Columbia College grants tenure to five faculty members

Drs. Elizabeth Critser, Alan James, Christopher Mazurek, Nathan Means and Youlong Zhuang are helping to create an academic culture of excellence at Columbia College.

Launer Hall
Columbia College proud to announce that five faculty members have been granted tenure:
  • Dr. Elizabeth Critser, associate professor of biology
  • Dr. Alan James, assistant professor of chemistry
  • Dr. Christopher Mazurek, assistant professor of psychology
  • Dr. Nathan Means, assistant professor of biology
  • Dr. Youlong Zhuang, assistant professor of business administration and management information systems.
Dr. Terry Smith, executive vice president and dean for Academic Affairs said, "I am delighted the Board awarded tenure to these outstanding faculty members. All five have already contributed significantly to an academic culture of excellence here at Columbia College, and tenure will allow them to keep exploring teaching and research topics essential to our society and students."

Critser earned a bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke College, a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin, an MBA from Indiana University and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. She began teaching at Columbia College as an adjunct in 2005 and became full time in 2007. Her specialties are genetics, molecular biotechnology and biochemistry, and she won the Trustees Teaching Excellence Award in 2008. Her teaching evaluations are among the highest among the college's full-time faculty.

James earned a bachelor's degree from Truman State University and a doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He began teaching in 2006, and his specialties are organic and inorganic chemistry. James also is chair of the chemistry division of the Missouri Academy of Science and uses an electronic homework system that gives immediate feedback to students.

Dr. Christopher Mazurek
Mazurek earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois and a doctorate from the University of North Carolina. He began teaching at Columbia College in 2004 and was named co-Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year in 2008. Mazurek appeared on "Jeopardy" in 2006, winning more than $76,000; in 2007, he appeared in the show's Tournament of Champions.

Dr. Nathan Means
Means earned a bachelor's degree from Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University), and a master's degree and doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He spent two years aiding mountain farmers in Guatemala and he has taught at the college's Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, campus. Means began teaching at Columbia College in 2004 and was named co-Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year in 2008.


Dr. Youlong Zhuang
Dr. Youlong Zhuang received a bachelor's degree from Shanghai University of Science and Technology, an MBA from Indiana State University and a doctorate from the University of Kentucky. He has taught at Columbia College since 2006, developing numerous online management information system courses. Zhuang's research interests include corporate social performance.

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