Faculty & Staff Directory

Name & Contact Bio & Website
Dr. Dennis Leone
Assistant Professor
220D, Columbus Center
Dr. Leone joined the EDAD faculty in August 2010 as an assistant professor, after working five years as an Ashland University adjunct instructor at the Columbus Program Center.  Since 1980, Dr. Leone has served administratively in Ohio as a pre-school director, a junior high principal, an assistant superintendent, and for 23 years as a local superintendent and a city superintendent in three different Ohio school... Read More

Dr. James Lifer
223, Dwight Schar College of Education
Dr. Lifer, Professor, has completed more than 40 years as a faculty member in the College of Education, He has served as Director of Student Teaching, Department Chair, and Coordinator of Computer Education. He assisted with the development of the Master of Education Program, and the early field experiences for career exploration in the elementary education area. Dr. Lifer holds degrees from Ashland College and Ohio... Read More

Jessica Lyons
Professional Instructor
320, Patterson Instructional Technology Center
Jessica Lyons earned her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Bowling Green State University in 2007.  Following her graduation, Jessica taught English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in Japan. After returning to the United States, she studied TESOL from the University of Findlay and earned her M.A. in early 2013. Currently, Jessica is working for Ashland University’s ACCESS Program, where she helps... Read More

Dr. Marian Maxfield
Assistant Professor
257, Dwight Schar College of Education
Dr. Marian Maxfield, Assistant Professor, joined Ashland University faculty, specifically the Curriculum and Instruction department and Educational Technology team in 2011. She has taught in public and charter schools in face-to-face and fully online and designed online curriculum for K-20 learning environments. She designed and taught English and Math curriculum for 8-12 grade online students and multiple online... Read More

Nancy McGraw
Administrative Assistant
160, Dwight Schar College of Education
Dr. Nate Myers
Associate Professor
224, Dwight Schar College of Education
Ph.D. University of Kentucky, B.A. Mount Vernon Nazarene College.   Nate is Associate Professor of Educational Foundations where he teaches courses in the History and Philosophy of Education and Research Methodology.  Nate is interested in the intersection of faith, politics and education in public life, and has published in that area. Nate also has an active research agenda focused on the Internationalization of... Read More

Dr. Brandi Noll
Assistant Professor
167, Dwight Schar College of Education
Dr. Brandi Noll, Assistant Professor, joined the Ashland University faculty in 2011. Her prior experiences in the field of education include teaching at both private and public schools, and serving in such roles as teacher, reading tutor, reading specialist, literacy coach and as a professional development provider for area schools.  Prior to coming to Ashland, Dr. Noll was a part-time faculty member at The... Read More

Dr. James L. Olive
Assistant Professor
226, Dwight Schar College of Education
Dr. James Olive, assistant professor of leadership studies, joined the Ashland University faculty in 2010. He is assigned full time to the doctoral program in leadership studies and has chaired or co-chaired 6 doctoral dissertations to completion. His areas of expertise are research methodologies and issues related to diversity. Dr. Olive earned his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, as well as an M.S. in Educational... Read More

Dr. Jane Piirto
Trustee Distinguished Professor
247, Dwight Schar College of Education
Dr. Jane Piirto, Trustees' Distinguished Professor, has been at Ashland University since 1988. She teaches in the Department of Inclusive Services & Exceptional Learners and the Doctoral Program in  Leadership Studies. She is Director of Talent Development Education. In 1998 she was appointed Trustees' Distinguished Professor. She has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mensa Research and Education... Read More

Mary Reynolds
Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director
Executive Director Columbus Center Office, Columbus Center
Mary Reynolds joined Ashland University Columbus Center in 2007 in the M.Ed. Program office. In 2010, she moved to the Executive Director’s office, where she performs Center-related and Graduate Programs duties. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University and resides in Hilliard.

