As fall classes get under way this week, Ouachita Baptist University welcomes nine new faculty members.
“We’re fortunate to have an outstanding group of new faculty members with impressive credentials, expertise in their disciplines and a commitment to make a difference in the lives of their students,” said Dr. Stan Poole, OBU’s vice president for academic affairs. “We’re pleased to welcome them to Ouachita’s talented faculty and look forward to the contributions they will make to our campus and community.”
New faculty members include:
Summer Bruch, assistant professor of visual arts. Bruch holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ceramic arts from Central Missouri State University and a Master of Fine Arts, also in ceramics, from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She has served as an instructor of ceramics and studio manager at Central Missouri State and at the University of Texas Pan America. She has served since 2006 as an adjunct instructor at Henderson State University and also taught part-time last year at Ouachita. Bruch has presented several ceramics-related exhibits, workshops and lectures. She and her husband, Aaron, have two daughters, Rumble and Toula.
Christopher W. Brune, assistant professor of finance. Dr. Brune is a 1994 Ouachita graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in finance. He also holds a master’s degree in administration and a Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas. Brune, who had held a number of positions in the financial services industry, also taught finance courses at the University of Arkansas while pursuing his doctorate. He has been a Certified Financial Planner since 1999.
Kathy Collins, visiting instructor of education. Collins holds a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Baylor University and a Master of Education in administration from Tarleton State University. She has taught grades four through six and has served as a school administrator in the Bynum Independent School District. Since 2007, she has been associate director for the Center of Learning and Development in Waco, Texas. She and her husband, Ace, have two sons, Clint, a graduate of Baylor, and Rance, a senior mass communications major at Ouachita.
Sara E. Hubbard, assistant professor of chemistry. Dr. Hubbard holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Oklahoma State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming at Laramie. She served as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Wyoming for seven years and has served the past year as an instructor of chemistry at Wichita State University.
Rebecca A. Jones, instructor of speech communication. Jones is a 1996 Ouachita graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in interpersonal and organizational communications from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and is currently enrolled in the doctoral program in communication and the arts at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va. Jones has held several positions at Ouachita since 1999 in the areas of admissions counseling, public relations and development and also has taught speech communication courses. Prior to serving at Ouachita, she served two years as assistant information director for the Arkansas House of Representatives. She and her husband, Jason, have two sons, Anderson and Sullivan.
Phyllis Kinnison, assistant professor and archivist of Riley-Hickingbotham Library. Kinnison holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social studies education and a master’s degree in history from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She also holds a master’s degree in library and information science from Louisiana State University. She has served as a graduate assistant at both LSU and the University of Louisiana at Monroe and has worked as a project archivist with the Sen. John Breaux Collection at the LSU Libraries Special Collections.
Ryan C. Lewis, assistant professor of music. Dr. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Music degree in instrumental music education from Furman University. He also holds a Master of Music in percussion performance from Florida State University and a Doctor of Musical Arts in percussion performance from the University of South Carolina. He has served for the past four years as an instructor of music at Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C., while also teaching at the University of South Carolina School of Music. His professional performance experience includes playing with a number of philharmonic and symphony orchestras with performances from New York City to Rome, Italy. He and his wife, Marie, have two children, Carson and Morgan.
Amber Northam-Vincent, instructor and acting director of Athletic Training Education. Northam-Vincent holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education with an emphasis in exercise science athletic training from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in kinesiology and athletic training from San Jose State University. Serving as the assistant athletic trainer at Ouachita since 2007, she previously was the assistant athletic trainer and kinesiology lecturer at Angelo State University and has served as a staff athletic trainer for women’s basketball, field hockey and tennis. She and her husband, “Tiny,” have an infant daughter, Leilani.
Ruth Plymale, assistant professor of biology. Dr. Plymale holds a Bachelor of Science degree in botany from the University of Arkansas. She pursued an advanced degree in biology with an emphasis on insect pathology at Pennsylvania State University, earning a Ph.D. in 2006. She has served as a postdoctoral associate in entomology at Penn State and at Cornell University. While at Penn State, she also served as a laboratory instructor for several undergraduate courses, including general biology. Plymale, who grew up in the Fort Smith area, was born in Southeast Asia while her parents were serving there as missionaries.