Posted 5 months ago
By John Axtell
Several new faculty members have joined the Chadron State College community. They are Robin Brierly, Steve Coughlin, Marc Daczewitz, Josh Ellis, Bill Mullins, Kaitlin Petri, Alison Tingley. Familiar faces in new positions include Jennifer Balmat, John Ritzen and Ottley Wright.
Robin Brierly, education instructor, will be instrumental in designing and promoting open education resources for use in the education department. She brings 16 years of K-12 teaching experience to CSC along with several education awards.
She has possessed a love of reading since the age of five and a strong desire to convince others of benefits of reading since an early age.
“Students need to read good books in school and need a reading teacher who believes in the power of good reading strategies to help them reach their potential. I hope to instill this knowledge in future education students at CSC,” she said.
Brierly is in the process of applying to a doctoral program focused on curriculum and instruction.
Steven Coughlin, assistant professor in English, earned his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts Boston, his master’s in creative writing (poetry) from the University of Idaho and his Ph.D. from Ohio University in English with an emphasis in creative writing.
He will be teaching creative writing, composition and American literature.
“Chadron State College represents so much of what I value: a faculty that is passionate about teaching and helping students realize their potential, an administration dedicated to making education accessible to all people, and, from what I have seen, a student body that is earnest, honest, and hardworking,” Coughlin said.
He recently finished a poetry manuscript that took about six years to complete.
“By getting up each morning and giving some part of my day to the process, even if it was only 20 minutes, I finally completed something I am proud of,” Coughlin said.
Marc Daczewitz is also joining the education faculty. He has achieved an all but dissertation (ABD) status in his special education doctoral program with Illinois State University. He grew up in a rural environment similar to Chadron and looks forward to everything about a new fall semester.
“I love all things school: the smell of new supplies, the lockers and cubbies, the freshly waxed floors. And most of all, the books!” he said.
The courses Daczewitz will be teaching are representative of his years as a public school teacher making him eager to share experience with future teachers.
“Chadron State College has a philosophy for education that is refreshing. The staff and faculty here beat a common drum: the students are great; you’ll love them; and it is our responsibility and pleasure to get them ready to be teachers,” he said.
Josh Ellis, assistant professor in the family and consumer sciences department, holds a doctorate in public health with a specialization in community health and education. He also has a background in athletic training and biology.
“In graduate school I had the opportunity to teach a couple courses and knew from that point on that I had found my calling. I enjoy having the opportunity to be a part of such a transitional time in people’s lives and find a college campus to be an inspiring environment where thoughts, ideas, opinions and the acquisition of knowledge outrank monetary pursuits,” Ellis said.
As the chair and director of a university athletic training education program, Ellis had the opportunity to develop an affiliation with a university system in Japan. Although the language barrier was a challenge at times, he found it interesting to visit their campuses and work with them to merge our curriculums.
William Mullins is a visiting instructor of piano. He is filling Dr. James Margetts position while he serves as the interim dean of Liberal Arts. Mullins is currently pursuing his doctorate in music education with a focus on piano pedagogy from Ohio State University.
Like other new faculty, he said he was drawn to an education career because of the excellent teachers he had growing up.
“It is thrilling to me to gain new knowledge and insight and I want to share that with others. Two things attracted, in part, to CSC because the school seemed to have a solid program in my area and potential for growth. I want to be a part of that,” he said.
Mullins said his experience teaching students with special needs has been amazing and challenging.
“I love to watch as they gain an additional avenue through which they can express themselves,” he said.
Kaitlin Petri, a women’s basketball All-American for CSC five years ago, earned her MBA through CSC. As an instructor in the business department, she will teach economics, marketing and management courses.
To date, her most interesting professional experience was working on a cost savings projects at a hospital. Her team worked with other departments throughout the hospital to determine areas in which supplies could be managed more efficiently either by adding or reducing inventory.
“My parents are both teachers and I have always admired the work they do. I also have always enjoyed the academic world and am excited to be able to share my knowledge with students. I am looking forward to learning even more about the campus, current projects and the students. I’m excited to be a part of CSC in a new role,” she said.
Alison Tingley will be joining the psychology department and teaching two upper division courses. She earned her doctorate in cognitive psychology from the University of Alabama.
She began graduate school with a focus on research, but after teaching several courses during her assistantship, she realized how much she enjoyed the classroom and changed her focus to teaching.
“Many things attracted me to CSC. I like the focus on teaching rather than research. I like the fact that CSC seems pretty technologically advanced. I’ve always wanted to move west. Plus, I have family here, and I can hang out with my grandchildren,” she said.
When Tingley taught at Gannon University, she was the director of the undergraduate psychology program and organized the annual meeting of the Western Pennsylvania Undergraduate Psychology Conference.
Jennifer Balmat will serve as an instructor in the physical and life sciences department.
John Ritzen, a Chadron native, will be an interim instructor in the health, physical education and recreation department while pursuing his doctorate in sports management with an emphasis in sport leadership and coaching through the United States Sports Academy.
He earned his master’s in organizational management with an emphasis in sport management from CSC.
Ottley Wright will be returning as a lecturer in the health, physical education and recreation department after working several years in student services.