Educational Leadership Faculty

Alesha Baker

Dr. Alesha Baker is an Assistant Professor in the Library Media and Information Technology program on the Broken Arrow campus. She completed her Ph.D. in Educational Technology from Oklahoma State University with a cognate in Online Teaching. Dr. Baker earned her Master of Science degree in Library Media and Information Technology in 2011 and her Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education in 1999, both from Northeastern State University.

Professional Experience

Dr. Baker taught in the public schools for 13 years, 10 years as a special education teacher and three years as a school librarian. She also has experience teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses which include multiple Library Science courses, Academic Strategies, and Applications of Educational Technology.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Baker’s publications and conference presentations include topics in open educational resources and teacher professional development. She received a research fellowship from the Open Education Group and has presented at local, national, and international conferences.

Renée Cambiano

Dr. Renée L. Cambiano is tenured Professor of Education on the Tahlequah campus. She holds a doctorate in adult and vocational education from the University of Arkansas, a M.S. in instruction and curriculum leadership from the University of Memphis, and a B.S. in biology with a fisheries emphasis from Northeastern State University.

Professional Experience

Before coming to Northeastern State University, Dr. Cambiano was a Visiting Assistant Professor for the Department of Educational Leadership at the University of Arkansas where she taught Educational Research and Elementary Statistics and Data Processing for several doctoral programs. Dr. Cambiano has been a faculty member at NSU since 2000 and has served as the Department Chair for Educational Foundations and Leadership, Faculty Council President, President’s Executive Council, and Graduate Council chair as well as many other University and College level committees. Dr. Cambiano’s teaching field includes adult learning, learning styles, brain-based learning, instructional strategies, educational and action research, educational measurement, and she is Dunn and Dunn Learning Styles Certified. She continues to serve as the outside research methods member of several doctoral students’ dissertation committees.

Dr. Cambiano currently serves as program chair for the Master of Education in Instructional Leadership and the Master of Science in Higher Education Leadership programs at Northeastern State University.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Cambiano has published and presented at regional, national, and international conferences. She has published chapters such as Infusing yourself into the backstory: A multidimensional case study perspective, Sequencing instruction in global Learning communities and Learning styles relating to adult students. Her research interests include learner-centric instruction, innovative immersive learning environments, cultivating global-minded citizens, online instruction, curriculum reform, the ubiquitous infusion thinking (UIT) strategy, internationalizing teacher education, community-based leadership, reform, and educational equity. She has received the NSU Circle of Excellence in Research, the College of Education Outstanding Faculty in Research, Oklahoma Higher Education Conference Innovation in Teaching and Learning award and in 2016 received the President’s Model the Way award.

Ron Cambiano

Dr. Ron Cambiano is an Assistant Professor of Education on the Tahlequah campus. Dr. Cambiano earned his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from the University of Tulsa and his Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of New Mexico.

Professional Experience

Dr. Cambiano served as NSU Dean of Student Affairs for more than 20 years. Currently, he serves as Special Assistant to the NSU president to whom he reports and works on a regular basis. His main functions are to work with the president to provide leadership and oversight for key planning and implementation processes that impact teaching, research, and service functions at NSU.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Cambiano coordinates the university's efforts for the Northeast Oklahoma Regional Planning and Making Place Matter efforts where the university has made a commitment to the region to establish alliances for regional stewardship. Dr. Cambiano also serves as the NSU liaison to the Cherokee Nation, working closely with the Principal Chief, Secretaries of State, Leadership, Education, Career Services, Cultural Resources, and the Tribal Council.

Karen Carey

Dr. Karen Carey is a tenured Professor of Education on the Tahlequah campus. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a math minor, and a master’s degree in education administration with an Oklahoma elementary principal certificate. She completed a doctorate degree in adult education in May 2001 from the University of Arkansas. Dr. Carey has over twenty years of experience in higher education. She teaches graduate educational research courses in the College of Education (COE), Honors University Strategies and directs the NSU Honors Undergraduate Research Program.

Professional Experience

Her public school teaching experience includes two years of sixth grade at Spring Branch Independent School District in Houston, Texas, and seven years teaching math and language to fifth and sixth graders in Moore, Oklahoma at Plaza Towers Elementary. She was voted Teacher of the Year by her building peers during her last year in public education. In 2001, Dr. Carey was appointed director of the newly developed honors program and has since mentored over 130 undergraduate students engaged in a six hour research component.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Carey is acting president of American Association of University Professors at NSU and serves as standing chair of the NSU Honors Council Advisory Committee. She is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council and is a published author, as well as a Dewberry award recipient for outstanding faculty in the area of research. She teaches Educational Research online with multiple certifications in online course training, and serves as an online course reviewer, as well. In 2015 she was awarded the distinguished honor of NSU Centurion presented by President Steve Turner.

