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22 new, tenure-track faculty join APSU

A total of 22 new tenure-track faculty members have become part of the Austin Peay State University community.

College of Arts and Letters

New faculty members are Osvaldo Di Paolo, Dr. Korre D. Foster, Dr. Gregory Hammond, Dr. Christina Hicks-Goldston, Dr. James L. Parker, John Philip Schnettler, Dr. Jason Verber and Dr. Yunying Zhang.

A total of 22 new tenure-track faculty members have become part of the Austin Peay State University community.

College of Arts and Letters

New faculty members are Osvaldo Di Paolo, Dr. Korre D. Foster, Dr. Gregory Hammond, Dr. Christina Hicks-Goldston, Dr. James L. Parker, John Philip Schnettler, Dr. Jason Verber and Dr. Yunying Zhang.

An alumnus of APSU, Osvaldo Di Paolo returns to his alma mater as an instructor in the department of languages and literature. He is a doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, where he was a graduate teaching assistant for the Latin American Studies program. Prior to beginning Ph.D. work, he taught locally at Kenwood High School and Clarksville High School. In 2009, he received two awards at UK – the Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award and the Department of Hispanic Studies Teaching Award. He also was a finalist for the university’s Provost Outstanding Teaching Award.

After a year of temporary service as APSU’s director of choral activities, Dr. Korre D. Foster is now an assistant professor of music. During the 2009-10 academic year, he conducted three ensembles – University Choir, Chamber Singers and Governors Singers – and organized the APSU Choir Fest. He has a Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting from the University of Miami in Florida, a Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of Arizona in Tucson and a Bachelor of Music in vocal music education and Bachelor of Arts in French education from Millikin University in Decatur, Ill.    

Dr. Gregory Hammond, new assistant professor of history, comes to APSU from Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., where he was a visiting assistant professor for three years. He also taught at Arizona State University, Oberlin College, the University of Vermont and the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in Latin American history. Currently, he has a manuscript, titled “Women Can Vote Now: The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Argentina, 1900-1955,” under contract. Hammond is a member of the Latin American Studies Association and the American Historical Association. He has both Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in history from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. from Williams College in two academic fields, history and Spanish.   

Dr. Christina Hicks-Goldston has taught in the APSU Department of Communication since 2007, but she has now joined as a tenure-track assistant professor. Before coming to APSU, she was an assistant professor in the communication division at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. She also has been a visiting faculty member at the University of North Texas and was an instructor at Middle Tennessee State University. A few of her research areas are mass communication history, race and gender in American culture, and international and intercultural communication. She has a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, M.A. in speech communication from Emerson College in Boston, Mass., and B.S. in radio-television-film from Texas Christian University at Fort Worth.   

For the last 17 years, Dr. James L. Parker, assistant professor of communication, has worked as the senior Web project strategist and consultant at Vanderbilt University, where he managed the university’s main website and assisted faculty and staff in the development of their websites. While working full time at Vandy, Parker also was an adjunct faculty member teaching speech communication at Volunteer State Community College and APSU. He also has taught previously at Kansas State University in Manhattan and Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, and he was an administrator in the division of finance and administration at the Tennessee Department of Education during the early 1990s. From 1972-76, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard. Parker earned both his Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in communication from Florida State University, and he received his B.A. in communication from Michigan State University.

John Philip Schnettler, the new director of the Governors Own Marching Band and assistant professor of music, received both his Master of Music in conducting and Master of Arts in music education from the University of South Florida and Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is currently pursuing a D.M.A. in music education with a minor in conducting from the University of Georgia. He has been involved with the Drum and Bugle Corps and remains an active performer, adjudicator, guest conductor and band clinician. He was the founder, director and lead trumpet for the Tampa Bay Lightning’s “Frozen Funk,” the first professional pep band for the National Hockey League.

With a research focus on German history, Dr. Jason Verber comes to APSU as assistant professor of history. He most recently was a graduate instructor at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where he recently completed a dissertation, titled “The Conundrum of Colonialism in Postwar Germany,” as part of requirements for a doctoral degree in history. Verber has written and presented several papers on German history, with specific topics ranging from the Berlin Wall to memories of colonialism in West Germany. He also has a master’s degree in history from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s in history and German from the University of Wisconsin in Stevens Point.   

Dr. Yunying Zhang has joined APSU as assistant professor of communication. His research interests include intercultural and international communication, media effects and campaign effects, and the Internet and its impact. He most recently taught as a graduate assistant in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, where he earned his Ph.D. and Master of Arts, both in communication. He received a Bachelor of Arts in English and literature from Xi’an Foreign Languages University in China.


College of Behavioral and Health Sciences

 New faculty members are Linda Darnell, Dr. Jonniann Butterfield, Kristen Hershey, Dr. Tatsushi Hirono, Dr. Timothy John Leszczak and Dr. Marsha Lyle-Gonga.

