Columbus State Welcomes 31 New Faculty for 2017-18 Academic Year

Columbus State University starts the fall semester with 31 new full-time faculty members, filling academic needs in all four colleges. Their expertise ranges from graphic design to applied statistical analysis.

Interim Provost Tina Butcher said she was very impressed with the background and qualifications of these new instructors and researchers. "This group is an impressive mix of professionals on the cutting edge in their field, to experienced teachers who will bring a great deal of talent to our students."

The new faculty members are:

College of the Arts

Ms. Melissa Hebert-Johnson joins the Art Department as a Lecturer in Art History. Hebert-Johnson graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2002 with a Master’s Degree in Art History and a Graduate Certification in Women’s Studies. She has been teaching art appreciation and art history for 14 years. She previously taught at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, IL and Black Hawk College in Moline, IL.

Melissa’s current areas of reading and research interest include pre-modern women artists, pedagogy of art history, and gender and ethnicity in the museum. Her favorite art history subjects include Aztec, Indian, Islamic, and Modern and contemporary art. Melissa says that introducing new students to art every semester is a privilege that she cherishes.”

Mr. Nicholas McMillan joins the Art Department as an Assistant Professor of Art specializing in Graphic Design, he is relocating from Newport News, Virginia. Mr. McMillan received his MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design and his BFA from James Madison University. Prior to moving to Columbus, he was the Visiting Assistant professor of Design at the University of Central Oklahoma and an Assistant Professor of Art at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi. Prior to entering academia Nicholas gained professional experience working for eight years as a graphic designer throughout the DC Metropolitan area. Mr. McMillan continues to be actively involved in AIGA, the professional organization for graphic design, and in advancing graphic design curriculum to best meet future demands of the graphic design industry.


 Dr. Andrew Donofrio joins the Communication Department as an Assistant Professor of Communication. His research focuses on rhetoric as a process of meaning-building, of creating, shaping, and reshaping symbols that manifest into and inform regional cultures. His current work is directed at interrogating relationships between power, race, place, and U.S. K-12 public education policy-making. He is interested in the communication strategies and tactics that people use as they attempt to influence the decisions of local policymakers. I am particularly invested in understanding how such interactions can be enhanced or limited by the fluid and intersecting social identity locations that people occupy. Overall, my scholarship is dedicated to uncovering spaces that promote equity through empathy and productive public policy deliberation.


Dr. Alison F. Slade is excited to be joining the Department of Communication at CSU this fall. She received her Ph.D. from The University of Southern Mississippi, Her academic research interests include reality television, social media, fan culture and media criticism.  For three years, Dr. Slade hosted the nationally syndicated radio program The Alison Slade Show, focusing on political discourse in a weekly news format.  Dr. Slade has appeared as a media expert on The Redding News Review, America’s Morning News, and most recently appeared as a reality television expert for the NBC Universal documentary on Duck Dynasty.  She was also a contributor in the award winning book Rock Brands: Selling Sound in a Media Saturated Culture (Dr. Elizabeth Christian, Ed.) and co-editor of Mediated Images of the South: The Portrayal of Dixie in Popular CultureReality Television: Oddities of Culture and Television, Social Media and Fan Culture.  Dr. Slade has five children, including a set of twins.  Dr. Slade received her undergraduate and masters from Auburn University which explains why, in her next life, she wants to be a millionaire and have season tickets to Auburn football games.                                        

Mr. Eric Zuber The Joyce and Henry Schwob School of Music is pleased to announce the appointment of Eric Zuber as The L. Rexford Whiddon Visiting Chair in Piano. Mr. Zuber, a distinguished concert artist and pedagogue, will join The Jack and JoRhee Pezold Division of Keyboard Studies, the first fully endowed division within the Schwob School and a program of distinction that attracts undergraduate and graduate students from all over the world. In addition to a busy solo and collaborative career, Mr. Zuber is devoted to teaching the next generation of pianistic talent. Last year he served as Visiting Professor of Piano Performance at Ball State University in Indiana, and has been Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Memphis' Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music and Faculty Associate at the Peabody Institute.  Mr. Zuber holds degrees from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University (B.M., A.D.), the Curtis Institute of Music (Diploma), and the Juilliard School (M.M.) He is currently pursuing his doctoral degree at Peabody.

