Listening Session Facilitators
Co-Facilitators/Task Force Members
Dr. Tat Chan
Dean, College of Business, Technology & Professional Studies
Professor of Computer Science
Dr. Chan earned his doctorate degree in computer science from University of Southwestern Louisiana (now known as University of Louisiana at Lafayette) in 1994. He joined Methodist University as a faculty member in the Computer Science Department in 2001. He served as chair of the department from 2005 – 2011. As department chair, he led the effort to restructure the Computer Information Technology (CIT) program and added a concentration in Interactive Multimedia Application Development in the CIT major. He also coached students to compete in the ACM Mid-Atlantic Regional Programming Contest. He was appointed Dean of Science and Human Development in 2011. As school dean, he supported and contributed to the university’s initiative of starting an engineering program in the school. He was the founding director of the summer STEM Camp for middle school students in 2012 at MU and served as the camp’s director for the next five years. While Dr. Chan is grateful for the opportunities to serve the university in various capacities, his passion remains in his classroom. Courses he has taught are in the areas of Intro to Programming, GUI development, Operating Systems Concepts, Database Management Systems, Data Structures/Algorithms, Theory of Computation, System Design and Analysis, and Web Programming. His research interests include Mobile Computing, Software Maintenance, Programming Concepts, and Database Management and Technologies. In his leisure, he enjoys spending time with his family, nature walks, and reading.
Dr. Carla Fagan
Chair & Associate Professor of Social Work
Dr. Fagan began teaching at Methodist University in August 2011 after teaching full time for one year at Southwest Minnesota State University, where she also served as Director of Field Instruction and Student Social Work Association Advisor. Born and raised in New York City, she began teaching as an adjunct in 2001 at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY. She also taught at Brooklyn College (CUNY) and Yeshiva University’s Stern College.
It was her very positive experience as an adjunct that motivated her to return to school for her doctorate, which she earned in May 2010, allowing her to fulfill her desire to teach full time in a university. Her dissertation examined the impact of demographics, social support and health beliefs on adherence to hemodialysis treatment regimen. Her 20 years as a nephrology social worker inspired this dissertation topic. Her research interests include health disparities, ethics and aging.
Dr. Fagan brings to Methodist University over 30 years of practice experience in the areas of juvenile justice, child welfare, AIDS services, nursing home services and nephrology social work. She is a regular at Chapel on Wednesdays and enjoys participating in activities to support MU and its students. Her community interests include homeless services, working to achieve social justice, and policy advocacy.
Dr. Kathy Fick
Chair & Professor of Mathematics
Her current research focus is in K-16 mathematics education. More specifically, research focus areas include future educators’ mathematical understanding and preparation; teachers’ mathematical content knowledge, understanding, and training; the development of children’s algebraic and geometric understanding, procedural versus conceptual error analysis, the use and understanding of manipulatives; STEM/Mathematical critical thinking; Calculus sequence preparation; and mathematical literacy. In the area of pure mathematics, prior research focused on boundary value problems for ordinary differential equations and dynamic equations on time scales. She has taught First Year Seminar, Introduction to College Mathematics, Finite Mathematics, College Algebra, Integrated Pre-calculus, Pre-calculus I-II, Calculus I-II, Differential Equations, History of Mathematics, Modern College Geometry, and Mathematics for Teachers I-II.
Dr. Rakesh Gupta
Board of Trustees
Basic medical education in India and post-graduate training in New York City. Practiced in Fayetteville for 30 years before retiring from private practice in July 2020. Semi-retired “Gastro Doc,” currently teaching surgical residents at the VA hospital. Interested in listening and learning of MU students’ perspectives on race, racial justice, and making MU a more just campus environment.
Dr. Mark Kline
Chair, Psychology & Sociology
Associate Professor of Psychology
I came to Methodist University with a wide variety of lifetime experiences. I went to high school in Alice Springs, Australia and enlisted in the U.S. Navy following graduation. After trying my hand at construction, food service, and insurance sales, I landed on the academic path and haven’t looked back.
