13 NSU faculty receive tenure and 16 faculty earn promotion for 2022-23 academic year


Thirteen Northwestern State University faculty have received tenure and 16 faculty have been recommended for promotion, according to Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Greg Handel. The university’s tenure and promotion recommendations have been approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.

Those receiving tenure are Hassan Ardakani of the School of Social Sciences and Applied Programs. Alicia Book and Leah Pearce of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health, Anna Dugas, Li Ma and Daniel Rivera of the School of Biological and Physical Sciences, Benjamin Forkner, J. Ereck Jarvis and Rebecca Macijecki of the Department of English, Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies, Chialing Hsieh and Robert Richoux of the Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts, Weiwen Liao and Valerie Salter of the School of Business.

Receiving promotion to full professor were Jafar Al-Sharab of the Department of Engineering Technology and Masahito Kuroda of the of the Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts. Receiving promotion to associate professor were John Dunn and Melody Gilbert, Hsieh, Karn Richoux and Robert Richoux of the of the Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts, Forkner, Jarvis and Macijecki, Stacey Joslin, Pearce and Melissa Rennie of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health, Dean Konstantaras of the Louisiana Scholars’ College, Ma and Vianka Miranda of the School of Business.

Ardakani earned his bachelor’s degree in theoretical economics from Shiraz University in Shiraz, Iran, and his master’s degree in economics from the Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, Iran. After coming to the United States, he entered the doctorate program in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at Louisiana State University and received his doctoral degree in August 2009. After working on a project at LSU for 18 months, he returned to school and received a Master of Science in Analytics from LSU in 2013. He started his second doctoral program in 2013 in Business Administration with emphasis on business analytics at LSU and received his second doctoral degree in August 2020. He has been working as an assistant professor at Northwestern State since 2017.

His research interests are biofuel, big data analytics, human trafficking and statistical modeling. His teaching interests include data analytics, statistical methods, macroeconomics, microeconomics and international trade. Ardakani is teaching courses in macroeconomics and microeconomics.

Book, an assistant professor of nursing, completed her ASN at Louisiana State University at Alexandria, Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2005 and Master of Science in Nursing in Maternal-Child Nursing Education in 2007 at Northwestern State. Her areas of interest include active learning strategies in the classroom and utilization of simulation in nursing education.

Book began her nursing career in pediatrics, then moved to the emergency department. She served as a charge nurse and mentor new to new graduates. She began teaching as an adjunct faculty at LSUA in 2006, then moved to a full-time position after completing her MSN. She was tenured at LSUA and received the Bolton Award for Excellence in Teaching. She joined the Northwestern State faculty in 2016 when the ASN program expanded to the CENLA Campus. She is active with numerous committees within the NSU College of Nursing and the university. Book is involved with the National League for Nurses, the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society and several community organizations supporting mothers and babies.

Dugas instructs physics courses and is the principal investor for the Biological & Electrical Applied Physics (BEAP) laboratory where environmental sensing, robotics and biomechanical applications are explored. She also serves as the Louisiana Space Grant Consortium (LaSPACE) Affiliate Institutional Coordinator for NSULA and the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts, and is the mentor for the active LaACES sounding balloon student team who have launched three payloads to space for atmospheric study. Dugas is a 2021 winner of the Excellence in Teaching Award for the College of Arts and Sciences and has been involved in the cross-disciplinary project CAPA-COVID to design and make personal protective equipment for music classes.

Forkner was born in Nantes, France. After finishing his License and Masters in English at the Université d’Angers, Forkner moved to Baton Rouge and completed his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 2012 at LSU. As coordinator of the Foreign Languages Resource Center, the center has flourished, with the addition of more tutors, needed equipment and an extensive library of French and Spanish films. Forkner worked closely with the administration in the implementation of a highly successful international student exchange program between NSU and the University of Angers. Forkner’s recent scholarship has been fruitful. In 2020 he participated in the LFLTA regional conference and the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars conference. In 2021 he presented research at both the Louisiana Studies and ACLA annual conferences and has had two academic articles accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Louisiana Folklife Journal.

