Business Arts and Sciences Education

School of Arts & Sciences Faculty Directory

Professor of Biology
Chair, Division of Math and Natural Sciences

Phone: 785-248-2581
PhD - University of Western Ontario
MHL - Ottawa University
MS - University of Missouri
BA - University of Minnesota
Dr. Steven Boese grew up on a small family farm (dairy, crop and stock) in rural South Dakota.  This rural upbringing has continued to influence his values and goals in the areas of sustainability and food security.  Steven received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in biology and minors in chemistry and geology from the University of Minnesota - Morris.  After receiving a Master of Science degree in Forestry from the University of Missouri - Columbia, he spent 5 months in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire at that time) with Habitat for Humanity and African Inter Mennonite Missions.   He then obtained a PhD in Plant Sciences from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario.  Dr. Boese has post-doctorate experience at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research in Ithaca, NY, and the Fruit and Vegetable Crops Department, Cornell University where he worked with global climate change research (before climate research became popular). 

Dr. Boese joined Ottawa University Biology Department in August of 2007, teaching a wide range of biology courses at the organismal and higher levels of organization.  Additionally, Dr. Boese teaches an interdisciplinary course on hunger issues and has co-taught an interdisciplinary course on disaster response, planning and assessment. 

Along with sailing, gardening and woodworking, Dr. Boese is very active in community outreach.  He has volunteered with the American Red Cross for local fire and disaster response, volunteered with OYAA and Imagine Art youth art clubs, presented numerous “Science Saturdays” at the community library, provided after-school programs, and worked with scouting groups for badges.   Dr. Boese spearheaded the Math and Science Showcase effort that has brought several hundred area high school students to campus and has worked with the local school district to provide science enrichment for the middle school gifted program.  

Professor in Charge, Addictions Counseling

Professor of Psychology & Human and Social Services

Phone: 602-7371-1188
PhD - Saybrook University
MHL - Ottawa University
MA - Bradley University
BS - Bradley University
Dr. Karen Bryson holds the faculty rank of Professor of Psychology and Human Services.  Karen earned a Ph.D. in Human Science from Saybrook University and earned a Master’s degree in Counseling from Bradley University.  She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC). Karen began working at Ottawa in April of 2005.
Karen has extensive experience teaching Ottawa’s Liberal Arts, Psychology, and Human Services programs. She serves at the Lead Faculty for Liberal Arts for APGS. She was part of the initial faculty team, who helped develop Ottawa’s early online teaching standards and she has been teaching regularly for online since its start as a unit in January of 2008.  Karen also serves as a Phase I Certification instructor, a Phase II mentor and a Phase III peer reviewer for Ottawa Online.

In her personal life, Karen is an award-winning/optioned screenwriter, produced playwright and best-selling novelist.  Karen has been writing since she learned to read and fell in love with books.  When she's not at her computer creating new stories, Karen enjoys spending time with her husband, who is an Ottawa graduate, and their bloodhounds.


Adawe LifePlan Center Advisor
Instructor in Philosophy

Director of Library Services
Associate Professor of Library Science

Phone: 785-248-2536
PhD - Kansas State University
MA/MBA - Ottawa University
MLS - Emporia State University
B.Bibl - University of Cape Town
Gloria Creed-Dikeogu has worked for Ottawa University for 16 years as Director of Library Services and Associate Professor of Library Science. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Library and Information Science in 1986, with majors in English Literature, Library Science and Information Science and minors in Afrikaans and Archaeology, and a Higher Diploma in Education: Post Graduate: Secondary, (which is a Teachers Certification to teach High School) in 1988, from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.  Gloria spent two years teaching in high schools in Cape Town and two years working as a Public Librarian at Cape Town City Libraries prior to coming to study Speech-Language Pathology at  University of Kansas in 1990. In 1994, she reverted to her old field and transferred to Emporia State University, to begin a Master's Degree in Library and Information Management, working two part-time library jobs at Lawrence Public Library and Kansas City Missouri Public Library, respectively, while completing her degree, part-time in 1999.
Prior to coming to Ottawa University in 2002, Gloria worked in a variety of public library settings. While at Ottawa University, she completed a Master's Degree in Human Resources in 2006 and a Master's Degree in Business Administration in 2008 at Ottawa University’s Kansas City site and a Ph.D in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in Online Learning and Instructional Design at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. In Fall 2018, Gloria began work on a Graduate Certificate in User Experience and Usability at SISLT, University of Missouri, Columbia. She is actively involved in committee work in three professional library organizations: at the National Level, the American Library Association and Association of College and Research Libraries and at the State Level, the Kansas Library Association, serving as its President (2016-17) and Past President (2018).

Adawe LifePlan Center Advisor
Career Services Coordinator
Instructor in Psychology

Phone: 785-248-2562
MS Ed - University of Kansas
BA - Ottawa University
Christine Currier comes to the Adawe Center from the OU Psychology Department, where she has taught as an adjunct, and most recently as a full-time interim psychology instructor. She has a background in career development, retention services, and counseling, holding a Master’s degree in Counseling from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Ottawa University.

Christy served as the Director of Career Development for Park University where she worked as a team with other career directors to create a consortium to better serve the needs of small-college students. For Avila University, Christy implemented several new programs, including a First-Year Seminar, with the goal of improving student retention. 

