2024 Retiring Faculty | University of Portland

2024 Retiring Faculty

Honoring Our 2023-24 Retiring Faculty Members

James Baillie

James Baillie, PhD - Tyson Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, College of Arts & Sciences

When Jim Baillie began attending university, he didn’t know what philosophy was. As A first-generation student at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, he initially intended to major in Literature. As part of his degree, however, he was required to take a philosophy course, where he had a feeling of ‘recognition’ he had not experienced before. “I remember thinking ‘This is what I do.’”

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Lori Chorpenning

Lori Chorpenning MS, RN, CMSRN, CNE - Instructor, School of Nursing & Health Innovations

Lori Chorpenning, in her own words, has had “a finger in every pot” when it comes to UP’s School of Nursing & Health Innovations (SONHI). A nurse for 43 years and a member of the UP nursing faculty since 2003, she was instrumental in the formation of UP’s groundbreaking Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) clinical education model. “When I was in nursing school and you went to hospitals, you weren’t allowed to even ask the nurses there a question,” she remembers. “We wanted something better for our students.”

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Karen Eifler

Karen Eifler, PhD - Director, Garaventa Center - Professor, School of Education

The title of Karen Eifler’s most recent essay collection, Near Occasions of Hope: A Woman’s Glimpse of a Church That Can Be, could also serve as a worthy title for her career in Catholic education. A beloved professor in UP’s School of Education for 26 years and director of the Garaventa Center for Catholic Intellectual Life since 2013, she firmly believes in the role a Catholic education can play in society, in a university community, in a life, and she committed her career to the formation of teachers in this context. “I love the idea of teaching as a vocation,” she says, “as a way to wholeness and purpose and grace.”

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Rebecca Gaudino

Rebecca Gaudino, PhD, M Div - Senior Lecturer, Theology College of Arts & Sciences

Rebecca Gaudino has always been interested in questions of faith and meaning. As a girl, she and her family led to America from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where her mother worked as a nurse and her father as a teacher. “The town where we lived was destroyed during the Mulele rebellion,” she remembers. “We petitioned to come to the U.S., and we started all over again from nothing.” As she grew up, she was forbidden to speak about the experience. “It was not until I was in my late twenties that I started speaking about it and started to realize what it means to be ripped away from everyone you know,” she says. “I think that set me to studying literature and stories of people’s lives, and that drew me to theology as well.”

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Sally Hood

Sally J. Hood, PhD - Associate Professor School of Education

Before Sally Hood was a professor of education, she got her start in the classroom as a high school French teacher in Salem, Indiana. After eight years of teaching, she enrolled at Indiana University, Bloomington, to pursue graduate work. After teaching upper-level courses with the Chair of the Language Education department, she decided to pursue a doctoral degree. “My teaching in higher education has a strong practical orientation, because of my high school experience,” she says. “And my research has always been rooted in our K-12 schools and teachers’ classrooms with a particular focus on teachers’ professional development.”

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Bohn Lattin

Bohn Lattin, PhD - Professor of Communication College of Arts & Sciences

What’s a rite of passage almost every high schooler dreads? Speech class. But if you ask Bohn Lattin, that’s just because they haven’t had enough practice. If Bohn had his way, public speaking would be woven into the school curriculum starting in kindergarten. With that kind of preparation, he says, this country’s citizenry might be able to engage in civil discourse with, you know, civility. Though he hasn’t convinced the public school board to change its curriculum—yet! (more on that later)—the communication professor has made a huge impact on students over his 32-year tenure on The Bluff.

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Ellen Lippman

Ellen Lippman, PhD - John Becic Distinguished Professor in Accounting, Pamplin School of Business

Before she was a certified public accountant, Ellen Lippman was a dancer. Her interest in the pivoting towards the “language of business” was both practical and passion-based: “Most professional dancers have a limited period to be active,” she says. “Accounting is a career that people can do for their lifetime, anywhere in the world. Plus, it’s really fun and interesting!” She first came to UP as an auditor in 1983. “I had always harbored thoughts of working as a professor,” she says.

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Kay Molkentin

Kay F. Molkentin - Professor of Practice of Entrepreneurship, Pamplin School of Business

For Kay Molkentin, the study of entrepreneurship is a perfect combination of all three of her passions – science, business, and creativity. As a professor and director of Entrepreneurship at UP since 2019, she has worked extensively to challenge the next generation of business innovators through her work in the Entrepreneurship Scholars program and the annual Pilot Venture Challenge.“When I saw the Entrepreneurship Professor of Practice position at UP, I knew it was written for me,” she says.

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Debra Stephens

Debra L. Stephens, PhD, MA - Associate Professor of Marketing, Pamplin School of Business

For Debra Stephens, the study of Marketing is really the study of human behavior. “Humans are fascinating, and there’s nothing more fascinating than what causes people to do what they do,” she says. “The field of consumer behavior encompasses everything from your morning routine, what house you buy, pet ownership. It really gives you a comprehensive picture of a person.” In her time as a Marketing professor over the last 22 years at UP, she has been hard at work passing on her enthusiasm for consumer behavior and marketing to the next generation.

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Edward Valente

Edward J. Valente, PhD - Professor of Chemistry, College of Arts & Sciences

Ed Valente has always been interested in molecular structure and in particular X-ray diffraction. But it is not only the science of chemistry that excites him, it is the fact that chemistry is the foundation for all material sciences, from biology and biochemistry to engineering and medicine. “Chemistry is known as the ‘central science,’” he says. “I wanted my students to understand and use the language of chemistry as well as learn its principles and applications.” Over the course of his career, he has greatly enjoyed helping students discover their powers of logic and deductive reasoning and plans to continue supporting undergraduate research as an emeritus faculty member in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

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Jacqueline Waggoner

Jacqueline Waggoner, EdD - Professor, School of Education

In 2016, Jackie Waggoner earned the title of Professor of Education at University of Portland, fulfilling a lifelong dream that first took root when she was a young child holding classes for her dolls. Those early lessons in the three Rs were a far cry from the graduate-level classes in quantitative and qualitative research and statistics, tests and measurement, assessment, and data-driven decision-making she’s been known for since arriving on The Bluff as an adjunct professor in 2003. “I believe that data can and should be used to further social justice and improve people’s lives,” she says.

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Valerie Walters

Valerie Walters, PhD, MS - Senior Instructor, Chemistry College of Arts & Sciences

Valerie Walters fell in love with chemistry in college. Originally a biology major at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, she took a Physical Chemistry class and decided to switch gears, eventually going on to receive her PhD in Physical Chemistry from Yale University. It is her research experiences with UP students that stand out to her as her proudest achievements at UP. “I like to think that those experiences will help them in their careers,” she says. She’s also not done with chemistry — she will be a UP Visiting Scholar for two years after retirement, finishing up past research and starting new research with her husband at Lewis & Clark.

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Bruce Weitzel

Bruce Weitzel, PhD - Associate Dean and Professor, School of Education

Bruce Weitzel began his career in education with the help of his own teachers. “Educators are always the product of other educators,” he says, “Especially those who have modeled their passion for learning and listening. The educators who drew me into schools and the classroom were dedicated to engaging with ideas and with people.” His passion for learning and teaching has led him during his time in the education field. As such, he has left a lasting mark on local schools, both at the K-12 and collegiate levels.

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