Fall 2023 Promotions and Appointments | Langston University

Fall 2023 Promotions and Appointments

Fall 2023 Promotions and Appointments

The Office of Public Relations

Dec. 12, 2023

Langston University Interim President Ruth Ray Jackson, Ph.D., is pleased to announce the following faculty and staff announcements. This reflects promotions and new employees appointed at the director level and above.

Dean Busby, Interim Executive Director of the Langston University Foundation
Joshua Busby, M.P.A.
Interim Executive Director of the Langston University Foundation

In August 2023, Langston University alumnus and respected colleague Mr. Joshua Busby was named Interim Executive Director of the Langston University Foundation. An accomplished professional, Mr. Busby has made a lasting impact at Langston in several leadership roles. His career at LU began in 2008 as Coordinator of Counseling in the Office of Financial Aid. In 2011, he transitioned over to Institutional Advancement and External Affairs as the Annual Giving Officer. In 2016, he was called to the Division of Student Affairs where he served as the Director of Student Life, and then was appointed to the role of Dean of Students and Chief Student Affairs Officer.

As chief student affairs officer, Mr. Busby reports directly to the president. His management portfolio includes student life, residential life, student conduct, upward bound, counseling services, health services, retention, recreation/intramural sports, and public safety. He also plays an integral role in the planning and execution of Lion Camp, Homecoming, and the President’s Annual Scholarship Gala.

After achieving his LU undergraduate degree, the former Langston honors student, SGA President, and Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund Scholar earned a master’s degree in public management and nonprofit management from the world-renowned School of Public and Environment Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University-Bloomington. A life member of the Langston University National Alumni Association, Mr. Busby enjoys serving his community via his fraternity Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., as a member of his church - the Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, as well as being engaged in several other nonprofit and civic organizations.

John Coleman, Interim Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences
John Coleman, Ph.D.
Interim Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences

Dr. John Coleman has been named Interim Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and will continue to serve as Department Chair for Langston University’s Department of Chemistry & Physical Sciences. Throughout his esteemed career, Dr. Coleman has showcased his expertise in departmental planning and coordination, curriculum development, student recruitment, retention, and classroom instruction. His commitment to excellence has been evident in grant procurement and operations, leading to the creation of highly successful programs.

Under Dr. Coleman’s guidance, LU’s Grant Management team has achieved exceptional outcomes with an impressive number of STEM graduates earning advanced degrees in professional and medical fields. Their work has also improved science education in the region with a number of graduates becoming science teachers in Oklahoma’s high-needs school districts.

Dr. Coleman’s accomplishments also extend to the realm of research and publication. He has authored numerous highly-regarded articles on Teaching and Learning strategies which have garnered widespread recognition and dissemination.

Dytisha Davis, Assistant Vice President for Student Success
Dytisha Davis, Ph.D., CRC
Assistant Vice President for Student Success

Dr. Dytisha Davis has been employed at Langston University for 11 years. Her work in higher education and academia extends across the areas of teaching, research and service while serving in different capacities as an educator, researcher, administrator and advisor. Her most recent appointment was serving as Executive Director for the LU-Tulsa Campus, Associate Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, and undergraduate advisor for the Rehabilitation Services program.

In addition to her latest appointment as Assistant Vice President, Student Success, Dr. Davis serves as a Research Associate Professor for the Langston University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Research and Capacity Building for Minority Entities.

Her education includes a Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling from South Carolina State University, and a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counselor Education from the University of Iowa. A Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Dr. Davis serves as a board member for the Sickle Cell Advisory Committee for the Tulsa area chapter of Red Cross.

Jocha Gordon, Director of Admissions, Recruitment and Outreach
Jocha Gordon, M.A.Ed.
Director of Admissions, Recruitment and Outreach

Ms. Jocha Gordon joined the Langston University family in late August 2023. Possessing a decade of higher education experience in admissions and recruitment, she has already begun to make a significant impact as Director of Admissions, Recruitment and Outreach. She most recently served as Assistant Director of Admissions under the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at Southern University and A & M College. She is excited to call Langston University her new home and ready to “drive admissions to new heights.”

