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OJC Press Release ID: 2853

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

OJC Announces New Staff and Faculty


The fall semester at Otero Junior College is in full swing. Throughout last spring and summer semester several new employees have been hired at OJC. This announcement includes all non-athletic department staff.

OJC New StaffBrian Beyerl, was hired at OJC as mathematics faculty. He has four years of experience teaching a wide range of mathematics courses at several community colleges in Illinois including: Sauk Valley Community College and Elgin Community College. Beyerl is excited for the opportunity at OJC. He earned both a Bachelor of Science is in Applied Mathematics and Masters of Sciences in Mathematics Education from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. His minor is in Chemistry. He is focused on the needs of students and is excited to come to Colorado. In his free time Beyerl enjoys swimming or any activity that involves the water.


OJC New StaffCynthia Canfield, joined OJC as a member of the nursing faculty. Cindy has 22 years of experience in long term care, public health, acute care, school nursing, home health care and long-term psychiatric care. She has also worked as an adjunct nursing instructor for Lamar Community College. Canfield is an alumnus of the OJC nursing program. She received a Bachelor in Nursing and master in Nursing Education through Chamberlain College of Nursing. Canfield’s goal as a nurse educator is to place the learner in an interactive environment that allows for growth and Exploration. She believes that every student can grow and learn in the ever-changing nursing field. In her free time Canfield enjoys watching her kid’s rodeo, play sports, and spending time with her family.


OJC New StaffAmanda Clerkin is OJC’s new director of nursing and health programs. She is an OJC alumna, having graduated in 2009. Clerkin earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing from Western Governors University. She has a variety of hospital nursing experience and was most recently the chief nursing officer at Miners Colfax Medical Center. Clerkin has also served as nursing faculty for Trinidad State Junior College and as an adjunct instructor for OJC. She is committed to delivering a quality, value based nursing and health care education to all students. Clerkin is married with one son. She enjoys fishing, drawing, and reading.


OJC New StaffDavid Girard, was hired as the physical plant director last spring. Girard is a native of La Junta. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology from the University of Southern Colorado. Girard has over 20 years of experience in facility management including health care, life safety, emergency management, change management and process/industrial engineering. Most recently he has served as consulting and advisory counseling for mechanical/electrical and plumbing contractors. Girard has two children. His hobbies include: music, playing guitar, and graphic design.


OJC New StaffTimothy Ledna, was hired as the residence hall manager at OJC. He started at OJC in July. Ledna has over 10 years of experience in community and educational settings, specifically student affairs and helping college students be successful. Most recently, Ledna has been the residence hall director at Graceland University in Lamoni, lowa. He attended Loyola University of Chicago to earn a Bachelor of Arts and has master’s degrees from University of Notre Dame and University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Ledna has experience building educational communities, designing leadership curricula and engaging students in service-learning experiences. He is an advocate for small rural communities, college students, and diverse populations. He was very excited for this opportunity. In his free time, he loves to spend time in nature observing animals.


OJC New StaffAnn Lopkoff, came to OJC in July as the new registrar. Lopkoff is an alumna of OJC and earned a bachelor degree from Adams State University. She has many years of office management experience, customer service experience, and event coordinating experience. She has worked at the District Attorney's Office, Colorado Water Protection and Development Association, and most recently at Rocky Ford Feeders. Lopkoff wants to assist students in their involvement at OJC by helping to overcome frustrations and hurdles that potentially get in their way. Her hobbies include: quilting, sewing, fishing, and camping. Lopkoff is a member the Arkansas Valley Community Band and plays the clarinet. She is married with five children.


OJC New StaffChristina Mackey, was hired at OJC as the TRiO tutor & administrative assistant. Before being hired in her current position Mackey was a work study in OJC’s Learning Commons. Mackey earned an Associate of Science Degree and was a member of the TRiO program, while she was a student at OJC. Her work in the Learning Commons proved she is a welcoming, helpful resource for students and staff. Mackey also has an understanding of a wide-variety of people and situations through working as a paraprofessional at Cheraw Schools and as a CNA. In her free time, she enjoys reading, bowling, family time, going to the lake, camping, playing pool, and football.


