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Press Release

Barbara Laskin

Six Macalester Faculty Members Receive Tenure

Enso String QuartetTenured profs l-r Erik Larson, Chad Topaz, Kelly MacGregor, Paul Dosh, Holly Barcus, Harry Waters Jr.

February 10, 2010 – St. Paul, Minn.– Macalester College has granted tenure status to Holly Barcus, Geography; Paul Dosh, Political Science; Erik Larson, Sociology; Kelly MacGregor, Geology; Chad Topaz, Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science and Harry Waters Jr., Theatre and Dance.

"We're delighted this group of exceptional scholars and teachers has earned tenure at Macalester College," said Provost and Dean of the Faculty Kathleen Murray. "Each of them has the ability to inspire, challenge, and educate the next generation of leaders."

Holly Barcus – Geography
Professor Barcus received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and her Ph.D. from Kansas State University.  She joined the Macalester faculty in 2005. 

Her research interests fall at the intersection of population and GIS. Her recent research projects focus on the changing racial and ethnic composition of rural places and the implications for rural population growth, planning and development.  She’s been published in Professional Geographer and Applied Geography.

Barcus teaches introductory and advanced GIS classes as well as a population geography course.

Paul Dosh – Political Science
Professor Dosh received his B.A. from Carleton College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.  He joined the Macalester faculty in 2004.

Dosh is an expert on Latin American politics and social movements. He is the author of Demanding the Land:  Urban Popular Movements in Peru and Ecuador, 1990-2005, that will be published this year.  His articles have appeared in Latin American Perspectives, Latin American Politics & Society, the Journal of Latin American Studies, the NACLA Report on the Americas, and the Political Science Educator.

Dosh teaches courses on comparative politics and Latin America.

Erik Larson – Sociology
Professor Larson received his B.A. from Hamline University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Larson joined the Macalester faculty in 2004.

Larson specializes in economic sociology, political sociology, and the sociology of law.  His research focuses on the emergence and transformation of legal, economic, and political institutions in relation to global and national developments. 

His publications include “Institutionalizing Legal Consciousness: Regulation and the Embedding of Market participants in the Securities Industry in Ghana and Fiji” in the Law and Society Review and “Indigenous Capitalists: The Development of Indigenous Investment Companies in Relation to Class, Ethnicity, and the State in Malaysia and Fiji” in Political Power and Social Theory.

Larson teaches courses on Law and Society, Criminal Behavior/Social Control, Political Sociology, Economic Sociology, Indigenous Peoples’ Movements in Global Context, and Senior Seminar and Science and Social Inquiry.

Kelly MacGregor – Geology
Professor MacGregor received her B.A. from Williams College and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She joined the Macalester faculty in 2003.

As a glacial geomorphologist, she studies the forces that shape the physical surface of the earth.  Her research focuses on understanding the role of glaciers in shaping alpine landscapes.  She is also interested in the effects of dams on sediment and water transport in river systems.

MacGregor’s publications include the manuscript “Numerical modeling of glacial erosion and headwall processes in alpine valleys,” published in the peer-reviewed journal Geomorphology.  She also serves as the co-author on eight abstracts.

MacGregor teaches courses on Geomorphology, Rivers and the Environment, Environmental Geology, History and Evolution of the Earth, and Glaciers and Climate.

Chad Topaz – Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science
Professor Topaz received his B.A. in 1996 from Harvard University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University.  Topaz joined the Macalester faculty in 2007.

Topaz is an applied mathematician with a background in mathematical physics. He is particularly interested in natural systems that spontaneously self-organize or form patterns.  His articles have appeared in mathematical journals, and he has been invited to serve as a New Directions Research Fellow at the Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications, where he is the soul liberal arts faculty member to receive such a fellowship.

Topaz’s courses include Mathematical Modeling, Applied Calculus and Scientific Computation.

Harry Waters Jr. – Theatre and Dance
Professor Waters received his B.A. from Princeton University and his M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  Waters joined the Macalester faculty in 2003. 

As an actor, Waters has appeared in comedies, musicals and dramas.  He created the role of Belize in the first production of Angels in America and appeared as Marvin Berry in the movie Back to the Future.  He has appeared off-Broadway, on television and at numerous regional and local theater companies, and continues to work regularly at the Guthrie and Penumbra Theaters.   Waters has served as community outreach director for the Guthrie’s neighborhood project, The Falls, and is currently directing a theater piece at the Wellstone Community Center.  

His courses include Theater Arts: An Introduction, Community Based Theater, African American Theater and History, Hip Hop Performance, Acting Theory & Performance and Directing Theory & Performance.   

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,958 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.