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.
Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic
|Title||Director, Academic Innovation Initiatives|
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|Ph.D. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2011
Dr. Howard-Bostic is the chair of the Sociology, Criminology, and Criminal Justice department. She joined the Department of Sociology and Geography in the Fall of 2013 and accepted the position of department chair in the Fall of 2015. Howard-Bostic is also the coordinator of the department’s internship course, SOCI 419 – Internship in Sociology/Criminal Justice. She teaches criminal justice courses such as Introduction to Criminal Justice (CRIM 200), Juvenile Delinquency (SOCI 312), Gender and Crime (CRIM 399A), and Criminology (SOCI 402), as well as General Sociology (SOCI 203) and Social Stratification (SOCI 321). Dr. Howard-Bostic received the 2015 SU Outstanding Teacher Award and is featured on the READ Poster in the Scarborough Library. In 2017, she received the Outstanding Service Award.
Dr. Howard-Bostic was the first recipient of Shepherd’s Storer College Award, which recognizes faculty who incorporates diversity and social justice into his or her classroom, research, scholarship, and interaction with students. Howard-Bostic has infused service learning opportunities in her course design. She has also facilitated university service learning projects, community-based youth programs, and international learning initiatives. She has participated in international projects in Cuba, Jamaica, and Vancouver. Howard-Bostic has also established strong relationships with several state and local organizations that service homeless persons, lower-income residents, and battered women. She writes grants as a member of several executive boards and non-profit organizations to service marginalized populations.
Dr. Howard-Bostic’s research and journal publications have advanced the study of cross-cultural motivations for aggression, transformational leadership, and intimate partner violence. The studies offer support and perspectives that embrace diversity and promote social justice initiatives. Howard-Bostic has also represented Shepherd as the keynote speaker at several conferences/events and her research is published in several peer-reviewed academic journals. You can download her articles, presentations, and course lectures at www.chowardbostic.com.
Grants & Awards
2018 Distinguished Alumni Award, Educational Opportunity Program, University of NY at Buffalo
2017 Shepherd University Outstanding Service Award
2015 Paul and Lisa Welch Foundation Endowment Award
2015 Shepherd University Outstanding Teacher Award
2015 West Virginia’s Remote Online Collaborative Knowledge System (WVROCKS) Grant
2014 Storer College Faculty Award, SU Diversity and Equity Committee
2014 West Virginia FACDIS International Professional Development Research/Travel Grant
Dr. Sharon Mailey
|Title||Dean, College of Nursing, Education, and Health Sciences • 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, Ruth Scarborough Library and Center for Teaching, Learning, and Instructional Resources (CTL)|
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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, School of Graduate and Professional Studies|
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|Dr. Richard Stevens currently serves as Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional 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 Tudor
|Title||Dean, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences|
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|Dr. Robert Tudor serves as the Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. He is also a professor and the Director of Vocal Activities in the School of Music. Prior to his appointment as Dean, Dr. Tudor was the Chair of the Department of Music at Shepherd University from 2012-2019. His multifaceted career has included work as a professional singer, educator, and non-profit executive, including leadership positions at Jacksonville University (JU), The Florida International Festival, The Association of Boarding Schools, American Classic Voyages, and Levine School of Music.
Robert served as Chair of the Division of Music at Jacksonville University from 2006 to 2012. While there, accomplishments included partnering with Jacksonville University’s College of Fine Arts Dean and Board of Trustees to lead a $.5 million a Kawai Elite Performance Instrument Collection (EPIC) partnership campaign, and developing recruiting strategies to double enrollment of music majors. Within the College of Fine Arts he partnered with the Chair for Visual Arts and Vice President for Academic Affairs to develop clearer procedures for faculty to report creative and intellectual activities, and co-led an initiative with colleagues from the Division of Theatre and Dance to generate annual collaborative performance projects.
Advocacy, entrepreneurship, and external partnerships have been his greatest priorities. He has empowered faculty to develop service-learning courses that develop skills in entrepreneurship and arts education. He partnered with organizations like the Jewish Community Center of Jacksonville and the Chamber Music Series at the Church of the Good Shepherd (among others) to bring innovative, student-driven programming to wider audiences. He also participated in fundraising campaigns with Family Promise of Jacksonville – a non-profit, interfaith hospitality network providing temporary assistance, hospitality and case management for families with children experiencing homelessness. In 2011, he directed The Rhythm of Life – a music theatre and dance collaborative, proceeds of which benefitted The Boys’ Home Association and Family Services of Jacksonville.
