The Walker College welcomes new faculty and staff members in Fall 2019

The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University announces the appointments of 17 new faculty members and 5 new staff members.


Alex HelmsThe Department of Accounting welcomes one new lecturer for fall 2019, Mr. Alex Helms. Mr. Helms can be reached by email,

Computer Information Systems

The Department of Computer Information Systems welcomes four new faculty members: Assistant Professor Jeff Kaleta and Lecturers Adebiaye Richmond, Taubman Julie andJohann Vaz.

Jeff KaletaDr. Jeff Kaleta brings to the classroom 10 years of corporate experience as a design engineer, project manager, and continuous improvement manager. Most recently, Dr. Kaleta taught information technology for Georgia Southern University. At Appalachian, Dr. Kaleta will bring an added focus on business analytics. His research interests include text and document analysis/analytics, online information search, social media user behavior, human-internet environments and electronic consumer behavior and cognitive/behavioral science. Dr. Kaleta earned a PhD in management information systems from the Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis and a Master of Science from Murray State University. Dr. Kaleta can be reached by email,

RichmondDr. Richmond S. Adebiaye is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) who brings 14+ years of teaching experience to Appalachian. His research interests include designing, building and managing enterprise network and information security architecture. Dr. Adebiaye earned his doctorate in computer information systems from Robert Morris University and a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems and Security as well as an MBA from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. Dr. Adebiaye can be reached by email,

Julie TaubmanJulie Taubman, a project manager for Appalachian’s information technology services, will serve as an adjunct lecturer for the department. Taubman’s teaching and research interests include information systems and organization interactions; knowledge management; and IT governance. Taubman earned her master’s degree in computer science from Montana State University. She can be reached by email,

Johann VazJohann Vaz joined the faculty in the Walker College of Business after having most recently served for 10 years as chief information officer of Biotest Pharmaceuticals. Vaz earned a master’s degree in information systems and software engineering from Grand Valley State University.


The Department of Economics welcomes two new faculty members: visiting assistant professors Patrick McGuire and Tanya Molodtsova Ince.

Patrick McGuireDr. Patrick McGuire’s fields of interests include agricultural economics and industrial and public economics. He earned his PhD in Economics from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Dr. McGuire can be reached by email,

Tanya Molodtsova.jpgDr. Tanya Molodtsova Ince brings to the department expertise in monetary policy evaluation and an international perspective. Her research interests include international macroeconomics, forecasting, and time series analysis. Dr. Molodtsova Ince earned her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Houston and a Master of Science in Physics from Odessa National University in Ukraine. Dr. Molodtsova Ince can be reached by email,

Finance, Banking and Insurance

The Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance welcomes two new faculty members: Assistant Professors Justin Cox and Alex Holcomb.

Justin CoxDr. Justin Cox will teach introduction to finance at Appalachian. His research interests include market microstructure, investments and corporate finance. Dr. Cox earned a Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi, an MBA from Louisiana Tech University, and a master’s degree from the University of Central Florida. He can be reached by email,

Alex HolcombDr. Alex Holcomb is an Assistant Professor joining the faculty at Appalachian by way of University of Texas - El Paso. He brings experience teaching corporate finance and financial analysis and valuation. Dr. Holcomb’s research interests include corporate debt pricing, tax incentives, financial decision making and behavioral and experimental finance. He is a three-time graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, heaving earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in finance. Dr. Holcomb can be reached by email,


The Department of Management welcomes five new faculty members: Assistant Professor Jacqueline Tilton, Visiting Professor Makhosazana Faith (Nana) Vezi-Magigaba, and Lecturers Zak Ammar, Hannah Costello and Alex Naar.

Jacqueline TiltonDr. Jacqueline Tilton will teach business ethics at Appalachian. Her research interests include equality and inclusion, dignity and behavioral ethics, and economic diversity. She aspires to understand and give voice to the disparate experiences of diverse employees. Dr. Tilton earned her Ph.D. in Management from the University of Arkansas. Dr. Tilton can be reached by email,

NanaVisiting Professor Makhosazana Faith (Nana) Vezi-Magigaba joins the management faculty from the University of Zululand in South Africa, where she leads the Department of Business Management. During her six-month appointment, Dr. Magigaba will bring an added focus on social entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship development to Appalachian’s faculty. Dr. Magigaba earned her Doctor of Commerce in entrepreneurship from the University of Zululand and an MBA from Jackson State University in Mississippi. She can be reached by email,

Zak AmmarZak Ammar brings to the faculty his experience serving as CEO of Boone-based waste management business, Vixster, which he founded in 2016. Ammar is an alumnus of Appalachian, having earned his MBA in 2015. He can be reached by email,

Hannah CostelloHannah Costello is also an Appalachian alum, having recently earned her MBA and a master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Human Resource Management. She can be reached by email,

Alex NaarAlex Naar brings to the faculty a focus on rural entrepreneurship; corporate social responsibility, and organizational theory. He earned his Master of Science in Business Administration from Virginia Tech and an MBA from East Carolina University. Naar can be reached by email,

Marketing and Supply Chain Management

The Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management welcome two new faculty members: Lecturers Laura Brewer and Christy Cook.

Laura BrewerLaura Brewer brings to the faculty 20+ years experience in industry as a supply chain data analyst, an international transportation specialist and a systems analyst. She is a two-time graduate of Appalachian, having earned her MBA and bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and supply chain management. Brewer can be reached by email,

Christy CookChristy Cook has an extensive background in higher education and most recently served as university program manager for Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs. Cook is a veteran of the United States Air Force and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics & Administration from Embry-Riddle University and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Media with a concentration in online learning and professional development from Appalachian. She can be reached by email,

Business 2001

Colt JensenThe Walker College also welcomes to the faculty Colt Jensen, who will serve as an instructor for Business 2001, the college’s business professional leadership and career development course. Mr. Jensen is an Appalachian alumnus, having recently earned his Master of Public Administration. He can be reached by email,

Five staff members have recently joined the Walker College of Business.

Staff Members

Maureen CatheyMaureen Cathey is an associate director in the office of Business Career Services. She serves as a career coach for business graduate students as well as undergraduate accounting students. Cathey most recently served as an assistant director and career counselor in the Career Development Center at Appalachian. Prior to that, she worked in student affairs at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Science in College Student Personnel. Cathey can be reached by email,

Jill HoekstraJill Hoekstra is the administrative support specialist for the Department of Accounting. Hoekstra previously served as an administrative professional in the Walker College Dean’s Office and the Department of Chemistry. She can be reached by email,

Elizabeth JonesElizabeth Jones is a records specialist for the college’s academic advising office. Jones earned her Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from Appalachian in 2016. She can be reached by email,

Roxanne SaltmanRoxanne Saltman is an administrative support specialist in the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship. Saltman most recently served Watauga County Schools as an administrative assistant and is a real estate professional. Saltman can be reached by email,

Lacy SchmidtLacy Schmidt is a program specialist in the Brantley Risk & Insurance Center, where she will support faculty and student engagement, coordinate travel and maintain the center’s records, budgets and finances. She also serves as coordinator for the college’s Holland Fellows Program for Business Study in Asia. Previously, Schmidt worked as a program assistant in Appalachian’s Office of Conference and Camp Services, and, prior to that, as an international education program coordinator for Broadreach Global Study Abroad based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Schmidt can be reached by email,

The new faculty and staff members join a team of nearly 150 business faculty and staff members already in place.

The Walker College welcomes new faculty and staff members in Fall 2019
Published: Aug 22, 2019 11:20am