Educational Leadership Faculty & Staff

List of Faculty & Staff

 

Dr. James Ferrell, Associate Professor; Chair

Directory Profile/Contact Information for Dr. Ferrell

Dr. Ferrell is an Assistant Professor of Education and Chair of the Educational Leadership department and School Administration program. He graduated from Oklahoma City University in 1992 where he majored in history. He received a master's degree in history from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2000, and earned his doctorate from Oklahoma State University in 2008.

Professional Experience

After receiving his teaching credentials from the University of Central Oklahoma, Dr. Ferrell began teaching social studies and Spanish at Union City Schools in western Oklahoma. After passing the state certification exams for principal and superintendent he moved to Stillwater where he began working on his doctorate at Oklahoma State University. After a short stint working at Agra Public Schools where he taught social studies and Spanish, Dr. Ferrell accepted a teaching position at Caney Valley Public Schools where he taught Spanish. After two years of working in the classroom, he accepted the position of middle school principal and served in that capacity for six years.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Ferrell's research interests include poverty and the impact that can have on education, school curriculum, school reform, and equity issues.

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Dr. Alesha Baker, Associate Professor

 
Dr. Alesha Baker is an Assistant Professor in the Library Media and Information Technology program on the Broken Arrow campus. She completed her Ph.D. in Educational Technology from Oklahoma State University with a cognate in Online Teaching. Dr. Baker earned her Master of Science degree in Library Media and Information Technology in 2011 and her Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education in 1999, both from Northeastern State University.

Professional Experience

Dr. Baker taught in the public schools for 13 years, 10 years as a special education teacher and three years as a school librarian. She also has experience teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses which include multiple Library Science courses, Academic Strategies, and Applications of Educational Technology. Dr. Baker currently serves as chair for the Master of Science in Library Media and Information Technology program at Northeastern State University.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Baker's publications and conference presentations include topics in open educational resources and teacher professional development. She received a research fellowship from the Open Education Group and has presented at local, national, and international conferences.
 

Dr. Renée Cambiano, Professor

Directory Profile/Contact Information for Dr. Renee Cambiano

Dr. Renee L. Cambiano is tenured Professor of Education on the Tahlequah campus. She holds a doctorate in adult and vocational education from the University of Arkansas, a M.S. in instruction and curriculum leadership from the University of Memphis, and a B.S. in biology with a fisheries emphasis from Northeastern State University.

Professional Experience

Before coming to Northeastern State University, Dr. Cambiano was a Visiting Assistant Professor for the Department of Educational Leadership at the University of Arkansas where she taught Educational Research and Elementary Statistics and Data Processing for several doctoral programs. Dr. Cambiano has been a faculty member at NSU since 2000 and has served as the Department Chair for Educational Foundations and Leadership, Faculty Council President, President's Executive Council, and Graduate Council chair as well as many other University and College level committees. Dr. Cambiano's teaching field includes adult learning, learning styles, brain-based learning, instructional strategies, educational and action research, educational measurement, and she is Dunn and Dunn Learning Styles Certified. She continues to serve as the outside research methods member of several doctoral students dissertation committees.

Dr. Cambiano currently serves as program chair for the Master of Education in Instructional Leadership and the Master of Science in Higher Education Leadership programs at Northeastern State University.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Cambiano has published and presented at regional, national, and international conferences. She has published chapters such as Infusing yourself into the backstory: A multidimensional case study perspective, Sequencing instruction in global Learning communities and Learning styles relating to adult students. Her research interests include learner-centric instruction, innovative immersive learning environments, cultivating global-minded citizens, online instruction, curriculum reform, the ubiquitous infusion thinking (UIT) strategy, internationalizing teacher education, community-based leadership, reform, and educational equity. She has received the NSU Circle of Excellence in Research, the College of Education Outstanding Faculty in Research, Oklahoma Higher Education Conference Innovation in Teaching and Learning award and in 2016 received the President's Model the Way award.

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Dr. Ron Cambiano, Assistant Professor

Directory Profile/Contact Information for Dr. Ron Cambiano

Dr. Ron Cambiano is an Assistant Professor of Education on the Tahlequah campus. Dr. Cambiano earned his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from the University of Tulsa and his Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of New Mexico.

