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New UMSL Faculty

The UMSL community welcomes its newest full-time faculty members for the 2017-2018 academic year: 

Arts and Sciences  |  Business Administration  |  Education  |  Nursing  |  Mental Health  |  Social Work

 

College of Arts and Sciences

Badri Adhikari

Assistant Professor of Mathematics & Computer Science

adhikarib@umsl.edu

Badri Adhikari obtained his undergraduate degree in computer engineering from Tribhuvan University in Nepal and his doctoral degree in computer science from University of Missouri-Columbia. Before starting his doctoral degree, he worked as a full-time senior software engineer at various data mining and warehousing companies, and taught at Tribhuvan University as a part-time faculty. With research interests in machine learning, data mining and bioinformatics, he has published papers in journals like Bioinformatics, Nature Scientific Reports, PLOS ONE, BMC Bioinformatics, and BMC Genomics, and actively serves as a reviewer for these journals. He also taught at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri as a part-time faculty. His major contribution to the field of structural proteomics is CONFOLD, a protein 3D modeling tool which is integrated into other protein structure prediction systems.

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Shannon Ahrndt

Associate Teaching Professor of Communication & Media

ahrndts@umsl.edu

Shannon Ahrndt is joining the UMSL Department of Communication and Media as an associate teaching professor. She joins UMSL with extensive international teaching experience, including at Seoul National University in South Korea and the University of Da Nang in Vietnam. She has a master’s degree in communication from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She will be teaching a range of online and on-campus courses including Intercultural Communication and Organizational Communication.

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Jenna Alexander

Assistant Teaching Professor of English/Center for Teaching & Learning

AlexanderJM@umsl.edu

Jennafer Alexander began her academic career at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she received bachelor’s degrees in English and philosophy. In 2011, she earned her master’s degree in English composition from UMSL. After graduate school, she spent five years as an adjunct instructor at UMSL, teaching writing courses in the Department of English as well as the Pierre-Laclede Honors College. In her new position she will serve as the Supplemental Instruction Coordinator for the Center for Teaching and Learning, and she will continue to teach writing courses through the Department of English as an Assistant Teaching Professor. Her research interests include critical theory, rhetorical theory, gender studies, postcolonial studies, and pedagogical theory. She is currently collaborating with Dr. Suellynn Duffey on a project called “Beyond the Waves” to explore the complexities of cross-generational feminist work in composition and rhetoric.

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Jill Alexander

Associate Teaching Professor of Communication & Media

alexanderjil@umsl.edu

Jill Alexander, APR, Fellow PRSA is joining the UMSL Department of Communication and Media as an Associate Teaching Professor and Coordinator of the PR program. She comes to UMSL with close to 30 years of experience in the areas of public relations, media relations, crisis communication, internal communication and community relations. She is accredited in public relations by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). She has an MA from the University of South Alabama and undergraduate degrees in Journalism/PR and Design from the State University College of New York at Buffalo. She will be teaching courses in the Public Relations sequence and working to strengthen the ties between the PR program and the professional community.

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Darwin Aquino

Assistant Teaching Professor of Music

aquinotejedad@umsl.edu

Darwin Aquino is internationally recognized as one of the top rising conductors from Latin America, both in symphonic and opera fields. His inspired conducting and versatility as a composer are highly demanded in Europe, United States and Latin America. Recently the Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra appointed Aquino as Principal Conductor for the 2016-2017 season. Aquino has served as the director of the National Conservatory of Music and the Juan Pablo Duarte Symphony Orchestra, in his homeland the Dominican Republic. The Latin American Collegium of Composers and the Caribbean Composers Forum selected him as their youngest member for his outstanding achievements in composition. Recently, was invited to La Habana, Cuba, as one of the judges for the Composition Prize Casa de las Americas 2015. Since 2004 has served as Music Director of the National Youth Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Dominican Republic’s “Sistema”. Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu, founder of the world-known Venezuelan Sistema, refers to Aquino as “a great conductor, excellent composer and eminent violinist. A pioneer for the musical youth in Latin America”.

