Employee Transitions and Distinctions: Spring '17
A host of Bluefield College faculty and staff were involved in a variety of professional distinctions and transitions during the spring of 2017.

Employee Transitions and Distinctions: Spring '17

By Chris Shoemaker | June 12, 2017 | RSS

A host of Bluefield College faculty and staff were involved in a variety of professional distinctions and transitions during the spring of 2017.

Kevin Bowers was named head coach for both men’s and women’s tennis after serving as an assistant coach for tennis for several seasons. He played collegiate tennis at Radford University where he also earned a bachelor’s degree in commercial fitness and small business management.

Caroline Dixon
Caroline Dixon.

Human resources specialist Caroline Dixon took on the added duties of accounts payable for the BC Business Office. A Bluefield College graduate, Dixon joined the BC staff in the fall of 2011 after working several years with First Sentinel Bank and First Community Bank. In her roles as an HR specialist, Dixon manages payroll and employee benefits and serves as a Title IX deputy coordinator.

Jayson Everson joined the BC family as a recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach for football. Before Bluefield, Everson was an assistant coach for football at Rockingham County High School and George Washington High School. He also served as a student assistant coach for football at Averett University, where he earned a degree in physical education.

Lelia Fry, director of student first-year experience, became the director of student success and students in transition, assuming the responsibility of student retention and becoming the coordinator of the Student Success Committee. Fry joined the BC staff in the fall of 2016.

Sara Goodson was named head coach of the BC cheerleading team. She came to Bluefield after serving as head coach of the Tazewell High School competition cheerleading squad from 2011 to 2016. A former national champion cheerleader with River Cities Cheerleading and Gymnastics in Hurricane, West Virginia, Goodson cheered collegiately at Marshall University.

Lelis Fry
Lelia Fry.

Patricia Jacobs joined the BC family as director of the New Opportunity School for Women and community service. Before Bluefield, she served as a counselor at Greater Appalachian Outreach in Bluefield, West Virginia. She holds undergraduate degrees from the University of Virginia and Radford University and a master’s degree from the University of Virginia. Since joining the BC family, Jacobs has been acknowledged as a contributor to the book Fire is Water, an insider’s glimpse into the culture of Appalachia, written by Jim Minick, who says Jacobs “provided some of the folk remedies and rationale behind faith healing for the novel.”

Dino Kaklis came on staff as an associate head coach and defensive coordinator for football. His previous coaching experience includes 10 years as head coach for football at Bethel University, along with seven years as an assistant coach at North Carolina A&T State University, the University of Virginia at Wise, Eastern Illinois University, Saint Francis University, and Maine Maritime Academy.

Hal Keene became BC’s new director of planned giving and major gifts. A 1984 Bluefield College graduate, Keene spent the majority of his professional career before Bluefield in the banking, insurance and financial services industry. Within the community, he is a youth league coach and Scoutmaster and finance chairman for the Mountain Dominion District of Boy Scouts of America.

Carly Kestner, director of financial aid, departed BC after 12 years of service. Her tenure in the Financial Aid Office included seven years as a financial aid processor and then assistant director of financial aid. Kestner also worked in financial aid at Virginia Tech.

Recent Bluefield College graduate Shelby Key was named assistant coach for women’s basketball. A transfer from Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland, Key played two years of basketball for the Lady Rams, earning Defensive Player of the Year honors her senior season.

Crystal Kieloch
Crystal Kieloch.

Crystal Kieloch, instructor of English and director of BC’s Quality Enhancement Plan, a writing program designed to reinforce student writing skills, was elected co-chair of the Board of Directors for the New Opportunity School for Women Foundation. Designed for women from Appalachia who haven’t had access to higher education or whose circumstances have left them in poverty or some other financial or personal predicament, the NOSW seeks to provide hope and a new beginning for disadvantaged women from Appalachia.

Markus Lawrence joined the staff as an offensive line coach for football after serving as an assistant coach for football at Hampton University. He was also a management information systems specialist at Winston-Salem State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree.

Dewey Lusk became the school’s 10th head football coach overall and third since reviving the program in 2012. He came to BC from Webber International University in Florida where he served as offensive coordinator. From 2011 to 2015, he was head coach at the University of Virginia at Wise after serving the Cavaliers for five years as offensive coordinator. He also served as an offensive coordinator for 14 years at Emory and Henry College.

