Request Information

    1. About Us

      The faculty listed below currently teach in the College of Business.

      Dr. Bruce Durham

      Dr Bruce Durham

      Dr. Durham has over 30 years of experience in adult/corporate education, including 20 years in business as an owner, manager, and consultant. His diverse experiences include managerial and consulting roles for GE, Citigroup, Hughes (Raytheon), DoD, Homeland Security, US HHS, USPS, private practice, and national nonprofit organizations. He has coached executives and business owners both nationally and internationally in organizational startup, employee relations, performance management, leadership, competency development, compensation, talent management, and organizational change.

      Bruce initially came to South University as an adjunct faculty member in 2007. He holds a Doctorate in Management and a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management, and is a US Air Force veteran. His many professional affiliations include the Academy of Management's Entrepreneurship and Management Education Divisions.

      Dr. Joseph M. Brandt

      Dr Joseph M. Brandt

      Dr. Joe Brandt has been a business consultant in finance and accounting for over twenty years. He has also served in administrative and faculty positions at several universities, including the University of the Incarnate Word, Texas State University, and Missouri State University. His areas of interest include economics, real estate, and corporate finance. He earned his B.A. from the University of Houston, his M.S. from Texas A&M University, and his Ed.D. from the University of Northern Colorado.


      Dr. Dan Novak

      Dr Dan Novak

      Dr. Novak coordinates and teaches in the Master’s of Science in Leadership program at South University, where he supports South’s students as they become successful leaders—fully prepared to lead in tomorrow’s complex and turbulent organizational models. He also facilitates the leadership seminar in South’s Accelerated MBA program.

      Dr. Novak holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Regent University's School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship with a secondary focus in Human Resource Development. He also holds an MBA from the University of Dallas, a BBA from the University of North Texas, and a Six Sigma Green Belt certification with a specialization in healthcare. Dr. Novak has served as adjunct professor at Texas Christian University and at Texas Wesleyan University, where he taught graduate-level courses in innovation, management, and marketing. He has published book chapters and articles on the organization-customer interface, leading virtual teams, servant leadership, and on leading in collaborative, networked, and highly-matrixed environments. He has presented at conferences around the world speaking about innovation, leadership, values, trust, organizational alignment, social/organizational networks, Healthcare 2.0., and the patient-provider interface.

      Dr. Novak has also consulted in the areas of leadership breakthrough, organizational strategy, organizational diagnosis, and innovation. Previously, he spent 31 years at IBM in a broad range of leadership, sales, entrepreneurial, and international roles. 

      Dr. James W. Kroeger

      Dr James W. Kroeger

      Dr. Kroeger’s first career was in banking, and his last position was as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of a bank in charge of all data processing activities including operations, systems, tech support, etc.  He had the good fortune of graduating from the American Institute of Banking and the Ohio School of Banking. 

      Upon learning his bank was going to be acquired by a larger bank, Dr. Kroeger decided to become an entrepreneur and started his own management consulting company. The company concentrated on small and medium-sized businesses and worked in the areas of strategic planning, feasibility and implementation programs, developing and revising business plans, and generally being a resource in virtually all functional areas of business.  After 11 years, he sold the company to a Cincinnati firm and started on his third (and final) career—academia.

      Dr. Kroeger enrolled as a doctoral candidate and graduated with a Doctor of Business Administration degree from Cleveland State University in December of 2007.  His strongest areas of expertise are in strategic management and entrepreneurship, and his dissertation focused on strategic entrepreneurship.  He has taught a variety of college business courses over the last fifteen years covering most business functions, including international management.

      He particularly enjoys working with men and women who understand the importance of education and are willing to sacrifice to acquire new skills and/or sharpen old ones.  Never having had the opportunity to attend school without working, he appreciates and understands the challenges and opportunities of the non-traditional student.  He insists he learns as much from his students and their work experiences as they learn from him.

      Destini Copp

      Dr. Destini Copp

      Dr. Copp holds a DBA in Marketing from Argosy University, an M.B.A. in Marketing from the Keller Graduate School of Management, and a B.S. in Accounting from Clemson University. Her expertise is in service quality, product marketing/management, and marketing strategy. Dr. Copp has taught courses in services marketing, retail marketing, consumer behavior, market research, product development, and channel management. In her professional career, she worked for a Fortune 50 company as a Director in their marketing division. In her most recent position, she was responsible for the company’s overall product strategy for a $700 million portfolio, including the prioritization and development of new products, enhancements and the on-going management of existing products. Dr. Copp has held various other leadership positions in finance, accounting and cost reduction management. Dr. Copp is the Sigma Beta Delta faculty advisor, an ACBSP accreditation committee member, and is a member of the American Marketing Association. In her current role as an Assistant Dean for the College of Business at South University, she leads approximately 450 faculty members and 5,600 students.


