University of Southern Indiana

New Faculty

2021-2022 New Faculty Introductions

College of Liberal Arts

Gregory Blair
Assistant Professor of Art and Design 

Greg Blair is an artist, writer, and educator. Originally from Red Deer, Alberta, Blair briefly attempted to be a punk rock drummer before finishing his B.F.A in Sculpture from the University of Lethbridge. He then completed a M.F.A. in Sculpture from the University of North Dakota, before finally completing a Ph.D. in Art Theory from IDSVA. Blair’s research incorporates multidisciplinary art practices, mobility studies, cultural geography, and philosophies of place. Blair has exhibited his artwork and presented his research both nationally and internationally. Blair’s latest book project, The Politics of Spatial Transgressions in the Arts, was published in early 2021. 

Taylor Petty
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

Dr. Taylor Petty is a new Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice. She earned her PhD in Psychology and her Master of Legal Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research explores racial biases in the juvenile justice system, focusing on how characteristics of the decision-maker interact with case factors to impact legal decisions. She has previously taught introductory, cognitive, and social psychology classes as an adjunct instructor at three universities and looks forward to combining her past teaching experiences and research in criminal justice classes at USI.

Summer Shelton
Assistant Professor of Public Relations & Advertising

Summer Shelton, Ph.D. will join USI as an Assistant Professor of Public Relations & Advertising in the Department of Communications in the fall of 2021. Prior to her move to USI, she served as an Assistant Professor of Advertising at Idaho State University. She received her PhD from the University of Florida in 2019, her MS from Florida State University, and her BA degree in Advertising and Public Relations from Marietta College. She has taught courses including intro to advertising, strategy and copywriting, media planning and buying, advertising campaigns, and branding courses. In her previous role, she led Idaho State University's National Student Advertising Competition team to a 1st place district win in 2020 and third place win in 2019. Her research interests pertain to representations of underrepresented groups in advertising (such as people with disabilities), corporate social responsibility, and health communication.

Shawn Sullivan
Instructor in Design

Shawn Sullivan is an educator and graphic designer with over 15 years of design experience including brands such as Infiniti and Xerox. He also has over 11 years of teaching experience, working with students pre-K through college as an Instructor and Director of Education at a Sylvan Learning Center and in college, 1st, 2nd, and 5th grade classrooms. Shawn graduated from Purdue University with a degree in computer graphic technology, specializing in motion graphics and animation. He then moved to Chicago and worked at several post houses on television commercials. After several years, he began working as a freelance artist and concurrently attended Indiana Wesleyan University, culminating in an Indiana Professional Educator’s License, licensed K-6 and a reading specialist. In 2018 he again returned to school, achieving his MFA with distinction in Graphic Design from Indiana State University. His interests lie in training future generations of conscientious designers with sound work ethics who are professionally, morally, and socially conscious of the effect their designs will have on the viewer, on society, and on the environment.

College of Nursing and Health Professions

Karla Diekemper
Instructor, Gerontology
Karla joined USI in October 2020.

Taylor Elpers
Instructor In Nursing

April Fehlinger
Instructor in Nursing

April has been a nurse for over 20 years with experience in cardiac and critical care. After receiving her master's degree in nursing education from Chamberlain University in 2014, she began teaching nursing at Ivy Tech Community College in Evansville. While at Ivy Tech, April founded a student group dedicated to helping nursing students both in the classroom, and in life. Because of her commitment to student success, April was awarded the 2021 President's Award for Excellence in Instruction at the Evansville Campus.

Stephanie Herron
Instructor in Nursing

Stephanie Herron’s educational background includes two baccalaureate degrees. She completed her first degree in special education from the University of Evansville in 2004 and the second in nursing from USI in 2012. Stephanie received a Master of Science in nursing degree in 2020 as a family nurse practitioner and started working as an academic practice partnership coordinator/nursing instructor at USI in October 2020. Her teaching and research interests involve simulation and telehealth use in healthcare. Stephanie’s previous experience includes working as a special education teacher in the EVSC from 2004-2009, as a pediatric nurse at Deaconess Gateway from 2012-2020, and as an adjunct clinical instructor at USI during the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 academic years.
Stephanie joined USI in February 2021.

Lacy Pippin
Instructor In Nursing

Lacy joined USI in February 2021.

Jenna Thacker
Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy
Jenna graduated with a Master's in Occupational Therapy from USI in 2012. She went on to work at ProRehab as an Occupational Therapist. She completed her post-professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate in 2015 and became a Certified Hand Therapist in 2016. While working at ProRehab, Jenna has been an adjunct in the OT and OTA programs at USI for the past 3 years. Jenna also developed and is the program director for the Certificate for Advanced Practice in Hand Therapy. Moving into full time education will allow Jenna more time to focus on her research interests in hand therapy, as well as improving client participation and compliance in therapy.

Ann Vash
Instructor in Nursing

Ann has been a Certified FNP since 2009. She earned her BSN & MSN from USI. In 1993, she obtained her ADN from VU and began her RN career. She has worked primarily in family practice/ internal medicine as well as acute care. During her many years of clinical practice, she has enjoyed being a clinical preceptor for multiple NP students. She has also been a clinical instructor for nursing students at VU. In addition to her faculty role with USI.. she conducts student/ clinical site evaluations for NP students throughout Indiana... offering her expertise/recommendations. She enjoys sharing her nursing expertise with students on every level of study. Ann has collaborated with others in publishing an article in the American College of Gastroenterology in 2019. She has just recently decided to focus her scholarship work on Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. She feels blessed and honored to be a part of USI faculty.