Dr. Carey serves on the COE college development committee, the COE scholarship committee, as well as alumni relations and development committees. She also chairs the undergraduate research college selection committee. She is an ad hoc member of the NSU Undergraduate Research Day committee, as well.

Kelli Carney

Dr. Kelli Carney, Assistant Professor of Library Media, joined the faculty at Northeastern State University in 2012. Dr. Carney earned her PhD in Curriculum Studies from Oklahoma State University in 2013. She is an alumnus of NSU, earning degrees in both Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education (1998), as well as a Master’s degree in Education (2002) and Library Media Certification (2005).

Professional Experience

Following her degrees at NSU, Dr. Carney earned National Board Certification in Library Media in 2007. Dr. Carney has over 13 years of experience in the public schools, which includes teaching fourth grade for six years and serving as a school librarian for seven years.

Service and Scholarship

She is an active member of the Oklahoma Library Association and the American Library Association as well as the Oklahoma School Librarians (OKSL) and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) divisions. She also serves as the faculty sponsor for the Library Media & Information Technology Student Association (LMITSA) at NSU and enjoys her time spent mentoring and advising school librarian candidates.

Her research interests include children’s reading motivation, reading attitudes, perceptions of school librarian roles, and developing empathy with literature.

Maria Christian

Dr. Maria Christian joined the faculty of NSU in 2015 as an Assistant Professor on the Broken Arrow campus. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and her Master's of Science in College Teaching the Language Arts from Northeastern State University. In 2007, she earned her Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Oklahoma State University.

Professional Experience

Dr. Christian has taught in higher education for over 14 years. She has experience teaching traditional, online, and blended courses, having worked at Tulsa Community College, University of Arkansas, and Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Christian’s publications and conference presentations include topics in technology in education, online learning, classroom management, leadership, and English Composition. She has served as curriculum co-chair, assessment coordinator, and committee member for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education English PASS Standards Review. Dr. Christian is a certified Phi Theta Kappa Leadership Instructor, and she serves as the NSU Review of Online Course (ROC) Coordinator. She has been recognized with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Online Excellence Award, the John & Susanne Roueche Excellence in Teaching Award, and the OSU A&M Regents Distinguished Teaching Award.

Carl Farinelli

Dr. Carl Farinelli is a tenured Professor of Education on the Tahlequah campus. He is a high school dropout from Madison County, Arkansas. After dropping out of high school in 1968, he went to the Gary Job Corps Center in San Marcos, Texas where he earned his GED and trained in the printing trades. In 1987, Farinelli received his doctorate in Educational Administration from Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas.

Professional Experience

After completing his Master's degree in English and Counseling at SHSU, Farinelli began his educational career through the inner-city schools of Houston, Texas, where he served as a classroom teacher, hospital/ homebound teacher, and as the first white counselor at an all-black high school. When the US Justice Department forced the integration of that school, Farinelli used his Job Corps background to coordinate the curriculum development of an alternative high school for the district. He then went on to become the principal of a predominately Hispanic elementary school, where he helped to engineer a dramatic turnaround in the school's test scores in just three years. Next he was named principal of a magnet school for the creative and performing arts and was later asked to lead the Apple School of the Future. In 1988, Dr. Farinelli was hired by Northeastern State University. He has taught a variety of graduate courses in NSU’s College of Education including Fundamentals of Curriculum Development 1, Instructional Leadership, Fundamentals of Public School Administration & Supervision, Public School Relations, School Facilities Management, and others.

Service and Scholarship

It was during his years as a public school educator that Farinelli was listed three times in the Outstanding Young Men of America publication and in 1977 was placed in the National Job Corps Hall of Fame. During his years at NSU, Farinelli also distinguished himself through his work in the community and area though many presentations and writing. Farinelli was named the winner of the 2000-2001 Faculty Circle of Excellence Award for Teaching, the 2009 recipient of the “Modeling the Way” award, and was named a NSU Centurion in 2012.

