Welcome Additions

Welcome Additions is an occasional feature introducing new, tenure-track members of the Boston College faculty.

Margrit Betke

Asst. Prof. Margrit Betke (CSOM), a specialist in innovative computer systems, has joined Boston College after two years of teaching at the University of Maryland's Institute for Advanced Computer Studies.

Betke earned an undergraduate diploma in computer science from Bonn University in 1988, and did her graduate work in electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving a master's degree in 1992 and a doctorate in 1995.

Her research projects have included developing computer systems able to perform such tasks as recognizing traffic signs in images of complex street scenes, and tracking the position of a mobile robot. One of her more recent projects involves retrieving images from the World Wide Web.

Betke is teaching a course this fall and spring titled Topics in Computer Science, which examines vision systems in "intelligent" computers.

James Najarian

Asst. Prof. James Najarian (English), a scholar of 19th and 20th century British Literature, spent last year as a visiting assistant professor of English at Davidson College.

He is writing The "Unmanly Poet": Keats, Keatsianism and Victorian Desire , and his forthcoming book, "A Poet's Heart": Sexuality and Poetic Identity , has been proposed and accepted for an Oxford University Press series.

Najarian was educated at Yale University, where he received a bachelor's degree in 1988, master of arts and master of philosophy degrees in 1993, and a doctorate in 1996.

Najarian's teaching interests include Romantic literature and studies; Victorian literature and studies; First World War literature; gender in literature; and composition. He is teaching the courses Nineteenth Century Literary Protest, Studies in Poetry and Tennyson to Eliot.

Kevin Harrison

Asst. Prof. Kevin Harrison (Geology and Geophysics) comes to BC after a two-year National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University.

Harrison has studied the effects of fossil fuel combustion, acid rain and deforestation on the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. He also has discovered a major oceanic current using Freon measurements, developed equipment to study carbon cycling in oceans, and helped excavate a sunken Revolutionary War ship.

Harrison earned a bachelor of science degree in honors chemistry, and a bachelor of arts degree in English and American literature at Brown University in 1986. He received a master's degree in marine chemistry from the University of California at San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1989, and master's and doctoral degrees in geological sciences from Columbia University in 1993 and 1994, respectively.

This fall, he is teaching a course titled Biogeochemistry of the Habitable Planet.

David Scanlon

Asst. Prof. David Scanlon (SOE) served for the past six years as an assistant scientist at Kansas University's Center for Research and Learning, and Institute for Research in Learning Disabilities.

Scanlon's major professional interests include strategic teaching and learning, inclusive education, literacy, adolescents and adults, and the social implications of special education. He co-authored the 1996 book Teaching Learning Strategies to Adolescents and Adults with Learning Disabilities and has made numerous presentations at national and international conferences of educators.

At the University of New Hampshire, he received a bachelor's degree in plant science in 1983 and a master's degree in vocational and special education in 1986. He earned a doctorate in special education and rehabilitation from the University of Arizona in 1991.

Among the courses he is teaching this academic year are Teaching and Learning Strategies, and Curriculum Theories and Practice.

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