Dr. Ianthe Onelia Marini joins the Schwob School of Music as an Assistant Professor of Music. She received her Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland where she studied with Edward Maclary and James Ross. She was the recipient of the University’s Pomeroy Prize for scholarship and performance in 17th and 18th century music and served the UMD Men’s Chorus as its first female director.  As a professional Chorus Master, she prepared a number of choruses for the National and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, including a preparation of the UMD Chamber Singers in Handel’s Messiah for subscription performances with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center under the direction of Maestro Nathalie Stutzmann.  She also prepared the choir for a performance of a cappella repertoire of Sir James MacMillan under his own baton at the Kennedy Center.  Additionally, she prepared the UMD Men’s and Women’s Choruses for subscription performances with the NSO Pops under the direction of Maestro Steven Reineke, and the UMD Men’s Chorus for subscription performances with the Baltimore Symphony SuperPops Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Jack Everly. She conducted Mozart’s Requiem as the Director of the UMD Summer Chorus and Orchestra, and BWV 26, 12, and 44 as Conductor of the UMD Bach Cantata series.

Gabriel Villa is a Chicago-based professional artist. Villa received his MFA from the University of Delaware and a BFA from Corpus Christi State University-Texas A& M and is attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, MN. Gabriel Villa was born and raised in the El Paso, Texas/ Ciudad Juarez border region and currently resides in Chicago, Illinois, where he is an active member of the arts community. Villa’s teaching practices include Visiting Artist at American University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Professor of foundation Painting and Drawing at Triton College, River Grove, IL, Visiting Artist at Stateville Prison, Crest Hill IL, with the Prison Neighborhood & Prison Arts Project and most recently, Foundation Drawing at Saint Xavier University, Chicago, IL. Villa served from 2005-2011 as Director of Yollocalli Arts Reach, a youth initiative of the National Museum of Mexican Art and also served as Co-Curator for the Chicago Kraft Foods Gallery from 2006-2011 at the National Museum of Mexican Art. Villa has had numerous national exhibitions and has received numerous awards.


College of Business

Dr. Joshua Brooks, Temporary Assistant Professor of Finance grew up in Northport, AL. Dr. Brooks joined the faculty of Columbus State University after working as an assistant professor at Lander University in Greenwood, South Carolina where he won the Young faculty Teaching Award. He holds a Masters and Ph.D. in Finance from The University of Alabama.  Dr. Brooks maintains a vibrant research portfolio focused on time-series and investments; his most recent publication was the presentation of an alternative options pricing framework in the Journal of Financial Research.

Dr. Brooks’ maintains on-going consulting cases in the areas of derivatives valuation, returns attribution, and time-series econometrics. These experiences bring a distinctive expertise to his classroom as he can offer his students a practical perspective on the material and the operation of finance as a whole.  Joshua looks forward to being an active member of the local and university community.

Dr. Hyeran Choi, Assistant Professor of Management in the Turner College of Business. She received her B.B.A. from Yonsei University, South Korea.  After working for both the private and government sector, she completed her Master’s program in Human Resources and Industrial Relations at the University of Minnesota. During this time, she discovered her academic interest in organizational behavior.  She decided to begin the doctoral program of organizational behavior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research deals with understanding individuals and groups within an organizational context, and cross-cultural negotiation. Choi examines how individuals and groups can manage conflicts constructively and creatively. Her teaching field includes Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management.


Dr. Leslie Adah, Assistant Professor of Accounting and Finance joined the faculty of Columbus State University after working as faculty at Mississippi State University and University of Memphis. He holds a Masters and Ph.D. in Accounting from Jackson State University.  Dr. Adah is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and is a Certified Tax Auditor. He served as Vice President at Garret Enterprises Consolidated Inc. Jackson, MS, and Senior Accountant at Bruno and Tervalon, CPA of New Orleans. His research projects include examining the Mnemonic Effects of Multiple Choice Questions on Students’ Learning Curve in Cost Accounting, The Constraining Effects of the PCAOB’s Re-proposed Amendment to Disclose the Identity of the Engagement Partner on Management Pressure Point and The Mediating Effects of Default Liability Insurance Provision on Bank Loan Officer’s Perceptions of Audit Quality.