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Anne Austin

Assistant Teaching Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology

austinan@umsl.edu

Anne Austin received her BA in Anthropology from Harvard University, and she earned her MA and PhD in the Archaeology program at UCLA. She joined UMSL in 2017 after completing a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University in the History Department. Her research combines the fields of osteology and Egyptology in order to document medicine and disease in the past. Specifically, she uses data from ancient Egyptian human remains and daily life texts to reconstruct ancient Egyptian health care networks and identify the diseases and illnesses people experienced in the past. While working in Egypt, Anne discovered the only known ancient Egyptian tattoos on a mummy with over 30 different tattoos. Anne's next research project will focus on the practice of tattooing in ancient Egypt and its potential connections to gender, religion, and medicine. In addition to her interested in Egyptology and osteology, Anne works on improving archaeological data management practices through her participation in an international, collaborative ethnographic research study on archaeological field schools. Anne will be teaching courses such as: Introduction to Biological Anthropology, Forensic Anthropology, and Human Variation, among others.

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Natasha César Suárez

Assistant Teaching Professor of Languages & Cultural Studies

cesarsuarezn@umsl.edu

Natasha César Suárez comes to us from the Hispanic Studies Department at the University of Houston, where her dissertation titled “Transnational Cuba: Travel Literature and Popular Music,” is nearing completion. She has taught in several countries, including Cuba, Spain, and Portugal. Her teaching interests focus on twentieth and twenty-first century Latin American and Hispanic Caribbean literatures and cultures, as well as US Latino cultures and Spanish as a Second Language. She has taught all levels of Spanish language and has delivered these in online, blended, and face-to-face formats. She enjoys working with diverse student populations and uses authentic materials to help place language within a wide, dynamic spectrum of knowledge. She has been collaborating with and contributing a wealth of materials to Foreign Language and the Literacy of Everyday, which is a joint initiative of two National Foreign Language Resource Centers.

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Rachel Craft

Assistant Teaching Professor of Sociology/Gerontology

CraftR@umsl.edu

Rachel Craft began instructing sociology courses at UMSL as an adjunct assistant professor in Spring 2015 while finishing her PhD Dissertation, “Making the Choice to Use Herbs: Pathways to the Practice of Herbalism.” She earned a PhD in sociology from the University of Kansas in spring 2016. Craft will teach courses in both the Sociology and Gerontology Programs, and provide advising and practicum support for students in the Gerontology Graduate Program. Teaching in sociology and related fields is her passion and she truly enjoys working with our students. Her focal interests in medical and environmental sociology, with a special interest in how social policies and practices affect diverse populations (the elderly, women, children, racial and ethnic groups, and the poor), compliment all three programs in SGG. She is also interested in topics spanning theory, globalization, culture, social movements, and climate change. Her recent publications and presentations examined medicinal plant use, sales, media representations, and sustainable harvest practices.

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Kal Dhou

Visiting Assistant Professor  of Mathematics & Computer Science

dhouk@umsl.edu

Kal Dhou is currently a visiting assistant professor in Computer Science at UMSL. He finished his PhD in Computing and Information Systems from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Right after, Dhou did his post-doctoral fellowship in data science and business analytics in NC Complex Systems Institute. He worked as a CIS faculty in the East Coast Polytechnic Institute. His research interests are image processing, information visualization and human computer interaction.

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Rachel Ellis

Assistant Professor  of Criminology & Criminal Justice

rellis@umsl.edu

Rachel Ellis is a first-year assistant professor in the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice. Originally from Baltimore, MD, Rachel earned her BA in Sociology and French from Georgetown University and her MA and PhD in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research uses qualitative methods to study incarceration and inequality based on race, class, gender, sexuality, and religion. Rachel’s current project is based on a yearlong ethnography of religious life inside a U.S. state women’s prison. Her teaching focuses on corrections and qualitative methods.

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Garett Foster

Assistant Teaching Professor of Psychological Sciences

fostergc@umsl.edu

Garett Foster, PhD from Bowling Green State University is an Industrial/Organizational psychologist who will be joining our I/O group. He has interests in the areas of basic and applied psychometrics, particularly item response theory, applied to non-cognitive measurement, employee well-being, and leadership assessment. He will be teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level including a large undergraduate class in Psychological Statistics and a class in Motivation as well as graduate courses in Quantitative Methods.

