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Summer Session faculty offer expertise and credentials in a variety of fields and are dedicated to helping you expand your knowledge and spark your curiosity.


Explore all that Principia has to offer at Summer Session.


Robert Baker

Robert Baker (C’78) brought to his coaching an outstanding individual athletic record and the ability to train student-athletes. After graduating from Principia College in 1978, he competed in the 1980 Texas Relays, where he set the world record in the 1,500-meter portion of the decathlon, a record that still stands. He also competed at the U.S. Track and Field Nationals and the Olympic Trials in 1980 and 1984. During his career, Robert has trained elite athletes and worked for the United States Olympic Committee and the United States Track and Field team from 1984 to 1996. In addition, he coached the U.S. Olympic men's decathlon team in 1995. Robert has served Principia in various capacities over three decades. He retired from Principia in May 2022.

Lee Barron, JD

Lee Barron (US’72, C’76) has a broad range of legal experience, including a strong background in the areas of business and contract law, employment law, government and public law issues, and litigation that makes him well qualified to handle the range of legal issues that face Principia. A graduate of both the Upper School and College, Lee received his law degree from Washington University. He is licensed to practice law in both Missouri and Illinois and has successfully operated his own law firm for more than 25 years. In addition to his legal qualifications, Lee previously served Principia as a coach at the College and as a visiting faculty member teaching Business Law at the College.

Howard Bay

Howard Bay (US’69, C’73) grew up in St. Louis, attending Principia Lower, Middle, and Upper School. He graduated with honors from Principia College in 1973 and was awarded the Floyd A. McNeil History Award, going on to earn his master’s degree in history from the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Howard joined the Upper School staff in 1978 as a house parent and coach. He later served as the social activities director, the director of admissions and enrollment, and chair of the Social Studies Department. Howard taught American history and economics to juniors and seniors, and coached varsity football at the Upper School.

Marcel Biró

One of the youngest chefs in European History to receive the title Master Chef de Cuisine, German-born Marcel Biró has worked in leading restaurants in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lichtenstein, Spain, and Switzerland. In his earlier years as a chef, he earned several coveted European awards for his accomplishments in Michelin-starred restaurants and served as chef to German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Since his move to the United States, he has owned and operated three restaurants, taught aspiring chefs at his culinary school, led international culinary tours, starred in the Emmy Award-winning PBS series The Kitchens of Biró, co-authored two cookbooks, and has been featured in several media outlets throughout the world.

Marcel Biro

Dr. Joan Bernard Bradley

Dr. Joan Bernard Bradley (FS’99) has worked internationally as an educator in Canada, England, and The Bahamas. She served Principia for 9 years as a faculty member at both the College and School. She then worked as Head of Elementary at Claremont Fan Court School in England and as faculty at Daemen University, New York, where she taught graduate and undergraduate education and leadership courses. Her doctorate is in Educational Leadership and Administration from St. Louis University. Currently, Joan offers Bible-based Leadership Workshops that show how Bible characters practiced principles of leadership with inspiration and healing. She applies these lessons to life today. Joan has contributed 25 articles to the Christian Science periodicals and The Christian Science Monitor’s Religious Perspective column. She is enjoying her recent move to Laguna Hills, California, and for fun, she loves to visit her sons and their families in the Cayman Islands, Michigan, and Toronto.

Joan Bernard Bradley

Shannon Carney

Appointed Principia College Head Coach of women's tennis in 2010, Shannon Carney coaches both the short fall season and the spring season. She also teaches the tennis physical education course each semester. In addition, Shannon serves on several College committees and helps recruit student-athletes. She has also worked in Student Life as a Residential Counselor. A member of the United States Tennis Professional Association for 34 years, she holds an Elite Professional ranking and competes at the local and national levels. She also is a Professional Tennis Registry member with a rank of Professional in Adult Development.

Dr. Matthew Cocks

Dr. Matthew Cocks joined Principia College from a career background of research and teaching in higher education. His interests largely relate to the economies of cities, their transformations over time, and the strategies local urban areas use for economic development. Since graduating from the University of Liverpool in the UK, his research has taken him to numerous countries around the world for field visits and conference presentations. He has taught for a number of programs at Liverpool John Moores University, Xi-an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in China, and the University of Birmingham in the UK. Matthew has also led pedagogical research into the academic experiences of international students in UK higher education.

