Professor of Religious Studies Jason Carbine, Professor of Art Jenny Herrick, Professor of Chemistry Ralph Isovitch, and Professor of Biology Sylvia Vetrone have been promoted to full professor status. All promotions take effect July 1.
“Our entire community should take pride in the accomplishments of these four talented and dedicated faculty members who’ve endeavored to achieve this milestone,” said Oubre. “On behalf of Whittier College’s leadership team and Board of Trustees, I congratulate these outstanding faculty members. Each, in their unique way–via mentorship, student-faculty research, study abroad experiences, and excellence in teaching–contributes to student success at Whittier College.”
Academic promotions at Whittier College are based on excellence in scholarship, teaching, and service.
C. Milo Connick Chair of Religious Studies Jason Carbine has been teaching at Whittier College since 2007. His primary area of scholarly expertise is Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia, with a research specialization in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, and an emerging comparative focus on Southwest China. His travels through Asia have included study abroad trips with Whittier students to Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and China. From 2015 until 2020, Carbine served as Director for Whittier College's Henry Luce Foundation Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment grant, designed to help enhance the College’s curricular offerings on sustainable development in China, Myanmar, and Thailand. Carbine earned a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and recently published Sīmās: Foundations of Buddhist Religion (University of Hawaii Press, 2022), a work analyzing Buddhist ritual spaces across different historical, political, economic, artistic, and environmental contexts.
Professor Jenny Herrick has been teaching at Whittier College since 2007 and was the director of the Greenleaf Gallery from 2009 to 2020. As gallery director, she has been integral in bringing talented and innovative artists to campus. In the classroom, Herrick's emphasis is on painting and graphic design while her studio practice focuses on painting, drawing, photography, and video. Herrick has participated in numerous group exhibits of her work, most recently The Beginning of Everything at the University of Minnesota (2020); Lines of Thought—CICA Museum in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea (2019); and The Nature of the Future: Photographers Confront the Anthropocene, Belmont University, Nashville, TN. Herrick received her M.F.A. in painting and printmaking from Yale University and her undergraduate degree from Rhode Island School of Design.
Professor of Chemistry Ralph Isovitsch has been part of the Whittier faculty since 2005. Isovitsch regularly leads research groups that include at least three Whittier students. Since spring 2006 the research accomplishments of Isovitsch's students have been presented as posters at national meetings of the American Chemical Society in either the organic chemistry or inorganic chemistry divisions. Moreover, since 2009, his student’s research accomplishments have been featured in eight peer-reviewed publications. Isovitsch earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Grove City College and earned a Ph.D. in organic and inorganic chemistry from the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
James Irvine Foundation Chair in Biological Sciences Sylvia Lopez Vetrone ’99 has been teaching at Whittier College since 2008. Through her scientific expertise in the fields of immunology and oncology, Vetrone has worked with teams of students to explore the impact of nutraceuticals or synthetic nanoparticles on cancer progression, longevity, reproduction, metabolism, and immune function. Through this research, Vetrone and her students aim to better understand the mechanisms through which natural extracts impact the cellular integrity of organisms, and how they may be harnessed for therapeutic purposes. Vetrone earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Whittier College and a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She was the 2020 recipient of the Nerhood Teaching Excellence Award.