Dr. Hyrum Carroll, Assistant Professor in the TSYS School of Computer Science research is centered on leveraging computational approaches to solve biological problems.  He has made contributions in the areas of database retrieval metrics, both pairwise and multiple sequence alignment, phylogeny search, and biological networks.  Previous to coming to CSU, he was an assistant professor at Middle Tennessee State University and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institutes of Health where was working on algorithms and evaluation criteria for genetic sequence alignment.  Dr. Carroll holds a BS degree in Computer Engineering and MS and PhD degrees in Computer Science from Brigham Young University.



Dr. Fady Mansour, Assistant Professor joined the faculty of the Columbus State University after working as an assistant professor at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota. He holds a Masters and Ph.D. in Economics from Middle Tennessee State University. His undergraduate career was in agricultural science at Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. He maintains a vibrant research portfolio focused on labor and health economics; He currently has a revise and resubmit at Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

Dr. Mansour has written papers on the impact of adolescence employment on welfare participation later in life, and the effect of regulations on quality in the nursing home industry. He enjoys engaging with students in helping students find and apply for scholarships that best match their status. He also enjoys mentoring students to achieve their optimal academic success and increase retention. He has designed and developed online courses and has taught business statistics as well as courses in economics.


College of Education and Health Professions


Dr. Basil Conway, IV - Assistant Professor of Secondary Mathematics Education has served as a professional educator at the middle school, high school, junior college, or university setting since 2005. Most recently, he was Assistant Professor at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. He completed his BS, MS, and PhD in mathematics education at Auburn University and a MS degree in statistical science at Colorado State University. During this time, he has presented at numerous local, regional, and national conferences on topics ranging from statistics, technology in statistics, differentiated mathematics instruction, and access to rigorous mathematics courses. His research interests are in statistics education, empowerment through effective teaching practices, and student opportunity to access rich mathematics.


Dr. Megan Hallissey - Assistant Professor of Middle Grades Education earned a Bachelor's degree in Theater from Northwestern University, Master's degree in Education from DePaul University, and Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University in Early Childhood Education and Educational Administration.  She has taught and served as an administrator for over twenty years at the elementary school, middle school, and collegiate levels.  Her scholarship includes numerous presentations at the local, state, and national levels as well as research outlining the need for more transformative teaching practices and arts integration.  Publication of this work is scheduled for 2018, in a book entitled, "Why Children Hate and Love School."  Her current research endeavors involve bringing developmentally appropriate practices to middle grades education.


Dr. Rebecca Toland – Assistant Professor of Health Sciences has over eight years’ experience in academia and has educated and advised students enrolled in Public Health, Health Care Administration, and Health Science programs. Her areas of expertise are in disease prevention, mental health, and substance abuse.  Additionally, Dr. Toland has over 17 years of practical experience working in the areas of public and community health.

Dr. Toland earned her Doctorate of Health Education in 2012 from A.T. Still University located in Kirksville, Missouri with the focus of STD Prevention in Adolescence. She recently returned to school and received her Clinical Master of Social Work degree from Troy University, Troy, Alabama where she specialized in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in veterans and active duty military population. She has a personal connection to CSU as she has a BS in Heath Science and an MPA from the university. Her research interests include but are not limited to: mental health in women, opioid use in young adults, and universal health care.

