One spent the last year sailing the Atlantic with his family and another uses a computer-controlled charcoal grill that he dials into remotely — letting him know his house isn't burning down.
Read on to learn more about the new tenure-track faculty members joining the Willamette University community this year.
College of Liberal Arts
Héctor Agüero, Music
Agüero comes to Willamette from his position as Director of Orchestras and instrumental department chair at the prestigious High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas. In Texas, he also worked as the Music Director of the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra and as a staff conductor with the Houston Youth Symphony. He earned degrees in conducting and music education from Texas Tech University School of Music in Lubbock — where he was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar — and the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, where he received the Schissler Conducting Fellowship. Agüero's scholarly interests include music education and orchestral performance practice. He has done extensive research on the preparation and presentation of children’s concerts. Married with two children, Agüero will teach music history and conduct the university’s chamber orchestra and wind ensemble.
David Griffith, Chemistry
Griffith is the new analytical chemist for the Chemistry Department. He comes to Willamette after having taught a year at his alma mater, Bowdoin College in Maine, where he graduated summa cum laude in chemistry. Following his undergraduate education, Griffith taught high school for two years at the Taft School in Watertown, Conn. before returning to school to earn a masters from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He earned his PhD in environmental chemistry and chemical oceanography from the MIT/WHOI joint program. Griffith is married and has two children. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, cooking and music. As a teenager, he once got to sing in Carnegie Hall. Now, he’s looking for a bluegrass band to join.
Luke Ettinger, Exercise Science
Ettinger received his BS, MS and PhD from the Department of Human Physiology at the University of Oregon. His principal area of interest is orthopedic biomechanics, especially as it relates to shoulder functions, and his work has been published in a variety of professional journals, including Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors, Clinical Biomechanics and the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. Ettinger comes to Willamette from the Saba University School of Medicine in the Caribbean Netherlands, where he was responsible for teaching human anatomy to future physicians. He will teach human anatomy and research methods to Willamette students and says he’s “giddy with excitement” to have a cadaver laboratory to enrich their learning. In his spare time, Ettinger enjoys mountain biking and making beer with an all-grain brewing system he welded together as an undergraduate.
Tabitha Knight, Economics
Knight comes to Willamette from Colorado State University, where she successfully defended her doctorate in May. Her recently defended dissertation is titled, “The Gender Dynamics of Public Finance: A Chinese and Cross-Country Analysis.” A feminist macroeconomist, Knight's expertise is in the intersection of economic development, international trade and finance, and the economics of race and gender. She currently has a paper evaluating the effects of public spending on women and men’s relative welfare (as measured by employment growth) in China under review at Feminist Economics. She earned her BS in business administration (finance) from California State University, Sacramento. Her training in heterodox theories will be a great resource as the department continues to develop the revised major. Knight is married, and she enjoys working in her wood shop, playing with her dog Sarah, snowboarding and watching sports programming in her free time. Two years ago, she learned to ice skate to play ice hockey in a recreational league.
Janet Lorenzen, Sociology
Lorenzen specializes in environmental sociology, the sociology of consumers/consumption and social movements. Her recently defended dissertation is titled, “Going Green: Resisting Consumption in Contemporary America,” which examines the conditions under which people go green or voluntarily restrict their consumption of goods, energy and water. In addition to teaching courses in her specialty areas, she will also teach the social theory course here at Willamette. Lorenzen completed her PhD at Rutgers University and earned an MA in women’s studies from San Diego State University. She has published numerous articles on environmentalism and consumption and has won awards for both her teaching and research. She is eager to return to a small liberal arts college, as she had a great experience attending Hamline University in Minnesota as an undergraduate student. She’s also looking forward to collaborating with students, faculty and staff interested in greening campus and researching environmental issues.
Katja Meyer, Environmental & Earth Sciences
Meyer is a biogeochemist and historical geobiologist interested in the relationships between climate change, ocean anoxia and marine ecosystems. She is particularly drawn to questions regarding the conditions that lead to ocean euxinia (anoxic and sulfidic conditions) and the impact of euxinia on the evolution of marine animals. Much of her work has focused on the links between euxinia and mass extinction, using the end-Permian mass extinction as a case study. She earned a BA in geology from Carleton College, a small liberal arts college in Minnesota, and a PhD in geosciences and biogeochemistry from The Pennsylvania State University. She was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University prior to coming to Willamette. Married with two young children, Meyer enjoys hiking, canoeing, gardening and spending time at the beach.
Atkinson Graduate School of Management
Stuart Read, Strategic Management
Read is joining the Willamette MBA faculty as Professor of Strategic Management. His research is focuses on effectuation, a set of heuristics derived from expert entrepreneurs that describes how people make decisions and take action in situations of true uncertainty. His work has been published in a variety of disciplinary areas. Read has nearly 20 years of industry experience, including participation in the creation of six high technology start-up firms. Four of those firms were acquired by industry leaders such as Sun Microsystems and Lotus Development Corp. Two are publicly traded. He also spent six years with enterprise database software provider, Oracle Corp. He holds a doctorate from the University of Washington. Married with two sons, Read spent the last year sailing the Atlantic with his family.
College of Law
Peter Molk, Business Law
Molk is a new Business Law Assistant Professor at the College of Law. His research focuses on issues of business law and organizational choice, design and ownership, as well as insurance law. He teaches contracts, business associations and securities regulation. Molk received a JD and MA in economics from Yale University and a BA in mathematics and economics from Amherst College. Following law school, he clerked for Judge Ralph K. Winter Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He has also worked as a valuation consultant on antitrust and energy matters. Prior to joining the Willamette University College of Law, Molk was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law. An avid cook, Molk owns his own chocolate tempering machine and a computer-controlled charcoal grill he can dial into remotely, which helps ensure his house isn't burning down.
Please note that the post included originally a visiting professor of marketing. We have corrected the story and regret the error.