Professorships

Albemarle Engineering Endowed Professor

Dr. Lionel Hewavitharana

Associate Professor of Engineering

Dr. Lionel Hewavitharana obtained his BS degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka in 1984. After his graduation, he worked as a mechanical engineer for a year and joined the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka as an Instructor. He taught Heat Transfer, Heat transfer and Thermodynamics Labs and engaged in research activities related to rice bran stabilization for about nine years. In 1994, he became a graduate student at Louisiana Tech University.  He obtained his MS degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1997 and earned PhD in 2003.  He specialized in Thermal and Fluid Sciences for both of his graduate degrees. In the academic year 2002-2003, he taught at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville. Dr. Hewavitharana became an instructor in the Mechanical Engineering Program at Louisiana Tech University in 2003 and taught Statics, Strength of Materials, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, and Fluid Mechanics Labs. In 2007, he joined the Ventech Engineering and its subsidiary company as a mechanical engineer. In January 2012, he joined the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Department of the University of Central Florida (UCF) and became the lead instructor in Capstone Design. In addition to teaching the MAE Capstone Design course at UCF, Dr. Hewavitharana also taught Heat transfer, Measurements, Solid Mechanics, Dynamics of Machinery, and engaged in academic and professional advising. During his tenure at UCF, he led the MAE department effort to develop a $200,000 dedicated studio facility for Capstone Design.

Dr. Hewavitharana’s research interests are in the area of Thermal and Fluid Sciences.  In Thermal and Fluid Science area, he is especially interested in Macro and Micro Energy Systems, Numerical Heat Transfer, and Experimental Heat Transfer.

Dr. Ralph Boulware Professor of Agriculture

Dr. Jeffry Miller

Associate Professor of Agriculture/Chair, Dept. of Agriculture

Dr. Jeff Miller was hired as the new Agriculture Department Chair in August of 2009. He received a B.S. in Agriculture from Berea College; earned a M.S. Degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee; and received A PhD in Animal Science from the University of Arkansas. Dr. Miller teaches courses in Reproduction, Swine Production, Poultry Production, Anatomy and Physiology of Farm Animals.

College of Education Alumni Endowed Professor

Dr. Neelie Dobbins

Associate Professor of Education/Chair of Teacher Education/MAT Director

Neelie Dobbins is an Associate Professor of Education in the College of Education at Southern Arkansas University. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a minor in Secondary Education in 2001 and in 2003 a Masters of Education. In 2009 Dr. Dobbins received a PhD in General Track Education with an emphasis on Instructional Facilitation in mathematics from Walden University. Dr. Dobbins is the Chair of Teacher Education and MAT program director. She is also the CAEP coordinator for the College of Education.

Dr. Dobbins has taught grades 6 – 12 and spent over 15 years in K-12 classrooms helping teachers be the best they can be. Dr. Dobbins has done extensive research on mathematics coaching/instructional facilitation and has acquired many school partnerships working to build exemplar coaching programs in schools. Dr. Dobbins collaboration and school partnerships allow her to continue to work with students on a weekly basis and stay up to date with school curriculum and the implementation of best teaching practices.

Dr. Larry Embree Endowed Professor

Dr. Abraham Tucker

Chair and Associate Professor of Biology

Abe Tucker is chair of the Department of Biology and Associate Professor of Biology and an evolutionary geneticist. After completing a B.S. in Biology at University of Southern Maine (2003), he completed his Ph.D. in Genetics at University of New Hampshire (2009), and was a postdoctoral scientist at Indiana University (2009-2013). Dr. Tucker’s research interests include comparative and population genomic approaches to understanding the forces of genome evolution (e.g., mutation, selection, drift, recombination, and population structure) in different ecological and population-genetic environments. His studies have described the genomic implications for the evolution of asexuality (i.e., loss of recombination), as well as the evolution of mutation rates. In Dr. Tucker’s lab at SAU, students can gain experience in a number of research areas including field collection of organisms, live-culture maintenance, molecular biology lab work, and bioinformatic analysis of genetic/genomic data. He currently teaches Genetics, Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Biology, Principles of Biology I, Viral Genetics, and Genome Evolution.

