New Faculty Biographies

Brian Adams specializes in biochemistry and is specifically focused on how biochemistry affects physiology (i.e. disease). After attending the University of South Alabama for both his B.S. and Ph.D., Dr. Adams performed biomedical research as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Mercer University School of Medicine. He grew up in Pensacola, Florida and has spent much of his educational and research career in the Southeast. Outside of work, he enjoys bicycling, hiking, fishing, and has an interest in music, especially making noise with a guitar.
José Carreño-Medina specializes in Latin American and Mexican Literature and Spanish as a second language. He graduated from Universidad Internacional (Uninter), before attending the University of Missouri-Columbia for graduate school. He is from México. He loves teaching literature and Spanish as a second language. Outside of teaching, he is interested in writing poetry, travelling and soccer. 
David Chan teaches courses in creative writing (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and the graphic novel). He is the inaugural Clayton B. Ofstad Endowed Writer-in-Residence in the Department of English and Linguistics. Professor Chan holds degrees from Yale University; the University of California, Irvine; and Syracuse University.  
Arlen Egley, Jr., received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri at St. Louis, where he studied juvenile and young adult violence, in particular youth/street gangs. Since 2001, Dr. Egley has served as the administrator and lead survey and statistical analyst for the annual National Youth Gang Survey conducted by the National Gang Center, and is co-editor of The Modern Gang Reader (Oxford University Press). He received his B.S. in Justice Systems from Truman State and prior to attending graduate school was a Deputy Juvenile Officer for the Second Judicial Circuit of Missouri. He enjoys road trips, podcasts, and of course "good" music.

Joseph Fees studies medieval poetry, particularly the kharjas from al-Andalus, and the interactions of the East and West in the Middle Ages. After growing up in Pennsylvania, he attended Lebanon Valley College, where he received his B.S. He then attended the University of Texas at Austin for his Ph.D. When he is not working, Mr. Fees enjoys travelling, reading, and music.

Lisa Goran teaches in the Education Department, and has the opportunity to work with students in both education and special education.  Dr. Goran earned a PhD in Special Education from the University of Missouri.  She also holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP).  Dr. Goran serves as adjunct faculty in education and special education for the University of Missouri and has many years of experience in special education and speech-language pathology in public schools.  Her research interests have developed from her passion for teaching and include understanding the language-literacy connections and how those influence achievement for students with disabilities, as well as high-quality teacher preparation for both general and special educators.

Narelle Hillier’s area of study is physics. She graduated from Dickinson College before attending Washington University for graduate school. Her doctoral dissertation focused on experimental condensed matter physics, in particular searching for superconductivity in materials at extreme pressures. She is originally from Australia and has lived in a variety of places, the most recent being St. Louis. In her spare time, Professor Hillier enjoys reading, doing cross-stitch, playing board games, traveling, and hiking with her fiancé.

Jennifer Jones’s professional background consists of both organometallic and environmental chemistry experience. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from Roanoke College and her M.S. in Chemistry from Virginia Tech. She has taught as an adjunct instructor at Kilgore College, a full-time instructor at UT Tyler, and a HS teacher at Ashley Hall School, an all-girl’s college preparatory school in Charleston, SC.  She is one half of an educational couple – her husband, John, works in the Educational Department; they have two daughters. While not teaching, she enjoys studying Japanese, gardening, sci-fi/fantasy, literature, history, theatre, and classical music.
John Jones works in the Education Department, where he teaches MAE and pre-MAE students. His undergraduate work was completed at Georgetown University; his MA at George Washington University; and his Ph.D. at Penn State University. Previously, he was an adjunct at College of Charleston and was a high school and ES special education teacher. He is married to Jennifer Jones, who teaches chemistry at Truman. They have two daughters, a 4 year old and an 8 month old. He is a native of Boston.
Adam King
is new to Truman’s exercise science program and has special interest in motor learning and control. His undergraduate work took place at Concordia University in Chicago, while his M.S. and Ph.D. are both from Pennsylvania State University. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, biking, and camping with his wife and kids.
Lily Lee makes art in a wide range of processes from embroidery to metal fabrication, conceptually grounded on the relationship of identity and place through the lens of material culture. Professor Lee is responsible for teaching all levels of Sculpture and Fibers in the Art Department, as well as developing a new Interdisciplinary 3D Art program. She holds a BFA in Fibers (cum laude) and a BA in American Indian Studies (cum laude) from the University of Washington. At the University of Oregon, she earned her MFA in Sculpture. Throughout her adult life she has worked in a variety of labor industries including natural gas utility construction, landscape maintenance, warehouses, a car dealership, and a fastener store. She believes that these experiences have strongly informed her critical perspective of the material world and the industrial applications of much of the media she uses in her artwork. She enjoys running and antiques in her spare time.
Peng Li specializes in computer science, especially algorithms for parallel computing. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from University of Science and Technology of China  and a master’s degree from University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, both in computer science, before studying in Washington University in St. Louis. He expects to complete the PhD in 2014. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, hiking, and playing tennis.

