Stephen F. Austin State University


SFA Board of Regents approves leadership changes

July 25, 2018

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University's Board of Regents approved several leadership changes during its Tuesday meeting.

Dr. Marc Guidry was approved as associate provost for academic affairs. As a member of the SFA faculty since 1999, Guidry is familiar to many on campus. In addition to his teaching responsibilities in the Department of English and Creative Writing, Guidry has served as associate dean of the College of Liberal and Applied Arts since 2012.

He has been a member of several campuswide committees and in 2016 received a Distinguished Grant Award from the SFA Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Guidry holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Loyola University, and master's and doctoral degrees in English from Louisiana State University.

Erma Nieto Brecht was appointed executive director of enrollment management. Since 2004, Brecht has served as director of admissions at Texas Woman's University and was responsible for developing, implementing, and managing all aspects of recruiting and admissions counseling. She has 25 years of experience with documented success in increasing retention rates and enrollment.

Brecht holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Houston and is scheduled to complete a doctoral degree in higher education administration in December.

Additionally, regents appointed Ryan Ivey as the director of intercollegiate athletics. Ivey comes to SFA after serving as athletic director at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, where he was responsible for 15 sports and a $12.5 million athletics budget.

Ivey earned a bachelor's degree in sports management and a master's degree in sports commerce from the University of Memphis, where he was a punter for the football team.

From the College of Liberal and Applied Arts, Dr. Joyce Johnston was appointed associate dean of the college. Formerly interim director for the Division of Multidisciplinary Programs and French professor, Johnston has been a member of the SFA faculty since 2007. She has held many roles, including director of the Pre-Law Academy for high school students, coordinator of SFA's gender studies program and director of multidisciplinary programs. Johnston has taught all levels of French literature, language and culture; instructed graduate-level Hispanic studies; implemented study abroad trips; and served on university, college and departmental committees.

Dr. Troy Davis was named professor and chair of the Department of History. A member of the faculty since 1999, Davis has taught courses including the history of Western civilization, American history and history of Ireland. He received his bachelor's degree from Texas Christian University and his master's and doctoral degrees in modern European history from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Dr. William Bruton, associate dean and professor of physics, engineering and astronomy, was named professor and director of engineering. Bruton teaches a variety of courses and conducts research at the SFA Observatory. With assistance from many students, Bruton has discovered 11 asteroids. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from SFA and doctoral degree from Texas A&M University.

Dr. Tamara Harris was approved as associate professor and director of nursing for the DeWitt School of Nursing. For many years, Harris has worked in the medical industry in various capacities. As a nurse practitioner, she gained experience with post-operative care, patient education, and prenatal and postpartum care.

Dr. Deborah Dunn was named professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science. Dunn worked for more than five years in the industry as a programmer/analyst for a major oil company. Prior to joining the SFA faculty, she taught at various universities and colleges while also serving in leadership roles.

Regents approved Dr. Ray Darville as professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology, Geography and Sociology. Darville has served SFA for 30 years in various roles in areas such as sociology, communication, and forestry and agriculture. He was honored as Regents Professor for 2015-16. Darville received his bachelor's degree from East Texas Baptist University, master's degree from SFA and doctoral degree from the University of North Texas.

Dr. Dana Cooper was approved as professor of history and SFA 101 coordinator. Cooper has been at SFA since 2007, is a former Faculty Senate chair, and was named a Distinguished Professor in 2016. The SFA 101 program helps first-time college students as they begin their university experience. Taught by faculty and staff members from across campus, SFA 101 is a one-hour course designed to enhance student success.

Tuesday's meeting also included approvals of three assistant professors: Dr. Sarah Straub, elementary education, James I. Perkins College of Education; James Schaeffer, psychology, College of Liberal and Applied Arts; and Dr. Julie Bloxson, geology, College of Sciences and Mathematics.

Changes of status in Information Technology Services include Michael Coffee, who was named deputy chief information officer; John Parker, who was appointed director of enterprise architecture; and Meredith Baily, who was named manager of the project management office. Brandon Stringfield, security specialist, was approved as information security specialist II, and Jason Wiggins, manager of network services, was approved as assistant director of enterprise infrastructure.

In the Office of Student Affairs Programs, Lacey Folsom was named director of student engagement, Sylvester Harris was appointed assistant director of student engagement, and Emily Jefferson was named coordinator of disability support services.

Staff appointments approved during the quarterly meeting include Christopher Elliott, student athletic success trainer in SFA Athletics; Katherine Ivanic, contracting specialist in procurement and property services; and Madison Dealing, hall director in residence life.

Changes of status approved in the Department of Athletics are Jeffrey Byrd, from assistant head football coach to interim head football coach; and Christa Robinson, from graduate assistant to athletic strength and conditioning assistant.

In the Physical Plant the board approved the following changes of status: Jessica DeWitt, from project coordinator to manager of projects; Alison Ford, from supervisor of physical plant administration to manager of business; Hillary Parrish, from records administrator to manager of staff services; Johnathan Sanchez, from plant operations specialist to plant operations analyst; and Allen Singleton, from assistant manager of building trades and mechanical maintenance to manager of building trades and mechanical maintenance.

In the Controller's Office, approved changes of status include Jennie Blough, from manager of accounts payable to assistant director of accounting operations; Brittney Goad, from procurement card coordinator to manager of accounts payable; and Tambra Thompson, from Accountant II to Accountant III.

The following changes of status also were approved:

During the meeting, the board recognized Dr. Treba Marsh as professor emeritus of accounting. A longtime SFA faculty member, Marsh has served in the Rusche College of Business as lecturer, assistant and associate professor, professor, and chair of Schlief School of Accountancy.

The board approved retirements of faculty and staff with more than 80 years of combined service to the university. Retirements include Dr. Janice Hensarling, associate professor of nursing; Robert Hill, director of athletics; and Anne Uhyrek, accountant III.

By University Marketing Communications
University Marketing Communications
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