James I. Freeman Accounting Endowed Professor

Dr. Shane Warrick

Associate Professor of Accounting

Shane Warrick, Ph.D., CPA, is a member of the Southern Arkansas University accounting faculty and holds the Freeman Professorship of Accounting.  He obtained a BBA from Southern Arkansas University, an MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and a doctorate from Jackson State University.  He is a member of the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy.  He has coordinated and served as a speaker for the SAU College of Business CPE Days.  Additionally, he has been a speaker for the Arkansas Society of CPAs.  He has published in Accountancy Business and the Public InterestJournal of Ethical and Legal Issues, Journal of Finance and Accountancy, Journal of Business, Industry, and Economics; Journal of Business Administration Online; Review of Business Information Systems; Research in Higher Education Journal; and the College Teaching Methods and Styles Journal.  Prior to his academic career he worked in public accounting with KPMG and in private accounting with Murphy Oil Corporation and International Paper Company.  Dr. Warrick is a member of the Arkansas Society of CPAs, South Arkansas CPAs, and an educational associate of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

John G. and Pierrette Phillips College of Business Endowed Professor

Dr. Christie Hough

Associate Professor of Management and MBA Director

Dr. Christie R. Hough is an Associate Professor of Management at Southern Arkansas University.  She received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Mississippi State University, and while there she also earned her Master of Business Administration in Accounting.  In 2011, Dr. Hough earned her PhD in Business Management from Jackson State University.  Dr. Hough is also the Director of the MBA program at Southern Arkansas University.  

Dr. Hough has been teaching students at Southern Arkansas University since 2011.  She has taught students how to excel in several different ways, but especially through: Ethics/ Leadership, Organizational Theory and Behavior, Human Behavior in Organizations, and International Business.  Dr. Hough’s extensive research in Human Behavior, Ethics, and many other areas help her stay up to date with higher education and the implementation of the best teaching practices.

John G. and Pierrette Phillips College of Science and Engineering Endowed Professor

Dr. Md Karim

Associate Professor of Computer Science/Chair, Math and Computer Science Department/ Director, Computer Science Graduate Program

Dr. Md Karim is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and the Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the Southern Arkansas University. He also serves as the Director of the Computer Science graduate program. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and began his career as a cybersecurity researcher at the Center for Secure Cyberspace at the Louisiana Tech University. Dr. Karim worked on various cybersecurity projects sponsored by DARPA, AFOSR and AFRL, and published numerous papers and book chapters on cybersecurity. His research interests include active authentication, malware analysis, and brainwave security.

Ronald T. LeMay Professor of Business Management

Dr. Ken Green

Professor of Management

Ken Green holds a BS degree from the University of Arkansas at Monticello and an MBA and DBA degrees from Louisiana Tech University.  He has been teaching at the university level for over forty years and has experience managing in both the public and private sectors.  In collaboration with his research partners, he has published eighty research related articles.  Of those articles, three appear in elite A-level journals, thirty appear in A-level journals, six appear in B-level journals, and ten appear in C-level journals.  As of October 30, 2020, his articles have been cited 5,375 times.  His primary area of expertise is supply chain management.  He has been teaching and conducting research at Southern Arkansas University since 2009.  He received the 2019 Honor Professor Award.

Lowell A. Logan Endowed Professor of Biology

Dr. Rory Carroll

Assistant Professor of Biology

Rory Carroll is a wildlife ecologist and the Wildlife and Conservation Biology program advisor. He began his undergraduate work in the Pre-Medicine program at Mercyhurst University before receiving his B.S. in Biology from SUNY Plattsburgh (2013) with minors in Chemistry and Ecology. He earned a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Science from the University of New Hampshire (2019) where his research focused on long-term trends in bobcat (Lynx rufus) populations in a rapidly developing region. He also studied college teaching at UNH’s Center for Excellence and Innovation in College Teaching. His broad research interest is in exploring how human resource use affects the animals with whom we share the landscape. He uses sophisticated tools like genetic and stable isotope analyses to understand the ecology of wildlife species and populations. Dr. Carroll enjoys working with local schools and organizations to help communities develop the knowledge and desire to reach conservation goals and sustainably coexist with wildlife. He teaches courses in Wildlife Ecology, Mammalogy, Natural Resource Policy, Ecology, Conservation Genetics, and Principles of Biology.

Lowell A. Logan Endowed Professor of Biology

Dr. Jeremy Chamberlain

Assistant Professor of Biology

Jeremy Chamberlain received his B.S. in Biology from the Iowa State University (2009), his M.S. in Biology from the University of Texas at Tyler (2011), and his Ph.D. in Applied Bioscience from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (2016). His dissertation work focused on understanding how variation in prey availability among populations of water snakes shaped their life-history patterns. After earning his Ph.D., he worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (2016-2018). His research interests are broad but focus on physiological responses of animals to environmental change. Most of his current work examines variation in energy allocation patterns to components of the life-history. As a herpetologist, his research often utilizes reptile and amphibian models, as these taxonomic groups are under-represented in ecological and physiological research. Additionally, Dr. Chamberlain is interested in exploring the distribution of reptiles and amphibians in Arkansas and the surrounding area, with a focus on conservation and public outreach.  He teaches Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II, Vertebrate Physiology, Zoology, Vertebrate Zoology, and Herpetology.

