East Central University proudly announces its new faculty members for the 2023-2024 academic year. Fall 2023 semester classes began on Monday, Aug. 14.
New faculty for the fall 2023 semester includes:
Amy Childers-Elliot; Instructor
Childers-Elliot holds a bachelor’s in English and a master’s of Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma. She is also a graduate of the Oklahoma Community Institute and the Oklahoma Leadership Arts. She has served as an adjunct professor and Community Development Specialist for ECU and Director of Reporting Compliance for EMBLEM Strategies, LLC since 2021. Childers-Elliot joins ECU as an instructor for Business Administration.
Dr. Kelly Collins; Assistant Professor
Department of Professional Programs and Human Services
Collins holds a bachelor’s in Business and Education and a master’s in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Central Oklahoma, as well as, a doctoral degree from Regent University. Collins has served as adjunct professor at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Oral Roberts University, University of Central Oklahoma and Mid-America Christian University. Collins joins ECU’s Professional Programs and Human Services as assistant professor.
Carrie Draper; Instructor
Department of Psychology
Draper received her bachelor’s in Family Science from Brigham Young University and master’s degrees in School Counseling and Educational Leadership from ECU. She served as assistant principle for Ada Junior High School in 2022 where she previously served as a school counselor and math teacher. Draper is currently pursuing her doctorate in Educational Psychology and is joining ECU as an instructor for the Psychology department.
Lauren Forgety; Instructor
School of Nursing
Forgety received her bachelor’s in Nursing from East Central University in 2013. She served as a registered nurse for Integris Health from 2013 to 2020 and has since served as a registered nurse for Mercy Hospital where she administers outpatient chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments. Forgety joins ECU as an instructor for the School of Nursing.
Amy Garman; Instructor
School of Nursing
Garman received her diploma in practical nursing from Kiamichi Technology Center in 2007 before going on to receive an associate of applied sciences from Murray State College in 2012 and a bachelor of science in nursing from Oklahoma City University Kramer School of Nursing in 2016. Garman has worked for AllianceHealth Durant-Madill in a variety of roles and currently serves as a Clinical Instructor for Murray State College. She has been an adjunct clinical instructor for ECU’s School of Nursing since 2019 and now joins as an instructor for the School of Nursing.
Cortney Jordan; Instructor
School of Nursing
Jordan received her bachelor of science in Nursing from ECU in 2016 and her master of science in Nursing Education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 2022. She has served as a Nurse Technician and Registered Nurse for Mercy, a Registered Nurse and Critical Care Nurse Educator for the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center and joined ECU as a nursing instructor in the spring of this year.
Kerry Rhone; Instructor and Director of Early Childhood Education
Department of Education
Rhone received her master’s in Curriculum and Teaching from Fresno Pacific University and Instructional Leadership from the University of Arkansas. She has taught classes at Robert F. Bumpus Middle School and Alta Sierra Middle School and has also served as Instructor for P-12 Literacy. Rhone joins ECU’s Department of Education as Director and Instructor of Early Childhood Education.
Diana Rojas-Ponce; Assistant Professor
Art + Design : Media + Communication
Rojas received both her bachelor of fine arts in 2020 and her master of fine arts in 2023 from the University of North Texas where she also served as a Teaching Assistant, Teaching Fellow and Digital Fabrication Lab Technician during her time there. She is the recipient of Judson-Morrissey Excellence in New Media Award from the New Media Caucus, the Arrowmont Windgate University Fellowship from Arrowmont School of Fine Arts and Crafts and a nominee for Emerging Leader Award from the Greater Denton Arts Council. Rojas joins ECU’s Art + Design : Media + Communication department as assistant professor.
Gary Tucker; Instructor
Tucker received his bachelor of science in Marketing and Accounting from Southern Nazarene University, his master of business administration in Leadership and Organizational Development from Oklahoma Christian University and began his doctor of business administration from Anderson University. He is currently completing his doctorate through Indiana Wesleyan University. Tucker has served in a variety of positions in education, most recently as department chair and Professor of Business/Automotive Technology for the Lone Star College system, a professor of business at Haskell Indian Nations University and instructor of business at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. Tucker joins ECU’s Business Administration as an instructor.
Christi Wans; Instructor and Interim Assistant Band Director
Department of Performing Arts
Wans received her bachelors of music in Instrumental Music Education and Trumpet Performance from Central Washington University in 2010 and 2011. She went on to receive her master of music in Trumpet Performance from the University of Oklahoma in 2013 and is projected to receive her doctorate from the University of Oklahoma in 2024. She has most recently served as Adjunct Instructor of Brass and the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Adjust Instructor of Trumpet and Horn at ECU, and Assistant Divisional Music Director for Music Education with the Salvation Army of Arkansas and Oklahoma. Wans joins ECU’s Department of Performing Arts as Instructor and Interim Assistant Band Director.
Christopher York; Instructor
Department of English and Languages
York received his bachelors in Marketing from the Oklahoma Baptist University and masters in Education at ECU. He has served as an editor for a variety of companies including Dianton Productions and Viva Latino. He worked as a freelance writer before first joining ECU in 2016 as an adjunct professor for the Department of English and Languages. York now joins ECU as an Instructor of English.