EAC welcomes new faculty
By Samuel Martin
Thatcher, AZ— Eastern Arizona College welcomed several new faculty to it ranks this fall. Aaron Burk, a new biology instructor, received his Master of Science in General Biology at Mississippi State University and his Bachelor of Science in biology at Brigham Young University-Idaho. He previously taught as both adjunct and full-time faculty for EAC at its Gila Pueblo Campus in Globe. Prior to his teaching experience for Eastern, Burk provided academic and career counseling services for Eastern’s GEAR UP program in the Miami and San Carlos School Districts. He spent two years in French Polynesia where he gained fluency in French and Tahitian languages, and he has been active in the Boy Scouts of America, earning the Eagle Scout Award and later serving as a scoutmaster.
Glen Cashetta is the new media communications instructor, arriving in the Gila Valley from Chicago where he recently completed his Master of Fine Arts degree from DePaul University. Before pursuing his academic career, Cashetta amassed 22 years of experience as an accomplished commercial film editor and was owner of a post-production facility in Los Angeles. He was the exclusive editor for the Rubin Postaer and Associates agency from 1994-2009, where his commercials for the American Honda Motor Company were featured in national campaigns. He is credited in an impressive list of films and commercials. His commercial work enabled him entry into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2005 and he has maintained that membership. Cashetta has taught at the college-level as a graduate assistant and guest lecturer at both DePaul University and University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has worked with the highest level of technical equipment for broadcast and has kept up with the latest technology trends in the visual and audio worlds.
Stephanie DeSpain, a new nursing instructor, has worked as a full-time nurse for 14 years since her graduation from EAC in 2001, when she was named Nursing Student of the Year. She also received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and her Master of Science in Nursing Education, both at Western Governor’s University in Austin, Texas. DeSpain’s nursing career has been primarily at Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center in the obstetrics and nursery units. She has maintained proficiency in medical-surgical nursing, and in obstetrical, maternal, and neonatal nursing. She has had numerous opportunities to teach specific nursing skills in the hospital setting and most recently has assisted with clinicals at EAC.
Evelyn Hallford is the new EMT/EMS instructor/interim program coordinator. Hallford received her Master in Educational Leadership at Grand Canyon University, a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, with a minor in religious studies and theology from University of San Diego. She is a skilled paramedic with professional teaching experience in both the paramedic and biology fields. Most recently, she has been teaching biology and natural sciences at Safford High School. She is a retired San Diego Fire Department paramedic and EMS instructor. Her professional interests include: science and conservation, health and wellness, and medicine.
Jeffrey Henley is the new graphic design instructor. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art, and a Master of Arts in Education, from the University of Arizona. He comes to EAC from Cochise College where he taught in the graphic arts field and served as director of the TRIO Student Support Services project. He has lived his entire life in southern Arizona. In college he worked for Arizona Student Media as a graphic designer at the Veterans Administration, then as production supervisor for the Arizona Daily Wildcat. Henley has freelance experience for Sierra Vista Disc Golf Club, Bisbee’s Got Talent, Bisbee Unified School District, and Reid Park Zoo, to name a few. His interests and hobbies include photography, painting, digital art, astronomy, and gardening.
Lucas Johnson, an EAC alum, is a new mathematics instructor. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics education, and his Master of Arts in Mathematics from Northern Arizona University. Johnson has been teaching mathematics as an adjunct faculty member for EAC and in dual enrollment classes at Thatcher High School. His mathematics teaching experience goes back to 2005 when he first taught high school in Flagstaff.
Most recently, he was the math department chair at Thatcher High School where he taught since 2006.
Diane Knapp is a new allied health instructor. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Grand Canyon University. She is registered with many certs in RN, ACLS Instructor, PLS Instructor, BLS, and CPR. Knapp grew up near the small town of Erie, Pennsylvania, and relocated to Tucson in her early 20s. She has worked as a flight nurse and base manager for both Life Net and AirEvac, as a registered nurse in cardiovascular intensive care units and in surgical and medical intensive care units and emergency rooms of various facilities; and helped in the development of the CAMTS (Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport) accreditation process. Knapp has been employed at Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center since 2012. Her interests include reading, academics, cooking, gardening, her grandchildren, and her dogs.
Nathan McCray is the new advanced manufacturing instructor. He received a Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering Technology from Arizona State University and he has certifications in geometric dimensioning, tolerancing interpretation, and design, and is a certified welding inspector. He comes to EAC with over 15 years experience in manufacturing and welding and teaching welding part-time at Cochise College. He has most recently been in Houston, Texas, working as a manufacturing/welding engineer for Oil States Industries.
Carlton Penn is the new welding instructor with a Bachelor of Science in Government, and a Master of Science in secondary education from Northern Arizona University, and a certificate in welding trades from New Mexico State University. He holds certifications in ANSI/AWS D1.1Flux Core Welding, ANSI/AWS D1.1 Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG), and ANSI/AWS D1.1 Arc Welding. He taught for 10 years at Pima Unified School District as a certified welding teacher and seven years at San Simon Unified School District as a vocational agriculture teacher. At San Simon he also served as vocational director and supervised the Carl Perkins Basic Grant.
“We have worked diligently over the summer finding the most highly qualified individuals to be part of our team,” said EAC’s Provost Jeanne Bryce. “We are looking forward to a great year!”
EAC classes begin on Monday, but there is still time to register. Give us a call at (928) 428-8270 or come by the Records and Registration Office on the Thatcher Campus to register.