New faculty aim to give students ‘the best experience possible’

August 21, 2020

New Faculty for 2020-21 meet each other at a luncheon on Aug. 17, 2020.
Seventeen new full-time members—and a new dean—joined Bellarmine University’s faculty as classes began on Aug. 20. Twelve faculty are beginning their first academic year at the university; three started earlier this calendar year; and two others are on a tenure or long-term track following one-year contracts.
Dr. Natasha Vijay Munshi, the new dean of the W. Fielding Rubel School of Business, began her new duties on Aug. 1.
As Bellarmine welcomes a first-year class of 578, the new faculty members will help to ensure that the student-to-faculty ratio stays low and that individual class sizes remain small.
They are committed to providing the personal attention to every student that Bellarmine is known for—even as the university’s COVID-19 response has moved some classes partially or completely online to help maintain physical distancing.
“I love getting to know my students, learning about their lives, sharing my life with them, and just talking,” said Dr. Kaitlyn Selman, assistant professor of Criminal Justice Studies. “I’m going to be doing everything I can to cultivate those relationships in the online environment.”
Dr. Pamela Power, an assistant professor of Nursing, said that while she worries that undergraduate students may be disappointed, “the whole country is in the same position… It's our challenge to give them the best experience possible.”
Similarly, Dr. Tommy Wells, an assistant professor of Education who is teaching a course called Trauma-Informed Classrooms this fall, plans to be a resource for his graduate students, most of whom are teachers themselves. “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their jobs, so I'm hopeful that I can support them through challenges they may face,” he said. 
HyFlex classes, which are a combination of in-person and online instruction, will be one of those challenges, both for students and faculty, said Dr. Nathan Nevin, assistant professor of Physical Therapy. “I have concerns that the students may not get the same feeling as the traditional model of full-time face-to-face class,” he said. “However, I know that myself, other faculty, Bellarmine technology support, and all in leadership have been working very hard all summer to make sure the students get the full ‘Bellarmine experience.’”
Below is more about the new faculty members, who fill a combination of new positions and positions that became available through retirements or departures from the university.
Dr. Nathan Johnson, assistant professor of Computer Science
Teaching: Computer science classes including programming, data structures, algorithms, database management and others
Research interests: My background is in high-performance computing, but I think my first research focus at Bellarmine probably will involve computer science education in smaller, liberal-arts venues.
Looking forward to: Working with a great group of engaged students in the kind of caring, close community Bellarmine provides. I teach computer science classes, and it's more important than ever, as computer algorithms support and influence most of what we do in the modern world, for students and future leaders to have an understanding of the ethical and moral considerations and consequences of what they do.
Dr. Stella Kanchewa, assistant professor of Psychology (previously on one-year contract)
Teaching: Introductory Psychology, Psychology of Learning, and Abnormal Psychology; other classes as needed
Research interests: Broadly, I'm interested in positive youth development with a particular focus on mentoring relationships and other relational interventions. Related to this, I'm interested in mental health and the experiences of underrepresented college students.
Looking forward to: Collaborating with students inside and outside of the classroom. The array of opportunities that are available for this sort of engagement at Bellarmine is unique and exciting.
Jakia Marie, assistant professor of SociologyDr. Jakia Marie, assistant professor of Sociology
Teaching: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology; Contemporary American Social Problems; Introduction to the African Diaspora and African-American Experience
Research interests: Cultures of Africa and the African diaspora; immigration; identity and equity in higher education
Looking forward to: Meeting students and collaborating with faculty and staff to support the campus community and Louisville.
Dr. Margaret “Maggie” Rossman, assistant professor of Communication
Teaching: Communication Ethics and two graduate courses, Introduction to Media Studies and Strategic Communication
Research interests: Digital media, particularly digital media fandom and its intersection with gender. In this research, I've focused on tween culture, from Twilight to Taylor Swift and beyond, and how this young, female fan base communicates online.
Looking forward to: Getting to know the students better and learning from them in the classroom. During my campus visit in the spring, I was impressed with how engaged and welcoming everyone was, and I think the students are going to really shape my courses in interesting ways.
Dr. Kaitlyn Selman, assistant professor of Criminal Justice Studies
Teaching: Two sections of Introduction to Criminal Justice and one section of Criminology
Research interests: My research primarily focuses on abolitionist organizing, specifically the work that young people are doing to dismantle oppressive institutions and conditions. A lot of what I study is oriented around efforts related to policing, prisons, healthcare, reproductive justice, environmental justice, and education.
Looking forward to: I’ve heard wonderful things about how socially conscious and change-driven BU students are, so I’m really looking forward to engaging students in conversations, research and community-oriented projects that are focused on social transformation.
Dr. David Scott, assistant professor of Philosophy (previously on one-year contract)*
Dr. Alexandra “Ali” Taylor, assistant professor of Special Education
Teaching: BU 100: First Year Experience, EDUC 102: Childhood Development, Part A, and EDUC 362: Education Measurements
