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News AAP welcomes five new full-time faculty for fall 2019

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​We are pleased to welcome five new full-time faculty members to the Associate in Arts Program! Drs. Dwight Higgin, Robin Kucharczyk, Lawrence Livingston, Brad Thompson and Sarah Vigliotta are joining the AAP as full-time faculty in fall 2019. Join us in extending a warm welcome to these newest members of our team!

Dwight Higgin
Dwight Higgin

Dwight Higgin, Ph.D., has accepted a temporary full-time appointment with the AAP in Wilmington as assistant professor of biology. Higgin has taught part-time with the AAP since 2016. 

Higgin received his B.A. in chemistry from the University of Delaware and is happy to be returning to his alma mater as an educator. He earned his master's in biological sciences from Delaware State University and his Ph.D. in neurobiology and anatomy from Drexel University College of Medicine. He has held teaching appointments at Delaware Tech, Delaware State University, and Wilmington University.

Higgin continues to conduct biomedical research related to spinal cord injury, and he encourages his students to explore the wonders of the world by pursuing fulfilling scientific research of their own. He is a proponent of active learning and employs flipped-classroom methods for teaching science more effectively. He says, "I believe that the best way to learn science is to be actively engaged in the material and to build a mental model of how the concepts will fit into the bigger scientific picture.”

Higgin is a Wilmington native, with strong family ties to the Caribbean and Europe. In his free time, he enjoys playing gospel piano, and he also likes to travel — he recently took a road trip to California and has plans to drive across Europe in the future. He enjoys learning foreign languages, as well, and says he is looking forward to testing out his language skills in class.

This fall, Higgin will be teaching Human Heredity and Development and Elementary Human Physiology.

Robin Kucharczyk
Robin K

Robin Kucharczyk, Ph.D., is joining the AAP as assistant professor of chemistry and faculty coordinator of the Wilmington campus.

Kucharczyk grew up in Millville, N.J. She earned her B.A. in chemistry at Rutgers University and her doctoral degree in inorganic chemistry from Yale. (She notes that her appointment at the AAP is a return to UD for her, as she once conducted postdoctoral research at the Lammot duPont Lab in Newark.) She has over 20 years of teaching and administrative experience; most recently, she served as coordinator of general education in the natural sciences at Monmouth University in N.J., and has also held appointments at Swarthmore and Temple. 

Kucharczyk has a keen interest in innovative pedagogies in science education. As an educator, she says, she is also passionate about advisement and mentorship in higher education.

"In my experience, when students and advisors forge strong bonds, both can benefit tremendously,” she says. “I have learned greatly from working with my past advisees — about chronic illness, issues of gender identification, and so much more. Advising at its best can lead to a mentoring relationship that can endure well after a student graduates.” 

Kucharczyk credits the positive influence of many influential mentors in the course of her personal and professional life, and still keeps in touch with mentors from her high school and undergraduate days.

In addition to her pedagogical pursuits, Kucharczyk is also an accomplished dancer. She has experience with nearly a dozen different dance forms, and is currently focused on waltz and zydeco. Her eclectic interests don’t stop there, however; she is also an avid birdwatcher, and volunteered with Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research in Newark for nearly a decade. 

In addition to her role as faculty coordinator of the Wilmington campus this fall, Kucharczyk will be teaching Snack Science, an overview of topics from introductory biology, chemistry, and physics focusing on their applications to food and cooking.

Lawrence Livingston
Lawrence Livingston

Dr. Lawrence Livingston has accepted a temporary full-time appointment with the AAP as assistant professor of Africana Studies. Livingston has taught part time with the AAP in Wilmington since 2014, and is also the student support services coordinator for the Wilmington campus. He previously taught at the Newark campus in UD's Africana Studies department. 

Livingston received his his B.A. in journalism and African-American studies from Howard University, where he went on to earn his Master of Divinity degree. He earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from Wesley Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Livingston is from Wilmington. He and his wife, Frances, have been married for 33 years and have three adult children. Since 1998, he has been the senior pastor at Wilmington’s historic Mother African Union Church, the oldest incorporated African-American church in the United States. Founded by the eminent Rev. Peter Spencer in 1813, the church holds a prominent place in African-American history and continues to be a vital part of the Wilmington community. Prior to his pastorship of the Mother African Union Church, Dr. Livingston was senior pastor of Ezion-Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church in Wilmington for four years and also served as a pastor at churches in St. Michaels, Md., and Washington, D.C.

For the fall 2019 semester, Livingston will be teaching The Civil Rights Movement, Intro to Black American Studies and World Religions. 

Brad Thompson
Brad Thompson

Brad Thompson, Ed.D., joins the AAP as an assistant professor of mathematics and will be teaching at both the Georgetown and Dover campuses.

Thompson was born and raised in Delaware and has extensive experience in teaching math to Delawareans. He holds a bachelor's in mathematics education from Temple, an M.A. in mathematics and statistics from West Chester University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership/Mathematics Education from UD. His dissertation research concerns the feasibility of data science degree programs at two-year colleges. 

Thompson has held prior appointments at Wilmington University and The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, and Delaware Tech's Wilmington campus. He has taught math and statistics for DTCC since 2013. He also has extensive experience in instructional design and educational technology, teaching graduate-level courses in both areas since 2016 with DTCC's Center for Creative Instruction and Technology.

Thompson and his wife, Nicole, have two daughters, aged 5 and 6, and recently relocated to southern Delaware from Newark. Like Kucharczyk, Thompson has an interest in the arts; he enjoys composing and recording music in his home studio. He is also a longtime student of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and competes regularly in tournaments.

This fall, Thompson will be teaching Intermediate Algebra and Basic Statistical Practice. 

Sarah Vigliotta
Sarah V

Sarah Vigliotta, Ph.D., joins our program as an assistant professor of mathematics at the Wilmington campus. Vigliotta earned her B.S. in mathematics from Sacred Heart University. She moved on to Johns Hopkins in pursuit of her master's degree, which she earned in 2009, and later received her Ph.D. from Wesleyan. 

Vigliotta, who is originally from Ridge, N.Y., has certainly traveled the furthest to join our program: She has been a lecturer at Yale University since 2016 and relocated to Delaware with her family from New Haven, Conn., this summer. (They arrived just in time for the record-breaking heat wave, which we hope they don't hold against us!). While at Yale, Vigliotta taught multiple sections of the “Calculus of Functions of One Variable II” course in a flipped-classroom format, an instructional approach that is gaining considerable traction in secondary- and and post-secondary classrooms.

Vigliotta's prior appointments include teaching positions at Johns Hopkins, Wesleyan, and Sacred Heart. In 2017, she also participated in a fellowship with Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching), a professional-development program that is devoted to fostering innovative instructional methods, promoting research and scholarship, and locating new service opportunities for recent Ph.D.s in the mathematical sciences.

This fall, Vigliotta will be teaching Intermediate Algebra, College Math & Statistics and Calculus I.

​We wish the best of luck to all of our new faculty and look forward to a great Fall 2019 semester!

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Dwight Higgin, Robin Kucharczyk, Brad Thompson, Sarah Vigliotta, and Lawrence Livingston join the AAP for fall 2019.

Dwight Higgin, Robin Kucharczyk, Brad Thompson, Sarah Vigliotta, and Lawrence Livingston join the AAP for fall 2019.

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