazine also named Brown Marsden one of Dallas’ “Big Thinkers” in 2011 for her research on orchids and work with the Climate Project, a climate change awareness initiative founded by former Vice President Al Gore.

She said she left UD because she was no longer a good fit for the university.

“It’s hard to say more, but it was a challenging decision,” Brown Marsden said in an e-mail response. “You will all experience something similar at some point, and will recognize both the pain it causes to leave a familiar environment as well as the cautious optimism you feel when given the chance to start something new.”

Brown Marsden is now dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. Midwestern State is a public liberal arts university with a core curriculum in the liberal arts but with a larger set of majors than UD. Their College of Science and Mathematics alone has more students than all of UD.

Brown Marsden said she will miss working with students most of all.

“If students ask, I am also sad to have left UD, and am sorry that my departure caught them by surprise,” Brown Marsden said. “You all made me so proud of what you’d accomplished and I am still so grateful for all the interactions I had with students while I was at UD.”

Juniors Sarah Cheney and Bethany Vu, who are in the nursing program, both said they will miss Brown Marsden’s advice.

“I like the way Dr. Brown [Marsden] made me feel confident I was on the right track for my degree,” Cheney said.

Tullius taught the Human Person course on the Rome campus for two years. He graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville and attended the New School for Social Research in New York.

His research focused on the works of phenomonologists Edmund Husserl and Edith Stein.

He left UD after the spring 2015 semester to teach philosophy at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash.

“I was very sad to make the decision to leave UD,” Tullius said in an email response. “My family and I had grown very attached to the university community and to the students in particular, but family circumstances led me to opt for a situation that would be a better fit for my family’s needs moving forward.”

Vu said Tullius was always ready to help students, even if he had to sacrifice time with his two small children, Francis and Anthony, to make himself available.

“He would stay really late at review sessions to work with us,” Vu said. “He was always engaging and helpful, no matter what time you went to him.”

Vu said she was glad to be part of the last Rome class to have Dr. Tullius as a professor.

Scalambrino declined to comment on record.

He taught courses such as Philosophy of Being and Ethics at the university for two years. He received his Ph.D from Duquesne University.

Before coming to UD, he founded a community mental health center and worked in psychiatric emergency rooms and trauma settings. He also published a book, “Full Throttle Heart: Nietzsche, Beyond Either/Or” in March.

Junior Victoria Nelson said she would miss Scalambrino’s love and enthusiasm for philosophy.

“You could tell he wanted to make people love [philosophy], too,” Nelson said. “He had a way of making everyone feel like their life was part of the world. He was very life-affirming in his philosophy and in the way he taught.”

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