Eric Johnson, PA Director
Eric Johnson is the director of the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program. He is a physician assistant and a clinical assistant professor working in critical care and emergency medicine in Columbia. Prior to Stephens, he served as vice president for the Missouri Academy of Physician Assistants and was the program’s director for the University of Missouri’s Physician Assistant Residencies in Acute Care Medicine and Hospitalist Medicine. He also was the academic adviser for the University of Missouri’s Pre-PA Association, helping future PAs attain admission into PA school.
Johnson earned his undergraduate degree in General Studies with an emphasis in biology, chemistry and philosophy from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He graduated from Missouri State University in 2009 with a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. Prior to his career as a physician assistant, he was a paramedic and volunteer firefighter with 14 years of experience. He considers himself privileged to have assisted at both Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, as a FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Specialist with Missouri Task Force One.
Margaret Ledda, HIA Director
Margaret Ledda, MBA, RHIA, has been the director of the Health Information Administration program at Stephens since 2009. Prior to that, she was an adjunct instructor for the HIA program. Ledda is a graduate of both St. Joseph's College in Patchogue, N.Y., and Dowling College in Oakdale, N.Y., and has recently relocated to Missouri. Her background is in healthcare administration/management, in both clinical and ambulatory settings. Ledda has been a volunteer firefighter/EMS member for the last 26 years and is also a member of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation Team, an international network of Critical Incident Stress Management teams, service providers, administrators, researchers and educators who function in the field of activity associated with critical incident stress and post-trauma syndromes.
Terri Benskin, Adjunct Professor
Terry Benskin is an adjunct professor in the HIA program. She earned her B.S. in Criminal Justice at Central Missouri State Missouri, a B.S. in Health Information Administration from Stephens College, a master’s degree in health administration from the University of Missouri and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Health Informatics at MU. She is a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) and a Certified Coding Specialist (CCS). She works full-time as the manager of coding and data management at an academic medical center. She is currently serving on the Review Panel for Perspectives in Health Information Management; a peer-reviewed research journal published by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). She was named the Missouri Health Information Management Association (MoHIMA) Rising Star in 2014. Terri was a task force member for the Standard of Ethical Coding with AHIMA in 2016 and is a past Vice-President of the Mid-Missouri Health Information Management Association (Mid-MoHIMA). She has presented regionally, nationally, and internationally on the topics of Recovery Audit Contractors (RAC), ICD-10, Coding and Patient Safety Events.
Megan Blakemore, Assistant Professor
Dr. Megan Blakemore, a physician assistant, is the academic coordinator and an assistant professor with the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program. Blakemore has worked as a physician assistant with Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital for the last eight years. She served as the TAVI coordinator and was instrumental to the development of the program.
Blakemore is certified in Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, has served as a P.A. mentor and participates in the University of Phoenix mentor program. She earned her Doctorate of Health Administration from the University of Phoenix in 2013, her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Missouri State University in 2007, and her B.S in Biology from the University of New Mexico in 2005.
Prior to becoming a P.A., Blakemore served over six years on active duty in the United States Army as a medical specialist.
Sara Carpenter teaches core school counseling courses. As a certified K-12 school counselor, Sara has practiced as an urban elementary school counselor and a high school counselor where she was heavily involved in the creation and implementation of a transition program for underserved incoming freshmen students. Most recently, she directed an inclusive summer camp for children with developmental disabilities and oversaw non-profit programming for individuals with disabilities. She is currently finishing her doctoral degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis in Counselor Education, focusing primarily on school counseling and counseling children and adolescents.
Cindy Dixon, Assistant Professor
Cindy Dixon teaches several clinical medicine courses in the Master of Physician Assistant program in which students gain a greater understanding of disease processes, diagnosis, treatment and other skills necessary to become an exceptional clinician in the medical field. Her work experience includes 16 years in the behavioral health field in Missouri and California, and seven years as an EMT/Paramedic in Jefferson and St. Francois counties in Missouri. She taught as an adjunct instructor for psychology, sociology and some science courses at Jefferson Community College, East Central Community College and Missouri Baptist College, all of Missouri. Beginning in 2011, Dixon worked as a physician assistant, primarily in emergency medicine, in Missouri as well as four other states. She has a M.M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies from Saint Louis University (2011); a M.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University (1994); and an A.A. in General Studies from Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Mo., where she also completed the EMT and Paramedic Program (2003).
