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
Chief Academic Officer, Professor of Business and Technology
Dr. John R. Bourne is provost 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
- General Education
Philip Bence Ph.D., Practical Theology St. Mary's College, University of St. Andrews, Scotland Jane Binns MFA, Creative Writing, Naropa University Ping Ching Winnie Chan Ph.D., Economics, University of Toronto John Chappo Ph.D., American History, University of Southern Mississippi Elizabeth da Rosa M.A., Sociology, DePaul University Amit Dave Ph.D. Education Leadership, Clark Atlanta University La Verne Donelson M.S., Counseling, California State University at East Bay Thomas Donovan III Ph.D., Philosophy, University of California, Riverside Karen Faith M.A., Geography, Arizona State University Laurin Hafner Ph.D., Social Psychology, University of Connecticut Miriam Huff Ph.D., Professional Studies, Capella University Eric Lance M.S.C.E. Counseling Psychology, University of West Alabama Amy Laptad Ph.D., Education, Northcentral University Vanessa Leonard M.A., Communication, University of Northern Colorado Julia Maypole M.A., World History, Regis University Nelda McCray Ed.D., Higher Education, Morgan State University Lisa Moccaldi M.S., Organizational Management, St Joseph's College Antoinette Percy-Laurry M.S., Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham Jane Petrick Ph.D., Organizational Psychology, The Saybrook Institute Terese Stratta Ph.D., Education, Southern Illinois University Gene Ziegler PhD, Geography, Penn State University
Joan Anderssen M.S., Commercial Banking, University of Colorado at Boulder Vicki Befort M.Ed., Business Education, Colorado State University Monica Bess MS, Business and Leadership, Franklin University Saundra Braxton Ph.D., Organization Management, Capella University Lydia Campuzano DBA, University of Phoenix Tonia Canada MBA, Information Systems, Troy University Ping Ching Winnie Chan Ph.D., Economics, University of Toronto Margaret Czart DPH, University of Illinois at Chicago Amit Dave Ph.D. Education Leadership, Clark Atlanta University Theodore Flatt MIBA, Nova Southeasthern University Ted Framan MBA, Marketing, University of Texas at Austin Jacqueline Gilliard Ph.D., Organization and Management, Capella University Valentina Gokenbach Doctor of Management, Organizational Leadership, University of Phoenix Kathleen Ives DM, Organizational Leadership, University of Phoenix Judith Kaplan Doctor of Health Administration, University of Phoenix Guerman Kornilov Ph.D., Economics, American University Alex Lazo Ph.D., Organization and Management, IT Management specialization, Capella University Douglas Lewis J.D., Capital University Law School Michael McGivern Ph.D., Organizational Development, Walden University Lisa Moccaldi M.S., Organizational Management, St Joseph's College Cathryn Pawlusiak MS Health Care Administration, Central Michigan University Jane Petrick Ph.D., Organizational Psychology, The Saybrook Institute Wanda Piercey DHA, University of Phoenix Suzanne Richins DHA, Medical University of South Carolina Patricia Schroeder MBA, Finance, Nova Southeastern University Kim Sharkey DNP, American Sentinel University Gigi Smith Ph.D., Management, Colorado Technical University Timothy Waterhouse M.D., Georgetown University of Medicine Cherie Whiting PhD, Leadership, Andrews University Ken Wong DBA, University of Newcastle, Australia Hong Zhao M.S., Accountancy, California State University
- Health Sciences and Nursing
Catherine Amitrano MSN, Russell Sage College Lygia Arcaro Ph.D., Health Sciences, Trident University International Priscilla Aylesworth MSN, State University of New York, Upstate Medical University Jodie Baumtrog MSN, University of Memphis Edward Beard Jr DNP, American Sentinel University Bonnie Beardsley Ph.D., Education, Walden University Ami Bhatt DNP, Oakland University Deborah Bishop DNP, Executive Leadership, American Sentinel University Megan Bivens MSN, Florida State University Cynthia Bostick Ph.D., Nursing, University of Colorado Laura Bourdeanu Ph.D., Nursing, Azusa Pacific University Rose Brault Ed.D., Boston University Mirella Brooks Ph.D., Nursing, University of Hawaii at Manoa Michelle Burns MSN, University of Mississippi Medical Center Sheri Byrnes MSN, University of Phoenix Lydia Campuzano