news-category: Academics

Gardner-Webb College of Education Hires New Faculty Members

a photo of Craig Hall with the flag pole in front

Educators Bring Expertise in Curriculum and Instruction, STEM Education and Leadership

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The Gardner-Webb University College of Education has announced the hiring of multiple new faculty members. These educators will enhance undergraduate and graduate programs with their knowledge and experience in curriculum and instruction, STEM education, and leadership.

Dean of the College of Education and Professor Dr. Prince Hycy Bull is pleased to welcome these additions to the faculty. He noted that additional faculty positions are expected to be filled in May.

“We are always excited to grow and strengthen our faculty by adding talented new scholar-teachers,” praised President Dr. William M. Downs. “I am especially impressed by the quality and dedication of this incoming cohort of new colleagues in our College of Education. Having had the opportunity to interview each of these professors and to hear firsthand of their passion for coming to GWU, I am confident that they will individually and collectively be catalysts for student success. Together, they bring an infusion of energy and expertise to an important set of degree programs at Gardner-Webb. We welcome them to our University community!”

The new faculty are:

  • Dr. Denise Patterson, assistant professor of education, received her Master of Arts in school administration from Gardner-Webb and her Ed.D. in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Patterson has experiences as a classroom teacher, school administrator, district office administrator, and adjunct professor. She also has extensive knowledge in curriculum and instruction; supervision of teachers, administrators and directors; and effective and efficient communication and collaboration skills. In her position at Guilford County Schools, Patterson was principal supervisor for nine early middle colleges/academies. The schools had a graduation rate of 95% or higher, and Early College at Guilford College was rated the No. 1 high school in North Carolina and the nation according to US News and World Report.
  • Dr. Mic Fenech, assistant professor of STEM education with a specialization in mathematics, received his Master of Arts in teaching from Sacred Heart University and his Ph.D. in STEM Education from the University of Texas at Austin. Fenech has three years of university teaching experience leading small- and large-group discussions around learning practices. He has five years of public high school mathematics teaching experience in various levels of algebra and taught college algebra through the University of Texas at Austin’s dual enrollment program. He has developed, re-designed, and shared curriculum in both formal and informal spaces. Most recently at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he helped co-create a set of project-based instruction geometry modules. This curriculum consists of students learning geometry topics while they construct geometric definitions, video games, maps of physical spaces, buildings, GPS systems, game-winning strategies, and geometric theorems.
  • Dr. Le Kang, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, received a master’s degree in English literature and culture from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. She earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in education and human sciences from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As a seasoned educator with a passion for multilingual and multicultural education, Kang has taught at the K-12 and higher education level in linguistically and socioeconomically diverse settings. She taught English at the college level in China for several years before she came to the U.S. to further her study and research in curriculum and instruction. During her doctoral study in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she became familiarized with state-of-the-art theories, pedagogies, and practices in education. Through her experiences, she has honed her ability to work with students with varied abilities, learning needs, and cultural backgrounds while creating and implementing effective curriculum that aligns with the latest pedagogical practices.
  • Dr. Melia Neale, assistant professor in the Doctor of Education Organizational Leadership program, received master’s degrees in special education and education leadership and her Ph.D. in special education from UNC-Charlotte. Her experience includes working in both higher education and the public school system. She has 15 years of experience teaching in higher education, a strong research background, and a thorough knowledge of leadership theory and educational policy. A current adjunct professor for GWU, she also worked with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction to provide critical support to low-performing school districts to improve processes and procedures to increase student performance and teacher preparedness. Neale has spent the majority of her career as a public-school administrator, leading schools with at-risk populations to exceed academic expectations.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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