      Dr. Thom Gillespie

      Dr Thom Gillespie

      Dr. Thom Gillespie is a full time faculty member at South University in the department of Information Technology. Previously, Dr. Gillespie was the creator and director of the Master’s in Immersive Mediated Environments (MIME) in the department of Telecommunications at Indiana University. MIME was dedicated to interactive storytelling and computer game design.

      Dr. Gillespie has presented workshops on a variety of MediaJazz: 3D modeling, game design and interactive storytelling at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; National Chengchi University Taipei, Taiwan; Canadian Film Center; the University of Wisconsin; the Summer Institute in Integrated media at the University of Vermont; Art, Faith, and Social Justice at Marquette; Digital Bridges at Western Michigan; Brooklyn College (Gangs & Games); Stanford's Digital Media Academy; the University of Texas at Austin; ACM-HCI in Atlanta; the University of Hawaii; American Association of Multimedia Designers; the International Television Association; Museums and the Web and the Museum of the Person in Brazil.

      Dr. Gillespie is particularly interested in 3D modeling and animation, interactive conversational interfaces, interactive storytelling, computer game design, online education, social media, and citizen media for social change.

      Dr. Gillespie’s work experience has ranged from Kivalina Alaska, 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle, to Yogyakarta, Indonesia on the Equator for the United Nations and many places in between.

      Dr. Susan Davis

      Dr. Susan E.M. Davis is the Interim Dean for the College of Business at South UniversityPrior to joining the South University faculty in April, 2009, she served on faculties of Bethune Cookman University, Claflin University, Columbia College and the University of South Carolina.

      Dr. Davis received a Ph.D. in Organization and Management with specializations in Leadership and Human Resource Management from Capella University, an MBA with a concentration in Finance and Economics from the University of Rochester, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University.

      Dr. Davis is a Sam Walton Fellow for Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and has published articles on innovation, leadership and change management from an entrepreneurial perspective. She is primarily interested in transformational leadership and teaches classes in organizational behavior, entrepreneurship, finance and strategic planning. In 1995, she designed the first of three centers focused on entrepreneurship in South Carolina. In addition to her university teaching experience, Dr. Davis has designed and delivered executive development programs for several corporations.

      Prior to her career in higher education, Dr. Davis served as a senior financial executive for several Fortune 50 corporations including Whirlpool Corporation, Mellon National Bank and Eastman Kodak.

      She is CEO and President of Strategic Business Solutions, a consulting firm established in 1998 that focuses on strategic planning and management of small to medium-sized businesses.

      The faculty listed below currently teach in the College of Arts & Sciences.

      Dr Lori Ronan-Khessali

      Lori Ronan-Khessali, Ph.D. began a professional career in journalism after receiving a BA in Communications from Loretto Heights College in Denver, Colorado in 1976. After working as a newspaper reporter for 12 years traveling back and forth between both coasts, she retired from the media maze to freelance write and continue her education.

      In 1997, Lori received her Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Lynn University in Boca Raton and began creating and developing curriculum for online Criminal Justice courses, as well as teaching Criminal Justice courses online at South University.

      In 2001, she received her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Lynn University in Boca Raton where her area of specialization was Education Law and School Violence.

      Lori served as the Academic Program Director of both the Criminal Justice Bachelor and Master Degree Programs at Florida Metropolitan University. After four years, she stepped down from that position to go back into the distance learning arena and began teaching at South University in 2006.

      In January 2007, Lori became the full time Lead Faculty for the Criminal Justice Programs at South University, a position she really enjoys. “I love teaching, writing and researching. I always tell my students you must have a passion for what you do, or you never will feel fulfilled. I believe that we can do anything we set out to accomplish if we are dedicated and motivated. South University offers me the sense of community of a small school and stimulation of a growing and innovative university. I teach many courses, from master's degree level classes in Ethics to Family Violence classes in the bachelor's degree program,” says Lori.

      Douglas A. Orr, Ph.D.

      For the past year, Douglas Orr, Ph.D., an Adjunct Faculty member at South University, has taught the following courses online: “Ethics in Criminal Justice,” “Criminal Procedure,” and “Contemporary Problems in Criminal Justice.”

      In addition to his teaching position, Orr currently works as a Detective for the Major Crimes Unit with the Spokane Police Department. “This position fits perfectly with my teaching job because of the practical experience I can share with my students. I enjoy teaching online, because this opportunity allows me to be closer to the students. I believe my students are more forthcoming when they are learning online, especially in the chat rooms; they really express themselves on various topics. As an online teacher, I get a chance to share real criminal case scenarios with my students, providing them with a realistic perspective of my day to day work as a Detective.” says, Orr.

      Orr's background in Law Enforcement spans 20 years as a police veteran. During his tenure, he concentrated on interview and forensic lie detection, and became a Certified Polygraph Examiner. His extensive knowledge in the Crime & Criminal Justice Systems also includes providing PCSOT (Post Conviction Sex Offender Testing) polygraph exams for the sex offender population. Additionally, he is experienced in Accident Reconstruction and Forensic Interview and Interrogation.

