Minot State announces 12 new faculty members for Fall 2019

MINOT, N.D. – Minot State University is pleased to announce 12 new faculty members have joined the University after completing nationwide searches in seven departments.

Joining the University are B. Thorpe Halloran, biology; Kara Nunziato, communication disorders; Karen Foley, early childhood education; Sam Stinson, English; C. Sophia Rammell, foreign language - Spanish; Ashley DeMakis and Lisa Krogman, nursing; Pam Ondracek and Chenmu (Julia) Xing, psychology; Lacey Corneliusen, social work; Zac Cunha, teacher education and kinesiology; and Laura Zucca-Scott, teacher education.

“All of us at Minot State are excited to welcome our new faculty members to campus,” Minot State Vice President for Academic Affairs Laurie Geller said. “They bring a wealth of energy, talent, and expertise to Minot and the campus community. I look forward to working with them in the coming year.”

Houston, Texas native Halloran earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M, a master’s from Texas State, and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State. He comes to Minot State from Lake Superior State and taught at Juniata College.

Communication disorders
Nunziato returns to her Alma Mater as the 2012 graduate in communication disorders will now teach in the department. Nunziato, a Minot native, also earned degrees at Williston State (associate) and the University of North Dakota (master’s), and is working towards a second master’s degree in education in autism and applied behavioral analysis. She was the speech-language pathologist at Erik Ramstad Middle School for five years. Along with teaching, Nunziato is a high school volleyball coach, serving as head coach at Our Redeemer’s Christian School for the past seven years.

Early childhood education
Foley comes to Minot State after working as the PK-2 facilitator with the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD), working with classroom teachers and administrators sharing latest practices. She has also taught kindergarten within the EPISD and was selected for District Employee of the Month. Foley earned an elementary education degree from Minot State and an instructional specialist master’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Stinson comes to Minot State from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia where he taught in the 2018-19 academic year. The Bowling Green, Kentucky native earned his Ph.D. in English from Ohio University in 2018. He also holds degrees in biblical studies and computer science from Western Kentucky. In his spare time, Stinson enjoys walking and biking.

Foreign language – Spanish
Rammell begins her first year at Minot State having finished as a postdoctoral associate in the Neuroscience of Language Lab at Duke University (2017-19). She earned her bachelor’s degree in romance languages from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and both her master’s (Hispanic linguistics) and doctorate (Hispanic linguistics, cognitive science) from Indiana University. Along with teaching, Rammell recently completed the training to be an EMT.

DeMakis has been a nurse for 18 years, working at Trinity Health, where she taught the computerized electronic health record training, for the past 15 years. She taught a certified nursing assistant class for one year. DeMakis is a 2001 graduate of the University of North Dakota and earned her MSN-nursing administration degree from the University of Phoenix in 2019. She has been a certified aromatherapist for three years.

Custer, South Dakota native Krogman has over 30 years of experience working in a variety of nursing environments including the past Dean of Nursing at Western Dakota Technical Institute in Rapid City, South Dakota. She most recently taught the past four years at National American University in Rapid City. Krogman, who loves crafts, sewing, and stamp collecting, earned her MSN in family nurse practitioner from Clarkson College in Omaha, Nebraska.

Ondracek has taught as an adjunct professor at Minot State prior to her appointment in Fall 2019 as a tenure-track professor. The Parshall native earned a Ph.D. in experimental psychology with major area in cognitive development and minor area in reading from the University of South Carolina in 1995. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and composition with a music minor (Montana State University, 1980) and a master’s in general psychology with emphases in cognitive development, school psychology, and gerontology (Cal State-Fresno, 1990). Along with her Minot State adjunct experience, she has been a home school teacher and school psychologist. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys traveling with her family, visiting 35 countries so far.

Xing is originally from Shanghai, China, having come to Minot State from her postdoctoral fellow in psychology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Xing served as an adjunct assistant professor in educational psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. She earned her Ph.D. in cognitive studies in education from Columbia University in 2016. Xing enjoys reading, especially history, and making Asian dumplings and flower arrangements.

Social work
Corneliusen earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana in 2008 and a Master’s in Social Work from Walla Walla University in 2010. She has been a licensed clinical social worker in North Dakota since 2013 and is currently working toward her doctorate in social work. The Glendive, Montana native has called Minot home since 2011 working in private practice. Corneliusen and her husband, Blake, have one son, Archer, and enjoy spending time with her family, anything sports related, and traveling back Montana.

Teacher education and kinesiology
Cunha returns to Minot State where he earned two degrees, a Bachelor of Science in Education (math and physical education) and Master of Science in Sports Management. Originally from Rocklin, California, Cunha taught and coached at Roseville High School before coming back to MSU. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys watching and coaching football and playing golf.

Teacher education
Zucca-Scott was born in Livorno, Italy and earned a Ph.D. in teaching and learning from the University of North Dakota. She was an education professor at Blackburn College in Illinois for more than 10 years prior to coming to Minot State. A writer of poetry, she has been published in both English and Italian and has earned awards for her poetry in Italy. Zucca-Scott loves the outdoors and she and her husband, Paul, participate in fishing tournaments.

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 08/30/19   

» More MSU News