General Education Faculty
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Purdue Global Leadership
Jodene DeKorte is the academic dean of the School of General Education and Open College, and she previously served as a part-time faculty member and department chair. DeKorte served as the first chair of the Mathematics General Education Literacy Group, helping to develop the mathematics general education literacies. In 2016, the general education program won an Exemplary Program Award from the Association of General and Liberal Studies (AGLS). DeKorte was also elected to serve a 3-year term on the AGLS council. Prior to Purdue Global, DeKorte was a department chair and mathematics faculty member at Front Range Community College and worked in the Weld County School District.
Education: PhD, Colorado State University; MA, BA, University of Northern Colorado
Research Interests: Faculty performance, trends in general education, online learning leadership
Deborah Brien serves as assistant dean of students in the School of General Education at Purdue Global. Previously, she served as a full-time instructor, academic chair of the Department of Professional Studies, and scheduling manager and assistant director of centralized scheduling. In her role as academic chair of the Department of Professional Studies, Brien taught and assisted in the development of curriculum to address academic strategies for students in their first term at the university. Before beginning her career in counseling at-risk adolescents and victims of domestic violence, Brien was an international financial analyst.
Education: MS, North Carolina A&T State University
Publications: Articles about ADHD
Honors and Achievements: School of General Education Outstanding Leadership Award, North Carolina state grant
Research Interests: Availability of substance abuse treatment programs for female temporary employees without health care benefits, fostering student learning and success through their first year of college and beyond
Peggy Hohensee is the chair of the Purdue Global Math Department. She leads a team of approximately 100 faculty members, including an assistant chair, full-time faculty members, and adjunct faculty members. She has more than 20 years of experience in education, beginning her teaching career with the Lafourche Parish School System and later joining Nicholls State University and eventually Fletcher Technical Community College in 2005, where she was promoted to dean of arts and sciences and later dean of student affairs.
Education: PhD, Louisiana State University; MEd, Nicholls State University; MS, Nicholls State University; BA, Nicholls State University
Memberships: Virtual Difference Makers
Kerrie Houchens serves as department chair of Open College, which offers online services and personalized mentoring to help learners identify and organize prior work/life experiences and skills that could count toward a degree or career growth. Houchens also manages the professional studies program, open courses, Purdue Global’s portfolio prep course, and Prior Learning Assessment portfolio needs, including faculty/evaluator management and student support. She began her academic career at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2009, serving in a range of support roles including academic advisor, academic relations manager, and assessment specialist for the University's Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) department.
Education: MS, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); BS, University of Florida
Memberships: National Association of Developmental Education, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning
Research Interests: Experiential learning and Prior Learning Assessment, adult and community education, flipped learning
Michael Keathley has been the chair of composition and writing across the curriculum (WAC) since May 2010. A former monthly columnist for over a decade in four international newspapers, he is the author of more than 500 articles and 5 books published in at least 33 countries and multiple languages. His specializations include global and virtual leadership, writing across the curriculum/writing across the globe, classical rhetoric and humanities, and Macedonian studies. Keathley has been the recipient of leadership and teaching awards (including two for inspiring at-risk learners to persist) and has been a keynote speaker at several international conferences.
Education: Ph.D. in Global Leadership (Higher Education Administration) from the Indiana Institute of Technology; MA, BA; Michigan State University, Wayne State University; Post-master’s, Indiana University, Fort Wayne
Michele Riley is the chair of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences in the School of General Education. She is active with the military community and serves as the faculty co-advisor for both the Student Military Association and Salute. She has been the recipient of various teaching, curriculum design, leadership, and service learning awards. Riley has also been a recipient of several fellowships and grants for her scholarship. She has published both her historical and educational research. Riley is certified as a Quality Matters Higher Ed Peer Reviewer and holds an Alabama and Florida Social Science Certification for grades 6-12.
Education: PhD, Saint Louis University; MA, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville; BS, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Honors and Achievements: 2012 Outstanding Leadership Award (Kaplan University)
Memberships: Costume Society of America, Association of Dress Historians, the Women’s History Network
Research Interests: Costume, material culture, women’s studies
At Purdue Global, Celine Santiago Bass manages daily operations within the Science Department in the School of General Education. She is responsible for the coaching and mentoring of nearly 100 multi-disciplinary science faculty and staff and also oversees and helps shape an inventory of 13 courses and labs in a variety of scientific disciplines and formats. Santiago Bass began teaching as an adjunct instructor for Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in the Science Department of the School of General Education in 2008 and was promoted to Science Department chair shortly thereafter. Prior to Purdue Global, Santiago Bass worked in the environmental consulting field as a wetland scientist—ultimately becoming the vice president, senior ecologist at a small ecological consulting firm in New York City. Today, Bass has 25 years of applied experience in the sciences conducting research in both laboratory and field settings, with several of her research projects having been published as first-author in various peer-reviewed, high-impact scientific journals. In addition, she spent several years working in the financial industry.
Throughout her academic career, her interests have focused on ecological interactions and human impacts in wetland ecosystems, both natural and restored. Santiago Bass has taught a number of different science courses including ecology, biology, environmental science, and other non-major sciences, both on ground and online, for various colleges and universities. She also volunteers her time and expertise in an entomology lab at Rutgers University, where she assists the principle investigator and graduate students with various research projects focused primarily on Odonata.