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Heidi Grundetjern

Assistant Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice

grundetjernh@umsl.edu

Heidi Grundetjern received her PhD in sociology from the University of Oslo in 2017. She specializes in qualitative methods, and theoretical perspectives on gender and culture. Her research focuses on the role of gender in illegal drug markets, with a particular focus on women’s experiences.

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William Kist

Assistant Teaching Professor of Biology

William Kist received his BS in Respiratory Therapy from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He went on to earn his MS in Pathology and PhD in Health Promotion and Physiology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Before joining UMSL in the fall of 2017, Dr. Kist served as a faculty member at Southern Arkansas University and the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. His primary area of expertise is in physiology, including specialties in cardiovascular, pulmonary and nutrition-related areas, and human performance (kinesiology, biomechanics, exercise physiology, and oxygen kinetics).

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Dana Klar

Assistant Teaching Professor of Psychological Sciences

klardm@umsl.edu

Dana Klar, J.D., MSW from Washington University has extensive experience in forensic interviewing and trauma-based counseling and legal child advocacy for victims of child sexual and physical abuse. She will be teaching in our Child Advocacy Studies (CAST) program including courses such as Child Maltreatment, Forensic Investigation of Child Abuse, & Traumatic Stress in Childhood and Adolescence. She will also being doing clinical service work at the Children's Advocacy Center.

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Scott Peterson

Associate Professor of English

petersonsco@umsl.edu

Scott D. Peterson earned a PhD in American Literature and Culture at the University of Maine. Before coming to UMSL, he was an associate professor in the Communication Department at Wright State University, where he served as the director of the public speaking class and the coordinator of the internship program. For Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, he was awarded a fellowship as part of WSU’s initiative for Collaborative Education, Leadership & Innovation in the Arts. Peterson is the author of Reporting Baseball’s Sensational Season of 1890: The Brotherhood War and the Rise of Modern Sports Journalism, along with several articles on baseball literature and culture. As a long-time member of the Sport Literature Association, Peterson serves as the fiction editor for Aethlon, the group’s journal and is the author of fiction as well.

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Liz Sullivan

Assistant Teaching Professor of Art & Design

lizsullivan@umsl.edu

Liz Sullivan is a graphic design professional who specializes in showcasing the histories and cultures of schools and companies in both print and environmental graphic design. She brings 30 years of experience working with clients to share their stories with employees, clients and communities. She has worked as a freelance designer collaborating with companies and creative teams on a variety of print, web and environmental design projects. Sullivan is an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and will be teaching undergraduate courses ranging from the introductory level through senior portfolios.

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John Trevathan

Assistant Teaching Professor of Languages & Cultural Studies

trevathanjo@umsl.edu

John Trevathan earned his PhD in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures at the University of Minnesota in 2013. His research interests include Modern and Contemporary Spanish Literatures and Cultures, Transatlantic Studies, and Ecological Criticism. His most recent publication is titled: “Submergence: On Transatlantic Ecocriticism, Islands, and Archipelagos.” He has held teaching positions at the University of Minnesota, Indiana University and, most recently, the University of Montana. In the classroom, John uses student-centered activities and the communicative approach to language learning as he shares with students his passion for fostering cultural contact through the discovery of a diverse range of texts, histories, people, and places. As his students improve their language skills, they also investigate issues such as migration, environmental justice, colonization, linguistic and ecological diversity in Spanish and Latin American literatures, film, and other media. He will be teaching Spanish languages and cultures at all levels and developing an upper-level course titled “Spanish for the Sciences and Health Professions.”

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College of Business Administration

Jill Bernard Bracy

Assistant Teaching Professor of Marketing

bernardji@umsl.edu

Jill Bernard Bracy joined UMSL as an assistant teaching professor of marketing and assistant director of program development for the Center for Transportation Studies. She holds a BS in business and marketing from Fontbonne University, an MBA from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a PhD in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from UMSL. Prior joining the full time faculty, Bracy had served as a research associate at the Center for Transportation Studies and as assistant professor of business and program director for the MS in Supply Chain Management Program at Fontbonne University.