Professional Experience

Dr. Cambiano served as NSU Dean of Student Affairs for more than 20 years. Currently, he serves as Special Assistant to the NSU president to whom he reports and works on a regular basis. His main functions are to work with the president to provide leadership and oversight for key planning and implementation processes that impact teaching, research, and service functions at NSU.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Cambiano coordinates the university's efforts for the Northeast Oklahoma Regional Planning and Making Place Matter efforts where the university has made a commitment to the region to establish alliances for regional stewardship. Dr. Cambiano also serves as the NSU liaison to the Cherokee Nation, working closely with the Principal Chief, Secretaries of State, Leadership, Education, Career Services, Cultural Resources, and the Tribal Council.

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Dr. Karen Carey, Professor

Directory Profile/Contact Information for Dr. Karen Carey

Dr. Karen Carey is a tenured Professor of Education on the Tahlequah campus. She holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education with a math minor, and a master's degree in education administration with an Oklahoma elementary principal certificate. She completed a doctorate degree in adult education in May 2001 from the University of Arkansas. Dr. Carey has over twenty years of experience in higher education. She teaches graduate educational research courses in the College of Education (COE), Honors University Strategies and directs the NSU Honors Undergraduate Research Program.

Professional Experience

Her public school teaching experience includes two years of sixth grade at Spring Branch Independent School District in Houston, Texas, and seven years teaching math and language to fifth and sixth graders in Moore, Oklahoma at Plaza Towers Elementary. She was voted Teacher of the Year by her building peers during her last year in public education. In 2001, Dr. Carey was appointed director of the newly developed honors program and has since mentored over 130 undergraduate students engaged in a six hour research component.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Carey is acting president of American Association of University Professors at NSU and serves as standing chair of the NSU Honors Council Advisory Committee. She is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council and is a published author, as well as a Dewberry award recipient for outstanding faculty in the area of research. She teaches Educational Research online with multiple certifications in online course training, and serves as an online course reviewer, as well. In 2015 she was awarded the distinguished honor of NSU Centurion presented by President Steve Turner.

Dr. Carey serves on the COE college development committee, the COE scholarship committee, as well as alumni relations and development committees. She also chairs the undergraduate research college selection committee. She is an ad hoc member of the NSU Undergraduate Research Day committee, as well.

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Dr. Kelli Carney, Associate Professor

Directory Profile/Contact Information for Dr. Kelli Carney

Dr. Kelli Carney, Assistant Professor of Library Media, joined the faculty at Northeastern State University in 2012. Dr. Carney earned her PhD in Curriculum Studies from Oklahoma State University in 2013. She is an alumnus of NSU, earning degrees in both Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education (1998), as well as a Master's degree in Education (2002) and Library Media Certification (2005).

Professional Experience

Following her degrees at NSU, Dr. Carney earned National Board Certification in Library Media in 2007. Dr. Carney has over 13 years of experience in the public schools, which includes teaching fourth grade for six years and serving as a school librarian for seven years.

Service and Scholarship

She is an active member of the Oklahoma Library Association and the American Library Association as well as the Oklahoma School Librarians (OKSL) and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) divisions. She also serves as the faculty sponsor for the Library Media & Information Technology Student Association (LMITSA) at NSU and enjoys her time spent mentoring and advising school librarian candidates.

Her research interests include children's reading motivation, reading attitudes, perceptions of school librarian roles, and developing empathy with literature.

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Dr. Maria Gray, Associate Professor

Directory Profile/Contact Information for Dr. Maria Gray

Dr. Maria Gray joined the faculty of NSU in 2015 as an Assistant Professor on the Broken Arrow campus. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and her Master's of Science in College Teaching the Language Arts from Northeastern State University. In 2007, she earned her Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Oklahoma State University.

Professional Experience

Dr. Gray has taught in higher education for over 14 years. She has experience teaching traditional, online, and blended courses, having worked at Tulsa Community College, University of Arkansas, and Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Gray's publications and conference presentations include topics in technology in education, online learning, classroom management, leadership, and English Composition. She has served as curriculum co-chair, assessment coordinator, and committee member for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education English PASS Standards Review. Dr. Gray is a certified Phi Theta Kappa Leadership Instructor, and she serves as the NSU Review of Online Course (ROC) Coordinator. She has been recognized with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Online Excellence Award, the John & Susanne Roueche Excellence in Teaching Award, and the OSU A&M Regents Distinguished Teaching Award.

