St. Mary’s University is honoring eight of faculty members who are retiring this year. The University community will miss their individual and collective contributions to the St. Mary’s learning experience. Please join us in recognizing and celebrating these remarkable faculty members for their years of dedication to our students and mission.
School of Law
Professor of Law Ana M. Nova, J.D.
Novoa taught in clinical education at the School of Law for 25 years. She catalyzed the expansion of the clinical offerings in a way that was fully in tune with the social justice mission of the Catholic Church. Novoa was not merely a gifted administrator and a popular teacher, she was also a prolific fundraiser whose tireless work brought in more than $2 million in grants.
The first Mexican American woman to earn tenure at St. Mary’s University, and a former Associate Dean, Novoa will retire at the end of the Spring 2020 semester and has been named Professor Emerita.
Professor of Law Bonita K. Roberts, J.D.
Roberts was not the first woman to teach law at St. Mary’s, but she was the only woman on the law faculty when she joined in 1981, and for several years thereafter. Now the seventh-longest serving professor in the history of the School of Law, Roberts was the first woman to earn tenure there.
For decades of law school graduates. Roberts’ name is synonymous with excellent instruction in legal research and writing. After creating that program as a young teacher, she nurtured it and made it flourish. Roberts mentored scores of students as the long-time faculty advisor to the Women’s Law Association. A popular teacher and former Associate dean, Roberts will retire at the end of the Spring 2020 semester. She has been named Professor Emerita.
Professor of Law Emily Hartigan, J.D.
Hartigan’s teaching at the law school was infused with her personal quest for deeper meaning. She wove into her classes the doctrines of the Catholic faith, the insights of psychology and the complexity of precise terminology. Hartigan viewed the law not as a set of binding rules, but as indeterminate principles waiting to be animated by the action of other ideas, values or forces. She was a challenging teacher and, in all aspects of legal education, a unique independent spirit who resisted categorization. Hartigan retired at the end of 2019.
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Professor of Philosophy Glenn “Chip” Hughes, Ph.D.
Hughes joined the Philosophy Department in 1990 and has had a long and illustrious career in his 29 years at St. Mary’s. His impact can be felt throughout the University. Hughes was pivotal in the development of the St. Mary’s Core Curriculum, helping in the creation of a uniquely Catholic and Marianist course of studies that has influenced thousands of students who have graduated from St. Mary’s. In addition, for the past five years, Hughes has served as the initial holder of the St. Mary’s Chair in Catholic Philosophy. In this capacity, he created a program of small seminars and retreats for faculty from across all disciplines and schools to promote interdisciplinary understanding.
During his 29 years as a member of the Philosophy Department, Hughes taught more than 15 courses, including freshman and senior courses for the Honors Program. He twice led the London Study Abroad Program and has taught courses at the graduate level for the History Department and the Department of Counseling and Human Services. His areas of specialization include philosophy of history, epistemology, philosophy of religion, and philosophies of art and literature.
Hughes is a well-respected scholar. His books include A More Beautiful Question: The Spiritual in Poetry and Art (2011); Transcendence and History: The Search for Ultimacy from Ancient Societies to Postmodernity (2003); and Mystery and Myth in the Philosophy of Eric Voegelin (1993), all published by University of Missouri Press. He is also the editor or co-editor of six books of philosophy and three books of the work of the poet Robert Sund, and the author of two poetry chapbooks. He is the author of dozens of published articles, and has made more than 100 presentations at conferences, symposia and colloquia in seven countries. In December 2020, his book From Dickinson to Dylan: Visions of Transcendence in Modernist Literature will be published by University of Missouri Press. In recognition of his many contributions, Hughes has been named Professor Emeritus.
Professor of History Daniel W. Bjork, Ph.D.
Bjork joined St. Mary’s University in the fall of 1991 as Chair of the History Department, a position he held through the 1990s. Bjork taught Introductory United States history courses and, more recently, he regularly taught the Foundations of Civilization course for the St. Mary’s Core Curriculum, supporting the St. Mary’s mission as a liberal arts institution. In addition to teaching traditional upper level United States history courses, such as Colonial America and the Civil War and 2oth Century America, he has created several focused upper-level seminars including the History of American Medicine, Great American Lives, Great American Inventors and Great American Murder Trials — the last of which has had wide appeal to undergraduates who are not history majors. Bjork has had a profound impact on countless St. Mary’s students.
In addition to his teaching, Bjork has published nine books, six at St. Mary’s, including the first full biography of the behavioral scientist B. F. Skinner. In the last several years, he has published a series of five historical fiction murder mysteries set in New England before and during the American Civil War. His writing focuses on the history of behavioral science and crime novels. In recognition of his many accomplishments, Bjork has been named Professor Emeritus.
The Rev. George Montague, S.M., S.T.D., Professor of Theology
Upon his retirement in May 2020, Montague has reached many remarkable landmarks. Montague completed 40 years of teaching in the Theology Department at St. Mary’s and is in his 75th year in the Society of Mary. Ordained a priest in 1958, Montague served the Catholic Church through the Second Vatican Council and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.
He served the Society of Mary, particularly in its mission for education and formation around the world, including Nepal. Montague influenced academic and popular scholars of scripture through his 25 published books, his terms of office as the president of the Catholic Biblical Association, and his role as the general editor of Catholic Biblical Quarterly. Montague has served St. Mary’s University since 1961, bringing his love of scripture, Christ and intellectual development to countless students. In recognition of his many contributions to St. Mary’s and the Society of Mary, Montague has been named Professor Emeritus.
School of Science, Engineering and Technology
Professor of Electrical Engineering Irwin S. Goldberg, Ph.D.
Eleven years have come and gone in the blink of an eye and I have enjoyed spending them in fellowship with you as colleagues and friends, serving our students and our University.
I have enjoyed the banter; the warm smiles and greetings over the years; and the many conversations that we have shared about work, family and life. I remember teasing you mercilessly when I first visited you in your old office and a shelf-load of books landed on my head, much to your horror! I remember chatting with you, raising your son in prayer as he recovered from his accident. I remember wandering around Chinatown in Washington, D.C., with you and Mary. And I remember with immense gratitude your gracious kindness as you sat and visited with my father-in-law after my mother-in-law passed away – just two guys from the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania.
Thank you for your many decades of service to St. Mary’s University, Irwin. You will be missed but I know we will stay in touch!
Winston Erevelles, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Science, Engineering and Technology
Louis J. Blume Library
Professor and Librarian Marcella C. Lesher, M.L.I.S.
Caroline Byrd, Executive Director of the Louis J. Blume Library: I’ll miss Marcella’s knowledge, experience and collegiality. I’ll miss her commitment to the public good and her willingness to work to make this world a better place. And last, but hardly least, I’ll miss the laughter she has brought into my life for the last 30 years.
Associate Professor Jill Crane: Marcella is a wonderful example of enriching the lives of faculty, staff and students through sharing her knowledge of library resources. Marcella has served as a mentor and colleague in publishing research papers, presenting posters, and implementing grants to digitize and create extended access to archival collections at the University.
Professor Margaret Sylvia: Marcella’s leadership at St. Mary’s and in the field of information science, as well as her community and professional connections, enriched the experiences of our students and faculty immensely. Her collaborative problem-solving skills and her positive, upbeat and passionate attitude toward her profession made it a joy to work with her. She is a great friend and a wonderful colleague who I will miss every day.
Professor Diane Duesterhoeft: Marcella was a joyful co-worker and provided a bright spot to each work day. I will miss her humor and optimism.