Faculty

American Sentinel University’s faculty members are subject-matter experts who deliver a quality academic experience. Our faculty includes part-time and full-time professors.

Senior Faculty

John Bourne
Chief Innovation Officer, Professor of Business and Technology

Dr. John R. Bourne is Chief Innovation Officer of American Sentinel University. Previously he was executive director of the Sloan Consortium, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, and professor of technology entrepreneurship at Babson College. He was also professor of electrical and computer engineering and professor of biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Bourne was editor-in-chief of the Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering for 27 years and editor-in-chief and founder of the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks. He was a founding faculty member of the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and founder of the Sloan Consortium, Inc. He is the author of numerous articles and books.

Dr. Bourne holds the B.E degree from Vanderbilt University and M.S.E. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Florida. He is a Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He has had sabbaticals at Northern Telecom and at Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden. He received the Meritorious Achievement Award from the IEEE Educational Activities Board in 2003.

Judy Burckhardt
Dean of Nursing Programs

Dr. Judy Burckhardt is the dean of nursing programs at American Sentinel University. Previously, she was the dean of nursing and health programs at Kaplan Higher Education Campuses and before that, the vice president of Kaplan's School of Nursing. Dr. Burckhardt has many years of experience as an educator and administrator in diploma, ADN and BSN programs. She led the nursing division at Kaplan Test Preparation and spearheaded the development and growth of the company's nursing programs. Dr. Burckhardt delivers test preparation seminars to students, item-writing workshops to nursing faculty and career development seminars to students, nurses and health care professionals in the United States and abroad.

Dr. Burckhardt is the co-author of a top-selling book of strategies for preparation for the NCLEX-RN exam and has published numerous articles for nursing publications. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the National League for Nursing, the American Nurses Association and the National Organization of Associate Degree Nurses.

Dr. Burckhardt holds a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Nebraska, a Master of Arts in education with an adult education emphasis from Washington University, an MSN with a nursing education emphasis from Kaplan University and a BSN from Loyola University.

Elaine Foster

Dr. Elaine Foster is the Associate Dean of Nursing at American Sentinel University. Previously, she was the Associate Dean for the School of Nursing at Kaplan University, overseeing the nursing program and its faculty and operations, launching new programs and managing all accreditation issues. For 27 years, Dr. Foster held various leadership roles at Southwestern Michigan College, including Dean of the School of Nursing and Human Services and Dean of academic studies. She has presented at numerous state and national conferences and is an associate editor for The Community College Enterprise. In 2007, she served on a nursing legislative task force for the state of Michigan to develop a plan to reduce the shortage of nurses in the state.

Dr. Foster is a member of the National League of Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau International. She is a past member of several state and national professional associations, including the Michigan Liberal Arts Deans organization, the National Organization of Associate Degree Nursing, the Northern Indiana Organization of Nurse Executives and the Michigan Council of Nursing Education Administrators (for which she served as president). Dr. Foster also serves on the board of trustees for Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Foster holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership and administration from Andrews University, a Master of Science Nursing from Andrews University and a Bachelor of Science Nursing from the University of Michigan.

Helen Heiskell
Chair, Graduate Nursing

Dr. Helen Heiskell is the chair of graduate nursing programs at American Sentinel University. Previously, she was the Chair of Online Undergraduate Nursing programs in the College of Nursing and Public Health at South University Online, where she has also served as assistant professor and assistant program director of the online RN to BSN and RN to MSN programs. Dr. Heiskell has taught in many nursing programs, including Chatham University, Walden University, Kaplan University, Chamberlain College of Nursing, Georgia Southwestern State University, Darton College. She began her nursing career in 1983 and gained experience in cardiac step-down, critical care, rehabilitation, and management. Dr. Heiskell also ran her own legal nurse consulting business.

Dr. Heiskell is a peer reviewer for the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching and past peer reviewer for the Online Journal of Nursing Informatics. She is a member of the National League for Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau and was a 2011 Fellow for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's Leadership for Academic Nursing Program.

Dr. Heiskell holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice (informatics concentration) from the Medical College of Georgia, an MSN (cardiovascular nursing concentration) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a BSN from the Medical College of Georgia.

