Document Type

Press Release

Publication Date



Lawrence University faculty members Michael Orr and Alan Parks have been promoted to the rank of full professor by the college’s Board of Trustees.

Four other faculty — Jerald Podair, Matthew Stoneking, Timothy Troy and Dirck Vorenkamp — have been promoted to the rank of associate professor and granted tenured appointments.

Orr, a specialist in medieval art and illuminated manuscripts, joined the Lawrence faculty as an art historian in 1989. A native of England, Orr has served as an exhibition consultant to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, Calif., and been awarded two research grants by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1992, Orr was recognized with Lawrence’s Outstanding Young Teacher award. He earned his Ph.D. at Cornell University.

Parks has taught mathematics and computer science at Lawrence since 1985. A member of the American Mathematical Society, Parks’ research interests in applied mathematics include dynamical systems and differential equations. As a computer programmer, he has focused on the theory of computation, coding theory, and the analysis of algorithms and he written applications in C++, Fortran, Pascal and MATLAB. He was cited for his teaching in 1987 as the recipient of Lawrence’s Outstanding Young Teacher award. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Podair, a 20th-century American historian specializing in race relations, joined the Lawrence faculty in 1998. His Ph.D. dissertation was recognized in 1998 by the Society of American Historians with the Allan Nevin Prize, which honored his work as the single most outstanding dissertation in American history that year. It was published as the book “The Strike That Changed New York” last fall by Yale University Press. Podair, who earned his doctorate at Princeton University, served as a consultant scholar for the recent Joe McCarthy exhibition at the Outagamie County Museum.

Stoneking, a physicist whose research interest focus on plasma physics and magnetic confinements of non-neutral plasmas, joined the Lawrence faculty in 1997. He’s been the recipient of a $225,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and a $37,000 grant from Research Corporation to support construction of his plasma physics laboratory, including a toroidal vacuum chamber. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Troy, a 1985 Lawrence graduate, returned to his alma mater’s theatre and drama department first from 1989-92 and again in 1997. He directs Lawrence opera, play and musical productions, as well as the “Plays on History” series staged at the Outagamie County Museum. In addition, he serves as community artist-in-residence for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and wrote the libretto for Samuel Barber’s “Excursions” Opus 20, which premiered in January. He earned a master of fine arts degree at the University of Iowa.

Vorenkamp, a member of the Lawrence religious studies department since 1997, specializes in Asian religions, especially Buddhism. His teaching was recognized with the Lawrence Freshman Studies Teaching Award in 2000 and his scholarly research has been published in the Encyclopedia of Monasticism, the Journal of Asian Studies and the Journal of Chinese Philosophy, among others. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.