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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.

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

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

Dr. Joy Cox earned her Ph.D. 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 is in Biology from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus. Dr. Cox is a Caribbean national and has lived and worked as an educator in Barbados, Bermuda, and the U.S.A.

Her career path has mainly been focused on teaching Biology in high school and college. However, prior to completing her doctorate, Dr. Cox worked as an academic advisor for seven years. Her research interests include student persistence and retention factors, academic counseling, and academic strategies for success in college. As an active member of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) for seven years, Dr. Cox has presented at national and regional conferences and serves as the Chair of the Probation, Dismissal, Reinstatement (PDR) Interest Group and a member of the Diversity Committee. She was also the recipient of a 2014 NACADA research grant to examine students’ perception about retention factors at the University of the West Indies.

As an educator, Dr. Cox is most passionate about tutoring, advising, and mentoring students in being academically successful. Her philosophy is based on the adage “advising as teaching” which is learning centered focused. She approaches education enrichment from a holistic perspective.

 Assistant Professor - Ravenn Gethers

Ravenn Gethers, MSEd – Assistant Professor

Professor Gethers is a doctoral candidate in Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education Administration at the College of William & Mary. She earned both her BS and MSEd degrees in Education from Old Dominion University.

Prior to her position in the Education Enhancement Department (EED) at AUA, Professor Gethers served as the Executive Director of African American Teaching Fellows of Charlottesville-Albemarle, Inc. During her career, she has held roles in academic affairs, student affairs, business, and nonprofit administration. Her research interests include diversity and inclusion, degree attainment for underrepresented student populations, educational policy, and college-community partnerships.

Professor Gethers is passionate about empowering students to achieve their academic and professional aspirations.

 Assistant Professor - Dr. Aaron Phillips

Aaron Phillips, PhD – Assistant Professor

Dr. Phillips earned his PhD at the University of Louisville with a dissertation focused on low-income, first-generation students from rural areas.

Assistant Professor - Ruth Fitzgerald

Ruth FitzGerald – Assistant Professor

Ruth joined AUA, having spent the previous six years working in the Middle East. Prior to that she worked in Ireland (her native country), Russia and the US. As Director of the Center for Teaching & Learning, Ruth is dedicated to supporting the development of both faculty and students. She is particularly interested in human potential and supporting students in the pursuit of their goals. Her research interests include culturally sensitive coaching and cross cultural psychology.


 Professor - Dr. Iris Saltiel

Iris Saltiel, EdD, MEd – 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

 Assistant Professor - Dr. Sonya Ford

Sonya Ford, EdD – Assistant Professor

Dr. Ford earned her undergraduate degree from Old Dominion University in psychology, Master of Science degree from Johns Hopkins University in school counseling, and a Doctorate of Education from the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University in counseling psychology. She holds two Certificates of Advanced Graduate Study from Johns Hopkins University in Clinical Community Counseling and in Higher Education. She is also a National Certified Counselor (NCC), a National Certified School Counselor (NCSC), and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC).

Dr. Ford spent the past twenty years as a school counselor, working at both the elementary and secondary levels, as well as supervising elementary counselors. She was an adjunct professor at Walden University for the past five years and also had a private practice. Dr. Ford was a Semi-finalist for the 2015 ASCA School Counselor of the Year and was honored at the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama. She served a three-year term on the Advisory Team for the National Office of School Counselor Advocacy. She served on the Advisory Council for the Bowie State University, College of Education, Department of Counseling. Dr. Ford has presented at local, state, and national conferences on advocating for student success. Dr. Ford has spent her career encouraging students to reach their fullest potential.

Assistant Professor - Dr. Trevor Ngorosha

Trevor Ngorosha, PhD – Assistant Professor

Dr. Trevor Ngorosha earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, with a concentration in adult and experiential learning. His two master’s degrees are in Educational Psychology and Curriculum and Teacher Leadership, earned 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. 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, school leadership development, professional development, and curriculum design. 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 in English at Murewa High School, and served as a debate coach, syllabus developer, and national trainer of examiners in Zimbabwe.