Dr. Letoshia Foster grew up in the community of South Central-Los Angeles, California. She earned her associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles, California. In 1994 Dr. Foster received a master’s in nursing from the University of California, Los Angeles, and later a post-master’s degree, also in nursing, from California State Dominguez Hills. She developed an interest in socio-cultural health disparities. In addition, Dr. Foster holds a Master’s degree in medical anthropology, and a PhD in history from the University of Memphis. Her dissertation focused nineteenth and twentieth century health issues among African Americans in Memphis, Tennessee.
Acey Holmes grew up in the Southeast, spending most of her life in North Carolina. After teaching deaf children using amplification or implantable hearing solutions to learn to talk for 5 years and a short stint in corporate America, she returned to school to study Communications Sciences and Disorders at the graduate level at Longwood. She specializes in feeding therapy, aural rehabilitation, and speech sound disorders. She has worked in an acute care hospital and is a trained FEES endoscopist. She has also worked in the public schools and early intervention. This is her first year teaching at the university level. She is a full time home health pediatric speech language pathologist in Colorado where she enjoys hiking, yoga, cycling, and watching her 8 year old son play golf.
Marion Kyner is a licensed Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist with over 40 years of experience in nursing. She is a native of Massachusetts and received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Salem State College and her master’s degree in psychiatric/mental health nursing from the University of Virginia. She worked at the University of Virginia as a senior clinician and nurse consultant in addictions treatment and has over 25 years as a certified substance abuse counselor and educator. Marion is also a certified dementia care practitioner, trainer, and coach. She has worked in senior care for over 14 years and is currently in private practice providing psychiatric and dementia care and consultation services for patients, families, and staff. Marion is a volunteer in her community for Alzheimer’s education and is passionate about changing the culture around dementia care. She lives in Cumberland Virginia with her husband and has two young adult daughters.
Dr. Vincent Magnini is a business consultant for the Longwood Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and is an associate professor in the College of Business and Economics. He was ranked as one of the top 12 most prolific hospitality researchers worldwide in the most recently published global ranking study. Further, he is a U.S. Fulbright Scholar. He has published seven books as well as many articles in outlets such as the Journal of Business Research, the Journal of Service Research, and the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Dr. Magnini has also been featured on National Public Radio’s With Good Reason, All Things Considered, Pulse on the Planet and cited in the New York Times and Washington Post.
Dr. Ann Mayo grew up in Hampden-Sydney, Virginia and has interacted with Longwood over much of this time, including teaching as an adjunct in what was then the Science Department. Her experience teaching at Longwood led to her PhD studies in the ecology of ants at the University of Texas- Arlington. She has taught at Tarrant County College and Weatherford College in Texas before making her way once again to Longwood. She has published several articles on ants and serves on committees with the Ecological Society of America and the Entomological Society of America. Her research generally focuses on ant interactions and their impact on the environment, and on the foraging behavior of the Comanche harvester ant and its use of visual cues rather than pheromones.
Dr. Katie Pennington received her PhD from Brandeis University in Molecular & Cellular Biology, where she worked with Dr. Michael Marr on understanding the function of the coactivator TFIID in regulating stress-induced gene expression. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Drs. Yingbin Fu and Margaret DeAngelis at the University of Utah Moran Eye Center developing a CRISPR/dCas9 tool to transcriptionally repress target genes involved in age-related macular degeneration. She next completed a second postdoctoral fellowship at Brigham Young University with Dr. Joshua Andersen studying the role of the oncoproteins 14-3-3 and PTOV1 in promoting cellular growth and survival. Dr. Pennington debuted her full-time teaching career in the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, teaching Biology at Mohave Community College in Arizona before joining the faculty at Longwood University Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences in the Fall of 2021.
Professor Christy Pribble grew up in Buckingham, Virginia where she presently lives with her husband and two children. She completed her Bachelor of Nursing at Lynchburg College in 1999 and began her career working in Maternal Newborn at Virginia Baptist Hospital in Lynchburg, Virginia after graduation. She left there in 2007 and went to St. Francis Medical Center in Midlothian, Virginia where she continues to work in The New Life Center. She returned to complete her Master of Nursing in Nursing Management at Liberty University in 2018. She started her education career, here in Farmville at The Woodland, Inc. where she is one of two Staff Development nurses. This position has allowed her to develop in the area of education and ultimately brought her here to Longwood University in 2021 teaching in the School of Nursing. When she isn’t working, she loves spending time with her family camping or basically anything outdoors.
