West Liberty welcomes 19 new faculty hires

By Trevor Piccone, Contributing Writer

As West Liberty proudly welcomes the class of 2017 to the hilltop this year, promising another year chocked full of new and exciting experiences, they are also overjoyed to be bringing in some fresh new faces to the Topper family that is our faculty.

From our new instructor of English Katie Hodges to Assistant Professor of Nursing Dr.Margaret Boyce whom is an alumna of the Hilltop, there is no doubt our new staff will bring a positive outlook set for the future with them.

Although there are several ways to say the staff is ready to make a difference on the hilltop, it can’t be put better than by our new Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship Rickard Briggs as he said, “I am in awe of the campus, amazing students, faculty and personal. The process from my initial visit to my first class has been a nonstop adventure filled with excitement. I look forward to creating the same experience for the students as WLU has created for me. I am anticipating an awesome first year as I acclimate myself to WLU and its culture. I very much look forward to being a hilltopper!”

Other faculty such as our Assistant professor of Reading Ryan Keeling as well as Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages Melesa Swartz are more than happy to voice their high hopes for West Liberty.

Keeling said, “I’m thrilled to be joining the excellent faculty here at West Liberty. It’s an honor to get to work with such skilled and knowledgeable faculty and wonderful, talented students.”

Swartz also happily proclaimed her previous experience with West Liberty as well as her excitement to be here. She said, “I have been here at WLU as an adjunct since 2013. I love WLU and the area and am very pleased to be here full-time now. As a person with a background in education, I enjoy the smaller class sizes and the opportunity it gives to create working and learning relationships with the students at WLU.”

In total we have 19 new fall hires coming to the Hilltop (listed in no specific order):
Margaret Boyce – Instructor of Nursing
Rickard Briggs- Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship
Brian Fitzpatrick- Instructor of Political Science
John Float– Instructor of Mathematics
Mitch Greco– Visiting Instructor of Music
Katie Hodges– Visiting Instructor of English
Angela Icard– Assistant Professor of Reading
Ryan Keeling– Instructor of Music and Director of Choral Activities
Gerard NeCastro– Professor of English and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts
Stephen Richards– Associate Professor of Special Education
Irene van Riper– Assistant Professor of Special Education
Sherry Rocchio– Instructor of Business
Felipe Rojas – Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages
Melesa Swartz– Instructor of Mathematics
Amanda Tennant– Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Writing Center
Kimberly Underwood– Assistant Professor of Sociology
Eveldora Wheeler– Assistant Professor of Social Work
Meleesa Wohleber– Assistant Professor of Athletic Training
James Wood– Assistant Professor of Biology

As well as the new fall hires, we have two January hires rejoining us for another semester: Gayle Jesse – Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems and Deanna Schmitt – Assistant Professor of Biology.

Two professors are also returning to WLU after an absence: Jean Bailey– Visiting Associate Professor of Marketing, and Jody Seabright – Visiting Assistant Professor of Nursing.

We are anticipating a highly successful year here at West Liberty, and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Photo credit: Media Relations