Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Air Force Academy Spirit

Faculty honors departing, new professors

By Capt. Susan Bettison

Department of Mathematical Sciences


Maj. Greg Bennett

Dean of Faculty Staff


Academy senior leadership honored the Academy’s newest professors and bid farewell to 23 departing distinguished visiting faculty, visiting scholars and endowed chairs at a reception co-hosted by Dean of the Faculty Brig. Gen. Dana Born and the Academy Research and Development Institute at the dean’s Heritage House May 5.

Dr. Craig Foster, Dr. Steven Samuels and Lt. Col. Thomas McGuire joined 65 other scholar-educators in the Dean of Faculty mission element.

“The evening celebrated tremendous accomplishments and fruitful collaborations,” General Born said. “It was also bittersweet as we said goodbye to wonderful visitors who provided additional wisdom and experience to develop cadets and faculty alike. We genuinely thank this group for their tremendous positive impact.”

The visiting faculty program was cited by the Higher Learning Commission in the Academy’s 2009 accreditation as a critical part of its overall academic program. The HLC lauded the educational value derived from the reciprocal sharing of information between the visiting and permanent faculty members.

Dr. Samuels has been a part of the Academy faculty for 17 years and is a professor with the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership. He earned an undergraduate degree in psychology and philosophy from Brandeis University and a doctorate in psychology from Stanford University. Dr. Samuels’ most recent work addresses privilege and inclusion. His article, “Incorporating the concept of privilege into policy and practice: Guidance for leaders who strive to create sustainable change,” recently appeared as a chapter in the Air University Press publication,  Attitudes Aren’t Free: Thinking Deeply About Diversity in the U.S. Armed Forces. Dr. Samuels also does work in the leadership arena, most recently in  Military Psychology  with Dr. Foster and Lt. Col. Doug Lindsay, titled “Freefall, self-efficacy, and leading in dangerous contexts.”

Dr. Foster has been at the Academy for 11 years and works in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of North Carolina. In previous research, he showed that individuals seek power to rectify perceived injustices, thus countering a commonly held assumption that power-seeking is a negative characteristic. He also collaborated with Dr. Samuels on a paper examining how the Academy’s freefall program contributes to cadets’ leadership and self-confidence. He has also published two papers and an encyclopedia entry on research demonstrating that secret romantic relationships struggle more than open romantic relationships.

Colonel McGuire is currently the head of the Department of English and Fine Arts and has been stationed here twice for a total of 10 years. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of San Francisco, a master’s degree in history from Florida State University and a master’s in English from California State University. He earned his doctorate from the University of Michigan.

“I’ve felt a real sense of accomplishment with all my military and academic promotions, but this one is especially sweet,” Colonel McGuire said. “It’s been tough at times balancing the two halves of the Airman-scholar equation. I’m grateful to my bosses and the Air Force Academy in general for helping me to carve out enough space in my career to do the scholarship I’ve done. Without my leadership’s support of my grants and research and time away from military-specific duties, I wouldn’t have been able to establish a significant publication and research record.”

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