News Releases

April 27, 2010
For Immediate Release
For additional information: 
Barbara Kerr, APR
Executive Director of
Communications and Marketing
Telephone: 360-992-2921


Clark College Honors Newly Tenured Faculty

Eleven faculty members, who have been granted tenure 
by the Clark College Board of Trustees, 
were honored at a reception on April 27

Clark College's 2010 newly tenured faculty members
Clark College's newly-tenured faculty members at the reception in their honor (left to right):  Sally Tomlinson (art history), Richard Inouye (music), Rebecca Ellis (nursing), Senseney Stokes (art and photography), Cynthia Myers (nursing), Michael Ceriello (political science), Catherine Johnston (English as a second language), John Fite (economics), Jody McQuillan (adult basic education/GED)Chris Milner (math), and Nancy Thompson (English).


Tenure is awarded to faculty members who have exhibited professional excellence and outstanding abilities in their disciplines.  The granting of tenure is based on the recommendations of tenure review committees to the vice president of instruction which are then forwarded to the president, who presents a final recommendation to the Board of Trustees.  Recommendations are based on self evaluations, tenure review committee evaluations, student evaluations, supervisory evaluations, and peer evaluations.  The final decision to award or withhold tenure rests with the Board of Trustees. The trustees approved tenure for these 11 faculty members on March 23. VANCOUVER, Wash. — Eleven Clark College faculty members have been granted tenure by the college’s Board of Trustees.  Michael Ceriello (political science), Rebecca Ellis (nursing), John Fite (economics), Richard Inouye (music), Catherine Johnston (English as a second language), Jody McQuillan (Adult Basic Education/GED), Chris Milner (math), Cynthia Myers (nursing), Senseney Stokes (art), Nancy Thompson (English), and Sally Tomlinson (art history) were honored at a reception on Tuesday, April 27.  The reception was sponsored by the Clark College Board of Trustees and the college’s Office of Instruction.

“These newly tenured faculty members will continue to increase the talent and reputation of our faculty who are deeply and passionately committed to excellence and student success,” said Clark College President Robert K. Knight.

“I am proud of our faculty members for this major accomplishment,” said Dr. Rassoul Dastmozd, Vice President of Instruction.  He noted, “Earning tenure status is a major career milestone.  These student-centered faculty members have been recognized and celebrated by their peers and our institution for their accomplishments and dedication to teaching and learning at Clark College.  I am also grateful to each of the tenured committee members for the mentoring and coaching that they provided to each of our new tenured recipients.”


EDITOR’S NOTE: Biographies for the new tenured faculty members are provided below. 

Michael Ceriello, Political Science 

Michael Ceriello was appointed to the full-time tenure-track faculty position as a political science instructor, effective September 12, 2007.  Ceriello has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He earned his master’s degree in political science (environmental studies) from Western Washington University.  He has continued his graduate coursework with Oregon State University, the College of St. Catherine and Metro State University.  He has previous work experience with Central Lakes College, where he was a tenured professor and chair of both the political science and environmental studies departments.  He has also taught and worked for Skagit Valley College, Whatcom Community College, Shoreline Community College, and the U.S. Forest Service.  

Ceriello directs the Model United Nations program at Clark College and is a volunteer in the League of Women Voters’ annual Constitution Day program.  He moderated one of the 2009 Vancouver mayoral debates and has been featured in regional and national stories through media outlets including KATU-TV and the Associated Press. Ceriello said, “I am a strong believer in active learning (learning by doing) and encourage students to become active citizens and community members—both locally and globally.”

Rebecca Ellis, Nursing 

Rebecca Ellis was appointed to the full-time tenure-track faculty position as a nursing instructor, effective September 12, 2007. Ellis has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from the University of Alabama and a master’s degree in nursing education from Washington State University.  After her retirement from the Army Nurse Corps in 1992, Ellis worked as a nursing supervisor at Brackenridge Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Austin and North Austin Medical Center in Austin, Texas.  In 1998, she moved to Vancouver and began teaching as an adjunct clinical instructor with the Clark College nursing program. 

Ellis represents Clark College on the Student Clinical Placement Consortium, which includes all Vancouver/Portland area health care facilities as well as college and university nursing programs.  She is also a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing and serves on the nursing program’s National League for Nurses Standard 6 committee which evaluates the Nursing Program’s Educational Effectiveness.  Ellis said, “As an educator, I recognize that students bring to the classroom and clinical setting many differing talents, learning styles and life experiences.  I welcome the richness that this diversity brings to my classroom.  As a professional nurse, I believe that role modeling in the clinical area is an effective method of teaching our future professional nurses how to become caring professionals in their own nursing practices.”