Mary Amanda Haskins, Assistant Professor
Mary Amanda Haskins is an assistant professor in the Health Science program at Stephens. She received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Health Education from Mississippi University for Women, the first state-supported college for women in America. She completed her doctoral work and served as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Mississippi, where she also coordinated a student and employee weight management health program. Haskins is published in the International Journal of Health Sciences, Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology and The Journal of Safety, Health and Environmental Research. She has presented her research on weight management at the Society for Public Health Education and findings from an osteoporosis study at The American Academy of Health Behavior.
Her other areas of interest in health promotion include nutrition and health disparities. Haskins recently completed her dissertation that focused on risk factors associated with osteoporosis among African American and Caucasian mother-daughter pairs. She enjoys cooking, running, attending barre dance classes and SEC football season.
Kelly Hulse, Assistant Professor
Kelly Hulse is an assistant professor of equestrian studies. She has been a trainer and instructor at Mark Hulse Stables in New Bloomfield for more than 20 years. She is a licensed USEF judge. She is a past board member of the Missouri Horse Shows Association. She has also been an instructor at Kelwood Stables in Oregon City, Ore., and at Sea Beauty Farms in Chesterfield, Mo. She has a B.S. in Equestrian Science from William Woods University.
Kristen Langellier, Assistant Professor and Practicum and Internship Coordinator, M.Ed. Counseling Program
Kristen Langellier teaches various core program courses, but this fall will be teaching the Core Counseling Skills course, which is one of her favorites. She has worked in a variety of settings and clients, ranging from college campus counseling to the criminal justice system as well as veterans and individuals from the LGBTQ+ community. She holds a Ph.D. in Counseling and Counselor Education from Idaho State University and an M.A. and a B.A. from the University of Illinois in Springfield. Langellier is a member of the American Counseling Association, Association for Counselor Educators and Supervisors, the Association for Humanistic Counseling, Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans Issues in Counseling, Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development, and Chi Sigma Iota, a counseling honors society. She also is a National Certified Counselor and holds licensure as a LPC in Idaho. Her research involved feminist issues in counseling, from the experiences of feminist-identified counselors and counselor educators, to factors that affect clients, such as classism, sizeism, racism, sexism and women’s rights.
Debeshi Majumdar, Assistant Professor
Dr. Debeshi Majumdar is an assistant professor of chemistry in the School of Health Sciences. She completed her Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Physiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2009 after which she did a post-doctoral fellowship in cancer biology at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Memphis. Majumdar first joined Stephens College as an adjunct faculty, but her passion for teaching and love for students motivated her to join the institution as a full-time faculty member. She recently received a Missouri Campus Compact mini grant.In addition to teaching, she loves to spend time with her husband and her five-year-old daughter.
April Martin, Adjunct Professor
April Martin is an adjunct professor in the HIA program. She is the HIM director for Southeast Health in Cape Girardeau, Mo. She earned her doctorate in business administration (DBA) from Baker College and has a master's in strategic leadership (MSL) from Stephens College. She earned her bachelor's degree in HIM from the University of Cincinnati. She has worked in HIM since 1995 and holds the following industry credentials: Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA), Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security (CHPS), Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) and Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS). She serves on the Old St. Vincent de Paul parish council; enjoys reading, sewing, swimming, cycling and bowling. She also likes spending time with friends and family, including her husband of 25 years, her children and grandchildren and their two Siberian Huskies.
Dr. Eric Marx, Associate Professor of Psychology
Prior to coming to Stephens, Dr. Eric Marx was a senior lecturer in the School of Psychology at Australian Catholic University. He has also held positions at the University of Southern Queensland and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He earned a Ph.D. from Georgetown University Graduate School, Department of Psychology, a master's degree from Harvard Divinity School and a B.A. in Philosophy from Ouachita Baptist University. He is an executive board member for the Association for Moral Education and is a member of International Society for Justice Research.
Heather Matthews, Assistant Professor
Heather Matthews is a physician assistant working in hospitalist medicine at University Hospital in Columbia. She is an assistant professor for the Physician Assistant Studies program as well as the clinical coordinator. Matthews is also the assistant program director for the University Hospital Physician Assistant Fellowship in Hospitalist Medicine.
