New Faculty Join William Woods University

Five new faculty members have joined William Woods University this semester. They are: Claudia Starr, chair of the equestrian studies division; Dr. Michael J. Fredrick, assistant professor of physical education; Dr. Susan L. Jones, assistant professor of education; D. Jason Knowles, clinical instructor of tech and media production, and Sarah Track, saddle seat clinical instructor.


Claudia StarrFor the past four years Starr was the director of the Al Shaqab Equine Centre, Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar, the premier international equestrian centre for higher education initiative. There she directed the operations of an equestrian facility with more than 500 horses and 225 employees.


Before that, Starr was executive director of the Professional Accreditation Council of Equine Professionals in Brooksville, Fla. She also has worked at equestrian centers across the country, has served as community relations director at Churchill Downs and public relations director for the Breeders Cup and was one of America’s first licensed female thoroughbred jockeys.


Starr earned her bachelor of science and master of science degrees from the University of Louisville. She is also certified as a Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics professional. 


Fredrick, originally from St. Louis, Mo., earned a bachelor of arts degreeMichael Fredrick in philosophy and business from St. Louis University and a bachelor of science degree in physical education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He earned a master of education degree in physical education from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a doctorate in exercise and sport science/sport psychology with a minor in pedagogy and counseling psychology. 


He has taught for many years at the collegiate level, most recently as assistant professor of physical education at Lane College in Jackson, Tenn., where he also served as physical education department head. Fredrick has held faculty positions at Rock Valley College, Rockford, Ill.; Harris-Stowe State College, St. Louis, Mo., and Quincy University, Quincy, Ill. He also has served on the adjunct faculty at several colleges and universities. 


He is proficient in various physical education activities, including sports basics, fundamentals, rules and strategy. He is knowledgeable in fitness, sports conditioning, sport pedagogy and psycho/social aspects of sport.


Susan JonesJones of Lebanon, Mo., earned her bachelor of science degree in education, master of arts degree in education management and development and her Ph.D. in distance learning and technology integration at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, N.M.


She has taught for many years at the elementary level, most recently in Lebanon, Mo., and worked for the U.S. Department of Education as a grant administrator. Jones has several published articles and has participated in many service activities.


D. Jason KnowlesOriginally from Rock Creek, Kan., Knowles has more than 10 years of college-level teaching experience, most recently at the University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Ark. He also taught at Bryan Career College, Topeka, Kan.; Emporia State University, Emporia, Kan., and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg. Va.


He earned his bachelor’s degree in digital film and computer productions at the University of Kansas, a master of science degree in instructional design and technology at Emporia State University and a master of fine arts degree in digital filmmaking at the University of Central Arkansas.


Knowles plans to challenge his filmmaking/broadcast students to create both narrative and documentary productions that celebrate the Fulton, Mo., and larger Midwest communities.  He endeavors to advance WWU’s digital filmmaking concentration into a leading college cinema program.


Track of Lawson, Mo., succeeds her former professor, Gayle Lampe,Sarah Track who has retired after 44 years of teaching saddle seat at WWU. Track graduated from WWU in 1998 with a bachelor of science degree in equestrian science.  


She has had 15 years of experience as a professional in the horse industry, teaching and training horses at Wrapped in Rainbows Farm in Liberty, Mo.; Bluebonnet Farm in Belleville, Texas, and, most recently, Linden Hill Stables in Kearney, Mo.

Track is a member of the United Professional Horseman’s Association (UPHA), American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). She is knowledgeable in areas of equine management, health and welfare, as well as in-depth show preparation. She also has experience in advanced teaching of riders at any age and skill level in the English and Western styles of riding.