New Faculty Model Life of Faith and Learning

Asbury University’s commitment to the liberal arts means that faculty members are responsible not only for communicating information, but also for modeling a vibrant intellectual and spiritual life for the campus community. This year, the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Communication Arts, School of Education and School of Communication Arts are pleased to announce the hire of 11 full-time faculty members for the 2013-2014 academic year.

“As provost, I have a ringside seat,” said Dr. Jon Kulaga. “I have been able to interview, hire and then welcome this new group of faculty. And what impresses me most is how they embody what we say we are about at Asbury University — ‘Academic Excellence and Spiritual Vitality.’ Their professional and educational experience preparation is rich and will add much to the quality of academic rigor and teaching excellence that already exists at Asbury. And their personal commitment to Jesus Christ and their desire to live that out among and with our students is contagious.”

Christine Amerman, M.A., is an assistant professor of multimedia. A graduate of Asbury's Media Communication department, she earned her master's from Baylor University and has previously taught subjects including production, writing and speech communication at Asbury and Spalding University. Her 2005 documentary, “Life with Passion,” earned multiple national awards and was distributed across the PBS network. She has run her own consulting business for several years, specializing in social media and WordPress websites for horse farms across the country. Amerman has a strong interest in promoting entrepreneurship and takes an integrated approach to communications.

Amy Bessin, M.L.S., is Instructional Services Librarian at the Kinlaw Library. Bessin has a Master’s in Communication Arts from Western Kentucky University, and she has recently completed her Master’s in Library and Information Science at the University of Kentucky. She taught introduction to communication classes as a teaching assistant at WKU and she has continued to teach for the last two years as an adjunct instructor for Taylor University’s online interpersonal and intercultural communication courses. For the past three years, Amy has worked at UK in student services and finance for the College of Arts and Sciences. Amy and her husband, Scott, currently live in Lexington.

Kevin Brown, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Business, Economics and Political Science department. After spending nearly a decade in the banking industry, Brown taught for four years in the business department at Anderson University. His academic training includes work at the University of Indianapolis, St. Andrews University, and the University of Glasgow. His research includes business, social, and economic interests, reflecting his interdisciplinary educational background. Brown lives in Wilmore with his wife, Maria, and three children, Cambel, Ada and Oliver.

Jill Campbell, M.M., is an assistant professor of music education and voice. She holds a BMME in vocal music education from the University of Kentucky, as well as a minor in violin performance. She earned both a MM in choral conducting and a Rank 1 in Music Education from UK, and completed the Graduate Certificate in Orff Schulwerk (a developmental approach to music education). Campbell has taught at the elementary, middle and collegiate levels, and has worked in many areas of church music. She is often a guest adjudicator and clinician for district and all-state honor choirs, and has presented clinics and workshops in numerous states on topics of music education, church choir leadership and sight singing. Campbell is married to Mickey, and they have two boys, Andrew and Nathan.

Cheryll E. Crowe, Ph.D., is an associate professor of mathematics. She taught high school mathematics in Versailles, Ky., while pursuing her Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Kentucky. During the past five years, she has served in the mathematics department at Eastern Kentucky University as a professor, advisor and graduate coordinator of the M.A. in Mathematics, which she helped establish. Crowe’s research interests focus on TPACK (Technology, Pedagogy and Content Knowledge) in mathematics education. Crowe has received two national fellowships in mathematics, presented her work across the United States and been an invited guest panelist on KET’s “Education Matters.”

Amanda Goodwin, Ed.D., is an assistant professor of education. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Monmouth University in elementary education and English, and her master’s degree from Ramapo College in educational technology. She taught second grade for five years at a public school in New Jersey, and after moving to Lexington to begin her doctorate at the University of Kentucky, she began teaching undergraduates at UK’s College of Education. Goodwin earned her doctorate in instruction and administration. She greatly enjoys teaching students of all ages, and especially enjoys working with pre-service teachers.

Michael Hylen, Ph.D., is an associate professor of education. He served for 25 years as a public and private school educator in St. Louis and the surrounding counties, predominantly as a high school math teacher and principal. He is certified as a 7-12 Math Teacher, K-12 Special Education Teacher, Principal 7-12, and a Director of Special Education. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri – St. Louis in Educational Leadership and Policy Study. Hylen is currently co-authoring a resource book on character education and the new Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice. He has served on the faculty of both Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., and the University of Missouri – St. Louis.

Sarah Leckie, B.A., is an assistant professor of media communication. She will complete an MFA in Fall 2013 and earned her bachelor’s at Asbury in Media Communications in 2003. After graduation, she traveled the world with One Mission Society, shooting numerous documentaries. Eventually, she pursued her MFA in Digital Cinema from National University. Sarah has produced more than 30 films for One Mission Society and is excited about sharing her passion with others.

Erin Penner, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of English. She received degrees at Yale and Cornell before completing her Ph.D. in English at Cornell University. Her research focuses on British and American modernism, particularly the works of Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner. She has published on pedagogy and difficult literature, she is a collaborator for the Digital Yoknapatawpha project, and she is completing a book manuscript titled “Faulkner, Woolf, and the Character of Mourning.” Penner comes to Asbury after a fellowship at the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford, where she began a project on African-American literature of mourning ranging from W.E.B. Du Bois to Toni Morrison.

Andy Reynolds, M.S.W., is an assistant professor of social work. He credits Asbury University as being vitally important to his life. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Asbury, and has had four years of experience in the community mental health setting, where he primarily worked with children, adolescents, and their families as an intensive therapist. His research interests include working on the practicum experience for students in social work programs.

Thomas Michael Roberts, M.A.T., is an assistant professor of education. He was born in Asheville, N.C., and grew up in Kingsport, Tenn. He obtained both his B.A. in Education and his M.A.T. from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Sports Management from the University of New Mexico – Albuquerque. Roberts has coached Division I baseball for 25 years and is currently coaching college summer baseball. He has been a Division I games operations manager and assistant athletic director, a Division II athletic director, and a middle school teacher and track coach, in addition to authoring two books on teaching baseball skills. Roberts is married to Nancy and resides in Wilmore. 

Janice Wyatt-Ross, Ed.D., is an assistant professor of education. She earned a BSE in Special Education from the University of Central Arkansas, a M.Ed. in Special Education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and an Ed.D. in Urban Educational Leadership from the University of Cincinnati. Her career began as an elementary special education teacher, and she has held positions as a consultant teacher, IDEA compliance specialist, Special Education Consultant with the Central Kentucky Special Education Cooperative, Field Service Assistant Professor with the University of Cincinnati, Gap Reduction Specialist, Assistant Principal with Bryan Station High School and Interim Administrative Dean with Cardinal Valley Elementary School. Wyatt-Ross’s current research interests are secondary school disciplinary strategies and elementary school implementation of tiered levels of supports and interventions.

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