Tona Leiker

Dr. Leiker began her nursing career in 1978 and has worked as a Registered Nurse, advanced registered nurse practitioner-clinical nurse specialist in addictions, school nurse practitioner, nursing director, educator and academic administrator. Prior to joining American Sentinel University full time in 2013, she was the nursing program chair at National American University's Wichita West campus. Throughout her career, Dr. Leiker has developed new clinical and academic nursing programs with an emphasis on creating thriving work environments. She has served in local, state, regional and national volunteer appointments in professional nursing organizations, such as the Congress on Nursing Practice, the National Nurses Society on Addictions (for which she was president) and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment's National Advisory Council. Dr. Leiker is a qualitative researcher with funded and published organizational research focused primarily on high-performance work environments. She consults with a tertiary care medical center to enhance patient and organizational outcomes through evidence-based nursing interventions at the bedside. Dr. Leiker was a nursing faculty member at Butler Community College, Hutchinson Community College, St. Mary of the Plains College, Tabor College and National American University. She has nursing program administrative experience at Tabor College and National American University. Dr. Leiker has precepted graduate students online at South University, University of Phoenix, University of Alabama, University of Kansas, and Walden University

Stephen McElroy
Chair of Geospatial Information Systems

Dr. Stephen McElroy has been in the GIS field for over 15 years, working as a GIS technician for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Southwest Watershed Research Center and as a senior research specialist for the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and the Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Arizona. He has also taught as an adjunct professor of geography at Pima Community College, West Campus, and the University of Arizona and served as geospatial technologies manager for Statistical Research, Inc., an applied research firm working in archaeology, anthropology, history and historic architecture. Dr. McElroy has extensive international travel experience in Latin America, Europe and India. He has published numerous articles on geographic and geospatial topics and is proficient in integrative research methodologies, the use of geo-spatial technologies in community projects geographic information systems and remote sensing.

Dr. McElroy holds a Ph.D. in geography from the joint doctoral program at San Diego State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, a master's degree in Latin American studies from the University of Arizona and a bachelor's degree in international affairs from the University of Cincinnati. He also holds a GIS professional certification from the GIS Certification Institute.

Blair Smith
Dean of Informatics, Management and Technology

Dr. Blair Smith is the dean of informatics, management and technology at American Sentinel University. Previously, he was of the dean of the College of Information Systems and Technology at the University of Phoenix. Dr. Smith was instrumental in the design and development of all degree and certificate programs at the university. He has taught computer science and information technology at a number of institutions, including Metropolitan State College of Denver, Park College, and Computer Learning Center of Anaheim. In May 2011, Dr. Smith participated on a panel for President Obama's Council of Advisors for Science and Technology.

As a consultant, Dr. Smith has assisted clients in solving a variety of business problems. He has conducted MIS staff and organizational evaluations, requirements planning, development of requests for proposals, disaster recovery and business resumption plans, systems analysis, design, project management, and implementation.

Dr. Smith holds a Ph.D. in organizational management from Capella University, an MBA from California State University, Fullerton, and a B.S. in computer and management science from the Metropolitan State University of Denver. He also holds several IT industry certificates.

Cheryl Wagner
Associate Dean of Graduate Nursing Programs

Dr. Cheryl Wagner is the associate dean of graduate nursing programs at American Sentinel University. Previously, she was program director and associate professor in the College of Nursing at South University. She has taught at Walden University and Kaplan University. Throughout her career, Dr. Wagner has held several clinical and nursing administration positions as a nurse manager, emergency services manager and in acute critical care and oncology, and has served as assistant dean and acting dean of various nursing programs. Dr. Wagner helped create and launch several accredited baccalaureate and graduate-level online and traditional nursing programs.

Dr. Wagner is an editor of Nursing Interventions Classifications and a member of the organization's nursing classification and clinical effectiveness research team. She has published numerous book chapters, articles and academic papers in journals such as Nursing and Journal of Nursing Administration and has presented nearly 70 papers at various conferences. Her doctoral work focused on the areas of nursing turnover and nonlinear predictive methods, and she also researches the links between nursing interventions and positive patient outcomes.

Dr. Wagner holds a Ph.D. in nursing administration, MSN and MBA from the University of Iowa, and a BSN/B.A. from Marycrest College.

