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33 new, tenure-track faculty join APSU

A total of 33 new tenure-track faculty members have become part of the Austin Peay State University community.

College of Arts and Letters
New faculty members are Dr. Jackie R. Booker, Dr. Emily Hanna Crane, Warren Greene, Dr. Sharon Laor-Sirak, Dr. Harry Clark Maddux, Stacie Wilson Mumpower, Dr. Kristofer Ray, Dr. Daniel P. Shea, Lynn Sims, Cameron M. Sutt, Kevin P. S. Tanner Jr., Dr. Antonio S. Thompson and Dr. Jeanette Zyko.

With 22 years of teaching experience, Dr. Jackie R. Booker comes to APSU as assistant professor of history. She taught history the last seven years at Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C. Her research interests are slavery and freedom in the Caribbean, South Carolina African-American history and colonial Mexican history in the social context. She is the author of “Veracruz Merchants, 1770-1829: A Mercantile Elite in Late Bourbon and Early Independent Mexico,” published in 1993 by Westview Press. She also has authored several journal articles and has two works in the research stages. Booker earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Latin American and Caribbean history from the University of California-Irvine. Both her Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts in U.S. history are from North Carolina Central University.

Dr. Emily Hanna Crane is assistant professor and coordinator of orchestral strings. She taught applied violin and music appreciation courses at the University of Texas-Pan American. A registered Suzuki violin teacher, Crane has taught violin to students of all ages and levels. She has extensive orchestra experience, has played on various CD recordings and has appeared as a guest artist and recitalist across the U.S. and Taiwan. She earned both the Doctor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Florida State University and the Bachelor of Music from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In addition to being assistant professor of art, Warren Greene is APSU's new art gallery director. He comes to APSU from his alma mater, Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, where he was art gallery director and assistant professor of art. His work has appeared in several solo exhibitions, including two at APSU in 1998 and 1999. Greene has presented a number of lectures throughout Tennessee, and from 1997-99, served as an adjunct faculty member in the APSU Department of Art. He earned a Master of Fine Arts from the Memphis College of Art and a Bachelor of Arts from Freed-Hardeman. He also completed a summer study in Florence, Italy, in 1991 and art history classes at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. He is represented by Perry Nicole Fine Art in Memphis.

Sharon Laor-Sirak, assistant professor of art, specializes in Islamic art. Working on a doctorate in Islamic art from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, she has taught Islamic art courses on the undergraduate level since 1996. In April, she presented “The Mimetic Process in Medieval Muslim Architecture: A Case Study of a Star-Vault in Anatolian Seljuk Building” at the 2008 Society of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is fluent in five languages: English, Hebrew, rudiments of Turkish, Arabic and Italian. She holds memberships in the College Art Association and the Society of Architectural Historians. She earned both her master's and bachelor's degrees from Tel Aviv University.

Before joining APSU as an assistant professor of languages and literature, Dr. Harry Clark Maddux was assistant professor and coordinator of English graduate studies at Tennessee State University in Nashville. He has authored a number of journal articles, including his most recent, titled “God's Responsibility: Narrative Choice and Providential History in Mather's ‘Biblia Americana' Commentary on Ezra,” published in 2007 in Early American Literature. Maddux also has presented at several conferences. He is a member of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the Society of Early Americanists and Phi Kappa Phi. He has a Ph.D. in American studies and a M.A. in English, both from Purdue University, and a B.A. in English from Columbus (Ga.) College.

Stacie Wilson Mumpower is an instructor in the APSU Department of Communication. She previously was an adjunct faculty online instructor at APSU, in which she helped to improve the Fundamentals of Public Speaking course online. She is proficient in all versions of the Blackboard Course Management System, having earned Blackboard Certification in April 2007. Mumpower also is trained in the Desire to Learn (D2L) Course Management System. She has taught a number of seminars on myriad topics — resume writing, business communication, leadership development, team building and professional etiquette. Her teaching interests include fundamentals of public speaking, business and professional communication, educational technology and technical writing. She earned both her master's and bachelor's degrees in communication from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Dr. Kristofer Ray joins APSU as an assistant professor of history. He most recently was assistant professor of early American history at Ashland (Ohio) University. Ray currently is working on a political biography of Thomas Jefferson in retirement from 1809-26. He had a monograph, titled “Middle Tennessee, 1775-1825: Progress and Popular Democracy on the Southwestern Frontier,” published in September 2007 by the University of Tennessee Press. Since 1999, Ray has received six fellowships for research. He is a member of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture and the McNeil Center for Early American Studies. His doctorate in history is from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and both his master's and bachelor's degrees in history are from Baylor University in Texas.

