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CCU Atheneum: All five colleges at Coastal Carolina University are welcoming new faculty members this year, and they bring a wealth of expertise with them across a variety of disciplines.
All five colleges at Coastal Carolina University are welcoming new faculty members this year, and they bring a wealth of expertise with them across a variety of disciplines.

CCU welcomes more than 50 new faculty members to all five colleges

by Caroline P. Rohr
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More than 50 new teachers have joined the ranks of Coastal Carolina University’s more than 450 faculty this semester, and they come from places as close as Conway and as far away as China.

The new cohort was introduced on Aug. 16-17 at New Faculty Orientation, which is hosted by the Center for Teaching Excellence to Advance Learning, or CeTEAL. President David A. DeCenzo and Provost Ralph Byington opened the orientation and welcomed th new faculty.

“Not a lot of universities have this number of new faculty,” DeCenzo said. “Enrollment continues to go up and we continue to grow, but we invest in CeTEAL so we can invest in you.”

The E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration and the Spadoni College of Education each have four new faculty members; the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts has 34 new faculty members, including Salma Oubkkou, a Fulbright Visiting Scholar from Morocco who will teach Arabic during her time at CCU. The College of Science has 25 new faculty members, including William Ambrose Jr., the new vice dean of the School of the Coastal Environment. University College welcomes two new faculty members.

Wall College of Business

Bong Jeong, associate professor of management, earned his Ph.D. in information technology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His research interests focus on digital piracy, emerging technology adoption and data mining.

Michael Dowd, lecturer of management, specializes in leadership development, entrepreneurship, digital and direct marketing and data analysis. He retired as CEO from Circle Cruise Lines in 2016.

Lorrain Runion, lecturer of marketing, served most recently as executive vice president/chief administrative officer and corporate secretary of ECB Bank Corp. Inc./East Carolina Bank.

Cassandra Ditt, assistant professor of marketing, is completing her dissertation on “Keeping Social Media Influencers Influential.” Her research interests include social media influencers; branding and brand management; consumption experiences and emotions; marketing pedagogy and education; and sports marketing.

College of Education

Scott Alexander, lecturer of foundations of education, is the director of the Chanticleer Center for Literacy Education. He has been an administrator in elementary, intermediate, junior high and adult education. He has been a teaching associate with the Spadoni College of Education for 10 years.

Susan Foley, lecturer of foundations of education, has worked in Texas and Melbourne, Australia. She has been teaching as an adjunct at CCU for the past six years.

Eugenia Hopper, assistant professor of early childhood education, earned her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in urban elementary education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She taught public school for 11 years.

Barbara Mallory, associate professor of educational leadership, earned an educational doctorate in leadership from East Carolina University. She comes to CCU from Georgia Southern University, where she served as the coordinator of the doctoral program in educational leadership.

College of Humanities and Fine Arts

Sarah Abushakra, lecturer of music, is a CCU alumna, teaches class piano and oversees the piano proficiency program. She also runs a private piano studio and is a member of the Music Teachers Association and Long Bay Music Teachers Association, among others.

Nataliya Alekseyenko, lecturer of languages, earned her Ph.D. in translation studies from Kent State University. She teaches all levels of Russian and coordinates the Russian language program, as well as teaching French classes as needed.

Yvette L. C. Arendt, assistant professor of visual arts, is a recipient of the Wolfstein Travel Fellowship to Spain and the 701 CCA Prize in 2016 for South Carolina artists under 40. Her work has been exhibited in multiple group and solo exhibitions throughout the South and Midwest.

Nadzeya Batson, lecturer of communication, is originally from Belarus and her native languages are Russian and Belarusian. She became a U.S. citizen in 2012 after graduating from CCU in 2011. Her master’s in journalism and public affairs is from American University.

Nathan Bartlett, lecturer of geography, has been with CCU as a teaching associate since 2013. He earned two master’s degrees, one in European history from Western Carolina University and the other in geography from the University of Missouri.

Jeremy Brooks, assistant professor of visual arts, earned his B.F.A. in art and design from Grand Valley State University in 2001, and his M.F.A. in ceramic art from Alfred University in 2007. He received the emerging artist award from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts and was a guest of honor at the XXI International Biennial of Vallauris, France.

Lena Butingaro, lecturer of English, holds a bachelor’s degree in history, summa cum laude, from Coastal and a Master of Arts in English literature from Mercy College. She was formerly a teaching associate in the English department.