James Ferrell

Dr. Ferrell is an Assistant Professor of Education and Chair of the Educational Leadership department and School Administration program. He graduated from Oklahoma City University in 1992 where he majored in history. He received a master’s degree in history from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2000, and earned his doctorate from Oklahoma State University in 2008.

Professional Experience

After receiving his teaching credentials from the University of Central Oklahoma, Dr. Ferrell began teaching social studies and Spanish at Union City Schools in western Oklahoma. After passing the state certification exams for principal and superintendent he moved to Stillwater where he began working on his doctorate at Oklahoma State University. After a short stint working at Agra Public Schools where he taught social studies and Spanish, Dr. Ferrell accepted a teaching position at Caney Valley Public Schools where he taught Spanish. After two years of working in the classroom, he accepted the position of middle school principal and served in that capacity for six years.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Ferrell’s research interests include poverty and the impact that can have on education, school curriculum, school reform, and equity issues.

O. Susan Frusher

Dr. O. Susan Frusher, a tenured Professor of Education and has been in the educational field for over 30 years. She earned her Ph.D. in Applied Behavioral Studies from Oklahoma State University.

Professional Experience

Dr. Frusher’s teaching field includes multicultural education, leadership studies, instructional strategies, educational psychology, human growth and development, and motivation of learning. Additionally, she has served as interim associate dean of education at NSU and program chair of the Master in Science in Higher Education Leadership graduate program, and has been active in many committees, including the American Indian Heritage Committee.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Frusher has presented and published at state, national, and international conferences. She was a member of the editorial board and has been a peer reviewer of the National Social Science Journal. Additionally, she has also been a program evaluator for federal grants, a grant recipient, involved in community outreach, engaged in collaborative projects with the Cherokee Nation, and has produced multimedia documentaries about various aspects of education and culture. Dr Frusher taught at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) campus Guaymas and the Prepa Tecnológico de Monterrey (High School) in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico during a sabbatical semester in 1993. She conducted two research projects with the U.S. Navy, including immersion aboard a naval destroyer during deployment. In 2012, Dr. Frusher was awarded an International Faculty Development Fellowship to attend a Council for International Educational Exchange (CIEE) faculty development seminar in Havana, Cuba. During the fall semester 2014 she served as a faculty academic advisor for the Indigenous Scholars Development Center at NSU. Professional organizations of which Dr. Frusher is a member include the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Social Science Association, and American Association of University Professors. She has been a member of the National Association for Multicultural Education, Phi Delta Kappa, American Association of University Women, American Association of Curriculum Development, and Association of Teacher Educators, among other professional organizations. She was the recipient of the 2015 Dewberry award for Outstanding Faculty in Teaching, was awarded RiverHawk Recognition for leadership in 2015, and the President’s Model the Way award in 2017. Her research interests include leadership, multicultural education, and instructional strategies.

Judy Moody

Dr. Judy Moody is a tenured Associate Professor and offices on the Broken Arrow campus. After completing an Elementary Education degree, Dr. Judy Moody completed a Masters in Computer Science, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education.

Professional Experience

Dr. Moody worked as a computer programmer for ten years, taught elementary school for nine years, and has taught in higher education for over ten years. Dr. Moody has taught undergraduate and graduate courses, which include computer programming, fundamentals of computers, technology in education, educational psychology, clinical internship, educational research, curriculum development, and Advanced Educational Measurements.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Moody has presented around the world at local, national, international, and virtual conferences. She is the author of a book titled, Career decisions in computer technology fields: influences, barriers, and gender issues. She contributed to a global sourcebook with a section titled, Feminist writings from ancient times to the modern world.

Paula Schornick

Dr. Paula Schornick is a tenured Associate Professor of Education, Co-Chair of the School Administration program and offices on the Broken Arrow campus. She received a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in 2008 from the University of Oklahoma, a Master’s Degree in School Administration in 1997 from the University of Oklahoma, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Mathematics Education in 1994 from Northeastern State University.

Professional Experience

Dr. Schornick has served 23 years in education including working as a high school mathematics teacher and head coach, college mathematics instructor, high school administrator, university director, and university assistant and associate professor. She is very involved in exercise and fitness and teaches both indoor spin classes and group fitness classes in Claremore.

Service and Scholarship

Dr. Schornick provides test preparation seminars for students throughout the state and has served as a consultant for Cameron University. Dr. Schornick also works closely with future principals and superintendents across the state to prepare them for the Oklahoma principal and certification exams. Her research interests include instructional leadership and professional development.