Northwestern welcomes new faculty

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Northwestern welcomes new faculty

August 28, 2015

 New Faculty

New faculty members begin the 2015-2016 academic year at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. Pictured left to right in the front row is Dr. Kaylene Armstrong, assistant professor of mass communication; Mariann Braten-Hall, instructor of education; Dr. Marc Decker, assistant professor of music and director of bands; and Mistie Kline, instructor of psychology. Second row left to right, Joshua Hawkins, instructor of education; Kyle Larson, assistant professor of art; Evan Vaverka, instructor of computer science; Dr. Cristina Gordon, assistant professor of psychology and chair of the psychology department; Stephanie Widick, instructor of psychology; and Dr. Christee Jenlink, professor of education and chair of the division of education. Not pictured are Dawn Allen and Karsten Longhurst.


Northwestern Oklahoma State University recently welcomed 12 new faculty members to campus to begin the 2015-2016 school year. Six new faculty members have been hired in the School of Arts and Sciences, while the remaining six work in the School of Professional Studies.

Short biographies of each faculty member from the School of Arts and Sciences are listed below:

Dawn Allen, instructor of English, holds a Bachelor of Science in English Education from Pittsburg State (Kan.) University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. She has worked as an adjunct instructor of English for the last three years.

Dr. Kaylene Armstrong, assistant professor of mass communication, holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Brigham Young University, a Master of Science degree from Utah State University, and a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has previously served as an instructor/faculty media adviser at Brigham Young University, Georgia College and State University, University of Southern Mississippi and Lorain County (Ohio) Community College.

Dr. Marc Decker, assistant professor of music and director of bands, earned a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and a Master of Arts and Doctorate of Music Arts from the University of Iowa. He has directed bands at American University in Washington D.C. and at South Haven High School in Michigan. For 15 years he has been a summer clinician/director of the Smith-Waldridge Clinics in Charleston, Ill.

Kyle Larson, assistant professor of art, holds a bachelor’s degree in studio art and English, and a Master of Arts in painting and drawing from California State University-Sacramento. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Boston University. He has teaching experience at Nashua (N.H.) Community College, The Winsor School (Mass.), California State University and Boston University. He served as the artist-in-residence at Northwestern during the 2014 fall semester.

Karsten Longhurst, instructor of music and director of choral music, earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and a Bachelor of Arts in German from Weber State (Utah) University. He has a master’s degree in music from the University of Utah. Longhurst has previously served at the University of Southern California and at secondary schools in Ogden, Utah. He has been a clinician and private voice instructor throughout Utah and California.

Evan Vaverka, instructor of computer science, earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Northwestern. He previously worked as a computer science tutor and library assistant at Northwestern.

Short biographies of each faculty member from the School of Professional Studies are listed below:

Mariann Braten-Hall, instructor of education, holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Oral Roberts University and a Master of Education in educational leadership from Northwestern. She previously served as an elementary and special education teacher in the Ponca City Public Schools.

Dr. Cristina Gordon, assistant professor of psychology and chair of the psychology department, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Faculdades Metropolitanas Unidas, Sao Paulo, Brazil, a Master of Arts degree from the State University of West Georgia, and a Doctorate of Philosophy from Capella (Minn.) University. She served in teaching and administrative roles at Fox Valley (Wisc.) Technical College and has served as an adjunct faculty member at several Wisconsin colleges.

Joshua Hawkins, instructor of education, earned a Bachelor of Science in special education and a Master of Education in educational administration from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He was a graduate teaching assistant at Oklahoma State University and served in teaching and administrative roles in the Morrison Public Schools. He also served as a special education teacher at several other Oklahoma elementary schools.

Dr. Christee Jenlink, professor of education and chair of the division of education, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Education degree from Northwestern. She holds a Doctorate of Education in educational administration from Oklahoma State University. Jenlink previously served as dean of the Broken Arrow Campus for Northeastern State University (NSU), and also held faculty and leadership roles in NSU’s College of Education. She also served as a principal in the Tulsa Public Schools and as an instructor of music at various public schools in Michigan and Oklahoma.

Mistie Kline, instructor of psychology, has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Phillips University and a Master of Counseling Psychology degree from Northwestern. She previously served as director of the Academic Success Center at Northwestern and operated a local retail business.

Stephanie Widick, instructor of psychology, holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Master of Counseling Psychology from Northwestern. She has been a registration assistant on Northwestern’s Enid campus for five years.

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