DBA, University of Phoenix Patricia Cannistraci DNS, Education and Leadership, Sage Colleges Linda Carl Ed.D., Educational Leadership Practitioner, University of Phoenix Jean Chronis-Kuhn DNP, Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions Pamela Cislo MSN, Saginaw Valley State University Kadriyya Clark DNP, University of Maryland, Baltimore Karen Crouse Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, University of Hartford Karen Cummins Ph.D., Education, Capella University Vanessa DePuente MSN, University of Washington Nancy Dhonau DNP, Chatham University Mary Drobnak MSN, American Sentinel University William Dunne MSN, Athabasca University Catherine Earl DBA, Western Michigan Karen Egenes MSN, Norwich University Ellie Franey Ph.D., Family and Child Ecology, Michigan State University Sarah Gabua MSN, Leadership and Management, Walden University EM Garcia DHEd, A.T. Still University Jacqueline Gilliard Ph.D., Organization and Management, Capella University Yvette Glenn MSN, Illinois State University Jean Gordon Doctor of Business Administration, Nova Southeastern University Daniel Gracie DNP, Advanced Practice Nurse, Medical University of South Carolina Davis Michael Graham Ph.D., Social Work, Ohio State University Roger Green DNP, Rush University Laurin Hafner Ph.D., Social Psychology, University of Connecticut Helen Heiskell DNP, Medical College of Georgia Christina Higgins MSN, University of Mississippi Carol Hrusovsky DNP, Executive Leadership, American Sentinel University Joyce Johnston DNP, Clinical Leadership, Case Western University Karen Kapke Ph.D., Human Development, University of Wisconsin Judith Kaplan Doctor of Health Administration, University of Phoenix Bonny Kehm Ph.D., Nursing Education, Capella University Emily Keyes Ph.D., Nursing, University of Virginia Audrey Knippa MPH, University of California Christopher Kowal DNP, Executive Leadership, American Sentinel University Heidi Landry DNS, Nursing Administration, Louisiana State University Health Science Center Michael Landry DNS, Nursing Administration, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Karla Larson Ph.D., Adult and Post-Secondary Education, Capella University Susan Layton Ed.D., University of Georgia Debra Luisi MSN, Education, Walden University Linda Marcuccilli Ph.D., Nursing, Wayne State University Lucy Martinez-Schallmoser Ph.D., Nursing Science, University of Illinois Myron "Todd" McDonald MSN, Troy State University Jennifer McGoff MSN, University of Rochester Sarah Meeks MSN, Walden University Geraldine Mitchell MSN, Rochville University Sarah Moore MSN, University of Phoenix Joanne Nanavaty MSN, Management and Organizational Leadership, American Sentinel University Patricia Natale MSN, Wayne State University Kimberly Nerud MSN, Nursing and Health Care Education, University of Phoenix Cynthia Newell Ph.D., Health Administration, Walden University Mary Olson DNP, Adult Nursing Practitioner, George Washington University Barbara Pate Ph.D., Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Cathryn Pawlusiak MS Health Care Administration, Central Michigan University Margaret Pearce MSN, Family Practice, Widener University Melissa Penner MSN, Nursing Educator, Kaplan University Wanda Piercey DHA, University of Phoenix Kelley Plant MSN, Nursing Education, Albany State University Mercy Popoola Ph.D., Nursing, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Juanita Rass Ph.D., Nursing Education and Organization and Management, Capella University Suzanne Richins DHA, Medical University of South Carolina Tonya Sawyer-McGee DNP, Catham University Cynthia Scansarole MSN, American Sentinel University Victoria Schad MSN, Nursing Leadership and Management, Drexel University Kristin Sciutto MSN, Clinical Nurse Leader, Elmhurst College Kim Sharkey DNP, American Sentinel University Debra Shipman MSN, Nursing Leadership. Old Dominion University Kristine Skalsky Ed.D., Instructional Leadership, Argosy University Stephanie Slater MSN, University of Phoenix Kelli Smith Ph.D., Education, Capella University Elizabeth Stuckey M.S., Nursing Education, Minnesota State University Eileen Thomas Ph.D., University of Colorado Susan Thomas MSN, Health Care Systems Management, Loyola University Elaine Townsley DHA, University of Phoenix Joyce Van Natta MSN, Nursing Education, American Sentinel University Mary Walker Ph.D., Nursing Science, University of Illinois Cara Wallace Ph.D., Education, Capella University Elise Webb MSN, University of Phoenix Lakeisha Wheless MSN, Education, Duke University Cherie Whiting PhD, Leadership, Andrews University Cheryl Williams DHEd, A.T. Still University Sandra Wise Ph.D., Health Education, University of Toledo Denniel Witkowski MSN, Leadership and Management, Walden University Kelly Witter MSN, University of Phoenix Pamela Wooten MSN, Education, Walden University