Born and raised in Baton Rouge, LA, Ms. Gordon is a life member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., where she has held numerous elected offices on both the local and regional board of directors.

Ms. Gordon earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Southern University and A & M College, and a master’s degree in education with a concentration in adult education and training from the University of Phoenix. Currently, she is pursuing a doctorate of education degree in higher education leadership at Northcentral University.

Daryl Green, Dean of the School of Business
Daryl D. Green, D.S.L.
Dean of the School of Business

A seasoned professional known for managing complex projects and guiding others toward success, Dr. Daryl. D. Green is the dean of Langston University’s prestigious School of Business. He will officially start his appointment with Dear Langston in January 2024. Prior to joining the Langston community, Dr. Green worked at Oklahoma Baptist University for several years, holding the esteemed Dickinson Chair of Business professorship in the Paul Dickinson School of Business. He has had a distinguished career as an academic and scholar, receiving the ACBSP Teaching Excellence Award.

Having taught various courses covering decision-making, leadership, marketing, project management, social media, and strategy, he possesses a remarkable ability to simplify complex concepts, making them accessible to individuals of all backgrounds. Notably, Dr. Green retired from the Department of Energy having dedicated more than 27 years to the Environmental Management Program. Even before his 30th birthday, he managed over 400 projects valued at approximately $100 million.

Dr. Green is an accomplished academic and an award-winning speaker and author. Having penned several books including textbooks like “Impending Danger,” “Small Business Marketing, and “Life After Retirement, his insights have been recognized by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and the Associated Press. His educational journey includes a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Southern University, a master’s degree in Organizational Management from Tusculum College, and a doctoral degree in Strategic Leadership from Regent University. Advanced graduate studies and certificates from Southern New Hampshire University and the University of Vermont further prove his lifelong learning commitment. Beyond his professional life, Dr. Green celebrates a more than 30-year lasting partnership with his wife, Estraletta Green. Together, they have raised three adult children and are proud grandparents. A man of faith who finds strength in his beliefs, Dr. Green is an active member at St. John Missionary.

Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. His extensive religious leadership experience includes having served as an ordained deacon, bible teacher, and youth advisor.

Ashton Jones, Director of Choral Activities
Ashton D. Jones, M.M.
Director of Choral Activities

Langston University is pleased to welcome Mr. Ashton D. Jones, Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music. A native of Tulsa, Mr. Jones is an American lyric baritone, choral conductor, organist, and pianist. He is currently an Artist at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. His accomplishments include serving as a public-school educator and professional chorister in groups such as the Jason Max Ferdinand Singers, where he is a current and inaugural member. Throughout his career, he has performed on stages throughout the US and in Bulgaria.

Mr. Jones began playing piano by ear at the age of seven, started accompanying church services at 13, and has served as a church pianist and organist in several states. His choral conducting skills were honed during his tenures as a Graduate Conductor with the University of Missouri (Kansas City) Canticum Novum Chorus, and as an undergraduate student conductor for the Texas Southern University Concert Choir.

His education includes a Bachelor of Arts from Texas Southern University, a Master of Music in vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and he is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Missouri (Kansas City) Conservatory for Music and Dance. Highlights of his educational and performance career include operatic studies and performances in the Varna Opera Academy in Bulgaria, solo performances with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Tulsa Signature Symphony, and upcoming performance with the Fox-Valley Symphony Orchestra. The multi-talented professional currently resides in Kansas City with his daughter Amyah. During breaks from school and performing, he enjoys traveling, visiting with family and friends, and makes a hobby out of trying new food.

Chris Kuwitzky, Vice President for Fiscal and Administrative Affairs
Chris Kuwitzky, B.A., CPA
Vice President for Fiscal and Administrative Affairs

Mr. Chris Kuwitzky was recently selected to serve as Langston University’s Vice President for Fiscal and Administrative Affairs – the university’s chief financial officer. He possesses a wealth and breadth of financial administration experience in both the corporate and higher education sectors.