An alumna of APSU, Linda Darnell, assistant professor of nursing, has taught in the APSU School of Nursing since 2005, first as an adjunct faculty member and later on a full-time basis. Prior to joining APSU’s nursing faculty, Darnell worked as a public health nurse with the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability. At various times from 1988-2005, she was a high school health occupations instructor, practical nursing instructor and school health nurse in the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System. In addition, from 1988-1990, she was a surgical nurse at the former Clarksville Memorial Hospital (now Gateway Medical Center). She earned both her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing from APSU. Darnell also received an occupational education certification from Middle Tennessee State University.  

Dr. Jonniann Butterfield is assistant professor of sociology, coming to APSU from Florida State University in Tallahassee where she twice was nominated for the institution’s Outstanding Teaching Award. She also previously taught at Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College. She is a member of the American Sociological Association, Society for the Study of Social Problems, Sociologists for Women in Society and the Southern Sociological Society. Butterfield has both her doctoral and master’s degrees in sociology from Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Kristen Hershey joins APSU as assistant professor of nursing, having taught during the 2009-10 academic year at Hopkinsville (Ky.) Community College. Since 2000, she has held several nursing positions. From 2006-09, she was a registered nurse in emergency and pediatrics at Gateway Medical Center in Clarksville. Hershey also was a school nurse supervisor for the Clarksville Montgomery County School System, and prior to that, was a WIC overseas wellness counselor in Dexheim, Germany. In April, she received a Master of Science in Nursing degree at Tennessee State University. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. and an Associate Degree in Nursing from Fayetteville (N.C.) Technical Community College.

Dr. Tatsushi Hirono is assistant professor of social work. Most recently, he taught at State University of New York at Stony Brook and had worked at SUNY in the child care services and in the library. In May, he earned a Ph.D. in social welfare at SUNY, where he also received several certificates in the field. Hirono has a Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., a Master of Arts in international relations, with a major in Asian studies to include Japanese, Chinese and Korean studies from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Takasaki City University in Gunma, Japan. His native language is Japanese, but he also speaks fluently in English and Korean. He also has a black belt in karate, having practiced the martial arts form for more than 20 years.

With research interests in physical performance in aging adults, Dr. Timothy John Leszczak joins APSU as an assistant professor of health and human performance. He previously taught at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He is a personal fitness trainer instructor through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and holds memberships in the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Physiological Society and the Gerontological Society of America. In May, Leszczak earned a doctoral degree, along with two certificates – one in gerontology and the other in educational statistics and research methods – from the University of Arkansas, where he also received his master’s degree in exercise science. His bachelor’s degree in accounting is from Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J.

For the last eight years, Dr. Marsha Lyle-Gonga has been the director of APSU’s High School Upward Bound (HSUB) federally funded program. She now joins the faculty ranks as an assistant professor of political science. Prior to serving as HSUB’s administrator, she was an academic counselor in Student Support Services on campus. In addition to working full time, Lyle-Gonga was an adjunct faculty member in the APSU political science department. Her research interests include participation of women in politics, participation and voter registration of minority groups in the American political process and issues that focus on African and West Indian experiences in artistic, literary, historical and sociopolitical environments. She earned a doctorate in public policy and administration from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minn., master’s in urban administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and bachelor’s in political science from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. 

Also in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, the APSU Department of Military Science and Leadership has two new faculty members in the Governors Guard Battalion, Capt. Amy Buck and Capt. Robert Hancock. They are assigned to APSU by the U.S. Army and as such are not on a tenure track.

Capt. Amy Buck, instructor of military science, was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 2003 from the University of Kentucky, where she majored in business administration, and branched aviation. After commissioning, she was assigned to attend flight school at Fort Rucker, Ala. Her first duty assignment was at Fort Hood, Texas. In November 2005 she deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon redeployment, she became the Battalion S-1, a position she held for almost a year before returning to Fort Rucker to attend the Aviation Captains Career Course (AVCCC). After completing AVCCC, she was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Ky. She deployed in March 2008 to Bagram, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While deployed, she returned to an aviation unit to work as a battle captain. Buck was then assigned to the 101st Aviation Brigade and then left active duty service before coming to APSU.

Capt. Robert Hancock is an assistant professor of military science and enrollment eligibility officer. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 2004 and branched field artillery. Before joining the Tennessee Army National Guard, he was a PGA member in the Carolina’s Section for six years, managing and instructing all golf operations at Dataw Island Club. He has served in a variety of Tennessee Army National Guard leadership positions. His first position in 2005 was the officer in charge of force protection on a military transition team in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After moving to Nashville in 2006, the adjutant general of Tennessee hired him full time as his aide-de-camp for two years. He then volunteered for a second operational tour for an agribusiness development team in 2009 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He has a bachelor’s degree in management from Towson University in Maryland and a master’s from Webster University in Millington, Tenn.


College of Education

The new faculty member is Tammy V. Lipsey.

