Three faculty members have been approved by the Newman Board of Trustees for promotions to take effect in Fall 2015.
Mark Mannette, Assistant Professor of Theatre, will be promoted to Associate Professor and receive tenure. Mannette came to Newman in 2011 to lead the successful return of theatre. Before coming to campus, Mannette had been Director of Theatre at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, N.C. He holds degrees from Dean College, the University of Bridgeport and Mary Baldwin College, where he received both an M.A. in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature and an MFA in Directing Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama.
Mannette has built a strong theatre department from the ground up. In 2013, Newman launched a theatre major. He is active professionally in the Wichita theatre community, directing and performing in several local shows.
Mannette is also a playwright and scholar of theatre. He recently published an article on local theatre in the Rowman and Littlefield volume Zen and the Art of Local History. He’s also has had several of his own plays produced, in whole or in part, at Newman.
Susan Crane-Laracuente, Assistant Professor of English, will be elevated to Associate Professor and tenure. Crane-Laracuente has been at Newman since 2008 after receiving a Ph.D. in English Literature at the State University of New York at Stoneybrook.
She has pioneered new teaching methods and taught a variety of courses in both general education and the English major. She has been involved with teaching Newman’s Traditions and Transitions courses which are geared toward enhancing the first-year student experience.
When Newman shifted from a departmental to a divisional model in Fall 2010, Crane-Laracuente was chosen the first chair of the Division of Arts and Letters. In that capacity, she supervised the faculty in art, music, theatre, English, modern languages and communication. As the division chair, Crane-Laracuente provided important leadership in the campaign to bring theatre back to Newman.
Carmen Stephens, Instructor of Nursing, will receive a promotion to Assistant Professor. Stephens has taught in the Newman nursing program from 2009-2010 and from 2012 to the present. She holds a B.S. in Nursing from the University of Nebraska and an M.S. in Family Life Education from Concordia University. Since 2011, Stephens has been pursuing a Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Public Health, which she will complete May of 2016.
Stephens is an active member of the Newman community. She was a key member of the strategic planning group and served on the Newman Nursing Department’s Admissions and Progression Committee. She has participated in the Crown Point, N.M. service trip.