News Room

News Release

For Immediate Release
May 09, 2012

Academic Affairs Announces New Leadership Roles

Key Info

  • New academic leadership appointments announced
  • Appointments take effect July 1, 2012
  • New dean, interim deans, and interim vice chancellor formally announced
  • Downloadable photos available

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) Chancellor Michael Wartell and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs William McKinney are pleased to announce the following appointments, which take effect July 1, 2012:

Ann M. Obergfell, J.D., RT(R), is promoted from interim dean to dean of the College of Health and Human Services. Obergfell came to IPFW in 2010 as professor and chair of radiography. Prior to coming to IPFW, Obergfell was the dean of health sciences at St. Catharine College in St. Catharine, Ky., from 1999 to 2010, and was a faculty member and coordinator of clinical education in radiography in the School of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Louisville from 1984 to 1999.

She graduated from the Parkview Hospital School of Radiography and IPFW with an Associate of Science in radiologic technology and received a Bachelor of Science in health service management from Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Louisville.

John O’Connell is appointed the interim dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA). O’Connell is currently the chair and professor of the Department of Theatre at IPFW, a position he has held since coming to the university in 2007. From 1998 to 2007, O’Connell was at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark., as an assistant and then associate professor of theatre. From 1995 to 1998 he was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Prior to that, O’Connell worked in various off and off-off Broadway theatres as a producer, director, and stage manager.

O’Connell has dozens of professional and academic directing credits, including Barefoot in the Park at the American Stage Theatre Company in St. Petersburg, Fla., in June 2011, for which he received the Jeff Norton Theatre Nomination for Best Direction.

He received a Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Moorhead State University in Moorhead, Minn., and a Master of Fine Arts in directing from the University of Alabama.

James Burg is appointed the interim dean of the College of Education and Public Policy (CEPP). Burg is currently the chair of the Department of Professional Studies and associate professor of counselor education, positions he has held since 2006 and 2004, respectively. Burg served as director of the Counselor Education Program from 2006 to 2010, coordinator of the Marriage and Family Therapy Specialization, and director of the IPFW Counseling Center from 1997 to 2007, and was also an assistant professor of counselor education from 1997 to 2004. He is also a licensed marriage and family therapist and mental health counselor, and has been in practice since 1990.

Burg received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a Master of Arts in family studies with specialization in marriage and family therapy, both from Michigan State University. He received a Ph.D. with specialization in marriage and family therapy from Purdue University.

Chancellor Wartell is also pleased to announce Steven T. Sarratore, currently the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, will become the interim vice chancellor for academic affairs July 1, 2012. Sarratore will replace McKinney, who is leaving IPFW to become the president of Valdosta State University in Georgia. Sarratore has been at IPFW since 1986, serving in an academic capacity as assistant, associate, and professor of theatre and in an administrative capacity in numerous positions since 1987, including interim dean of the School of Visual and Performing Arts from 2007 to 2008; associate vice chancellor for academic programs from 2002 to 2008, and again from 2010 to the present; and as interim vice chancellor for academic affairs for IU–Kokomo from 2008 to 2009.

Sarratore received a Bachelor of Arts in theatre with high honors from Michigan State University and a Master of Fine Arts in theatre design from Wayne State University.   

For more information on the appointments, contact McKinney at 260-481-6116 or Downloadable photos of the new appointees are available.