In her own words, "I am so blessed to be a part of a faculty body that I have admired and respected since being a student here. USI has provided me with an amazing clinical career and now I have wonderful opportunity to broaden my nursing career in the field of Educaiton. there is no greater place to do so than USI!

Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education

Kyungyeol (Anthony) Kim
Assistant Professor of Sport Management

Kyungyeol (Anthony) Kim earned his Ph.D. in Sport Management at Indiana University-Bloomington. His research interests center around sport marking, sport consumer behavior, and measurement. He has diverse teaching experiences in undergraduate and graduate levels. He was a professional soccer player in South Korea, and now he loves watching UFC.

Milad Rezvani-Rad
Assistant Professor of Engineering

Dr. Milad Rezvani-Rad earned his Ph.D. in the field of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta. His multi-disciplinary research is about solidification of water inside closed piping systems, development of functional multi-layered thermal-sprayed coatings as electric resistance heating systems to mitigate ice accumulation and over-pressurization within pipes, failure analysis and material characterization of coatings, and simulation of thermally sprayed coatings performance using both analytical and numerical models. After a period of postdoctoral fellowship, he joined the School of Trades and Technologies at Red Deer Polytechnic as a full-time instructor where he taught fundamental courses in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program.

Elizabeth Wilkins
Assistant Professor Teacher Education

Dr. Elizabeth Wilkins has recently moved to Indiana from Oklahoma. She has been involved with education for nine years, and has worked as a 6th grade Reading and Writing teacher as well as a literacy interventionist for Oklahoma City Public Schools. Her research interests include instruction strategies for English Language Learners and he research projects look critically into poverty education and what pedagogical practices and curriculum function within those spaces. She is a Critical Race scholar and her work has been evaluating and creating professional development to bring issues of race, socioeconomic status, and schools into conversation in our Higher Education courses and in school sites themselves.

Romain College of Business

Salvatore Bondi
Instructor in Accounting

Salvatore Bondi has 25 years of public accounting and industry accounting and tax experience. He’s worked for the Big Four Public Accounting Firms and was also the VP of Tax for a Fortune 250 NYC based insurance company. Since 2017, Salvatore has taught traditional university accounting and tax courses at both the undergraduate, graduate levels and executive and professional MBA at multiple universities. Mr. Bondi has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from DePaul University and a Masters in Taxation from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a licensed certified public accountant and an IRS enrolled agent. 
Salvatore will join USI in January 2022.

Fernando Ferreira
Assistant Professor of Management

Fernando will join USI in January 2022.

Prasenjit Ghosh
Assistant Professor of Agricultural Business 

Dr. Ghosh has earned a PhD in Applied Economics from Auburn University in Summer 2021. He also earned a master's degree in Agricultural Economics from New Mexico State University. He completed his undergraduate education in India. He has four years experience of teaching undergraduate Economics and Agribusiness courses at Auburn University. Additionally, he worked for over two years as an Impact Assessment Officer at an international research institute, which is headquartered in India. He works on wind energy, crop insurance, and water resources management.​

Nicolas Jankuhn
Assistant Professor of Marketing 

Nicolas Jankuhn earned his Ph.D. in Marketing and International Business from Saint Louis University in July 2021. Prior to this, he received his MBA degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, his M.A. in International Business and Economics from Schmalkalden University, Germany, and his B.A. in Business Administration from Harz University of Applied Sciences, Germany. His primary research interests are payment and pricing strategy, sharing economy, and signaling theory. He finds it fascinating and rewarding to blend his practical and academic experiences in interactions with students and peers and is excited to join USI and the Romain College of Business. 

Aleisha Jones
Instructor in Marketing 

Aleisha Jones is joining the Economics and Marketing department at the University of Southern Indiana (USI) as an Instructor in Marketing. She earned her B.S. in Business Administration and MBA degrees from USI. Her research interests include retail customer behavior and relationship marketing. Prior to joining USI as a faculty member, Aleisha taught introductory business courses at Owensboro Community and Technical College and served as Billing Coordinator at USI. Aleisha has also served as a consultant to start-ups in the tri-state area and is excited to bring her unique experiences to the classroom.

Zhe Cliff Li
Assistant Professor of Finance

Dr. Zhe Cliff Li earned his PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2016 and his MS in Finance from Drexel University in 2011. He was an assistant professor at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minnesota from 2016 - 2021 where he taught investments, managerial finance, advanced financial management, and corporate financial policies. His research interests include corporate governance, board of directors, and trade credit. Dr. Li is a CFA Charterholder.

Jiaying Liu
Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems

Jiaying Liu is a new instructor in the Department of Computer Information Systems. She comes to USI from the Louisiana State University. She holds a Masters of Science in Information Systems from Iowa State University, and is expected to get her Ph.D. in Information Systems in December. Jiaying has taught business statistics and information systems courses for three years. Her current research interests lie broadly in Social Media Analysis, Crowdsourcing, technology innovation and adoption.

Nicolas Rhew
Assistant Professor of Management 

Nicholas D. Rhew earned a PhD in management from the University of Memphis after earning an MBA from the University of Southern Indiana and BS in economics and political science from the University of Evansville. His teaching interests span the management domain and include strategic management, international business, and general management topics. His research interests include management education, emerging markets, and business ethics. He most recently served as an associate professor in the E. Craig Wall, Sr. College of Business Administration at Coastal Carolina University, where he also led more than than 100 students abroad through seven education abroad programs.

Yuanyuan Xue
Instructor in Accounting

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