Two St. Mary’s College of Maryland faculty members, Karen Leona Anderson, associate professor of English, and Liza Gijanto, associate professor of anthropology, have been honored with the college’s Aldom-Plansoen Honors College Professorship. One faculty member, Angela Johnson, professor of educational studies, has been honored with The G. Thomas and Martha Myers Yeager ’41 Endowed Chair in the Liberal Arts.   

“Endowed chairs provide a wonderful means for the College to recognize and support outstanding teacher-scholars.  Each of these highly coveted positions offers its distinguished appointee an invaluable platform for deepening and disseminating their scholarly contributions. We’re deeply grateful to the donors who continue to support these awards,” said Provost and Dean of Faculty Michael Wick in his announcement.

Established in 2004, the Aldom-Plansoen Honors College Professorship recognizes the successful professional accomplishments of mid-career faculty, and provides them with research funds to sustain and enrich their scholarly contributions. The professorship award is supported by the Aldom-Plansoen Endowment, established in 1999 by Jarrod Aldom ’97 and John Plansoen.

Anderson is the author of the poetry collections “Receipt” (Milkweed Editions, 2016) and “Punish honey” (Carolina Wren, 2009). Her books have been reviewed by The Washington Post, The Colorado Review, and other venues. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and have also been featured in a Best American Poetry anthology, “The Ecopoetry Anthology,”  the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day site, and have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is the recipient of a Maryland State Arts Grant and fellowships to the Virginia Center for Creative Arts.  At St. Mary’s College, 2018-2019 will be Anderson’s tenth year of curating the VOICES Reading Series, bringing emerging and established creative writers from across the nation to read for the St. Mary’s College community.

Gijanto has recently received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Preservation Maryland, and the George and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation (Brown University). Her recent publications include her book “Life of Trade: Events and Happenings in Niumi’s Commercial Center” (Routledge, 2016) and a chapter in “British Forts and Their Communities: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives” (edited by Christopher DeCorse and Zach Beier, 2018). Gijanto will be participating in the upcoming Wenner-Gren symposium “Atlantic Slavery and the Making of the Modern World:  Experiences, Representations, and Legacies” in Sintra, Portugal. Other publications have appeared in Historical Archaeology, Journal of Social Archaeology, African Archaeological Review, Azania, International Journal of Historical Archaeology, Journal of African Archaeology, and Heritage.

The G. Thomas and Martha Myers Yeager ’41 Endowed Chair in the Liberal Arts was created by Martha Yeager in 1999. The chair recognizes faculty within the social and behavioral sciences with outstanding academic qualifications and a demonstrated capacity to share their knowledge through teaching. The Yeager Chair is both a distinguished academic leader and eminent interdisciplinary scholar, able to foster links between academic fields and to provide broad perspectives on knowledge. 

Johnson’s research uses feminist, anthropological approaches in the study of girls and women of color in science. She teaches courses in educational equity, assessment, educational policy, and research methods. She graduated in physics from Bryn Mawr College and earned her doctorate in the social foundations of education from the University of Colorado at Boulder, with an emphasis in anthropology.  A former high school physics teacher, she has authored numerous articles and book chapters on the experiences of women of color in predominantly white science contexts and on other issues involving equity and excellence in science and science education. In 2017, Johnson was granted a $220,000 subaward from the National Science Foundation to identify institutions where women of color are thriving and learn from them about actions that physics faculty can take to create more inclusive physics departments.

The two Aldom-Plansoen Honors College Professorships are effective August 1, 2018 through May 31, 2020. The G. Thomas and Martha Myers Yeager ’41 Endowed Chair in the Liberal Arts is effective August 1, 2018, without term.