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Matias Enz

Assistant Professor of Supply Chain & Analytics

 

Matias Enz received his doctorate in logistics from Ohio State University and holds an industrial engineering degree from Rosario National University, Rosario, Argentina. Prior to joining UMSL, he was a lecturer at Cranfield University in the Demand Chain Management department and a researcher at the Global Supply Chain Forum at Ohio State University. Prior to his academic career he worked for Lexmark International as a Demand Manager and for Price Waterhouse Coopers as a Consultant in supply chain projects. Matias' main areas of expertise and research are supply chain management, the implementation of cross-functional business processes, and the measurement of value co-creation when the capabilities from functions such as Marketing, Logistics, and Operations among others are integrated across business-to-business relationships.

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Qiaohai (Joice) Hu

Assistant Professor of Supply Chain & Analytics

huqiao@umsl.edu

Qiaohai (Joice) Hu received her PhD in Operations Research in 2006 from Case Western Reserve University.  Her research interests are in the areas of operations management, interfaces between operations and finance, supply chain management and pricing models. Before returning to academia, she had worked as supply chain analyst at FedEx and Eastcom.

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Maureen Karig

Assistant Teaching Professor of Supply Chain & Analytics

karigm@umsl.edu

Maureen Karig earned her BA in International Studies from the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh, an MA in Slavic Studies from Boston College and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Karig joined UMSL in 2010 as a senior research associate and lecturer. Most recently, her team developed data-driven initiatives for customer service and customer-relations management to support higher customer satisfaction ratings as reported by J.D. Power & Associates for a local, investor-owned, electric utility. She also completed a $1.13 million National Research Study on the Accuracy of Credit Reporting sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission. In addition to her research, Karig teaches graduate and undergraduate International Logistics & Operations Management and the graduate capstone course Strategy Formulation and Management in the College of Business at UMSL.

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Thomas Kozloski

Associate Professor of Accounting

kozloskit@umsl.edu

Thomas Kozloski holds a BBA, Accounting from the University of Notre Dame, an MBA in Accounting and Finance from the University of Pittsburgh, and a PhD in Business Administration, Accounting from Drexel University. In his early career, Kozloski had seven years of professional practice experience with international accounting firms such as Price Waterhouse and Ernst & Young. He taught courses in auditing and assurance at UMSL for three years as a lecturer at UMSL before joining the faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University as an assistant professor of accounting. He most recently served as an associate professor in the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada. His research interests relate to auditing and assurance practice issues, fraudulent financial reporting, and ethics while teaching interests relate primarily to upper level financial accounting courses and financial statement auditing.

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John Palmer

Assistant Teaching Professor of Global Leadership & Management

palmerj1@umsl.edu

John Palmer earned his doctorate in strategy and entrepreneurship from the University of Kentucky and a BS and MS in marketing and management from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.  Palmer has over 25 years experience as an educator, consultant, researcher, and academic administrator. He has designed and taught doctoral, masters, and bachelors level courses in management, entrepreneurship, marketing, and business research. He has also published dozens of research studies that have predominately focused on entrepreneurial strategies, innovation and performance in small business enterprises, market segmentation strategies for higher education institutions, and predictors of student performance in graduate business programs. Prior to joining UMSL he served as department chair of Graduate Business Programs, Graduate School of Business Management at Argosy University, Chicago.

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College of Education

Phyllis Balcerzak

Assistant Teaching Professor of Educator Preparation, Innovation and Research

balcerzakph@umsl.edu

Phyllis Balcerzak joined the College of Education in 2015 as a senior program producer and will now transition to a new role as an assistant teaching professor. Before coming to UMSL, Dr. Balcerzak retired from a career at Washington University where she was a clinical associate professor of teacher education and director of science education professional development. Dr. Balcerzak has also been a science and social studies teacher for students in grades 4-12. Throughout the course of her career, Dr. Balcerzak has designed and implemented numerous national and state STEM initiatives for K-12 teachers. She has served as PI or co-PI on nine federal grants totaling over $20 million.