Dr. Daniel P. Shea is an assistant professor of languages and literature, joining APSU from the University of Houston-Downtown where he was assistant professor of English. He has presented at several conferences and chaired at a number of panel discussions. Currently, Shea is being considered as a presenter at two venues — the Annual Conference of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association at Florida International University and the Annual Conference of the Northeast Victorian Studies Association at the University of Toronto. He has a Ph.D. in English language and literature from the University of Oregon, a Master of Arts in cultural studies and English literature from Kansas State University and a B.S. in English from Frostburg State University. He also earned a graduate certificate in women's studies from Kansas State University.

Dr. Lynn Sims, assistant professor of languages and literature, comes to APSU from Arizona State University, where she taught undergraduate courses in modern grammar and first-year composition. Sims is proficient in German, Old English and Middle English languages. She holds memberships in the Linguistic Society of America and the Society for Germanic Linguistics. With one article published and two works in progress, Sims' research interests include language change in Old, Middle and early Modern English, functional and semilexical categories and grammaticalization theory. Her doctorate in linguistics and master's and bachelor's degrees in English are all from Arizona State University.

Having most recently taught medieval history courses in Budapest, Hungary, Dr. Cameron Sutt comes to APSU as an assistant professor of history. He lectured at Central European University in Budapest. He also previously taught English at Peter Pazmany Catholic University in Piliscsaba, Hungary. He is fluent in speaking Hungarian and demonstrates competence in French, Latin, Greek, Italian, German and Spanish. He earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of Cambridge in England, M.A. in history from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, M.A. in teaching English as a second language from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg and B.S. in aviation technology, also from Central Missouri.

Currently pursuing a doctorate with concentrations in American history, American studies and the British Empire at Binghamton (N.Y.) University, Kevin P.S. Tanner Jr. joins APSU as a history instructor. He is working on his dissertation, titled “A Foe of Sad Oppression's Rod: The Story of Gerrit Smith.” Tanner most recently taught history undergraduate courses at Murray (Ky.) State University and West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah. He also has taught at Binghamton University. He is a member of both the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. He has a master's in American history from Binghamton, a master's in mass communication from Murray State University and a bachelor's in American history and political science from the University of Rochester (N.Y.).

Before coming to APSU, Dr. Antonio S. Thompson, assistant professor of history, was an adjunct instructor at Midway College, teaching various history and government courses. He is a member of Phi Alpha Theta history honor society, Sigma Tau Delta English honor society and the History Graduate Student Association. He received his Ph. D. in history from the University of Kentucky, Master of Arts in history from Western Kentucky University, Bachelor of Arts in history from APSU and an Associate of Science in core curriculum from Hopkinsville (Ky.) Community College.

Dr. Jeanette Zyko, assistant professor of double reeds, comes to APSU from New York City, where she was both an active teacher and performer. She has played with Tactus Contemporary Ensemble, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Zyko taught at Long Island Conservatory and apprenticed as a teaching artist with the New York Philharmonic. Before relocating to New York City, she taught oboe at the University of Costa Rica, where she also edited and supervised the publication of music by Costa Rican composers. Zyko received her training at the Hartt School of Music and Butler University, and her private teachers have included Humbert Lucarelli, Malcolm Smith, Georg Meerwein and Stephen Taylor. In May 2006, she was the first oboist to receive the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Manhattan School of Music.

College of Science and Mathematics
New faculty members are Dr. Wei Ding, Christopher M. Gentry, Meagan Mann, Christine Mathenge and Dr. Justin R. Oelgoetz.

With experience in teaching myriad computer courses and 10 years of industrial information technology experience, Dr. Wei Ding joins APSU as an assistant professor of computer science. In November, his book, titled “Synergy of Peer-to-Peer Networks and Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks: Feasibility, Significance, and Potentials,” will be published by Nova Science Publisher Inc. He also has authored several book chapters and journal papers. A certified engineer in China, Ding helped to secure a patent in China for Electronic Ear, a cooperative project with Hefei Cement Research and Design Institute in Hefei, China. Ding's graduate work includes a Ph.D. in computer science from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, and a M.S. in computer science and technology from the University of Science and Technology of China. His undergraduate degree in computer and applications was awarded from Northeastern University in China.