Education: PhD, Rutgers University; MS, New Jersey Institute of Technology; BS, Rutgers University
Research Interests: Ecological interactions and human impacts in wetland ecosystems
Barbara Green helps oversee a full-time and adjunct faculty in the composition department at Purdue Global. Before moving into a full-time position as assistant chair of the department, Green was as an adjunct faculty member for many years. Additionally, she served as new faculty mentor for the School of Health Sciences within Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University). Green started her academic career at Columbus State Community College and Pima Community College.
Education: MA, Northern Arizona University
Publications: Editor-in-chief of Purdue Global employee literary journal Capstone, various academic and professional articles
Honors and Achievements: Owl Mentor (Pima Community College), Outstanding Online Faculty (Purdue Global); several presentations at virtual and traditional conferences
Membership: Co-chair of Virtual Literary Festival
Leslie Johnson began her career at Purdue Global as a part-time instructor of mathematics in 2008 and became assistant department chair of mathematics in 2011. She began her academic career at the University of Missouri as a lecturer. After moving to Alabama, Johnson became the developmental mathematics lab coordinator at Calhoun Community College, and she also served on the Alabama state committee for standardizing developmental mathematics curriculum.
Education: MS, Southeast Missouri State University
Publications: Proceedings of the 2017 DLA Conference
Honors and Achievements: 2004 Excellence in Teaching Award for Graduate Assistants (Southeast Missouri State University), 2005 Excellence in Research Award for Graduate Students (Southeast Missouri State University), 2013 General Education Outstanding Leadership Award (Kaplan University), national and international conference presentations (NADE, AMATYC, TCTP, TICAL, DLA, OLC)
Memberships: Mathematics GEL Chair
Research Interests: Micro-learning and its impact in workforce training and higher education
Kathleen Scarpena serves as the assistant academic chair for the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, and she also serves as a member of the Seminar Task Force team. Previously, she worked as a secondary social studies teacher and history professor before joining the School of General Education leadership team full time. Her experience includes teaching, course design and implementation, curriculum development, program development, student teacher candidate placement and certification, as well as educational administration in both K-12 and higher education settings.
Education: EdD, Northeastern University; MS, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); MA, University at Buffalo; BA, University at Buffalo
Honors and Achievements: 2013 Academic Excellence Award (Northeastern University, 2010 Outstanding Curriculum Development and Subject Matter Expertise (Kaplan University), 2010 Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence (American Medical Student Association), additional teaching and research honors
Research Interests: 20th century U.S. history focusing on the intersection of labor, the environment, and economic systems; higher education administration, concentrating on the impacts of consumer culture within higher education
Publications: Scarpena,K.R. (2012). Tudor fashion: Separating reality from pop culture. Selected proceeding from: 37th Annual European Studies Conference. Omaha, NE: University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Scarpena, K., Riley, M., & Keathley, M. (2018). Creating Successful Professional Development Activities for Online Faculty: A Reorganized Framework. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 21(1), 1- 11.
Nikki Williams assists the chair in managing the Science Department’s daily operations and provides classroom support and feedback to nearly 100 science faculty. In addition, she focuses on building and strengthening connections through various community building activities. With over 16 years of experience teaching mathematics online and face-to-face, she has dedicated most of her career to improving the retention and recruitment of underprivileged students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. In addition, Williams has taught at Georgia Perimeter College, Darton College (now Albany State University), and Florida State College at Jacksonville. Williams also designed and implemented a summer program funded by local Florida government and community sponsors.
Education: MS, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); MA, Rice University; BS, Spelman College
Honors and Achievements: 2017 General Education Leadership Award; 2007 Darton College Service Award; written STEM grants totalling nearly $775,000
Purdue Global Full-Time Faculty and Full-Time Adjuncts
Brook Abrams began teaching part time as an adjunct instructor in 2010 and was promoted to full-time adjunct instructor for Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2015. Abrams teaches undergraduate courses in mathematics, focusing primarily on introductory courses. She provides consistent student outreach and high-quality feedback, and she supports her department with shared resources and teamwork.
Education: MA, University of Missouri at Columbia
Honors and Achievements: Several teaching awards
Laura Allison teaches a variety of undergraduate courses in mathematics, including algebra and statistics. She became a full-time adjunct at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2015. Allison has taught college mathematics for over 30 years, first at AT&T, then online, and brings her experience in a Fortune 100 company and as an entrepreneur to the classroom.
Education: MS, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Memberships: American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges, InfraGard
James Bailey joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2008 and has taught courses in ethics, religion, the arts, and preparation for entry into professional life. He previously directed and taught in an adult literacy program for a Virginia community college, served as dean of students and instructor in religion and philosophy at Tyndale College and Seminary, was director of the Doctoral Program in Transformative Leadership at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, and taught at Roberts Wesleyan College.
Education: MA, Eastern Mennonite Seminary; University of Virginia; Institute for Christian Studies; the Free University of Amsterdam; University of Rochester
Honors and Achievements: Created and directed the academic support system at Houghton College
Brenda Beach joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) as a full-time faculty member in 2010. She teaches various undergraduate courses in the social sciences. She has also been the lead for a number of curriculum projects that include new course design and development, course revision, and course modularization. Dr. Beach has previously worked as a corrections program planner, a defense criminologist, and a director of social services for a faith-based relief organization.
Education: PhD, University of Virginia at Charlottesville
Research Interests: Interdisciplinary collaboration in the classroom, the importance of mentoring to new faculty success, veterans in the classroom, the issues of an aging inmate population, opportunities and challenges for millennials in the classroom
Michelle Bianco teaches undergraduate courses in composition and participates in outreach programs and curriculum discussions. A professional public speaker and professional development educator, she joined the University as a full-time adjunct faculty in the Composition Department. Previously, Bianco taught for 12 years before going into administration as a director of curriculum and instruction. Bianco was an active member of the Education Consortium at College of the Desert and an adjunct professor.
