Five Northwestern professors earn doctorates

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Five Northwestern professors earn doctorates

 Dr. Kathy Earnest

Dr. Kathy Earnest
Northwestern Oklahoma State University recognizes five professors who completed their dissertations and earned their doctorates this academic year. Those candidates are Dr. Kathy Earnest, assistant professor of English; and Drs. Ramona Bartlow, Mary Brune, Leslie Collins and Jennifer Mahieu, all assistant professors in the Division of Nursing. 

Earnest earned her Doctorate of Education from Oklahoma State University. Her dissertation, titled “Experiences of First Generation College Students at a Rural University on the Southern Plains as Told through Stories, Drawings, and Found Poetry,” examined how first generation college students view their college experiences as they are about to graduate or who have recently graduated. 

Earnest teaches English Usage, Young Adult Literature, Teaching English in Secondary Schools, Composition and Introduction to Literature.

Dr. Ramona Bartlow

Dr. Ramona Bartlow

Bartlow earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Duquesne University School of Nursing. Her capstone project, “Orientation for New Nursing Faculty in a Baccalaureate Program: Basis of a Strong Foundation,” resulted in the development of an online orientation delivery format for adjunct faculty and new full-time faculty in the Division of Nursing at Northwestern. This format assures that all faculty receive consistent content to be effective instructors in the nursing program.

Bartlow teaches Nursing Care of the Adult I and Nursing Leadership. She works with the nursing students throughout their journey in the nursing program.

Brune earned her doctorate of education with a specialization in Educational Leadership and Management from Capella University. Her dissertation, titled  “Concept Mapping: A Strategy to Increase Critical Thinking in Nursing Students: An Action Research Study,” presented the use of the technique of concept mapping to help nursing students tie together complicated concepts from their nursing courses in caring for their patients.

Dr. Mary Brune 

Dr. Mary Brune

Brune teaches the clinical experiences in Nursing Care of the Adult I and Nursing Care of the Adult II, Holistic Assessment and Introduction to Nursing Skills on the Woodward campus.

Collins, assistant chair of the Division of Nursing on the Alva campus, earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Duquesne University School of Nursing. Her capstone project, “The Effects of the CREW Intervention on Faculty-to-Faculty Incivility in Nursing Education: A Quality Improvement Study,” discussed steps that could be employed in a university department of nursing to enhance faculty-to-faculty relationships. It also discussed ways to promote a positive student-learning environment as well as a faculty-work environment.

Collins teaches Research Utilization, Introduction to Nursing Skills and co-teaches Nursing Care of the Family and Professional Issues in Nursing.

Dr. Leslie Collins 

Dr. Leslie Collins


Mahieu, also student success coordinator, earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Duquesne University School of Nursing. Mahieu’s capstone project, “An Enrichment Program: Effects on Pre-Nursing Students’ Success,” focused on the implementation of supplemental instruction and study skills enhancement to assist students who have been unsuccessful on the exam used for entry in to the nursing program.

Mahieu teaches Holistic Assessment and co-teaches Nursing Care of the Family and Professional Issues in Nursing.

“I am very excited for the faculty who recently finished their doctorates,” Dr. Bo Hannaford, dean of the School of Professional Studies, said. “I am happy for their professional growth and what this brings to the table for our students. When you look at their research, they will bring valuable knowledge in the area of faculty and staff development, and improving student performance.

Dr. Jennifer Mahieu 

Dr. Jennifer Mahieu


“More importantly, I love that they each are role models for our students by continuing to be life-long learners. Northwestern works to provide the best programs, and I believe the educational commitment from our faculty exhibits this.”

For more information on any of Northwestern’s programs, contact Dr. James Bell, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, at (580) 327-8590 or jlbell@nwosu.edu or Hannaford at (580) 327-8455 or bshannaford@nwosu.edu.

-NW-