Christopher M. Gentry, an instructor of geography, anticipates completing his Ph.D. in geography in August from Indiana State University, Terre Haute, where he has taught geography courses since 2001. His dissertation is titled “Analysis of the Relationship Between Hurricanes and Forest Structure in Southeast Texas, USA.” Currently working on two journal articles, Gentry has presented at numerous professional meetings and conferences. In 2006, he was contracted by the Mental Health Association of Colorado to develop emergency services resource and utilization maps for Denver Metro Community Triage and Crisis Intervention Center. He also developed state soil maps in 2005 for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Gentry earned a M.A. in geography from Indiana State University and a B.A. in geography from Indiana University Southeast in New Albany.

Meagan K. Mann joins APSU as an assistant professor of chemistry. She received her doctorate in chemistry in 2008 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Also this year, she has co-authored two scholarly works to be submitted for publication. Mann's teaching interests include general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, toxicology and chemical biology. Her research interests are chemical biology, toxicology, organic synthesis, drug discovery, biochemistry, molecular biology and endocrine disruptors. Mann holds memberships in the American Chemical Society, Council on Undergraduate Research, Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, The Endocrine Society and Beta Beta Beta Biological Honors Society. She has two bachelor's degrees, in biology and chemistry, from Northern Kentucky University.

Christine Mathenge, assistant professor of geography, comes to APSU from Indiana University in Bloomington, where she taught world regional geography, international studies and other related courses. Her major research interests are land tenure issues, food security issues in Africa, natural resource management and development issues in less developed countries and landscape studies. Mathenge was a research fellow for the African Center for Technology Studies, focusing on natural resource management issues in East Africa. She is a member of both the Association of American Geographers and the African Studies Association. She has a master's degree in human ecology from Vrije Universiteit Brussel and a bachelor's in economic was awarded from Moi University, Eldoret.

Dr. Justin R. Oelgoetz joins APSU as an assistant professor of physics. Since 2006, he has been a postdoctoral research associate at the Los Alamos (N.M.) National Laboratory, investigating the use of high quality R-Matrix atomic data in high density plasma models. His most recent teaching experience was as a mentor at the Los Alamos Summer School, where he prepared and presented an introduction to the field of atomic kinetics modeling. In 2007, Oelgoetz completed two postdoctoral courses, Radiation Hydrodynamics and Atomistic and Particle Modeling, both at the Los Alamos National Lab. He has authored several publications and technical reports and presented at numerous conferences. He has a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Ohio State University and a B.S. in chemistry from Florida State University.

College of Professional Programs and Social Sciences
New faculty members are Dr. Roxanne Gerbrandt, William Gordon, Dr. Kevin Harris, Dr. Stephanie Hicks, Deborah Hood, Dr. Joe F. Jerles, Dr. Charmaine Lowe, Greta Marek, Grace Moodt, Dr. Merriel Bullock Neal, Dr. Patty M. Orr, Dr. Jody Piro and Dr. Blair Allyn Thornton.

Dr. Roxanne Gerbrandt is an assistant professor of sociology, coming to APSU from the University of Oregon, where she was an instructor of sociology. Currently, she has three scholarly works in progress, including a book, titled “Class Dismissed: Hidden Class Barriers in Graduate Education.” While teaching at the University of Oregon, Gerbrandt was also a recipient of several awards and grants, including the Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award and the Graduate Teaching Fellowship. She is a member of both the American Sociological Association and the Pacific Sociological Association. She has a Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. in sociology, all from the University of Oregon.

William Gordon joins APSU as an instructor of political science. Most recently, he was an instructor at Washington State University in Pullman. He currently is a doctoral candidate in American politics at The New School for Social Research in New York City. His dissertation, titled “Why Minor Political Parties Fail in the United States: The Electoral and Governmental Barriers to Minor Party Persistence,” argues that laws governing U.S. public institutions will likely interact to decrease minor party persistence at the national level. He holds memberships in the American Political Science Association, Social Science History Association and the American Bar Association. Gordon holds a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the City University of New York School of Law, a Master of International Administration from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vt., and Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science, secondary education and Spanish from Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Most recently a research scientist at the Florida Center for Research on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Dr. Kevin Harris is an assistant professor of psychology at APSU. While at the Florida Center, he managed a project, titled “Expert Performance Approach to Examining Superior Performance in Advanced Placement Courses.” His research interests are expert performance and deliberate practice, long-term working memory, medical expertise and medical errors and social cognition. He has published several peer review journal articles and has presented at several conferences and lectures. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, Cognitive Science Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Harris received his doctorate in cognitive psychology from Florida State University, master's in experimental psychology from Mississippi State University and bachelor's in psychology from the University of Tennessee-Martin.