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Emily Brown

Assistant Professor of Educator Preparation, Innovation and Research

brownemily@umsl.edu

Emily Brown joined the faculty of the Department of Education Sciences and Professional Programs as an assistant professor of school counseling. She recently completed her Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She has a bachelor of arts in English and Religion from Wake Forest University and a master of arts in School Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Brown has six years of experience as an elementary school counselor, is a National Certified Counselor, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in North Carolina. Her areas of interest include play therapy and school counseling services and advocacy for marginalized groups, particularly children of incarcerated parents. 

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Katie O'Daniels

Assistant Teaching Professor of Educator Preparation, Innovation and Research

odanielsk@umsl.edu

Katie O’Daniels joined UMSL as an assistant teaching professor specializing in literacy education. Dr. O’Daniels earned her doctorate from UMSL in May of 2017. She holds Missouri teaching certificates in special reading (grades K-12), elementary (grades 1 -6) and Spanish (grades K-9), as well as a graduate certificate in the teaching of writing. This academic year marks the beginning of Dr. O’Daniels’ 19th year in education. Prior to beginning her graduate work at UMSL, she taught 4th grade in a public school and worked as a literacy specialist at a community college.  In addition to her faculty appointment, Dr. O’Daniels will serve as co-director of the Gateway Writing Project.

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Julie Smith Sodey

Assistant Teaching Professor of Educator Preparation, Innovation and Research

smithsodeyj@umsl.edu

Julie Smith Sodey earned bachelor’s degrees from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in psychology and education with a K-12 teaching emphasis. Later, she earned an MAT from Webster University and taught for 10 years in the University City School District as an elementary teacher and as an instructional coach. In 2017, she completed her Ed.D. at UMSL. While working on her doctorate, Dr. Sodey served as a graduate teaching assistant for the Department of Educator Preparation and has taught for the department as an adjunct instructor.

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College of Nursing

Julie Bertram

Assistant Professor

bertramje@umsl.edu

Julie Bertram completed her PhD here at UMSL in May 2017 and comes to us from across town where she was an assistant professor at SLU. Her area of expertise is in mental health and she is certified as a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist. Her research focus is in the area of decision-making in the foster care system.

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Jenna Boyd

Assistant Teaching Professor

boydjen@umsl.edu

Jenna Boyd comes to us from Central Methodist University where she taught adult, community and psychiatric nursing. She brings expertise in acute care and primary care. She is a certified family nurse practitioner and received her BSN from Goldfarb School of Nursing and her MSN from Maryville University.

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Allison Brauch

Assistant Teaching Professor

braucha@umsl.edu

Prior to joining UMSL, Allison Brauch had worked as an adult nurse practitioner at BJH and with the Visiting Physician Association. She also has experience as a clinical research nurse coordinator at Washington University. She is certified as both an adult nurse practitioner and as a psych mental-health nurse practitioner and is serving as the coordinator for both of those areas in our MSN and DNP programs. Her BSN, MSN, and DNP are all from Maryville University

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Michelle Burk

Assistant Teaching Professor

burkm@umsl.edu

Michelle Burk brings expertise in maternal-child nursing and is a certified women’s health nurse practitioner. She comes to us from St. Luke’s where she most recently worked in the Breast Center and has also worked in one of the large obstetrical practices. She received her MSN from UMSL and her BSN is from MU.

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Sheila Grigsby

Assistant Professor

grigsbys@umsl.edu

Though she has worked in a faculty role at UMSL since 2006, Sheila Grigsby transitioned to an assistant professor role after completing her PhD at UMKC this past spring. Her research focus is built around community partnerships and in particular faith based organizations to improve health. Her research focus is in the area of adolescent health and currently serves as the PI on a federally funded PCORI grant focused on community collaborations toward reducing health disparities in St. Louis are youth. She received her BSN and MSN from SLU.

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Tonya Haynes

Assistant Teaching Professor

haynesto@umsl.edu

Tonya Haynes joined the fulltime faculty at UMSL from BJH where she served as an advanced practice nurse/practice specialist in the acute care medicine area. She has served as an adjunct faculty member with us since 2013. She brings us expertise in acute care and will be working as one of the faculty in our learning lab and simulation center in addition to other teaching responsibilities. She received her BSN from Truman State, MSN from Barnes-Jewish College of Nursing and DNP from Chatham University.

