MONMOUTH – Western Oregon University has found a formula of success with increases in enrollment, retention and program offerings that enabled a record number of faculty hirings. WOU welcomes 13 new faculty members to campus; seven in the College of Education and six in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Several of these positions were filled with the intent to combine program offerings to meet the needs of new programs.
Three biology and chemistry faculty members were hired to accommodate increased enrollment in the sciences, keep classes at a desirable size, and to enable the faculty as a whole to devote extra attention to the freshman and sophomore course sequences. The two new biology professors, Erin Baumgartner and Kristin Latham, will support the major program in the sciences and science education. This addresses increased enrollment in allied health programs and the need to serve K-12 science educators. It also allows redistribution in the science program, enabling more faculty to become engaged in the pre-nursing program. The third science hire, Patricia Flatt, has experience in forensic chemistry and will support the pre-nursing program and ultimately develop forensic nursing curriculum.
The Theatre and Dance Department hired Thaddeus Shannon to teach students in technical lighting and sound design for stage performances, and to support the department’s theatre and dance productions and guest performers. Ryan Wright has been hired in a non-faculty position to serve as the technical director.
Cat McGrew was hired in the Communication Studies Department to expand current course offerings and provide a specialization in health communications. This is not only important for WOU’s pre-nursing and nursing students, but for students who may end up working in communications at hospitals, health care facilities, or insurance companies. McGrew will also work with political science faculty to develop coursework in public health policy.
Eliot Dickinson will expand existing political science programs and bring in a specialization on international public policy and research methodology. WOU realizes the importance of preparing students for global engagement. Many students will pursue careers in business and government relations that require an understanding of international government policy.
Carl Schroeder and Amanda Smith were hired for the American Sign Language/English Interpreting program, which has been running at capacity. One of the positions will teach this language to add space for more students to earn a degree in this area. The second hire will help launch the new ASL studies program, which will prepare individuals to work with agencies, or employers to help them understand more about the needs of people who use ASL services.
The third new faculty member in the Special Education Division of the College of Education, Fran Ni, will work with the rehabilitation counseling program.
Within the Health and Physical Education division, two faculty members were hired: Daniel Lopez-Cervallos and Jeffrey Armstrong. Armstrong has a specialization in exercise physiology and will prepare students to teach physical education and become trainers or to establish recreation programs. Lopez-Cervallos was hired to address the need of health classes, which are constantly filled and there is a growing interest in health issues.
Rachel Harrington was brought in for the Teacher Education Division to focus on math education. This will help improve WOU’s capacity to respond to Oregon’s need for more math teachers. It will also help ensure that our elementary school teachers are well prepared to teach mathematics at a higher level to accommodate the new high school graduation requirements for math and science.
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
NATURAL SCIENCE & MATHEMATICS
Erin Baumgartner, assistant professor of biology
Credentials: Associate professor and assistant professor at University of Hawai’i-Manoa; National Science Foundation GK-12 teaching fellow; graduate teaching assistant at University of Hawai’i-Manoa.
Education: 2002 Ph.D., Zoology, University of Hawaii-Manoa; 1996 B.A. Biology, University of Kansas
Kristin Latham, assistant professor of biology
Credentials: Visiting assistant professor at Willamette University, co-instructor at Oregon State University; postdoctoral research associate at Oregon State University.
Education: 2005 Ph.D. Molecular and Cellular Biology, Oregon State University; 1998 B.S. in biology, Pacific Lutheran University
Patricia Flatt, assistant professor of chemistry
Credentials: Adjunct faculty at Lane Community College.
Education: 2000 Ph.D. in biochemistry, Vanderbilt University; 1994 M.S. in plant ecology, University of Denver; 1992 B.S. in biology at University of Denver
Thaddeus Shannon, assistant professor of theatre (lighting, design/events coordinator)
Credentials: Production manager and lighting designer for Do Jump Movement Theater
Education: 2007 Ph.D. in systems science, Portland State University; 2001 master’s in systems science, Portland State University; 1986 bachelor’s in mathematics, Reed College
Ryan Wright, technical director
Credentials: Technical director for Annie Russell Theatre at Rollins College.
Education: 1997 bachelor’s in theatre arts, Rollins College
Cat McGrew, assistant professor of communications
Credentials: Teaching experience in communication, health communication and teaching design.
Education: 2007 Ph.D. in communication, Ohio State University; 2001 master’s in organization system design, Antioch University; 2001 certificate in systems renewal consultation, The International Institute for the Study of Systems Renewal; 1989 bachelor’s in marketing, University of Oregon
Eliot Dickinson, assistant professor of political science
Credentials: Taught political science at Hope College.
Education: 2004 Ph.D. in political science, Purdue University; 1999 dual master’s in German and political science, Bowling Green State University; 1994 dual bachelor’s in German and political science, Washington State University
College of Education
Fran Ni, assistant professor of rehabilitative counseling education
Credentials: Teaching assistant at the University of Connecticut, full time instructor at Tzu-Chi College of Technology in Taiwan.
Education: 2008 Ph.D. in counselor education, the University of Connecticut; 1998 master’s in creative arts therapy, Hofstra University; 1994 bachelor’s in nursing, National Cheng-Kung University, Taiwain.
Carl Schroeder, adjunct instructor of American Sign Language studies
Credentials: English instructor at Gallaudet University, and ASL program coordinator and associate professor at Montgomery College.
Education: Ph.D. candidate in applied linguistics, Georgetown University; 1988 M.Ed., American University; 1982 bachelor’s in English and psychology, Gallaudet University
Amanda Smith, assistant professor of American Sign Language/English interpreting
Credentials: Freelance interpreter for 10 years and adjunct assistant professor in the Interpreter Training Program at Johnson County Community College.
Education: 2007 master’s in interpreter pedagogy, Northeastern University; 2003 bachelor’s in organizational management and leadership, Friends University; 2000 Associate of Applied Science in sign language interpretation, Johnson County Community College
HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Daniel Lopez-Cervallos, assistant professor of health and physical education
Credentials: Teaching assistant at Oregon State University; research intern at the HIV Integration Project at the Benton County Health Department, and a statistical consultant as Preventivas SC in Ecuador.
Education: 2008 Ph.D. in public health, Oregon State University; 2007 graduate certificate in geographic information science, Oregon State University; 2004 master’s in public health from Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador; 2001 B.S. in optometry, Universidad San Francisco de Quito
Jeffrey Armstrong, assistant professor of physical education
Credentials: Associate professor at Hope College, assistant professor at Eastern Michigan University, and a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Toledo.
Education: 1998 Ph.D. in exercise physiology from the University of Toledo; 1986 master’s in exercise physiology from West Virginia University; 1985 B.S. in geology from West Virginia University
Rachel Harrington, assistant professor of mathematics education
Credentials: Graduate teaching assistant at Oregon State University, professional development provider for Clarion University, and a high school mathematics teacher.
Education: 2008 Ph.D. in mathematics education from Oregon State University; 2007 master’s in mathematics education, Oregon State University; 1997 B.A.Ed. in mathematics education, Western Washington University
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Director of the Center for Teaching & Learning