Education: MA, National University
Honors and Achievements: Presentation at National Association of Developmental Education Conference, Rising Star teaching award
Memberships: Educator’s Exchange Program
Research Interests: Connections between vocal communication and written composition
Sheryl Bone began her Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) career in 2008 and became a full-time faculty member in 2010. She currently teaches first-term composition students, facilitates online student orientation courses, and spent time in the Department of Student Success teaching underprepared students. Sheryl began her career in the Chicago Public School system teaching middle school and serving as a Language Arts department chairperson. She also worked as a literacy consultant in the Chicago Public School system.
Education: MAT, National College of Education; BA, Albion College
Honors and Achievements: Outstanding Full Time Team Member Award, Full Time Kaplan Way award
Memberships: Editorial Review Board of the College Reading and Learning Association Journal, College Reading and Learning Association
Research Interests: Nontraditional college students, student success and persistence, global literacy
Heather Booth teaches various math courses, such as quantitative analysis and a survey of mathematics and business statistics. She began teaching at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2008, becoming a full-time adjunct instructor in 2015. Prior to joining Purdue Global, Booth worked in technology services for a railway and as a railway project manager for 10 years and taught at Tarrant County College for 2 years.
Education: MS, Texas A&M University
Kimberly Bracey teaches various undergraduate courses in mathematics at Purdue Global. She has served as a subject matter expert and participated in curriculum innovations including modularized curriculum. Prior to joining higher education, she taught mathematics at the high school or college level for 30 years.
Education: MS, Southeast Missouri State University
Memberships: AMATYC, NCTM, OLC
Daniel Burrello is a full-time adjunct instructor at Purdue Global, teaching classes in social sciences and humanities. His research has involved study into the connections between collective apocalyptic thinking, competitive mythology, and modern cultures. He has lectured at science fiction conventions and provided interviews on this topic.
Education: MFA, Queens University of Charlotte; MS, University of West Alabama
Honors and Achievements: Featured in nationally released book Halloween Nation: Behind the Scenes of America's Fright Night
Research Interests: Effects of growing decentralization in human endeavors, effects of blockchain technologies upon world cultures
Caseldine-Bracht teaches ethics, bioethics, critical thinking, humanities and culture classes at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University). She spent three summers in France studying human rights and holds an international law certificate from the International Institute of Human Rights René Cassin at the University of Strasbourg, France. In Jakarta, she presented a paper for an ethics and development conference and has presented papers for international development conferences in Costa Rica, Canada and the United Kingdom. She has published chapters in two books and has published articles in journals about human rights and issues in feminist bioethics.
Education: PhD, Michigan State University; MA, Purdue University
Research Interests: Global ethics, human rights, feminist philosophy, bioethics, social and political philosophy, and engaged learning projects.
David Chicoine currently teaches anatomy and physiology and has taught a variety of other biology and health sciences courses. He stays actively involved with simulation training for medical school residents at multiple venues throughout Maine. Previously, Chicoine served as a research associate for the Department of Biological Sciences and chairman of the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Southern Maine.
Education: DC, New York Chiropractic College; BS, University of Southern Maine
Publications: Genetics, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, The Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Plant Disease, Military Medicine
Honors and Achievements: Adjunct Teacher of the Year, Frank E. Dean Memorial Award, Clarence N. Flick Research Award, Distinguished Service Award, Excellence in Clinical Diagnosis Award, Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal
Research Interests: Ways to utilize media technologies to augment the learning experience focusing on gamification
At Purdue Global, Denise Coblish teaches various undergraduate writing and communication courses, with a special emphasis on developmental writing and technical communication. She is active in a number of professional development activities and has presented at many University conferences. Previously, Coblish was a librarian in academic, public, and corporate libraries, and garnered over $200,000 in grant monies to build a branch public library in upstate New York. As an instructional technologist, she transitioned hundreds of online courses from one learning management system to another for SUNY's Empire State College. She has also developed writing courses for college programs targeting students with autism.
Education: MS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; MS, State University of New York (SUNY)
Research Interests: Using social media in writing instruction
Stuart Collins joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) as a full-time faculty member in 2012. He currently oversees courses on American government and community engagement within the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. He teaches a number of career, history, and political science courses. Collins has received a number of awards during his time at the University, including commendations for curriculum design and leadership. He also helms the Faculty Interdisciplinary Roundtable, a quarterly symposium that hosts University faculty who discuss a wide variety of academic topics.
Education: MA, Villanova University; MS, University of Florida; BS, University of Florida
Research Interests: How individualized video content within online courses increases student retention and grades
Pamela Cox currently teaches various undergraduate courses in mathematics at Purdue Global. She brings over 17 years of online teaching experience and has served in a variety of roles including instructor, instructional designer, and technical editor. Prior to Purdue Global, Cox developed complete online courses and course modules for the Mississippi Virtual Public School, the Mississippi Virtual Community College, and Pearson Publishing Company. She was a-full time instructor at East Mississippi Community College for 15 years and served as president of the Faculty Association and vice president of the Mississippi Council of Teachers of Mathematics, representing the Community Colleges of Mississippi.
Education: MS, Loyola University of New Orleans
R. Dean Davenport is a full-time adjunct faculty member for the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences within the School of General Education. He currently teaches undergraduate courses that focus on ethical reasoning, critical thinking, and professional development. Davenport has written on a wide variety of philosophical and ethical issues, and a number of his essays have appeared as chapters in larger works and in peer reviewed academic journals. In addition to his teaching and course lead responsibilities, he continues to write and present at various academic conferences each year.
