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Johnson State Has Six New Faculty Members This Fall

Johnson State Has Six New Faculty Members This Fall

New faces in Behavioral Sciences, Criminal Justice, and Performing Arts

October 2, 2017

The Johnson State College faculty has six new members in three departments who started this fall.

Three faculty members are in the Behavioral Sciences Department:

  • Associate professor Kim Donovan coordinates JSC’s graduate counseling programs. She moved to Vermont from Oklahoma, where she taught clinical mental health and school counseling courses. With a doctoral degree from Idaho State University in counselor education and counseling, she has received many awards, including the Oklahoma Counseling Association’s Counselor of the Year award. Her research interests include crisis and disaster counseling. She’s a registered American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Worker.
  • Assistant professor of criminal justice Leona Jochnowitz has a doctorate from the University at Albany’s School of Criminal Justice and a degree from St. John’s University School of Law. A practicing attorney and member of the New York state and federal bars, she does research on wrongful convictions and miscarriages of justice.
  • Associate professor of counseling Dan Weigel has a doctorate in counselor education and counseling from Idaho State University. He moved to Vermont from Oklahoma, where he taught clinical mental health and school counseling graduate courses. He was recognized by the Red Cross for his volunteer disaster mental health counseling in Manhattan after 9/11. His research interests include prescription and illicit opioid-use-disorder counseling and impacts of marijuana laws on addictions counseling and other mental health treatment.

Two faculty members are in the Performing Arts Department:

  • Jason Eckenroth, technical director for JSC’s Dibden Center for the Arts, is a multimedia artist and longtime sound designer and engineer with Circus Smirkus. Before earning a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia College Chicago, he managed the Pell Chafee Performance Center for the Brown University/Trinity Rep M.F.A. program in Providence, Rhode Island.
  • Assistant Professor of Music Justin Rito has a doctorate in musical arts from Michigan State University. He moved to Vermont from Michigan, where he was an adjunct music instructor at several colleges. He’s a composer and pianist.

In the Education Department, Audrey Hoffmann is an assistant professor who moved to Vermont from Utah. A board-certified behavior analyst, she has a doctorate in disability disciplines from Utah State University. Her research focuses on improving assessment and treatment of problem behavior in people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She plans to start a behavior clinic at JSC to help people in the community and to support agencies and schools that work with people with disabilities.

On July 1, 2018, Johnson State College and Lyndon State College will become Northern Vermont University, a two-campus institution of higher education that combines the best of both colleges’ nationally recognized liberal arts and professional programs under a single administration. Driven by a mission to provide a high-quality, accessible, inclusive education for students in the state, the region, the nation and online, NVU will begin recruiting in fall 2017 for its first class starting in fall 2018. Learn more at