ECU welcomes new faculty for 2018-2019

New East Central University faculty members for 2018-2019 are: (front row, left to right) Dr. Nicholas Meyers, Dr. Sanjiv Jha, Megan Donelson, Dr. Zhaohui Su and Tonnie Scott. On the second row are: (left to right) Dr. Jace Vickers, Eric Howard, Misty Gray and Sarah Engel. On the third row are: (left to right) Amanda Kashwer, Dr. Mark Felts, Waynette Nell and Deborah Kifer. On the back row are: (left to right) Mike Maxwell, Dr. David Thornton and Jason Diduch.

East Central University has announced its new faculty members for the 2018-2019 term as classes began Monday.

Three of the faculty members began teaching last spring, while the other 15 will teach on campus for the first time this fall.

Here are the three new faculty members who began in the spring of 2018:

Misty Gray, instructor of nursing

Gray completed her master of science degree in nursing from Oklahoma Baptist University in December 2017. She received a bachelor of science degree in nursing from St. Gregory’s University in 2015.

Gray taught as an adjunct faculty member at St. Gregory’s University in fall 2017. Her professional experience includes work as a charge nurse at the St. Anthony Hospital emergency department in Shawnee and as a practicing nurse in nursery/NICU surgery, orthopedic medicine and home health.

Tonnie Scott, instructor of nursing

Scott completed her master of science degree in nursing from Western Governors University in December 2017. Prior to her graduate work, she earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing from East Central University in 2011.

Scott has been employed as a registered nurse at Alliance Health in Durant since 2011. She has clinical experience in mother/baby, labor and delivery and neonatal ICU. She had worked previously at ECU as an adjunct instructor for the School of Nursing.

Randall Stone, instructor of accounting

Stone earned his bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith in 2009. He earned a master of accountancy degree  from the University of Central Arkansas in 2010 and a master of science degree in taxation from William Howard Taft University in 2012. He is currently enrolled in a doctoral program in business administration with a concentration in advanced accounting at Northcentral University. In addition, he is a Certified Public Accountant, a Chartered Financial Consultant and a Chartered Life Underwriter.

Stone previously taught at ECU as an instructor of accounting (August 2014-July 2017). In addition, he has taught online courses for William Howard Taft University (2013-14), National University (2012-14), Eastern New Mexico University (2012-13) and the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (fall 2011). Additionally, he has professional work experience as a staff accountant, financial services representative and client advisor for investment and insurance accounts.

Here are the new faculty for the fall of 2018:

Jason Diduch, instructor of nursing

Diduch earned a master of science degree in nursing, executive leadership (2016) and a bachelor of science degree in nursing (2012) from Wilmington University.

Diduch has worked as a registered nurse for over a decade and in several director positions since 2011. For the past two years, he has been teaching nursing classes as an adjunct faculty member at Grayson College in Texas.

Megan Donelson, assistant professor of English

Donelson earned her bachelor of arts in English and Spanish from The College of Wooster in 2007. She received her master of fine arts in writing and poetics from Naropa University (2009) and her doctor of philosophy in English from Middle Tennessee State University in 2018.

Donelson has held adjunct faculty positions in English at Nashville State Community College, University of Akron and Brown Mackie College North Canton. With her background in rhetoric, she is well prepared to teach English major courses from sophomore to senior levels. Her scholarship has been accepted to the Conference on College Composition and Communication as well as the Rhetoric Society of America, major national conferences in her field.

Sarah Engel, instructor of mass communication

Engel holds a master of fine arts in photography (2014) and a bachelor of fine arts in media arts (2011) from the University of Oklahoma. She served as an adjunct instructor for the last several years at Rose State College and the University of Oklahoma as a faculty member at the Firehouse Art Center in Norman.

Dr. Mark Felts, assistant professor of education

Felts earned a bachelor of science in criminal justice/psychology from Midwestern State University (2006), a master of education in secondary education from the University of North Texas (2009) and a master of arts in comparative cultural studies from the Université Jean Moulin Lyon III in Lyon, France (2013). He completed his doctor of philosophy in curriculum and instruction at the University of North Texas in August 2018.

Felts is an experienced classroom educator with five years of experience in Texas secondary social studies classrooms and has spent the last four years as a teaching fellow in the education department of UNT. In addition to his teaching responsibilities there, he also served as a graduate student representative on two teacher education committees. In addition to his degrees, he holds certification in secondary social studies and secondary French.

Eric Howard, instructor

of environmental health science

Howard earned a master of public health with an epidemiology concentration from the Colorado School of Public Health in 2014. He received his bachelor of science degree with a concentration in health promotion from Oklahoma State University in 2008.

Howard is currently employed by the Oklahoma City County Health Department as an epidemiologist and has been there for three years. He taught as an adjunct faculty member for ECU in the fall of 2017.

Dr. Sanjiv Jha, assistant professor of physics

Jha earned his bachelor of science degree in physics from Tribhuvan University in Nepal (2004). He received his master of science (2012) and doctor of philosophy (2015) degrees in physics from New Mexico State University.

