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McKendree University welcomes new faculty, staff


From Illinois Business Journal news services

LEBANON — McKendree University had several new faculty members join the campus community over the summer.

The College of Arts and Sciences welcomed the following professors:

• Dr. Joshua Haynes, assistant professor of history, was a visiting assistant professor of history at Miami University of Ohio and instructor of history at the University of Georgia. Prior to that he worked at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C. and the Alabama Historical Commission. His areas of expertise are U.S. and Native American history, colonialism, violence, and state formation. His forthcoming book is entitled “Patrolling the Border: Theft and Violence on the Creek-Georgia Frontier, 1770-1796.”

• Dr. Richard Murphy, assistant professor of public relations and speech communication, served six years as an assistant professor of communication arts at Wayne State University. He is a former Air Force public affairs specialist. Murphy has given many professional presentations on the topics of computer-mediated communication, relational interactions, teacher-student communication, and serving military veteran students.

• Dr. Jennifer Webster is an assistant professor of criminal justice and director of the criminal justice master’s degree program. She has held a variety of higher education positions over the past 15 years, including assistant director of integrative studies, advising specialist, lecturer/retention specialist, distance learning facilitator, assistant editor, project manager, and disability services mentor/tutor. In addition, she has served as director of a non-profit organization for formerly incarcerated women, resident treatment specialist for male sex offenders, and a volunteer victim advocate for a sexual assault response center.

The School of Business welcomed:

• Dr. Roxanne Beard, associate professor of management and director of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, was on the faculty for 10 years at Ohio Dominican University, where she directed the LEAD graduate program and coordinated the online MBA program. Prior to that she served nine years on the faculty of the University of Northwestern Ohio, where she chaired the Health Care Administration and the Business Administration departments. She was also an administrator at two Ohio hospitals.

• Dr. Peter Sigiols, associate professor of business administration, has been a practicing attorney in Chicago since 1989 and served for 10 years as arbitrator for the Cook County Circuit Court, 1st and 6th districts. Throughout his legal career, he taught part-time at several Chicago area institutions and was a full-time faculty member at Roosevelt University for a year. He has taught accounting, finance, business law, international business, management, marketing and mathematics at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

New faculty members in the School of Education are:

• Dr. Pamela Barnes, assistant professor of education, served the past two years as the institutional researcher at Shawnee Community College in Ullin, Ill. Prior to that she was on the faculty of Southeast Missouri State University, where she was director of certification and assessment and the accreditation coordinator for the College of Education. She was also an adjunct faculty member at William Woods University. The former elementary school teacher and principal also holds an Illinois Superintendent certificate.

• Dr. Kelly Stewart, assistant professor of education, has 23 years of administrative experience, including the past 14 years as superintendent of the Benton Consolidated High School District 103. She received the 2014 “Superintendent of the Year Award” from the Illinois Association of School Administrators. Stewart is a former principal, assistant principal, teacher, athletic director, and transportation coordinator in four southern Illinois counties. She has held many leadership positions, including vice chairman of the executive board of the Special Education District of Franklin and Jefferson Counties; and coach for the Illinois School for Advanced Leadership.

Joining the School of Nursing and Health Professions is:

• Amy Piontek, instructor of nursing. She has been an adjunct faculty member at McKendree University and a skills lab instructor, simulation instructor, and clinical instructor at Saint Louis University. In 2013, she completed the St. Louis Clinical Faculty Academy offered by the Missouri Hospital Association Center for Education. In addition to her teaching experience, Piontek worked for ten years as a registered nurse with Dr. Aaron Greenspan, three years in the operating room at Belleville Memorial Hospital, and one year in the CV step-down unit at St. Luke’s Hospital. Piontek is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Health Education. She teaches courses in pathophysiology and health assessment. Her research interests are in the areas of palliative care, health promotion, and disease prevention

Joining the McKendree staff is Dr. Nancy Friesen, director of counseling services. Read about other new staff members on the university website at

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