Jason Andress DCS Computer Science, Colorado Technical University Saundra Braxton Ph.D., Organization Management, Capella University Rhonda Chicone DBA, Applied Computer Science, Northcentral University Margaret Czart DPH, University of Illinois at Chicago Amit Dave Ph.D. Education Leadership, Clark Atlanta University Thomas Donovan III Ph.D., Philosophy, University of California, Riverside Leslie Ellis MBA, Information Systems, University of North Alabama Jacqueline Gilliard Ph.D., Organization and Management, Capella University Valentina Gokenbach Doctor of Management, Organizational Leadership, University of Phoenix Leila Halawi DBA, Information Technology Management, Nova Southeastern University Kathleen Hargiss Ph.D., Instruction and Curriculum, University of South Florida Peggy Harper M.S. Geography, Mississippi State University Alex Lazo Ph.D., Organization and Management, IT Management specialization, Capella University Michael McGivern Ph.D., Organizational Development, Walden University Suzanne Richins DHA, Medical University of South Carolina Octavian Rotaru Ph.D., Computer Science, Polytechnic University of Bucharest Gigi Smith Ph.D., Management, Colorado Technical University Patricia White Ph.D., Information Systems, Nova Southeastern University
Jason Andress DCS Computer Science, Colorado Technical University Tonia Canada MBA, Information Systems, Troy University Paul Capicik MA, Computer Resource Management, Webster University Rhonda Chicone DBA, Applied Computer Science, Northcentral University Theon Danet Ph.D., Information Systems, Nova Southeastern Amit Dave Ph.D. Education Leadership, Clark Atlanta University Chris den Heijer DCS, Computer Science and Enterprise Information, Colorado Technical University John Denson MAS, Information Security, University of Denver Bill Dickinson MGIS, Pennsylvania State University Thomas Donovan III Ph.D., Philosophy, University of California, Riverside Leslie Ellis MBA, Information Systems, University of North Alabama Ray Fernandez Ed.S., Computing Technology in Education, Nova Southeastern University Roxana Giusca Ph.D., Geography, University of Bucharest Michael Glasser MS, Information Technology, Kaplan University Greg Goodwin MS GIS, Northern Arizona University Leila Halawi DBA, Information Technology Management, Nova Southeastern University Linda Hamons DCS, Computer Science, Colorado Technical University Kathleen Hargiss Ph.D., Instruction and Curriculum, University of South Florida Peggy Harper M.S. Geography, Mississippi State University Michele Haywood MA, Instructional Design, Capella University Kathleen Ives DM, Organizational Leadership, University of Phoenix Mike Johnsen MS Geology, Western Washington University Mary McDonald DCS., Computer Science, Colorado Technical University Stephen McElroy Ph.D. Geography, San Diego State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara Michael McGivern Ph.D., Organizational Development, Walden University Lee Mitchell MS, Mississippi State University Festus Onyegbula DCS Enterprise Information Systems, Colorado Technical University Hany Othman DCS, Colorado Technical University James Prunier MA, Information Management, Webster University Daniel Randall M.S., Computer Science, Capitol College Candi Reid M.S., Computer Science, University of Denver Octavian Rotaru Ph.D., Computer Science, Polytechnic University of Bucharest Gabriel Schmidbauer M.S., Geographic Information Systems, State University of New York, Buffalo Gigi Smith Ph.D., Management, Colorado Technical University Julia Smith Ph.D., Information Systems and Communication, Robert Morris University Roniqua Watkins M.S., Information Technology, Capella University Patricia White Ph.D., Information Systems, Nova Southeastern University Ken Wong DBA, University of Newcastle, Australia Gene Ziegler PhD, Geography, Penn State University