Matthew Cocks

Linda Conradi

For as long as she can remember, Linda Conradi (C'65) has been “hooked on books.” Her earliest recollections include walking solo for several blocks toting a stack of books to and from her local public library in South Minneapolis. Reading has always been a part of her life, and she is seldom without a book in her bag. In this digital age, she carries dozens of books on her iPad. Linda conducts a discussion type class at Summer Session that is known as “Hooked on Books.” She also facilitates Principia Club book discussions. A Principia College graduate, Linda also holds a Master of Liberal Arts from Washington University in St. Louis. While employed by Principia for 18 years, Linda served in a variety of positions from Editor of Publications to English teacher to researcher for Principia’s centennial history book. She also conducted an extensive survey of faculty on the St. Louis campus for a report on the way character education is taught. As a writer, Linda has had articles and poems published in the Christian Science periodicals. Most recently her articles have appeared in a Midwest magazine, The Woman Today. Linda lives in Duluth, Minnesota, within walking distance of Lake Superior. In the summer or fall, you might find her sitting in the Rose Garden by the lake—reading a book.

Linda Conradi

Dr. Scott Eckert

Dr. Scott Eckert has been active for more than four decades in the field of pelagic marine vertebrate research and conservation, focusing largely on sea turtles. He is world-renowned for his expertise on leatherback turtles and the important role these wide-ranging oceanic reptiles play in the marine environment. He currently serves as the Chair of the Biology and Natural Resources Department at Principia College where he teaches courses in the disciplines of Ecology, Conservation Biology and Zoology. After a 35 year career in biological research and conservation, Eckert joined the Principia College faculty in 2010.

Scott Eckert

Dr. Lee Ellis

Lee is currently Dean of Admissions at Principia College but has made many contributions to the College over the past 22 years including Athletic Director, Women’s Soccer Coach and chair of the Sports Management Program. Prior to Principia, Lee started and directed the athletics program at SUNYIT, in Utica, New York, where he also coached men’s soccer, women’s basketball, and softball. Lee also has 15 years of executive experience in sales and marketing. Currently, he teaches course in leadership and in the sociology, ethics, management, and business of sport.

Lee Ellis

Dr. Marie Farson

Dr. Marie Farson has extensive experience working in marine engineering and more than 15 years of sea-going research experience working with autonomous and unmanned remotely operated vehicles in Panama, Singapore, and India. Her more recent experience includes the development of open-source hardware, including 3-D printers and a filament extruder. She developed acoustic and vibration analyses of the New Attack Submarine, conducting wavenumber analyses of the hull-mounted truss response. Marie designed remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and instrumentation used to perform specialized tasks in various underwater environments, including the open ocean, inland lakes, and nuclear power plants. She conducted worldwide ROV operations: search and salvage; photographic surveys; underwater video surveys; fisheries population mapping and migration studies; military surveillance and mapping. Marie also developed a precision sound velocimeter used in marine geophysical research aimed at measuring stress and strain buildup at underwater plate tectonic spreading centers. She developed a 3-D printing filament extruder using recycled plastics for sustainable filament production in developing countries.

Leah Gallant-McFall

Leah McFall (US’89, C’93) is a professional costume and set designer, as well as an award-winning visual artist in a wide range of media. She is currently designing for productions and teaching technical theatre courses at the College. Leah's main focus is on costume and set design for theatre and dance. She also produces fine art in a variety of fiber art and painting mediums. She is currently researching festival arts in the early modern period—their political uses and their connections with antiquity. Leah has over thirty design credits and exhibits in numerous shows, including Costume design for regional theatres in Chicago, Alton, and St. Louis, as well as for a show selected for the Kennedy Center Regional College Theatre Festival.

Dorothy Halverson

Dorothy Halverson (C’85) graduated with a double major in Elementary Education and Music. She also holds a master’s in educational leadership with an emphasis in early childhood education from Maryville University. Before joining the faculty at Principia, she taught three- through six-year-olds in a multi-age classroom as well as music classes for preschool through grade 6 at a St. Louis-area school. In 1990, Dorothy began teaching junior kindergarten at Principia School, becoming the Early Childhood Director in 2007. From 2013–2015, she served as the Early Childhood and Lower School Assistant Principal before assuming her current post as Early Child Principal.

Olivia Halverson

Olivia is in her second year of teaching middle school at Mary Institute and St Louis Country Day School (MICDS). She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Concordia University, Chicago in Elementary and Middle Grades Education in 2019. She is co-director of the After School Academic Support Program and teaches middle school writing and reading courses over the summer at Eliot Summer Academy. She helps with new student orientation as an instructor in a middle school bridge program. She also teaches middle schoolers at First Church of Christ, Scientist in St Louis.

