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New instructional and clinical professors join CLASS

Among the new non-tenure track faculty members is a new Air Force ROTC commander

Lt. Col. Lynn Bentley
Lt. Col. Lynn Bentley
Captain Kevin Braswell
Captain Kevin Braswell

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences welcomes its new non-tenure track faculty members. The instructional and clinical faculty members draw on their professional experiences outside of academia to enliven their teaching.

Among this new group of faculty hires are members of three divisions of the U.S. Armed Forces who are working and teaching in the three Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs housed within CLASS – Air Force, Navy, and Army, which is known as the Military Science program in the College. Those new faculty members are:

  • Captain Kevin Braswell, Army ROTC assistant professor of military science
  • Captain Andrew Nelson, Naval science marine officer instructor
  • Lt. Col. Lynn Bentley, professor of Air Force science and commander of the UH Air Force ROTC Detachment

As commander, Lt. Col. Bentley is responsible for recruiting and preparing officer candidates for Air Force commissioning.

“I teach sophomores and seniors,” he said. “I teach the sophomores a course which covers topics such as leadership and the history of the Air Force. I teach the seniors a course about policy, military doctrine, and global cultures.”

When students complete the Air Force ROTC program and receive their degree, they are commissioned as second lieutenants. Non-flying officers serve a four-year commitment on active duty, navigators serve six years after training, and pilots 10 years after training.

“I have a unique opportunity to help young people set their path in life,” Lt. Col. Bentley said. “This is a fabulous career with opportunities to further your education, travel, and move around the country and the world.”

Lt. Col. Bentley is an example of someone who made the most of the educational opportunities the military provides. He completed the Air Force ROTC program at Southern Illinois University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management.  He also earned a Master of Business Administration from Regis University and a second master’s degree in Military Operational Art and Science from Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.

“The military is very good about creating opportunities to get an education,” Bentley said.

In addition to the new ROTC faculty members, several other CLASS departments and schools have welcomed new clinical and instructional professors to their faculty ranks this academic year.

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Scot Pott, Clinical Instructor

Scot Pott

Scot Pott has returned to Houston to serve as a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. He graduated from Jersey Village High School in Houston and earned his Master of Public Health from the School of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston. Since 2007 he has served on the faculty of Western Michigan University where he taught American Sign Language. He currently serves as President of the Michigan Deaf Association.

Department of Economics

Natalia Zhivan, Clinical Assistant Professor

Natalia Zhivan

Natalia Zhivan’s fields of interest are health economics, health services research, cost-effectiveness analysis, applied econometrics, and research on aging. She earned her Master’s and PhD in Economics from Boston College and an M.S. in mathematical economics from St. Petersburg State University in Russia. Dr. Zhivan was named BIRCWH (Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health) Scholar at Tulane University for 2012-2014.  Prior to joining UH, Dr. Zhivan was Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Health Systems and Development at Tulane University.

Department of English

Aaron Reynolds, Instructional Assistant Professor

Aaron Reynolds has served as a senior lecturer in UH’s English Department since 2009. Prior to that, he was a full-time instructor for beginning and advanced-level undergraduate creative writing workshops at UH. He earned his PhD in Creative Writing at UH and his MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University. Dr. Reynolds was a finalist for Teaching Excellence at University of Houston in 2010 and 2011.

Department of Health and Human Performance

Jon Gray, Instructional Associate Professor

Jon Gray

Jon Gray has worked in three Texas school districts and has served as a teacher, coach, Assistant Principal, Associate Principal, Principal and Director of Instruction. In higher education, Dr. Gray has served as an Assistant Professor and Associate Professor of Health and Kinesiology. Dr. Gray’s research interests are in educational resilience, teacher effectiveness and physical education pedagogy. Dr. Gray has several publications and has presented research findings at International, National, State, and Regional conferences in his areas of interest. He earned his Ed.D. in Physical Education at UH in 2001 and completed a post-doc in School Reform at The Center for Research on Education, Diversity and Excellence at UH in 2002.

Joanna Macsas, Instructional Assistant Professor

Joanna Macsas

Joanna Macsas earned a B.S. in Science/Kinesiology at Tarleton State University in 2013. She currently works as a Group Fitness instructor, a boot camp Instructor, and as a Personal Trainer at Tarleton Recreation Center in Stephenville, Texas. Previously, she was a Group Fitness instructor at the Northlakes Recreation Center in Denton, Texas.

Joshua Yellen, Clinical Assistant Professor

Joshua Yellen

Joshua Yellen’s research interests are directed towards leadership behaviors in athletic training education. Specifically, he is interested in the leadership behaviors of the Program Director and how that affects the organizational health and well-being of the organization. Dr. Yellen has developed a Program Director- Leadership Behavior Assessment Tool (PD-LBAT) that identifies the Personal Leadership, Program Leadership, and People Leadership aspects of the Program Director. Dr. Yellen holds an MA in Kinesiology from California State University, Long Beach and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at Southeastern Louisiana University.