WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Aug. 27, 2018 — West Liberty University welcomed new faculty as the 2018 – 2019 Academic year began, adding about two dozen teachers to its ranks. New faculty members, their titles and a brief biography include:
Assistant Professor English Dr. Drew Banghart earned his PhD at Case Western Reserve University in 2016. He comes to WLU from teaching at California Polytechnic State University. His research and teaching interests include Victorian literature, science writing, technical writing, and first-year composition. He is a native of Illinois.
Assistant Professor of Early Intervention Dr. Hilary Bougher-Muckian earned a bachelor’s degree in child development/early childhood special education, a master’s degree in educational psychology and a doctoral degree in education, all at West Virginia University. Her most recent position was developmental specialist for early intervention at West Virginia Birth to Three. She also worked as a behavioral and play therapist in a private therapy setting for children with disabilities. She is from Moundsville, W.Va.
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Dr. Darrick Brake earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Adrian College, a master’s degree in sociology from Central Michigan University, and a PhD from Western Michigan University in Sociology with an emphasis on social psychology, social theory, and racial and ethnic relations in the U.S. Previously, he taught at Concord University and Ball State University. His research focuses on studying human trafficking crimes, terrorism and finance policy, and the social psychology of deviant behavior. Originally, he is from Springfield, Ohio and he now lives in Wheeling.
Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Stuart Cantlay earned his bachelor’s in cell biology and a PhD in molecular microbiology at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. He then spent three years as a research fellow at the University of Lund in Sweden where he investigated cytoskeletal proteins in the soil bacterium, Streptomyces coelicolor. In 2011, he moved to Pittsburgh where he worked as a research associate at Duquesne University investigating cell division in Streptomyces venezuelae. His research interests include determinants of pathogenicity and morphological differentiation of the disease causing bacterium, Francisella tularensis. He is currently developing an applied microbiology course for undergraduate and graduate students in the biology program. He is from York, England.
Instructor of Biology Jeremiah Dann earned his bachelor’s in biology from Indiana University, a master’s degree in biology from Ball State University and a master’s degree in marine studies from the University of Delaware. He previously served as an academic laboratory instructing assistant in the Natural Science and Mathematics Department at WLU. He is a native of Indiana.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Stephen Deterding earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at Marshall University, a master’s and a PhD in mathematics, both at the University of Kentucky. He studies the rational approximation of analytic functions, which involves both complex and functional analysis. He is originally from Florida.
Assistant Professor of English Dr. Jen Fawkes earned a bachelor’s in anthropology at Columbia University (NYC) a master’s of fine arts in creative writing at Hollins University (Roanoke, Va.), and a PhD in English literature and creative writing at the University of Cincinnati. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in One Story, Crazyhorse, The Iowa Review, Shenandoah, Michigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2013 Salamander Fiction Prize, the 2013 Washington Square Award in Flash Fiction, the 2014 Blue Earth ReviewFlash Fiction Prize, and four of her short stories have been nominated for the Pushcart. Most recently, she served as an adjunct instructor of English composition at the University of Cincinnati.
Instructor of Nursing Victoria Forte earned a diploma in nursing from the former Ohio Valley Hospital School of Nursing, as well as a bachelor’s degree in nursing and master’s degree in nursing and professional leadership from Carlow University, Pittsburgh. She previously worked as nurse manager at Magee Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh; UPMC Neurosurgery Clinic; and the Women & Infants Hospital in New Bedford, Mass. In addition, she served as director for the Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology at UPMC. Most recently she served as adjunct instructor at Eastern Gateway Community College in Steubenville, Ohio. She is originally from San Francisco and now resides in Wintersville, Ohio.
Assistant Professor of Speech Pathology and Audiology Tori Gilbert earned a bachelor of science in speech pathology and audiology from WLU and a master’s in speech pathology from West Virginia University. Her passion in the field is working with pre-school and school aged children, as well as assistive technology. In addition to working at WLU, she provides therapy and evaluation services in Marshall County, where she was born and raised.
Associate Professor of Art Education Dr. Jeffrey B. Grubbs earned a bachelor’s in art education from Indiana University and a master’s of art education from Miami University, as well as a Ph.D. in art education from The Ohio State University in 2010. He has been teaching art education for 19 years. His research focuses on creativity theory, student motivation and education pedagogy. In 2015, he was a guest lecturer at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum on the topic of the arts, humanities, and education. His goal is to begin a master’s in art education at WLU. He is originally from Harrison, Ohio.
Visiting Instructor of Social Work Rhonda Hayes earned her bachelor’s from the University of Maryland and her master’s in social work (MSW) from West Virginia University. She was most recently the coordinator of WVU’s extended campus MSW program in Wheeling, and is excited to train new social workers at West Liberty University. Hayes is a clinical social worker with a clinical addiction certification and resides in the local area. She is a native of Paden City, W.Va.
