MC welcomes three new educators for 2020-21 academic year

MC welcomes three new educators for 2020-21 academic year

Sept. 10, 2020

This fall, Maryville College welcomes to its campus two assistant professors and one visiting lecturer, bringing the total number of full-time faculty members to 74.

“Teaching well is at the heart of what we do here. To be effective at Maryville College, faculty not only need to know their disciplines really well, they also need to care a lot about teaching and to be good at it” said Dr. Dan Klingensmith, vice president and dean of the College. “I’m confident these new faculty will serve our students well, and I’m delighted at the strengths they bring to our curriculum.” 

In the College’s Division of Social Sciences, Dr. Naji Bsisu joins the faculty as an assistant professor of political science. Bsisu holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Dayton; a master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Chicago; a master’s degree in political science from the University of Missouri; and a Ph.D. in international affairs from the University of Georgia, where his concentrations included international affairs and comparative politics, and his dissertation project focused on refugees and repression. His areas of expertise include refugees, forced migration, civil war/conflict, the Middle East and North Africa. Since 2018, he has served as the managing editor of the International Studies Review journal.

Dr. Joy Buongiorno joins the Division of Natural Sciences as an assistant professor of environmental biology. Her areas of expertise include microbiology, bioinformatics, astrobiology, geomicrobiology and environmental microbiology. Buongiorno holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Tennessee Technological University, a master’s degree in geoscience from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Most recently, she was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Geophysical Laboratory at the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

In the College’s Division of Natural Sciences, Dr. R. Alan Smith joins the faculty as a visiting lecturer in natural sciences. His teaching areas include general chemistry and cell biology, and his areas of expertise include genetics and evolution. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of the Cumberlands; a master of science degree in botany from the University of Tennessee; and a Ph.D. in biology from Vanderbilt University. Previously, he taught biology at Roane State Community College. He also has served as chair of the Department of Science and Mathematics at Trevecca Nazarene University.

Promotions and Title Changes


Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges. For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything — to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville, Maryville College offers nearly 1,200  students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last. Today, our 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of our Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”