Oklahoma Baptist University

Three Faculty Join Communication Arts Division

Three new faculty members will join OBU’s Division of Communication Arts beginning with the fall 2011 semester. Ronald A. Johnson is associate professor of electronic media production; Leslie Thomas is assistant professor of theatre and theatre design technician; and Dr. Jeffrey Wells is associate professor of theatre.

Ronald A. Johnson Leslie Thomas Dr. Jeffrey Wells

Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree at Marietta College with a double major in mass media management and managerial economics. He earned a master’s degree in radio and television management at Kansas State University, and he completed additional graduate study at Wheaton College in systematic theology and communication.

He served as associate professor of communication arts at Malone University from 2009-11. He proposed the renovation of the student media center and the installation of high-definition video production equipment.

Johnson joined the faculty of Goshen College as assistant professor of communication from 1988-91. In 2004, he returned to Goshen as associate professor of communication to add broadcasting as a major and to revitalize the television journalism and video production curriculum. In 2007, he also became coordinator of video production. He was assistant professor of communication at Dordt College from 2001-04.

He joined the faculty of Sterling College as assistant professor of communication arts in 1994. In 1996, he was named chair of the Fine Arts Division. In 1998, he was promoted to associate professor of communication arts.

In broadcast radio, Johnson served as operations manager of WMRT-FM in Ohio from 1977-79; as operations manager and construction supervisor of WNGM-FM in Kansas from 1986-88; and as general manager of WGCS-FM in Indiana from 1988-91.

He is a member of the Broadcast Education Association.

Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in theatre design and broadcast communications from Southeastern Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree in theatre design and technology from the University of Oklahoma.

He previously served as technical director, visiting professor and designer in the Department of Music and Theatre at Prairie View A&M University. He was an art teacher at Shekinah Radiance Charter Schools in LeMarque, Texas, and a substitute teacher for the Bryan, Texas, school district, during which time he also worked as a freelance designer and in television broadcasting.

Thomas worked as a technical director, designer and lecturer at Texas A&M University; as technical director, assistant professor and designer at LaGrange College; as technical director, visiting assistant professor and designer at Westminster College; and as technical director, designer and director of auditoriums at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

His professional development and memberships include the Southwest Theatre and Film Association; Texas Educational Theatre Association; United States Institute for Theatre Technology; and American College Theatre Festival.

Wells earned a dual bachelor’s degree in business administration and communication/human relations at Trevecca Nazarene University. He earned a master’s degree in communication at Auburn University and a master’s degree in theatre (directing) at Roosevelt University. He earned his doctorate in fine arts, with an emphasis in theatre, from Texas Tech University.

He previously served as an adjunct instructor at St. Pete College, Hillsborough Community College, Lubbock Christian University and Volunteer State Community College. He was a graduate professional teaching instructor at Texas Tech and a graduate teaching assistant at Auburn. He also served as an adjunct instructor at Olivet Nazarene University. In 1995, he joined the Olivet faculty as assistant professor, and in 2000 he was promoted to associate professor.

Wells worked as an administrative consultant for Stageworks Theatre in Tampa, Fla., from 2009-10. He was vice president for enrollment/marketing at Eastern Nazarene College from 2006-08. He was director of children’s ministry at Lubbock First Church of the Nazarene from 2002-05. He also has worked as executive director of Pro Kids Company and as an admissions field recruiter for Trevecca Nazarene University.

He is a member of Theatre Communications Group and Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

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