Academic Affairs Leadership & Staff
Dr. Scott Beard
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|Dr. Scott Beard has more than twenty years experience in higher education, both in the field of music and in administration. A full professor in the Department of Music, he was Coordinator of Keyboard Studies from 1998-2011. Dr. Beard was interim Dean of Graduate studies in 2010, becoming Dean in fall 2011, at which time the title Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs was also added to the position responsibilities. This title was later changed to Associate Provost in summer 2016. He assumed the position of Provost in fall 2017.
His responsibilities have included oversight of all graduate programs, as well as oversight of institutional and programmatic accreditation. Responsibilities also included cyclical program reviews, development of new degree program proposals and representing academic affairs on committees such as strategic planning, student success, commencement and diversity and equity. A major accomplishment during this time was the successful implementation of Shepherd’s first doctoral program, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP, as well as Shepherd’s first certificate program at the graduate level in Appalachian Studies.
Recognized for his outstanding teaching abilities, Dr. Beard was named 2006 West Virginia Music Teacher of the Year and was runner-up for West Virginia Professor of the Year in 2009. His students have won prizes in state, regional, national and international competitions, and have gone on to study music at conservatories and major university music schools.
Concerts as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral soloist have taken him throughout the United States and 7 countries. Recital appearances include Weill Recital Hall, the Tenri Cultural Institute (NYC), as well as numerous embassies and universities. His concerts have been praised for their poetry, passion and innovative programming. Dr. Beard is an active member of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and is a former national board member, having served as Director of the Eastern Division of MTNA. He is currently Artistic Director for the Washington Opera Society.
He has published a number of book and musical material reviews, co-authored and edited six editions of ensemble music for Alfred publishing, and a textbook on keyboard proficiency is in production with Oxford University Press.
Dr. Virginia Hicks
|Title||Assistant Provost for Academic Community Outreach|
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|Dr. Virginia Hicks is the Assistant Provost for Community Outreach. She was previously Dean of Education and Professional Studies at Shepherd University (2006-2016).
Prior to coming to Shepherd, she served as department chair in three states at a variety of levels: high school ( Iowa ), one community college ( New Mexico ) and two universities ( New Mexico and Wisconsin ). Just prior to coming to West Virginia she was a department chair in the College of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for five years.
She has been active in her professional organizations and has held leadership roles at the local, state and national level. In New Mexico she was the State President for the Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. While at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater she served a two year term as the Coordinator of the Global Access Project (GAP) for the partnership between the American Association of State Colleges and universities(AASCU) and the U.S. Department of State. In Iowa she was selected as the State Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year.
Dr. Hicks is also a wellness advocate as she has extensive experience with initiating and directing wellness programs. She is currently co-facilitation the new Wellness Strategic Plan for Shepherd University. An avid cyclist she has biked across Iowa many times and once across the country.
|Title||Dean of College of Arts and Humanities|
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|Mr. Dow Benedict is the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. For 44 years, Dean Benedict taught art, becoming Chair of the Division of Arts and Humanities in 1999, a title that changed to Dean, School of Arts and Humanities in 2003.
Dean Benedict has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking from West Virginia University and a Master of Arts in Sculpture/Drawing from the University of Missouri. Among Dean Benedict’s accomplishments as dean are overseeing the ongoing renovation of the Frank Center, which was built in 1981, and construction of both phases of the Center for Contemporary Arts. Phase one of the CCA was dedicated in 2008, followed by phase two in 2013.
Dr. Ann Marie Legreid
|Title||Dean of College of Social and Behavioral Sciences|
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|Dr. Legreid received her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her B.S. in geography from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Her specialties are cultural, urban, historical, European, and North American geography. She taught for more than twenty years in the Missouri university system and currently is professor of geography and dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Shepherd University. Her research interests lie primarily in migration and population studies, with a focus on the Nordic countries.
