New Faculty Join MGA For 2023-2024 Academic Year

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2023 12:00 AM
Categories: Pressroom | School of Computing | School of Health and Natural Sciences | School of Arts and Letters | School of Business | Faculty/Staff | Athletics | School of Aviation

Macon, GA


This fall, Middle Georgia State University (MGA) added eight new full-time faculty members in a number of academic disciplines, including art, education, nursing, rehabilitation sciences, and respiratory therapy. 

The new faculty are:  

Christopher Hope, lecturer of information technology. Hope obtained his master’s degree in information systems security and his bachelor’s and associate’s degrees from University of Phoenix. He comes to Middle Georgia State University from Mercer University, where he was an adjunct professor. He also recently served as the coordinator of Southern Crescent Technical College’s cybersecurity program and an assistant teacher at Capella University. Hope was named a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success in 2020 and Epsilon Pi Tau in 2016.  

Bianca McBurse, assistant professor of nursing. A registered nurse, McBurse obtained her master’s degree from South University. Along with her master’s, bachelor’s, and associate’s degrees in nursing, she holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Georgia State University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and was the Tau Sigma National Honor Society Chapter President from 2007 to 2008. McBurse holds several licenses and certifications, including basic life support, advance life support, and neonatal resuscitation. She has been a Pulaski Tomorrow Leadership Team Member since 2016. For years, she served on the board of the Hawkinsville Chamber of Commerce as vice president, president, and chair elect. 

Dr. Karen Ochoa, assistant professor of education. Most recently an assistant principal at Gulf Coast Charter Academy South in Naples, Fla., Ochoa also has experience as a STEM instructional coach and teacher of gifted classes. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy and Ed.S. from the University of Southern Mississippi, a master’s degree in elementary education from William Carey University, and a bachelor’s in legal studies from the University of West Florida. 

Amanda Parkerson, assistant professor of nursing. Most recently a family nurse practitioner (FNP) for a pediatric clinic in Eastman, Parkerson has also worked as an RN at Taylor Regional Hospital and Houston Medical Center. Her research activities include participating in a sepsis initiative looking at real-life hospital case studies to help build an awareness template for providers to use. She has volunteered for medical mission trips to Honduras, Tanzania, and Ecuador. She holds a master’s degree in nursing, FNP, from Georgia College & State University.  

Jessica Pipkin, lecturer in rehabilitation sciences. Most recently a certified occupational therapy assistant for Integra Rehabilitation in Dalton, Ga., Pipkin has also worked as an occupational therapy assistant in the Lamar County School System. She has extensive fieldwork experience at medical sites and other organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an associate’s degree in the occupational therapy assistant program, both from Middle Georgia State University, as well as an associate’s degree from Gordon College. 

Alexis J. Pope, assistant professor of respiratory therapy. Most recently respiratory supervisor at Houston Healthcare, Pope has also worked as a practitioner for St. Joseph/Candler Health System. She holds a master’s degree in respiratory therapy from Georgia State University, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Middle Georgia State University, and a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy from the former Armstrong Atlantic State University (now Georgia Southern University).  

Charles Ward, temporary lecturer of art. He began his career as an art teacher at Howard High School and obtained similar instructing, teaching, and professorship positions at various institutions, including what is now Middle Georgia State University. Ward’s expertise in artistry branches across various mediums. His specialties include studio drawing, painting, photography, and graphic design. He also has a vast knowledge of technology, with proficiencies in PC assembly/repair and SMART Board setup/training. In 2012 and 2013, Ward won the Silver Paw Award, “given by honor graduates to one teacher they feel has made the most impact on their life and education.” He holds a master’s degree in fine art from Western Carolina University and a master’s degree in education from Georgia College & State University.  

Tania Woolfolk, assistant professor of nursing. Before she became a faculty member, Woolfolk began her experience at Middle Georgia State University leading students as a clinical instructor. A registered professional cardiac nurse, Woolfolk brings ample experience to MGA’s Department of Nursing from her most recent positions at both Coliseum Medical Center and Atrium Health Navicent and her time as a travel nurse. Woolfolk obtained a master’s degree in nursing education from Capella University, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Argosy University, and an associate’s degree in nursing from Darton College. She also holds certifications in basic life support and advanced cardiovascular life support from the America Heart Association and NIFSS.