EAST CENTRAL UNIVERSITY HIRES NEW FACULTY MEMBERS
New instructors in accounting, business administration, communications, education, English and languages, history, kinesiology, legal studies, mathematics, nursing and psychology have joined the faculty at East Central University. In addition, a facilities coordinator has been hired for the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center.
The faculty members are:
Jody M. Alford
Jody M. Alford, lecturer of psychology, joined the faculty last spring. She was a graduate assistant in psychology at ECU before earning her master's degree in psychological services in 2007. She was director of ECU's Wellness Center from 2000 to 2003. A registered nurse, she previously was a nurse supervisor and medical/surgical nurse in Ada.
Alford holds a bachelor's degree from ECU in health, physical education & recreation/exercise science, an associate's degree in nursing from Seminole State College and a licensed practical nursing degree from Niagara County Community College in New York. Dr.
Christopher B. Bean
Dr. Christopher B. Bean, assistant professor of history, completed his doctorate this spring at the University of North Texas. He was a teaching assistant and an instructor at UNT where he also received his bachelor's and master's degrees.
He has written articles for several history journals and presented papers at history conferences.
Dr. Steve Benton
Dr. Steve Benton, assistant professor of English and languages, received a doctorate in English this spring from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has a master's degree in humanities from the University of Chicago, a bachelor's degree in English, with honors, from Texas Christian University and a certificate in teaching English as a foreign language from the Fundacion Ponce De Leon in Madrid, Spain.
He taught English at Xiamen University in Xiamen, China, from 1994 to 1998 and was the Project Align coordinator for the City Colleges of Chicago in 2006-07.
Ardon Bryant, instructor of nursing, is a registered nurse with more than 40 years of practical experience in hospital, home health and long-term care environments. She had worked at the Oklahoma Veterans Center in Ardmore since 2001 and was a house supervisor overseeing the care of 185 residents.
Bryant graduated from the Kaiser Foundation School of Nursing in Oakland, Calif., and has a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of North Dakota. She holds a master's degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix, and is working toward a doctorate in healthcare administration from that university.
Janet Flowers, director for addiction counseling and instructor of human resources, joined the faculty full time last year. She had been an adjunct professor at ECU and a therapist for Arbuckle Life Solutions in Ardmore since 2005.
Flowers also has held positions as a therapist and child protective and social worker and counseled parents with drug and alcohol problems. She holds a bachelor's degree in social work from Humboldt State University in California, a master's degree in counseling from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany and is nearing completion of a doctorate in psychology from Capella University in Minnesota.
Dr. Richard Groetzinger
Dr. Richard Groetzinger, assistant professor of communication, previously was director of drama and chair of the Communication and Theatre Arts Department at Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio.
He was director of drama and director of the Northwest Kansas Performing Arts Center at Colby Community College and has performed with the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival and the Music Theatre of Wichita, Kan. He has a bachelor's degree from Mount Union College in Ohio, a master's degree from the University of Akron and a doctorate from Bowling Green State University.
Dr. Peggy Hart
Dr. Peggy Hart, associate professor of nursing, was named coordinator of the ECU @ Ardmore Nursing program last year. She was an ECU faculty member from 1983 to 1993. She is a former administrator of Jeblah Baptist Hospital in the Republic of Yemen.
Hart holds three degrees in nursing, a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, a master's degree from the University of Mississippi Medical Center and a doctorate from Texas Woman's University.
Jennifer L. Heck
Jennifer L. Heck, instructor of nursing, had taught at Bacone College in Muskogee since 2006. She is a registered nurse with certification in neonatal intensive care nursing and is a neonatal critical care clinical nurse specialist.
She was a nurse at Norman Regional Hospital and Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa. She received bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing from the University of Oklahoma.
Dr. Virginia Henson
Dr. Virginia Henson, assistant professor of legal studies and an attorney, has practiced family law since 1980. She is a partner with Petersen, Henson & Meadows P.C. in Norman. She is a licensed mediator and has been a paralegal instructor for Gordon Cooper Technology Center in Shawnee.
She is the author of chapters on evidence, adoption, ethics and property division for the Oklahoma Family Law Practice Manual. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism and a juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma and is pursuing a doctorate in educational studies at OU.
Edward Hobbs, assistant professor of accounting, is a certified public accountant who had taught at Southeastern Oklahoma State University since 1993. He taught at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D. for three years. He has been a revenue agent and auditor for the Internal Revenue Service.
Hobbs owned G.G. Western Wear in Ada for 11 years before earning a degree in accounting from ECU. He also holds a master's degree in taxation from the University of Denver.