Dr. Stephanie Hicks-Pass comes to APSU as an assistant professor of social work, having previously taught at both the University of North Texas and the University of Texas at Arlington. Her teaching interests include mental health and chemical dependency, battering intervention programs, medical care for underserved populations, domestic violence and child violence. Hicks-Pass has worked as an intake clinician, crisis clinician and therapist for various medical and behavioral centers in Texas. She has a doctorate and a master's in social work, both from the University of Texas-Arlington, master's in human relations from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor's in psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Having worked the past year as an adjunct faculty member in the APSU School of Nursing, Deborah Hood is now an assistant professor of nursing. In addition to teaching, she also had served as interim director of Southerland Place Assisted Living in Brentwood and operated a private practice in holistic nursing in Nashville. Hood is board certified in advanced holistic nursing. She also is certified in Bowen therapy and is a certified clinical hypnotherapist. Hood is a member of the American Holistic Nurses Association and the Tennessee Nurses Association. She has a Master of Science in Nursing from Tennessee State University, Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Middle Tennessee State University and a diploma in practical nursing from Metro Nashville Practical Nursing Program.

An APSU alumnus, Dr. Joe F. Jerles joins the APSU School of Education as an assistant professor. He most recently was the general music specialist at St. Bethlehem Elementary School in Clarksville. Also, Jerles was an adjunct faculty member in the education department at APSU, teaching on-site and online courses in educational technology. He holds teaching licenses in both Tennessee and Kentucky. In addition to teaching, Jerles conducts the orchestra at First Baptist Church, Clarksville. He was awarded a Doctor of Education in administration and supervision (K-12) from Tennessee State University, Education Specialist in administration and supervision from APSU, Master of Science in Education from Indiana State University in Terre Haute and a Bachelor of Science in Education from APSU.

Dr. Charmaine Lowe is an assistant professor of education at APSU. She most recently taught rhetoric, composition and literature at Middle Tennessee State University, where she also was a Geier Dissertation and Teaching Fellow. This year, she was named recipient of the American Educational Research Association Dissertation Award for Excellence in Bilingual Education Research. Lowe also has taught at Vanderbilt University and Belmont University, both in Nashville. In May, Lowe earned a Doctor of Education in language, literacy and culture from the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. She has a Master of Arts in literature from Vanderbilt and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

Having earned her Master of Science in Nursing in August from APSU, Greta Marek now joins the University as an assistant professor of nursing. For the last five years, she taught courses in the nursing program at Hopkinsville (Ky.) Community College. Prior to teaching at HCC, Marek worked as a registered nurse for a number of medical centers. Her professional memberships include the Tennessee Nurses Association and the National League of Nursing. She also is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and Gamma Beta Phi National Honor Society. Marek earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., and a diploma in nursing from the Watts School of Nursing in Durham, N.C.

Grace Moodt, assistant professor of nursing, previously taught on a temporary basis at APSU since August 2007 but now joins the University as a tenure-track faculty member. She began her nursing career in August 1980 at Dale County Hospital in Ozark, Ala., and entered the teaching field in August 1996 at Hopkinsville (Ky.) Community College, where she was an assistant professor. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses and Cambridge Who's Who Registry of Executives and Professionals. She earned both her Master of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Troy (Ala.) University and an associate degree from Wallace Community College in Dothan, Ala.

With 25 years of teaching on the postsecondary level, Dr. Merriel Bullock Neal joins the APSU School of Education as an assistant professor. For the last five years, she practiced law in Clarksville, focusing mostly on cases relating to students with disabilities. Concurrently, she was an adjunct faculty member in APSU's police science administration and criminal justice program, where she also served as program manager. From 1996-2002, she worked at Delaware State University (DSU), Dover, as professor, NCATE coordinator of content area of the teacher education programs and director of the DSU Higher Education and Disabilities Project. She has been a consultant for various school systems in Tennessee, including the Nashville Metro School System, Robertson County Public Schools and Murfreesboro City School System. From 1977-98, she held several positions at Tennessee State University from director of the Institute on Developmental Disabilities to professor of special education. Neal has made numerous scholarly presentations and has an extensive list of research and scholarly publications, as well as an impressive number of successful grant proposals. She has a Doctor of Jurisprudence from American University in Washington, D.C., where she also obtained a Ph.D. in special education. Both her bachelor's degree in sociology/psychology and her master's degree in special education are from Howard University, Washington, D.C. She did postdoctoral studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Dr. Patty M. Orr comes to Austin Peay as an assistant professor of nursing, after having worked the past seven years as senior vice president of clinical integrity for Healthways Inc., Nashville. From 1975-87, she taught nursing courses at Austin Peay, then left academia to work in various executive positions for Healthways. She has co-authored several journal articles and presented numerous talks at conferences. She has a doctorate in higher education administration from Vanderbilt University, both a Master of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences, Memphis, prenursing credentials from Memphis State University and an associate degree from Southeast Missouri State University. She also is certified in professional health care quality.