OJC New StaffAllan Nolan, is a member of OJC’s general science faculty. Nolan is completing his doctoral degree at the Center for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Southern Mississippi with a focus on geology education and specifically deep time and evolution. At the university level he has taught historical geology, physical geology, general science and science for elementary teachers. Nolan was also a middle school science teacher for seven years. Allan enjoys geocaching, fossil hunting, hiking and is a dog enthusiast.


OJC New StaffRyan Phillips, was hired as a welding instructor at OJC and will launch OJC’s new welding program. Classes for the program will begin in spring semester 2019. He has 15 years of welding experience, owning and operating his own business and at Vestas Energy Solutions in Pueblo. At Vestas he trained other welders and supervised the work and production of his area. Phillips has experience with OXY/Propane and Plasma welding and welding repair utilizing FCAW or GMAW. He is a graduate of Northeastern Junior College in Sterling. Phillips is excited to help start the welding program at OJC as he has a strong welding background and wants to prepare students to utilize their knowledge from the program to seek employment and better their future. He is married with five children. Phillips enjoys hunting, being with family outdoors, and working with his kids on their 4-H projects.


OJC New StaffLynette Ramirez, transitioned to the Nursing Department in May as the coordinator of nursing and allied health. Ramirez had been working with the TRiO program as a tutor and administrative assistant. She was thrilled for this opportunity and has been using her skills to help with the many tasks in the nursing and health offices.


OJC New StaffAmanda Sturgeon, is a new member of the nursing faculty at OJC. She has nursing experience in the medical-surgery unit, emergency department, informatics and nurse education. Sturgeon has worked at Mount San Rafael Hospital and Miners Colfax Medical Center. She obtained an Associates of Applied Science Degree in nursing from Trinidad State Junior College and a Bachelor of Science of in Nursing degree from Beth-El College of Nursing. One of Amanda's strengths is the use of technology and its role in nursing education. As a non-traditional student and a graduate of a community college, Sturgeon understands the difficulties and pressures of nursing school and believes she will be a strong support to students on their journey to becoming nurses. She appreciates the benefits of small town nursing and nursing programs and looks forward to starting her teaching career at OJC.


OJC New StaffMark Tomky, was hired as Structural Trades I. He will be responsible for campus maintenance, HVAC, and locks. He has seven years of experience at EVRAZ in Pueblo and additional work experience with DISH Network, SECOM and Sears Home Services. Tomky is a licensed HVAC technician and holds a certificate in heavy equipment operation. He is married with three children. Tomky likes spending time with family, home improvement, and gaming.


OJC New StaffJenna Ward, joined OJC as nursing faculty. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2003 from CSU-Pueblo. She has 15 years of nursing experience. She has worked as a floor nurse in hospitals, as a public health nurse and as the program manager in Community Health Services. Ward has management experience and a variety of experiences educating the public, community partners and students about the role of public health and other necessary topics. She is looking forward to joining the nursing department and working with students and colleagues in providing high-quality instruction and support at OJC. Ward is married with two children. She loves any adventure outdoors with her family. They love to hike, swim, picnic, and play sports.


OJC New StaffTodd Werner, began at OJC during last spring semester as the director of student support services, TRiO. He has over ten years of experience as a rural school administrator. Werner graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Colorado State University and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Adams State College. As a teacher, coach, athletic director, principal, and superintendent, he is familiar with the diversity and challenges many students face transitioning to higher education. Werner believes the educational opportunities available in rural Colorado are ever expanding and offer greater opportunities to all students through personal connection and support. He is married with four children. He enjoys supporting his children in all their activities and watching them play basketball, volleyball, softball, swim, and act in plays.



Press Release Photo
Brian Beyerl: Mathematics Faculty
Cynthia Canfield: Nursing Faculty
Amanda Clerkin: Nursing Faculty
David Girard: Physical Plant Director
Timothy Ledna: Residence Hall Manager
Ann Lopkoff: Registrar
Christina Mackey: TRiO Tutor & Administrative Assistant

Press Release Photo
Allan Nolan: General Science Faculty
Ryan Phillips: Welding Instructor
Lynette Ramirez: Coordinator of Nursing and Allied Health
Amanda Sturgeon: Nursing Faculty
Mark Tomky: Structural Trades I
Jenna Ward: Nursing Faculty
Todd Werner: Director of Student Support Services, TRiO