(Posted May 26, 2015)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Five members of the Juniata College faculty received promotions in the 2014-2015 academic year at a recent Juniata College Board of Trustees meeting. The faculty members will assume their new titles at the start of the 2015-2016 academic year.

Philip Dunwoody, associate professor of psychology, was promoted to full professor; Dennis Plane, associate professor of politics, was promoted to full professor; and Kathryn Westcott, associate professor of psychology, was promoted to full professor.

Matt Beaky, assistant professor of physics, was promoted to associate professor, and Wei-Chung Wang, assistant professor of economics, was promoted to associate professor.

Philip Dunwoody, a Huntingdon resident, joined the Juniata College faculty as assistant professor of psychology in 2004. He was promoted to associate professor in 2009. Dunwoody earned a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1994 from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in Pomona, N.J. He went on to earn a master's degree in 1998 and a doctoral degree in 2000, both in cognitive and experimental psychology, and both from the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.

Before coming to Juniata, he was on the faculty of Mercer University in Macon, Ga., where he worked as a visiting assistant professor from 2003 to 2004.

His research interests focus on judgment and decision-making, as well as aspects of political psychology. He served as the director of the Lakso Center for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in 2010-2011.

In 2010, Dunwoody was honored with the Gibbel Award for Distinguished Teaching. Dunwoody teaches courses in introductory psychology, aggression and prejudice, cognitive psychology, research methods and oversees capstone projects in psychology. He was a member of the Graduate Psi Chi honor society at the University of Georgia from 1996 to 2000. He received the Best Paper Presentation Award at the 1999 Convention for Behavioral Sciences, and received the Best Investigator Award from the Brunswick Society in 1999. He also received the Herbert Zimmer Award for Excellence in Research from the University of Georgia in 2000.

He has published articles in several professional journals, including Psychological Reports, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, Journal of Psychology, Theory and Decision, and the Journal of Peace Psychology.

Dennis Plane, a resident of Huntingdon, joined Juniata's faculty as assistant professor of politics in 2004. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science in 1993 from Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., and went on to earn a doctoral degree in political behavior and American political institutions in 2002 from the University of Texas, in Austin, Texas

During his tenure at the college, Plane has established a connection with the Washington Center, a nonprofit agency based in Washington, D.C. specializing in internships and seminars for college students. Over the past decade, Plane has taught or accompanied students to both national political conventions in 2008 and 2012 and the 2008 and 2012 Inaugurals.

He was promoted to associate professor in 2009. Plane previously worked as a visiting assistant professor at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. from 2002 to 2004. He also worked as a teaching assistant at the University of Texas from 1995 to 1997 and as an instructor in politics from 2000 to 2002.

At Juniata, he team-teaches a course in political psychology with Phil Dunwoody, plus Campaigns and Elections, Congress and Elections and Topics in Public Policy.

He serves on the Federal Government Advisory Board for The Washington Center. He has presented papers at a variety of professional conferences and published articles in several professional journals, including Political Behavior.

Kathryn Westcott, a Huntingdon resident, joined Juniata's faculty in 2003. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Ohio State University in 1994. She went on to earn a master's degree in psychology in 1998 and a doctorate in psychology in 2001, both from the University of Cincinnati.

From 2011 to 2013, Westcott served as assistant provost and was co-chair of Juniata's most recent accreditation review by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. She also has helped develop and implement Juniata's general education assessment plan and served as director of Juniata's Lakso Center for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning from 2009 to 2010. She was promoted to associate professor in 2009.

She agreed to serve as interim provost for the 2013-2014 academic year as the college conducted a nationwide search for provost. She oversaw the college's academic departments as well as a variety of other assignments. She is a member of the Intercultural Learning Assessment Committee. She received the 2014 Beachley Award for Distinguished Academic Service.

She also holds certifications in school psychology from the Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana departments of education.

Before starting her academic career, Westcott worked as a school psychologist for the Monroe County Community School Corporation in Bloomington, Ind. and for the Clermont County Educational Service Center in Batavia, Ohio from 1999 to 2001. During that time, she also was a practicum and intern supervisor for school psychology trainees through the University of Cincinnati and the University of Dayton.

In addition, she worked in community mental health from 1994 to 1996 as a psychiatric case manager integrating adults with chronic mental illness into the community. Westcott has frequently presented research papers on teaching and learning to Division 2 of the American Psychological Association, the teaching of Psychology.

Matt Beaky, a resident of Huntingdon, joined the Juniata faculty in 2011 as an assistant professor of physics from his previous job as an associate professor of physics at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo.

Beaky teaches courses on introductory and advanced physics, as well as astrophysics, mechanics and oversees a number of research courses. He revived Juniata's "Observatory Nights" and teaches Juniata's astronomy courses.

Beaky worked at Truman State beginning in 2000 and was director of the university's Office of Student Research from 2009 to 2011. In addition to teaching physics classes, Beaky also managed the Truman Observatory, hosting observatory nights for the local community and starting an astronomy research program.

He earned a bachelor's degree in physics in 1989 from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass. He went on to earn a master's degree in 1992 and a doctorate in 1996, both from Ohio State University.

After earning his doctorate, Beaky traveled to Germany to work as an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellow at the University of Cologne. From 1998 to 2000 he worked as a National Research Council Research Fellow at Duke University and the Army Research Office in Durham, N.C. He also earned a research fellowship at Ohio State.

He has published his research in a variety of professional journals, including the Information Bulletin on Variable Stars, Minor Planet Bulletin, Journal of the American Association of Variable Star Observers and the Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy.

He has received numerous awards during his career, including Sigma Xi (Kirksville Chapter) Researcher of the Year in 2008, induction into Sigma Xi in 2005 and the Robert H. Goddard Award for Outstanding Senior Physics Major from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1989.

Wei-Chung Wang, came to Juniata as an assistant professor of economics in 2010. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics in 2000 from Shih Hsin University in Taipei. He went on to earn a master's degree in economics in 2005 and a doctorate in economics in 2005, both from the University of California, Irvine.

Prior to his academic career, Wang was senior associate in economic and valuation services for the accounting company KPMG from 2007 to 2010 at the company's Los Angeles, Calif. offices. While at KPMG, he provided economic consulting on transfer pricing issues, data mining, forecast modeling and analysis.

In addition to his Juniata duties, Wang also serves as vice president for global marketing for Kdan Mobile Software, a Taiwanese software company specializing in apps and other software. He also serves as director of the Juniata Business Program-China.

Wang also taught economics at Orange Coast College from 2007 to 2010 while working for KMPG. Wang started his professional career in higher education. After working as a teaching assistant and visiting lecturer at the University of California, Irvine from 2002 to 2006, Wang returned to Taiwan to work at National Chung Hsing University as assistant professor of economics. Simultaneously, he held a position as Research Fellow at the university's Agriculture Policy Research Center from 2006 to 2007. He also worked at Tunghai University, Taiwan as an adjunct assistant professor from 2006 to 2007.

As a teacher, he received the 2007 Excellent Teaching and Mentoring Award from the National Chung Hsing University's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He also received two summer research fellowships from Cal-Irvine in 2007 and 2008. In 1998, 1999 and 2000 he received the President's Award from Shih Hsin University.

His research interests focus on labor policy effects on labor market outcomes. He teaches has taught such courses as microeconomics, quantitative business analysis, business in China and Investing.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.