Tammy V. Lipsey joins APSU as an assistant professor in the department of teaching and learning, having most recently taught at Tennessee State University’s College of Education. Prior to teaching in the college classroom, Lipsey taught and supervised extensively in the public schools. From 1980-2000, she was a classroom teacher, elementary program consultant, district reading coach and extended learning supervisor in the Henderson County (Ky.) Schools. She then served in the Williamson County Schools until 2006 as a gifted consultant, district curriculum consultant and teacher. She earned a master’s degree in elementary education from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green and a bachelor’s degree in the field from the University of Kentucky. In addition, Lipsey received Reading Recovery Certification from Purdue University and Special Teacher of Reading Certification from the Tennessee Department of Education.                            


College of Science and Mathematics

New faculty members are Phillip Hall, Dr. Chester T. Little, Jane Mehock-Semler, John Angus Nicholson Jr., Dr. G. Robert Shelton, Ashley N. Stonecipher and Tyler Turner.

An engineer with 10 years of experience in the dry mill ethanol industry, Phillip Hall has joined APSU as an assistant professor of chemistry. He is founder and director of The Harvest Network, a nonprofit organization in Clarksville formed in 2008 to help low-income households grow their own food. From 2005-08, Hall was the process engineer for Commonwealth Agri-Energy, a dry mill ethanol plant in Hopkinsville, Ky. He earned dual bachelor’s degrees in food process engineering and in biochemistry and a master’s in agricultural engineering, both from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

The new director of APSU’s chemical engineering technology degree program, Dr. Chester T. Little also is an associate professor of chemistry, most recently the last four years as the operations integrity consultant for BP Alternative Energy in Houston, Texas and Long Beach, Calif. He has been with BP and its acquired Amoco operation since 1979, serving in various leadership and engineering positions. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Project Management Institute. He has a doctorate in chemical engineering and a master’s in physical science from the University of Houston in Texas and dual bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville.  

Jane R. Mehock-Semler, assistant professor of allied health science, has taught in APSU’s medical technology program since 2005. Prior to APSU, she was an instructor and microbiologist at the Murray State University Breathitt Veterinary Diagnostic Center in Hopkinsville, Ky. Mehock-Semler holds memberships in the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, American Society for Clinical Pathology, the Association of Veterinary Microbiologists and Phi Kappa Phi. Her academic credentials include a Master of Science in microbiology from the University of Georgia in Athens and a Bachelor of Science in clinical laboratory science from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. She also received a Visiting Scientist Fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga., from 1997-98. She holds licensure as a medical technologist from the American Society for Clinical Pathology and the state of Tennessee Medical Laboratory Board.

Dr. John Angus Nicholson Jr. is an assistant professor of computer science and information technology, coming to APSU from Utah State University in Logan. His research interests include artificial intelligence, assistive technologies, geographic information systems and information extraction. He has authored numerous publications and most recently worked as an independent consultant helping multiple clients to develop Web applications. Last spring, he earned a Ph.D. in computer science from Utah State University. Nicholson received a master’s degree in computer science from DePaul University in Chicago and bachelor’s in the same major from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.  

Dr. G. Robert Shelton, assistant professor of chemistry, comes to APSU from the University of North Texas, where he taught undergraduate chemistry courses and laboratories as an adjunct assistant professor. At the same time, he also was an adjunct associate professor at Texas Woman’s University. Shelton has a Doctor of Philosophy in physical organic chemistry from the University of Florida. Both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in chemistry are from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.

Ashley N. Stonecipher is a new instructor of mathematics. She recently earned a Master of Science in applied mathematics from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, where she was a graduate assistant teaching a math course for elementary teachers with a focus on geometry. She also has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from Oakland City University in Indiana.

Previously a temporary mathematics instructor at APSU, Tyler L. Turner now joins the tenure-track ranks. Since Fall 2008, he has taught courses in College Algebra, Mathematical Thought and Practice and Elements of Statistics. Prior to teaching at APSU, he held adjunct faculty positions at Hopkinsville (Ky.) Community College and Southwest Tennessee Community College. Turner earned Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees, both in mathematical sciences, from the University of Memphis.

New one-year, temporary faculty members are Dr. Isa O. Benitez, assistant professor of chemistry; Dr. Carolyn Davis, assistant professor of psychology; Dr. Yi-Len Cheng, assistant professor of mathematics; Donna Dey, instructor of health and human performance; Brett Digman, assistant professor of chemistry; Dr. Neal Fentress, assistant professor of mathematics; Dr. Jennifer Fillingim, assistant professor of mathematics; Bessie Grimaldi, instructor of social work; Rebecca Hall, assistant professor of art; Shondell Hickson, assistant professor of nursing; Johnny Jones, assistant professor of African-American studies; Dr. Corinne Mabry, assistant professor of psychology; Pamela Magrans, instructor of languages and literature; Sheryl Morris, instructor of communication; William Parr, instructor of mathematics; Dr. Leah Simon, assistant professor of physics; Shirley Walrond, instructor of teaching and learning; and Barry Williams, instructor of communication. -- Melony Shemberger