As Director of Opera and Music Theatre, he served as musical director for JU productions of Company, Oklahoma!, Ragtime, and Chess, and stage director for Dido and Aeneas, Chess, The Apple Tree, The Gondoliers, and created innovated opera and music theatre workshop productions annually.
As a singer, Robert has been praised by The Washington Post for his “powerful singing voice,” and “notable acting skills”. He has performed opera, musical theatre, cabaret, and concert works throughout the United States. Roles have included Papageno in The Magic Flute, The Lecturer in Dominick Argento’s monodramatic opera A Waterbird Talk, Freddy in My Fair Lady, and Murdoch in Titanic – A New Musical. Concert works include the Requiems of Faure and Durufle, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Schubert’s Mass in G, and Saint-Saens’s Christmas Oratorio. Robert is a regular guest artist with the Montana Early Music Festival, and artist and instructor at the annual Helena Choral Festival in Helena, Montana.
A champion of innovative performance practice, Robert designed thematic art song recitals and concert works employing simultaneous projections of visual media (including paintings, sculpture), inspired by the poetry of the text, and performed them in the Washington, DC area, and in venues in North Florida. He created the role of Gouvenor Morris in Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia’s commissioned work Nancy, by Garrison Hull, and premiered an orchestral work for baritone and oboe soloists by Lawrence Moss, entitled Dawn to Dawn – Five Poems of the Tang Dynasty.
Robert received a Doctorate in Musical Arts in Voice Performance from the University of Maryland, College Park; a Master of Music from the University of Miami, and Bachelor of Music from Stetson University. Awards include a 2003 Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council, 2004 Artist of the Year from Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, and 2009 Institutional Award for Excellence from Jacksonville University.
Dr. Robert Warburton
|Title||Dean, College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics|
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|Dr. Bob Warburton is an honors graduate of the University of Essex at Colchester, completing research with Professor Ken Douglas, in the UK. Dr. Warburton earned his Masters and Ph.D. in the laboratory of Professor David Seybert at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. After completing an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship in the the laboratory of Professor Jeffrey Frelinger of the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill he came to Shepherd.
Currently Dr. Warburton divides his time between his role as Dean, working with the the members of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and teaching Biochemistry while carrying out collaborative research in Molecular Immunology studying cellular models in the pursuit of developing effective Breast Cancer Immunotherapies.
As Chair of the Pre-Professional Advisory Committee, Dr. Warburton works closely with students preparing for professional careers in Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Medicine.
His passion is in making sure that he provides the resources that Shepherd 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 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.|
Dr. Sylvia Shurbutt
|Title||Director, Center of Appalachian Studies and Communities and APST Board Member|
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|Dr. Shurbutt is an Appalachian scholar and teacher whose research has dealt with most of the major writers and figures in the region: Frank X Walker, Crystal Wilkinson, Charles Frazier, Wiley Cash, Ron Rash, Nikki Giovanni, Silas House, Jayne Anne Phillips, Fred Chappell, Robert Morgan, Denise Giardina, and others. She was the 2015 President of the Appalachian Studies Association, 2016 ASA International Conference Chair, and Director of the National Endowment for the Humanities Teacher Institute: Voices from the Misty Mountains and the Power of Storytelling (2013-). Shurbutt is editor of the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, was State Chair of the WV Advisory Council of Faculty and ACF Legislative Coordinator, served as a Trustee for the Contemporary American Theater Festival (2009-19), is a member of the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, UK, and was the 2006 West Virginia Professor of the Year. Shurbutt enjoys biking, hiking, music of all kinds, and travel, both here and abroad–particularly to New Zealand to visit her daughter Rae and her family. She is the originator of the Shepherd University Celtic Roots and Global Appalachia Program which encourages travel abroad and study abroad. Shurbutt has spear-headed the development of the three current APST curricular programs at the Shepherd University: the APST minor, the graduate certificate, and the MA in Appalachian Studies.
Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, Professional Vitae
|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.|
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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.|
|Title||Sr. Administrative Coordinator to the Provost|
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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.|