Ten New Faculty Members Arrive

Ten new faculty members have begun teaching at Central Methodist University as fall classes kicked off on Monday, Aug. 19. They include:

David CombsDavid “Shane” Combs, assistant professor of English composition & professional writing

Making his way from Normal, Ill., Combs begins his role with Central after serving as a graduate assistant at Illinois State University as part of his Ph.D. experience.

He taught classes from first-year composition and literary narrative, to advanced composition and digital storytelling. He also mentored incoming students and designed orientation sessions, weekly cohort meetings, and classroom observations. Prior to his time there, he was a graduate assistant at East Carolina University.

Combs received his bachelor’s degree in creative writing from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, his master’s in English from East Carolina University, and his Ph.D. in English studies from Illinois State University.

Kristan ErdmannKristan Erdmann, assistant professor of athletic training

From Louisville, Ky., Erdmann joined Central Methodist after working for six years at Murray State University in Murray, Ky., where she was the athletic training program director and an assistant professor.

Before her time there, Erdmann was an athletic trainer for Graves County Schools. She also has experience as an athletic trainer for Union College in Barbourville, Ky., where she was the clinical education coordinator for athletic training. Prior to that, she worked as an adjunct lecturer at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Ky.

Erdmann received both her bachelor’s degree in athletic training and master’s degree in physical education from Eastern Kentucky University before going on to earn a doctorate of education in educational leadership from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky.

Cynthia FitzgeraldCynthia Fitzgerald, assistant professor of education

Fitzgerald, from Salisbury, Mo., will be a professor at Central Methodist after almost 30 years as a middle school teacher at Westran R-1 School District in Huntsville, Mo., where she taught 6th through 8th-grade math and science, and was a resource room supervisor.

In addition to her education experiences there, for two years, she was an adjunct faculty for Moberly Area Community College, where she taught geology.

Fitzgerald received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from William Woods College in Fulton, Mo., and went on to earn a master’s in education from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Joshua GalatJoshua Galat, assistant professor of English

Joining Central from West Lafayette, Ind., Galat previously served as the Purdue Research Foundation Fellow for the Purdue Research Foundation at Purdue University, where he received his Ph.D. in English.

He was a graduate teaching instructor at Purdue, and prior to that, was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla. For two years, he served as an English language arts instructor at Orange County Public Schools, also in Orlando.

Galat received a bachelor’s degree in English and classical studies from the University of Florida, a master’s in English and a master’s in teaching in English language arts education from the University of Central Florida, and a Ph.D. in English from Purdue.

Melva GipsonMelva Gipson, assistant professor of education

Gipson, from Cairo, Mo., has been an adjunct professor at Central Methodist since 2013. During the last several years, she planned and implemented lessons for classes, and supervised and coached student teachers.

She was the principal of Northeast R-IV School in Cairo, Mo. – a role which surrounded hiring and supervising classroom teachers, and acting as the district’s coordinator for a variety of purposes, as Title I supervisor, and implementing and managing elementary programs. Before her time as principal, she was a teacher there for nearly 10 years.

Gipson received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Missouri-Columbia, her master’s in education administration from Truman University in Kirksville, and then earned an educational specialist degree from the University of Missouri.

Michael Hughes, nursing program faculty

A Central alumnus from Columbia, Mo., Hughes will now be a member of Central’s nursing program faculty after working as an assistant professor at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo. There, he provided classroom and clinical instruction in theory and specialty areas for Fundamental of Nursing Care.

Formerly, he was an instructor at Moberly Area Community College in Moberly, Mo., where he taught in theory and other specialty areas. He was also an instructor at Central Methodist for about four years in the 90s, and before that, worked as a staff nurse at Boone Hospital Center in Columbia.

Hughes received his bachelor’s degree in nursing from Central Methodist in 1989. He then earned a master’s in nursing from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Tyler KenefakeTyler Kenefake, assistant professor of mathematics

Kenefake, from Denton, Texas, joins CMU after working as a teaching fellow at the University of North Texas. There, he was an instructor of record for seven semesters, teaching assistant for three semesters, and a grader for two semesters.

He received professional experience as a teaching assistant at Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth in Baltimore, MD, and also served as a substitute teacher at McKinney Christian Academy in McKinney, Texas.

Kenefake received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and secondary education from East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas, and a Ph.D. in mathematics this year from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.

Lisa MorrisonLisa Morrison, assistant professor of business and accounting

Morrison joins Central after working as an adjunct instructor at Stephens College in Columbia. She is from Salisbury, Mo.

At Stephens, Morrison taught courses including Consumer Behavior, Principles of Management, Organizational Behavior, Advanced Marketing Events, and Foundations of Business. Before her time there, she was an adjunct instructor at Columbia College, all while working as an assistant extension professional for MU Extension in Keytesville.

Morrison received a master’s in business administration from William Woods University in Fulton, an educational specialist degree in information science and learning technologies from the University of Missouri, and an educational doctorate in educational leadership from William Woods.

Lonna WilkeLonna Wilke, assistant professor of theatre

From O’Fallon, Mo., Wilke, a CMU alumna, joins Central after years of being an associate faculty at St. Charles Community College, where she taught Introduction to Theatre and theatre design and tech classes. She also designed scenery and lighting for productions.

Before that role, she was the theatre manager/technical director, managing the theatre facility and serving as adjunct faculty. She also obtained experience as a lighting designer and engineer at St. Louis Antique Lighting, and as an assistant professor of theatre design at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind.

Wilke received her bachelor’s degree in theatre from Central in 1989. She went on to earn her master’s degree in theatre design and tech from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, N.C.

Terese ZidonTerese Zidon, assistant professor of biology

Joining Central from Columbia, Mo., Zidon was most recently a faculty adjunct professor at Columbia College, where she taught anatomy, physiology, and human biology for both day and evening students.

For several years, Zidon was a graduate teaching and research assistant at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where she collected, analyzed, and wrote manuscripts, and presented data files for scholarly activities. She also served as a visiting faculty professor/adjunct faculty at Westminster College in Fulton.

Zidon received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, before going on to earn both her master’s degree in biomedical sciences and Ph.D. in exercise physiology from the University of Missouri.