Mount Union Welcomes 19 New Faculty Members

August 31, 2011

David BensonLori BraaJulia ChristmanGrant CookPaul CookSteve CrostonErica DiFrangia
Kate FishleyGeorgia FritzSudhir KaulSheryl MasonSpiro M. MavroidisAmy L. McElhinneyAlex Rhinehart
James RomanoKevin SchroederTing ShenPattabhi SitaramJiayun “Gavin” Wu

The University of Mount Union welcomes the addition of 19 new faculty members to the Mount Union community.

Dr. David R. Benson of Youngstown, OH will join the Mount Union faculty in the fall as a visiting lab instructor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  Prior to joining the faculty at Mount Union, Benson was a graduate teaching assistant at Kent State University, where he taught general chemistry and quantitative analysis labs.  He earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Mount Union and a doctorate degree in physical and analytical chemistry from Kent State University.

Dr. Lori L. Braa of Greeley, CO has been selected to join the Department of Human Performance and Sport Business as assistant professor. Prior to joining the faculty at Mount Union, she was the recreation manager for the City of Farmington, senior woman administrator at Mesa State College, education curriculum coordinator for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and athletic director and aquatics director at Messiah College. Braa earned a bachelor of arts degree in K-12 physical education from the University of Southern Colorado as well as both master and doctorate degrees in sport administration from the University of Northern Colorado. While working toward her doctorate degree, she taught program management, sport promotion and marketing, sport and higher education, fitness management and group fitness, among other courses at the University of Northern Colorado.
 
Julia S. Christman of Cleveland, OH will join the Mount Union community this fall as a visiting instructor in the Department of Mathematics. Prior to joining the faculty at Mount Union, she was a mathematics instructor at Case Western Reserve University, where she taught undergraduate courses in calculus, managerial and social sciences. Christman earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Mount Union and is expected to graduate with a doctorate degree in applied mathematics from Case Western Reserve University this fall.

Dr. Grant William Cook III of Tiffin, OH has been selected as director of choral activities and associate professor of music at Mount Union. Cook comes to Mount Union from Heidelberg University, where he most recently served as director of the Heidelberg concert choir and chamber singers, oversaw the choral program and served as a tenured associate professor of choral music and music history. He earned a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance and pedagogy from Heidelberg College (now Heidelberg University). He also earned a master of music degree in choral conducting and a doctor of philosophy degree in historical musicology-ethnomusicology, both from Kent State University.
 
Dr. Paul D. Cook of Nashville, TN will join the Mount Union community as assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Prior to joining the faculty at Mount Union, he was a National Institute of Health (NIH) postdoctoral research fellow at Vanderbilt University’s Richard N. Armstrong Laboratory as well as an adjunct biology lecturer at Edgewood College. Cook earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and biochemistry from Grand Valley State University and a doctorate degree in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
 
Steve Croston of Massillon, OH has been named assistant professor in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies. Croston comes to Mount Union from Stark County Emergency Physicians, where he served as a physician assistant. He has also served as a physician assistant for Emergency Medicine Physicians, staff nurse for Akron General Medical Center, director of the trauma program at Affinity Medical Center and staff nurse at Aultman Hospital. He earned a bachelor of science degree from Malone University and master of science degree from the University of Nebraska. Croston also is a licensed physician assistant in the state of Ohio.
 
Erica K. DiFrangia of Girard, OH has been selected to join the Department of Physician Assistant Studies as assistant professor and clinical coordinator. Prior to joining the faculty at Mount Union, she was a physician assistant at Sharon Regional Hospital. DiFrangia earned a bachelor of science degree from Gannon University and a master of physician assistant degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. DiFrangia also is a licensed physician assistant in the state of Ohio.
 
Katelyn M. Fishley of New Albany, OH has been a named assistant professor of education at the University. Prior to joining the faculty at Mount Union, Fishley was an instructor at The Ohio State University, job services coach for Greenleaf Job Services, mild-moderate intervention specialist for Worthington Schools and autism clinic aide for Nationwide Children’s Hospital, among other positions within the field of education. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Walsh University and a master of education degree in special education from The Ohio State University. She is expected to graduate this fall with a doctorate degree in special education and applied behavioral analysis from Ohio State. Fishley also is a licensed mild-moderate intervention specialist in the state of Ohio.
 
Dr. Georgia Fritz of Ann Arbor, MI will join the Mount Union community this fall as assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Prior to joining the faculty at Mount Union, she was a graduate student course administrator, substitute lecturer and graduate student instructor at the University of Michigan. Fritz earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and a bachelor of arts degree in Christian ministries from George Fox University. She also earned a doctorate degree in organic chemistry from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Sudhir Kaul of Pretoria, South Africa joins the Mount Union faculty as assistant professor of mechanical engineering. Kaul comes to the institution from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, where he taught courses in machine design, structural integrity, probabilistic design and structural dynamics and control. Throughout his career, he has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin and as an engineer for the Harley Davidson Motor Company, Hero Briggs & Stratton Corporation and Herion Fluidtronic, all where he specialized in design and development. Kaul earned a bachelor of engineering degree in mechanical engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science and master and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin, both in mechanical engineering.
 