A former middle school principal, Dr. Jody Piro is now an assistant professor of education at APSU. Before arriving at APSU, she was a visiting assistant professor of education at the University of Central Florida, where she taught both undergraduate and graduate courses. She also was an assistant professor of education at Aurora (Ill.) University, where she mostly served as a faculty member in the Ed.D. program and coordinated other graduate programs. Her areas of research are diversity and equity in education, gender theory, critical pedagogy, teacher education, alternative certification, middle level practices and curriculum leadership. On the secondary level, Piro was principal at Indian Creek Middle School in Waterman, Ill., from 1999-2002 and dean of students at Indian Trail Junior High School in Addison, Ill. She began her education career teaching social studies at Unity School District in Tolono, Ill. She was awarded an Ed.D. in curriculum and supervision from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, a M.S. in educational leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana in Champaign and a B.S. in secondary education, also from the U of I.

Blair Allyn Thornton joins APSU as an instructor of health and human performance. She received her Ph.D. in health education from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, where she most recently served as a graduate teaching assistant, online course instructor and football strategic tutor. She holds memberships in the American School Health Association, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, the American Association for Health Education, the American Obesity Association and Kappa Delti Pi international education honor society. Her master's in health education was awarded from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., and her bachelor's in health and physical education is from West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon. In addition to her academic achievements, she is a certified health education specialist from the National Commission for Health Educational Credentialing Inc. and licensed to teach in grades K-12 in West Virginia.

School of Technology and Public Management
New faculty members are Dr. Victoria McCarthy and Dr. Jeffrey P. Rush.

Dr. Victoria McCarthy joins APSU as an assistant professor in the APSU Department of Professional Studies, after having served most recently on the adjunct faculty at Central Michigan University. McCarthy also has taught teambuilding courses at Michigan Tech University in Houghton and at Finlandia University in Hancock, Mich. In 1994, she was an instructor for Central Texas College Far East Campus at Camp Page, South Korea. Her most recent professional experience includes working as a legal researcher for Wiener Associates in Lansing, Mich., and as a strategic planning workshop facilitator for the Morale, Welfare and Recreation office at a U.S. Army installation in Heidelberg, Germany. Currently, she is working on research for her scholarly work, titled “A Primer on Organizational Trust.” She has authored other works for publication or presentation. She received her Doctor of Philosophy in organizational leadership from the University of Oklahoma, Master of Public Administration from Murray (Ky.) State University and Bachelor of Arts in political science from Georgia State University.

Dr. Jeffrey P. Rush is an assistant professor in the APSU Department of Public Management, having most recently served as an assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He also was teaching online courses on an adjunct basis for the University of Maryland and Excelsior College before coming to APSU. In addition to teaching, he is a security supervisor and director of training for Dependable Event Associates in Birmingham, Ala., and a deputy sheriff and bailiff for the Jefferson County (Ala.) Sheriff's Office, serving since 1988. His areas of expertise include terrorism, law enforcement, gangs, leadership and juvenile justice. Rush has authored and refereed several publications and has presented at numerous workshops and training sessions. He has a Doctor of Public Administration from the University of Alabama. He also holds a Master of Science in criminal justice, Master of Arts in educational leadership and a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice.

New one-year, temporary faculty members are Dr. Robert C. Butler, assistant professor of African-American studies; Christine A. Galluzzi, assistant professor of nursing; Danny Gilkey, instructor of history; Wendell Hensley, manager and instructor of food services; Dr. Christina L. Hicks-Goldston, assistant professor of mass communication; Aida E. Medina, instructor of Spanish; Jeff Morris, assistant professor of art; Dr. Matthew Muehlbauer, assistant professor of history; Dr. Quentin Newhouse Jr., assistant professor of psychology; Stephen P. Smith, instructor of history; Michael Thomas Smitka, instructor of physics and astronomy; Jennifer Thompson, instructor of allied health sciences; and Tyler L. Turner, instructor of mathematics.