I am primarily interested in the relationship between belief and experience as influences on behavior. Early in my career I focused on the topic of alcohol use in adolescents. My experiences at Methodist University have expanded those interests into the realm of PTSD and to a focus on intervention studies surrounding binge drinking and academic performance. I have recently been addressing the topic of social media use and negative impacts that come from that.
My passion is to find new and engaging approaches to teach students about Psychology. I have used zombies, teenagers, and research projects to allow the world of Psychology to come alive for the students.
Dr. Amy Spence
Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Coordinator
Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy
Dr. Spence has practiced in a variety of settings, acute, rehabilitation, and pain units, and has 20 years’ experience as a school-based clinician. Her professional history includes a Bachelor’s of Music with a concentration in Music Therapy from the University of Dayton, collaboration with the Every Moment Counts project, adjunct professor at Sinclair Community College, and a clinical tutor at Xavier University. Research and clinical interests include sensory processing disorders, early intervention and collaborative approaches, and transition programming for adolescents and young adults. She is licensed to practice in Ohio and North Carolina, and has served as Pediatric Chair for Ohio’s Occupational Therapy Association- West Central Ohio District, and is a Transition Member on the AOTA Pediatric Workgroup.
Dr. Kevin Swift
Associate Professor of Mass Communications
Dr. Swift earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park in Journalism and Public Communication. Kevin is a veteran of broadcast news in many capacities. He worked as a writer/producer and reporter for several TV and radio stations in the Youngstown, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pa. area (WBZY, WKBN, WTAE and several cable stations). He also served as an anchor/reporter for the award winning news team at WVLK News in Lexington, Ky. Swift has worked extensively as a voice over artist for organizations such as The Red Cross, NPR/Health Beat, Ford and hundreds of local TV and radio spots. Before joining the faculty at Methodist University, Kevin taught at Catholic University, the University of Maryland and Missouri State University. His research interests include FCC policy and media literacy.
Dr. Drew Ziegler
Chair, Political Science
Director, Tally Leadership Center
Coordinator, Leadership Studies
Andrew Ziegler joined the full-time faculty of Methodist University in 1998. He helped design the MU Leadership Program in which students can receive a Minor in Leadership Studies or Church Leadership. Recently, he helped develop the Leadership Fellows Program. In April 2014, Dr. Ziegler received the MU Cleveland Award for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2017, he was named the Lura S. Tally Professor of Leadership. His two favorite courses are LSS 3000 Principles of Leadership and PSC 4600 Political Science Senior Seminar.
Before coming to Methodist, Dr. Ziegler served as an Infantry officer in the United States Army, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was commissioned through ROTC at Florida State University. His military awards include the Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, Air Assault Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and Army Commendation Medal. One of his favorite Army assignments was teaching Political Science at the United States Military Academy at West Point. His advanced degrees are in Political Science from the University of Florida.
His publications include articles in peer-reviewed journals, a book chapter, and a co-edited book on comparative politics. He has also presented papers and served on panels at various academic conferences.
Currently, Dr. Ziegler serves on the board for Fayetteville’s Institute for Community Leadership and volunteers with the Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Alliance. Previously, he served on the Executive Council of the North Carolina Political Science Association.
Dr. Ziegler enjoys traveling, jogging, and dancing, and he is President of the Cape Fear Ballroom Dancers. He and his wife, Kalli, have been married for over 40 years, and they reside in Fayetteville, NC. They have two adult daughters and three grandchildren.
Technical Support/Research Team
Dr. Suzanne Blum Malley
Professor of English
Suzanne Blum Malley is provost at Methodist University. Dr. Blum Malley holds a Ph.D. in English: Rhetoric and Composition Studies from Northern Illinois University, an M.A. in Spanish Applied Linguistics and Hispanic Literatures, and a B.A. in Spanish, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her areas of research include multilingual and digital literacies and globally networked learning environments. She is passionate about supporting student success.
Dr. Patricia Fecher (Listening Session Tech Support)
Director, Teaching and Learning Center
Instructor of Education
Dr. Paul Knudson
Associate Professor of Sociology
Dr. Knudson is Associate Professor of Sociology at Methodist University. His teaching and research interests surround inequality, race, education, and urban affairs. Prior to teaching at the college level Dr. Knudson worked at a civil rights organization and a worker justice organization in Chicago, Ill.