Eight new faculty members hired at Peru State

Eight new faculty members hired at Peru State

August 16, 2019
Contact: Jason Hogue, Director of Marketing and Communications, 402-872-2429

Peru, Nebraska – Eight new faculty members will join Peru State for the fall semester. Faculty are hired through a rigorous recruitment and application process culminating in on-campus interviews with other faculty, staff and students. 

The new faculty are standing in front of the new Performing Arts Center Lobby

From left to right, back row: Kenneth Curtis, Dr. Jason Miller, Dr. Dwayne Chism and Dr. Greg Galardi. Front row: Dr. Turkan Ocal, Dr. Jody Woodworth, Dr. Ananta Khatri and Stephanie Huddle.

Dr. Dwayne Chism joins Peru State as an Assistant Professor of Education. He was most recently the Executive Director of School Support and Supervision and the LAUNCH Professor/Coordinator for Omaha Public Schools. Prior to this, he served as principal at Belleaire and LeMay Elementary schools. 

Chism has also been actively involved in mentoring programs in the Omaha area, served on the Drug Commission for the City of Bellevue, was Steering Chair for North Central Accreditation and has taught at the elementary grade level. He is a past recipient of the Distinguished Alumni award from University of Nebraska-Omaha in the Teacher Education area. He earned a Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Educational Administration and Supervision K-12 from UNO.

Kenneth Curtis joins Peru State as an Assistant Professor of Art. He previously worked as an Assistant Professor of Visual Communications at the American University in Dubai. He has held exhibitions throughout the southwest United States and in Dubai.

He holds professional memberships in the College Art Association and SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on Computer GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques). Curtis earned both a Master of Arts and a Master of Fine Arts from West Texas A & M University. 

Dr. Greg Galardi rejoins Peru State as an Associate Professor of Business. Most recently, he was the Dean of Professional Studies and Director of Distance Education at Peru State College. Prior to this, he was Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Peru State College. Dr. Galardi was the recipient of both the 2010 Nebraska State College System Teaching Excellence Award and the Peru State College Teaching Excellence Award. 

Galardi earned his Doctorate of Business Administration with a specialization in Criminal Justice Administration from North Central University in 2008.

Stephanie Huddle joins Peru State as an Instructor of Criminal Justice. She previously worked as an Investigator II with the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission and taught courses in criminology and criminal justice with the University of Nebraska in both Lincoln and Omaha.

Huddle has also worked as a Prison Rape Elimination Act Coordinator with the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services where she oversaw compliance managers and implementation of standards for 10 facilities.  

She has Master certification in LETRA (Emergency Preparedness for Correctional Institutions) and earned a Master of Forensic Science with emphasis in behavioral science from Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Dr. Ananta Khatri joins Peru State as an Assistant Professor of Psychology. He was most recently a member of the faculty at Western Nebraska Community College where he taught courses such as Social Psychology and Abnormal Psychology.

He is a member of the American Psychological Association and has volunteered in the Pediatric Department with New York Presbyterian Hospital and with the Nepal Mission to the United Nations. Khatri completed in postdoc with the University of Florida in Medical Psychology at their psychiatry and addiction clinic. He earned his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Albizu University (Puerto Rico).

Dr. Turkan Ocal joins Peru State as an Assistant Professor of Psychology. Previously, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota – Duluth. Prior to this, Ocal was an Instructor with Brooklyn College and Queens College in the Department of Psychology and Early Childhood Education. 

Ocal is a member of the American Educational Research Association and the Society for Scientific Study of Reading as well as other associations. She earned her PhD in Educational Psychology from the City University of New York – Graduate Center.

Dr. Jason Phillips joins Peru State as an Assistant Professor of History. He was most recently a Lecturer at the University of Arkansas were he taught courses like Institutions and Ideas of World Civilization, Europe in the Twentieth-Century and Europe in the Age of Napoleon.

He has professional memberships in the Central European History Society, the German Studies Association and Phi Alpha Theta.  Phillips earned his PhD in History from the University of Arkansas.

Dr. Jody Woodworth joins Peru State as an Assistant Professor of Business. She was most recently a Senior Analyst at First Data Resources. She has also taught Micro and Macroeconomics, Business Finance Management and Quantitative Methods as an adjunct professor with Doane University.

Woodworth brings incredible experiences from across higher education and business in Nebraska. She earned a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Nebraska – Omaha and a PhD in Educational Administration/Higher Education from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

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Thomas Veleba contributed to this release.