Ashland University Faculty Receive Promotions and/or Tenure

Ashland University Faculty Receive Promotions and/or Tenure

2/12/13 ASHLAND, Ohio - A number of Ashland University and Seminary faculty members received promotions and/or tenure following the action of the Ashland University Board of Trustees. The promotions are effective at the beginning of the institution’s 2013-2014 academic year.

Those promoted to the rank of full professor are Dr. Howard Walters, Dr. Christina Fuhrmann, Dr. Scott Garlock and Dr. Chris Swanson, all from the University, and Michael B. Thompson of the Seminary.

Those promoted to associate professor at the University are Dr. Brenda Rosler, Dr. Hongxia Wang, Dr. Lance Kaltenbaugh, Dr. Paul Cao, Dr. Sue Dickson, Dr. Hilary Donatini, Dr. Gretchen Dworznik, Fabio Polanco, Dr. Robert Bergosh, Dr. Craig Hovey, Dr. Brent Mattingly and Dr. Beth Patton.

Those receiving tenure are Dr. Carla Abreu-Ellis, Dr. Stephen Denney, Dr. Jason Ellis, Dr. Robert Thiede, Dr. Dan Fox, Dr. Debra Westerfelt, Rosler, Kaltenbaugh, Cao, Dickson, Donatini, Dworznik, Polanco, Patton, Thompson and Dr. Tony Donofrio at the seminary.

Howard WaltersWalters is being promoted to full professor in the department of educational foundations. For the past 17 years he has been first author and principal investigator of 65 federally funded research proposals.  Walters has served as internal or external evaluator for a series of regional and national science education and teacher education programs. Some of these include the National Science Foundation, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Ocean Partnership Program.

Dr. Christina FuhrmannFuhrmann, who is being promoted to full professor of music, received her bachelor of arts in music from Marlboro College in Vermont and her Ph.D. in musicology from Washington University in St. Louis. Her research focuses on theater music and imported opera in early nineteenth-century London. She published an edition of Henry Bishop's 1819 adaptation of “The Marriage of Figaro with A-R Editions” and is at work on a book titled "Foreign Opera at the London Playhouses, from Mozart to Bellini."

Dr. Scott GarlockGarlock, who is being promoted to full professor of music, serves as assistant band director and conducts the Ashland University Jazz Orchestra, Combos and teaches the low brass studio. Recently, Garlock served as president for the Ohio Chapter of the International Association of Jazz Educators and as president of the Jazz Education Connection of Ohio (JECO). As a performer, he is a member of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Cleveland Pops Orchestra and has been featured with Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, Diane Schuur, Carl Fontana and others in addition to recording more than 100 commercials and albums.

Dr. Chris SwansonSwanson, who is being promoted to full professor of mathematics, joined Ashland University in 1999 and also serves as director of the Honors Program. He developed AU’s actuarial science major and serves as co-coordinator of Ohio NExT (New Experiences in Teaching), a professional development program working with new mathematical sciences faculty in Ohio. He received his doctor of philosophy in mathematics and his master of science in mathematics from the University of Michigan, and bachelor of science in mathematics from Denison University. His research interests include combinatorics, probability and number theory.

Michael B. Thompson Thompson is being promoted to full professor of practical theology. His research interests include Wesleyan spirituality, the influence of pragmatism and existentialism on the practice of ministry in the American evangelical Church, exegesis of popular art and its importance in the ministry of the church and ecclesiology and homiletics. He received a master of arts from Ashland Seminary, a master of arts in religion from Welsey Biblical Seminary and the D. Min. degree from Drew University Theological School in Madison, N.J.

Dr. Brenda RoslerRosler, who is being promoted to associate professor of early childhood education, joined the Ashland University faculty in 2007. She received her bachelor of arts degree and her Ph.D. from Kent State University, and her master of arts degree from Malone. Her research interests include development in urban schools, content area literacy, and process drama, and she regularly teaches foundations of literacy and assessment and intervention in language arts.

Dr. Hongxia WangWang, who is being promoted to associate professor of finance, joined Ashland University in 2009. She earned her Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Wang’s areas of expertise include corporate finance, corporate governance, CEO turnover, succession, and compensation.


Dr. Lance KaltenbaughKaltenbaugh, who is being promoted to associate professor of sport management, joined Ashland University in 2000 and also serves as the internship coordinator for the sport management majors. He received a bachelor of education and masters of education degree in therapeutic recreation and recreation management from the University of Toledo. He also has his Ed.D. in educational leadership from The University of Akron. In 2006, Kaltenbaugh received the Academic Mentor Award.

Dr. Paul CaoCao, who is being promoted to associate professor of math and computer science, joined Ashland University in 2008. He earned his bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering from Nanjing University of Science and Technology from China in 2001, and his master of science and doctor degrees in electrical and computer engineering from Duke University. His research interests are system biology and the application of mathematics of uncertainty in computational biology. 

Dr. Sue DicksonDickson, who is being promoted to associate professor of religion, teaches primarily in the area of practical theology. She is an ordained Presbyterian minister. She is a former resident of El Paso, Texas, where she served as a full-time pastor in Presbyterian Churches and taught religious studies at the University of Texas, El Paso. She has served at the national and international levels in social justice work and her areas of expertise include missions, world Christianity, culture and gospel, world religions and worship.

Dr. Hilary DonatiniDonatini, who is being promoted to associate professor of English, holds a bachelor of arts degree from The College of Wooster and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She taught at both UW-Madison and a UW branch before coming to AU. She has published on Henry Fielding's Tom Jones in Eighteenth-Century Fiction and on Maria Edgeworth’s Belinda in The Eighteenth-Century Novel. An article on anti-Catholic satire and travel writing is forthcoming in 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era. Donatini writes reviews for The Eighteenth Century Current Bibliography.