Ms. Tristen Hyatt is currently working on her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision at Auburn University and is a Nationally Certified Counselor. She holds a Master's degree from Troy University in Counseling and Psychology with a focus in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Columbus State University. She began working in mental health and substance abuse in 2010. She has worked in numerous roles in the mental health field: residential case manager, community support individual, outpatient therapist, crisis counselor, group counselor, career counselor, intake coordinator in a psychiatric hospital, and currently works with the college population providing counseling services.  Additionally, she is on the board of directors for the Columbus, GA branch of NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness). She aims to continually engage in education that promotes her professional knowledge as counselor and counselor educator through engagement, advocacy, and outreach. Lastly, Tristen is eager to begin in her role as Assistant Professor in the Counseling, Foundations, and Leadership Department at Columbus State University starting August 2017.

Dr. Stella Makri, Assistant Professor, completed her doctoral degree in Counselor Education and Supervision from Texas A&M University-Commerce (2010), my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Texas Woman’s University (2006), and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Kennesaw State University (2002).  Her research interests include Multicultural/Diversity issues, Child and Family Development, Supervision, Professional Identity Development and Ethical Issues. She has been a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Georgia since 2011 and has worked in community and schools settings. She is actively involved in professional organizations both on a state and national level, and has presented at conferences and workshops. Her teaching experience includes both traditional and online settings, and she has served as thesis and dissertation chair for master and doctoral level counseling students.  

Tonya Herring MSN, RN earned a BSN from Columbus State University and MSN from Gardner-Webb University.  Recently she was the Nursing Educator for perioperative services at St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. Her previous teaching experience includes the Presbyterian School of Nursing at Queens University in Charlotte, N.C.; Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in Salisbury, NC; and East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. She is certified in medical-surgical nursing through the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center. She was awarded a $50,000 grant to study Simulation in associate degree and LPN nursing programs.  In addition, her research interests involve retention strategies of RNs at the bedside. Professional experience revolves around medical-surgical and maternal-child nursing. With both clinical and teaching in these two areas of nursing, she looks forward to working with the nursing students at Columbus State.


Elizabeth Mathis RN, APRN is a certified pediatric acute care nurse practitioner. She received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Columbus State University in 2002, before going on to receive her Masters of Science in Nursing from Duke University in 2005. At Duke, she completed the pediatric acute and chronic care nurse practitioner program. Most recently, Liz has practiced as a pediatric nurse practitioner for a pediatric hospital service and pediatric intensive care unit. Before that, she helped to open and worked in a pediatric emergency department. Though her specialty and certification are in pediatrics, Liz has also held the position of trauma coordinator at a level II trauma facility, serving both injured adults and children.



Teresa Peterson, MSN, RN received her Master of Science in nursing education from Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, Fla and her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Fayetteville State University in NC.  She has over 20 years of clinical nursing experience in hospice case management, long-term care, acute care, community health and pediatrics in Georgia, North Carolina and Florida.




Dr. Sarah Gay, DNP, APRN, NP-C, received a Bachelor of Science from Emory University, a Master of Science in nursing from Troy University and a DNP from Duke University She is pursuing a master’s in public health from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  She has served as an adjunct faculty and clinical preceptor for Columbus State’s FNP program this past year. She has been an FNP with St. Francis Hospital and the Comprehensive Contingency Task Force of Columbus for the past several years.  As a FNP, she has participated in medical mission relief trips to Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, and Panama.


College of Letters and Sciences

Jaimie M. Gonzalez, Lecturer/Stockroom Manager completed the Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry at Columbus State University in 2009 and she earned a Master of Education in December, 2012 from the Department of Teacher Education at Columbus State University. She worked for the Muscogee County School District at Northside High School as a science teacher where she taught biology, chemistry, and physical Science courses. For the past four years Ms. Gonzalez has served as a part-time lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at CSU teaching introductory lecture and laboratory classes. During Ms. Gonzalez’s tenure as an undergraduate student, she served as a laboratory assistant where she assisted with coordinating

Introductory chemistry laboratory classes, acquired and arranged materials for weekly laboratory activities, facilitated pre- and post-lab discussions, and graded student laboratory reports.

Ms. Gonzalez will occupy the position of Lecturer/Stockroom Manager where her duties will include teaching some introductory lecture and laboratory courses. She will also maintain the chemical inventory, prepare reagents for the lab classes, manage chemical waste, oversee the undergraduate lab assistants, and help the department as needed to reach its goals.

