RSU Appoints Several New Faculty Members for Coming School Year

Rogers State University has announced the appointment of several new full-time faculty members, including a computer scientist from the former Soviet Union, a Tulsa television news director and an instructor who will establish the university’s first music program.

The faculty appointments were approved by the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, the governing board for RSU, at a meeting in Ardmore on June 28.

The new faculty members, who will begin work this fall, include Joseph Cernuto, music instructor; Dr. Joy Hadwiger, assistant professor of criminal justice; Dr. Yasoma Hulathduwa, assistant professor of biology; Dr. Dennis Kramer, assistant professor of psychology; Dr. Vadym Kyrylov, associate professor of computer science; Dr. Gregory Thompson, assistant professor of humanities; and W. Lee Williams, communications instructor.

Joseph Cernuto will establish a new music program at RSU, including a jazz band that will give concerts and perform at campus and community events. Previously, Cernuto was director of bands at West Rowan High School in Mount Ulla, N.C. He also taught at high schools in Florida and served as a teaching assistant at the University of Florida. He has experience as a music educator, band director, jazz musician and musical theatre musician. He received master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Florida.

Dr. Joy Hadwiger is a specialist in criminal justice and is a former longtime employee of the Oklahoma State Department of Corrections, serving in a variety of roles. She is the co-author of “Wrongful Convictions: Evidence from Oklahoma’s DNA Exonerations” in the Criminal Law Bulletin. She recently served as a graduate teaching assistant at Oklahoma State University and adjunct professor in criminal justice at RSU. She is expected to earn a doctoral degree in sociology from OSU this summer. She has a master’s degree from OSU and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Dr. Yasoma Hulathduwa, a biologist, served as a graduate teaching assistant in biology at Louisiana State University, where she received a doctoral degree. She also received a bachelor’s degree in zoology at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Nugegoda, Sri Lanka. She is a native of Sri Lanka. Her research interests include pollutants in the environment and animal physiology.

Dr. Dennis Kramer last served as a visiting professor at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. He also served on the faculties of Middle Tennessee State University, the University of South Florida and the University of Florida. He has written extensively on the effects of alcohol consumption on behavior. He received doctoral and master’s degrees in clinical psychology from the University of South Florida and a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University.

Dr. Vadym Kyrylov has conducted extensive research in simulation and gaming technology, the pedagogy of gaming in business education, robotics, computer network development and software engineering. He holds Canadian citizenship and served on the faculty of Simon Fraser University in Surrey, British Columbia. He was the recipient of a Fulbright research scholarship from the U.S. Information Agency and a grant from NATO to develop a computer network in Russia. He was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Illinois and Iowa State University. He received a doctor of engineering sciences degree from the Higher Academic Qualifications Commission in Moscow and completed his education at the Air Defense Graduate Radio Engineering College in Kharkov, Ukraine, in the former Soviet Union. He earned a master’s degree from Kharkov State University.

Dr. Gregory Thompson comes to RSU from Florida State University where he worked as an instructor in theatre, English and the humanities. He also taught at New York University and Florida Community College in Jacksonville. He is author of the book “Spectator Sports: Fans, Consumers and Corporate Culture.” His teaching and research interests include theatre and film history, consumer culture, the works of Shakespeare, and the connection of theatre and religion in popular culture. He received a doctoral degree in interdisciplinary humanities from Florida State University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of South Florida.

W. Lee Williams, who will teach in the RSU communications program, formerly served as news director for KTUL Channel 8 in Tulsa and a freelance producer for NBC News. Previously, he worked in the news departments of television stations in St. Louis, Mo., and Phoenix, Ariz. He is a former instructor at Tulsa Community College. He received a master’s degree from the University of Illinois and a bachelor’s degree form the University of North Texas.

Fall classes on the RSU campuses in Claremore, Bartlesville and Pryor begin on August 17. For information about enrollment, call (918) 343-7546 or 1-800-256-7511.