Dr. Aleisha Karjala has been a member of the faculty at USAO since 2007. She is an associate professor of political science and teaches all political science courses and in the Interdisciplinary sequence (Political and Economic Systems and Theories (PEST) and American Civilization I and II).
In my former life, I was an accountant for one of those firms that you see sponsoring major golf tournaments. I hung in there for three years, ultimately leaving to pursue a career in teaching. As a student in the MA in Composition program at the University of Akron, I got paid to teach introductory writing to first year college students. That was 10 years ago, and I've loved every challenge and success since. I am committed to a life and a career as a teacher of college writing.
During my PhD studies at the University of New Hampshire, I had the great joy to work with professors who were great teachers and great scholars. I focus my own teaching and research on making the classroom as pedagogically engaging and challenging as possible.
At USAO, I teach courses in composition, rhetoric, creative nonfiction, literature, and race. I also direct the university's Writing Center. I advise the USAO Lit Club, The Accent (undergraduate arts & literature journal), and sit on several university committees.
"Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe." Neil Gaiman
Dr. Simpson received his BA from The Colorado College in biology, and his MA and PhD from Claremont Graduate University in philosophy of religion and theology. He also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University with the “Evolution and Theology of Cooperation” project, for which he served as an editor on two books. Dr. Simpson has published articles in philosophy and theology, and his edited work includes The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science as well as Adventures in the Spirit: New Essays in Philosophical Theology (by Philip Clayton). His first book, Life as Art: Aesthetics and the Creation of Self from Nietzsche to Foucault (Lexington Books) was released in 2012.
Dr. Simpson's research focuses on contemporary philosophy and theology, world wisdom traditions, and the intersections between science, philosophy, and religion. He teaches courses on the history of philosophy, world religions, issues in contemporary philosophy and religion, and interdisciplinary issues.
A native New Mexican, Dr. Simpson enjoys mountain climbing, backpacking, travelling, cooking and spending time with his wife, Kenzie.
Marcia Vliet has been a member of the faculty at USAO since 1993. She is an instructor in Interdisciplinary Studies and English Education (alternative certification) and teaches Rhetoric and Public Speaking.
She has served as an adjunct instructor in the Division of Arts and Humanities at USAO as well as director, costumer, vocal coach and property master for the drama department. Other theatrical and fine arts experience includes set design, lighting, sound design and building, dialect coach, acting coach, stage movement coach, actor, singer, speech coach, musical director, assistant minister of music, choir director, pageant and dinner theater director, vocalist and voice over artist. She also is a founding member of the Cimarron Circuit Opera Company in Norman.
Before coming to USAO, Vliet was a visiting professor at Oklahoma Panhandle State University, an associate professor at New Mexico State University and a graduate teaching assistant (GTA) at the University of Oklahoma.
Stephen Weber is currently Professor of Music at USAO, where he also serves as Chair of the Division of Arts and Humanities, and is the Mary Jo Ragan Endowed Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies.
A native of Canada, Weber did his undergraduate study at Concordia University-Chicago, where he received the Bachelor of Music Education degree. He completed a Master of Arts in Music in 1985 at New Jersey State College. His Ph.D. in Fine Arts is an interdisciplinary degree from Texas Tech University, where his emphases were Piano Pedagogy and Composition. This degree also required extensive coursework in art, theatre arts, aesthetics, and fine arts administration.
Weber taught at Texas Tech University from 1990 to 1995 and has been at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma since 1995. At USAO he has taught Studio Piano, Class Piano, Accompanying, Music Fundamentals, Music Technology, Freshman Seminar, Senior Seminar, World Thought and Culture III, Aesthetics, and Body/Mind Integration and Performance Anxiety. Weber also served as Coordinator of the USAO Music Department from 2002 to 2011.
Though trained primarily as a pianist, Weber has had considerable success as a composer. He was a winner in the 1994 National Conference on Piano Pedagogy Composition contest. He recorded his Eight Etudes for Piano for a 1995 compact disc on the Opus One label (#169). His Eclecticset for Percussion Quartet is also available on the same label (#173). His works have been performed at the International Clarinet Conference, the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy, the New Music Festival at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, the Atlantic Regional conference of the National Flute Association, regional meetings of the College Music Society and the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and other venues such as Santa Fe, Dallas and New York.