Education: PhD, Baylor University; JD, Texas Tech University School of Law; MA, Baylor University
Research Interests: Critical thinking, comparative ethical theory, professional ethics, history of philosophy
Linda Deaver teaches various general education courses at Purdue Global, with an emphasis on bioethics, ethics, and professional presence. She has helped pilot several of the University’s innovations in technology and curriculum. Deaver brings a diverse background to the University, including developing online and traditional curriculum for both the classroom and corporate settings. She began her academic career in secondary education, where she sponsored an award winning journal and developed an SAT prep course. Deaver later transitioned into adult education as a corporate trainer and curriculum developer. She then returned to the academic classroom, teaching online for a number of universities before becoming a full-time adjunct at Purdue Global. She is currently working on a collection of short stories and exploring the use of media and text as a methodology of making philosophical concepts more immediate for students.
Education: PhD, University of Texas
Susan Deno teaches various undergraduate courses in the Science Department at Purdue Global, including courses focusing on anatomy and physiology, general biology and histology, and embryology. She has been highly involved in faculty service and governance as well as overseeing student awareness events for public health and other student organizations. Prior to Purdue Global, Deno taught at Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles, where she worked for almost 15 years as an assistant professor. There she developed, designed, and taught lecture courses in systemic anatomy, public health, and embryology. She also taught many labs in the department.
Education: MA, Boston University; BS, Loyola Marymount University
Honors and Achievements: Staff of the Year (Cleveland Chiropractic College), Outstanding Course Lead (Kaplan University); Outstanding New Faculty Honorable Mention (Kaplan University), Outstanding Course Lead Honorable Mention (Kaplan University), Outstanding Curriculum Revision/Innovation Honorable Mention (Kaplan University)
Paige Erickson joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2008, becoming a full-time faculty member of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2010. She teaches undergraduate courses such as humanities and culture, arts and humanities, critical thinking, and ethics. She serves as a subject matter expert in curriculum revisions for traditional Purdue Global courses, the Open College, and ExcelTrackTM courses. Erickson has been teaching at the college level for 18 years and previously taught philosophy and communications at Hastings College.
Education: MA, University of Colorado at Boulder; MA, Kansas State University
Publications: The Nice Thing About Strangers blog and book
Honors and Achievements: 2013 Outstanding Full-Time Team Members, 2014 Outstanding Curriculum Revision/Innovation Award
Memberships: Chair of the Professional Competencies Graduate Problem Solving and Critical Thinking committee, Arts and Humanities General Education Literacy committee, Executive Board for Southern Humanities Council
Research Interests: Philosophy and literature, creative writing, virtue ethics
Russell Fail serves as a professor of humanities and social sciences and is the course lead instructor for ethics. He also serves as a subject matter expert in curriculum design and serves as a faculty advisor. He joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) as an adjunct instructor in 2006 and soon joined the full-time faculty teaching in the Humanities Department for the School of General Education. He spent 17 years in small business management and began teaching ethics in 2001.
Education: PhD, Capella University; MDiv, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Honors and Achievements: 2012 Outstanding Full-time Team Member; several journal publications and presentations at academic conferences
Memberships: Chair of Ethics General Education Literacy Committee, Multiculturalism and Diversity Professional Competency Committee
Research Interests: Applied ethics including child marketing, cultural competency, and adult learning
Annissa Furr is a residential faculty member in the General Education department at Purdue Global. She teaches courses on microbiology, immunology, and general science.
Education: PhD, South Dakota State University; MS, Arizona State University; BS, Arizona State University
Publications: Journal of Bioterrorism and Biodefense article discussing the immunology of prion disease
Honors and Achievements: Co-founder and COO for Kids Play Safe
Memberships: LEED Green Associate, U.S. Green Building Council, United Nations Global Compact
Research Interests: Prion immunology
Galia Fussell teaches undergraduate and graduate courses at Purdue Global, including academic and professional writing for graduate students, professional development in technical writing, introduction to legal analysis and writing, and college composition.
Education: PhD, State University of Pedagogy and Humanities in Kazan; MS and Graduate Certificate in Online College Teaching, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); MA, Elabuga State University of Pedagogy and Humanities; Paralegal Certificate, Tarrant County College
Publications: English Lexicology, more than 100 articles in scholarly journals
Honors and Achievements: 2015 Outstanding Professional Development and Scholarship Award (School of General Education), 2006 Best Scholarly Work Award (State University of Pedagogy and Humanities in Kazan), presentations at national and international conferences
Nicole Garland started with Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) as an online adjunct faculty member in 2008, becoming a full-time adjunct faculty member in 2015. She teaches a variety of undergraduate mathematics courses including survey of mathematics, college algebra, and business math and statistical measures. She began her academic career as an associate instructor at Indiana University and became an adjunct instructor for Ivy Tech Community College in 2006.
Education: MAT, Indiana University; BS, Marian College (now Marian University)
Honors and Achievements: Excellence in Mathematics Award (Marian College), Rothrock Teaching Award (Indiana University)
Shelly Gussis teaches a variety of undergraduate composition courses at Purdue Global. He began his academic career at the University of Economics in Prague. Returning to the United States, Gussis taught at various colleges and universities before joining Purdue Global.