Mr. Kuwitzky began his career with Coopers and Lybrand Public Accountants (now part of PricewaterhouseCoopers) in Oklahoma City where he served a wide array of clients in governmental, oil & gas, not-for-profit, and higher education sectors. He would later join the finance staff at the University of Oklahoma in Norman where he rose to the position of associate vice president of administration & finance and chief financial officer. After 31 years of service there, he transitioned to Washburn University in Topeka, KS, serving as vice president of administration and treasurer. In this role, his responsibilities included all financial and budgeting operations along with information technology services, the physical plant, human resources, auxiliary enterprises, and oversight of the university police force. After three years, he returned to Oklahoma and, before joining Langston, Mr. Kuwitzky provided financial consulting and contract chief financial officer services to clients, doing business as Live Worthy Financial, LLC.

A native of Oklahoma, Mr. Kuwitzky earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1983, and earned the designation of certified public accountant two years later.

Kelly O'Bryan, Director of University College
Kelly O’Bryan, M.A.
Director of University College

In the summer of 2023, Ms. Kelly O’Bryan was promoted to Director of University College. Ms. O’Bryan’s expertise has served Langston University and its students well. Hired as a Langston University instructor in fall 2014, she quickly earned a promotion to Assistant Professor, and in 2016 was appointed Chair of the Social Sciences and Humanities Department.

Outside of her University role, Ms. O’Bryan enjoys working with organizations such as the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice to advocate change in the criminal justice system.

Ms. O’Bryan earned master’s degrees in Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Criminology from the University of Arkansas. She is now attending Walden University pursuing a dual doctoral degree in Criminal Justice and Public Policy.

Alonzo Peterson, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs
Alonzo Peterson, Ph.D.
Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs

In July 2023, Dr. Alonzo Peterson was promoted to Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Peterson first came to Langston in 2005. He has served in increasing levels of leadership at the University including Director of the Intensive Summer Academy for Math, Science, and Technology; Faculty Athletics Representative; Chairman of the Department of Mathematics; Associate Dean for the School of Arts and Sciences; and his most recent role as Dean for the School of Arts and Sciences. Before joining Langston University, Dr. Peterson spent seven years at Southern University A&M University in Baton Rouge.

Possessing more than 25 years of higher education experience, Dr. Peterson has excelled in leadership roles as well as teaching undergraduate mathematics. His education includes a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in computational and applied mathematics from Southern A & M University in Baton Rouge, and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in Mathematics Education.

Dr. Peterson is a current board member for the Langston Economic Development Authority and the Wesley Foundation. He has the distinction of being a former mayor of the Town of Langston City, where he also served on the city council for approximately six years.

Heleen Sheets, Director of Public Relations
Heleen Sheets, M.O.L.
Director of Public Relations

In July 2023, Ms. Heleen Sheets was delighted to begin serving Dear Langston as Director of Public Relations. With two decades of higher education experience, she and her mom Carol made the move from northern Ohio and are thoroughly enjoying Oklahoma. Ms. Sheets previously served as Director of Marketing and Communications for Lourdes University in Sylvania, OH. In that role, she loved working with departments across campus, crafting communications and public relations plans that regularly exceeded goals.

Dedicated to higher education and fellow PR colleagues, Ms. Sheets regularly assisted in the annual planning of a Communicators Summit for Ohio’s independent colleges and universities. She has also presented at conferences, and served as a Circle of Excellence Awards judge for the national Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

A first-generation college graduate, Ms. Sheets earned an associate’s degree from Davis Business College, a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from The University of Toledo, and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Lourdes University. She is enjoying the opportunity to proudly represent the Langston University community and experience all the rich traditions of Oklahoma’s only HBCU. Her most cherished memories to date have been Homecoming Week, the President’s Scholarship Gala, and the honor of being a judge for the 2023 Miss and Mister Orange and Blue Scholarship Pageant!

Sherri Smith-Keys, Associate Vice President for Clinical Affairs, Executive Director of LU-Tulsa
Sherri Smith-Keys, D.N.P.
Associate Vice President for Clinical Affairs/Executive Director of LU-Tulsa

Having recently been named the Vice President for Clinical Affairs/Executive Director of LU-Tulsa, Dr. Sherri Smith-Keys is very excited to serve in these roles. She has been a RN for 39 years and her practice includes nursing administration in higher education and hospital, clinical practice, and nursing education. Dr. Smith-Keys’ work philosophy is to challenge herself all the time, in all aspects of work and play. She loves learning new things, taking new opportunities, and working with different people.