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Dr. Kari Henry Hulett, Assistant Professor

Directory Profile/Contact Information for Dr. Kari Henry Hulett

Dr. Kari D. Henry Hulett is an Assistant Professor in the Instructional Leadership program on the Broken Arrow Campus. Dr. Henry Hulett holds a Ph.D. in Leadership from University of the Cumberlands. She earned her Masters of Education in Educational Technology from American College of Education, and her Bachelor of Arts  in English Education from Northeastern State University.

Professional Experience

Dr. Henry Hulett has over 20 years of experience spanning common education through college and adult continuous learning in both traditional and online learning modalities.

Before coming to NSU, Dr. Henry Hulett worked at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT), where she served as Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning Innovations, the founding Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, and Director of Academic Excellence and Distance Learning.  She also served as faculty in the School of Arts, Sciences, & Health, teaching Freshman Composition, Speech, and Technical Writing.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Henry Hulett has presented at state and national conferences on various topics, including leadership in the classroom, technology in education, faculty professional development and self-efficacy, and quality in distance learning. 

She is a certified peer reviewer for Quality Matters and serves as a peer reviewer for Lilly Conferences and the Online Learning Journal.

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Dr. Barbara Jones, Assistant Professor

Directory Profile/Contact Information for Dr. Barbara Jones

Dr. Barbara Jones holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma in instructional leadership and academic curriculum. She is a certified elementary principal and classroom teacher in early childhood, elementary, and MS Language Arts.

Barbara and her husband Ron have three children, a daughter-in-law and son-in-law, a grandson and granddaughter, two dogs, Sisse, a black lab, and Louie, a standard poodle. She serves as a praise singer and Sunday school teacher at her church, enjoys RVing, and cooking for family and friends in her free time. She enjoys coffee breaks, reading, new recipes, and spending time with her grandbabies, Jax and Della. 

Professional Experience

Before her employment with Northeastern State University, Dr. Jones worked at Broken Arrow Public Schools as a site principal. Barbara has been an adjunct Instructor and University Supervisor working with pre-service teachers at the University of Oklahoma in Tulsa for the past five years. She is excited to be serving her alma mater as a full-time faculty member in the College of Education.

Service and Scholarship

Her current research interests include how elementary principals can better support early childhood teachers and students, school funding, and raising student achievement through school improvement strategies and curriculum development.

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Dr. Paula Schornick, Professor

Directory Profile/Contact Information for Dr. Paula Schornick

Dr. Paula Schornick is a tenured Associate Professor of Education, Co-Chair of the School Administration program and offices on the Broken Arrow campus. She received a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in 2008 from the University of Oklahoma, a Master's Degree in School Administration in 1997 from the University of Oklahoma, and a Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Mathematics Education in 1994 from Northeastern State University.

Professional Experience

Dr. Schornick has served 23 years in education including working as a high school mathematics teacher and head coach, college mathematics instructor, high school administrator, university director, and university assistant and associate professor. She is very involved in exercise and fitness and teaches both indoor spin classes and group fitness classes in Claremore.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Schornick provides test preparation seminars for students throughout the state and has served as a consultant for Cameron University. Dr. Schornick also works closely with future principals and superintendents across the state to prepare them for the Oklahoma principal and certification exams. Her research interests include instructional leadership and professional development.

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Dr. Sophia Sweeney, Professor

Directory Profile/Contact Information for Dr. Sophia Sweeney

Dr. Sweeney is a Professor of Educational Leadership. She teaches action research, advanced educational measurements (assessment), differentiated instruction, and capstone.  

Professional Experience

Dr. Sweeney earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in science education from the University of Arkansas. She also has master's degrees in both biology (plant ecology) and early childhood education. She worked as a field biologist the past several summers, conducting plant surveys and monitoring American Burying Beetle populations.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Sweeney's research interests include nature of science, science with young children, and assessment methods.

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