Karen Whitham
Chair, Undergraduate Nursing

Ms. Karen Whitham is the chair of undergraduate nursing programs at American Sentinel University. Previously, she was a member of the nursing faculty at Rasmussen College. Ms. Whitham has held various roles at Kaplan University, including Director of Pre-licensure Initiatives, practical nursing professor, clinical coordinator and adjunct online nursing professor. She worked as a staff nurse on a medical/surgical/telemetry unit at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, where she also was a clinical instructor in the College of Health Sciences.

Ms. Whitham is a Certified Nurse Educator and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the National League for Nursing and the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning.

Ms. Whitham holds an M.S. in higher education, teaching and learning, from Kaplan University, an MSN (leadership in health care systems emphasis) from Regis University, a BSN from the University of Iowa and an A.S. in nursing from Mercy College of Health Sciences. She is working toward a Doctor of Education in health care education from the College of Saint Mary.

Informatics and Technology

Jason AndressDCS Computer Science, Colorado Technical University
Tonia CanadaMBA, Information Systems, Troy University
Paul CapicikMA, Computer Resource Management, Webster University
Rhonda ChiconeDBA, Applied Computer Science, Northcentral University
Theon DanetPh.D., Information Systems, Nova Southeastern
Amit DavePh.D. Education Leadership, Clark Atlanta University
Chris den HeijerDCS, Computer Science and Enterprise Information, Colorado Technical University
John DensonMAS, Information Security, University of Denver
Bill DickinsonMGIS, Pennsylvania State University
Thomas Donovan IIIPh.D., Philosophy, University of California, Riverside
Leslie EllisMBA, Information Systems, University of North Alabama
Ray FernandezEd.S., Computing Technology in Education, Nova Southeastern University
Roxana GiuscaPh.D., Geography, University of Bucharest
Michael GlasserMS, Information Technology, Kaplan University
Greg GoodwinMS GIS, Northern Arizona University
Leila HalawiDBA, Information Technology Management, Nova Southeastern University
Linda HamonsDCS, Computer Science, Colorado Technical University
Kathleen HargissPh.D., Instruction and Curriculum, University of South Florida
Peggy HarperM.S. Geography, Mississippi State University
Michele HaywoodMA, Instructional Design, Capella University
Kathleen IvesDM, Organizational Leadership, University of Phoenix
Mike JohnsenMS Geology, Western Washington University
Mary McDonaldDCS., Computer Science, Colorado Technical University
Stephen McElroyPh.D. Geography, San Diego State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara
Michael McGivernPh.D., Organizational Development, Walden University
Lee MitchellMS, Mississippi State University
Festus OnyegbulaDCS Enterprise Information Systems, Colorado Technical University
Hany Othman DCS, Colorado Technical University
James PrunierMA, Information Management, Webster University
Daniel RandallM.S., Computer Science, Capitol College
Candi ReidM.S., Computer Science, University of Denver
Octavian RotaruPh.D., Computer Science, Polytechnic University of Bucharest
Gabriel SchmidbauerM.S., Geographic Information Systems, State University of New York, Buffalo
Gigi SmithPh.D., Management, Colorado Technical University
Julia SmithPh.D., Information Systems and Communication, Robert Morris University
Patricia WhitePh.D., Information Systems, Nova Southeastern University
Ken WongDBA, University of Newcastle, Australia
Gene ZieglerPhD, Geography, Penn State University

