head shots of Cory Hillman, Olga Monacell, Cara Rogers and David West

Four granted tenure among AU faculty promotions

Published on April 01, 2024
Ashland University

ASHLAND, Ohio – Four faculty members at Ashland University were recently granted tenure – Cory Hillman, Ph.D., and Olga Monacell, Ph.D., in the department of communication studies, and Cara Rogers, Ph.D., and David West, Ph.D., in the department of history and political science – following the action of the board of trustees at the January board meeting.

In addition, Ken Brubaker, Ed.D., in the department of marketing, fashion merchandising and sport management, Stephen Denney, Ph.D., in the department of teacher education, Erik Kormos, Ph.D., in the department of doctoral studies and advanced programs, Selva Kolandapalayam Shanmugam, Ph.D., in the department of mathematics and computer science, along with Monacell and West were each promoted to associate professor. All promotions will take effect Aug. 19, the beginning of the 2024-25 academic year.

Cory Hillman

Hillman began his career at AU in 2018 and specializes in sport communication, neoliberalism, media ecology and critical rhetoric. He serves as the director of the sport communication major and as the advisor of the sports communication club. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from Saginaw Valley State University, a master’s in communication from Grand Valley State University and a Ph.D. in media and communication from Bowling Green State University.

Olga Monacell Photo

Monacell, who joined AU in 2021, serves as the director of the Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership program and was instrumental in establishing the Ukrainian Freedom Scholars program. Her areas of expertise include public relations and marketing communications, nonprofit management and communication, reputation management and country reputation, international development and public diplomacy. She holds a bachelor’s degree equivalent in French literature and language from the State University of Moldova, a master’s degree in communication from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a Ph.D. in mass communications from Syracuse University.

Cara Rogers Stevens

Rogers, a member of the AU faculty since 2018, teaches courses on the Age of Enlightenment, American history from the colonial era through the Civil War and Thomas Jefferson. Her article, “The French Experiment: Thomas Jefferson and William Short Debate Slavery, 1785-1826,” won “Best Article of 2022” from the American Political Science Association. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Colorado Colorado-Springs, a master’s in history from The University of Texas at Dallas and a Ph.D. in history from Rice University.

David West

West, also part of the AU faculty since 2018, teaches courses in Western Civilization, Greek and Roman history and Latin language. He directs the Cicero Fellows program for the Ashbrook Center and organized a conference, “New Directions in Roman Political Thought,” that brought scholars in classics from across the country to AU. He earned a bachelor’s degree in politics and a master’s in humanities from the University of Dallas and a master’s and Ph.D. in classical studies from Boston University.

Kenneth Brubaker

Brubaker began his career at AU in 2006. He serves as a research coordinator for sport management and faculty admissions representative of the Dauch College of Business and Economics. He has earned American Marketing Association certification and a Digital Marketing Certificate and implemented them into the marketing curriculum and engaged students in entrepreneurial competitions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Canisius College, as well as a master’s in sport education and Ed.D. in educational leadership from Ashland University.

Stephen Denney

Denney, who serves as department chair for teacher education, started his AU career in 2007. He was the interim dean for the Dwight Schar College of Education for a year. His research interests include technology and self-determination for students with identified disabilities. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Colorado, then a master’s and Ph.D. in special education from Kent State University.

Erik Kormos

Kormos joined the AU faculty in 2019 and teaches undergraduate and graduate educational technology, social studies methods and communication courses. His research interests consist of educator usage and perceptions of technology, school settings and the digital divide, assessment in online learning and international education. He served as a co-principal investigator for the Ohio Department of Education’s Mathematics and Literacy Tutoring Grant. He received a bachelor’s degree in communication/journalism from Slippery Rock University, a master’s in curriculum and instruction from Cleveland State University and a Ph.D. in communications media and instructional technology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Selvanayaki Kolandapalayam Shanmugam

Shanmugam, a member of the AU faculty since 2021, teaches courses in computer science and serves as the advisor for the computer science club. Her areas of specialty include software engineering and software applications, data science for intelligent systems, machine learning with applications to surveillance systems, image and video processing, virtual reality and programming languages. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Bharathiar University and a Ph.D. in computer science from Anna University in India.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.