Dr. Legreid participated in the American Council on Education (ACE) Internationalization Collaborative, served on the Campus Leadership Team for the development of Shepherd’s “Strategic Plan for Internationalization,” and spearheaded the development of Shepherd’s new interdisciplinary Global Studies B.A. She chairs the Shepherd Internationalization Advisory Council and is the campus coordinator for Phi Beta Delta-Theta Epsilon Chapter, Honor Society for International Scholars, also serving as Vice President for the Southeast Region and a member of the national Board of Directors of the Society. Beyond that, she serves on the Board of Directors and Editorial Board of the Norwegian-American Historical Association, St. Olaf College, MN. She is a life member of Gamma Theta Upsilon, Honor Society for Geography.
Dr. Legreid was a Fulbright Scholar to Norway and the recipient of the Crown Princess Martha Award from the American Scandinavian Foundation, NY. She also completed the Management Development Program at Harvard University and the HERS Women in Higher Education Administration Program at Bryn Mawr College.
Dr. Sharon Mailey
|Title||Acting Dean, College of Education & Professional Studies • Director and Chair, Nursing Education|
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); The University of North Carolina
Masters of Science (M.S.); Joint Program with the School of Nursing and the School of Public Health at The University of North Carolina
Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program; University of Rochester
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN); Berea College
Research Interests and Expertise:
Policy and Economics
Dr. Ben Martz
|Title||Dean, College of Business|
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|Dr. Ben Martz is Dean of Shepherd University’s College of Business and holds the Edward L. Snyder Endowed Chair in Business. Ben received his B.B.A in Marketing from the College of William & Mary; his M.S. in Management Information Systems (MIS) and his Ph.D. in Business, with an emphasis in MIS, from the University of Arizona. He was one of the founding members, as well as President and COO, of Ventana Corporation – a technology, spin-off firm from the University of Arizona – incorporated to commercialize the groupware software product GroupSystems. In 1994, GroupSystems won PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award for best Electronic Meeting System software. In 1995, Ben was an Ernst & Young nominee for Entrepreneur of the Year in Arizona. Ben’s teaching interests include problem solving and creativity, business analytics, software development, groupware and team-based problem solving. He has published his groupware research in MIS Quarterly, Decision Support Systems, and the Journal of Management Information Systems and his student learning and problem solving research in Journal of Cooperative Education, Journal of Computer Information Systems and the Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education.|
Dr. Laura Renninger
|Title||Dean of Teaching, Learning, and Instructional Resources|
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|Dr. Laura Renninger is the Dean of Teaching, Learning and Instructional Resources at Shepherd. Her office oversees several university programs including Academic Support, Academic Advising, Assessment, First-Year Experience and Common Reading, Instructional Technology, TRiO, and the Intensive English Language Program. Dr. Renninger is directly in charge of faculty training and workshops. She is also Professor of Music and teaches courses in Music Psychology, World Music, and Western Music History at Shepherd University. She received her Bachelor’s of Music degree in Performance from Miami University and both her Master’s of Music and Ph.D. degrees in Musicology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Renninger’s research is concentrated primarily in the area of Music Cognition. Her research is internationally known and has been presented at several conferences throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia. She is published in Music, Mind and Science, and the leading music psychology journal, Music Perception.
In addition to her scholarship, Dr. Renninger is an accomplished musician who has had a diverse range of musical experiences and has won several awards including the Toledo Ohio Young Artist Award. She has performed numerous times as a soloist with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and has worked for several years as a rehearsal accompanist, chamber musician and organist. She currently serves as the accompanist for the Shepherd Three wind trio. She truly enjoys teaching and is very committed to broadening student horizons in the field of music. In her free time she enjoys cooking, swimming, and biking. She resides in Shepherdstown with her husband, son, and two daughters.
Dr. Richard Stevens
|Title||Dean, Graduate Studies and Faculty Affairs|
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|Dr. Richard Stevens currently serves as Dean of Graduate Studies and Faculty Affairs at Shepherd University.
Dr. Stevens was instrumental in the development of the CSDA program and has taught in the program since 2006. He joined the program as a full-time faculty in 2008. Collaboration between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs has resulted in 20 assistantships.