Assistant Professor Mathematics Dr. Raymond Holsapple earned a bachelor’s in mathematics from Eastern New Mexico University, followed by Master of Science and PhD degrees in Mathematics from Texas Tech University. After graduate school he spent six years as a Research Mathematician for the U.S. Air Force Control Science Center of Excellence. Most recently, he spent two years as an assistant professor of mathematics at Florida Keys Community College. He is a native of Clintwood, Va.
Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Danny R. Jones earned his bachelor’s in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky, his master’s in biology from Eastern Kentucky University, and his PhD in fisheries and wildlife biology from Clemson University. Jones’ research interests focus on crayfish taxonomy, distribution, and life histories, but he also studies other aquatic invertebrates and fishes and he works in the Crayfish Conservation Laboratory here at WLU. His hometown is Willard, Ky.
Assistant Professor of Criminology Dr. Lee Selye earned a bachelor’s of law in police administration from Kyonggi University, a master’s in sociology from Sungkyunkwan University, and a PhD in criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests lie in policing and the community, the developmental and life-course features of criminal behavior, juvenile delinquency, and comparative criminology. She is originally from South Korea.
Instructor of Marketing Ingrid Loy earned her bachelor’s in business administration from West Liberty University, her MBA from Wheeling Jesuit University and is a 2017 graduate of Leadership West Virginia. She previously worked as the director of marketing for Eagle Manufacturing, was a program manager within the West Virginia High Technology Foundation and was an adjunct business professor for Wheeling Jesuit University. She resides in Wellsburg, W.Va. with her husband and two children.
Instructor of Nursing Loretta Marchetta earned a diploma of nursing from the former Ohio Valley Hospital School of Nursing and both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in nursing from Ohio University. She has practiced as a nurse for 27 years. Most recently, she worked as assistant nurse manager of the Invasive Heart Lab and served as the Specialized Heart & Valve Center Coordinator for the Structural Heart Program at Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio. She also served as an adjunct instructor teaching nursing research at Aultman College of Nursing & Health Sciences in Canton, Ohio. She intends to pursue her doctorate degree in the spring of 2019. She resides in Hopedale, Ohio.
Instructor of Communication Danielle Mehlman-Brightwell earned a bachelor’s in English and professional communications from Wheeling Jesuit University, a master’s in education from Muskingum University, a master’s in English specializing in professional writing and rhetoric from Bowling Green State University, and is currently completing a doctoral degree in communications media and instructional technology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has been teaching English and communication courses for more than 11 years and has previously taught at Belmont College and Bethany College. Her research interest examines broadcasters changing dimension of mass communication through new media. She resides in Washington, Pa. with her husband and son and is originally from St. Clairsville, Ohio.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Brian Nichols earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Drew University in Madison, N.J., a master’s degree in analytical chemistry from the University of Vermont and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from West Virginia University in 2018. Nichols served as a teaching and graduate assistant at WVU. He is a native of Worcester, Mass.
Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Holly Racine earned a bachelor’s in biochemistry at Seton Hill University. She then moved to Huntington, W.Va. where she completed her PhD in biomedical sciences at Marshall University this past summer. She will be teaching biology courses including anatomy and physiology and comparative physiology. She is from Greensburg, Pa.
Assistant Professor of Creative Arts Therapy Dr. Susan Ridley earned a PhD in expressive arts therapy from Lesley University, Cambridge, Mass., a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling specializing in Art Therapy from Caldwell University, Caldwell, N.J. and a Master of Science in Human Services from Springfield College, Springfield, Mass. Her research interests include identity including broken identity, self-care, and arts-based research. She is an artist and specializes in landscapes, seascapes, and animals. She loves community arts and painting murals and recently got hooked on fiber arts. She is originally from Wales, UK, and moved to West Virginia from New Jersey.
Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Robert L. Roff earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at California State University at Northridge in California, and his master’s degree and doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Alliant International University in San Diego. He worked as a part-time psychologist at Milan Puskar Health Right in Morgantown for the last three years, and as a staff psychologist in the Federal Bureau of Prisons for the previous 20 years in Morgantown, specializing in developmental trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He is from Morgantown W.Va.
Assistant Professor of Education Kenneth Sexton earned his bachelor’s in education and master’s in advanced teaching, both at WLU. He then completed graduate work in political science at Ashland University and is now an ABD (all but dissertation candidate) for his PhD in curriculum and instruction at WVU. He also has earned a certificate in superintendent, assistant superintendent and principal from Salem University in 2015. He is from the local area.
Instructor of Criminal Justice Hannah Walters graduated from WLU in 2016 with a Bachelor is Science in Criminal Justice, and again in 2017 with a Master of Science in Criminology degree. Most recently she served as a WLU adjunct faculty member during the past semester. She also is working at a mental health facility as a case manager. She is from Williamstown, W.Va.
Associate Professor of Art Herb Weaver earned a bachelor’s degree in art education from Eastern Mennonite University and a master’s of fine arts from James Madison University. He has taught art in higher education for 30 years, most recently at Georgia Gwinnett College near Atlanta. Weaver is well known in the Wheeling area and resides in Bethany.
For more information, please call 1.866.937.8542 (WESTLIB) or visit westliberty.edu.