Wendy L. Leraas
Wendy L. Leraas, assistant professor of English and languages, is a doctoral candidate in 19th century Spanish literature at the University of Oklahoma where she has been a graduate teaching assistant.
After receiving an associate's degree in arts and sciences from Dallas County Community College and a bachelor's degree in education from the University of North Texas, she taught Spanish in Texas schools for nearly eight years. She received a master's degree summa cum laude in Spanish literature at UNT and completed graduate work at the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia in Spain.
Christina Mitchell, instructor of communication, worked last year as communications director and production assistant for Roadtrip Productions' "Roadtrip Nation," a program broadcast on public television. She was the aquatics director for the Orange County Council of the Boy Scouts of America for three years in Newport Beach, Calif.
Mitchell was a graduate research and teaching assistant at the University of Oklahoma while completing a master's degree in journalism and mass communication. She graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in German studies from the University of California at Irvine.
Dr. Houston F. Mount II
Dr. Houston F. Mount II, assistant professor of history, received a doctorate in history this year from Southern Methodist University. He holds a master's degree in history from SMU and a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Mount also completed a juris doctorate cum laude at the University of Texas and a bachelor's degree in history summa cum laude from the University of Tulsa. He taught a history class at SMU and is a member of the Oklahoma and Texas Bar Associations.
Patti A. Palmer
Patti A. Palmer, instructor of education and director of the Westward Expansion Grant at ECU, had taught at Konawa High School since 1996. She previously taught part-time at ECU as well as one semester at Seminole State College and at Strother and Bowlegs High Schools.
She is an Oklahoma State Department of Education Master Teacher and a regional conference presenter in 2006-07. Palmer earned a bachelor's degree in English education and a master of education degree, both from ECU.
Edmon Perkins, instructor of mathematics, was a graduate assistant at the University of Oklahoma before completing a master's degree in mathematics last May. He graduated summa cum laude from OU with a 4.0 GPA in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics.
He also was an adjunct professor during the spring and summer semesters at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City.
Robert L. Rubel
Robert L. Rubel, instructor of kinesiology and assistant football coach, came to ECU last spring from Azle (Texas) High School where he was the linebacker coach and head golf coach. He was head football coach at Tabor College in Kansas in 2006 and has been an assistant athletic director or assistant coach or coordinator at several other universities and high schools.
Rubel was a three-year letterman in football at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, where he earned a bachelor's degree in sport and exercise science. His master's degree in education is from Nova Southeastern University in Miami, Fla.
Patrick F. Sweet
Patrick F. Sweet, instructor of communication, was an adjunct voice instructor at New York University and completed a master of music degree in vocal performance and music theater this year at NYU. He has directed or performed in more than two dozen musicals.
He has been associate director of choral activities at Edmond High School, director of high school choral activities at Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria, Va., and taught in Florida. He holds an associate's degree from Florida College and a bachelor of music education degree and master of choral music education degree, both from Florida State University.
Tomi J. Tice
Tomi J. Tice, instructor of nursing, is a registered nurse who has worked in the Chickasaw Nation Health System since 2001. She also has been a classroom facilitator for ECU's Nursing Department since August 2007.
Tice was a medical/surgical unit staff nurse at Valley View Regional Hospital in 2000-01. She earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from ECU and is working toward a master's degree in nursing education from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Dr. Zhimin Wang
Dr. Zhimin Wang, assistant professor of business administration, completed her doctorate in economics this summer at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. She was an instructor at SIU last year and at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics in China while working toward her master's degree in financial management.
Wang has a bachelor's degree in management of international enterprises from Hebei University of Economics and Business in China. She has worked for several Chinese companies.
Jeff K. Word
Jeff K. Word, instructor of kinesiology and assistant men's basketball coach, was a graduate assistant coach at ECU in 2007 while he completed a master's degree in sports administration. He also was an ECU student assistant while earning a bachelor's degree in health, physical education & recreation. He also has a master's degree in education from ECU.
Word has been a coach or head coach for girls and boys basketball, slow pitch/fast pitch softball, baseball and volleyball at Silo, Dickson and Frankston, Texas. He was named a Daily Ardmoreite Coach of the Year in 2000.
Dallas Coplin, facilities coordinator for the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center, is the former assistant manager of the Yukon Fine Arts Center. She will coordinate activities and events in the new fine arts center and on the pedestrian plaza that will be constructed adjacent to the center. She has a bachelor of fine arts degree in drama with emphasis in technical production from the University of Oklahoma.
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Contact: Amy Ford
East Central University
Communications and Marketing
580-559-5650 405-812-1428 (cell)