Olivia Halverson

Jonathan Hosmer

Jonathan Hosmer (US’88, C’92) works in Principia’s Marketing department managing Principia’s websites and other digital marketing systems, serving Principia School, College, Alumni, Lifelong Learning, and Advancement. His education and early work experience was in political science, history, and international relations. This culminated in five years as a research associate at a defense institute in the Boston area. If you take his course, you will likely hear about his family, his motorcycle, and distance running.

Dr. Marie Jureit-Beamish

Dr. Marie Jureit-Beamish (HON’14), professor emerita of music, was a faculty member at Principia College for over 30 years. Throughout that time, she maintained an active performing career as both a pianist and flutist. A winner of the prestigious St. Louis Artist Presentation Society Competition and a member of Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley, she holds music degrees from UC Berkeley, Stanford University, and Yale School of Music. During her tenure at Principia, Marie conducted the College orchestra and taught a wide variety of courses, including an award-winning class of piano and flute students, Fundamentals of Music, Chamber Music, The Creative World of Mozart, and many more. Together with her musical family, she has performed for many of Principia’s lifelong learning programs and alumni weekends. She has also led several European trips for Principia and directed College music tours around the country. Upon her retirement in 2014, Marie was awarded honorary alumni status. Marie will be travelling with PLL to Japan in April as our trip scholar. 

Susan Ledbetter

Susan Ledbetter (C’70) graduated from Principia College with a double major in history and education and a minor in art history. After graduation, she spent many years as an art museum docent and educator. She then went on to teach art history and serve as a college counselor in an independent high school. For the last five years, Susan has taught art history courses at Principia’s Summer Session. Last summer, Susan was an onboard lecturer for Principia Lifelong Learning’s Rhône & Saône River Cruise.

Susan Ledbetter

Madelon Maupin

Madelon is a graduate of Principia College and holds a master’s degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. As founder of BibleRoads she provides Bible study resources, including online courses, workbooks, and talks. She has traveled extensively throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East, lecturing for Princess Cruises as its Cultural Historian and leading groups to Turkey, Greece, Jordan and Israel. Madelon has been a frequent lecturer at Summer Session and part of the PLL faculty. She will be the PLL trip scholar on the Western Turkey & Aegean Cruise this October.

Madelon Maupin

Dr. Brandon James O’Neil

Brandon James O’Neil (C’16) is a poet and scholar from Rochester, Michigan, currently living on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. He completed his Ph.D. in English at the University of Iowa with a dissertation focusing on the final published writings of Walt Whitman. He also serves as Managing Editor of the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review and is a member of the Modern Language Association and the National Council of Teachers of English. For Whitman’s birthday in 2019, he co-curated the exhibition, Walt Whitman: A Bicentennial Celebration, at the University of Iowa Libraries. The same year, O’Neil presented at the Art and Psyche conference at UCSB and the annual conference of the American Literature Association in Boston. He taught at Principia College as a visiting faculty member during the spring and fall semesters of 2021, leading classes in literary editing, literature of the Civil War, the poetry of William Carlos Williams, and American women’s poetry. His poems and essays have appeared in the Christian Science SentinelPlough Quarterly, Image, and elsewhere. Recently, his translation of the ancient Chinese classic, The Book of Filial Piety (孝經), was featured in the annual Journal of Daoist Studies, published by the University of Hawaii.

Brandon James O’Neil

Dr. Shirley Paulson

Dr. Shirley Paulson (US’66, C’70) is the principal producer of Early Christian Texts: The Bible and Beyond. The website includes her online teaching, blog, and podcasts highlighting the work of other scholars of early Christianity. One of her courses is on the Gospel of Thomas, co-taught by Dr. Hal Taussig. Dr. Paulson's academic work focuses on early Christian texts, especially those relating to healing practices and theology. Her dissertation was a theological conversation between Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and an extracanonical text from early Christianity. Two forthcoming works include a chapter in Westar’s new book, First Two Hundred Years After Jesus and a non-academic book on The Secret Revelation of John. Shirley has served as head of ecumenical affairs for The Mother Church, Committee on Publication for Illinois, the Christian Science Board of Lectureship, and the Board of the North American Academy of Ecumenists.