Matthews attended the University of Missouri-Columbia for undergraduate studies where she earned a B.A. in Philosophy. She is a graduate of the University of North Dakota with a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. Prior to her career as a physician assistant, she was a paramedic with 17 years of experience. Matthews has extensive knowledge in team building and tactical medicine and has taught these subjects on a national level.
Dr. S. Hasan Naqvi, Medical Director
Dr. S. Hasan Naqvi is the medical director for the Physician Assistant Studies program. He is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician and works as a hospitalist and division director of Hospital Medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He earned his medical degree from Allama Iqbal Medical College, Punjab University Lahore, Pakistan. Naqvi completed his Internal Medicine residency training from Lutheran Medical Center, Brooklyn N.Y., where he also served as chief medical resident.
He has served as medical director for Hospital Medicine at Columbus Regional Healthcare, Columbus, Ga.; clerkship director for Internal Medicine, Mercer University School of Medicine Columbus Campus, Ga.; and clinical assistant professor, Mercer University School of Medicine, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and Mercer University Physician Assistant Program. He is dedicated to medical education and works as assistant professor of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, program director for Hospital Medicine Fellowship and medical director for Hospital Medicine Physician Assistant Fellowship. He is actively involved in clinical research and his interests are patient safety, clinical quality improvement and new drug trials. He is also Fellow of American College of Physicians (FACP) and Fellow of Hospital Medicine (FHM).
Sara Linde Patel, Instructor; Program Coordinator of Equestrian Studies
Sara Linde Patel graduated from Stephens College and has been riding and competing since 1986. In her youth, she successfully competed on various levels of the Greater Arkansas Hunter Jumper Association. Having worked in various aspects of the industry, her knowledge ranges from training and teaching hunter jumpers to assisting at a major equine breeding facility and managing one of the top hunter jumper facilities in Dallas. Linde Patel was also a veterinarian technician for a small and large animal practice. She has been successful locally as well as on the “A” circuit of the North Texas Hunter Jumper Association as a coach and competitor. In addition to barn management in Dallas, she maintained a steady flow of up to 60 riding students as well as multiple horses in her training program.
Dr. Jeff Phillips, Associate Professor
Dr. Jeff Phillips, an associate professor of life sciences, specializes in ecology, and his research interests focus on the factors determining mate selection in largemouth bass, and the consequence that mate selection has on survival of the young. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University.
Dr. Erin Sellner, Assistant Professor
Dr. Erin Sellner is an assistant professor of biochemistry in the School of Health Sciences. She received her B.S. in Animal Science with minors in Rural Sociology and English from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Animal Science, with emphasis areas in Reproductive Physiology and Molecular Genetics, and a doctoral minor in College Teaching.
Sellner’s research focus is in using genomic (allelic mutations and expression characterization) tools and analyses to explain behavioral phenotypes, utilizing diverse model organisms from pigs to fruit flies to bacterial colonies. Moreover, she is passionate about interdepartmental and community outreach to increase the recruitment and retention of women in STEM education and careers.
Dr. Crina D. Silasi-Mansat, Assistant Professor
Dr. Crina Silasi-Mansat is an assistant professor in psychology where her specialization is in cognitive psychology. Silasi-Mansat recently finished her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University, College Station, and has an M.A. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma. Her B.A. is in Law from Babes-Bolyai University (Romania). She has taught courses in introduction to psychology, developmental psychology, advanced statistics and SPSS, and theories of learning and cognition. In addition, she has specialized skills in statistics and software including SPSS, SAS, Matlab, Mplus, R and speaks six languages (Romanian, French, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian and English).
Bob Sobule, Assistant Professor and Clinical Lab Manager
Bob Sobule will be assisting with a number of classes in the Master of Physician Assistant program in the with hopes of instilling in students a greater understanding of mental health issues and finding ways to better meet the needs of Missourians with mental health issues. He is currently completing his post-graduate fellowship in psychiatry with the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Before becoming a physician assistant, he worked for University of Missouri Health Care as an ambulance EMT and an ER tech in the emergency room. Sobule also worked as a teaching assistant in the Shelden Clinical Simulation Center with the MU School of Medicine. He has an M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies from Missouri State University and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Missouri.
Dr. Carrie Whittle, Assistant Professor
Dr. Carrie Whittle is an assistant professor of mathematics and physics. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas (Mathematics). Her research interests are in the field of combinatorial group theory, specifically the word and conjugacy problems for automorphism groups of right-angled Artin groups and the time complexity of algorithms solving these problems.
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