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Natalie Murphy

Associate Teaching Professor

murphyn@umsl.edu

Natalie Murphy joins us as an associate teaching professor and coordinator of UMSL’s FNP track in our MSN and DNP programs. She comes to us from Florida Atlantic University where she served as coordinator of their Harbor Branch campus in Fort Pierce and prior to that was the clinical director of the FNP program at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. She has extensive experience as a family nurse practitioner with a focus in cardiology. Her MSN and PhD are from Florida Atlantic University and her BSN is from Thomas Jefferson University.

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Britt Phillips

Assistant Teaching Professor

bphillips@umsl.edu

Brit Phillips joins us an as assistant teaching professor and comes to us from SSM Health. She brings us expertise in behavioral health and in acute care and has experience as a clinical educator for nursing staff and development of new graduate orientation programs. While at SSM she was recognized as an Emerging Leader. Her MSN is from Webster University and she has BSN from Deaconess College of Nursing.

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Judi Reeves

Assistant Teaching Professor

reevesju@umsl.edu

Judi Reeves comes to us from Missouri Baptist Medical Center. She brings expertise in acute and critical care and experience in staff development. She will work as one of the faculty in our learning lab and simulation center in addition to other teaching responsibilities. She started her nursing career with an associate’s degree from Meramec Community College and then earned her BSN is from SLU before becoming an UMSL alum and completing her MSN with us.

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Roxanne Reid

Assistant Teaching Professor

reidr@umsl.edu

Roxanne Reid comes to us from LaGuardia Community College in St. Albans New York. She brings expertise in acute care and in emergency care and has received a number of honors recognizing her clinical excellence. For the past two years she has been honored with a Care Award by Mount Sinai Hospital in New York for outstanding nursing service. She has her BSN, MSN, and DNP from Chamberlain College.

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Missouri Institute of Mental Health

Umit Tokac

Assistant Research Professor

umit.tokac@mimh.edu

Umit Tokac’s primary research interests are Bayesian data analysis and adapting artificial intelligence methods to different fields in order to measure and monitor participants’ current conditions as well as forecast their future conditions. He received his Ph.D. in Measurement and Statistics from Florida State University in 2016. Dr. Tokac serves as the Bioinformatics Director for the Missouri Institute of Mental Health. He is an assistant professor of research.

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Kim Werne

Assistant Research Professor

kim.werner@mimh.edu

Kim Werner’s primary research program is focused on the genetic and psychosocial risk of alcohol use disorders and illicit drug use. She received her Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and completed a postdoctoral residency in Psychiatry at Washington University Medical School in 2017. Dr. Werner is currently funded to conduct research on opiate use disorder and mental health care needs in Missouri. She is an assistant professor of research, based at the Missouri Institute of Mental Health.

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Claire Wood

Assistant Research Professor

claire.wood@mimh.edu

Claire Wood’s analytic and methodological research interests revolve around the application of advanced statistics and quantitative methodology to behavioral and mental health fields. Her substantive interests involve examining processes of substance use including polyuse, misuse, and addiction and topics related to families, intimate relationships, and gender dynamics. Currently Dr. Wood is serving as the Lead Evaluator for the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis grant funded by SAMHSA. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2017. She is an assistant professor of research, based at the Missouri Institute of Mental Health.

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School of Social Work

Gearhart

Michael Gearhart

Assistant Professor of Social Work

gearthartm@umsl.edu 

Michael Gearhart received his PhD in 2017 from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University.  His dissertation developed mutual efficacy.  Mutual efficacy is defined as “Group members’ beliefs that collective action can be successful at achieving group goals.”  His current research will further refine mutual efficacy, assess its relationship with collective action in communities, and develop strategies aimed at facilitating collective action in communities. While pursuing his doctorate, Dr. Gearhart worked as a research assistant at the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities, the Community Innovation Network, and the Dr. Semi J. and Ruth W. Begun Center for Violence Prevention, Research and Education.  He also has five years of practice experience working as a research associate for Leverage Point Development.

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