New Brenau Faculty for 2016-17 Emphasizes Both Science and Arts

Sep 9, 2016
Brenau Staff

A majority of the 14 new faculty members that joined the Brenau University family for the 2016-17 school year will address growing needs for academic expertise in health sciences professional preparation as well as in traditional English language and literature.

Although the university added faculty across the board in its four academic colleges, the College of Health Sciences added three each in the fast-growing Brenau physical therapy doctoral degree program and the psychology department’s graduate and undergraduate studies and the 7th in School of Occupational Therapy, which offers both master’s and doctoral degrees in OT.

However, the university also added a couple of professors in one department of the College of Fine Arts & Humanities: English. In addition to keeping up with the workload of required courses required of Brenau Women’s College undergraduates in every major, the university expects more than 20 new English majors to arrive on its doorstep in 2017 from Anhui Normal University. The Chinese students, part of a series of “2+2 agreements” with two Chinese universities, will complete the last two years of their undergraduate studies at Brenau, majoring in English.

“This year’s new faculty brings a great energy to our academic program,” said Dr. Nancy Krippel, provost and vice president of academic affairs. “They are the ones who keep us moving forward. They see Brenau through fresh eyes and see the programs and students through fresh eyes. They keep us on a path of the continued quality and content for which our university is best known.”

Here are brief bios of the new faculty:

College of Business & Mass Communication

Selcuk “Scott” Ertekin, assistant professor of marketing, graduated from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, with a B.S. in aerospace engineering in 1999. He earned an MBA in quantitative analysis in 2004 from Marmara University in Istanbul. The St. Joseph, Missouri, native also was an engineering intern at Bombardier Shorts Aerospace in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1998.

Assistant Professor of Mass Communication Ian Peters of Jefferson, Georgia, not only studied radio, television and film, but also headed research and developed museum exhibits in Decatur, Georgia, and Astoria, New York. He attended Georgia State University where he earned a Ph.D. in communication and moving image studies in August 2015.

College of Education

Kelley Brock-Simmons from Washington, D.C., is chair of Graduate Education Programs. Previously an adjunct professor at Brenau, Brock-Simmons has been responsible for delivering high -impact and effective instruction for both on-campus and online courses offered through the Women’s College.

College of Fine Arts & Humanities

Atlanta, Georgia, resident Kasie Alt, is an affiliate faculty of art and design. Having earned a Ph.D. in art history at the University of Texas, Alt has been a teaching assistant since 2010 in both Texas and Wisconsin. She also studied art abroad in the United Kingdom, Spain and France.

John Streit of Athens, Georgia, is affiliate faculty of dance, has been performing in and choreographing ballet, modern and musical theater for more than 16 years. A graduate of the University of Georgia with a Master of Fine Arts in dance from the University of Arizona, Streit says he possesses “a full commitment to the art, to my students, to my fellow dancers and to all others involved in the process.”

Visiting Instructor of English Elizabeth Faucett from Athens, Georgia, earned an undergraduate degree in English from Brenau in 2010 returned to the United States from Dublin, Ireland, where she received a Master of Arts degree from University College. She also studied classic literature and third-world government in Cambridge, England.

Rebekah Taylor-Wiseman is an assistant professor of English from Kent, Ohio. She has a B.A. from Georgia Regents University, an M.A. from Middle Tennessee State and a Ph.D. in English from Kent State. She earned her teaching experience at all three of those universities, and she has volunteered for Greenpeace, Project Learn in Ohio and the Literary Center in Augusta, Georgia.

College of Health Sciences

Sarah Shirley of Smyrna, Georgia, an assistant professor of occupational therapy, has been designing and implementing treatment plans for children with special needs in the Atlanta area for 16 years. She holds a doctorate in occupational therapy from Temple University and a Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

Christy Brimmer, an assistant professor of physical therapy, lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and has a B.S. in biology from Berry College, an M.S. in physical therapy from Medical College of Georgia and a doctorate in physical therapy Alabama State University. Since 2002, she has worked with many patients in brain injury units, neurospecialty units and burn wound care programs.

Daniel Maddox is an assistant professor of physical therapy from Hoschton, Georgia. With a doctorate in physical therapy from Medical College of Georgia, and a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology (sports medicine) from Georgia Southern University, he has been a physical therapist, clinic director and faculty member at various institutes since 2008.

Gainesville, Florida native Fredy Mora Solis, assistant professor of physical therapy, earned a Master of Science and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida. However, he completed an undergraduate degree in physical therapy at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua – Managua, or National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, where he has participated in the university’s Health Volunteers Overseas program since 2005.

Josh Hall of Ellijay, Georgia, is the new director of Brenau’s Center for Counseling and Psychological Services. A graduate of the University of Georgia with M.Ed., Ed.S. and Ph.D. degrees in school psychology, he has provided counseling services at schools throughout northeast Georgia and in South Carolina since 1974.

Melanie Covert, assistant professor of psychology, earned a master’s in clinical counseling psychology from Brenau in 2011. The Marietta, Georgia, resident has been part-time faculty at Brenau since 2013 as well as an adjunct faculty at both Georgia Highlands College and Georgia State University. She is on the board of directors of the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia.

Lucinda Grapenthin, assistant professor of psychology, has been a school psychologist in Illinois, California, South Carolina and Georgia. She earned a master’s and a Ph.D. from Indiana State University. She also volunteers for Project Lift, a mentoring program for high-risk high school students. She has served as both a Girl Scout leader and president of a high school volleyball club.