John Fite, Economics

John Fite was appointed to the full-time tenure-track faculty position as an economics instructor, effective September 12, 2007. He has a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from the U.S. Air Force Academy and master’s degree in economics from Georgetown University. After 20 years in the United States Air Force – including service in Vietnam – Fite worked as an analyst at the Pentagon and as an instructor at Air Command and Staff College (ACSC). He spent over 18 years in the airline industry flying throughout the U.S. and the Pacific and flew transport aircraft worldwide.  His final assignment was as a B-737 captain for United Airlines.

His leadership activities at Clark College include the Business Administration Advisory Committee and service on a Security Task Force established following the 2007 shooting incidents at Virginia Tech. He is a member of the college’s International Committee and has twice served as a guest panelist for seminars held by Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of two-year colleges.  Fite’s son and daughter both took classes at Clark College through the Running Start program.  Describing his teaching philosophy, he focuses on the student.  “I approach all students as willing and eager to learn,” he said. “My job is to tap that by making economics applicable to their lives today. “

Richard Inouye, Music 

Richard Inouye was appointed to the full-time tenure-track faculty position as a music instructor, effective September 12, 2007. Inouye has a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Northern Colorado and a master’s degree in music from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has previous work experience with the Colorado College, University of Colorado at Boulder, and the United States Air Force Academy Band.  As director of bands, Inouye has served as director of the Clark College Jazz Festival, drawing more than 1,200 high school students from Washington and Oregon as well bringing an estimated 3,000 people to Vancouver annually. He has organized two successful international music tours by the Clark College Bands to Seoul, South Korea and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  He has served as a clinician and adjudicator at music events throughout country including the prestigious Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. He is an active member of the Jazz Education Network and the National Association for Music Education.

At Clark College, his leadership work includes work with the Instructional Planning Team (IPT) Program Assessment subcommittee, the college’s the Standard Level of Service Task Force, and the selection for the Constance Baker Motley grant, established by the Martin Luther King Week steering committee.  Inouye said, “As a music educator, dedication to exemplary musicianship is my primary goal for motivating my students; however, in today’s climate of accountability, it is imperative that we provide role models of integrity and character in order for our students to succeed.  I consider my role as an educator to be that of a leader mentoring future leaders and I must never lose sight of the importance of this responsibility.  We are mentoring future professionals for success in a professional world and hope to extend our legacy to following generations.  Only then can we make a significant difference.”

Catherine Johnston, English as a Second Language (ESL)

Catherine Johnston was appointed to the full-time tenure-track faculty position as an ESL instructor, effective September 12, 2007. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from DePaul University.  She studied linguistics, assessment and testing, and methodology of educational research at the University of San Francisco, earning a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She has previous work experience with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Malcolm X College, Oakton Community College, and Roosevelt University. She is an active member of the professional organizations TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages), ORTESOL (Oregon Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages), and WAESOL (Washington Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Johnston has worked in Michigan, California, Illinois, Mexico, and Hong Kong as a teacher, teacher trainer, and materials writer and editor.  In the Clark College ESL program, she is the lead instructor for teachers of level 1 and 2.  She currently serves on the Teaching and Learning Center steering committee and the Adult Literacy Center steering committee.  Regarding her teaching philosophy, Johnston says, “Though ESL students navigate potentially unfamiliar cultural and educational terrain, they become confident and capable participants in the community fostered by a learner-centered classroom.”   

Jody McQuillan, Adult Basic Education (ABE)/GED

Jody McQuillan was appointed to the full-time tenure-track faculty position as an ABE instructor, effective September 12, 2007. McQuillan has an associate’s degree from Madonna University, a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Central Michigan University, and an MSW (Master’s in Social Work) from Portland State University.  She has previous work experience with Forsyth Tech Community College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  Her leadership activities at Clark have included working with a team of math instructors at Clark to write a $120,000 grant for the Re-Thinking Pre-college Math project which Clark was awarded in April 2010. This is a three-year project sponsored by the SBCTC and part of the Washington State Student Completion Initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Long-term, the project is designed to increase student completion in pre-college math courses and student success in college-level math courses.

McQuillan said, “In Adult Basic Education, we teach five subjects: math, science, writing, social studies, and literature. I want the classroom or learning space to be a comfortable environment for learning, questioning, and reflection. Although I am in the role of the instructor, I see my job more as a facilitator, assistant, and supporter. I think we all are teachers and learners in a classroom because there is a sharing of the material, ideas, questions, and problem solving involving the subject we are studying.  I start the first day of class by remembering students’ names as quickly as possible and encouraging others in the class to do the same.”