Education: MFA, MA, Roosevelt University; MS, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global)
Tyra Hall-Pogar is a faculty member in the School of General Education, Department of Science, where she teaches undergraduate courses in science, particularly genetics. She has been involved in curriculum revisions and the modularization of various science courses. She edits and collaborates on various research projects, textbooks, and book chapters. Hall-Pogar previously worked as a medical writer focusing on antibiotic resistance and disease states such as Alzheimer’s Disease. She started her academic career as an assistant professor at Neumann University and has served as a MCAT review editor in the field of biochemistry.
Education: PhD, Rutgers University Graduate School of Biomedical Science
Honors and Achievements: Full-Time Faculty Star of the Year (School of General Education)
Memberships: Journal of College Science Teaching Advisory Board
Research Interests: RNA molecules, 3’ end processing and polyadenylation, ways to alleviate student anxiety in science courses taught online
Jennifer Harrison teaches various undergraduate courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences department, with a special emphasis on American women’s history and culture. She is the course lead for the University's American Women and Founding Fathers courses. She has taught first-year experience and humanities courses for Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) for over 15 years. She started her academic career as a Disabilities Coordinator and American History instructor prior to joining Purdue Global.
Education: MA, University of Richmond
Publications: Articles on American history and pop culture, ranging from the experiences of Mary McLeod Bethune to the presentation of parent-child relationships in the films of Robert Downey Jr. and gender in Downton Abbey
Memberships: Chair, Arts and Humanities GEL Committee; Member, Library Committee
Research Interests: Presentation of women and children in advertising
David Healey teaches college composition for the School of General Education at Purdue Global. He began teaching classes in journalism and composition at Washington College and Cecil College before joining the Purdue Global faculty. Previously, Healey was a news reporter and editor for 21 years.
Education: MFA, University of Southern Maine
Publications: articles in publications including the Washington Times and American History, three nonfiction books on regional history, several novels, co-author of accounting textbook
Honors and Achievements: 2011 Chaney Scholar (St. Mary’s College of Maryland), Best Editorial of the Year (Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association), other journalism awards
Memberships: Professional Competencies in Graduate Communications Committee, Eastern Shore Writers’ Association, International Thriller Writers
Research Interests: Intergenerational communication in the workplace
Michael Heeren has taught a variety of mathematics courses, including business math, statistics, and business statistics and quantitative analysis. He joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) as a part-time instructor in 2003, was promoted to department chair in 2007, and became course lead and a full-time faculty member in 2018. Prior to joining Purdue Global, Heeren taught at the junior high and high school level, including Yuma High School from 1996 to 1999. In 2003, he began teaching at Hamilton College.
Education: MA, University of Northern Iowa
Honors and Achievements: Presented at 2017 MAA conference
Memberships: General Education Literacy committee for mathematics, several campus committees
Eric Holmes is a full-time faculty member in the composition department at Purdue University Global. He currently teaches college composition courses and is course lead for technical communication courses.
Education: MS, Portland State University; MS, University of South Dakota
Publications: Articles in The International Journal of Comic Art and The Oregon English Journal; a chapter in Dexter and Philosophy
Memberships: Teamwork Professional Competency Committee
Research Interests: Rhetoric, folklore, public speaking, horror as a genre
Jacob Kaltenbach currently teaches college composition within the School of General Education. He has taught in both humanities and composition and served for several years on the University Assessment Committee. He previously served in teaching and administrative capacities with Nottingham University, the University of Colorado at Denver, and the University of Washington in Seattle, among other institutions.
Education: Phd, MA, Cardiff University (then University of Wales, Cardiff)
Honors and Achievements: Creative Course Award (Kaplan University)
Teresa Marie Kelly currently teaches composition in the Writing Across the Curriculum Department at Purdue Global, focusing on technical and learning tools and strategies to enhance writing skills and build habits for future course success. She serves as the composition contact for the School of General Education Speaker’s Series and volunteers with the annual Literary Festival. In 2007, she became one of the founding faculty in the Student Success Department, which focused on the needs of underprepared and at-risk learners. Kelly actively pursues professional development and scholarship. She brings diverse experience to Purdue Global, formerly serving as a high school English teacher, dean, adjunct faculty, and early adopter of distance learning.
Education: MAT, BA, Agnes Scott College
Honors and Achievements: 2004 Kaplan Spirit Award (Kaplan University); additional teaching, scholarship, and professional development honors
Research Interests: Skills-focused and interdisciplinary nature of teaching and learning, the unique impact social media and online communities have on educator training and professional development
Rathi Krishnan is an award winning author, educator, and poet. Her experience spans several institutions, and she is currently a full-time professor at Purdue Global, where she teaches advanced composition. She also serves as a fiction editor for Capstone literary journal and is a virtual Difference Maker. Her published writing includes an English textbook published by Macmillan, Inc., as well as several articles, stories, and poems in leading newspapers and journals. Her most recent published article appeared in the fall 2016 issue of NADE Digest on the use of anti-plagiarism software in online education. She has presented on topics such as diversity in online education, rhetoric, and English literature at various national and international conferences.
Education: Doctoral coursework, University of California, Riverside; MA, Bangalore University; MA, California State University, Long Beach
Daudi Langat teaches various undergraduate courses in biological sciences, with a special emphasis on human anatomy and physiology. He began his academic career at the University of Kansas Medical School, where he was as research fellow and later a research assistant professor. After 10 years of research, he moved to full-time teaching as an assistant professor of biology at William Jewell College before becoming a full-time adjunct at Purdue Global. Langat has received numerous awards in research, including travel awards to attend international conferences to present his work.
