New faculty members in kinesiology, accounting, math, education, nursing, biology, computer science, social work and communications have begun teaching at East Central University. A new librarian, an academic adviser in McAlester and a new director of institutional research also have been added.
The new faculty members are:
Riley W. Bailey
Riley W. Bailey III, instructor of kinesiology and head soccer coach, had served twice as ECU's assistant soccer coach and a part-time instructor, from 2004 to 2009 and from 1997 until 2001. He was the head women's soccer coach and director of the sports management program at Lambuth University in Tennessee from 2001 to 2003. In 2003 he was the assistant women's soccer coach at Angelo State University.
He received a bachelor's degree in marketing from Oklahoma Christian University in 1995 and a master of education degree in secondary physical education from ECU in 1999.
Stephanie K. Canada
Stephanie K. Canada, instructor of kinesiology, also will teach half time in the Department of Education. She just completed a year in Washington, D.C., as a Washington Teaching Ambassador Fellow with the U.S. Department of Education. She was Oklahoma's Teacher of the Year in 2007-08.
She taught elementary physical education in Shawnee from 2003 to 2008. She was a women's basketball assistant coach, instructor and senior woman administrator/assistant athletic director at Northeastern State University for two years and coached girls basketball at Checotah High School one year. Between 1995 and 1998, she was an assistant coach for women's basketball at the University of South Florida and ECU.
Canada received a bachelor's degree in health, physical education & recreation/exercise science in 1995 and a master of education degree in secondary education in 1997, both from ECU. She is working toward a doctorate at the University of Oklahoma.
Justin Deason, instructor of kinesiology and assistant football coach, returns to ECU after three seasons as the linebacker coach and special teams coordinator at West Texas A&M University in Canyon. He held the same position at ECU during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
Deason was an all-conference pick as a freshman at Cisco (Texas) Junior College before playing two seasons as a reserve linebacker at Oklahoma State. He received a bachelor's degree in education in 2003 from the University of Central Oklahoma and a master of education degree in secondary education from ECU in 2005.
Dr. Jaime B. Elliott, CPA
Dr. Jaime B. Elliott, CPA, instructor of accounting, began her career as an optometrist, managing her own practice from 1985 to 2003 and teaching part-time two years at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. She also taught at the New England College of Optometry in 1997. She taught math at Tecumseh High School in 2004-05 and had taught accounting at the University of Central Oklahoma since fall 2005.
She earned a bachelor's degree in laboratory technology from the University of Oklahoma in 1980 and a doctor of optometry degree from NSU in 1984. She completed accounting courses at UCO in 2002 and became a certified public accountant in 2002.
Dr. Andrei Ghenciu
Dr. Andrei Ghenciu, assistant professor of mathematics, a native of Romania, has been a visiting assistant professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks since 2006. He was a co-investigator in the research and development of technologies/processes suitable for small unmanned aircraft through a UAF contract with the U.S. Navy and the Science Applications International Corporation.
Ghenciu was a teaching fellow at the University of North Texas from 2002 to 2006, the year he received a doctorate in mathematics. He also received a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1998 from the University of Bucharest in Romania, and a master's degree in 2000 from the National School of Political Studies in Bucharest.
Phyllis L. Isaacs
Phyllis L. Isaacs, assistant professor of education, has been a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Oklahoma since 2006. She also has been a student intern and entry-year teacher supervisor at OU since 2007. She taught part-time at ECU in the fall 2008 semester.
Isaacs taught at Paden High School and Whittier Middle School in Norman after completing a bachelor's degree in English education at ECU in 1998. She earned a master of education degree in secondary education from ECU in 2005 and completed a doctorate at OU in April.
Rashad Jackson, instructor of kinesiology and assistant football coach, had been director of player development at Kansas State University since 2007. He was an assistant coach in 2005 and 2006 at Reedley College in Reedley, Calif. He was a graduate assistant coach at ECU from 2002-2005 while working toward a master of education degree in sports administration, which he received in 2004.
Jackson played one year at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami, where he received an associate's degree in 1998, and three years at ECU before earning a bachelor's degree in exercise science in 2002. In his senior 2001 season, Jackson earned Lone Star Conference North second team honors as a tight end.
Kristy Lankford, R.N.
Kristi Lankford, instructor of nursing and a registered nurse, joined the ECU faculty last January and teaches in the ECU @ SE nursing program in Durant. She is a graduate of that program, earning a bachelor's degree in nursing from ECU in 2004.
Before joining the ECU faculty, she taught two clinical courses at hospitals in Durant and Sherman, Texas, worked in an intensive care unit, in home health for four years and in a long-term, acute-care hospital.
Wanda Jean Martin, R.N.
Wanda Jean Martin, instructor of nursing, worked as a licensed practical nurse from 2000 until 2006 when she received a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Oklahoma and was certified as a registered nurse.
From 2006 to 2008 she worked at McAlester Regional Health Center and was a graduate teaching assistant at OU while completing a master's degree in nursing. For the last year she was director of nursing for Caring Hands Health Care Center Inc. in McAlester where she taught a community-based abstinence plus program geared toward teenagers.
Maria Del Rocio Maynard
Maria Del Rocio Maynard, instructor of biology, has a medical degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in Mexico and is certified as a teacher. She was an elementary school bilingual teacher focusing on science and math from 2003 to 2008 in McKinney, Texas.
She also helped with special education students from 2000 to 2003 and was a medical assistant at Women's Specialty Center in Dallas for two years.
Valerie E. McWhorter
Valerie E. McWhorter, ECU's academic adviser program coordinator at McAlester, has been a residence hall director at Texas A&M University-Commerce, since 2005. She was recognized with the Texas A&M University-Commerce President's Meritorious Service Award for work with Hurricane Ike evacuees at the Berry Hall Shelter in 2008.