An avid performer of contemporary music, Hsieh is devoted to promoting new piano solo and chamber works. Hsieh has been a featured pianist on seven CD’s for the Centaur, Innova, Enharmonic and Ballpark record labels. Hsieh has received several grants to promote new American music, including an Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and Prince Endowed Professorship in Music.

Hsieh has performed recitals in Europe, Asia, and throughout the United States. A sought-after collaborative pianist, she performs regularly at universities and conferences for CMS, MTNA, NATS, SCI, North American Saxophone Alliance, National Flute Society, International Clarinet Association, International Viola Congress, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles and the Southeastern Composers’ League. Hsieh has given master classes throughout the United States and abroad and served as a judge and adjudicator for competitions and events.

Jarvis is an associate professor of English and coordinator of graduate studies in English at NSU. Jarvis teaches courses on literature, especially British literature broadly defined in relation to British imperialism. He loves teaching “Introduction to Literature,” part of NSU’s core curriculum, and has recently conducted courses on Black British writers and conversation in and among 18th century novels. He is a faculty advisor for NSU’s Nu Iota Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta International English Society and humanities content editor for a regional peer-reviewed journal of undergraduate research “Papers and Publications.”

Jarvis specializes in British literature of the long 18th century (1660-1830). His research, which often focuses on interactions between literature and social systems, includes publication on Thomas Sprat’s “The History of the Royal Society” and political partisanship as social networking in late 17th century England. His article “Olivia’s Kingdoms: Referencing Carby’s ‘Imperial Intimacies in The Woman of Colour (1808)’ ” is forthcoming in fall 2022.

Liao is an associate professor of management/international business and holds the Karl & Linda Moore Endowed Professorship in Business. She joined NSU in 2015 after more than a decade of teaching and research in both China and Canada. Her teaching focus is international business and operations management. She holds a Ph.D. in Management.

Liao has more than 20 publications in peer-reviewed academic journals, proceedings, and books in both US and China. Her latest articles are with the Journal of Education for Business and the Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management. She is the member of the Academy of Management (AOM), the Academy of International Business (AIB), the Association of North America Higher Education International (ANAHEI), the National Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association of America (NCBFFA) and Phi Beta Delta – Honor Society for International Scholars (PBD).

Ma is an associate professor in the School of Biological and Physical Sciences. Ma graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology and performed his postdoctoral training at Baylor College of Medicine before joining NSU in fall 2017. During his years at NSU, he has taught a number of courses at various levels ranging from General microbiology to chemistry for the College of Nursing and Allied Health. His research focuses on bacteriophage therapy. His research work has led to two endowed professorships, John McIlhenny Endowed Professor of Biology in 2018 and University of Louisiana System Foundation and NRMC Foundation Endowed Professorship in Biological and Physical Sciences in 2022.

Macijeski is an associate professor in the Department of English, Languages, and Cultural Studies, where she is also coordinator of Creative Writing Programs. She earned her Ph.D. from University of Nebraska—Lincoln and her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Since joining NSU faculty in 2017, she has overseen the creation of a creative writing concentration and minor. She also serves as the faculty advisor for Argus, NSU’s student Art & Literary Magazine. Her poems have been published in dozens of journals and anthologies, including abroad. She has been nominated for Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize, and her manuscripts have been named finalists for numerous prizes. She enjoys advising student writers in the development of their own aesthetic and voice, and finding new ways to collaborate with other areas of the University. Her poetry chapbook, “Autobiography,” will be released through Split Rock Press in late 2022.

Pearce has been a member of Northwestern State’s faculty since 2005 and has been Cenla campus coordinator since 2021. In that role, she is responsible for day to day functions of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health on the Cenla campus. Pearce plans and coordinates campus events and does strategic planning for the campus. As a faculty member, she was the instructor for didactic and clinical courses for the ASN and BSN program. Pearce worked in the private sector for a decade as a charge nurse, staff nurse and director. She has made presentations to several regional and state organizations and is active in professional organizations on the local, state and national level. Pearce earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Finance/Economics at Northeast Louisiana University, a Bachelor of Science, Nursing from Louisiana College and a Master of Science, Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice from Northwestern State.

