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August 18, 2020

By Capital HR Team

Welcome to Our New Capital Faculty and Staff

This fall we welcome 13 new full-time faculty and staff.

Jessica Branner Hittle, Law School

Jessica Branner Hittle is a graduate of Ohio University, earning her B.S. in communication studies from the Honors Tutorial College with a concentration in Spanish. She graduated from Capital University Law School in 2013 as the class valedictorian. Branner Hittle has diverse practice experience, including corporate litigation, government, and Title IX investigations.

Angela Buck, English

Angela Buck holds degrees from the University of Denver, the University of Massachusetts, and Evergreen State College. Her first book, “Horses Dream of Money,” was a finalist for the AWP Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction and will be published in spring 2021 by FC2.

Ralph Cochran, Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Ralph Cochran has an M.Ed. in educational leadership from Mercer University and a B.A. in psychology from Capital University. Most of Cochran’s work in higher education has been in diversity and inclusion, and specifically in social justice education, student development, and access and affordability. 

Nathan Howell, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Nathan Howell received his B.S. from Baldwin Wallace University and Ph.D. in biochemistry from The Ohio State University, where he studied the enzymology of tRNA modifications (and got to discover the function of a human tRNA methyltransferase!).

Erin Lewis, Health and Sport Science

Erin Lewis has a background in athletic training and health and exercise management. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in athletic training at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Her dissertation is focused on the use of simulation with deliberate practice.

Lisa McCoy, Nursing

Lisa McCoy is a licensed school nurse who earned her B.S. in family resource management from The Ohio State University and her B.S.N. and M.S.N. from Capital University. Throughout her nursing career, McCoy has worked in school health, home care, primary care, and healthcare programs for adolescents with mental illness, and the homeless population in Central Ohio.

E. Kelly Mihocik, Law School

Kelly Mihocik is a 2004 Capital Law School alumna, who is joining our legal writing faculty. Mihocik is a skilled appellate practitioner, who has worked on briefs in several state and federal appellate courts, including the Ohio State and United States Supreme Court.

Lorinda Nutor, Language and Cultures

Lorinda Nutor holds a master’s degree in Spanish (Latin American Literature & Culture) from The Ohio State University. Nutor absolutely loves to teach and has almost 30 years of teaching experience in higher education.

Judith O’Brien, Business

Judith O’Brien joins our faculty as an executive professor in the School of Management and Leadership. O’Brien has been teaching at Franklin University since 2012 and at Capital University since 2016. She has an M.B.A. from the Wharton School with a major in finance and a concentration in strategic planning. Her B.S. in civil engineering is from the University of Michigan.

Matt Rhyand, Student and Community Engagement

As the associate director for Student and Community Engagement, Matt Rhyand oversees AMP, Fraternity and Sorority Life, and Leadership Development Programming. Rhyand graduated from Ashland University with a B.A. in history and political science. He earned an M.Ed. in college student personnel from Ohio University. He loves history and movies and is interested in contemporary masculinity and its effects on male-identified individuals.

Reynaldo Valencia, Law School

Rey Valencia joins Capital University as the Law School dean. Valencia earned an undergraduate degree in psychology (with honors) and a graduate degree in sociology from Stanford University, then went on to receive a juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School. In addition to practicing law and teaching, Valencia served as a White House Fellow for 1999-2000 under President Bill Clinton.

Lance Witty, Conservatory of Music

Lance Witty will be teaching applied trumpet, directing the trumpet choir, and performing with the faculty chamber and jazz ensembles. Witty is a Yamaha Performing Artist, and has performed extensively as a soloist, orchestral, chamber, and commercial musician. Witty earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at The University of Texas at Austin, and received both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees at Bowling Green State University.

Rachel Wrenn, Trinity Lutheran Seminary

Rachel Wrenn is a Ph.D. candidate at Emory University and the instructor of Biblical Studies at Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Wrenn is an ordained Lutheran pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Her academic interests include the Psalms, biblical emotions, embodiment, ethnography, and homiletics.