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Wesleyan Welcomes Twelve New Faculty Members

Aug 25, 2017

West Virginia Wesleyan College welcomed 12 new faculty members during new faculty orientation on Monday, August 14 on the Buckhannon campus.

New faculty are Jon Benjamin, assistant professor of graphic design; Christopher DeRosa, assistant professor of chemistry; Samantha Gavin, assistant professor of criminal justice; Kendel Guthrie, instructor of nursing; Angela Huffman, assistant professor of communication; Pamela Lewis, assistant professor nursing; Coty Martin, assistant professor of political science; Pamela Maxwell, assistant professor of nursing; Cristina Menking-Hoggatt, assistant professor of nursing; Don Tobin, assistant professor of computer science; Jiuhong Zhang, instructor of chemistry; and Travis Zimmerman, assistant professor of criminal justice.

Benjamin received a master of fine arts degree in Graphic Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY and a bachelor of science from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. His master thesis was entitled “Medical Information Design: Empowering the Patient.” Beginning as a freelance designer for biotech startups in Madison, WI, he was a Senior Graphic Designer for an association management company located in a suburb of Washington D.C. for 11 years.  Benjamin developed brands, designed websites, and produced scientific journals. His clients included the American Society of Consulting Arborists, the Association of Water Technologies, and the Cardiology Leadership Alliance. He has won awards for logo design and conference branding from the American Advertising Federation DC Chapter and Association Trends. He previously taught courses in digital foundations and medical illustration at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, OH. He is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts.

DeRosa received his PhD in chemistry from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and his bachelor of science in chemistry from Alderson Broaddus University in Philippi, WV. His research is on the phosphorescence of organic compounds for oxygen-sensing applications.

Gavin graduated in 2012 from Keuka College with a bachelor of science in criminology and criminal justice, a bachelor of arts in sociology, and minors in forensic chemistry and psychology. In 2014, she graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) with a master of arts in criminology. She will graduate with her PhD in criminology from IUP at the end of this year. Her research interests include domestic violence, sexual assault, and victimology.

Guthrie began her interest in nursing after working as a dietary aide at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon her junior year of high school.  She graduated from Fred W. Eberle Technical Center as a Practical Nurse, and then a few years later with a bachelor of science in Nursing from Alderson Broaddus University. Currently working toward her master’s in nursing at Wesleyan, she hopes to use her new pursuits in academia to help advance nursing not only for her students, but also in her community.  Her experience includes medical/surgical, geriatrics and long-term care, family practice/primary care, pediatrics, and obstetrics.

Huffman earned a PhD in Health Communication from Ohio University, her master of arts in Communication Theory and Research from West Virginia University, and her bachelor of arts in Organizational Communication from Lubbock Christian University.  She has been a leadership coach and trainer since 2003 and has published leadership and fundraising books. She became an Executive Partner of a Fundraising Strategy Firm in 2016.  Her research interests are varied but share narrative and feminist sensibilities. She delights in qualitative methodologies and is particularly interested in communication and well-being, how we resource our lives, and the stories we tell ourselves. She has used creative methodologies such a PhotoVoice and Edutainment through her internship with a soap opera to combat HIV/AIDS in Botswana.

Lewis received her terminal degree from Wesleyan and has instructed psychiatric, fundamental, and medical-surgical nurses since 2004.  Her other areas of expertise include emergency nursing, home health, medical-surgical nursing, geriatrics, outpatient urgent care clinic, and hospice nursing.  Lewis has an extensive background in quality improvement, compliance, and utilization review.  She lives in Lewis County with her husband, with whom she has two daughters.
Martin is a doctoral student (ABD) in the John D. Rockefeller IV School of Policy and Politics at West Virginia University.  He completed his bachelor’s degree at The Ohio State University and a master’s degree at East Carolina University in International Studies prior to attending WVU. Martin specializes in comparative politics and international relations with interests in contentious politics in general and issues associated with terrorism at the state and international level in particular. He received the WVU Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant award in 2017 for his work as instructor of the department’s Empirical Political Analysis course in 2016. His dissertation, “Terrorism and State Capacity in the Developing World,” focuses on how states, through both their military capabilities as well as their bureaucratic capacity, shape opportunities for terrorist organizations to develop in their territories.

Dr. Menking-Hoggatt graduated in 2017 from West Virginia University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program. She earned her masters of science in nursing from New Mexico State University and moved to West Virginia in 1994, partnering with the WVU School of Medicine to build a midwifery program at Charleston Area Medical Center.  Over her career, she has delivered over 400 babies.  Menking’s passion is service to woman’s health, rural health nursing, and education.  In addition to teaching, Menking will serve at the Family Planning Clinic on campus and assist in developing the DNP Program opening in 2018.  Her capstone and doctoral dissertation was entitled “The Effect of Early Skin-to-Skin Contact on Breastfeeding Duration and Exclusivity: a Mixed Methods Study.”

Tobin most recently was a Senior Security Engineer at the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  His primary roles were to collaborate with government, academia, and private industry members in the transportation sector to identify their major cybersecurity challenges, and then work with NCCoE partners to build open, standards-based, and practical solutions to those challenges in the labs.  Previously, Tobin led the NOAA Security Operations Center (SOC) to a 24/7 operations work center in support of NOAA’s Cyber Security Center. He was also a professor at Fairmont State University for 10 years where he created a computer security undergraduate major and created nine new upper-level courses. He is also a retired USAF officer, holding multiple positions in computer and communications systems for airfield, space surveillance, and missile warning missions.  Tobin holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Texas at Arlington and a master’s degree in computer science from Boston University and has published several papers in intrusion detection and incident response.

Zhang is working toward a Ph.D. in chemistry at Kent State University.  He received a bachelor’s of science degree in chemistry from Wuhan Institute of Technology in China. During his Ph.D. studies, he has been teaching different level of chemistry labs including General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry I&II, and Intermediate Organic Chemistry Lab. He has also taken different teaching training programs and workshops to improve his teaching skills and attended teaching conferences to communicate with other faculties. His teaching interests include both online and physical courses of General Organic Biochemistry, General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.

Zimmerman is currently completing a Ph.D. at Walden University in criminal justice, researching Community Corrections Participation. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Shippensburg University, PA. He has worked in the criminal justice field for over 15 years, mainly in the correctional field.

Classes begin Monday, August 21 at Wesleyan.

Pictured are: front row l-r Coty Martin, Jiuhong Zhang, Angela Huffman, Kendel Guthrie, Samantha Gavin, Courtney Meriweather (adjunct), Pamela Maxwell, and Virginia “Ginny” Rachel (adjunct); back row l-r Cristina Menking-Hoggatt, Pamela Lewis, Don Tobin, Travis Zimmerman, Christopher DeRosa, Jon Benjamin, and Byron Hoggatt (adjunct)