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2020-2021 New Faculty Orientation Resources


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2020-2021 New Faculty Cohort

2020 - 2021 New Faculty Cohort

To allow the Drake community to get to know the new faculty better, each faculty member featured below has been asked the following:

  • Tell us about your work and field of study?
  • Why did you choose to work at Drake?


Alexia Angton
Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology
Culture & Society, Arts & Sciences

    I'm an intersectional sociologist whose work encompasses the fields of sociology, criminology, women's and gender studies, and education. Generally, my work centers Black girls and women in the criminal justice system and educational spaces. My dissertation explores the discipline gap as a precursor to the school-to-prison pipeline. I specifically look at differences in suspension between Black, Latina, and white 8th grade girls. To examine discipline disparities, I also explore how school bonding impacts their relationship with suspension.

    I love that Drake is a smaller university! The setting allows for a more intimate experience for students and fosters more collaboration within and across departments. I also love the transdisciplinary nature of the Department for the Study of Culture and Society! I'm excited to be here!

    Sara Chari
    Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics
    Mathematics & Computer Science, Arts & Sciences

    Within the field of mathematics, I study algebra and number theory. I enjoy studying the symmetry and structural properties of algebraic objects. My current project involves generalizing the mathematical origami construction to higher dimensions. Besides research, I am always trying to find new interactivities in the classroom.

    I chose Drake because I wanted to work at a smaller school where the class sizes allow me to get to know my students. I am drawn to the welcoming community and supportive department members who care very much about their students. Having lived in New England my whole life, I am looking forward to a new adventure!

    Kevin Croft
    EMC Associate Professor of Practice
    Director, Kelly Insurance Center
    College of Business & Public Administration

    My industry career spans 31 years in the insurance industry.  My experience includes insurance product pricing, financial statement preparation, reserve determination, developing asset liability management solutions, managing mutual funds, and investing non-affiliated insurance portfolios.  I joined Drake following an eleven year stay at American Equity as Senior Vice President and Head of Structured Products where I co-led the investment team managing a $52 billion portfolio and oversaw growth in the structured products portfolio from $2.7 billion to $12.9 billion.  I have been a frequent speaker at structured products conferences.

    I chose to join the faculty at Drake because of the university’s core values and focus on the student experience.  Also, my role as Director of the Kelley Insurance Center allows me to remain engaged directly with the Iowa insurance industry.  Additionally, Drake has been a consistent thread throughout my adult life as my wife and I each hold two Drake degrees, our family cheers on Drake athletics and I have served as the play-by-play broadcaster for many Drake softball and basketball games.

    Marcella Hangen
    Visiting Assistant Professor
    Applied Behavior Analysis, Arts & Sciences

    I study behavior analysis. Behavior analysis is a science that focuses on understanding and changing the behavior of individuals. Specifically, I focus on assessing and treating challenging behavior demonstrated by children and young adults, many of whom are diagnosed with an intellectual and developmental disability. My research focuses on identifying the reasons these individuals engage in challenging behavior. After identifying the reasons why challenging behavior is occurring, I develop effective and efficient treatments to reduce unwanted behavior and to teach an appropriate replacement behavior to improve the lives of those individuals and their families. Additionally, my research and clinical interests include identifying the mechanism(s) of commonly used treatments and increasing the efficacy of early intervention services.

    I chose Drake University because I was excited about the opportunity to teach in a new and exceptional master’s program for applied behavior analysis. I am excited to work with master’s students in their coursework and also to take the lead at the Challenging Behavior Program at Blank Children’s Hospital, working directly with students to refine their clinical repertoires as they assess and treat challenging behavior. Finally, I am thrilled with the community at Drake University. It was clear from my interview and all my interactions with the faculty, administration, and staff  that Drake has a strong community that works collaboratively and supports each other. I am delighted to be part of this incredible community!

    Brian Sweeney
    Assistant Professor of Practice in Accounting,

    Accounting, College of Business & Public Administration

    I am an Assistant Professor of Practice in the School of Accounting, College of Business and Public Administration.   My work focuses on financial accounting and reporting in the for profit and not for profit sectors, as well as managerial accounting. I am active with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as a multiple choice item author for the Uniform CPA Examination.  I am also a member of the Iowa Society of CPAs and serve on the Membership Committee.

    I served as Adjunct Faculty from Spring 2014 to Summer 2020 in the Accounting, IS, Entrepreneurship, and Business Communications departments.  My focus now is management accounting as a full time faculty member in the School of Accounting.

    I’m a Drake alum (MBA, 1984) and have always been impressed with the intensity and ability of the students Drake attracts.  Teaching full time at Drake is a way to give back to the accounting profession and help to prepare the next generation of business leaders.  

    Kieran Williams
    Assistant Professor, Politics
    Political Science, Arts & Sciences

    My field is comparative political science, with a research specialization in the politics of former Communist-bloc countries. I've authored or co-authored four books, most recently a biography of the Czech writer/statesman Václav Havel. I hope to start a new project soon on the Bosnian communities in Iowa.

    I chose Drake initially for personal reasons, as my wife is from Des Moines and wanted to return after several years working in Europe. But I've stayed because I really like my colleagues and the students taking our politics courses.

    Adam Yankowy
    Assistant Professor of Theater
    Theater Arts, Arts & Sciences

    Training and Background: 

      • Bachelor’s of Music Education from the University of Louisville. 
        • Instrumental Emphasis (played the tuba)
        • Was Drum Major for the Cardinal Marching Band
      • Performance Certificate from American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York City
        • Worked professionally Off-Broadway with the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players.
        • Recognized as a “Broadway’s Rising Star” and performed at Town Hall
        • Performed Babes at Toyland at Lincoln Center 
        • Performed with Neil Diamond at the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting
        • Solo’d with the New York Pops Orchestra at Carnegie Hall
      • Masters of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from Minnesota State University, Mankato
        • Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Region 5 Finalist and Best Musical Theatre Performer
        • KCACTF National Musical Theatre Finalist 

    I chose Drake because I love the conservatory training in a liberal arts institution. I find that students leave Drake well rounded and ready to pursue a career in the arts.  I also love that the faculty is collaborative and supportive of each other!

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