Education: PhD, MS, University of Nairobi
Publications: articles in peer-reviewed journals, reviewer for Biology of Reproduction and American Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Research Interests: Understanding mechanisms of immune tolerance at the maternal-fetal interface during pregnancy
Mary Laska is a full-time faculty member in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences in the School of General Education. She currently teaches career development strategy courses, social science survey courses, and introduction to sociology. She has taught extensively in the Huntsville area, including an appointment as a visiting professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She has also been involved in local research and program evaluation, working as a research assistant at the National Children’s Advocacy Center.
Education: PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham; BA, University of Alabama in Huntsville
Research Interests: Pedagogy of online teaching
Laurie Leet teaches undergraduate courses in science and nutrition at Purdue University Global, and she serves as course lead for the principles of nutrition course in the School of General Education Science Department. Leet started her online academic career in 2004 while working full time in health care.
Education: MS, University of Wisconsin-Stout; MBA, University of Nebraska at Kearney
Certifications: Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)
Love teaches undergraduate courses in composition and undergraduate psychology courses. She started her career at the University of Northern Iowa where she worked in the Department of English. Love’s scholarship has been published in magazines, journals, and books with her research on human rights literature being recognized by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She was awarded attendance at the 52nd Commissions of the Status of Women at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.
Education: MA, University of Northern Iowa; MS, Kaplan University
Honors and Achievements: 2014 Outstanding Faculty Member
Memberships: Academic Appeals Committee
Research Interests: A literature textbook, a study on using bibliotherapy as complementary treatment for trauma, and a study on using Google tools in the writing classroom.
Sharon Marusiak teaches various undergraduate courses in science as well as anatomy and physiology to pre-health science majors. She has also been involved in helping to better design and implement the curriculum at Purdue Global for the health science majors. Her teaching experience includes Kent State University, Cuyahoga Community College, Lakeland Community College, and Stark State College.
Education: MS, Kent State University; BS, John Carroll University
Honors and Achievements: “Apple Award” for teaching at high school level, nominated for course lead and adjunct faculty award (Kaplan University)
Kirsten Meymaris joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) as an adjunct in 2009 with 10 years of experience in online education. In 2014, she became a full-time faculty member in the Mathematics Department in the School of General Education. Meymaris teaches undergraduate mathematics courses, and she also manages the upper-level discrete mathematics and business statistics with quantitative analysis courses, emphasizing the integration of technology for deeper mathematical interpretation of data.
Education: MS, University of Colorado at Boulder; BS, University of Minnesota Institute of Technology
Publications: Contributions to scientific journals for innovative citizen science work, mathematics and educational texts
Honors and Achievements: 2017 Course Lead Rock Star Award (School of General Education), 2016 Honorable Mention FT Faculty Super Star, 2012 Outstanding FT Adjunct Honorable Mention
Candy Mowen joined the University as a full-time faculty member in 2015, and she currently teaches various undergraduate courses in mathematics. In addition, Mowen serves on the Center of Teaching and Learning Advisory Committee. She has previously taught courses in business and career readiness and served on the Faculty Curriculum Committee. Mowen piloted the first Hagerstown/Rockville COBL course in November 2011, and assisted with training COBL instruction to other colleagues at the Hagerstown/Rockville locations.
Education: MEd, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global; Graduate Certificate, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global)
Honors and Achievements: 2013 Educator-of-the-Year Award (Maryland Location)
Kevin Muir became an adjunct instructor for Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2008, becoming a full-time adjunct in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2015. Muir teaches a variety of undergraduate classes for the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, particularly about history and social sciences, as well as in the ExcelTrack™ program. Previously, he taught at Oak Valley Country Day, a private high school, where he became principal; he later taught at Brown Mackie College and the Kansas City campus of DeVry University.
Education: MA, Oakland University; BA, Oakland University
Honors and Achievements: Faculty Performance Award for outstanding teaching (DeVry University Online), 2017 KUVillage conference presentation, 2014 General Education Conference presentation
Memberships: History Learning Committee, Capstone literary journal
Holly Painter teaches biology-related courses, including anatomy and physiology. She joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) as an adjunct faculty member in 2011 and obtained a full-time position in 2015. Painter began her academic career at the College of West Virginia teaching laboratory undergraduate courses and then moved into the research field working with DNA research materials for several years. She returned to higher education and has been instructing biology-related courses for more than 10 years now.
Education: MS, New York Chiropractic College; MS, Mountain State University
Lisa Parenti teaches as a full-time adjunct instructor for the anatomy, physiology, and biology courses in the Science Department in the School of General Education. She was in the first group of tutors in the University’s Science Center and also joined with another tutor to pioneer Purdue Global’s Science Club. Prior to joining the University as an adjunct faculty member, Parenti practiced successfully as a chiropractor for 24 years in Nashville, Tennessee.
Education: DC, Life Chiropractic College; MS, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); BS, University of Florida
Honors and Achievements: 2014 Kaplan Way Leadership Award Nomination (Kaplan University)
January Pearson teaches English composition in the School of General Education. She began teaching online for Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2005 and was promoted to full-time adjunct faculty in 2014. Pearson also taught as an English instructor at Concordia University in Irvine, California. Before instructing at the college level, Pearson began her career as a technical writer, writing and editing software books for a worldwide computer training company. She also gained experience designing and teaching writing classes, both online and in person, for public relations professionals.
Education: MA, California State University in Fullerton
Publications: Gargoyle Magazine, Atlanta Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, American Journal of Poetry, Watershed Review, Summerset Review, Capstone literary journal, Four Chambers Press, Timberline Review, The Chiron, Valparaiso Poetry Review
Honors and Achievements: General Education Conference and Literary Festival presentations (Kaplan University)
Memberships: General Education Conference Review Team
Christopher Powers teaches an array of courses in the humanities and social sciences at Purdue University Global.
