Professors Esa, Kerby, Lemke promoted

September 02, 2008

Three professors noted by students for quality teaching and advising have been promoted to the rank of full professor in respective disciplines.

From left to right, Debra Lemke, Mohamed Esa, and Mona Kerby.

German Professor Mohamed Esa and McDaniel Distinguished Teacher in 2007, is a Palestinian with dual Israeli and American citizenship. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Heidelberg and is fluent in four languages, including Arabic and Hebrew.

The quintessential people person, he is adviser to the Multicultural Students Association, the German Club, and the German House, a language immersion residence. He hosts numerous cultural appreciation events each year, including the popular Taste of Islam dinner during Ramadan. His annual German-American Day has grown to include several hundred participants from area secondary schools who come to make marzipan treats, dance to folk music and watch classic German films.

He leads frequent fieldtrips to Washington, D.C., often in the family minivan, to visit the embassies of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Over Jan Term, he often guides groups through Israel and Egypt.

The Maryland Foreign Language Association has recognized Esa's skill at building cultural bridges by naming him president (2004-06) of its professional association of language teachers.

Also promoted to full professor rank is Library Science Professor Mona Kerby, coordinator of McDaniel’s graduate program in School Library Media. Kerby is an experienced school librarian and author of children’s and young adult literature whose biographies of noted Americans include Frederick Douglas and Beverly Sills. Her newest book, “Owney the Mail-Pouch Pooch,” tells the true story of a mutt who traveled the U.S. on mail trains during the early 1900s. In 2006, Kerby was named to the Fulbright Senior Specialist Roster.

She earned her doctorate in Library Science from Texas Woman’s University and maintains professional affiliations in the American Library Association, where she is active in the divisions of ALSC and AASL. She also belongs to the Authors Guild, International Association of School Librarians, Maryland Association of School Librarians, Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Texas Library Association, and the Texas State Historical Association.

Sociology Professor Debra Lemke, who was named a Distinguished Teacher in 2001, is recognized by students for involving them in research projects and advising them in their social activities. She joined the Sociology department in 1994 after brief teaching assignments at Western Carolina University and the University of Northern Iowa and, since 1995, served as chair of McDaniel’s Sociology Department.

Recently, she and her faculty colleague, Lauren Dundes, received a $20,000 grant from the Maryland State Department of Health to develop a leadership program for middle school boys. This mentoring program titled TNT (Trust and Teamwork) connects McDaniel students to boys who participate in the after-school Community Learning Center. Lemke also is a long-time advisor to the national sociology honors society, Alpha Kappa Delta. She earned her Ph.D. from Iowa State, and her teaching and research interests include gender and social stratification.