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The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences serves the entire student population through its contributions to the core curriculum. In addition, it prepares students majoring in the Liberal Arts and Social Sciences to be leaders in their careers. Through its focus on the whole person through self-expression, ethical considerations, and the history of ideas, the College both prepares students for specific careers and enriches their lives by fostering life-long learning in a complex world.



CLASS Newsletter
Click here for the Fall 2015 edition.

CLASS Newsletter Fall 2015






Stanley Banks,
English Artist of Residence and Assistant Professor English

Stanley Banks, assistant professor and artist-in-residence at Avila University, uses creative writing to give students the first-hand knowledge of a real world practitioner.

Banks, a member of Avila’s faculty since 1998, said he chose to be an educator because he wanted to change the world for the better. ...more
Amity BrysonDr. Amity Bryson,
Associate Professor and Chair of Music

Dr. Bryson won the Professor of the year, 2009. She most recently took the Music students on a choir tour through Italy. Amity holds a D.M.A. in vocal performance from UMKC. She has performed with the local opera company, Opera Kadopera. She is past-President for the K.C. Metro National Association of Teachers of Singing and Repertoire Standards Chair for Women’s Choirs for the American Choral Directors Association. ...more
Dr. Amy Bucher,
Associate Professor of Psychology

Dr. Bucher is an Assistant Professor of Psychology. Dr. Bucher is a licensed psychologist and maintains a small private practice of psychology and works with individuals and couples. ...more
Dr. Carol Coburn,
Professor of Religious Studies and Women's Studies

Dr. Carol Coburn received her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1988 where she worked as a Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant in the History Department and as teaching faculty in the Women’s Studies Department. Coming to Avila University in 1989, she has taught courses in education, history, psychology, religious studies and women’s studies. ...more
Aaron Coffey, MBA,
Director of Graduate Psychology Enrollment Management

From early on in his professional life, Aaron Coffey knew he wanted a career in higher education. The closer he could get to working with and helping people achieve their dreams of a college degree, the happier he would be. ...more
Dr. Shanda Curiel,
Director of Clinical Education and Training and Assistant Professor of Psychology

Dr. Shanda Curiel joined the Avila Psychology Department as the Director of Clinical Education and Training and Assistant Professor in August of 2013. She is a native of the Kansas City area. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts ...more
Robert Foulk,
Assistant Professor and Director of Performance Studies

Robert Foulk, assistant professor and Director of Performance Studies , takes students studying the art of theatre on an epic journey off the page of the one retold in the scripts they study. Foulk believes in the organic nature of theatre by learning with students and studying tirelessly to improve his craft so that he may pass on that knowledge. ...more
Dr. Leah K. Gensheimer,
Associate Professor of Psychology

Dr. Gensheimer is a Community Psychologist who emphasizes an integrated systems-level, strengths-competencies approach to psychology. ...more
Dr. Charlene Gould,
Professor of Theatre and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

She oversees academic and co-curricular programming for undergraduate and graduate majors, including a professional licensure in psychology and a professionally accredited social work program. ...more
Jason Harris,
Director of Theatre Design and Technology; Associate Professor of Theatre

Jason has an M.F.A. from UMKC and a B.S. in Secondary Education from Kansas State. Before joining the Avila faculty, Jason made stops around Kansas City at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Theatre in the Park, Quality Hill Playhouse, and the Coterie Theatre. ...more
Dr. Abigail Lambke,
Assistant Professor of English

She specializes in rhetoric and composition with particular interest in the intersections of technology and rhetoric. While she researches and composes in various modes ...more
Dr. Teresa Lorenz,
Assistant Professor of Spanish

Dr. Teresa Lorenz is originally from northwestern Pennsylvania, where she completed her Bachelors of Arts in Education with a concentration in Foreign Languages at Gannon University in 2003. While in college, she was hired to teach elementary Spanish courses as a local diocesan school. ...more
Dr. Amy Milakovic,
Associate Professor of English

Dr. Milakovic received her Ph.D. in English from Texas Christian University and joined the Avila faculty in 2009. She specializes in rhetoric and composition, with research interests that include the rhetoric of war, visual rhetoric, and modern rhetorical theory. ...more
Dr. Jeffrey Myers,
Professor and Chair of History

Dr. Myers, a preeminent Holocaust scholar and historian of German history, was called to study the Holocaust after hearing a survivor bear witness. His response has come via teaching and scholarship to preserve the memory of and advocate for victims of this dark time in history. ...more
Dr. Francis Origanti,
Associate Professor of Social Work

A native of India, Dr. Origanti was born and brought up in Chennai, fourth largest city in India with a population of 7 million. ...more
Dr. Ken Parsons,
Associate Professor of Philosophy

Dr. Parsons is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and the Director for the Center for Global Studies & Social Justice. He joined the department in 2008 from his previous teaching positions at Central Michigan University and SUNY-Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY....more
Dr. Marcia Pasqualini,
Professor and Chair of Psychology

When Dr. Marcia Pasqualini sat in her wooden desk at Center High School as a student, she knew that one day she was going to leave the comforts of Kansas City and live abroad. During her junior year at Tulane University in New Orleans, Pasqualini got her first opportunity to travel the world, and she hasn’t stopped since. ...more
Dr. Kristopher Proctor,
Chair and Assistant Professor in the Department of Law and Justice Studies

His research currently focuses on developing individual-level theories of criminal behavior. He has authored numerous papers on topics within the areas of criminology and organizations, and is currently coauthoring a book ...more
Dr. Dominick Scalise,
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Dr. Dominick Scalise completed his PhD at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) in Counseling Psychology. Upon graduation, he worked as a staff psychologist ...more
Dr. Martin Shuster,
Chair of the Religious Studies & Philosophy

Dr. Shuster joined the department in 2014 after holding postdoctoral positions at the Johns Hopkins University and at Hamilton College. He is currently Chair of the Religious Studies & Philosophy department and Assistant Professor in Philosophy. ...more
Leslie Smith,
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Dr. Dorrough Smith's most recent research focuses on the cultural significance of American Conservative Protestant rhetoric, with special emphasis on the Christian Right. ...more
Dr. Regina Staves,
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Dr. Staves is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and is also the Director of Graduate Psychology. She active in our community as an advocate to prevent child abuse and neglect and also to support restorative justice. Dr. Staves currently serves as chair on the board of the Missouri Children's Trust Fund, which is Missouri 's foundation for child abuse prevention. ...more
Dr. Jordan Wagge,
Associate Professor of Psychology

Dr. Wagge is an Assistant Professor of Psychology. She advises Master's level students in the general psychology program and teaches courses in cognition, research methods, and general psychology in the undergraduate and graduate programs. ...more
WalkerDr. Anne Walker,
Mezzo-soprano, Music Artist-in-Residence

Dr. Anne Walker is an active teacher, clinician and performer. She joined the Avila University faculty in 2012 where she currently serves as the Artist-in-Residence. ...more
Dr. Kelly Watson,
Assistant Professor of History

In 2010, Dr. Watson earned her PhD from Bowling Green State University in American Culture Studies with a primary focus in early American history and a secondary specialization in Latin American history. She also earned ...more
Lindee Petersen Wilson,
Assistant Professor of Social Work

Avila University’s Lindee Petersen Wilson teaches students to learn more about themselves, the world they are living in, and to always have a deeper sense of knowledge and compassion about important and complex social work issues such as environmental, economic and social justice. ...more
11901 Wornall Road    :    Kansas City, MO 64145    :    816.501.2400    :    800.GO.AVILA (462-8452)     :    Admission@Avila.edu