Education: MA, Hollins University; BA, Ferrum College
Honors and Achievements: FT Adjunct Member of the Year Award, 2017 General Education “Spirit” Award nominee, 2014 Student’s Choice Award nominee
Jonathan Racster joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2012 and teaches various undergraduate courses in sociology, social sciences, and the humanities. He sat on the steering committee for the 2016 and 2017 General Education Conference and continues to volunteer at the University. He started his academic career in 2001, and he has since taught at multiple institutions and served on numerous panels and committees related to curriculum and best practices. Racster’s anthropological and sociological research has taken him around the world, and he frequently presents at various colleges, universities, and academic societies on topics such as diversity and inclusion; sex, sexuality, and gender; and best practices in teaching. In his spare time, Racster volunteers as an intern in the archaeology department of the Ohio History Connection.
Education: MA, New Mexico State University; MA, The Ohio State University
Research Interests: Evolution and iterations of sex, sexuality, and gender
Honors and Achievements: 2014 Spirit of Kaplan Award (Kaplan University)
Adam Rafalovich is a full-time faculty member in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, where he has taught courses on sociology, gender, film, social problems, research methods, medical sociology, social theory, deviance, mental health, and popular culture. He also serves as a principal course designer and subject matter expert. A professional sociologist with an interest in medical sociology, Rafalovich has been teaching in higher education since 1997. He began teaching at Southern Oregon University and later taught for 4 years as a tenure-track assistant professor at Texas Tech University before joining Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2006. His background includes teaching, research, and writing in medical sociology, and he has been awarded research grants from National Institutes of Health and Texas Tech University.
Education: Phd, University of British Columbia; MS, Northern Arizona University; BS, Southern Oregon University
Publications: Framing ADHD Children: A Critical Examination of the History, Discourse, and Everyday Experience of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder; additional articles on medicalization in American life and children's development
Research Interests: Luxury consumption culture with particular attention paid to Swiss watch culture
Alissa Rennie is a full-time adjunct faculty member in the Science Department in the School of General Education and has been teaching online since 2010. She currently teaches various undergraduate courses in science, including genetics, biology, and biochemistry. She has also served as a virtual Science Center tutor, providing one-on-one assistance to students. Rennie previously spent time in the Johns Hopkins University laboratory working on issues related to the development of cancer biomarkers and steroid detection before transitioning into teaching. She has published research in several journals and has given presentations related to these topics at several conferences.
Education: MS, Johns Hopkins University; MS, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global)
Research Interests: Ways to improve both student engagement and metacognitive skills
As a faculty member in the School of General Education, Catherine Rice teaches human anatomy and physiology and has presented at faculty meetings, a General Education Conference, and journal clubs. Additionally, she discussed programs, policies, and processes with The Higher Learning Commission evaluators as part of the reaccreditation process for Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University). Rice also teaches courses at Southern New Hampshire University and serves as a subject matter expert. She began her academic career as an online instructor with Bryant & Stratton College for 7 years, where she taught a variety of courses, lead committees for course redesign, and mentored faculty. Rice treated patients in her own chiropractic practice for 18 years and maintains her chiropractic license, completing 12 credits of continuing education courses annually.
Education: DC, Northwestern College of Chiropractic; MS, SUNY Potsdam
Certifications: Licensed chiropractor
At Purdue Global, Lea Rosenberry teaches various undergraduate courses in math and is the course lead for the Math Department's two largest courses, which focus on the survey of mathematics and college algebra. She has been involved in numerous course revisions, including modularized curriculum, competency based programs, and Open College. Rosenberry began her academic career teaching in at Austin Peay State University while earning her master's degree and was offered a full-time position upon graduation. She then taught at Fayetteville Technical Community College in for 10 years. Rosenberry is a frequent presenter on math and technology topics at national conferences, including the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges (AMATYC); National Association of Developmental Education (NADE); Teaching, Colleges, and Community (TCC); Worldwide Online Conference; and E-Learn.
Education: MAEd, Austin Peay State University
Honors and Achievements: Full-time Faculty Rock Star Award, Outstanding Course Lead Award, Above and Beyond Award (School of General Education); Outstanding Advisor Lifetime Achievement Award (Kaplan University)
Kira Shank currently teaches courses focused on professionalism and career strategies and is the course lead for two courses in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. Prior to Purdue Global, Shank taught and mentored public school students who had hearing impairments or learning disabilities. She has been teaching at the college level for more than 20 years, initially teaching American Sign Language. During her career, she has written curricula for reading, math, study skills, career strategies, and education for both public and college-level institutions. Shank continues her work in the field of special education by co-chairing the Learning with Disabilities Special Interest Group for the national College Reading and Learning Association.
Education: EdD, Northeastern University; MEd, University of North Florida
Honors and Achievements: School of General Education Scholarship and Professional Development Award (Kaplan University)
Research Interests: At-risk, nontraditional college students and students with disabilities in online learning environments
Currently a full-time adjunct at Purdue Global, Rita Sharma teaches various undergraduate courses in composition. She has extensive experience in online, blended, and hybrid facilitation and has been a professor of composition for 25 years. She is also an active member of University committees. Sharma started her academic career in India and later taught English in Dubai and Jakarta before teaching at Houston Community College in 2002. She moved on to Lake Erie College in Ohio as a professor and was the SAGES leader at Case Western Reserve University. Her research has been shared in a variety of conferences and books, and she has been cited for her expertise on diversity and world literature.