Health and Human Services

Catherine AmitranoMSN, Russell Sage College
Lygia ArcaroPh.D., Health Sciences, Trident University International
Priscilla AylesworthMSN, State University of New York, Upstate Medical University
Jodie BaumtrogMSN, University of Memphis
Edward Beard JrDNP, American Sentinel University
Bonnie BeardsleyPh.D., Education, Walden University
Ami BhattDNP, Oakland University
Deborah BishopDNP, Executive Leadership, American Sentinel University
Megan BivensMSN, Florida State University
Cynthia BostickPh.D., Nursing, University of Colorado
Laura BourdeanuPh.D., Nursing, Azusa Pacific University
Rose BraultEd.D., Boston University
Mirella BrooksPh.D., Nursing, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Michelle BurnsMSN, University of Mississippi Medical Center
Sheri ByrnesMSN, University of Phoenix
Lydia CampuzanoDBA, University of Phoenix
Patricia CannistraciDNS, Education and Leadership, Sage Colleges
Linda CarlEd.D., Educational Leadership Practitioner, University of Phoenix
Pamela CisloMSN, Saginaw Valley State University
Kadriyya ClarkDNP, University of Maryland, Baltimore
Karen CrouseEd.D. in Educational Leadership, University of Hartford
Karen CumminsPh.D., Education, Capella University
Vanessa DePuenteMSN, University of Washington
Nancy DhonauDNP, Chatham University
Mary DrobnakMSN, American Sentinel University
William DunneMSN, Athabasca University
Catherine EarlDBA, Western Michigan
Karen EgenesMSN, Norwich University
Ellie FraneyPh.D., Family and Child Ecology, Michigan State University
Sarah GabuaMSN, Leadership and Management, Walden University
EM GarciaDHEd, A.T. Still University
Jacqueline GilliardPh.D., Organization and Management, Capella University
Yvette GlennMSN, Illinois State University
Jean GordonDoctor of Business Administration, Nova Southeastern University
Daniel GracieDNP, Advanced Practice Nurse, Medical University of South Carolina
Davis Michael GrahamPh.D., Social Work, Ohio State University
Roger GreenDNP, Rush University
Laurin HafnerPh.D., Social Psychology, University of Connecticut
Helen HeiskellDNP, Medical College of Georgia
Christina HigginsMSN, University of Mississippi
Carol HrusovskyDNP, Executive Leadership, American Sentinel University
Joyce JohnstonDNP, Clinical Leadership, Case Western University
Karen KapkePh.D., Human Development, University of Wisconsin
Judith KaplanDoctor of Health Administration, University of Phoenix
Bonny KehmPh.D., Nursing Education, Capella University
Emily KeyesPh.D., Nursing, University of Virginia
Audrey Knippa MPH, University of California
Christopher KowalDNP, Executive Leadership, American Sentinel University
Heidi LandryDNS, Nursing Administration, Louisiana State University Health Science Center
Michael LandryDNS, Nursing Administration, Louisiana State University Health Sciences
Karla LarsonPh.D., Adult and Post-Secondary Education, Capella University
Debra LuisiMSN, Education, Walden University
Linda MarcuccilliPh.D., Nursing, Wayne State University
Lucy Martinez-SchallmoserPh.D., Nursing Science, University of Illinois
Myron "Todd" McDonaldMSN, Troy State University
Jennifer McGoffMSN, University of Rochester
Sarah MeeksMSN, Walden University
Geraldine MitchellMSN, Rochville University
Sarah MooreMSN, University of Phoenix
Joanne NanavatyMSN, Management and Organizational Leadership, American Sentinel University
Patricia NataleMSN, Wayne State University
Kimberly NerudMSN, Nursing and Health Care Education, University of Phoenix
Cynthia NewellPh.D., Health Administration, Walden University
Mary OlsonDNP, Adult Nursing Practitioner, George Washington University
Barbara PatePh.D., Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Cathryn PawlusiakMS Health Care Administration, Central Michigan University
Margaret PearceMSN, Family Practice, Widener University
Melissa PennerMSN, Nursing Educator, Kaplan University
Wanda PierceyDHA, University of Phoenix
Kelley PlantMSN, Nursing Education, Albany State University
Mercy PopoolaPh.D., Nursing, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Juanita RassPh.D., Nursing Education and Organization and Management, Capella University
Suzanne RichinsDHA, Medical University of South Carolina
Jo Ann RunewiczEd.D., Curriculum, Technology and Instruction, NOVA Southeastern University
Tonya Sawyer-McGeeDNP, Catham University
Cynthia ScansaroleMSN, American Sentinel University
Kristin SciuttoMSN, Clinical Nurse Leader, Elmhurst College
Kim SharkeyDNP, American Sentinel University
Debra ShipmanMSN, Nursing Leadership. Old Dominion University
Kristine SkalskyEd.D., Instructional Leadership, Argosy University
Kelli SmithPh.D., Education, Capella University
Elizabeth StuckeyM.S., Nursing Education, Minnesota State University
Eileen ThomasPh.D., University of Colorado
Susan ThomasMSN, Health Care Systems Management, Loyola University
Elaine TownsleyDHA, University of Phoenix
Joyce Van NattaMSN, Nursing Education, American Sentinel University
Cara WallacePh.D., Education, Capella University
Elise WebbMSN, University of Phoenix
Lakeisha WhelessMSN, Education, Duke University
Cherie WhitingPhD, Leadership, Andrews University
Cheryl WilliamsDHEd, A.T. Still University
Sandra WisePh.D., Health Education, University of Toledo
Denniel WitkowskiMSN, Leadership and Management, Walden University
Kelly WitterMSN, University of Phoenix
Pamela WootenMSN, Education, Walden University

