08 Aug The University Welcomes New Faculty Members & Staff Directors
Ginger Behnke – Education
Professor Ginger Behnke is a Kentucky native who graduated from Southeastern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sacred Music. After serving on the staffs of several Assembly of God churches, she earned a Master’s degree from Murray State University in Education with an emphasis in Middle School Education and an endorsement in Teacher Leadership. She has taught in both public and private schools and taught internationally in Nepal and Bhutan. She and her husband Mike live in Phoenixville with their two daughters. When not working, you can find Ginger courtside watching her husband coach basketball.
Roger Cocking – Music
Dr. Roger Cocking received a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. He holds a Master of Music degree in applied percussion and a Ph.D. in Music Education from Temple University. He has performed with many orchestras in North America including the Honolulu, Wilmington, Annapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. He’s recorded for many private organizations including National Public Radio and the United States Olympic Committee. As a music educator, Dr. Cocking has taught in the U.S. and abroad. He has served as visiting professor of music for the Winter National Music Festival of Brazil, and as band and choral director for public schools and churches in Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. His interest in elemental music development began with his association with the Therapeutic Music Program at Moss Rehabilitation Hospital, and led to co-founding the Burlington County Pioneers, a 140-member instrumental ensemble for special-needs students. The Pioneers have performed for numerous local and national events, including the National Special Arts Festivals, the Orange Bowl parade and special performances for Presidents Bush and Clinton, and the Lord Mayor of London, England.
Reverend Melissa Falk graduated from the University of Valley Forge with a bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Ministries. After graduation, she spent the next five years in New York City as a staff pastor at an Assemblies of God church while also counseling at-risk youth for a large social-service agency. In 2009, Melissa was named lead pastor of Mosaic Christian Fellowship, a multi-ethnic Assemblies of God congregation in Norwalk, CT.
Reverend Falk holds a Master of Arts in Practical Theology from Regent University, where she also managed the Doctor of Ministry Program and taught courses in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Divinity for seven years. She is a Doctor of Ministry student at Asbury Seminary, where she is a Beeson Scholar. Reverend Falk is currently completing an intensive one-year Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) residency as a chaplain at a Level-1 trauma hospital, focusing on pastoral care and counseling, crisis management, grief, death and dying, trauma debriefing, and other high stress situations.
Shawn Follis – Ministry Leadership & Theology
Reverend Shawn Follis has served as a youth pastor for over 25 years. After graduating from Evangel University in 1995 with a B.A. in Biblical Studies, he was ordained with the Assemblies of God in 2000. During his years of ministry, he has served in a rural church in Tennessee, a midsize church in Alabama, and a large church in Wisconsin. In 2016, he returned to higher education to begin work on his Masters of Arts degree in Educational Ministries from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and plans to complete his program in the fall of 2018. Shawn has been married to his wife Gwen for 22 years and they have two children: Sydney, a junior at Evangel University, and Boston, a sophomore in high school. Shawn and Gwen are excited about a new season of youth ministry with the challenge to raise up a generation of student pastors and youth leaders.
Aisha Hall – Behavioral Sciences
Professor Aisha Hall has been a social worker for over twenty years, and her expertise is in the area of healthcare. Delaware County Memorial Hospital, Fresenius Kidney Care, and Albert Einstein Medical Center are a few of the health care facilities where she has worked. She previously served at UVF from 2010-2013 as the Director of Field Placement and has also served as a faculty member for the Social Work Program at Widener University. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Temple University, a Master of Social Work from Syracuse University, and she is currently in a Doctor of Education program at Walden University.
Professor Glodi Konga is an Assistant Professor and Program Director of Sport Management. He spent the previous year serving as an Adjunct Professor within the Sport Management program as well as serving as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach here at the University of Valley Forge. Professor Konga came to Valley Forge with over a decade of coaching experience, including an assistant soccer coach for the Buxmont Torch FC, the Director of Coaching at Germantown Soccer Club in Philadelphia, and has worked for Arsenal in the Community of England. In addition, he has worked with Athletes In Action and Ambassadors Football on international overseas soccer missions.
Julia Pizzuto-Pomaco – Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Julia (as she encourages students to call her due to the length of her last name) holds a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Social Work from Temple University. Additionally, she holds a Master of Divinity from Palmer Seminary (Eastern University) and a Ph.D. in New Testament and Social/Cultural Context from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in social work, religion, and Bible. She has most recently taught at Eastern University and Rowan University (NJ). For many years she was the M.Div./M.S.W. dual degree program coordinator at Palmer Seminary. She is a member of the North American Association of Christians in Social Work and often presents workshops at their annual convention.
Dr. Julia has worked professionally as a social worker in child welfare and as a mobile therapist. She has been an ordained Presbyterian Pastor since 1999 and has served urban, suburban, and rural churches as an associate, solo, and senior pastor. She is currently a church planter of a small missional community called Grace Community, which brings worship and the gospel to people on the fringes. Dr. Julia has spent many seasons doing mission work among children and youth in Scotland and will be returning from her most recent trip just before classes begin.
Professor Rebecca (Becky) Wills graduated from the University of Valley Forge with a bachelor’s degree in Bible, Pastoral Ministry, with a counseling minor. Feeling the call to ministry as a counselor, she went on to complete her master’s degree in clinical/community counseling from Eastern University. As a graduate student, she began counseling at a community mental health clinic where she later became an employee. She has pursued continuing education and certification in the treatment of borderline personality disorder and trauma and loss in all ages. Professor Wills is a licensed professional counselor. For the past twelve years she has maintained an independent private practice treating children, adolescents, and adults in individual, group, and family therapy. During her career, she has volunteered and served as a disaster response counselor in the community and as the clinical director of a nationally recognized crisis response team in NJ.
New Staff Directors
Mrs. Laura O’Reilly – Library Director
Mrs. Laura O’Reilly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Gwynedd Mercy University and a Master of Library Science degree from North Carolina Central University (NCCU). As a student at NCCU, Laura served as president of the student chapter of the American Library Association and was selected to complete a highly competitive librarian internship at the Environmental Protection Agency.
She completed her teaching certifications in both English and library science at the University of Pittsburgh and has served as a librarian and teacher to students from the elementary grade level to graduate studies. As the Dean of Faculty at Lansdale School of Business, she was directly responsible for faculty development and curriculum support. She believes the library plays an essential role in creating a culture of collaboration, inquiry, and discovery for the community.
Micah Leonard – Female Residence Director
Micah Leonard is joining UVF as the Female Residence Life Director in the Student Life Office. Micah has an M.A. in Theology from Moravian Theological Seminary. Micah is called to youth and young adult ministry. As an undergrad, she was a Resident Assistant (RA) for 3 years, and in her last year served as a Senior RA, supervising other RAs.
Jason Rising – Director of Spiritual Formation
Jason Rising is a 1997 UVF graduate as well as the founder and president of One 18 Movement, which equips churches through coaching, consulting, and training. Jason will be working closely with President Kim and Student Life to grow UVF’s Spiritual Development training program.