Robert Richoux is a 2007 graduate of Northwestern State in Theatre: Design and Technology and Performance and Directing. He worked for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival for a year before entering graduate school. Robert Richoux attended The Florida State University where he received his Master of Fine Arts in Technical Production. He then moved to New Haven, Connecticut, to work for Global Scenic Services where he worked on Broadway and Off Broadway productions and fashion shows. He then moved to Austin, Texas, to work as the assistant technical director for the ZACH Theatre. He spent one year as the ATD, before becoming the technical director. He is director of new BFA in production and design, as well as the technical director for NSU Theatre and Dance.

Some of his favorite shows to contribute to have been “Les Miserables,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “Harvey,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “All the Way,” “Parade” and “One Man, Two Guvnors.”

Rivera has been a member of Northwestern State’s faculty since 2017, teaching undergraduate classes and laboratories of general chemistry for majors and non-majors and organic chemistry laboratories using a classroom-based approach and online course material. He earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and a Ph.D. in applied chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez campus. He held the Senator Gerald Long Professorship in the 2021-22 academic year. Rivera has been the co-author of nine publications for professional journals. He served as principal or co-principal investigator for five grants worth more than $140,000 to the university. The largest grant was $116,000 for the purchase of a desktop 80-MHz NMR instrument.

Salter holds a B.S. in Hospitality Management and Tourism from Northwestern State, an M.A. in Teaching from Louisiana College, and a Master of Hospitality Administration from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In her current role as interim coordinator of Hospitality Management and Tourism at Northwestern State, she teaches courses in professionalism, personal finance and serves as an internship supervisor.  As a Ph.D. candidate (ABD) at Iowa State University, she is researching food safety at fairs and festivals.

Al-Sharab is serving as head of the Department of Engineering Technology at Northwestern State. He received B.S. In Industrial Engineering from the University of Jordan, M.Sc. in Metallurgical and Materials Science Engineering from the Science University of Malaysia, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University/Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to joining NSU, Al-Sharab was an Instructional and Research Faculty at Rutgers University where he was heavily involved in research and teaching at both graduate and undergraduate levels.

Al-Sharab’s research interests are in the areas of nanotechnology, and structure-property correlations. He is an active member of the ICDD, ASEE and other professional organizations related to his professional career and research interests.  He is currently serving as a director on the Engineering Technology Council (ETC). Al-Sharab authored more than 70 technical papers, most of which in high impact journals.  In the last few years, he has been heavily involved in STEM related activates.

Kuroda joined the NSU faculty in 2001, teaching euphonium, tuba and sound recording. He received B.M. degree from Tokyo Gakugei University, M.M. from Morehead State University, and Artis Doctor Musica in euphonium performance from National Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Slovak Republic. Receiving full scholarship from Japanese Ministry of Education, he studied with many renowned low brass artists in the U.S, U.K., Netherlands, and Germany. He has appeared as a guest euphonium artist in music schools in the U.S., Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, and Far East Asia. Most notably, he held the county’s first euphonium recital/masterclass in Slovak Republic. He has performed with Baton Rouge Symphony, Rapides Symphony, South Arkansas Symphony, Shreveport Symphony/Opera, and Camerata Academica Chamber Orchestra Tokyo, and is a founding member of British Brass Band Society of Louisiana. Together with NSU Euphonium-Tuba Ensemble he directs, he researches the new possibility of musical expression utilizing various tuba family instruments and electronic enhancement.

Dunn serves as the course steward for the core curriculum fine arts courses. At NSU, he has taught fine arts survey, music history, music for stage and screen, a seminar on music and disability studies and several music theory courses. He is currently the President of the Faculty Senate and has been the faculty sponsor of the NSU Gamers’ Guild. He recently completed his doctorate at Louisiana State University in Musicology; his dissertation explored the representation of disability in the music of Alfred Hitchcock films. His emphasis of study is film music, romantic and 20th century music history, music and disability studies and music in popular culture, presenting papers on “WandaVision,” music, trauma and nostalgia and also magical realism and “Encanto” at recent Popular Culture Association National Conferences. Dunn is affiliated with the Film Music Society, the Society for Disability Studies, the American Musicological Society, the Popular Culture Society, the National Council For Faculty Senate and the Association of Louisiana Faculty Senates.