He has focused much of his energy on social justice and multicultural issues. He co-founded Shepherd University’s Civility Response Team and serves as Sexual Assault Victim Advocate. He has been a national presenter on sexual orientation and gender identity topics and has training as a sexual assault victim advocate and sexual harassment prevention trainer.
Dr. Stevens was recognized with as the 2010 Shepherd University Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award. He was recognized in 2012 as one of ACPA’s Diamond Honoree for service to the association and profession and 2016 with the Annuit Coeptis Award for contributions to the profession. He received the 2016 Storer College Faculty Award for his social justice work in and out of the classroom. He is a member of Chi Sigma Alpha-Student Affairs Honorary, Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Kappa Phi,and Mensa.
Dr. Stevens received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, his M.S. from Iowa State University and his BA from the College of William and Mary. Dr. Stevens and his husband currently live in Herndon, VA. In his spare time, he enjoys Taekwondo, running, MMOs, and genealogy.
Dr. Robert Warburton
|Title||Acting Dean, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics|
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|Dr. Bob Warburton is a graduate of the University of Essex in the UK and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill he came to Shepherd and now teaches Biochemistry and carries out research in Molecular Immunology. He divides his time between working with the folks in the Advising Assistance Center and the students in the sciences. His passion is in making sure that he provides the resources that students need to succeed and are prepared to take the next steps in their chosen career.|
Dr. Jason Best
|Title||Director of Strategic Research Initiatives|
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|Dr. Jason Best is the Director of Strategic Research Initiatives and Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Shepherd University. He earned a baccalaureate degree in astronomy and astrophysics from Indiana University and a doctoral degree in astronomy and astrophysics from The Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on the study of the large-scale structure of the universe and galactic evolution. Dr. Best has published and presented research in numerous peer-reviewed scientific venues, and has received research grants from the National Science Foundation and the West Virginia Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. He has supervised student thesis work at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and has been a member of the National Advisory Committee for the PRAXIS Earth and Space Sciences Examination.
Dr. Best is a member of the American Council on Education Fellows Class of 2015-16 and the Board of Directors of the Shepherd University Foundation (also serving on the Foundation’s Executive Committee), and has completed terms as President of the West Virginia Academy of Science and as a member of the Shepherd University Board of Governors. He is currently a Hub Leader of the national Pulsar Search Collaboratory, serves on the Steering Committee of the West Virginia Science Public Outreach Team, and oversees the operations of the Shepherd University Observatory.
Dr. Mark Cantrell
|Title||Honors Program Director • Associate Professor of English|
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|Dr. Mark Cantrell joined the faculty at Shepherd University in 2009, and he currently holds the position of Associate Professor in the Department of English and Modern Languages. Furthermore, he has served as the Director of the Honors Program at Shepherd since 2014. He attended the University of Georgia for his undergraduate studies, earning a B.F.A. in Drama and Theatre (1993) and B.A. in English (1996). He subsequently earned an M.A. in English (1998) and Ph.D. in English with a graduate minor in Philosophy (2005) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where his studies focused on poetry and poetics, literary theory, and twentieth-century American literature. Before coming to Shepherd, he worked from 2005-2009 as an instructor and Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.
Dr. Cantrell has published essays that treat the works of John Cage, Joan Retallack, J. L. Austin, and Jacques Derrida. He has also published an essay on teaching heavy metal adaptations of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. His main research interests include experimental poetry and poetics; the genre of the lyric; modernism, postmodernism, and the avant-garde; and the relationship of literature to other disciplines and fields, especially philosophy, art, and music. His current research project investigates how John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara, and other poets associated with the “New York School” reimagine the role of the lyric speaker in their poems.