Research interests: Behavior modification through the use of social skills instruction to improve both academic and behavior outcomes for students diagnosed with emotional and behavioral disorders.
Looking forward to: Teaching our awesome students in the School of Education.  
Tommy Wells, assistant professor of EducationDr. Tommy Wells, assistant professor of Education
Teaching: Trauma-informed Classrooms this fall, as well as Foundations of Trauma-informed Practices and Research Methodology for School Leaders.
Research interests: Education policy as related to equity, school leadership, and trauma-informed practices.
Looking forward to: The program in which I teach is using a cohort model, so I will get to work with the same group throughout the year. I'm excited to build relationships with them as we move through the program.
Dr. Tara Granada, assistant professor of Physical Therapy
Teaching: Introduction to Acute Care, Clinical Education coursework, and Service-Learning Clinics  
Research interests: I have a passion for clinical education research and fall risk-management for older adults.
Looking forward to: Interacting with the students and faculty at Bellarmine. My experience so far has been awesome, and I look forward to getting to know the Bellarmine community better!
Dr. Julie Hartmann, assistant professor of Physical Therapy
Teaching: Management of cardiopulmonary disease; differential diagnosis; rehab techniques; gerontology. I will also be involved with the service-learning clinics and capstone projects.
Research interests: Impact of oral health on fall prevention; what happens to non-injured fallers in the home; elder abuse
Looking forward to: Working with others on campus in order to bring their expertise to my classroom, and learning what all the [campus] acronyms mean. I jokingly say that every university has an invisible handbook that contains all that information that everyone just seems to know!
Melissa McNulty, associate professor of Nursing Dr. Melissa McNulty, associate professor of Nursing (started Jan. 1, 2020)
Teaching: Community and Public Health for the undergraduate program, as well as Clinical Prevention and Population Health for the graduate nursing program
Research interests: Disease prevention; health promotion; nutritional intervention for health conditions; behavior change; change motivation; and the impact of psychology on health conditions.
Looking forward to: Helping students achieve their dream of becoming a nurse.
Dr. Nathan “Nate” Nevin, assistant professor of Physical Therapy
Teaching: In the fall, Examination, Evaluation and Intervention: Extremities and Functional Anatomy; in the summer, Applied Clinical Anatomy; in the spring, Examination, Evaluation and Intervention: Spine.
Research interests: As a clinician for 10 years working in mostly orthopedic setting, my research interests are in orthopedic physical therapy practice with special interests in manual therapy and sports physical therapy, including running and over-head athletes. I am also very interested in the non-mechanical reasons for patients’ improvement, including patient experience, expectations, the relationship with the clinician, and patients’ thoughts/attitude.
Looking forward to: Continuing to be a part of the Bellarmine family. I attended Bellarmine for my undergraduate degree and later obtained my doctorate in physical therapy. I continued to work at Bellarmine in the PT department as a guest lecturer and adjunct faculty in many different courses. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to be here full-time.
Dr. Pamela Power, assistant professor of Nursing (started in May 2020)
Teaching: Graduate: finance and a practicum course; undergraduate: a course on research and evidence-based practice and a course on women’s health
Research interests: Resilience; specifically, resilience among nurse leaders and how it can be improved. I am interested in carrying this over to increasing nursing students’ resilience.
Looking forward to: Teaching. It's my passion, and I am so excited to reach young future nurses and those in graduate school. It is truly what gives me joy.
Dr. Gabri Warren, assistant professor of Nursing (started in May 2020)
Teaching: Health Assessment and Transcultural Communication in Nursing
Research interests: Faith community nursing, health information technology, and community health nursing.
Looking forward to: Being a part of an amazing nursing program and university. I love nursing, and I love teaching. I am excited to share that with future Bellarmine graduates.
Ms. Erin Wiedmar, instructor of Nursing
Teaching: Nutrition courses in the Lansing School of Nursing and in the Exercise Science Department
Research interests: I am not going to be involved in research at this time.
Looking forward to: Interacting with the students! I can’t wait to get to know the students in my classes.
Dr. Carla Childers, associate professor of Marketing
Teaching: Marketing courses on the undergraduate, MBA and EMBA levels
Research interests: The areas of consumer behavior and services marketing. My publications cover topics including service quality, place branding, hospitality and tourism, and marketing pedagogy.
Looking forward to: Due to the level of quality that was exhibited by the Bellarmine EMBA students that I just taught this summer, I'm looking forward to experiencing the talents of the other graduate and undergraduate students that I will have the honor of working with.
Abigail Hall Blanco,associate professor of EconomicsDr. Abigail “Abby” Hall Blanco, associate professor of Economics
Teaching: Intro-level economics courses, intermediate microeconomics, and upper-level electives
Research interests: My research primarily focuses on issues of national defense and U.S. policy, including police militarization, the economics of propaganda and the domestic consequences of foreign intervention.
Looking forward to: Getting to know my students and introducing them to the economic way of thinking. I'm excited to work with students on research projects and to form productive collaborations!
*Could not be reached by deadline.

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