Dr. Daniel J. Masterson, Associate Professor of Music will be promoted to the rank of Professor of Music and Dr. Kristin Van Tassel, Associate Professor of English will be promoted to the rank of Professor of English for the 2018-2019 Academic Year. The promotions were approved by President Will Jones of Bethany College.
“Dr. Masterson and Dr. Van Tassel are two of Bethany’s finest,” said President Jones. “They care deeply about our students and it shows in their excellent teaching and advising.”
Dr. Masterson is completing his eighteenth year as part of the music faculty at Bethany College. He has been chair of the Music Department since 2004 (co-chair from 2011-2017). He teaches piano, class piano, piano pedagogy, and music theory courses, including 20th Century Music, Instrumentation and Arranging, and Counterpoint. Since 2010 he has directed several of the department ensembles such as Chapel Choir, the College/Community Orchestra, and the Hand bell Ensembles.
Beyond his teaching, Masterson maintains an active schedule as a solo and collaborative artist, clinician, adjudicator, and director. He completed a term as President of the Kansas Music Teachers Association, now serving on the board as Immediate Past President. In 2012-2013 he completed a sabbatical with the topic “Composition and Technology in Music Curricula,” basing his activity in Greensboro, NC. His interests in recording technology has him overseeing the archiving of the Music Department’s concerts and recitals.
Masterson holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Illinois, a Masters of Music from Wichita State University, and a Bachelor of Arts from McPherson College. His former teachers include Nel Allison, Steven Gustafson, Paul Reed, and Ian Hobson. He serves on a number of college committees, including Faculty Senate, Budget Advisory Council, and Faculty Review Committee. He served as the Billue-Burnett Distinguished Professor of Music from 2003-2015, and is the currently serving as the Fury Distinguished Professor of Music.
Masterson lives in Lindsborg with his wife, Carolyn. He has two adult sons: Aaron, and Paul, living in Des Moines, IA and Madison, WI, respectively.
Dr. Van Tassel has been a full-time faculty member at Bethany College since Fall 2005. Van Tassel teaches courses in writing, American literature, and interdisciplinary studies.
Van Tassel chairs the English, Theatre, and Communication Department and coordinates the Honors Program. She is a member of Faculty Senate, and for the past three years has served as Chair and President of the Faculty Senate. She is a member of Bethany College’s Accreditation Higher Learning Steering Committee, chairing the subcommittee that addresses institutional mission. She served on the Curriculum Committee for six years, chairing it for two.
Van Tassel was promoted from Assistant to Associate Professor of English in 2008 and awarded tenure in 2010. She received the Mortvedt Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award in Spring 2008 and the Donna Meredith Humphreys Teaching Award in Spring 2014.
Van Tassel’s scholarly interests are in the field of environmental literature. She is a longstanding member of the Association of the Study of Literature and the Environment, and her scholarly work has appeared in ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature and the Environment and The Journal of Ecocriticism. Her essays, poetry, and book reviews about teaching and travel have appeared in online and print magazines and literary journals, including The Chronicle of Higher Education, World Hum, Wraparound South, Temenos, and LA Review of Books.