Gregory Robey is a musician (trombonist, bassist), educator, and arranger now teaching Low Brass Applied Lessons at Longwood University. Born and raised in Lynchburg, VA, Gregory is an alumni of Longwood where he earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree. After graduating, he worked as a classroom educator in the instrumental, choir, and general music setting for 4 years before earning his Master of Music degree in Trombone Performance. Gregory also works as a musician performer in numerous ensembles, theater companies, and musical organizations up and down the east coast. In the midst of the pandemic, he has also been working to help his local community by working as a mitigation specialist for the VA Dept. of Health advising businesses and schools on creation and practice of safe polices to limit spread of Covid -19. Gregory is excited to help give back to the school that prepared him for his career.
Ravi Darwin Sankar, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Environmental Science
205B Chichester Science Center
Ravi Darwin Sankar completed his Ph.D and M.Sc. in Geological Sciences at Florida State University (Tallahassee, Fl) as a Fulbright Scholar, and his undergraduate degree in Physics and Environmental Sciences (Summa cum laude) at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad. Prior to his arrival at Longwood, Ravi was an "Eyes-High" postdoctoral fellow at the University of Calgary (Canada) where he also served as the project manager for the Canadian Consortium for Arctic Data Interoperability. Dr. Sankarhas taught courses in Geology, Geography, Physics and General Education at an amalgamation of Universities in the USA (Florida State University), Canada (University of Calgary, Mount Royal University) and the Caribbean (University of the West Indies, St. Augustine and University of the Southern Caribbean). Ravi’s research focuses on remote sensing of the coastal environment and quantifying the effects of climate variability on the morphology of coastal areas in response to natural and anthropogenic influences. His work has been instrumental in predicting rates of change along Arctic, mid-latitudinal and tropical coastal settings, which serve as a catalyst to planning future coastal zone management strategies.
Brittany Sutton grew up in Roanoke, Virginia. After earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Accounting and Information Systems from Virginia Tech, she joined KPMG’s audit practice in Roanoke, Virginia. During that time, she completed the requirements for a Certified Public Accountant license and continued to work in public accounting for almost a decade. Her audit specialties include nonprofit, governmental, employee benefit plan, real estate, and higher education. Recently, she returned to Virginia Tech and earned a master’s degree in career and technical education. In her free time, she loves to travel and go to college football games.
Dr. Stephanie Watts grew up in Alton, Virginia. After graduating from Halifax County, she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Child Development at Virginia Tech. While beginning her career as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher, she earned her Master's degree from Lynchburg College. A passionate educator, she earned her Education Specialist degree in Administration and Supervision from the University of Virginia, her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University, and an Autism Specialist certificate from our own Longwood University. With over 27 years in public education, she joined the Longwood faculty to broaden her positive reach and share her passion for teaching as she prepares future educators who are desperately needed in Virginia, particularly in the Southside part of the state. Dr. Watts is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education and teaches on-campus, serving traditional students, and off-campus in Martinsville, serving post-traditional students. On a personal note: she enjoys spending the majority of her leisure time with family and friends.
Elizabeth Zirkle grew up in Glen Allen, Virginia. At an early age she felt a drive and passion to enter the nursing field. She attended Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) for both her undergraduate and graduate degree in nursing. She is also a certified family nurse practitioner through the AANP and specialized to care for adult neurology patients. Particular neurologic interests include care of patients with dementia, seizures, or headache disorder. Overall, she has worked in the healthcare field for almost 14 years. She started as a CPR instructor and certified nurse aid while in her undergraduate program. Following graduation she has experiences ranging from ICU nursing (VCUHS Medical Respiratory ICU) to community based nursing with Henrico County Public Schools. She has also previously taught adjunct for ECPI University at the LPN level (pharmacology, skills/skills lab) and worked as a teaching assistant through her graduate program.
She is passionate about nursing and the impact that nurses have on patients, families, communities, and the health care system as a whole. She is also a strong advocate for mental health awareness and better access to services/resources for all.
On a personal note, she currently resides in Farmville with her husband, two daughters, and fur babies (two cats and a dog). She loves to travel, hike, bake and cook. She will travel for food and is always open to suggestions.