Lowell A. Logan Endowed Professor of Biology

Dr. Abigail D’Ambrosia

Assistant Professor of Biology

Abby D’Ambrosia is a paleoecologist, paleoclimatologist and the Marine Biology program advisor at SAU. She received a B.A. in Geology from Smith College (2007), an M.S. in Geology (2012) and a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Science (2018) from the University of New Hampshire. Her research has examined paleontological, stable isotope, and geological evidence recording a series of extreme global warming events that took place during the early Eocene Epoch ( ~55 million years ago). She has experience teaching courses in global environmental change, sedimentology, stratigraphy and marine geology at a number of universities, including University of New Hampshire, Boston College, and Amherst College. Now at SAU, Dr. D’Ambrosia’s research uses fossil evidence to study climate-ecosystem interactions to investigate the impacts of climate change events on ancient animals and ecosystems. In particular, Dr. D’Ambrosia’s research interests at SAU will include local marine paleoecology, where she will study the impacts of global climatic shifts on the marine realm of ancient Arkansas throughout the Paleogene Period (~66 to 34 million years ago). At SAU, she teaches Principles of Biology I, Marine Biology, Oceanography, Marine Geology, Paleobiology, and Global Environmental Change.

 

 

Lowell A. Logan Endowed Professor of Biology

Dr. James Hyde

Assistant Professor of Biology

James Hyde is an Assistant Professor of Biology and a neuroscientist. He received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Central Arkansas (2007) and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (2013) where he studied the neural connections of brain structures associated with sleep and waking.  Dr. Hyde was a microscope imaging specialist for the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Tokyo, Japan (2007-2008) and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pittsburgh (2014-2018), where he used miniaturized microscopy to study neural correlates of obsessive compulsive disorder in mouse models.  His research interests include using brain calcium and voltage sensitive microscopy in conjunction with electrophysiology to record the neural activity patterns associated with animal behavior.  Dr. Hyde mainly studies the neural patterns of sleep and waking across mammalian and insect systems, but is interested in a variety of behaviors ranging from choice to predation.  This research also extends into using a variety of dye and viral imaging techniques with confocal microscopy to study the three-dimensional architecture of brain structures involved with these behaviors.  He teaches Neuroscience, Developmental Biology, Cell Biology, Human Genetics, and Principles of Biology II.

Lowell A. Logan Endowed Professor of Biology

Dr. Daniel McDermott

Assistant Professor of Biology

Daniel McDermott received his B.S. in Human Biology at Chadron State College (2008) and his Ph.D. in Immunology at the University of Iowa (2013). Daniel McDermott was an INBRE student during his undergraduate studies, examining the efficacy of colostrum antibodies against the bacterium Clostridium perfringens. His graduate research focused on understanding how T cells are activated following viral infections, as well as tracking virus- specific T cells following infection. Following his doctoral thesis, Dr. McDermott performed his postdoctoral studies at the University of Colorado-Denver, examining the immune response against the gut-associated bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. In a continuation of these research studies, his current research interests involve understanding the impact of microbial signals on the maturation process for the various types of macrophage phagocytosis. This includes isolating phagosomes from pre-stimulated macrophages, and then examining the accumulation and progression of maturation proteins on the phagosomes over time. Dr. McDermott was an Adjunct Faculty member at Metropolitan State University-Denver for three years, teaching General Biology and Microbiology. He currently teaches Principles of Biology, Microbiology for Nursing, and General Microbiology.

Peoples Bank Endowed Dean’s Chair

Dr. Robin Sronce

Dean, Rankin College of Business

Dr. Robin Sronce currently serves as Dean of the David F. Rankin College of Business at Southern Arkansas University and Peoples Bank Endowed Chair.  Sronce received her doctor of philosophy degree in Business Administration in 2003 at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, where she also earned her MBA in 1997. She received her BA at Drury University, majoring in business administration and sociology and minoring in economics.

Sronce is an advocate for global education. She has previously lead MBA and undergraduate students on numerous trips to China and Greece. She is committed to growing the travel and travel scholarship program for the Rankin College of Business. 

Alumni engagement is another priority for Sronce.  The Backpack to Briefcase program, the Executive Network, RCB on the Road, Business Advisory Council, and recently launched RCB Mentoring program are opportunities for students to gain professional expertise while interacting with alumni.

New programs developed since Sronce joined the Rankin College of Business include an International Business Major and MBA emphases and graduate certificates in Business Leadership and Data Analytics.

Sronce serves as a volunteer for AACSB and recently lead the RCB through a renewal of its AACSB accreditation.

Her teaching experience includes human resource management, project management, international management, professional business experience, and social entrepreneurship.

Affiliations and memberships include Magnolia Rotary Club; Women in Business Education; Southern Business Administration Association, AACSB; Society of Human Resource Management; and Organizational Behavior Teaching Society.

