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Assumption University Faculty

Associate Professor

Dr. John Cappucci, Associate Professor and Graduate Chair,

Dr. John Cappucci is the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Assumption University and the Stephen Jarislowsky Chair in Religion and Conflict. In this role, John focused on academic revitalization, partnerships, community engagement, and targeted fundraising. These efforts have increased Assumption University’s profile in the past years. John’s dedication was recognized by his fellow principals and presidents leading to his selection as Chair of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities in Canada (ACCUC) in 2022. Prior to his selection as Chair, John served as Vice-Chair from 2020 to 2022. John holds a Ph.D. from Carleton University; a Master of Arts from Queen’s University in Kingston; and an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Windsor. John also has an active research agenda with refereed publications in the Bulletin for the Study of Religion, Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism, Contemporary JewryCanadian Jewish StudiesFieldwork in ReligionJournal of Muslim Minority Affairs, and the Journal of Shi’a Islamic Studies. His research has also been discussed by local and regional media. In addition to his research record, John also have taught courses from across the social sciences resulting in top teaching scores. He has also served on graduate committees mentoring a future generation of academics.

Courses Teaching/Supervising: Topics in Catholic Studies (Fall 2023) and Directed Readings in Catholic Studies (Fall 2023/Winter 2024)


Assistant Professors

Dr. Gavin Wiens, Assistant Professor,

Dr. Gavin Wiens is a historian of modern Germany and war and society. His research interests include the German army and politics from the mid-19th Century to the end of the First World War, European monarchs and their militaries since the 18th Century, and the role of the regular German army in the Holocaust. His first monograph, The Imperial German Army between Kaiser and King: Monarchy, Nation-Building, and War, 1866-1918, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2023. He currently lectures at the University of Toronto, where he has taught courses on modern European and German history and the history of the Holocaust.

Course Teaching: The Holocaust (Winter 2024)


Dr. Michael VanZandt Collins, Assistant Professor,

Michael VanZandt Collins joins Assumption University as an Assistant Professor, teaching “Catholicism & Dialogue” in the Winter semester. In 2022, he received his doctorate from Boston College in Comparative Theology. In 2013, he received his Master’s degree from Harvard University’s Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department in Histories and Cultures of Muslim Societies. His research is committed to the challenge of deep theological learning across religious boundaries. Currently, he is revising for publication his doctoral dissertation, “Climate Change, Virtue, and Moral Agency: An Essay in Muslim-Christian Comparative Theological Ethics.” He is the proud husband of Lipika Samal.

Course Teaching: Catholicism & Dialogue (Winter 2024)