 Dr. Vy Thuc Dao, Assistant Professor of Sociology earned her PhD in Sociology at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA with a primary emphasis on qualitative methods, theory, and inquiry. She also completed her MA at the University of Houston and prior to her appointment at CSU, served as a visiting assistant professor at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. Her most recent publications draw on her research in the Gulf South involving a multi-year, multi-site, ethnographic study that looks at the post-disaster recovery patterns of three Vietnamese American communities in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. From this study, her investigation expanded her research interests in race, social movements, and the interplay of community organizational development with ethnic identity. Presently, Dr. Dao is investigating protest culture, advocacy, and its intersections with race and gender.

 Rebecca Gerdes-McClain, Assistant Professor of English and Director of First Year Composition earned her B.A. and M.A. in English from Indiana University South Bend. This Spring, she earned her Ph.D. in Composition, Rhetoric, and Literacy from the University of Oklahoma where, in addition to research on the history of labor in First-Year Composition, she served for two years as Assistant Director of OU’s First-Year Composition program. While at OU, she helped to assess OU’s First-Year Composition curriculum, develop a new two-course sequence, pilot said curriculum, and ultimately implement it across campus. Dr. Gerdes-McClain has taught various First-Year composition courses, Expository Writing, Technical Writing, and a graduate Teaching Composition course as well as courses on Genre Studies and Film Adaptation. At CSU, Dr. Gerdes-McClain will serve as the First-Year Composition director where she will teach Composition 1, Composition 2, and upper level writing courses as well as administer, assess, and develop the First-Year Composition program.

Clayton O’Dell, Temporary Lecturer of English earned both his B.A. and M.A. in English and Secondary Education at Columbus State University. He has been teaching first year composition with Columbus State since 2016. As an undergraduate, Clayton studied abroad with Columbus State as part of the CSU in Mexico program for two consecutive summers, instilling a passion for study abroad and the International Learning Community on campus. Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages endorsement as part of his M.A., is one of Clayton's specialty areas in teaching English as a second language. Other areas of interest include minority, gender, and international studies, particularly related to literature and modern fiction.

Natalia Naman Temesgen, Assistant Professor of English earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Princeton University in 2008, and her Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in 2010.  Her plays have been produced in New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, and Columbus, Georgia.  She has a passion for writing stories (plays, screenplays, and teleplays/webseries) that present seemingly stereotypical individuals or scenarios, then explode and expand the narrow understanding that the audience may have previously held.  Her goal as a writer and a teacher is to help to amplify and clarify the voices of all, and to create a fertile ground for dialogue on which individuals may debate with respect, curiosity and earnestness.  Mrs. Temesgen has taught in different positions in the English and Theatre departments at CSU since 2013, and is eager to continue serving the university in her new position.

 Carey “Scott” Wilkerson, Assistant Professor of English earned his BA and MA from Auburn University, an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte, and is a PhD candidate at Georgia State University. He is the author of numerous plays, including Seven Dreams of Falling (Black Box Press) and The Minotaur Trilogy (Otoliths), two poetry collections including Threading Stone (New Plains Press), editor of a poetry anthology Stone River Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems (Negative Capability Press), author of three operetta libretti including Eddie's Stone Song: Odyssey of the First Pasaquoyan (a collaboration with composer James Ogburn (CSU Schwob Scool of Music), and a forthcoming novel, Ariadne’s Knot (Negative Capability Press.) He is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet. His plays have been produced in Columbus, Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta. This academic year, three new productions of his work will appear here in Columbus, Medford, OR, and Frankfurt, Germany.

Kristen Lilly, Assistant Professor of Mathematics earned her undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics and her Ph.D. in Mathematics with a concentration in Statistics, both at Auburn University. While at Auburn, she became interested in applied statistical analysis, and she continued this interest by researching robust variable selection methods for grouped data for her dissertation. In addition, she was an intern as an applied statistician for a medical device company and helped other graduate students with their own statistical analyses in their fields. After graduating, she worked full time as a statistical data analyst for a medical device company before making the switch back to academia. She will join the Department of Mathematics in the fall to support the new Data Science programs.


