Faculty and Staff
Stephanie M. Foote, Ph.D.
Professor of Education, Director of Master of Science in First-Year Studies and CETL Faculty Fellow for High-Impact Practices
Stephanie M. Foote, Ph.D. is the Director of the Master of Science in First-Year Studies graduate program and Professor of Education in the Department of First-Year and Transition Studies at Kennesaw State University. Dr. Foote teaches various first-year seminars, sophomore career exploration seminar, and transfer student seminars at Kennesaw. She also currently teaches graduate courses in student development theory, advising and counseling in higher education, and the contemporary college student in the Higher Administration Program at Stony Brook University. She is a past recipient of the NODA Outstanding Research Award for her dissertation study of the perceived effects of first-year seminar participation on the experience of students in their first semester of college. Dr. Foote is the lead author of College Students in Transition: An Annotated Bibliography, and her current research focuses on self-authorship development in transfer students. In addition to publishing her research on college students in transition, Dr. Foote has presented nationally and internationally on her work; she has also made other invited presentations on her research. Additionally, Dr. Foote has developed and taught the online course, Fostering First-Year Student Success for the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition® annually since 2010. Dr. Foote is currently a guest co-editor of a special “Fostering Success for Students in Transition” issue of the Journal of College and Student University Housing, she currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice (JSARP), and is the editor for the Journal of College Orientation and Transition (JCOT).
Ruth A. Goldfine, Ph.D.
Department Chair and Professor of English
Dr. Ruth A. Goldfine is Chair of the Department of First-Year and Transition Studies at Kennesaw State University, a position she has held since 2013. She holds a doctorate in English and has been teaching in higher education for nearly 20 years. Dr. Goldfine joined the department as a full-time faculty member in 2004, earned the University College Distinguished Scholarship Award in 2008, and served briefly as Assistant Department Chair in 2011 and Interim Department Chair in 2012 before being named Department Chair.
Throughout her career in academia, Dr. Goldfine has worked primarily with first-year students, initially as an instructor of English composition and later as a first-year seminar professor. Her work in the classroom continues to inform her research, which is focused on first-year students and students in transition, with an emphasis on learning communities, first-year convocation, and first-year English composition. Her research interests also include the use of technology in the composition classroom, first-generation students, and students in transitions beyond the first year of college.
Assistant Dean, Director of Distance Learning and Associate Professor of Management
Deborah Mixson-Brookshire, is the University College Distance Learning Director and an Associate Professor of Management in the Department of First-Year and Transition Studies. She has been an educator for over 13 years teaching within First-Year Studies. Striving to create an innovative classroom experience for her students, she utilizes experiential education tools to accomplish course outcomes.
Deborah has published a variety of articles involving her experiential learning and distance learning research interest. Instructing and leading a variety of workshops, she is able to share her research and experiential pedagogical methods with others. She has also given international and national presentations sharing her passion for teaching first-year students and research.
Richard Mosholder, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Dr. Mosholder is an Educational Psychologist and critical theorist with scholarly interests in learner centered instruction, first year experience program development, and the retention of marginalized students. He is an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of First-Year and Transition Studies at Kennesaw State University. He was formerly the Principle Investigator and Project Director of a National Science Foundation grant with the objectives of increasing digital literacy and college readiness skills among Native Americans.
Hillary Steiner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology and Assistant Director of Learning Communities
Hillary H. Steiner, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology and Assistant Director of Learning Communities in the Department of First-Year and Transition Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Applied Cognition and Development from the University of Georgia in 2003. A recipient of the American Psychological Association's Teaching Excellence Award, she teaches first-year seminars and introductory psychology in a variety of learning communities. Her current research and professional interests include metacognition and self-regulation, integrative learning, faculty development, and the use of first-year seminars within learning communities to ensure STEM students thrive in their first year of college.
Carlton A. Usher II, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Political Science
Carlton Anthony Usher II is an Associate Professor of Political Science in the Department of First-Year and Transition Studies. Dr. Usher has an extended teaching and learning history spanning 15 years and contributes twenty years of experience with pre-college and first-year programs. Trained as a historian and political scientist, he teaches in several departments and across several disciples. He has taught Global Studies, History, Political Science and courses on American Popular Culture. In addition, Dr. Usher has designed and led fourteen diverse First- Year Learning Communities.
Dr. Usher recently completed appointments as KSU Carnegie Scholar for Civic Engagement, CETL Fellow for Diversity in the Curriculum, University System of Georgia Governor’s Teaching Fellow, USG Seven Revolutions Fellow and currently serves as co-chair of the American Democracy Project, a national initiative focused on higher education’s role in preparing the next generation of informed, engaged citizens.
He has a distinguished publication record that includes publication of several peer reviewed articles, book chapter, and book on student engagement, student political participation and social media. Dr. Usher’s current research focuses on student-centered research, community engagement, youth political participation and global diversity.