Go back

Austin Peay’s College of STEM approves five faculty for tenure

By: Colby Wilson May 13, 2024

Screenshot 2024-05-13 at 1.15.54 PM.png

The APSU College of STEM’s newest tenure-approved faculty, pictured clockwise from top left: Matthew Anderson, Dr. Catherine Haase, Dr. Erik Haroldson, Dr. Anuradha Pathiranage and Charles Weigandt.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Austin Peay State University’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) has announced that the following faculty members have achieved tenure, effective July 1:

Dr. Karen Meisch, dean of the College of STEM, congratulated Austin Peay’s newly-minted tenured professors and said they have demonstrated excellence inside and outside the classroom.

“These professors have showcased an unwavering commitment to going above and beyond to serve Austin Peay, the College of STEM and their students,” Meisch said. “Their dedication to teaching excellence, research and service exemplifies the high standards we strive to uphold. I am thrilled to recognize them at this pivotal moment in their careers.”

Professors achieve tenure based on a combination of teaching effectiveness; effectiveness in other academic assignments; research, scholarly and creative activity; professional degrees, awards and achievements; professional service to Austin Peay, the community, and the state or nation; activities, memberships, and leadership in professional organizations; professional development and growth; potential for contributions to the objectives of the department and Austin Peay; demonstrated willingness and ability to work effectively with colleagues; and evidence of, regard for and performance consistent with accepted standards of professional conduct.

Below are short biographies of each of Austin Peay’s newest tenured professors:

Matthew Anderson (Austin Peay ’99, ’14; Tennessee MS ’01) joined his alma mater as an instructor in 2016 and was promoted to assistant professor in 2018. He has served on several committees for Austin Peay, chaired the Engineering Technology Curriculum Committee since 2022 and administered both the Engineering Technology Major Field Test and Siemens SMSCP Level 3 Certification Exam. Anderson was the principal author of a pair of grants that yielded nearly $300,000 in funding and has been published twice in peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Catherine Haase (Unity ’07; SUNY College of Environmental Service and Forestry MS ’10; Florida PhD ’16) came to Austin Peay in 2019 as an assistant professor. She has thrived in the classroom and in research since then, earning the Socrates Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2022 and bringing in grants totaling over $2 million, including an Intergovernmental Support Agreement with the Department of Defense. A sought-after speaker, Haase has been invited to present at more than 20 universities and conferences since she arrived in Clarksville. Most recently, she was named to the board of directors for the North American Society for Bat Research.

Dr. Erik Haroldson (Minnesota-Duluth ’06; Wisconsin MS ’14; Wisconsin PhD ’17) worked for six years in the mineral (gold) exploration industry before turning his attention to academia. In 2018, he joined Austin Peay as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 2022. He was instrumental in developing the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department’s Earth Explorers Camp for area students and was accorded the Socrates Award Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2023. He has also been published for his use of improvisational games and open educational resources in the classroom.

Dr. Anuradha Pathiranage (Colombo ’06; MTSU MS ’11; MTSU PhD ’16) joined the staff at Austin Peay in 2016 and has been a driving force for new programs and opportunities for students in Clarksville. She is a mentor for CoSTEM STARS (Students Achieving and Reaching Success), which helps guide students’ academic and professional growth, and is the co-director of STEM Scholars, which focuses on helping high-achieving academics transition to university life. This year, she and biology colleague Dr. Manisha Gupte developed Lab Explorer Camp, a collaborative camp for students interested in the inner workings of a laboratory, with the goal of inspiring enthusiasm for the fields of chemistry and biology.

Charles Weigandt (Pittsburgh ’76; Austin Peay MA ’16) is an FAA-certified pilot with a 40-plus-year aviation career and more than 11,000 hours of flight experience, beginning with the United States Army in 1978. In 2018, Weigandt was hired to develop the aviation sciences program at Austin Peay, a program he’s helped grow into a robust part of the University. Under Weigandt’s direction, the Aviation Sciences program has grown to include a fleet of Guimbal and Robinson R-44 Raven helicopters, 36 active aspiring pilots, 12 full-time and adjunct instructors and 10,000 square feet of hangar space.