School of Applied Sciences

The University of Mississippi

Applied Sciences Welcomes New Faculty

Posted on September 8th, 2017 by staff

Interim Dean, Dr. Teresa Carithers (center), welcomes (l-r) Dr. Saijun Zhang, Dr. Francis Boateng, Dr. Teresa Carithers, Dr. Davis Henderson, and Dr. Minsoo Kang.

Interim Dean, Dr. Teresa Carithers (center), welcomes (l-r) Dr. Saijun Zhang, Dr. Francis Boateng, Dr. Teresa Carithers, Dr. Davis Henderson, and Dr. Minsoo Kang.

Over the past six years, the School of Applied Science has experienced unprecedented growth. A six year assessment showed enrollment is up 17 percent. The number of degrees awarded has increased 82 percent. The number of peer-reviewed manuscripts is up an incredible 326 percent. These upward trends attract accomplished teacher-scholars from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds, like the four new faculty members who recently joined the school.

Faculty and students in the Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management have a new chair and professor in Dr. Minsoo Kang. He served on Middle Tennessee State University faculty from 2004 to 2017 where he received the Distinguished Research Award in 2013. MTSU and Illinois are the only two programs in Kinesmetrics—the application of measurement theory, statistics, and mathematical analysis to the field of kinesiology—in the entire country. Dr. Kang brings with him to UM his experience as Director for the Measurement and Statistical Consulting Service for the Kinesmetrics Laboratory at MTSU. He plans to provide the same type of research-based consulting on health and human performance research projects to researchers and students at Ole Miss. Kang earned his B.A. and M.A. at Seoul National University and his Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“Dr. Kang brings the vision and knowledge to help us expand our tremendous research potential in health, sports, and recreation through his data science and analytic expertise,” said Interim Dean, Dr. Teresa Carithers.

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders welcomed Dr. Davis Henderson as a new assistant professor. Henderson received his Ph.D. in speech and hearing science from Arizona State University. As a certified speech-language pathologist and native Navajo Indian, Henderson specializes in language development and impairment, language assessments among culturally and linguistically diverse populations, psychometrics and Navajo linguistics. Through his dissertation research, Henderson developed a dynamic assessment to identify Navajo children who need speech-language pathology services from those with normal, cultural speech differences. He will continue pursuing his research into creating speech and language assessments for Navajo children that accurately reflect their abilities.

“Dr. Henderson’s research has already revealed how culture can and should influence our teaching, research and clinical practice,” said Carithers. “We anticipate that his findings could positively impact practice beyond the Navajo populations as well.”

Dr. Saijun Zhang joins the Department of Social Work as Assistant Professor.

“The Department of Social Work is delighted to welcome Dr. Saijun Zhang to the social work team,” said Dr. Daphne Cain, chair of the Department of Social Work. “Dr. Zhang earned his Ph.D. and Master of Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and served as a postdoctoral research associate and research assistant professor and research specialist with the Children and Family Research Center there.”

Dr. Zhang specializes in child welfare and youth behavioral health with rich experience in program evaluation and policy analysis. His other research endeavors include youth substance abuse and mental health and social contexts on the wellbeing of children and families. Last year he presented his research at the 20th Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research on the prevalence of human trafficking of children in Illinois and the characteristics of those children who come to the attention of child protective services.  Zhang completed his B.A. and M.A. at East China Normal University in Shanghai, China.

Dr. Francis D. Boateng joined the Department of Legal Studies in October of last year from University of Minnesota-Crookston Campus, where he served as an assistant professor of criminal justice in the Department of Liberal Arts and Education. He received his Ph.D. in criminal justice and criminology from Washington State University and is currently working on series of projects testing organizational justice and support theories in a comparative context. He is also developing a book manuscript that provides both historical and contemporary accounts of policing in Ghana. His main research interests include comparative criminal justice, comparative policing, police legitimacy, international security, victimology, quantitative research, crime, law and justice. In addition to presenting papers at professional conferences, such as the American Society of Criminology, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and Western Association of Criminal Justice, his recent publications have appeared in a number of well-respected journals.

“He did not begin his services at Ole Miss until October last year, and since then he’s aggressively attacked the incredibly time-consuming labor of planning and teaching new courses, writing proposals and churning out a large number of refereed manuscripts,” said Linda Keena, interim chair for the Department of Legal Studies. “He has been highly effective in managing all those conflicting demands on his time and energy.  Our department is very pleased with his productivity.”

“We have had a wonderful start to our academic year and welcome these new teacher-scholars, as is my custom, with great expectations,” said Carithers.