Chris Milner, Math

Chris Milner was appointed to the full-time tenure-track faculty position as a mathematics instructor, effective September 12, 2007. Chris has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Puget Sound and a master’s degree in mathematics from Oregon State University. He has previous work experience with Portland Community College and Vintage Books.  At Clark College, he has served as a member of the Outcomes Assessment committee since 2005 and served on one of the college’s nine accreditation teams.  In May 2010, he will take office as the president of the Washington Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (WAMATYC).

Milner describes himself as a very visual teacher.  “I do my best to link math problems with real life examples, when possible,” he said.  “I believe mathematical methods are best learned by experience and cooperation.  By helping my students explain solutions to each other, they should become comfortable with reading and solving the problems presented during the term and be able to apply these methods in later classes.” 

Cynthia Myers, Nursing

Cynthia Myers was appointed to the full-time tenure-track faculty position as a nursing instructor, effective September 12, 2007.  Myers earned her associate’s degree in nursing from Clark College.  She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree (summa cum laude) and a master’s degree in nursing from Washington State University.  She has previous work experience with Kaiser Permanente, Southwest Washington Medical Center, Vancouver Clinic, Olsten Kimberly Quality Care, and Providence Medical Center.

Myers is the first quarter lead instructor in the nursing department and serves on the college’s National League for Nursing (NLN) Standard V1 (5.1) committee, as well as the nursing department’s Professionalism and Sunshine Committee. During the past three years, she has developed student-centered activities to engage students and promote an active learning environment. A strong proponent of collaborative learning, Myers believes that through collaborative learning students are able to take new information and integrate it with what they already know. She said, “Engaging students in the classroom, intellectually and with one another, leads to better understanding of the course material and builds a social community of learners. As an educator it’s very exciting to be a part of this dynamic process.”

Senseney Stokes, Art/Photography

Senseney Stokes was appointed to the full-time tenure-track faculty position as an art/photography instructor, effective September 12, 2007. Stokes earned a bachelor’s degree in textile design from Rhode Island School of Design and a master’s degree in photography from the University of New Mexico. She has previous work experience with Ashbrook Independent School, Bennington & Williams Colleges, University of New Mexico, and Rhode Island School of Design.  For the past three years, Stokes has been the faculty advisor to the Clark Photo Club, a group of students and community members “who come together to share a love for photography through workshops, peer critiques, and gallery outings.”  She recently launched the Clark Art Talks: Visiting Artist & Scholar Lecture Series.  This program features a monthly lecture series, classroom workshops and lectures, and an annual artist-in-residence program.  Stokes also serves on the College Council’s sub-committee on shared governance and as vice chair on the Foundation Funds Allocation Committee.

Stokes said, “I teach photography from a fine arts perspective with an emphasis on contemporary practice within the arts.  Ultimately I want to introduce students to contemporary photographic arts, expand their verbal and visual vocabularies, build their technical, aesthetic and conceptual acuity, and help them discover their unique voices for creative personal expression.”

Nancy Thompson, English

Nancy Thompson was appointed to the full-time tenure-track faculty position as an English instructor, effective September 12, 2007.  Thompson has a bachelor’s degree in history from Portland State University, a master’s degree in history from the University of Albany, and a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Goddard College. She has previous work experience with Marylhurst University, Vermont State Colleges, Southern Vermont College, and Hudson Valley Community College.

Thompson serves as co-chair of the English Department Composition Committee and as a volunteer with Community Cycling Center, helping people become proactive about bike safety and bike transportation options.  Thompson said, “My approach is to give people writing skills that they can use in practical applications throughout their lives; I believe that anyone can become a functional writer.”

Sally Tomlinson, Art History

Sally Tomlinson was appointed to the full-time tenure-track faculty position as an art history instructor, effective September 12, 2007. Tomlinson has a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of California, Berkeley; a master’s degree in art history from University of Victoria; and an ABD (all but dissertation) as a doctoral candidate in art history at the University of North Carolina. She has previous work experience with California State University, University of North Carolina, Butte Community College, California State College, and Sonoma Business Magazine.  Tomlinson serves on the Associated Students of Clark College (ASCC) finance committee and Clark’s Teaching and Learning Center Steering Committee.  She has also served on committees that study aspects of online teaching in comparison with face-to-face teaching, and she has been a faculty advisor for a consortium of 11 student clubs that made plans to travel to Washington D.C.  In fall 2009, Tomlinson was the featured presenter in Clark College’s Faculty Speaker Series.

Tomlinson said, “As an instructor, I guide students to trust their own eyes, and to understand the nuances of what they see within appropriate cultural contexts.  Learning to trust their own eyes helps open their hearts and minds to art.  Learning about different cultures encourages open-mindedness and understanding for societies both historically and geographically distant from our own.”