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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 OCUís 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 deanís 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 masterís 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 ďJamesĒ 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.