New professors join WSC faculty

Erin Beckman, Staff Writer

Stephanie Applewhite is a new Wayne State College professor in the department of education who graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas with an Ed.D. in educational leadership as a first-generation student. Before she came to WSC this fall semester, Applewhite was a teacher for K-12. She designed curriculum, part of secondary administration, and teacher preparation. Applewhite said her passions include self-efficacy, transitioning students into college, and dual credit and early college high schools that create sustainable pathways leading to college completion.

“As a teacher, I am always a learner,” Applewhite said. “When I am with learners, we journey together through learning experiences, adventures and discoveries. I aspire to work with learners so that each one finds within him/herself a deep passion and purpose for teaching. All learners can achieve success when the expectations are set very high and the proper resources are provided. I could not be more delighted than when I am in this creative space with learners.”

Students that are enrolled in Applewhite’s classes may hear her say many times, “With you, not for you.” Applewhite has a one-year contract at WSC.

Rachel Kunz is an assistant professor at Wayne State College in the department of criminal justice, and is replacing the late Dr. Andria Cooper.

Kunz is a WSC alumnus who transferred to University of Nebraska-Lincoln after graduating from WSC. At UNL, she graduated and received her degree in law.

“I do have my law degree so the law will always be interesting to me,” Kunz said. “As for a focus, I know the most about family law, particularly the juvenile justice system, and I also specialized in prison reform as well as capital punishment.”

Kunz, a first-time teacher, is teaching two sections of criminal law and two sections of an intro class. She has a track position at the college for 10 years, and has so far signed for one year of teaching. Kunz said she loves teaching and her students challenge her in different ways that make her want to push herself as a teacher.

“It’s very interesting coming back as a professor and teaching students,” Kunz said. “I was sitting in their spots about three or four years ago, but Wayne State College has a unique environment and a unique sense of place and self. I feel that I can relate to and understand students because I was in their position.”