Lok Ng specializes in music, specifically piano performance. Originally from Hong Kong and Beijing, she immigrated with her parents to the United States and attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for her undergraduate and graduate work. She then went on to the University of North Texas for her doctoral study, followed by her post-doctoral study at Manhattan School of Music. Dr. Ng has previously been an adjunct faculty member at Skidmore College, the College of Saint Rose, and Union College, all of which are located in the Albany, New York area. She loves attending all concerts (not only classical), swimming, and playing billiards in her free time.
James O'Donnell serves Truman State University as Professor of Music and Dean of the School of Arts and Letters. He holds a Doctor of Arts degree from Ball State University, an Artist Diploma from the World Federation of International Music Competitions, and a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from St. Mary's College of Maryland.  He serves the Higher Learning Commission as a Peer Reviewer, has served the National College Honors Council as a standing committee member and workshop facilitator for new Honors Program directors, and the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences as a session leader.  Before joining Truman State University, O'Donnell worked as a faculty member, Arts and Humanities Dean, Honors Program Director, and Department Chair at institutions in Tennessee, Indiana, and Nebraska.  He and his spouse, Emma, have two teenage sons.
Yung-hwal Park has done research in International strategy, corporate social responsibility, and foreign market entry strategy. He teaches International Management and Organizational Behavior. He received his BA from Yonsei University; his MBA from Korea Development Institute School of Public Policy and Management; and his Ph.D. from St. Louis University. He has worked for Hyundai Merchant Marine, Dongbu Insurance, and NeungYule Education. Outside of work, Doctor Park enjoys bike riding and racquetball.
Dennis Poepsel specializes in experimental social psychology. He holds a BA from William Jewell College, a MS from the University of Central Missouri, and a Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas. This is his first job. He is originally from St. Louis, where he attended CBC High School. He is an only child. Outside of work, he enjoys running/exercising, movies, and is the owner of a Pointer/Beagle mix named Priya.
Darson Rhodes teaches health science courses and trains students to become health education specialists. She holds a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University in Health Education. Previously, she was a faculty member in the Department of Health Science at The College at Brockport, State University of New York, but she is a Midwesterner at heart.  She and her husband have two sons (ages 8 and 5). She enjoys hiking, travelling, watching college sports, and anything else she can do while hanging out with her family.

Paul Shapiro specializes in sociology, with emphasis in deviance, health/medicine, stats/methods, HIV, forensic death investigation, gambling, and drug use.  He holds a BFA from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, a MA in Criminal Justice and a Ph.D. in Sociology, both earned at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas.  Prior to Truman he was a tenured associate professor of sociology at Georgia Southwestern State University.  Prior to academia he was a Fire Chief in NY State and Paramedic in NYC.  Dr. Shapiro enjoys travelling and recently returned from a 3-month adventure that included crossing through the Panama Canal, the Chilean Fjords, plus stops in Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, and the Amazon.
John Smelcer teaches public speaking in the Department of Communications. He has a Ph.D. from Binghamton University (a State University of New York). His education also includes post-doctoral studies at Harvard, Cambridge, and Oxford. Dr. Smelcer is the author of over 40 books and 400 publications in magazines and journals. He is also the editor-complier of dictionaries of two endangered Native American/Alaska Native languages. Raised in Alaska, he is an avid outdoorsman. Also a cultural anthropologist, Dr. Smelcer loves to travel.
Rossen Trendafilov specializes in financial economics, with concentration on market microstructure, portfolio selection, and behavioral finance. He is teaching principles of macroeconomics, intermediate macroeconomics and financial economics at Truman. He completed his undergraduate work at College of Mount Saint Vincent and his MA and Ph.D. at Fordham University. He graduated in 2012 and taught statistics and economics at Fordham and economics at Iona College. He is originally from Bulgaria. Before coming to Kirksville, he lived in New York City, where he met his wife at College of Mount Saint Vincent. Outside of work, Dr. Trendafilov enjoys photography, hiking, and biking.
Gregory Veys instructs Introduction to Leadership for the Department of Military Science.  After attending the University of Nebraska at Lincoln for his B.A. he accepted a commission in the National Guard and complete the Signal Officer Basic Course at Fort Gordon, GA.  After returning from a deployment to Afghanistan, Mr. Veys began his career as a Military Science instructor.  Outside of work, he is a motorcycle enthusiast and enjoys camping, fishing and swimming.
Evan Williams studies ethics, broadly construed to include political, social, and legal philosophy. He is especially interested in how one should act when one is not sure of what is right. In 2005, he received an A.B. from Princeton University and in 2011, completed a Ph.D. at Rutgers University. Between 2011 and 2013, he taught at Purdue University. He grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Dr. Williams enjoys finding people with whom he can debate political and social issues.
Jack Winstead specializes in accounting. His research and teaching interests include accounting systems, auditing, and cost/managerial. He earned a B.S. and Master of Accounting from the University of Tennessee at Martin. He has just recently finished a Ph.D. in Accounting from the University of Mississippi. He grew up in a college town, but is the first in his family to attend college. In his spare time, he follows college and professional football and baseball and enjoys reading biographies.
Wodika has an interest in environmental health and emergency preparedness, specifically focusing on heat wave planning and climate change mitigation and adaption. In 2005, she earned a BA in Biological Science from Aurora University and in 2009, a MS in Biological Science from Western Illinois University. In 2013, she completed her Ph.D. in Health Education at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. She is part of an academic couple; her husband (Ben) also teaches at Truman. They have a son named Avery, along with two dogs and two cats. Outside of work, she enjoys quilting, reading, cooking, gardening, and photography.
Ben Wodika
specializes in restoration ecology. Specifically, he is interested in the practice and theory of restoring degrading ecosystems. He holds a BS in Zoology and Botany and a MS in Biology from Western Illinois University. He was an instructor of biology, botany, and ecology there as well. He anticipates completing his Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University in fall 2013. His wife, Alicia, works in the H.E.S. department at Truman and together, they have a two-year old son named Avery. They also have two dogs and two cats, all of which are enjoying their new county home. Outside of work, he enjoys cycling, running, gardens, and family.