Seven New Faculty Join CMU

Seven new faculty have joined the teaching ranks at Central Methodist University in Fayette this fall. They include one professor in each discipline of business, criminal justice, math, and biology; plus three new members of the nursing faculty.

These new members are settling in and setting up for classrooms of students as classes begin on the Fayette campus on Monday, Aug. 21.

New to the Math, Science, and Computer Science Department is Dr. Ania Slusarz, who has been hired as an assistant professor of biology. She has a broad background in her personal and professional background. Before moving into teaching, she tutored for a variety of subjects from foreign languages to math and science.

Slusarz has a master’s degree in Interpreting Studies from the University of Vienna, Austria, and a master’s in German Literature from the University of Missouri, Columbia (MU). Her Ph.D., also from MU, is in biochemistry. In addition, she has three years of post-doctoral training. She has more than 11 years in research and lab experience as well as successful grant writing and numerous publications.

In the classroom, Slusarz has taught biology, biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology at MU, Stephens College, and Columbia College. She says at this stage of her career, she wants to focus on college teaching and student advising, and promoting research experience to science students.

Dr. Andrew McCrady is the newest assistant professor of mathematics in the Math, Science, and Computer Science Division. He grew up in St. Peters, Mo., and graduated from Fort Zumwalt. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Truman State University in mathematics and followed that up with his master’s and his Ph.D. at MU, where he was a teaching assistant. He was also an adjunct instructor at Moberly Area Community College in Columbia.

He has just finished his terminal degree at MU in the field of commutative algebra. Between MU and Moberly, McCrady taught a range of classes from developmental mathematics to differential equations. He has been teaching while working on his Ph.D. thesis over the last two years.

McCrady received a Distinguished Teaching Award at MU in 2014 and was finalist for an adjunct faculty award in Moberly in 2015. At MU he also taught incoming graduate students how to teach and evaluated them. He also served as a tutor at Truman State University for the Essentials of Calculus and Calculus I.

The Business Department added Dave Hickman to its faculty this fall. He grew up in Columbia, Mo., graduating from Hickman High School. He went on to attain his B.S, B.A., and M.B.A. from Columbia College. He is currently finishing his doctorate in business administration from Grand Canyon University.

Hickman has extensive background in putting his business skills to work in the public workforce as well as sharing his expertise with students. He most recently served as a visiting assistant professor at Columbia College in the business department. Prior to that he had taught at Moberly Area Community College. In the business world he worked as a loan officer for the Veterans United Home Loans, where he also served in quality and training capacities.

Hickman said his passion is for preparing young minds to enter the world of business by giving them the skills and character they need to be successful. He also prides himself on his association with the Veterans United Home Loans, which helps provide financial assistance and resources for the veteran community. Hickman believes his connection may well prove useful to students who wish to work in careers in a socially responsible business.

Marco Tapia enters Central’s Criminal Justice Department with an exceptional background in law enforcement. This last year, he was a CMU adjunct professor in the online program and guest lecturer. He looks forward to being more involved with students in the classroom. Tapia, who grew up in Columbia, Mo., earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice from Columbia College. He is currently working to finish his Ph.D. in criminal justice, emergency management from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minn.

During his career, he has worked in many capacities of criminal justice at the local, county, state, and multi-state levels. He has been an instructor for the Missouri Department of Public Safety, the Institute of Intergovernmental Research in Florida, The Academy of Terrorism at Louisiana State University, and the Missouri Deputy Sheriff’s Association.

Tapia was also responsible for the overt and covert infiltration of domestic and international drug trafficking organizations as well as federal conspiracy and racketeering criminal enterprise. He was part of the Eddy County Metro Narcotics Division in Carlsbad, N.M. under the auspices of the National Drug Control Policy known as HIDTA—High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. Back in Missouri, Tapia has been active in setting up a similar system to diminish the drug trafficking in this state.

In the Nursing Department, three new fulltime faculty were added—Jaime Dodson, Rebecca Gibson, and Carla Price.

Jaime Dodson grew up in Columbia, and like several of CMU’s new teachers, graduated from Hickman High School. She received both a BSE and a BSN at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg (UCM). She began her career as a writer for UCM’s The Muleskinner student newspaper while she studied English. She went on to teach English for four years before changing her career direction.

When she went back to school, Dodson shifted her focus to nursing and earned that degree in 2010. She worked at the MU Children’s Hospital in the pediatric ICU, followed by a stint in Columbia/Boone County’s Public Health Department as a nurse.

Dodson shifted to MU’s “Light 2 Grant” as a nurse care manager, then to a coordinator of clinical education, followed by becoming the state director of the Missouri Nurses Association. Currently she is completing her Master of Nursing at MU in nursing leadership. She has accumulated a number of leadership positions and awards and is active in local, state, and national nursing associations.

Rebecca Gibson graduated from Northeast R-IV High School in Cairo, Mo., but now lives in Higbee, Mo. She earned her associate degree in nursing from Moberly Area Community College, followed by her BSN and MSN, both from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

While studying, Gibson worked as a nurse at the MU Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. Following that she was a family nurse practitioner at Moberly Regional Medical Center, then tried her hand at public health as a family nurse practitioner for the Randolph County Health Department.

With her variety of background experiences, Gibson is prepared to help other nursing students understand the assortment of options that will become available to them.

Carla Price says teaching is one of her passions. As a new member of the CMU nursing program, she will have many opportunities to help students select the path that best fits their needs. Price has already had experience teaching in traditional classrooms, online, and in communities. She is a public health nurse specialist and a family nurse practitioner.

Currently living in Huntsville, Price attended Moberly Area Community College for her practical nursing background and CMU for her Associate Degree of Nursing. She then attended MU’s Sinclair School of Nursing where she earned her B.S. and M.S. with a dual tract of Public Health and Family Nurse Practitioner.

In addition to learning nursing, Price was involved in a number of research projects while at the Randolph County Health Department and MU. Her teaching credentials include teaching online for Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind., and University of Phoenix in Tempe, Ariz. She also taught for MU at Moberly Area Community College.

Price also worked at the J.B. & Greeta Arthur Cancer Center in Mexico, Mo., as a women’s health specialist, and for the Randolph County Health Department in Moberly. Price also wrote numerous approved grants and racked up a number of professional honors and accomplishments.

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