Trio of science professors leaving Newman

By: Madeline Schnieders, Managing Editor

One has gone, two more will go.

By next semester, three long-time faculty members of the science department will have left Newman for the Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Professor of Chemistry David Shubert and Professor of Biology Sarah Evans will leave after this semester. Former Professor of Biology Stacy Jones left Newman over winter break but is still teaching some classes as an adjunct.

Evans is working part-time at the KansasCOM and full-time at Newman this semester. She said the KansasCOM has been in the works for a few years, and she had kept an eye out for the positions being posted.

“It's just exciting because there's not very many times where you have a new med school starting up,” she said.

She said she applied around September for a biochemist faculty position, and was hired soon after.

She said leaving Newman will be bittersweet though.

“There are so many things I love about Newman. It's going to be hard to leave,” Evans said. “But you know, the chance to be in the inaugural faculty for a brand new place and to be able to contribute to the curriculum — it's pretty exciting.”

KansasCOM started accepting its first students a few weeks ago and the first classes will start in the fall of 2022, she said. It is the first osteopathic medicine college in Kansas.

Some Newman students have applied, and Evans is hoping that many Newman students will continue their studies at KansasCOM in the years to come, she said.

Evans said that she and Jones have been office neighbors at Newman for eight years. That will still be the case, as their offices will also be next to each other at KansasCOM.

“I'm even on the same side, so we can knock across the walls,” she said.

Dean of Arts and Sciences Lori Steiner said that Newman is looking for faculty to fill the positions of the three professors who are leaving. The process for choosing a candidate for the position is interactive and something that students will be able to participate in, she said.

Candidate for the biology professor position Claudia DeSilva will present something today and students will be able to come and watch, Steiner said.

“Microbiology would be her area, but she's got a strong background in public health and epidemiology. And so we think that she'll be able to add quite a bit to our program,” she said.

Students will be able to complete a survey after watching today’s presentation and future presentations given by other candidates. The search committee will use the feedback when choosing the candidates to fill the positions.

Steiner said she wants students to know that she is sure the committee will find the right candidates for the positions.

“I really want the students to feel reassured that we are working hard to bring in very quality candidates,” she said. “We feel confident that our program will stay strong going into the future, and that while we're very sad to see our current faculty go, it does provide some opportunities to bring in some candidates that will help our program even grow more in the future.”

Evans said she is looking forward to seeing who will fill her role when she leaves.

“I'm excited to see what new expertise and research backgrounds and things new faculty coming in are going to be able to add to what we have,” she said.

PHOTO: Courtesy photo, University Relations