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New Professors Join VWU Faculty

VWU welcomes Dr. Robert Ariel, Dr. Nadia Nafar and Dr. Modupe Oshikoya

University News | September 25, 2018

The Virginia Wesleyan community welcomed three new full-time faculty members this fall.

"We are most fortunate to have attracted to our campus three distinguished professionals, each of whom combines teaching excellence, active research, and impressive practical experience," said Provost and Vice President Dr. Timothy O'Rourke. "They add luster to an already-outstanding faculty: 93 percent of full-time professors hold the terminal degree in their field, many have achieved national eminence, and all are committed to the personal growth and career success of every Virginia Wesleyan student." 


Dr. Robert Ariel, joins the VWU community as an assistant professor of psychology. Before joining the Psychology Department at Virginia Wesleyan University, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Purdue University. He received his Ph.D. in experimental psychology with a cognitive focus from Kent State University and a B.A.in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  He then completed an NRSA postdoctoral fellowship funded by the National Institute on Aging at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Dr. Ariel directs the Self-Regulation, Education, and Aging Lab (SEA Lab) at VWU. The SEA lab's research focuses on understanding and improving self-regulated learning across the lifespan.  He says he takes an “evidence-based approach to education and his teaching incorporates effective cognitive principles; many of which come from his own research program.”  He teaches courses on cognitive psychology, sensation and perception, biological psychology, research methods, and statistics.

Dr. Nadia Nafar, Assistant Professor of Management, Business, and Economics, joins VWU from Alfred University in Alfred, New York, where she taught financial management to business students, advanced finance classes to business students majoring in finance, and corporate finance to M.B.A. students. She has also taught at Old Dominion University and Tidewater Community College.

Dr. Nafar earned a B.B.A. in Finance from Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, and an M.B.A. in Marketing and Ph.D. in Business Administration from Old Dominion University. She will primarily be teaching financial management courses to Virginia Wesleyan’s undergraduate and M.B.A. students, as well as other business courses.  Her research interests involve conducting cross country studies in financial management, corporate governance, and economic development.

"I am hoping to get students excited about sound financial management and to help them develop the skills to effectively manage both personal and business finances.” noted Dr. Nafar. “ I’m also hoping to get students to learn about different national cultures, institutional environments, and economic and financial systems. I want to do this by bringing my own research to the classroom and leading study abroad classes.”

Dr. Modupe Oshikoya comes to Virginia Wesleyan as assistant professor of political science. To the classroom she brings wide real-world experience, having worked, among other positions, as a project officer for the British Red Cross, senior officer on international affairs and defense security for the Houses of Parliament (London), and research associate at Nigeria’s Interfaith Mediation Centre.

Dr. Oshiloya recently completed her Ph.D in Global Governance and Human Security at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She also holds a M.S. in International Politics and a B.A. in Politics and Development Studies from the University of London.  This semester, she is teaching “Introduction to International Relations” and “Globalization & Its Discontent.”


“I am proud that we continue to attract highly qualified colleagues who offer unique perspectives,” said VWU President Scott D. Miller, “I know our campus community will welcome all three of our new full-time faculty to the Marlin family.”