Photo of students ascending steps to Old Main
September 5, 2017

Saint Martin's announces the new faculty members for the College of Arts and Sciences. 

LACEY, Wash. — Saint Martin’s University’s College of Arts and Sciences will add to its faculty Erin Jonasson, Ph.D., as an assistant professor of chemistry, Andrea Kunder, Ph.D., as an assistant professor of physics, Lindsay Meyer, Ph.D., as an assistant professor of psychology, and Lori Sirs, DSW, LICSW, as an assistant professor of social work.

Jeff Crane, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, spoke about the new faculty members. “The College of Arts and Sciences is delighted to announce the arrival of Dr. Erin Jonasson (Chemistry), Dr. Andrea Kunder (Physics), Dr. Lindsay Meyer (Psychology), and Dr. Lori Sirs (Social Work),” he said. “They bring extensive research, teaching experience, and field work experience to the college and university. Dr. Jonasson has received awards for teaching and has done important work in increasing retention of underrepresented minority students in STEM fields. Dr. Kunder is an internationally known astrophysicist with extensive publishing and research experience. Dr. Meyer has been working for the Veterans Administration, focusing on veterans with parenting and family issues. That work and her research on illness attribution in eating pathology will benefit students and the community. Dr. Sirs brings extensive field work experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with learning disabilities and other barriers to achievement. The College of Arts and Sciences is fortunate to have these faculty and we look forward to them joining us.”

Jonasson obtained her Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She most recently served as a visiting assistant teaching professor at the University of Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana, and previously was a postdoctoral fellow and visiting research scholar at the same institution. Jonasson received a master’s degree in molecular and cell biology from Brandeis University as well, and earned two bachelor’s degrees, one in biochemistry with a concentration in molecular biology, and one in biological sciences with a concentration in molecular and cellular biology, from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. Her research interests include exploring how the interaction between individuals—whether proteins or organisms—gives rise to dynamic structures and complex behaviors.

Kunder earned her Ph.D. in physics and astronomy from Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire. Kunder most recently served as an independent postdoctoral fellow at the Leibniz Institut für Astrophysik, in Potsdam, Germany. She has also worked as a postdoctoral research assistant at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, in La Serena, Chile. She received her bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and German from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. Kunder’s research interests include the formation and evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy, in particular using RR Lyrae stars, globular clusters, and resolved stellar populations to piece together the history of our galaxy.

Meyer obtained her Ph.D. in clinical psychology, with an emphasis on child/family clinical psychology and neuropsychology, from the University of Montana, in Missoula, Montana. Meyer most recently served as a postdoctoral interprofessional fellow at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. She also served as a doctoral intern at the University Neuropsychiatric Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah. She earned her master’s degree in clinical psychology and her bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a concentration in research, from the University of Montana. Meyer’s research interests include assessing and advancing the psychology of eating pathology, child trauma exposure, and the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices and assessments.

Sirs earned her DSW in social work, with a focus on clinical practice and leadership, from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is a licensed independent clinical social worker and, most recently, was the owner and counselor at Sound Connections Counseling and Consulting, LLC, in Tacoma. She also worked as lead counselor at Lee Pesky Learning Center, in Boise, Idaho, and as a field instructor at Boise State University School of Social Work, in Boise, Idaho. Sirs earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in social work from Boise State University. Her research interests include the use of poi spinning as a form of dance/movement therapy, with a particular focus on autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, and trauma.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washing­ton. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedic­tine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 340 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
For additional information:
Jeff Crane, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Tiffany McDuffy
Executive Assistant to the Dean
College of Arts and Sciences
Kevin Hyde
Media Relations Manager