Weber has over numerous published compositions for a variety of media to his credit. Publishers of his music include Concordia Publishing House, Alfred Music Publishers, Permus Music, Voice of the Rockies Music Publishers and Zalo Publications. His works have been reviewed or advertised in Flute Talk, Clavier, Percussive Notes, Piano and Keyboard and The American Organist. He has had articles published in Piano Pedagogy Forum and CrossTimbers, and has served as a reviewer for The American Music Teacher. He has been a past recipient of an Oklahoma Arts Council grant for work on notation of Kiowa tribal hymns. Weber was a recipient of Standard Awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers annually from 1994 to 2007. In 1997 Weber received the Board of Regents Award for Superior Teaching at USAO. In 1998 and 2003 he received the Board of Regents Award for Scholarly Activity. Weber was selected as the 2003 recipient of the "Oklahoma Musician of the Year" award by the Oklahoma Federation of Music Clubs.
Weber has performed extensively as solo pianist, collaborative pianist, and organist. He has performed on the East Coast, the Midwest, the South, and in Switzerland. He plans to perform in Hungary and Poland in the spring of 2014.
Weber has presented research at the International Conference on Fine and Performing Arts in Athens (2010), a branch of the Athens Institute for Education and Research, at the 2011 conference of the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, and for university Festival of Arts and Ideas events. He has also done numerous workshops and clinics for local civic and community organizations.
Weber is married to Lesa, and has two children, Angela, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, and Nathan, a med student at Oklahoma State University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa.
Ph.D. History, University of Kentucky, August 2001 Dissertation: Maleficia aut Beneficia: The Influence of the Roman Legal Tradition on Late Antique and Early Medieval Attitudes Concerning Magic and Divination. Comprehensive Exams Passed: Late Antique Cultural and Social History, Roman History, Greek History, Early Medieval History, September 1996
M.A. History, University of Kentucky, May 1995
Master's Thesis: Taking Aim at a Most Persistent Enemy: The Roman Legal Tradition Proscribing the Use of Magic.
B.A. History, summa cum laude, Arkansas Tech University, December 1989
Dr. Kevin Crow teaches a wide variety of courses at USAO. Among the courses he teaches are Ancient Civilizations, Medieval and Early Modern Civilizations, Modern Civilizations, Russian History, Classical Greece, The Hellenistic World and Early Christianity, The Roman Republic, History of England and France 1515-1815, Ideology and Mass Culture in the Modern World, Teaching Social Studies in Secondary Schools, Political Geography of the Modern World, World Thought and Culture to 500, World Thought and Culture 500 to 1650 and World Thought and Culture from 1650 to Present.
In addition to teaching, Crow serves as an advisor for students majoring in history, supervises teacher candidates pursuing social studies certification during their professional trimester and serves as a university representative for Resident Year Teacher Committees.
Students tend to find Crow's classes fascinating, exciting and inspiring. In recognition of his excellence in teaching, he was awarded the Regents Award for Superior Teaching in 2008 and again in 2010. Despite his reputation as an outstanding teacher, however, Crow is probably best recognized on campus as the sponsor of the largest student club at USAO, The Zombie Survivalists' Club.
Before coming to USAO, Crow taught at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the University of Kentucky, Western Kentucky University, Arkansas Tech University and Georgetown College.
Jacquelyn Knapp has served as a faculty member at USAO since 1988. She participated in the Oklahoma Arts Institute for three years and the Chautauqua Institute in New York for one year.
In addition to her work in the classroom, Knapp organizes on campus art shows including the Montmartre Chalk Art Contest and Innovations High School Art Competition. She also co-coordinates an annual tour of New York City and plans and coordinates other art-centered trips including a trip in 2010 to Italy and trips to in-state museums and other art destinations.
Knapp has been a part of art shows throughout Oklahoma, Texas and New York. Her works Synthesis and Discovered Evolution are part of the permanent collection in Griffis Sculpture Park, Ashford Hollow, New York.
She has more than 20 commissioned works in Chickasha; Lindsay; Verden; Elgin, Illinois, and Crested Butte, Colorado.
Knapp received an award of excellence from the Oklahoma Art Guild National Juried Art Show in 2003, a regent’s scholarship for the Oklahoma Arts Institute in 2002 and 1996, a competitive academic scholarship from Texas A&M University four times, in addition to multiple awards for her artwork. She also is the vice president of the Western Division of the Oklahoma Art Education Association.
USAO offers a bachelor of science degree with a major in speech-language pathology. The undergraduate program is designed for persons wishing to pursue graduate study in speech-language pathology and audiology, but also offers an avenue for students interested in pursuing graduate degrees in other health professions, law, psychology, special education or gerontology.
Sociology is the scientific study of human society and patterns of social behavior. It is concerned with social structures and processes, including groups, organizations, societies, institutions, social-cultural change, socialization, social interaction and social relationships.