Sheryl Bernardo-Hinesley, Assistant Professor of Spanish earned her B.A. degree in Spanish Language, Literatures, and Cultures, and her M.A. degree in Modern Languages with Concentration in Spanish Literatures, and Linguistics from the University of Texas at Arlington. While pursuing her Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she accepted teaching assistantships in the university’s Spanish and Portuguese Program, and a one-year visiting professorship at the Universidad de Oviedo, Spain. Her dissertation project analyzes the variation in the pronominal system of an understudied severely endangered Spanish-lexified, Tagalog-substrate creole variety called Cavite Chabacano spoken in the Manila Bay region of the Philippines. She presents empirical support to theoretical claims on codeswitching as a socially motivated act which may cause language shift. Though her primary area of specialization is in sociolinguistics, her secondary area of research is in second language acquisition investigating the interlanguage representation of Spanish learners whose first language is English.

She joins the Department of Modern and Classical Languages as Assistant Professor of Spanish, where she will teach introductory to advanced courses in Spanish and foreign language teaching methodology, coordinate lower division Spanish courses, and serve as a mentor for the foreign language teacher education students.

 Sonia Rivera, Temporary Lecturer of Spanish earned her undergraduate degree in Mathematics Education from Florida State University in 1993 and earned her M.A. in Teaching Foreign Languages/Spanish from University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg in 1997. In 2010, she earned a DEA (Diploma de Estudios Avanzados/ Advanced Studies Diploma) from Universidad de Nebrija Madrid, Spain. She has been an adjunct professor at Columbus State University since 2000. While at CSU, she has taught elementary and intermediate Spanish, Phonetics, Studies in Civilization-Spain, Advanced Grammar and Composition, Literature, Contemporary Film: Spain, Spanish Conversation and Golden Age Theater. For her professional accomplishment, she has written a book titled USO DE LAS TECNOLOGÍAS DE LA COMUNICACIÓN Y LA INFORMACIÓN APLICADAS A LA ENSEÑANZA DE ESPAÑOL COMO LENGUA EXTRANJERA POR LOS DOCENTES DE LAS UNIVERSIDADES PÚBLICAS DE GEORGIA, ESTADOS UNIDOS, Universidad de Nebrija, 2010 ((The use of TICs, Applied to the Teaching of Spanish as a Foreign Language, by the Professors of the Public Universities in GA. USA.).  Her Research/Interest is on Applied Linguistics to the teaching of Spanish as a Foreign Language.

She received the Excellence in Access Award, Office of Disability Services, Columbus State University, in 2005.

Amber K. Lupo, Temporary Lecturer of Psychology earned her M.A. in Cognitive & Social Processes at Ball State University and her Ph.D in Psychology, with a certificate in Quantitative Methods, at the University of Texas at El Paso under the mentorship of Dr. Michael A. Zárate. Her research tests how social memory and perceptions, such as prejudice and stereotypes, develop and change over time through memory consolidation processes. In a second line of research, she investigates the social-cognitive factors that lead to police brutality. Her dissertation tested how police uniform color impacts civilian perceptions of police hostility and how uniform color influences aggressive police behavior. She has also taught multiple undergraduate courses, including Introduction to Psychology, Statistical Methods, Social Psychology, and Psychology of Personality.


John Hanson, Temporary Lecturer of Biology. Dr. John Hanson is proud to be from the great state of Texas.  He earned a BS in Biology and a BS in Environmental Science from Abilene Christian University. He went on to earn a MS (2003) in Biology at Angelo State University where he studied behavioral ecology in woodpeckers, and a PhD (2008) with a focus on Zoology at Texas Tech University. During his PhD he studied evolutionary relationships of Central and South American mice and rats. After teaching at Texas Tech for 2 ½ years, Dr. Hanson worked at a genomics laboratory which he went on to direct and he is board certified as a High Complexity Laboratory Director. Dr. Hanson joined the Biology Department in January 2017 and this fall will be teaching Mammalogy and Principles of Biology.