Aari Campbell, lecturer of English, is a graduate of Coastal Carolina University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and a Master of Arts in Writing with a focus in fiction writing. She was formerly a teaching associate in the English department.

Katie Clary, assistant professor of history, earned her Ph.D. in public history from Middle Tennessee State University. She has written on accessibility for people with disabilities at museums and historic sites, and her research now focuses on the ethics and circumstances of human remains in museum displays and collections.

Caryn Cortez, lecturer of Spanish, earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from CCU and her master’s degree in Spanish from Florida Atlantic University. She has taught English at La Universidad de La Sierra Sur in the city of Miahuatlan de Porfirio Diaz in Mexico and taught beginning Spanish I and II at Florida Atlantic.

LaMesha “MeMe” Craft, lecturer of politics, has a doctorate in public policy and administration with a concentration in homeland security policy and coordination. Prior to joining CCU, she served 20 years of active duty in the U.S. Army as an all-source intelligence warrant officer.

Linsay Cramer, assistant professor of communication, earned her Ph.D. in 2017 from the School of Media & Communication at Bowling Green State University. Her research focuses on critical rhetorical approaches to the analysis of intercultural communication and whiteness studies, specifically in media and sport.

Kevin Ferguson, lecturer of theatre, earned his M.F.A. in playwriting with a concentration in dramaturgy from Hollins University. He is playwright-in-residence at Atlantic Stage in Myrtle Beach, where his plays Child’s Play, Spinning Jenny and A Thing with Feathers premiered.

Andrew Fowler, lecturer of music, is a composer, pianist and vocalist. His works have received acclaim in venues such as Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Nobel Conference on Peace, and Piccolo Spoleto. During Fowler’s tenure as composer-in-residence for the Carolina Master Chorale, the group presented premieres of more than 20 of his choral works.

Melanie Giraud, lecturer of French, earned a Ph.D. in French literature from Johns Hopkins University. She has taught French language, literature and culture at the University of Central Arkansas, Loyola University in Maryland, and most recently as a visiting assistant professor at Goucher College.

Garrett Griffin, assistant professor of music, earned his Master of Music in instrumental conducting from the University of Florida, and his Bachelor of Music Education from East Carolina University. In 2017, Griffin accompanied the American Chamber Winds on their European tour, conducting the brass ensemble in Paris, France. In 2018, he was selected as a conducting associate at the Vienna Summer Music Festival.

Matt Hassett, lecturer of history, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and has been teaching at CCU since 2010. His focus is on American and environmental history.

Richard “Randy” Hourigan, lecturer of history, has been teaching at CCU since 2010. His research interests include race relations and tourism in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s.

Timothy Koch, lecturer of music, is director of choral activities and instructor of voice and opera at Coastal Carolina University. He also serves as music director of the Carolina Master Chorale of Myrtle Beach, S.C., and the Southeastern Oratorio Society of Whiteville, N.C.

Kevin Kokomoor, lecturer of history, earned his Ph.D. from Florida State University. He is an ethnohistorian who focuses on early and Native America, the colonial Southeast, the Revolutionary and early Republican eras, and the frontier.

Sarah Lozier-Laiola, assistant professor of English, earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of California at Riverside. Her scholarship analyzes how literature, poetry and art intersect with the digital, and she has published and presented work on racial and cultural semiotics, civic media and digital/new media poetics.

Marcia McCreary, lecturer of English, earned her master’s in English from Youngstown State University, a bachelor’s in humanities and fine arts with a writing focus from Hiram College, and a teaching certificate from Notre Dame College. She was formerly a teaching associate in the English department at CCU.

Alexander Moe, assistant professor of communication, earned his Ph.D. in media and communication from Texas Tech University. Moe’s research uses theory-driven approaches to closely explore sports through social, political and cultural contexts and also examines the effects and implications of sports media as a product of evolving digital technologies.

Lane Osbourne, lecturer of English, earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in writing from CCU. He also holds an M.F.A. in fiction from Warren Wilson College. He was formerly a teaching associate in CCU’s English department.

Salma Oubkkou, Fulbright visiting scholar, holds a master’s degree in cultural studies from Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah University in Fez, Morocco, where she is also pursuing doctoral studies. She has taught English in Morocco, and comes to Coastal as part of the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program. She will teach elementary and intermediate Arabic.