Jan Rinehart
Professional Instructor
169, Dwight Schar College of Education
Janet Rinehart joined the Ashland University College of Education in 2000 as a Professional Instructor. Mrs. Rinehart's areas of expertise include state-based early childhood curriculum and methods, classroom management and ELL instruction in Early Childhood classrooms. Additionally she co-developed, coordinated, taught and supervised in a Study Abroad Program in Wittenberg, Germany. This program has included 91... Read More

Dr. Deanna Romano
Associate Professor
250, Dwight Schar College of Education
Dr. Deanna Romano, Associate Professor, joined Ashland University in 2000. Her areas of expertise include educational technology, distance education and instructional design. Dr. Romano serves as a faculty senator and faculty senate representative to the University Curriculum Committee. She has a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Education from Cleveland State University and an Ed.D. in... Read More

Dr. Brenda Rosler
Associate Professor
166, Dwight Schar College of Education
Dr. Brenda Rosler, Associate Professor, began teaching at Ashland University in 2007. She was an elementary school teacher before she started teaching at the college level. Her research interests include development in urban schools, content area literacy and process drama. She regularly teaches Foundations of Literacy and Assessment and Intervention in Language Arts. She received her B.A. and her Ph.D. from Kent... Read More

Michael Russell
Executive Director
Executive Director Office, Columbus Center
Michael Russell serves as the Executive Director of the Columbus Center.  Prior to coming to Ashland, he held several building and central office administrative positions with four different school districts in the state of Ohio.  Mike holds B.S., M.S. and Ed.S. degrees from Bowling Green State University. 

Dr. James Rycik
251, Dwight Schar College of Education
Dr. Jim Rycik, Professor, was a middle grades reading specialist and language arts teacher in the Cleveland area for 20 years. He holds a BSEd. degree from Ohio University and MEd. and Ph.D. degrees from Kent State University. His particular research interests are inquiry learning and adolescent literacy. He served for five years on the Commission on Adolescent Literacy of the International Reading Association and... Read More

Dr. Mary Rycik
Associate Professor , Chair
164, Dwight Schar College of Education
Dr. Mary Rycik, Associate Professor, came to Ashland University in 1995 after twenty years as a classroom teacher and reading specialist in elementary schools. She teaches literacy courses and children's literature on the undergraduate and graduate levels and supervises field experience students in Mansfield City Schools. Dr. Rycik organized a series of Guest Children's Author visits here at Ashland University and... Read More

Dr. Maria Sargent
165, Dwight Schar College of Education
Dr. Maria Sargent teaches Early Childhood undergraduate and graduate courses in behavior intervention and biomedical issues. Dr. Sargent is a nationally recognized expert in early childhood and early intervention. Recently, Dr. Sargent has been asked to write a series of books and a nationwide curriculum on this topic and to develop a line of toys with a neurological base.

Tanzeah Sharpe
Professional Instructor
163, Dwight Schar College of Education
Tanzeah Sharpe, Professional Instructor, joined Ashland University in 2006 after having taught as an adjunct instructor for four years. Mrs. Sharpe has a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Walsh University, Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction in Early Childhood Education from Ashland University and is completing her Ed.D. in Leadership Studies at Ashland University. She has taught a variety of... Read More

Adam Sikula
Director of M.Ed./Bachelor's Plus , Cleveland Center, Elyria Center and Stark Center
Suite 105, Elyria Center UC
Adam Sikula,  Director of M.Ed./Bachelor's Plus for Stark, Cleveland and Elyria, joined Ashland University in the summer of 2011.  Currently, he is responsible for running the graduate programs in northeast Ohio.  Prior to coming to AU, he spent 12 years at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in academic advising, first-year programs and tutoring.  Adam received his M.Ed. in Educational Leadership (Higher... Read More

Dr. Susan Stewart
Assistant Professor
161, Dwight Schar College of Education
Dr. Susan Stewart, Assistant Professor, became a full-time faculty member in 2011 but has been a long-time adjunct for Ashland University and was named a Professional Fellow. She is a former elementary teacher, principal and curriculum consultant.