Oklahoma City University News
OCU Faculty Adds Record Numbers and Diversity
Oklahoma City University searched far and wide to find its newest faculty members. Of the 37 instructors hired over the summer, nine were educated in foreign countries.
OCU Executive Assistant to the Provost Dorothy Tennery said the newest crop of faculty reflects the diversity of OCU’s student body and is an important component to preparing students for a global atmosphere. From England to China, Russia to Morocco, OCU searches globally for the best candidates to fill specialized instructor positions.
Tennery noted the latest group of new faculty overall represents a school record for recent times as the most hired in one year. Meanwhile, three professors moved into dean’s offices - Terry Conley, interim dean of Petree College of Arts and Sciences; Richard Johnson, interim assistant dean of Petree College of Arts and Sciences and Jeri Jones, assistant dean of Meinders School of Business.
Provost Bernie Patterson said the large volume of recent hiring is due to a variety of reasons, but mostly because the university has added several new courses like film production and the Economic Research and Policy Institute, a large number of university professors across the nation are hitting or nearing retirement age and because OCU features a much closer instructor-to-student ratio than most other schools.
Among the new instructors this semester is Abigail McBirnie, assistant professor of library science, music librarian and music researcher. McBirnie received her master’s degree in music from the Royal Academy in London. She has performed for Her Majesty the Queen aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, and has performed in other prestigious European venues like the Orford Arts Festival and Banff Music Festival.
Hyacinthe Aboudja has also seen a large part of the world. Aboudja, visiting assistant professor of computer science, is originally from West Africa, started his education in Bulgaria and finished it in Louisiana and Arkansas.
As for entirely new programs, Steve Agee started the Economic Research and Policy Institute for the Meinders School of Business. Agee came to OCU loaded with credentials including his position as current board member of the Oklahoma City branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, board member and treasurer of the Economics Club of Oklahoma, member of the Oklahoma City Economic Roundtable and former president of the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board. In keeping with the diversity theme, Agee is also president-elect of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra.
Other new faculty at OCU:
James Buss, assistant professor of history
Bryan Cardinale-Powell, visiting assistant professor of moving image arts
Benjamin Corbett, artist-in-residence, theatre
Pierre Cyr, assistant professor of English
Mohamed Daadaoui, assistant professor of political science
Jacob Dearmon, assistant professor of economics
Lisa DeSpain, instructor of nursing
Amanda Divin, assistant professor of kinesiology
Kathryn Eader, assistant professor of theatre
Jay Fagan, artist-in-residence, jazz and tap
Betty Gorrell, associate professor of nursing
Melissa Hakman, assistant professor of psychology
Rebecca Hammond, instructor of nursing
Arnell Johnson, visiting professor of finance
Ekaterina Kudryavtseva, visiting assistant professor of art history
Lisa Lawter, visiting assistant professor of education
Aixin “James” Ma, assistant professor of finance
Sara Manning, instructor of nursing
Noh-Jin Park, visitng assistant professor of computer science
Lee Peoples, associate professor of law library science
Kate Pritchett, instructor of music
David Rauschkolb, assistant professor of theatre
Lisa Reagan, instructor of music
Shannon Roesler, assistant professor of law
Nathan Ross, assistant professor of philosophy
Daniel Rueckert, assistant professor of TESOL
Alan Seals, assistant professor of economics
Kewei Sha, visiting assistant professor of computer science
James Smith, assistant professor of marketing
Lee Webb, assistant professor of library science
Rand Wergin, visiting assistant professor of marketing
Ally Zhou, assistant professor of TESOL
Tomasz Zieba, instructor of music
Sherry Schleider, instructor of nursing.