Having served on the Texas Nurse Association Nursing Professional Development Board and the North Texas Consortium for Hospitals and Colleges of Nursing, Dr. Smith-Keys looks forward to creating similar types of networks to enhance Langston University. In addition, one of her goals is to provide multilayer access to LU students through the intentional focus on growth and program expansion.

Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) from the University of Texas at Arlington, a master’s in nursing (MSN) from Regis University, and a doctoral degree in nursing (DNP) from Walden University. She is married to her “best friend” and has four adult sons.

Shauntae Sourie, Director of Human Resources
Shauntae' Sourie, B.S., B.B.A., SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Director of Human Resources

Alumna Shauntae’ Sourie is the new Director of Human Resources at Langston University. She rejoins the Langston family from Mid-America Christian University where she served as the Director of Human Resources and Title IX Coordinator. In that role, Ms. Sourie oversaw all aspects of human resource management in functions that included, but not limited to, EEO compliance, recruiting, staffing, compensation and benefits administration, workers compensation, change management and training and development. As the Title IX Coordinator, she ensured no individual, on the basis of sex, was excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or was subjected to discrimination under any education program. She also identified and addressed any patterns or systemic problems that arose during the review of complaints.

A certified senior professional in human resources with more than 19 years of experience, she prides herself on being a trusted advisor who keeps the “human” in human resources. HR related professional certifications she has earned include Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SCP) and WorldatWork’s Certified Compensation Professional (CCP). Ms. Sourie helps prepare future HR professionals by serving as an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Oklahoma in the Masters of Human Resources program. A proud HBCU graduate, Ms. Sourie earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, and Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Langston University.

In her free time, Ms. Sourie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, putting together jigsaw puzzles, providing service to her community through the works of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Sigma Sigma Omega chapter where she served as the past 1st vice president and program chair. She is married to “an amazingly loving human being,” Eric Sourie.

Ayana Spriggs Talley, Executive Director for Information Technology Services
Ayana Spriggs Talley, M.B.A.
Executive Director of Information Technology Services

Mrs. Ayana Spriggs Talley serves as LU’s Executive Director for Information Technology Services and Computer Technology Integration. A technology leader with an extensive career spanning over 20 years in the technology industry, she has a diverse background of technical and leadership roles. In her most recent role, Mrs. Spriggs Talley held the position of Enterprise Solutions Technology Leader at Devon Energy for Oklahoma State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems. Later, she furthered her leadership skills by completing her Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in leadership at Oklahoma City University.

Mrs. Spriggs Talley serves as an Advisory Board member for Oklahoma Women in Technology (OKWIT), a prominent statewide organization dedicated to empowering and championing women in the tech sector. OKWIT actively promotes networking, professional advancement, and thought leadership within the Oklahoma technology community, while also inspiring young women to pursue careers in STEM fields.

Beyond her professional commitments, Ayana is married to Henry Talley and they are the proud parents of two daughters, Symone and Lauren. In her leisure time, she enjoys traveling with her family and volunteering in her community.

Andre Washington, Interim Site Administrator of the LU-OKC Campus
Andre Washington, Ph.D., CRC
Interim Site Administrator of the LU-OKC Campus

Dr. Andre L. Washington has been named Interim Site Administrator of the LU-OKC Campus. With more than 16 years of service to Langston University, Dr. Washington currently has the academic appointment of Associate Professor and Rehabilitation Counseling Program Coordinator with the Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies.

He simultaneously serves as the co-principal investigator and Training Technical Assistance Director at the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Research and Capacity Building for Minority Entities at Langston University (LU-RRTC).

A native of Oklahoma City, OK, the Langston alumnus is a graduate of John Marshall High School. He earned an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from the University of Central Oklahoma, a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Langston University, and a doctoral degree in Occupational Education from Oklahoma State University.