Trustees okay series of academic appointments
Dec. 28, 2005
KALAMAZOO--Acting at their Dec. 9 meeting, Western Michigan University trustees approved the appointments of two associate deans, two diversity recruitment specialists, and two program directors.
The board signed off on the appointments of Dr. Osama Abudayyeh as associate dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, effective July 1; Tony Dennis as associate director for diversity recruitment in the Graduate College, effective Nov. 29; Dr. Keith A. Hearit as associate dean of the Lee Honors College, effective Jan. 2, 2006; Dr. Natalie Morton as director of diversity recruitment for the Graduate College, effective Nov. 28; Dr. Steven Kohler as director of the Environmental Studies Program, effective July 1 through June 30, 2007; and Dr. Olasope Oyelaran as visiting professor and interim director of the College of Arts and Science International Studies, effective Dec. 5 through July 29, 2007.
Dr. Osama Abudayyeh, associate dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, has been a faculty member since 1996 and has served as interim associate dean since 2004. He also is an associate professor of civil and construction engineering, and holds professional engineer certification in four states. Prior to joining the WMU faculty, he taught for two years at North Dakota State University and was an engineer for nearly three years with the California Department of Transportation. He earned his bachelor's degree from Kuwait University, his master's degree from the University of California-Berkeley and his doctoral degree from North Carolina State University.
Tony Dennis, associate director for diversity recruitment in the Graduate College, has been a staff member at the University since 1993, when he joined the staff as an assistant director of admissions. He later joined the College of Aviation, and worked as director of recruitment for the University's aviation programs and later student services coordinator. In that college, he oversaw a series of initiatives aimed at increasing the number of minorities in the nation's aviation work force. Those efforts included summer camps for high school students and the establishment of an alliance with five historically black colleges. Dennis earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from WMU in 1989 and 1996, respectively.
Dr. Keith A. Hearit, associate dean of the Lee Honors College (effective Jan. 2, 2006), has been a WMU faculty member in the School of Communication since 1996 and currently is an associate professor. Prior to joining the WMU faculty, he taught at Northern Illinois University, Indiana University at Kokomo and Purdue University. He is an expert in crisis communication and issue management and has just completed a book on corporate response to allegations of wrongdoing. Hearit earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Central Michigan University in 1986 and 1988, respectively, and he completed his doctoral degree at Purdue in 1992.
Dr. Steven Kohler, director of the Environmental Studies Program, joined the WMU staff in 1999 as a senior research associate for the Environmental Research Center. Since 2001, he has been an assistant professor of environmental studies and biological sciences. Prior to coming to WMU, he worked for the Illinois Natural History Survey and as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned a bachelor's degree from Wichita State University in 1976 and his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan in 1979 and 1983, respectively. He also spent four years as a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station.
Dr. Natalie Morton, director of diversity recruitment for the Graduate College, has been a staff member at WMU since 1994. She first came to the University as a health studies advisor and coordinator for the Weekend College and Special Programs. Since 1996, she has been the director of the Office of Kalamazoo and Statewide Programs, where she planned and implemented undergraduate and graduate offerings for 11 programs and oversaw the delivery of academic courses offered in the evenings and on weekends. Prior to joining the WMU staff, she was a middle school teacher in New Orleans. She earned a bachelor's degree from Loyola University in 1989 and her master's and doctoral degrees from WMU in 1995 and 2004, respectively.
Dr. Olasope Oyelaran, visiting professor and interim director of the College of Arts and Science International Studies, comes to WMU from Winston-Salem State University, where he has served as associate professor of English and Director of International Programs since 2000. A linguistics scholar with a working knowledge of six languages and publications in three, Oyelaran was born in Nigeria, and educated in the United States, where he earned a bachelor's degree from Haverford College in 1964 and a doctoral degree from Stanford in 1970. He worked in higher education in Nigeria for many years and was a visiting scholar in France and in the United Sates at Harvard, UCLA, North Carolina Wesleyan and Rocky Mount before returning to the United States to take his first position at Winston-Salem in 1990.
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