She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology/counseling in 2001 and a master's degree in counseling, with an emphasis in community counseling, last May, both from TAMU-Commerce.
Dr. William I. McWhorter
Dr. William I. McWhorter, assistant professor of computer science, had been an instructor at Texas A&M University-Commerce since 1998. He also was a teaching assistant at TAMU-Commerce in 1997-98 and a taught in the Lone Oak School District in Texas in 1996-97.
McWhorter earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1996 and a master's degree in computer science in 1998, both from TAMU-Commerce. He completed a doctorate in information sciences in 2008 at the University of North Texas in Denton.
Linda Newcomer, R.N.
Linda Newcomer, instructor of nursing and a registered nurse, returns to ECU after a year's absence. She began teaching at ECU in 2003 and has more than 30 years of nursing experience in a variety of clinical, administrative and teaching settings.
She holds a bachelor's degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and a master's degree from Texas Woman's University.
Matthew Pierce, instructor/librarian, had been a teaching assistant since January 2008 at the University of North Texas at Denton where he completed a master's degree this spring in library science and technologies. He also has a bachelor's degree in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Pierce was an acquisitions assistant at the University of Oklahoma Law Library in 2005-06 and was an archival technician at the Library of Virginia in 2006-07.
Heather Prentice, R.N.
Heather Prentice, instructor of nursing and a registered nurse, began teaching at ECU in January. She was a clinical instructor for ECU in the fall 2008 semester. She worked for Total Medical Staffing Agency in 2007-08 in Oklahoma City and Good Journey Home Health and Hospice in 2006-07 in Allen.
Prentice received a bachelor's degree in nursing from ECU in 2006 and expects to complete a master's degree at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center next May.
Ann Riley, assistant professor of social work, has been a graduate research assistant at the University of Oklahoma since 2005 while working toward a doctorate in adult and higher education which she aims to complete in December. She was an adjunct instructor at OU and recently was the assistant practicum coordinator for the OU School of Social Work. She was in private practice for 13 years.
Riley received a master of social work degree in 1987 and a bachelor's degree in special education in 1981, both from OU.
Coradino "Dino" Rosato, instructor of kinesiology and head baseball coach, came to ECU from Bacone College in Muskogee where he had been head baseball coach since 2008 and assistant coach the three previous years. He has been an assistant baseball coach at Ohio Dominican University, College of St. Scholastica in Minnesota, St. Thomas University in Miami, Fla., and Concordia University in Minnesota.
Rosato received a bachelor's degree in liberal studies in 2002 from St. Thomas University and a master of education degree in sports administration from ECU in 2007.
Chris Shofner, assistant professor of communication, taught part-time at the Art Institute of Ohio-Cincinnati from July 2007 until last October when he became a full-time instructor. He was a graduate assistant from 2006 to 2008 at the University of Cincinnati where he received a master of fine arts degree. He received a bachelor's degree in mass media in 2005 from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark.
Between 2002 and 2006 he worked as a newspaper reporter, disc jockey, lead videographer and lead editor for an Arkadelphia, Ark., television station, and was a promotions producer for KTAL-TV in Shreveport, La., where he won three regional Addy Awards for excellence in advertising.
Sheilynda Stewart, director of institutional research, has worked for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education since 2001 as a programmer analyst and software development project manager in the Strategic Planning and Analysis division. She has more than 10 years' experience in the information technology industry and has worked at the University of Oklahoma as a research assistant, administrative assistant and adjunct professor for freshman programs.
Stewart, who is president of the board of the Oklahoma Association for Institutional Research and Planning, earned a bachelor's degree in management from OU in 1985 and a master of business administration degree in management from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2002. She is a doctoral candidate in the adult and higher education program at OU.
Matt R. Storm
Matt R. Storm, instructor of kinesiology and assistant football coach, had been a graduate assistant coach at ECU since 2006 while working toward a master of education degree in sports administration which he completed in July.
He also has an associate's degree from Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif., and a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from ECU. In 2004 and 2005 he was an all-Lone Star Conference player and ECU's Lineman of the Year. He was team captain in 2005.
Staci L. Vollmer
Staci L. Vollmer, instructor of education, has been a special education teacher since 2007 at Central Junior High School and then Southmoore High School, both in Moore. She also taught a class last spring at the University of Oklahoma and was a graduate teaching assistant at OU in 2007.
She received an associate's degree from Oklahoma City Community College in 2003 and a bachelor's degree in 2005 and a master's degree in 2007, both in special education from OU.
Brianna L. Willis, R.N.
Brianna L. Willis, coordinator of the RN-BSN Program and instructor of nursing, came to ECU in January. She is a registered nurse who has worked at McAlester Regional Healthcare Center in McAlester since 2008. She also was a freshman/sophomore clinical nursing instructor last year at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton.
She also has worked at other health facilities and nursing homes in McAlester, Sulphur and Ada since earning a bachelor's degree in nursing from ECU in 2002.
President John Hargrave (front row, from left) poses with new East Central University faculty members Wanda Martin, Phyllis Isaacs, Valerie McWhorter, Brianna Willis and Maria Maynard; (second row) Matthew Pierce, Staci Vollmer, Ann Riley, Linda Newcomer and Kristy Lankford; (third row) Riley Bailey, Dino Rosato, Heather Prentice, Jaime Elliott and Sheilynda Stewart; and (fourth row) Matt Storm, Justin Deason, Stephanie Canada, Rashad Jackson and Will McWhorter. Not shown are Andrei Ghenciu and Chris Shofner.
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