Stefanie Leiter, Assistant Professor of Public Relations
“Prior to teaching full time, I worked in communication and marketing at the university for 12 years. I started each of the social media channels managed by the university and worked through five website redesigns including our new responsive website. In my last role as director of content strategy, I managed AU’s social media, the institutional website, Signatures magazine, print content for marketing and email marketing. During this time, I personally earned my Master of Science in communication from Purdue University and plan to start my doctoral studies in 2018.
“I have been married for 12 years to Dave, also an AU grad),and we have two children: Ava, 9, and Jackson, 5. We attend Madison Park Church of God. As a family, we enjoy movies, outdoor activities, swimming, baking and reading. We also love new adventures, so any place we can travel or any event we can attend that is new, you will find us there!”
Christine Thacker, Instructor of Dance
“I have been an adjunct professor at AU for the past four years. Previously, I was teaching artist in residence for Clowes Memorial Hall, as well as being the on-site historian for their 50th Anniversary. Prior to that, I was principle dancer for Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre. I also served as assistant director. I continue as a faculty member at the Academy of Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre and as artistic consultant to the director. I coach high level dancers for the Youth American Grand Prix National Dance Competition in ballet. I specialize in Ballet Pedagogy, and I live with my husband Mark, our four daughters and our dog RhoDe.”
Vanessa Tjierina, Assistant Professor of Accounting
“I graduated from AU both with my bachelor’s degree in accounting and with my MBA. I worked in the business office at AU from 2008-2017 in various roles, most recently as the controller from 2012-2017. I taught a couple accounting classes last year and am very excited to begin teaching full time this fall!
“I enjoy pretty much anything where I am being active, especially if it is outside (as long as it’s not too cold, unless I’m snowboarding). Some of my favorite activities include camping, hiking, mountain biking, playing basketball, playing tennis and boxing. If I’m not doing those things, I enjoy reading, especially with a good cup of coffee or tea, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
“I have been married to Tom Tijerina, who some may know as an adjunct instructor and/or Tri-S trip leader, for almost nine years and have twin step-daughters who are seniors in high school.”
Willis Troy, PhD, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering
“I recently earned my PhD on August 12, 2017 in electrical and computer engineering from Baylor University. My dissertation work was on measuring human motion in foliage environments using a 2.45 GHz radar. I obviously had a very long break before me and my family moved to Indiana.
“Upon arrival to Indiana, we found we had changed seasons to a ‘Texas Winter,’ that is to say it is a bit chillier than expected. My wife Xiuli and I have been married almost two years, and we have a little boy named Paul Mu Cheng Troy, who has the nickname ‘Cheng Cheng.’ I like to eat and spend time with my family, which is fortuitous, because my wife likes to cook and spend time with me. I have been trying to learn Mandarin, which is great since we attend a Mandarin speaking church, Muncie Chinese Church.”