Faculty and Staff

Faculty & Staff Accomplishments ✅

Our faculty and staff exemplify excellence in effort!

Dr. Megan Brown, Instructor of Education; Dr. Ruth Sylvester, Associate Professor of Education; and Dr. Tianhong Zhang, Assistant Professor of Education,  presented at the Ohio Council of Teachers of English (OCTELA). Their presentation was titled “Close Reading Illustrated.” It involved a hands-on exploration of the elements of visual literacy and how it interacts with culture. They provided an additional layer of analysis through the application through writing.

Dr. Glen Duerr, Associate Professor of International Studies, had a chapter of his book War published in Chris Richardson’s Violence in American Society: An Encyclopedia of Trends, Problems, and Prospectives, Volume II

Cliff Fawcett, Assistant Professor of Nursing, is in a doctoral program at University of Toledo and was selected for the Sigma Theta Tau excellence in nursing award. On the recommendation of the University of Toledo College of Nursing, he received the Graduate Student Scholarship and Research Award during the Sigma, Zeta Theta Chapter Induction Ceremony on November 13, 2019, at the University of Toledo.

Lori Ferguson, Assistant Professor of Education, provided a professional development session for Dayton Christian School teachers on February 14. The session was titled “Creating Grit and Perseverance through Critical Thinking and Good Questioning: Making a Difference in the way Students Think and Act.”

Dr. Michael Firmin, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, served as Director for three national, juried research conferences: 32nd Annual Ethnographic & Qualitative Research Conference (EQRC), 4th Annual Conference on Academic Research in Education (CARE), and the 23rd Annual American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences (AABSS).. Debbie Kuhlwein, Cedarville University IT Help Desk Support & Training Coordinator, served as the Conference Coordinator for each of the three conferences. All were sponsored by the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) and the conferences included presentations from over a thousand scholars at R-1 universities such as Stanford, Columbia, U/Chicago, Vanderbilt, UCLA, Notre Dame, Lehigh, and Syracuse Universities.

Dr. Alan Geist, Athletic Director, and Stephanie Zonars, Assistant Athletic Director, went to the 2020 NCAA Conference and G-MAC Joint Council Meeting in Anaheim, CA. January 22-25.

Sarah Gump, Digital and Social Media Manager, will be awarded the Young Professional of the Year award from the Dayton Area Public Relations Society of America on May 21 at the University of Dayton Marriott. Sarah has led the University’s social media accounts for the past 1 1/2 years and has demonstrated excellence in her work and leadership. The Young Professional Award is given to a PR professional with less than three years experience who is already experiencing shining moments.

Dr. Dave Leitch, Interim Dean of the School of Education, presented a professional development workshop for the teaching staff at Cedar-Cliff Local Schools. The topic was titled “An Overview of PBIS and the H.B. 318 mandates”.

Clay Ludlow, Manager of Course Materials, was a co-presenter at the Independent College Bookstore Association’s (ICBA) Course Materials Institute conference in Tucson, Arizona. His session was titled “Strategic Buying and Sourcing.”

The Marketing and Communications Division received a Diamond Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America’s East Central District for the campus newsroom. The PRSA East Central District is comprised of more than 2,750 public relations professionals among 17 PRSA chapters in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Western and Northwestern Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Diamond awards are presented annually to professionals who exemplify brilliance in public relations campaigns and tactics.

Jonathan Meade, Women’s Soccer Coach, is traveling to San Jose, Costa Rica, February 27-March 2 to serve as a special speaker for the Thrive Vision Identification Combine. While there he will begin discussing a future missions trip and also look at potential recruits.

Dr. John Mortensen, Professor of Music, has been invited to perform and teach at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. The Sibelius Academy is the national conservatory of Finland and is among the world’s leading music schools.


Susan Plemons, Assistant Professor of Worship, and Dr. Roger O’Neel, Associate Professor of Worship, participated in a panel discussion on “Effective Worship Practices in the Church” at the Next Level Worship Retreat in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, on Feb. 6. The panel featured college worship program faculty and church leaders from around the country.

Jonathan Sabo, Professor of Theatre, designed and painted the setting for the Dayton Playhouse’s January production of Man of La Mancha. Currently guest lecturing, via video conferencing, a two-day unit on scene design for an introduction to design course at Bethel University in Mishawaka, Indiana.

Dr. Cristi Vallejos, Assistant Professor of Spanish, successfully defended her dissertation at Georgetown University on February 21. The study was titled “Fluency, Working Memory, and L2 Proficiency in Multicompetent Writers.”

Dr. Felisha Younkin, Assistant Professor of Psychology, presented three poster sessions at national research conferences that were sponsored by the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV). The first was co-authored with Dr. Merideth Hoagland, Assistant Professor of Linguistics, and Cedarville psychology majors Audrey Podnar, Charlie Learned, and Katrina Palmer. It was presented at the 4th Annual Conference on Academic Research in Education (CARE) and titled, “The Impact of Academic Major on Foreign Language Learning in College Students.”

The second poster session was co-authored with Dr. Michael Firmin, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, and Cedarville psychology majors Bethany Carson, Anna Edwards, Sarah Shaw Ojeda, and McKenzie Henry.  It was presented at the 32nd Annual Ethnographic & Qualitative Research Conference (EQRC) and titled: “The Perceived Common Issues of Couples: Mentor Couples’ Perspectives.”

The third poster session was co-authored with Dr. Michael Firmin and Cedarville psychology majors Benjamin Smid, Madison Ensign, Hannah Dobmeier, Caroline Wacome, and Bethany Williams.  It was presented at the 23rd Annual American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences Conference (AABSS) and titled: “The Role of Non-discriminatory Bias in Everyday Life and in the Formation of Implicit Bias.”




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Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 4,550 undergraduate, graduate, and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887 for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings.

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