Recently, she has worked seeing individual clients as a Cognitive Therapist. Christy has been active in organizations such as Hope House and Communities in Schools. She enjoys writing and directing children’s dramas for the First Baptist Church. Christy and her husband, Don, also an OU alum, have 3 children.

Associate Professor of Nursing


PhD - Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
MSN -  University of Illinois
BSN - Northern Illinois
CNE - Certified Nurse Educator
Dr. DeWitt previously held a faculty position at Colorado Christian University in Northglenn, Colorado, where she served as a professor and the director of their RN-BSN program since 2008 . Dr. DeWitt has more than 20 years of experience in medical-surgical nursing, critical-care nursing, administration, nursing research, and nursing education. She is also active in the Nurses Christian Fellowship; the Arizona Nurses Association where she serves as a Peer Reviewer of Continuing Education; the Arizona League for Nursing as the Conference Planning Chairperson; the Arizona Organization of Nurse Executives as an education committee member; Sigma Theta Tau International; and has co-authored a book chapter in Teaching in Nursing.

Professor of English

Phone: 785-248-2567

PhD - Washington University
MHL - Ottawa University
MA - Washington University
AB - Oberlin College


Dr. Barbara Dinneen received her undergraduate degree in History and English from Oberlin College, and her masters and PhD in literature from Washington University in St. Louis; she wrote her dissertation on the novels of Willa Cather.  She has been teaching literature and interdisciplinary humanities at Ottawa University since 1996, and has served in several administrative capacities during her tenure, including director of liberal arts studies, academic dean, and interim provost.  Writing and scholarly pursuits include presentations at the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment Conference, the Baseball in Literature and Culture Conference, and the Sport in Literature Association conference. Her essay "Daughters Watching Fathers Playing Catch with Sons" was published in the December 2016 issue of Aethlon; she has presented papers on topics as disparate as Jane Eyre's tragic abandonment of her natural self,Charley Pride's unique baseball and country music careers, and the merits of using writing-across-the-curriculum techniques to defuse fear of poetry.  Ongoing creative projects include two novels. 

In her spare time, Barbara plants potatoes, harvests blackberries, sighs heavily, and walks her dogs.  

Associate Professor of Communication

Phone: 785-248-2520
MHL - Ottawa University
MS - Cornell University
BA - Southwest Baptist University
Shannon Dyer has brought extensive education and experience to the OU communication studies division.  As an early indication of her commitment and ability, she earned a Bachelor of Science in four separate majors in four years (communication, psychology, art, and Spanish) at Southwest Baptist University (SBU).  She went on to earn a Master of Science in Communication from Cornell University and is completing doctoral studies in communication at Northwestern University.

Dyer has been an associate professor of communication with Ottawa University since 2005 and served as chair of the communication studies division for the residential campus from 2005-2015.  She is also the acting director of forensics and led the 2006-2007 OU forensics team to sixth place in the state of Kansas in a competition with no school divisions; one team member also walked away as state champion in an individual event.

Prior to joining OU, Dyer served as a summer program instructor at Yale University and Northwestern University and has taught courses for Cornell University, Northwestern University, Loyola University of Chicago, and Lake Forest College.  Dyer has published several articles in her field and routinely makes professional presentations at conferences around the country.  As the director of forensics at SBU, she led the 2003 team to the National Championship of Pi Kappa Delta, the largest speech and debate honor society in the country.  She has assisted with five other national championship teams.  As an undergraduate competitor, Dyer’s team went undefeated for four years, including defending the Pi Kappa Delta title.  Her award-winning speeches were featured as examples in two prominent speech textbooks.

Assistant Professor of Music
Director of Choral Music

Phone: 785-248-2523
MM - Colorado State University
BME - Miami University
Serena Eichhorn holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she studied with Dr. Ethan Sperry and Dr. William Bausano.  She also holds a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, where she studied with Dr. James Kim. While at Colorado State University she was the director of the University Chorus and taught music education classes. Eichhorn is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Music from the University of Southern California where studies with Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe, Dr. Nick Strimple, and Dr. Cristian Grases. While taking classes at USC she served as co-conductor of the University Chorus and Festival Coordinator for the Department of Choral and Sacred Music. Her fields of study include Sacred Music, Collegiate Teaching, and Vocal Performance while her dissertation topic focuses on warm-ups in the high school choral classroom.
Eichhorn most recently served as Director of Education for the Young Musicians Foundation Teaching Artist Program where supervised thirty music teachers in Los Angeles area schools and created curriculum and assessment strategies unique to the program. The Teaching Artist Program provides music education opportunities both during and after the school day in schools that do not have a music teacher. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, Eichhorn worked for South Tama County School District as the Department Head for Fine Arts and served as Vocal Music Director teaching three choirs, directing musical productions, as well as coaching and judging speech competitions. 
A mezzo-soprano, Eichhorn is also an active choral and solo singer.She worked as alto soloist at All Saints Church in Pasadena, California, and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Fort Collins, Colorado, performing solos from major choral works while performing with the choirs. As a member of various choral groups, she has toured all over the United States as well as Italy, China, and South Korea. Some of her most memorable performances include singing for conductors James Conlon and Helmuth Rilling as well as back-​up vocals for A.R. Rahman, The Rolling Stones, Barry Manilow, and Elton John.
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