New faces join Wells College faculty

From arts and education to theater and hospitality, these educators range in experience across many disciplines that will add to the growing diversity of the college’s faculty.

As the fall 2023 semester begins, Wells College is welcoming six new faculty members.

Below is a brief list of each of their accomplishments and details about their new positions. This is curated content based on written articles and video interviews with each faculty member conducted by the college’s Marketing and Communications Department. To learn more, you can find these stories on the college’s News webpage or watch clips on the college’s Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

Sydney Boyd, Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric

Boyd has her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in English and music from the University of Idaho and Rice University in Houston, Texas, where she taught after she graduated. Boyd was the assistant director for academic affairs at NYU Washington, D.C., an adjunct assistant professor of liberal studies for arts and sciences at New York University, and a founding faculty member of English literature at Bard High School DC Early College. Many courses Boyd taught at prior institutions focused on critical writing, historical literature, and music. Her portfolio includes music criticism, writing reviews on operas and symphonies and interviewing musicians or composers for publications like Houstonia Magazine, Houston Chronicle, Bachtrack, and Music and Literature. Boyd will teach specialized courses in rhetorical studies and professional and technical writing for first-year students at Wells.

Rebecca Gilbert, Victor Hammer Fellow in Book Arts

Gilbert received her master’s of fine arts in printmaking and book arts in 2002 at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since then, she has participated in numerous group exhibits and hosted many solo exhibits of her own art. Her work has been recognized by various art authorities and museums including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, and the Winterthur Museum.

The Victor Hammer Fellowship in the Book Arts is an employment program offered by Wells named in honor of Victor Hammer, who fled from Europe to the college during World War II and founded the Wells College Press in 1941. The fellowship gives up-and-coming book artists an opportunity to establish themselves in the field. Gilbert will work for the college for two years and teach two courses per semester. This year marks the twelfth time Wells has accepted new candidates for the position.

Andrew Hunt, Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatrical Design and Technology

Hunt received his bachelor’s of arts in psychology and theater technology and design from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Hunt’s professional experience includes assisting with lighting plays and musicals in Buffalo, working with choreographers and dance companies on their performances, and collaborating on lighting for architectural agencies across New York State. His digital portfolio shows a wide variety of beautifully lit stages, choreography, hotel lobbies, office spaces, and more. After pursuing his master’s of arts in lighting design from Carnegie Mellon University, an opportunity to be an adjunct lighting instructor for one of his former professors inspired him to pursue a career in higher education.

Last spring and fall, Hunt was the guest lighting director for Wells’ productions of “Heathers: The Musical” and “Proof.” For the academic year, Hunt will teach courses in production management and theatrical design to Wells students but also assist with the maintenance of Phipps Auditorium in Macmillan Hall to execute successful performances and other ceremonies.

Matthew Miller, Assistant Professor of Hospitality Management

Miller holds a doctorate in hospitality management from Iowa State University and a master’s of science in hospitality and tourism management from Purdue University.  His most recent experience includes management positions within the luxury hotel industry, working for the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, Arizona, the Stanford Park Hotel in Menlo Park, California, and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Miller has teaching experience as a graduate teaching assistant at Purdue and adjunct lecturer at Grand Canyon University.

His position will support a new bachelor of science degree program in hospitality management at the college. Miller will be teaching courses in hospitality management principles and designing marketing experiences, as well as forming partnerships with local businesses in the area to establish internships for upperclassmen at Wells.

Mary Tasillo, Director of Book Arts Center

After obtaining her master’s of fine arts in book arts and printmaking in 2006 at The University of Arts, Tasillo went on to explore and teach the many subtopics that make up the subject of book arts. Some of her recent projects include working at The Soapbox: Community Print Shop & Zine Library, as well as at the Common Press at the University of Pennsylvania.

Established in 1993, the Book Arts Center is the oldest of three Centers for Excellence at Wells College. The Center offers introductory courses in letterpress printing, hand bookbinding, and calligraphy, and various upper-level courses in binding, graphic design, photo books, publishing, and book art scholarship.

Meg Zarnetske, Director of Education Program

Zarnetske received her bachelor’s of science in geosciences and environmental studies from Hobart William Smith College in Geneva, New York. After graduating in 2002, Zarnetske traveled to Jackson, Wyoming, where she taught as an environmental educator for Teton Science Schools. She then went on to earn two master's degrees: geology from Utah State University and teaching and learning from Southern Utah University. Zarnetske has more than 20 years of experience in teaching and higher education administration for schools and universities in Utah and the western U.S., but the familiarity of once again being at a small liberal arts college was one of the reasons why she chose Wells for the next step in her career.

In addition to her role as director, Zarnetske will be teaching an introductory education course for the Education Program. The program provides teaching certification to undergraduate students through the Inclusive Childhood Education Major, the Adolescent Education Program, and an Education minor in order to teach students effective and research-based instructional practices for modern classrooms.

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Emma Vallelunga

Content Strategist

Emma is the staff writer and content strategist for Wells College's Marketing and Communications Department. It's her job to get to know you, no matter who you are, where you're from, or how you identify. Tell her your story, send her a tip, or just say hello through email at evallelunga@wells.edu

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