New Faculty

From left, back row, Natalia Omelchenko, Theunis van Aardt, Martyna Matusiak, Miriam Roth Douglas, David Hanna, Patrick Garrett, middle row, Douglas Swartz, Stephanie Wolfe, Vyacheslav Shabliy, Barbara Kulpa; front row: Brenda Rinkes, Margy Bowman and Fuhua Chen.

POSTED:  Sept. 7, 2012 – West Liberty University welcomed 18 new faculty members to campus for the 2012 academic year. The new instructors join a veteran group of WLU educators that totals 142 full-time faculty.

Associate Professor of Nursing Margaret “Margy” Bowman: Bowman joins WLU after a 32-year teaching career at Wheeling Jesuit University and three years at West Virginia Northern Community College. She earned her bachelor’s degree at West Virginia University; her master’s at the University of Maryland and her doctoral degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Assistant Professor of Mathematics Fuhua Chen: Chen most recently taught at the University of Florida. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Nanjing University and his first doctoral degree at Nanjing University of Science & Technology, China. Chen has an additional master’s degree from the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and a second doctoral degree from the University of Florida.

Assistant Professor of Education Miriam Roth Douglas: Douglas most recently worked at West Virginia University (WVU) in the office for diversity and global initiatives. She earned a master’s of elementary education from Bamberg University, Germany; and both a master’s and doctoral degree in foreign language from WVU. Her Ph.D. from WVU is an interdisciplinary degree that combines foreign languages with education.

Instructor of Music Education Patrick Garrett: Garrett joins WLU after 30 years of experience as a K-12 music educator, most recently at Wheeling Park High School. He also is an accomplished performer. Garrett received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from WVU and also completed course work with the Microsoft Training Academy.

Associate Professor & Director of Athletic Training David Hanna: Hanna is the former director of the athletic training degree program at Wheeling Jesuit University, where he was responsible for developing the program and seeing it through accreditation. He earned his bachelor degree at WLU, his master degree at West Virginia University and his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Wheeling Jesuit.

Instructor of Philosophy Aaron Harper: Harper earned his bachelor’s degree at Creighton University and completed his master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Illinois.

Instructor of Education Lourdes Karas: With over 30 years of experience in the arts, Karas has been employed with WLU since summer 2011 as coordinator of summer programming for the Center for Arts and Education. She will continue in that position as she adds teaching to her WLU duties. Prior to her employment with WLU, she worked with the Appalachian Education Initiative, now housed at WLU, as executive director. Karas earned her bachelor’s degree at Allegheny College and her master’s of education at the University of Pittsburgh.

Assistant Professor of Nursing Barbara Kulpa: Kulpa joins WLU after 20-year teaching career at Wheeling Jesuit. She earned her bachelor’s degree at West Virginia University and her master’s degree at West Virginia University.

Associate Professor & Director of Nursing Rose Kutlenios: Kutlenios joins WLU after a 32-year teaching career at Wheeling Jesuit. She earned a bachelor ‘s degree at Duquesne University and two masters’ and a doctoral degree at the University of Pittsburgh.

Assistant Professor of Art Martyna Matusiak: Matusiak most recently was assistant professor of art at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She earned a master’s degree at the University of Opole, Poland and a Master Degree in Fine Arts from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Assistant Professor of Biology Natalia Omelchenko: Omelchenko most recently taught at Northwest Missouri State University.  She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at St. Petersburg University, Russia; and her doctoral degree from the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Social Work Field Coordinator Brenda Rinkes: Rinkes brings over 30 years of experience as a social work practitioner to her WLU position and will work closely with the new social work major recently begun by WLU. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Ohio University and her master’s degree at Ohio State University.

Assistant Professor of Mathematics Vyacheslav Shabliy: With more than 20 years of teaching experience, Shabliy joins WLU from Atlanta, Ga. and prior to than South Carolina, where he lived and taught for the past six years. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kharkov State University, Ukraine and his doctoral degree from St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, Russia.

Assistant Professor of Biology Deanna Schmitt: Schmitt comes from University of Pittsburgh where she has been a graduate researcher for the last six years. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Pennsylvania State University and her doctoral degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies Brittney Soboto: Soboto was most recently a physician assistant at Wheeling Hospital. She earned her bachelor ‘s degree at West Liberty University and her master’s at Alderson Broaddus College.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Douglas Swartz: Swartz joins WLU from Kutztown University where he was an assistant professor. He earned his bachelor’s at Madonna University, Mich., and his doctoral degree from Michigan State University.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Theunis van Aardt: van Aardt joins WLU from a teaching position at Shorter University, Ga. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Assistant Professor of Political Science Stephanie Wolfe: Wolfe most recently taught holocaust and genocide studies at Keene State, N.H. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Oklahoma, her master’s at the University of Oklahoma and her doctoral degree from the University of Kent, Brussels.