      Orr received a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Washington State University and a M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.

      While Orr doesn't get much free time, he hopes to carve out more time to utilize his skills as a writer. Currently, he is co-authoring an article that focuses on the issue of Concealed weapon permit holders and their relationship to fear and neighborhood attachments.

      Dr. Robert J. Frye

      Dr. Robert J. Frye earned his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona. He has worked as a private consultant in statistics and ecology; a statistician for the University of California, San Diego; and Senior Research Scientist and Associate Professor at the University of Arizona. His teaching experience includes biology, ecology, environmental science, field methods and statistics.

      Dr. Frye's research experience covers most areas of ecology and biology. He worked on the Biosphere II project for six years. This work involved development of biogeochemical models, population models and research related to various 'Green' technologies. His current research focuses on the population dynamics of rare species.

      The faculty listed below currently teach in the College of Nursing and Public Health.

      Dr. Jeanette Hartshorn

      Dr. Jeanette C. Hartshorn received a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas in Austin, a Master’s degree in Clinical Nursing from the University of South Carolina, a BA in Psychology from the University of Illinois and a BSN from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Hartshorn has experience in teaching and the administration of educational programs at the BSN, MSN and Ph.D. levels.

      Dr. Hartshorn has been actively involved in practice, providing care to adults who are diagnosed with Epilepsy. She has practiced in a nurse-managed clinic for over fifteen years, which includes the only known telemedicine clinic for treatment of patients with Epilepsy in the country. She has written three books and has published more than thirty peer reviewed articles. Her research interests include the role of advanced practice nurses and the use of telemedicine in clinical practice.


      Dr. John Distler

      Dr. Distler earned his Doctor of Public Administration degree from the University of Baltimore and his Post Master’s certificate in Teaching in Nursing and Health Professions from the University of Maryland School of Nursing. In addition, he obtained his Family Nurse Practitioner Certification from the University of California at Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, his Master’s degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

      Dr. Distler is currently an Assistant Professor for South University Online. Previously, he was the Program Director at the University of Maryland School of Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner program in Baltimore for seven years. He has been a Registered Nurse for thirty-one years with the last twenty years as a Family Nurse Practitioner working in family practice, emergency medicine and allergy, asthma and immunology.

      Dr. Distler is a three-term Maryland State Representative for the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and recipient of the Academy’s Health Policy Internship grant in 2005 and Astra Zeneca Asthma Grant in 2008. In 2006, Dr. Distler was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. An active member of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, Dr. Distler also sits as a member of the Education and Practice Committee and co-chair of the Faculty Development committee.

      His research interests include the development of innovative advanced practice nurse teaching strategies, problem-based learning, clinical competence, and critical thinking and has presented and published in these areas.


      Ms. Carmen Carpenter

      Ms. Carpenter's academic preparation includes a Master of Science in Biology and Physiology, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, with licensure in the State of Florida as a Registered Nurse. Prior to her position with South University, Carmen practiced as a critical care nurse and later as a sales representative for a pacemaker firm, developing expertise in the clinical and business arenas of healthcare.

      As an educator, she has worked over twenty years with a variety of students at different levels in the sciences and healthcare professions. At South University, she developed curricula for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, the Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management program and the associate degrees in Physical Therapy Assisting, Allied Health Sciences and Medical Assisting. Currently, she is involved in online curriculum development for the Bachelor of Science in Health Science program and served as the subject matter expert for the development of the anatomy & physiology lecture and laboratory courses online.

      Throughout Carmen's teaching career she has been excited to be in the classroom, both on ground and online, and feels fortunate to have the opportunity to exchange knowledge with an ever-changing group of students. She believes that online education is the “new frontier” of learning and is thrilled to be working with South University Online.

      Dr. Lila Stageberg

      Dr. Stageberg worked for eighteen years in a variety of Ambulatory Care settings as a Family Practice Physician. She developed a severe autoimmune disease in 2004, and as a result, was unable to work in the clinic setting anymore. She was distraught until her family and friends reminded her how much she loved the part of her clinic work that involved teaching, and that she could still do that without any problem.

      Dr. Stageberg wanted to work for an institution that she felt was truly student-oriented, and, when she joined South in 2007 as an Adjunct Faculty Member, she quickly found the opportunity she had been seeking. She found she could use the clinical experience she had to provide a much-appreciated foundation for teaching students preparing for all areas of Health Care professions. From the RN to BSN program to the Basic Science preparation for the clinical programs, Dr. Stageberg’s many years of real-life experience lend a true-life sense of realism as she ties in every area of study to actual patient examples that make her students feel involved.

      Moving on to Full Time Status in January of 2009, Dr. Stageberg has never enjoyed working more. She is exploring new areas of involvement in education, having been the Subject Matter Expert for a 400 level class written last year. She is wondering now what opportunities will present themselves next!

      The faculty listed below currently teach in the College of Health Sciences. 

      New faculty bios coming soon.