Thom Penn, lecturer of theatre, has been a teaching associate at CCU since 2006. He received a prestigious Leon Rabin Award nomination in 2000 for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Iago in Othello. He is currently the artistic director of Atlantic Stage and a proud member of Actors' Equity Association.

Paul Plisiewicz, lecturer of English, earned a B.A. in English with an emphasis in creative writing from Pennsylvania State University and an M.A. in English language and literature from the University of Northern Iowa. He completed Ph.D. coursework and exams in 20th century American and British literature at the University of South Carolina.

Cara Pounds, lecturer of Italian, holds an M.A. in Italian from Florida State University as well as an M.S. in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism from University of Missouri at Columbia. She taught Italian at Florida State and University of Missouri, Recreation and Sport Management at Coastal.

Cathy Focarazzo Riley, lecturer of English, earned an M.A. in composition theory and rhetoric from California State University Fresno. She was formerly a teaching associate in the English department.

Shawna Roessler, lecturer of English, is a Coastal Carolina University alumna who holds a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts in English. She was formerly a teaching associate in the English department.

Xinyi Tan, assistant professor of Chinese and French, earned her Ph.D. in French at Ohio State University. Her areas of research include Asian Francophone authors; migrant literature in Quebec; theories of exoticism, exile and feminism; and second language acquisition with regard to both French and Chinese.

Karyn Tomczak, assistant professor of theatre, was the Vicki Jiles Flannagan Distinguished Chair in Dance at Columbus State University and the program director of dance at Western Carolina University. In 2014, she received Dance Teacher Magazine’s Dance Teacher Award for Higher Education.

Sharon Tutrone, lecturer of communication, has a Master of Arts as valedictorian in new media journalism from Full Sail University and a B.A. in journalism and media studies from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Tutrone spent the last 26 years in broadcast news as a producer and worked her way up to executive producer.

Robert Zackowski, lecturer of English, earned an M.A. in English from Tulane University and a B.A. in English from Elizabethtown College. He was formerly a teaching associate in CCU’s English department.

College of Science

Muhammad Adeel Ajaib, visiting professor of physics and engineering science, has a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware where his dissertation was on supersymmetric particle theory. Most recently, he was a lecturer at Qatar University. He will be teaching in the introductory physics sequence this academic year.

William Ambrose Jr., vice dean for the School of the Coastal Environment and professor of coastal and marine systems science, was formerly professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Bates College. Prior to that, he was a program director for the National Science Foundation. His research experiences include the biology of invertebrates, using invertebrates in assessing coastal health and developing long-term records of coastal change with biosensors.

Mark Bly, assistant professor in mathematics, earned his Ph.D. in pure mathematics from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 2018. His research interests lie primarily in algebraic geometry and combinatorics. He will be teaching all areas of undergraduate mathematics.

Stephen B. Borders, associate professor of health administration, earned his doctorate from Texas A&M University in urban and regional science with an emphasis in health systems planning and an M.S.H.P. in health care administration from Texas State University. Borders spent the last year at the University of Baltimore, where he was the health services management program coordinator.

Tim Burke, lecturer of computing sciences, earned his Master of Arts in computer resource and information management from Webster University while serving on active duty in the U.S. Air Force. Since his retirement from the Air Force, he has taught at UNC-Asheville and Haywood Community College.

Tiffany Butler, lecturer of biology, earned her doctorate of chiropractic in 2008 from Sherman College of Chiropractic in Spartanburg, S.C., after graduating from CCU in 2004. She started teaching at HGTC in 2010 and CCU in 2011.

Kathryn Courtney, lecturer of kinesiology, earned her Master of Science degree in exercise and sport physiology from West Chester University. She has a strong background in athletic training and will be primarily teaching courses related to kinesiology and injury management.

Heather L. Davis, lecturer of biology, earned her Master of Education in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in science from Concordia University in 2017. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in marine science and biology with a minor in chemistry from Coastal Carolina University in 2008.

Daniel Ferons, lecturer of biology, has been a teaching associate at CCU teaching lecture and laboratory courses in introductory biology since 2015. His research interests are in the fields of ichthyology, biogeochemistry and microbiology.

Ross Foultz, lecturer of computing sciences, earned his Ph.D. in computer science with a concentration in information assurance from Colorado Technical University in 2017. He also earned a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in information technology and project management in 2010. Ross has worked as an adjunct professor in the computer science field for more than 10 years.

