2013 • 2 October 2013 • On–Campus
This fall, two new Sessional Faculty members began teaching at St. Vladimir's: Lecturer in Liturgical Music Mr. Rassem El Massih, and Lecturer in Church History Mr. Ian Jones. Additionally, Mrs. Nina Matusiak began her new responsibilities as Assistant to the Dean.
Born in Moscow, Russia, Mrs Matusiak moved to Poland with her family when she was eleven years old. Wife of Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak, SVOTS director of Admissions and Alumni Relations, Nina holds a Masters Degree in International Relations with a concentration on International Space Law. Before coming to work at the Seminary, she was active with the Fellowship of Orthodox Youth in Poland, as well as with the humanitarian organization World Relief. Most recently, she was employed by Nokia Corporation, serving as an international geo-research analyst. Nina and Protodeacon Joseph are parents of two boys, eight–year–old Alexander and six–year–old Daniel.
Another international figure, Mr. Rassem El Massih  was born and raised in Anfeh, Lebanon, where he studied Byzantine Chant under the tutelage of the renowned teacher Fr. Nicholas Malek. After immigrating to the United States, Rassem enrolled in Hellenic College in Brookline, MA, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies. He continued his studies at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, from which he will receive a Master of Divinity degree in December of this year.
During his time at Hellenic College and Holy Cross, Rassem continued to study Byzantine Chant while participating in the St. Romanos the Melodist Choir, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Choir, the Choir of St. Mark, and the group "Duniya." Mr. El Massih also directed a CD project in 2009 entitled "The Voice of the Lord: Selected Hymns from the Feast of Theophany." In the summer of 2013, he moved to New York and began serving as an assistant and chanter for His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Archdiocese.
One of St. Vladimir's own, Ian Jones (M.A. '09)  is a Ph.D. candidate in Theology at Fordham University, and is writing his dissertation on Greek and Latin patristic understandings of animals and human dominion over them. Prior to pursuing theological studies, Mr. Jones practiced as an attorney in his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi, and served as a law clerk in federal district court in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Under the direction of his Fordham doctoral advisor Dr. George Demacopoulos, Mr. Jones is seeking to articulate a patristic-based ethical vision for the treatment of animals today. While at Fordham, Mr. Jones has taught several semesters of "Faith and Critical Reason" to undergraduate students. This academic year, he will teach courses at St. Vladimir's on "The History and Theology of the Church from Origins to the Medieval Period," and "Christian Ethics and Ecology."