Dr. Lois Jarman
|Title||Director, International Affairs|
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|Drr. Jarman has been a world language educator for more than fifteen years. She has taught English, French, Spanish, and Latin on a secondary and post-secondary level. Dr. Jarman received her bachelor’s degree from Goucher College, her master’s degree from Hood College, and her doctoral degree in second language acquisition from Shenandoah University. Dr. Jarman has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and South America.|
|Title||Director Cooperative Education|
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|Joe has a Masters in Student Affairs of Higher Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (1999) and an undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism from Lock Haven University (1989). Prior to working at Shepherd University, Joe was employed as a Graduate Assistant for Career Counselor Disabilities Support Services and completed practicums in undergraduate admissions and financial aid at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Previously, Joe was employed as therapeutic support staff at Indiana County Guidance Center, a Behavioral Counselor at Manito Day Treatment, and worked as a Caseworker at both Victor Cullen Academy and Choice Middle Schools Program. Joe was also employed as a financial aid counselor at both University of Maryland, College Park, and Bowie State University.|
|Title||Director of Martinsburg Center|
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|James W. Klein was named director of Shepherd University’s Martinsburg Center in January 2013. Klein spent a decade with Kaplan University, where he served as the regional director for seven years as well as an admissions advisor and sales director. Prior to working at Kaplan, he served as inside sales representative for Phoenix Mecano, Inc., Frederick, Maryland; general manager of Air-Tech Products, Inc., Hagerstown, Maryland; and program director for the Hagerstown YMCA. Klein earned an associate of arts in general studies from Hagerstown Community College and a bachelor of science in business administration from Kaplan University.|
Dr. Sylvia Shurbutt
|Title||Director, Center of Appalachian Studies and Communities|
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|Professor of English (1987); Coordinator of Appalachian Studies Programs. B.A., West Georgia College, 1965; M.A., Georgia Southern College, 1974; Ph.D., University of Georgia, 1982.
Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt came to Shepherd in 1987, having taught previously at Georgia Southern University, after receiving her Ph.D. at the University of Georgia in 1982. Dr. Shurbutt’s primary teaching and scholarly interests are English pedagogy, 19th-century British literature, linguistics, and Women’s and Appalachian studies, with her publications and research projects focusing on the work of such writers as Christina Rossetti, Jane Austen, Zelda Fitzgerald, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Robert Morgan, and Denise Giardina. Dr. Shurbutt is particularly interested in rediscovering those women writers lost from the traditional canon and has devoted her energy to seeing them in print once again, as is the case with her research of Victorian poet and novelist Caroline Sheridan Norton. Dr. Shurbutt enjoys music, flowers, and visiting her daughter who lives in New Zealand; she is an avid biker and hiker, and she enjoys traveling, in particular guiding student travel study tours at Shepherd University
|Title||Director of Study Abroad|
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|Yin Star director of study abroad, as well as a clinical faculty member at Shepherd University. Star received a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and psychology from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and a Master of Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to coming to Shepherd, Yin worked for the American Public University System in Charles Town.|
|Title||Coordinator of RBA Program|
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|Beth Thomas is the Program Coordinator for the Regents Bachelor of Arts degree at Shepherd University. Beth has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education from Bloomsburg University. After teaching business for seven years in the Loudoun County, VA, school system, Beth has spent most of her career in education working with adult learners in the credit and non–credit areas at several institutions including Hagerstown Business College, Hagerstown Community College, and Blue Ridge Community and Technical College.|
|Title||Director of Institutional Research|
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|Sara Maene earned her B.A. from Wellesley College, double majoring in both physics and astronomy. She earned a Master’s degree in astrophysics and a Postgraduate Certificate in institutional research from Penn State University. After several years as the Application Systems Specialist for Penn State’s University Testing Services, she came to Shepherd. She then worked for several years in I.T. Services, first as the Information Technology Assistant specializing in UNIX and Mac operating systems, and then as the Data Network Specialist. Since 2005, she has served as the head of Shepherd’s Office of Institutional Research, which provides institutional data to federal and state entities as well as the university community.|
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|Ginny has worked at Shepherd University for six years. Previously, she worked at St. James Brethren Church as Treasurer and Admin Secretary, Calvary Christian School and Doctors Care in various positions (Myrtle Beach, SC). She was the co-owner/bookkeeper for Haddock Paving for 35 years.|
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|Amy graduated cum laude from the University of MD University College in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is as member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Alpha Sigma Lambda Tau Chapter National Continuing Education Honor Society. Prior to her position in the Provost’s Office, Amy worked as the Administrative Associate in Shepherd’s Graduate Studies and Continuing Education Office.|