Sheryl Mason of Alliance, OH joins the faculty at Mount Union as instructor of chemistry and biochemistry. She earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Mount Union and a doctorate degree in biomedical sciences from the University of South Carolina. Mason has been teaching part-time at the University of Mount Union since 2001 in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Department of Physician Assistant Studies. Throughout her professional career, she has taught science-related courses at Kent State University, Bryant College, Providence College and Community College of Rhode Island.
 
Dr. Spiro M. Mavroidis of Defiance, OH has been named assistant professor of biology at Mount Union. Mavroidis comes to Mount Union from Defiance College, where he most recently served as associate professor of biology. Over the years, he has served as an adjunct faculty member at Mount Union and Lakeland Community College. He earned a bachelor of science degree in biology, master of science degree in biology and a doctorate degree in regulatory biology, all from Cleveland State University.
 
Dr. Amy L. McElhinney of Bloomington, IN joins the Mount Union faculty as assistant professor of biology at Mount Union. Prior to joining the faculty at Mount Union, she was an adjunct professor at Ivy Tech Community College, instructor at Indiana University and adjunct instructor at Miller-Motte Technical College. McElhinney earned a bachelor of arts degree in biology from Wartburg College, master of science degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a doctorate degree in biology from Indiana University.
 
Alex Rhinehart of Honolulu, HI has been selected as an athletic training instructor at Mount Union. Prior to joining the faculty, he was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, athletic trainer for the Hawaii Professional Football League and assistant athletic trainer at Damien Memorial High School. Rhinehart earned a bachelor of science degree in athletic training from Wilmington College of Ohio and a master of science degree in advance athletic training from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
 
James Romano of Stow, OH has been selected to join the Department of Physician Assistant Studies as an assistant professor. Prior to joining the faculty at Mount Union, he was an emergency physician assistant for Canton Aultman Emergency Physicians. He has also served as an emergency physician assistant from Physicians Emergency Services Inc., first assistant surgical assistant for Cardiothoracic & Vascular Associates of Akron and firefighter and paramedic for the Fairlawn Fire Department, among other roles. Romano earned an associate of applied science degree from Cuyahoga Community College, a bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Akron and a master of physician assistant degree from the University of Nebraska. He also is certified as a national, registered EMT-P.

Kevin Schroeder of Pittsburgh, PA has been named athletic training instructor. Schroeder comes to Mount Union from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he served as an athletic trainer. He also served as an athletic trainer and clinical instructor at the University of Pittsburgh. Schroeder earned a bachelor of science degree in athletic training from East Carolina University and a master of science degree in health and rehabilitation sciences and sports medicine from the University of Pittsburgh.
 
Ting Shen of Plantation, FL will join the University of Mount Union faculty this fall as assistant professor of foreign languages and cultures. Aside from teaching in the classroom, she will take the lead on the ­development of The Discover China Program, a multi-faceted Chinese cultural program, which will begin in the fall of 2012. Prior to joining the faculty at Mount Union, she served as a Chinese instructor and international education coordinator at Nova Southeastern University and the lead instructor at the STARTALK Institute of the Idaho State Department of Education, where she provided professional instruction to teachers, developed curriculum and taught in a Chinese immersion program. Shen also was a Chinese tutor at Maryland University, a graduate research assistant and teaching assistant at the University of Florida, program assistant at the Hunan Provincial Education Department in Hunan, China and Chinese teacher and Chinese program coordinator at Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Florida, among other roles. Shen earned a bachelor of arts degree from Peking University and a master of philosophy degree from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. This fall, she will graduate with a doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Florida.
 
Dr. Pattabhi Sitaram of Canton, MI has been named assistant professor of engineering at Mount Union. Sitaram comes to the University from General Motors (GM) where he spent 11 years as a senior project engineer. During his time at GM, he served as the safety and crash lead, the frontal crash lead, lead for quasi-static analyses and as a subject matter expert. He was also a structural engineer for Altair Engineering and has taught at many colleges and universities throughout the United States including Purdue University, University of Michigan, University of Missouri and Kansas State University. Sitaram earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Bangalore University, a master of science degree in civil engineering from Indian Institute of Science and a doctoral degree in civil engineering from Kansas State University.
 
Jiayun “Gavin” Wu of Flagstaff, AZ will join the faculty at Mount Union as assistant professor of economics, accounting and business administration. Wu comes to Mount Union from the University of Arizona where he served as an instructor. He also served as editor and foreign copyrights manager for China Textile Press. Wu earned a bachelor of engineering and master of engineering degrees from Tianjin Polytechnic University. He will graduate this fall from the University of Arizona with a doctorate degree in retailing and consumer sciences.
To The Top!