Dr. Rob Merritt
Dr. Rob Merritt.

Dr. Rob Merritt, professor of English and dean of the College of Arts and Letters, led a poetry reading for the Mary Sue Dean Poet’s Society. Dr. Merritt has been published in a number of journals and anthologies. He also published his own poetry collections in Landscape Architects and The Language of Longing, as well as the critical study Early Music and the Aesthetics of Ezra Pound. He is a board member of the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation in West Virginia.

Dr. Merritt along with theatre professors Charles Reese and Rebecca McCoy-Reese were selected by the Council of Independent Colleges to participate in an Information Fluency Workshop on the Arts in New Orleans, Louisiana. The purpose of the workshop was to help institutions move beyond information literacy in general education to information fluency in humanities majors.

Ryan Moody returned to Bluefield College to serve as an assistant coach for men’s basketball after serving the past year as director of basketball operations for Scouts Focus. Before that, he was director of basketball operations at BC from 2012 to 2015. A 2016, Bluefield College graduate, Moody attended and played basketball at Hargrave Military Academy.

Carrie Mullins joined the BC staff as Campus Store assistant. Before Bluefield, she worked at 5th and Broadway, the campus store of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and in the Admissions Office at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee. Other work experience includes social work at several non-profit organizations.

Chase Neidig
Chase Neidig.

Business Office manager Shirley Mutter was promoted to controller. Mutter joined the BC staff in 2003 as a financial aid processor. She has since worked as an accounts payable manager, payroll manager and student accounts manager before becoming Business Office manager and now controller.

Men’s soccer head coach Chase Neidig was promoted to director of soccer operations, responsible now for the overall direction of both the men’s and women’s soccer programs. He joined the BC staff in 2011 as an assistant coach for men’s soccer, before becoming head coach for women’s soccer, then head coach for the men, and now director of soccer operations.

Russell Norton joined the BC family as a defensive line and special teams coach for football. He will also serve the Rams as director of football operations. His previous experience includes two seasons at Shorter University, where he was a defensive tackles coach, assistant equipment coordinator, and head junior varsity coach.

Debbie Price, a student advocate in BC Central, departed the college. She joined the staff in 2013 as a part time financial aid advocate. She came on full time as an administrative assistant for academic affairs in 2015.

Tom Price bid farewell to Bluefield College after four years as head coach for women’s soccer. He also served as assistant coach for men’s soccer. Price brought 13 years of coaching experience and 10 years youth ministry experience to the women’s soccer program.

Campus Safety director Will Robinson transitioned into a role with the BC maintenance staff. Robinson joined the Campus Safety staff in 2011 and was promoted to director in 2014.

Gary Ruth joined the BC family to fill the void left by Robinson as director of Campus Safety. Before Bluefield College, Ruth served as a lieutenant with the Bluefield, West Virginia Police Department. He brings more than 22 years of law enforcement experience to his new position.

Meagan Stroud joined the college as director of student activities and summer programs. Before BC, she, a native of Bluefield, Virginia, and a graduate of Liberty University, worked four years in community outreach and event and program development for the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

Rod White joined the athletics staff as a recruiting coordinator and defensive backs coach for football. Before BC, he served as a defensive and special teams assistant for Towson University and an assistant coach for the University of Virginia at Wise. A graduate of West Liberty University, White is also a football trainer for It’s Artwork.

Hannah Whited, director of registration services, bid farewell to Bluefield College. A graduate of Bluefield State College, Whited came to BC from CONSOL Energy and CNX Gas and Land, where she served as a field engineer. At BC, she also served as coordinator of BC Central.

Emily Wingfield, director of residence life and summer programs, bid farewell to Bluefield College. A 2011 BC graduate with a master’s degree in social work from Radford University, Wingfield joined the college as a resident advisor in 2014.

Brenda Workman, assistant director of the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE), became the director of student success and retention and soon after was promoted to director of academic support and the Academic Center for Excellence. The 2016 recipient of BC’s Distinguished Staff Award, Workman joined the BC staff full time in the fall of 2011 as an administrative assistant for enrollment management after working part-time as director of the Fine Arts Community School. She was soon promoted to an admissions counselor for online students before joining the ACE.

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