Some new, some familiar faculty faces in classrooms

This fall OCCC students will see some new faces among the faculty and also some familiar faces in new positions.

Nathaniel Abraham, new to the campus this semester, teaches human anatomy and physiology classes. Eventually, he said, he also will teach cadaver dissection in the college’s cadaver lab. He received a doctorate of veterinary medicine in India. He then came to the states for his second doctorate degree.

“In 1997, I earned my doctorate in developmental biology at St. John’s University in New York.”

Math Professor Daniel Bakewell was formerly a developmental instructor in the Math Lab before moving into the classroom.

“I will be teaching developmental math, algebra and online statistics.”

Bakewell said he likes to incorporate technology into his classes. He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at East Central State University in Ada, and then went to the University of Oklahoma to receive a master’s degree in mathematics.

Tamara Carter, former professor, then, math department director, has returned to the classroom.

“My love for teaching was so strong that I just could not resist coming back,” she said.

Carter is teaching online algebra, and college prep math II and III.

She received a bachelor’s degree in Computational Mathematics from Rice University. She then attended Texas A&M University to get a master’s degree in Theoretical Mathematics and her doctorate in Mathematics Education.

Computer Science Professor John Goulden was made a full-time professor this semester after adjuncting at OCCC for almost two decades. He teaches computer science, physics and physical science.

“I’ve been an adjunct for nearly 20 years. There’s a lot of stability here.”

Goulden said he has always loved the small college feel OCCC has. He earned a physics degree at Southern Nazarene University and his doctorate in physics from OU. He has 40 years of teaching under his belt and has known the people he works with now for many years.

“When I was a new professor at [SNU], a young Dr. Paul Sechrist was also a new professor there. So when he became (OCCC) president, I was just delighted. He has a tough job and he does it well.”

He said what excites him most about teaching is helping students understand science better.

“I show students what science is and that it’s accessible and they can understand. That is what I love more than anything,” he said. “If you apply yourself and work hard, I will guide you through it.”

History Professor Leslie Jones teaches four pre- and post-Civil War American history classes, both on campus and online. Jones was originally hired by OCCC in February 2006 in Academic Advising.

“I started adjuncting here in fall of ’07 with the Success in College and Life class, then started adjuncting in the fall of 2010 and now I’ll be teaching full-time.”

She said students at OCCC seem to value their education.

“I’ve always had this craving to be around people who were intellectually curious and enjoyed higher education.”

Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees are in history.

“My undergrad is from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and my graduate is from UCO.”

She said she is looking forward to settling in and being more available to students.

“Whenever you’re full-time and you do have a location and office hours, I think you can get more involved and be more helpful to students here on campus.”

A new addition to the nursing department, Professor Karen McCauley is teaching full-time this semester.

“I was an adjunct for a year in the clinicals area,” McCauley said. “I taught Overview of Nursing last year as well.”

McCauley has taught at other schools but said she felt OCCC offered more to nursing students.

“I chose OCCC because of their nursing program’s success,” she said. “I felt like it was a good strong program that I could really contribute to.”

McCauley will graduate from the OU in December with a master’s degree in nursing education.

Former Communications Lab Supervisor Rachel Olsen is now teaching English Composition I and II.

Olsen attended Missouri State University and received her bachelor’s degree in English literature before attending Kansas State University, where she earned master’s degrees in English and cultural studies.

“My husband and I moved to Oklahoma so he could work on his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma.”

Olsen said her family moved around a lot when she was a child because her father worked for the railroad. She describes herself as a “railroad brat.”

Randa Pospisil is a former adjunct in nursing who is now making the leap to full-time professor.

“I am excited to teach and to get to see the students form first opinions and enjoy the fundamentals.”

Pospisil said she received her associate degree at OCCC and then went to Southern Nazarene University for her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Both English Composition I and II will be taught by Professor Dean Reusser this semester as he settles into his new faculty role. But he also has expertise in teaching mathematics.

“I’m looking forward to really sinking my teeth into my new full-time position and being available to all my students whenever I can be,” he said. “I have my bachelor’s of science in English education and a minor in math education.”

Reusser also has a master’s degree in bilingual education, teaching English as a second or other language from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Reusser said OCCC is a great place to learn and encourages everyone who might be apprehensive about starting college to come here.

“I can assure students that there is support here,” he said. “Not just the professors are here to help but a great staff and learning labs to support students throughout their time here.”

American Federal Government will be taught by new professor Sharon Vaughan.

“When I interviewed here, the people were so nice I just loved it,” she said. “When I had other job offers, I picked OCCC because I thought it was the best place for me.”

Vaughan said she has taught at both universities and community colleges in various states.

“I was a professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta,” she said. “It’s where Dr. Martin Luther King went to school.”

She also taught at Richland College of the Dallas County Community College District.

“That’s when I decided I really like teaching community college,” Vaughan said.

She received bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and political science from OU. She said she received both her master’s degree and doctorate in government from the University of Texas at Austin.

“I graduated number one in my college class and won the Carl Albert award in 1991,” she said.

Vaughan is teaching four American federal government classes this semester.

Recca Young is now the program director as well as an occupational therapy assistant program professor. Previously, she was the academic fieldwork coordinator and professor.

Young teaches Historical and Contemporary Concepts in Occupational Therapy, Human Conditions for Occupational Performance and Psychosocial Conditions and Treatment.

“I am excited to teach traditional and emerging areas of occupational therapy.”

Young received her associate degree in occupational therapy assistant at OCCC, a bachelor’s degree in Family Studies Gerontology and a master’s degree in education at OU.

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