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Appointments to Tom and Mary James Professorship in Finance, Elie Wiesel Professorship of Humane Letters Announced

By Alizza Punzalan-Randle
Published February 24, 2008
Categories: Academics, American Studies, History, International Business, Management

Gifts to Eckerd’s capital campaign, entitled “Transformations: The Campaign for Eckerd College,” has resulted in two new appointments. They were announced by Dr. Donald R. Eastman III, President of Eckerd College, at the 50th Anniversary Opening Convocation held February 21, 2008. Dr. Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Laureate, was the keynote speaker.

First Appointment

One of the very first campaign gifts was made by one of Tampa Bay’s most generous and accomplished families and philanthropists, Tom and Mary James.

Professor Naveen K. Malhotra was appointed as the first occupant of the Tom and Mary James Professorship in Finance.

Professor Malhotra joined the Eckerd College faculty as Assistant Professor of Finance and Management in 1985. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Delhi, India; his MBA from the University of Tampa; and his Ph.D. from the University of South Florida. He has risen through the faculty ranks to full professor.

Professor Malhotra is the discipline coordinator for the popular business management major in the Program for Experienced Learners and the key mentor for the seniors in that field. He is a popular but demanding teacher whose finance courses draw high ratings from both residential and PEL students.

As coach for Eckerd students participating in financial planning case competitions and Students in Free Enterprise case competitions, his teams have been champions or runners up consistently at both the regional and national level. As a result of these successes he has been named a Sam W. Walton Free Enterprise Fellow for ten years running. The City of St. Petersburg proclaimed November 13, 2003 Professor Naveen Malhotra and Students in Free Enterprise Day and the Eckerd College SIFE Team Students of the Month in April, 2005.

Professor Malhotra has published numerous articles, and he is a frequent presenter at national conferences. Two of his articles have received Best Paper awards at the conference where they were presented. He is the author of two books, one on financial management and one on adult education.

Second Appointment

The second appointment is the result of the creation of the Elie Wiesel Endowed Professorship in Humane Letters, created by Trustee Jean Giles Wittner and her beloved, late husband, Ted. Jean has been an Eckerd College trustee for nearly a quarter of a century.

Professor Carolyn Johnston was appointed the first occupant of the Elie Wiesel Professorship of Humane Letters.

After completing her Ph.D. at the University of California, Professor Johnston joined the Eckerd College faculty in 1978, thirty years ago this fall, as Assistant Professor of American Studies and History. She has risen through the faculty ranks to full professor.

During that time she has established herself as one of the College’s most dynamic teachers and productive scholars. Her courses, noted for their intriguing titles, have ranged from “Rebels with a Cause: Radicals, Reactionaries” and “Reformers to Women in Modern America: The Hand that Cradles the Rock.” She received the Robert A. Staub Outstanding Teacher Award in 1991. She has also been a leader in the campus community, serving as Chair of the Letters Collegium for ten years and as Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program since its inception.

She is also a productive and distinguished scholar who has published three books: Jack London: An American Radical?, Sexual Power: Feminism and the Family in America, and Cherokee Women in Crisis. She is close to completing a fourth book on the Buffalo Soldiers in World War II.

Appointment of this professorship is especially appropriate because Professor Johnston and Dr. Wiesel have taught seminars together. The seminars focused on universal human concerns and drew on some of the world’s greatest literature, providing students an unforgettable learning experience.

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