Jha has served as a faculty member at Samford University since 2017. In his teaching career, he has taught multiple courses in physics, including calculus-based physics and modern physics. This teaching experience should serve ECU well into the future, since he would have experience teaching courses for our physics students and pre-engineering students.

Dr. Amanda Kashwer,

assistant professor of kinesiology

Kashwer earned a bachelor of science degree in health, physical education and recreation from East Central University (2002) and a master of education degree, emphasis kinesiology and health studies, from the University of Central Oklahoma (2006). She received her doctorate of philosophy in health, leisure and human performance from Oklahoma State University (2014).

Kashwer just completed a one-semester appointment at ECU as an instructor in the department of kinesiology. Before coming to ECU, she was an assistant professor/core advising coordinator at St. Gregory’s University from August 2015 to December 2017, when the university closed its doors. She served as the department chair for natural sciences and mathematics at St. Gregory’s from May 2017 to December 2017. 

Prior to her stint at St. Gregory’s, Kashwer was an adjunct instructor at Oklahoma City University from August 2012 to December 2014. She has experience as a graduate teaching assistant and three years of public school teaching.

Deborah Kifer, instructor of nursing

Kifer, who will serve as program coordinator for the ECU School of Nursing in Durant, earned her bachelor of science degree in nursing from Baylor University in 1975 and a master of science degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2004.

Kifer has 43 years of nursing experience covering a wide range of clinical areas. She taught in the department of nursing at East Central University as an adjunct faculty member in the spring of 2006 and part time for the online BSN program at the University of Phoenix in 2010.

Dr. Carol C. Linder, provost and VP of academic affairs

Linder holds a doctor of philosophy degree in biological sciences-zoology (1990) and a master of arts degree in physical and health education (1985) from the University of Texas at Austin. She earned a bachelor of science degree in physical education in 1982 from the University of New Mexico.

Linder has more than 10 years of developing faculty leadership, with almost two years of executive experience as the interim associate vice president for academic affairs and provost/VPAA at New Mexico Highlands University.  Linder has a successful record of teaching, research and service as well as administrative experience, having served two years as associate director at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Linder led the strategic planning steering committee at NMHU and has experience with making the process transparent. Working closely with NMHU’s Center for Teaching Excellence, she developed a Power of Excellence recognition program for creative and research activities. She also worked with the CTE to develop workshops and seminars that train faculty and staff on diversity and inclusiveness. Linder has successfully secured grant funding and was the principal investigator on two National Institutes of Health projects.

Michael Maxwell, instructor

of mass communication

Maxwell holds a master of fine arts degree in interdisciplinary media (2017) and a bachelor of arts degree in radio, television and digital media (2014) from Southern Illinois University. He comes to ECU from a visiting professor position at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Maxwell is an accomplished audio engineer and artist whose work has been shown internationally and on networks such as Syfy. Maxwell is the son of Mark and Denise Maxwell.

Dr. Nicholaus Meyers, assistant professor

of music and director of bands

Meyers earned a bachelor of music degree from Augusta State University (2002), a master of music degree from the University of Tennessee (2004) and a doctor of musical arts degree from North Dakota State University (2014).

For the past six years, Meyers was the director of bands, percussion and composition and assistant professor of music at Valley City State University in North Dakota. Prior to that, he served as instructor of music at Troy University in Augusta, Georgia. Meyers has taught a wide variety of courses, including percussion, music history, marching band and drumline.

Waynette Nell, instructor of computer science

Nell earned a master of business administration degree from the University of Northern Colorado (1987) and a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from Wichita State University (1981).

She has been employed as an adjunct faculty member at ECU since 2014, teaching computer science classes. She has significant experience in computer programming and software design. Nell’s background and experience will be a benefit to the department and students.

Dr. Zhaohui Su,

assistant professor of mass communication

Su earned her doctor of philosophy degree in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin (2018). She is a gifted researcher and scholar with a respectable CV of publications.

Dr. David Thornton,

assistant professor of education

Thornton earned a bachelor of science degree in biology from Colorado State University (1998) and a master of science degree in athletic administration and education leadership from Oklahoma State University (1992). He received his doctor of philosophy in curriculum and instruction from the University of South Florida in 2017.

Thornton is an experienced classroom educator and school administrator with nearly 30 years of experience in schools in Colorado, Florida, Maine and Oklahoma. He has served as an adjunct instructor at three different universities. His dissertation research is in the area of new teacher experiences.

Dr. Jace Vickers, assistant professor

of music and assistant director of bands

Vickers earned a bachelor of music education degree at Troy University in 2011. He received a master of music degree with a concentration in euphonium performance (2014) and a doctor of musical arts degree with a concentration in euphonium and tuba performance (2018) from the University of Oklahoma.

Vickers has served as an adjunct instructor at East Central University and has served in the same position at the University of Central Oklahoma. He is a noted performer with significant solo and ensemble performances around the region. He won the Great Plains Regional Tuba-Euphonium Conference Chamber Music Competition in 2015 as part of the OU Tuba-Euphonium Quartet and, in 2014, he won the OU Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. He plays with the Frontier Brass Band.

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