Education Enhancement Dept

Education Enhancement Department



Chair and Associate Professor - Dr. Barbara Francois

Barbara Francois, PhD – Professor and Chair

Dr. Francois earned her BS degree in Psychology from the University of Akron and both her MS and Doctorate degree in Educational Psychology from Capella University.  Dr. Francois’ focus is on assessing individual learning styles, identifying learning difficulties and providing learning strategies to help students to succeed in medical school.

 Professor - Dr. Iris Saltiel

Iris Saltiel, PhD – Professor

Iris M. Saltiel holds an EdD from Fordham University in administration and supervision, an MEd. in adult education from Rutgers University, and a BS in special education from Trenton State College. She is completing a graduate certificate in interdisciplinary qualitative research from the University of Georgia. Her work has primarily been in the area of collaboration among adult learners, faculty, and various organizations (corporate, nonprofit, higher education).

 She served as Director of the Faculty Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning at Columbus State University and was also a professor there. Prior to that, she directed the Quality Enhancement Institute at Troy University and taught in Troy’s College of Education. Before coming to Troy, she served as the director of corporate programs at Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey.

Assistant Professors
Dr. Joy A. Cox - Assistant Chair and Assistant Professor

Joy A. Cox, PhD –  Assistant Professor and Assistant Chair

Dr. Joy Cox earned her PhD in Educational Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Louisville, Kentucky, specializing in College Student Personnel. Her master’s degree in School Counseling is also from the University of Louisville, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill, Barbados, is in Biology. Dr. Cox’s career path has been focused on teaching Biology on the high school and college levels. Dr. Cox worked as an academic advisor for seven years before receiving her PhD. Her research interests include student persistence and retention factors, academic counseling, and academic strategies for success in college. As an educator, Dr. Cox is most passionate about directing students on how to become self-regulated learners. She believes in a student-centered curriculum and approaches education enrichment from a holistic perspective.

Assistant Professor - Dr. Aaron Phillips

Aaron Phillips, PhD – Assistant Professor

Dr. Phillips earned his BA in Sociology and BS in Middle Grade Education from Eastern Kentucky University. He went on to earn his MEd and PhD in College Student Personnel from the University of Louisville. For his PhD thesis, Dr. Phillips researched the strategies, practices, and behaviors that low-income, first-generation students from rural backgrounds can use to be academically successful. He is passionate about helping these students achieve their academic and professional goals.

Originally from Kentucky, Dr. Phillips worked in graduate and undergraduate admissions and student services at the University of Louisville for several years before coming to AUA. He also taught writing and reading comprehension in the Ivy Tech Community College system in Indiana. Dr. Phillips and his wife Melanie have a daughter, Lacy.

Assistant Professor - Dr. Sonya Ford

Sonya Ford, PhD – Assistant Professor

Dr. Ford has spent her career encouraging students to reach their fullest potential. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Old Dominion University, a Master of Science degree in School Counseling from Johns Hopkins University, and a Doctorate of Education in Counseling Psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University. Dr. Ford holds Certificates of Advanced Graduate Study from Johns Hopkins University in Clinical Community Counseling and Higher Education. She is also a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and National Certified School Counselor (NCSC). Dr. Ford was an adjunct professor at Walden University and also had a private practice counseling adolescents and adults. She has presented at local, state, and national conferences on advocating for student success.

Trevor Ngorosha 1

Trevor Ngorosha, PhD – Assistant Professor

Dr. Trevor Ngorosha earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio, with a concentration in Adult and Experiential Learning. He holds two master’s degrees in Educational Psychology, and Curriculum and Teacher Leadership, from the University of Zimbabwe and Miami University, respectively. Dr. Ngorosha earned his bachelor’s degree in English and Linguistics, and a Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Zimbabwe as well. While studying at Miami University, he also earned a Graduate Certificate in Professional Development: Instructional Design and Technology.

Dr. Ngorosha’s teaching and research interests are in human development, performance and learning, small-group learning, and faculty professional learning. Before joining AUA College of Medicine, he taught at Miami University as an Adjunct Professor. Prior to studying and teaching at Miami University, Dr. Ngorosha taught English and Literature at Murewa High School and served as a debate coach, syllabus developer, and national trainer of examiners in Zimbabwe.

Deborah Russ

Deborah Russ, PhD – Assistant Professor

Dr. Russ earned her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Mercer University. Her MEd from Georgia College & State University is in Interrelated Special Education, and her BM degree from East Carolina University is in Music Therapy and Piano Pedagogy. She has worked with adults and children with a variety of exceptionalities in multiple settings. She has taught in the Georgia public school system and has also served in several leadership positions. Most recently, she was an adjunct professor in the Tift College of Education at Mercer University.

Academic Advisors
Dawn Roberts

Dawn Roberts, MA – Academic Advisor

Dawn Roberts is a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership at Liberty University. She earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Delaware with concentrations in Human Resources and Consumer Economics. She earned a Master of Arts in Applied Sociology and a Non-Profit Sector Certificate. While earning her master’s, she researched the causes of the attrition of underrepresented minority students. She has over 12 years of higher education experience, working in many different capacities with US medical students, including advising and training, engagement and development, higher education administration, policy and program development, as well as diversity and community outreach. Dawn is a member of the Wellness Committee and coordinates Puppy Play Day. She is extremely passionate about cultivating a tradition of excellence and success among medical students.

Melissa Ethridge

Melissa Ethridge, MA – Academic Advisor

Ms. Ethridge is currently pursuing her doctorate (EdD) in Educational Leadership at the University of the Cumberlands. She earned her MSEd in Higher Education Administration from the University of Tennessee, with a focus on College Student Personnel. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Sport Administration from the University of Miami, in Florida. Prior to coming to AUA, Ms. Ethridge worked as an Academic Advisor for over 10 years at a number of U.S. institutions including the University of Miami, in Florida, the University of Tennessee, and Kent State University. In recent years, Ms. Ethridge has shifted her focus to the academic success of underprepared students and students with learning disabilities. Just before joining the AUA faculty, Ms. Ethridge was a Learning Specialist and Tutor Coordinator for student-athletes at the University of South Carolina. She held this position for four years. Ms. Ethridge has a passion for student success, but in particular, for those students that are underprepared, underrepresented, have learning disabilities, or come from low-income backgrounds. Her specialties include time management, learning interventions, and study strategies.