Dr. Gretchen DworznikDworznik, who is being promoted to associate professor of journalism and digital media, joined AU in 2006. She received her bachelor of arts from Ashland University, her master of arts from University of Akron, and her Ph.D. from Kent State University. She spent eight years as a television reporter and anchor before entering higher education. Her primary research area is the effects of trauma on journalists, and her teaching areas include broadcast reporting and writing, media writing, media effects, media criticism, studio production and broadcast announcing.

Fabio PolancoPolanco, who is being promoted to associate professor of theatre, holds his bachelor of arts in sociology from Temple University and his MFA in Acting from Case Western Reserve University. Polanco directed the Midwest premiere of Elizabeth Swados’ “Missionaries,” for which he was a finalist for a Northern Ohio Live Magazine Award for Achievement in Theatre. He has also made numerous network stage, film, television and radio appearances, including roles in The Next Three Days, The Lifeguard, and "Thenardier" in the Broadway national tour of Les Miserables. His research interests include acting, music theatre and Shakespeare performance.

Dr. Robert BergoshBergosh, who is being promoted to associate professor of chemistry, joined Ashland University in 2005 and his area of expertise is organic chemistry. He obtained a bachelor of science degree with a double major in chemistry and biology from Kentucky Wesleyan College and a Ph.D. in organic/materials chemistry from the University of Kentucky. His research focuses on the synthesis, isolation and characterization of biologically active molecules.

Dr. Craig HoveyHovey, who is being promoted to associate professor in religion, teaches courses in Christian theology and ethics. He received his Ph.D. in theology from the University of Cambridge in 2006. Dr. Hovey's scholarship is located at the intersection of political theology, philosophical theology, and theological ethics though he calls himself a "generalist in theology with a wide variety of interests." He has published seven books, including his latest titled, “Unexpected Jesus: The Gospel as Surprise.”

Dr. Brent Mattingly Mattingly, who is being promoted to associate professor of psychology, holds his bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Louisville, and his master of science and Ph.D. in social psychology with a minor in research methodology from Saint Louis University. He is an experimental social psychology by training and his research examines the intersection of romantic relationships and the self. Since arriving at AU in 2009, he has published over 20 journal articles in journals such as Personal Relationships and Self and Identity.

Dr. Beth PattonPatton, who is being promoted to associate professor of health sciences, joined Ashland University in 1998. She serves as the exercise science internship coordinator and faculty adviser for the ES Majors Club. She is a reviewer for the American Journal of Health Education’s “Teaching Ideas” section. Her areas of expertise include fitness assessment and exercise prescription, group exercise instruction, tests and measurements, and supervision.

Dr. Carla Abreu-EllisAbreu-Ellis, associate professor of education, holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Bowling Green State University. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses and her research interests include college students with disabilities, technology and disabilities, access to education and retention of college students, Universal Design, and diversity. She has 23 published scholarly works and has presented her work nationally and internationally. She was awarded a federal grant sponsored by IFLE (International and Foreign Language Education) which allowed eight AU students to receive funding to study abroad for a semester in Brazil.

Dr. Stephen DenneyDenney, assistant professor of education, joined Ashland University in 2007. He earned his bachelor of arts in history from the University of Colorado and his M.Ed. and Ph.D. in special education from Kent State University. His areas of expertise include transition and self-determination for students with disabilities.


Dr. Jason EllisEllis, associate professor of education, joined the AU faculty in 2007. His research focuses on social justice; primarily on providing equitable access to societal structures to underrepresented, marginalized and disenfranchised individuals. He has 26 scholarly publications with such titles as Student Teaching Abroad and the Development of the Culturally Competent Classroom Teacher: Transformation from Diverse Experience, the Digital Divide in Disability and Education, and Reciprocity and Constructions of Informed Consent: Researching with Indigenous Populations. He received his Ph.D. in educational studies with a concentration in social, cultural and political aspects of education from the University of Windsor. 

Dr. Robert ThiedeThiede, assistant professor of education, also serves as chair of the department of educational administration. He spent 25 years as a school superintendent in Ohio, serving four different school districts, and receiving the Outstanding Superintendent of the Year award from the Ohio PTA in 1998. He joined Ashland University in 2007. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Toledo and his master of education and bachelor of science degrees from Bowling Green State University.

Dr. Dan FoxFox, associate professor of marketing, joined AU in 2004 and serves as chair of the marketing and hospitality department. He received his jurist doctorate from the Ohio Northern School of Law and his bachelor of arts degree in accounting and political science from Ohio Northern University. Prior to joining AU, he consulted for the world's largest oil company, Saudi Aramco, in Saudi Arabia. He continues to consult with startup and entrepreneurial companies providing legal, accounting and operational advice.

Dr. Debra WesterfeltWesterfelt, who is associate professor of business management, holds a bachelor of science in business education from AU, a master of arts and Ph.D. in business education from The Ohio State University. She teaches in both the MBA program and undergraduate business program. Her most recent publications are in the College & University Journal and the Business Education Innovation Journal. She has presented frequently at the International Lilly Conference on College Teaching and the Midwest Decisions Science Institute. Her areas of specialization include Organizational Behavior, Organizational Development and Business Communications.

Dr. Tony Donofrio Donofrio, who is associate professor of counseling, holds a bachelor of science in chemistry from the University of Akron, an M.A. in clinical pastoral counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Akron. His research interests include personality assessment, the integration of psychology and theology, God-image research, and the influence of personality on both spirituality and therapeutic practices.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###












































Dr. Tony Donofrio