Shirley Paulson

Ann Pierson

Ann returned to Principia College in 2019 as Athletics Director. Previously, Ann served as Principia College women’s basketball coach (1995-2005) and head men’s and women’s track coach (2000-2005). She has extensive athletics experience in coaching, strength and conditioning. Ann received her MS degree in sports management from the University of Southern Illinois, Edwardsville.

Ann Pierson

Chrissy Calkins Steele

Chrissy Calkins Steele (FS’08) teaches acting, voice, Shakespeare, and First Year Experience classes; directs productions; and co-leads the England Abroad focused on Shakespeare. She is a Designated Linklater Teacher of voice for actors, and she is working toward certification in Eginton Alignment as well as training in the Michael Chekhov acting technique. As an actor, she has performed with numerous companies, including Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Moving Dock, Absolute Theatre, Wisdom Bridge, Ivanhoe Theatre, ChicSpeare, and the Iowa Shakespeare Project. She was also a workshop and residency artist for many social service and educational organizations in Chicago, including Urban Gateways and Lutheran Social Services. Chrissy is also a founding and company member of Bankside Repertory Theatre Company, Alton, IL.

Dr. Jeff Steele

Dr. Jeff Steele (FS’01) is a professional performing artist who has taught at a variety of levels. He earned his graduate and post graduate degrees at Northwestern, and his PhD in English at the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, UK. Combining a successful career as an actor, director, and playwright, he is currently a multi-disciplinary faculty member at the College.  Jeff also serves as the Head Coach for the Principia College INADR Mock Mediation Team, International Intercollegiate Champions in 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2020. He is a member of Actors' Equity Association, Shakespeare Association of America, Society of American Fight Directors, and the International Academy of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Jeff is also a founding and company member of Bankside Repertory Theatre Company, Alton, IL.

Dr. Joe Van Riper

Dr. Joe Van Riper (C’05) joined the faculty in 2010. He teaches conducting, American popular music and musical theatre, musicianship, and applied trumpet lessons. In addition, he directs the College orchestra, choir, jazz ensemble, and various vocal and instrumental chamber ensembles. Joe is an active performer on trumpet and piano, playing traditional jazz in the greater St. Louis area with multiple ensembles. He also serves as substitute organist for the St. Louis Blues in the National Hockey League. Prior to joining the faculty at Principia, Van Riper worked as a contractor for the Department of Justice. Joe’s scholarly interests lie in turn-of-the-century mechanical music. His dissertation, "The Reproducing Piano: A Portrait of the Artist," explores the history and development of the reproducing piano and its impact on society through capturing historical performance practices of great pianists.

Rich Waller

Rich Waller (C’76), has been a mainstay at the Upper School for many years, serving as a faculty member in the Social Studies Department until this past May. Rich earned a master’s in history from the American Military University in Manassas, Virginia, and an MBA at the University of Missouri.

Rich Waller

Dr. Peter van Lithe de Jeude

Dr. Peter van Lidth de Jeude (C’04) is an Associate Professor and chair in the history department at Principia College. His scholarship program focused on Modern European history with a special emphasis on Germany. He has worked as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and at Pennsylvania State University, where he also served as an instructor. Peter’s dissertation is about occupation bureaucrats during the First World War, which helped broaden his view of history, leading to a more global perspective. He is sharing this global perspective on history with students in his courses on everything from his specialty in European history to early American history, non-Western history, and historical research methods. Peter’s scholarly interests involve Wilhelmine German society, in particular its bureaucracy and the stresses placed upon it in times of extreme crisis. He is also interested in the impact of war upon society more generally, as well as transnational and global perspectives in history.


President John W. Williams, JD

A longtime member of the Political Science Department, John Williams, JD (C’76) currently serves as president of Principia College. He was the inaugural recipient of the Principia College Horace Edwin Harper Jr. and Evelyn Wright Harper Award for Teaching Excellence in 2013. During his 37 years at the College, Williams has taught American government, law, and comparative politics courses, coached intercollegiate mock trial, moot court, and Model Illinois Government teams, served as pre-law advisor, and held additional teaching assignments in mass communication, global perspectives, and history. He has directed more than a dozen Principia study abroad programs to mainland East Asia and has served as a popular lecturer for the Principia Lifelong Learning and Summer Session programs. John was elected as president of the Faculty Senate for two separate terms and has also served two terms as president of the Illinois Political Science Association. Before joining Principia, John worked in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice and as an attorney in private practice. He earned a juris doctor degree from The George Washington University.

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