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Faculty members awarded promotions and tenure

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Posted on Friday, March 3, 2023

The Westminster College Board of Trustees approved faculty promotions and tenure at its recent February meeting.

Dr. Melinda Crawford Perttu, music, earned the rank of full professor. Promoted to associate professor and earning tenure were Dr. Trisha Cowen, English; Dr. Patrick Lackey, chemistry; Brian Petrus ’10, business administration; and Dr. Jessica Rhodes, psychology.  

Crawford Perttu, who joined the faculty in 2011, directs the Westminster College Symphony Orchestra as well as Ceòl na Teud, Westminster’s Scottish string ensemble. She teaches the string pedagogy sequence as well as private violin, viola and Scottish fiddling lessons. As a U.S. National Scottish Fiddling Champion, Crawford Perttu is the founder and director of the Strathgheny School of Scottish Fiddling at Westminster College. She earned an undergraduate degree in music education from Duquesne University and her master’s and Ph.D. in music education from Ohio State University. She also studied Gaelic and fiddling and at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Scotland.

Cowen, who joined the Westminster faculty in 2018, holds the Heritage Chair in the Humanities and specializes in creative writing, American multicultural literature and transnational literature. She earned her undergraduate degree in writing, literature and publishing from Emerson College and her Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from Binghamton University (SUNY).

Lackey, who has been a member of Westminster’s faculty since 2016, teaches the biochemistry sequence of courses, in addition to first-year chemistry courses. He earned his undergraduate degree from Duquesne University and his Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Petrus, a 2010 Westminster College graduate, joined the faculty in 2013. In addition to serving as the coordinator for the Human Resource Management and Marketing programs and teaching introductory business and marketing courses and upper-level human resource and capstone courses, Petrus is also the faculty of record associated with the Westminster College Analyst Program. He is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and holds an M.B.A. from Youngstown State University.

Rhodes, who joined the Westminster faculty in 2016, teaches courses in Abnormal Psychology, Psychological Assessment, Clinical Psychology, Personality, and Introduction to Psychology. In addition to her independent and student-collaborative research, Rhodes also maintains ongoing collaborations with her colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh. A licensed clinical psychologist, she also treats patients at a local mental health agency. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from D’Youville College in Buffalo, N.Y., and her master’s and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University at Buffalo.

Pictured above from left to right are Dr. Trisha Cowen, Dr. Patrick Lackey, Dr. Melinda Crawford Perttu, Brian Petrus and Dr. Jessica Rhodes.