G. Puterbaugh Professor of Free Enterprise

Dr. Jennifer Logan

Professor of Economics

Dr. Jennifer Logan serves as the Puterbaugh Professor of Free Enterprise.  She has a Ph. D. in Economics from the University of Oklahoma.  Dr. Logan has been at Southern Arkansas for almost 12 years.  She received the endowed Puterbaugh Professorship of Free Enterprise in 2012.  She teaches a variety of classes in economics and finance, promoting economic decision-making and free-enterprise throughout.  In addition, she serves as the Director of the Center for Economic Education and Research (CEER).  As CEER Director, Dr. Logan has an opportunity to work with other educators to promote economic education throughout the state by advocating for legislation that promotes K-12 economic and personal finance instruction.  CEER provides training opportunities for teachers by sharing best practices and engaging activities, as well as writing and revising student curriculum to enhance learning experiences.  Dr. Logan also engages in collaborative research projects with colleagues to assess economic understanding and find new ways to motivate and engage students.  

Jean McFadden Turner Professor of Business Management

Dr. Timothy Wise

Associate Professor of Management

Dr. Timothy Wise is the Turner Professor of Management at the Rankin College of Business at Southern Arkansas University. Dr. Wise received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in education from Louisiana Tech and taught for two years in the public school system. Following this, Dr. Wise returned to Louisiana Tech and received an MBA. This was followed by a DBA (Doctorate in Business Administration) with a major in Management and minors in Marketing and Industrial Psychology. During his time at Southern Arkansas University, Dr. Wise has taught management and marketing classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He also served as the chair of the Department of Management, Marketing, and Information systems for over a decade. Dr. Wise’s research interests are in case research, creativity, and personality theory.

Faculty/Staff Support Endowments awarded by Southern Arkansas University Foundation

Albemarle Engineering Professorship Endowment: Funds provided by Albemarle Corporation to provide a professorship in Engineering.

Louis Blanchard Accounting Professorship Endowment: Funds provided by alumni, family, and friends of Mr. Louis Blanchard to provide a professorship in Accounting. Previously awarded to: Dr. Terrye Stinson

Boulware Agriculture Professorship Endowment: Funds provided by Dr. and Mrs. Boulware to establish a professorship for the Department of Agriculture.

College of Education Alumni Professorship Endowment: Funds provided by alumni to provide a professorship in the College of Education.

Dr. Larry Embree Professorship: Funds provided by Dr. and Mrs. Embree for a professorship in the College of Science and Engineering. Previously awarded to: Dr. Claude Baker

James I. Freeman Accounting Professorship Endowment: Funds provided by James I. Freeman to provide a professorship in Accounting.

John G. and Pierrette Phillips Professorship in the College of Business Endowment : Funds provided by the Estate of John G. Phillips to provide a professorship in the College of Business.

John G. and Pierrette Phillips Professorship in the College of Science and Engineering Endowment: Funds provided by the Estate of John G. Phillips to provide a professorship in the College of Science and Engineering.

Ronald T. LeMay Professorship Endowment: Funds provided by Mr. Ron LeMay to provide a professorship in the College of Business. Previously awarded to: Dr. Beverly Oswalt and Dr. Azmi Ahmad

The Lowell A. Logan Professor of Biology Endowment: Funds provided by Dr. and Mrs. L. A. Logan to provide a biology professorship. Previously awarded to: Dr. Kate Sheehan, Dr. Antoinette Odendaal, Dr. Mikolaj Sulkowski, Dr. Shawn Krosnick and Dr. Pablo Bacon

Peoples Bank Dean’s Chair, Rankin College of Business, Endowment: Funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. Harold Fincher and Peoples Bank to endow the Dean’s Chair, Rankin College of Business. Previously, the endowment was named the Peoples Bank Professorship of Finance and was awarded to: Dr. David Ashby

G. Puterbaugh Free Enterprise Professorship Endowment: Funds provided by the Puterbaugh Foundation to provide a professorship in Free Enterprise. Previously awarded to: Dr. David Rankin and Marshall Horton

John G. Ragsdale, Jr. and Dora J. Ragsdale Endowed Chair of Arkansas: Funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. John G. Ragsdale, Jr. to provide a professorship in Arkansas History. Previously awarded to: Dr. Ben Johnson

Dr. David F. Rankin Economics & Finance Professorship: Funds provided by James I. Freeman in honor of Dr. David Rankin to provide a professorship in Finance. Previously awarded to: Dr. Limount Zhao

Jean McFadden Turner Professorship Endowment: Funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. John Turner for a professorship in the College of Business.

Mission Statement

The mission of Southern Arkansas University Foundation is to assist and coordinate in raising and managing funds and resources on behalf of Southern Arkansas University to be used exclusively in furthering the literary, scientific, and educational purposes of the university.

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