Honors and Achievements: Numerous teaching, research, and service honors, including three Professor-of-the-Year awards
Publications: Capstone literary journal reviewer, Quest for Self (forthcoming)
Amy Smith is a faculty member in the Science Department, teaching general and environmental science. She is also the course lead for the fundamentals of science course, serves as a Virtual Difference Maker, and is the STEM Faculty Journal Club coordinator. She frequently presents on both science research and teaching topics. Prior to higher education, Smith was a home-improvement retail manager, owned a small interior remodeling company, and worked as a laboratory technician in water quality.
Education: MS, Colorado State University; MS, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); BS, Western Washington University
Honors and Achievements: Spirit of Kaplan Award and Kaplan Way Awad (Kaplan University)
Research Interests: Urban forestry, sustainable living and energy issues, watershed/forest interactions
Carolyn Stevenson teaches the bachelor’s capstone in the professional studies degree program and also serves as a faculty advisor. She oversees numerous innovations in curriculum, including competency based degree programs. Stevenson serves on several Purdue Global committees and is an Open College representative for the School of General Education Speaker Series. She previously worked in publishing for 5 years before going into higher education teaching and administration. She has been cited for her expertise in online learning, open educational resources, and prior learning. Stevenson is also a reviewer for conference papers and has served on various offices and committees for the American Education Research Association.
Education: EdD, Roosevelt University
Publications: Editor for Enhancing Education Through Open Degree Programs and Prior Learning Assessment
Honors and Achievements: 2016 Bruce Chaloux Scholarship (Online Learning Consortium), 2008 Best Paper Award (Distance Learning Administration), additional teaching, research, and service honors
Memberships: American Education Research Association (AERA)
In 2003, Tami Tacker began her online journey with Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) as an adjunct faculty member and has served as a full-time adjunct in the Mathematics Department since 2015. She teaches various undergraduate courses in mathematics and conducts preterm online workshops to ease student anxiety as they prepare for math class. Over her long career, she has shared her love of numbers with middle school, high school, and college-level mathematics students at several institutions. Her goal is to make all students, no matter their skill level, comfortable while learning mathematics.
Education: MS, Stephen F. Austin State University
Honors and Achievements: Outstanding Full-Time Adjunct and Outstanding Curriculum Revision/Innovation nominee (Kaplan University)
Memberships: American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges
Lisa Teitler has been teaching online since 2007. In 2015, she became a full-time adjunct in the Composition Department at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University). She currently teaches college composition and the competency based program, Excel Track™. Teitler has been recognized for her dedication to student learning and innovative approaches to the classroom.
Education: MA, Virginia Commonwealth University
Emily Thompson teaches composition and serves on the General Education Literacies committee. She has taught the competency-based ExcelTrack™ program at Purdue Global since its inception. Prior to Purdue Global, Thompson taught composition at the University of Oregon and went on to teach at West African College of the Atlantic, Fort Lewis College, and Southwest Colorado Community College. She is currently finishing a master's degree in psychology at Purdue Global and has won awards for conference presentations and her use of innovative tech tools in the classroom.
Education: MA, University of Oregon
Research Interests: Determining if self-compassion training can help first-term writing students reduce writing anxiety and stress while increasing life satisfaction and academic persistence
Stephanie Thompson teaches undergraduate courses in composition and serves as a course lead, where she develops course curriculum and faculty resources. Thompson began teaching at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2007 and became a full-time faculty member in the composition department in 2009. She has served on numerous committees, including the Faculty Curriculum Committee. Previously, Thompson taught English and advised students in the education program at Peace College in Raleigh. She has presented at numerous academic conferences such as NADE, NCTE, and CRLA.
Education: PhD, University of Tennessee; MA, University of Tennessee
Publications: Influencing America’s Tastes: Realism in the Work of Wharton, Cather, and Hurst; articles related to film and pedagogy in books and journals
Honors and Achievements: 2013 Above and Beyond Award, 2012 Outstanding Course Lead, 2011 Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Award Nomination (Kaplan University)
Julissa (Julie) Torres-Roman teaches various undergraduate courses in biology, anatomy and physiology, and general science. Her work as a full-time adjunct faculty and course lead earned her recognition by the School of General Education and her peers. Previously, Torres-Roman was a faculty member at her alma mater, Montclair State University, and at Essex County College, where she taught various science courses and helped underprivileged students pursue their academic goals. Her personal mission is to make science more approachable by ensuring that students relate to the concepts they are learning about in the classroom. In her personal time, Julie volunteers as an Envirothon instructor for intermediate and middle school students, as well as a judge for local and virtual science fairs.
Education: MS, Montclair State University
Robert Vaughan currently teaches ethics, critical thinking, world religions, and humanities at Purdue Global and is the course lead for a course in bioethics. He owns a private company that meets the educational needs of organizations and corporations. Vaughan is actively researching management principles in higher education and applies his research to the classroom.
Education: DMin, George Fox University; MDiv, MSM, MEd
Josef Vice is a faculty member in the School of General Education and Open College at Purdue Global. He currently teaches composition and serves as a course lead. Vice has taught at the university level for the past 30 years, including 13 years of online teaching, and taught high school at the beginning of his career. His published works include articles on W.H. Auden, as well as various articles and book chapters on the teaching of writing, and he is currently working on a series of articles on Southern culture. Vice has completed doctoral coursework in rhetoric and composition and modern literature.
Education: Doctoral coursework, Auburn University; MA, Jacksonville State University
Research Interests: The relationship between student confidence and academic success