Business

Joan AnderssenM.S., Commercial Banking, University of Colorado at Boulder
Vicki BefortM.Ed., Business Education, Colorado State University
Monica BessMS, Business and Leadership, Franklin University
Saundra BraxtonPh.D., Organization Management, Capella University
Lydia CampuzanoDBA, University of Phoenix
Tonia CanadaMBA, Information Systems, Troy University
Ping Ching Winnie ChanPh.D., Economics, University of Toronto
Margaret CzartDPH, University of Illinois at Chicago
Amit DavePh.D. Education Leadership, Clark Atlanta University
Theodore FlattMIBA, Nova Southeasthern University
Ted FramanMBA, Marketing, University of Texas at Austin
Jacqueline GilliardPh.D., Organization and Management, Capella University
Valentina GokenbachDoctor of Management, Organizational Leadership, University of Phoenix
Kathleen IvesDM, Organizational Leadership, University of Phoenix
Judith KaplanDoctor of Health Administration, University of Phoenix
Alex LazoPh.D., Organization and Management, IT Management specialization, Capella University
Douglas LewisJ.D., Capital University Law School
Michael McGivernPh.D., Organizational Development, Walden University
Lisa MoccaldiM.S., Organizational Management, St Joseph's College
Cathryn PawlusiakMS Health Care Administration, Central Michigan University
Jane PetrickPh.D., Organizational Psychology, The Saybrook Institute
Wanda PierceyDHA, University of Phoenix
Suzanne RichinsDHA, Medical University of South Carolina
Patricia SchroederMBA, Finance, Nova Southeastern University
Kim SharkeyDNP, American Sentinel University
Gigi SmithPh.D., Management, Colorado Technical University
Cherie WhitingPhD, Leadership, Andrews University
Ken WongDBA, University of Newcastle, Australia
Hong ZhaoM.S., Accountancy, California State University

General Education

Philip BencePh.D., Practical Theology St. Mary's College, University of St. Andrews, Scotland
Jane BinnsMFA, Creative Writing, Naropa University
Ping Ching Winnie ChanPh.D., Economics, University of Toronto
John ChappoPh.D., American History, University of Southern Mississippi
Elizabeth da RosaM.A., Sociology, DePaul University
Amit DavePh.D. Education Leadership, Clark Atlanta University
La Verne DonelsonM.S., Counseling, California State University at East Bay
Thomas Donovan IIIPh.D., Philosophy, University of California, Riverside
Ashraf EsmailPhD Sociology, Educational Leadership, Union Institution University
Karen FaithM.A., Geography, Arizona State University
Laurin HafnerPh.D., Social Psychology, University of Connecticut
Miriam HuffPh.D., Professional Studies, Capella University
Eric LanceM.S.C.E. Counseling Psychology, University of West Alabama
Amy LaptadPh.D., Education, Northcentral University
Vanessa LeonardM.A., Communication, University of Northern Colorado
Julia MaypoleM.A., World History, Regis University
Nelda McCrayEd.D., Higher Education, Morgan State University
Lisa MoccaldiM.S., Organizational Management, St Joseph's College
Antoinette Percy-LaurryM.S., Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Jane PetrickPh.D., Organizational Psychology, The Saybrook Institute
Terese StrattaPh.D., Education, Southern Illinois University
Gene ZieglerPhD, Geography, Penn State University