Gilbert is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has directed, produced, filmed, and edited 12 feature-length documentaries (and a couple of shorts) that have screened at noteworthy film festivals and been distributed internationally via broadcast or VOD (Amazon, iTunes, Netflix, etc.). Two films she produced recently received national recognition: a national Emmy nomination for “BENEATH THE INK” (2019) and an Alfred I. duPont award for “LOVE THEM FIRST” (2020). Gilbert is also a passionate educator who has taught journalism and filmmaking for more than 20 years at universities around the globe, from Bulgaria (American University in Bulgaria) to Minnesota (Carleton College, University of Minnesota). A recipient of the prestigious McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowship, Gilbert is also the founder of Docuclub Minnesota, co-chair of the Film Fatales MN chapter, and founder of Docuclub MN.  She is also a tutor for emerging filmmakers in Eastern Europe, most recently in Moldova. Prior to making films, Melody was an award-winning broadcast journalist. The Documentary Channel once called her “one of the most fearless filmmakers in contemporary documentary cinema.” To see trailers of all her films, go to: www.frozenfeetfilm.com.

Joslin, DNP, RN teaches in the Associate of Science in Nursing program at Northwestern State. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Louisiana College, Master of Science in Nursing at Lamar University and Doctor of Nursing Practice at Northwestern State. Joslin has more than 25 years of nursing experience in medical/surgical nursing, geriatrics, case management and rehabilitation. Her masters and doctoral work focused on identification and implications of hydration status among rehabilitation patients.

Kostantaras has been a member of the faculty in the Louisiana Scholars’ College since 2017. In addition to his teaching duties, he is the external relations manager for the Scholars’ College. He earned a Ph.D. at George Washington University in European history and is the author of “Nationalism and Revolution in Europe, 1763 – 1848” published in 2020 and “Infamy and Revolt: The Rise of the National Problem in Early Modern Greek Thought” published in 2006. Kostantaras has had 10 articles published in national and international professional journals. He has made numerous presentations at professional conferences. He has taught at Northern Virginia Community College, Prince George’s Community College, George Washington University, York University and the University of Illinois at Chicago before joining the Scholars’ College.

Miranda has been a member of NSU’s faculty since 2017. She has worked closely with colleagues on professional research and presentations which have helped enhance the reputation of the School of Business. Three publications have been published in the past three years in professional journals with one other article pending. Miranda is active as a peer reviewer for several professional publications.

Miranda is the School of Business’ coordinator of accreditation and strategic planning. She was the Tommy Johnson Endowed Professor in Business from 2019-22 and was named the Kilpatrick Life Insurance Endowed Professor in Business earlier this year. She has been responsible for developing two new courses in the graduate program in computer information systems. Miranda earned a Bachelor of Art in Economics from Tulane University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Orleans and a Doctor of Business Administration from Walden University.

Rennie has been a member of NSU’s faculty since 2008. In 2016, she became second level coordinator in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. In 2021, she was the recipient of Northwestern’s Excellence in Teaching Award for the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health. Before joining NSU’s faculty, she worked for a decade in the private sector at Christus Schumpert Hospital and LifeCare Hospitals of Shreveport.

Rennie earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and a Master of Science in Nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice at Northwestern State. She is active in professional organizations including being a member of the board of directors of the Shreveport District Nurses Association.

Karn Richoux received her M.F.A. in Technical Production of Theatre from Florida State University, where she met her husband and fellow Technical Director, Robert Richoux. They lived in Austin, Texas, for three years, where she expanded her love of teaching the next generation of theatre technicians and artists at McCallum Fine Arts Academy.

Originally from Minnesota, she went to Hamline University in St. Paul, and worked for four summers at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse in Bemidji, and one summer at the Guthrie Theater.

In addition to her role at NSU teaching Intro to Theatre, Applied Theatre, Stage Management and Portfolio classes, Karn Richoux is the technical director at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts.