Bethany College Announces New Department Chairs

BETHANY, W.Va. – Dr. Darin Fields, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, announced the appointment of two new department chairs at Bethany College. Dr. William T. Hicks will serve as chair of the Department of Biology, and Dr. Steven A. Carelli will serve as chair of the Department of History and Political Science.

After teaching as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Montana Tech of the University of Montana, Hicks joined the Bethany College faculty in 2003. He serves as Associate Professor of Biology.

“I am very pleased that we have appointed Bill to be chair of Biology,” Fields stated. “Having worked closely this last year with Bill in his role as chair of the Faculty Welfare Committee, I think we have a very good rapport. I look forward to his leadership. I also want to extend my thanks to Dr. Jay Buckelew for his years of excellent service to Bethany as chair.”

Hicks earned a B.S. in biology from Bloomsburg University, his M.S. in botany from Miami University and a Ph.D. in Forest Science from Oregon State University.

He teaches courses on a wide variety of topics, including botany, horticulture, ecology, invertebrate zoology, plant anatomy and physiology.

In addition to his active teaching schedule, he has maintained a prolific research and publishing agenda. His interests include ecosystem ecology, nitrogen and carbon cycling, nitrogen fixation, woody debris and roots, and invasive species. Hicks’ work has been featured in journals such as Forest Ecology and Management, Plant Soil, Basic and Applied Ecology and Ecoscience.

Hicks was appointed Director of the Environmental Science Program at Bethany and was recently honored by the Appalachian College Association with the John B. Stephenson Faculty Fellowship.

Carelli joined the Bethany faculty in 2007 and serves as Assistant Professor of History.

“I am delighted that Dr. Carelli has agreed to serve as chair of the Department of History and Political Science,” Fields said. “His previous administrative experience will serve him well. I look forward to seeing what new ideas emerge under his leadership, and I am grateful to Dr. Maffet for his excellent service to Bethany as chair for so many years.”

Carelli earned his B.S. in history and government from the West Virginia Institute of Technology and his M.A. and Ph.D. in historical studies from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. 

In addition to serving as an Assistant Professor for Southern Illinois University Carbondale in Niigata, Japan, he worked as Director there and was responsible for the overall administration of the Japan campus. His duties included budget management; supervision of all academic programs; and recruitment, hiring and supervision of faculty and administrative staff.  

Carelli’s teaching responsibilities have included courses in U.S. history to 1865, U.S. in the Age of Big Business, modern Japan, and U.S. in the Era of the World Wars, as well as the history of western civilization and western art. His research interests include twentieth-century America, American diplomatic history, modern Europe and international relations.

Carelli is also actively involved with a variety of campus committees and groups, such as Bethany’s Japan Outreach. He serves as advisor for the College’s History Club and for Phi Alpha Theta.

Bethany is a small college of national distinction located on a historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, it is the oldest college in the state.