Madeleine Gillis, lecturer of marine science, earned an M.S. in coastal marine and wetland studies from CCU. Her thesis examined various effects and responses to sub-lethal predation of blue crabs on marsh mussels. She has also been involved with the Coastal Oyster Recycling and Restoration Initiative and currently teaches intro level marine science lecture and labs.

Amy Hill, lecturer of biology, spent a decade working for the North Cascades National Park as a stream ecologist researching freshwater macroinvertebrates and salmon populations and helping establish a long-term ecological monitoring program. She has been teaching biology labs at CCU since 2008, emphasizing the skills of data collection, organization, analysis and communication.

Kelly Johnson, assistant professor of kinesiology, earned his Ph.D. in exercise science from the University of New Mexico and his Master of Science degree in exercise physiology from the University of Akron. His research focuses on mobile health interventions, weight loss and weight management, body composition, and sports nutrition.

Charles Keller, lecturer of physical sciences, earned his Ph.D. in applied physical chemistry from Wichita State University. His research focus is on using applied technology to improve the learning experience for students. He comes to CCU after a 20-year career as an industrial process development chemist.

Eric Konig, lecturer of anatomy and physiology, earned his doctorate in chiropractic from the New York Chiropractic College and spent 31 years practicing before coming to CCU.

Deborah Krause-Giambalvo, lecturer of chemistry, earned her Master of Science in chemistry at Pennsylvania State University in 1997 and her Master of Science of teaching at Pace University in 2006. She has worked as an adjunct professor in chemistry since 2003.

Patrick Limber, assistant professor of marine science, earned his Ph.D. in earth and ocean sciences from Duke University. He uses numerical models and physical observations to understand how coastlines change through time, specializing in coastal cliff erosion and the movement of beach sand by waves and currents.

Justin Lovich, assistant professor of recreation and sport management, earned a Ph.D. in sport management at Florida State University. His research focus includes sport law, ethics and international governance, with particular emphasis on punishment and justice in sport.

Jessica Lowery, lecturer of public health, earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of South Carolina after graduating from CCU in 2007. Her graduate work at the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and her position as health educator at Family Outreach of Horry County inspired her pursuit of teaching public health. Her focus is on alternative and holistic medicine as well as sexuality education.

Amanda Player Wofford, lecturer of recreation and sport management, is a 2005 graduate of CCU. After heading up the sports department at the Claire Chapin Epps Family YMCA for three years, she coached collegiate softball for Francis Marion University from 2010-2012 before becoming the national director for World Fastpitch Connection LLC until 2018.

Alison Smoot-Pierce, lecturer of biology, earned her Master of Science in biochemistry from the University of Texas. She has spent time as a researcher at the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases and has been teaching courses at CCU since 2006.

Lauren Stefaniak, assistant professor of marine science, earned a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Connecticut. Her current research interests include benthic marine ecology on the individual, population and community levels, with particular focus on the biological and physical controls of species distributions and how differential population connectivity, direct human activities and climate change can alter species distributions.

Kimberly Tatro, lecturer of kinesiology, earned her Master of Science in sport studies from the United States Sport Academy. She joined the department in 2015 and will teach lifetime fitness and introductory courses.

Brianna Dillon Thomas, assistant professor of physics, earned her Ph.D. in condensed matter physics from Purdue University, with a concentration in computational science. Most recently, she was a visiting assistant professor of physics at Gustavus Adolphus College and at St. Olaf College, both in southern Minnesota.

Tally Wright, lecturer of computing sciences, earned her M.Ed. in learning and teaching from CCU in 2012. Her research interests include best practices in software training and online safety. She will be teaching business applications and other introductory courses in computer science.

University College

Jennifer Mokos, assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies, earned her Ph.D. in community action and research, with a certificate in women’s and gender studies, from Vanderbilt University in 2016. Her research combines social science methodologies with ecology, art and community practice to address political and ethical issues related to urban environmental studies, spatial and epistemic justice, and social health.

Sara Rich, assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies, earned her doctoral degree from the University of Leuven at Belgium in ancient and near eastern studies. She is an art historian and maritime archaeologist whose research focuses on the complex relationships between ancient shipbuilding and forests that supplied ship’s timber, using object-oriented ontology to frame in-depth examinations of the power of wood to generate myths and sacralize the shipbuilding industry.

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