Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
Dr. Sunil Ahuja serves as Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Shawnee State University. Dr. Ahuja also holds the academic rank of tenured Professor of Political Science in the Department of Social Sciences at SSU.
Most recently, Dr. Ahuja served as Associate Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He previously served as Vice President for Accreditation Relations, Institutional Change and Research at the Higher Learning Commission in Chicago. He has also held academic leadership positions at Lorain County Community College, Elyria, Ohio and at Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio.
Dr. Ahuja has been an Ohio Academic Leadership Academy (OALA) Fellow and an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow. He recently participated in the Becoming a Provost Academy, co-sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI).
Dr. Ahuja earned his doctorate and master’s degree in Political Science from University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a bachelor of science in Government from Northwest Missouri State University. He has published nine books on American legislative politics and congressional elections and taught widely in the field of American government. His primary research interests are in legislative politics with a focus on American political institutions and legislatures abroad.
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Greg Ballengee joined Shawnee State in 1996 and has served most of his 27-year SSU career as Controller in the Finance & Administration division. He has been instrumental in the success of our recent audits, bond rating evaluations, and investment management.
Before joining SSU, Greg served as Chief Financial Officer of Banc One Corporation’s Portsmouth Office and Financial Officer for the Southeastern Division of Banc One Ohio Corporation. He started his career in finance in 1977 as a teller with Security Central Bank and over his 16 years with that organization, advanced his career to Auditor and then Financial Officer.
A native of McDermott, Greg is a graduate of Shawnee State University and Miami University where he earned undergraduate degrees in accounting and finance. He is also a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking.
He is a past member of the Scioto Tech Advisory Board, a past president and board member of the Shawnee State University Administration Assembly and has participated in several mentorship programs for our K-12 partners.
As Chief Financial Officer, Greg will assume leadership of Auditing, Contract Services, Controller, Institutional Budgeting, and Procurement Services.
Chief Operating Officer
Ms. Malonda Johnson brings more than 18 years of human resources and leadership experience. She joined Shawnee State University in 2011 and has advanced the HR department as its Director over the past 7 years. Malonda has also served as SSU’s Chief Diversity Officer, leading the goals tied to diversity, equity, and inclusion outlined in the strategic plan. Over the years, she has led several university-wide committees and focus groups designed to address and meet the needs of our employees and strengthen administrative operations.
Prior to joining SSU, Malonda served 8 years in the Ohio Army National Guard, 16th Engineer Brigade with one deployment in Baghdad, Iraq. She was assigned to the Manpower and Personnel Directorate (J-1), a bureau responsible for overall human resource strategic planning, integration, and analysis to ensure personnel readiness, operational capabilities, and sustainment of the National Guard community. She also previously served in human resources with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, where she worked for 8 years.
A graduate of Franklin University where she earned a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Human Resources Management, Malonda is a Certified HR Professional through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). This summer she will graduate from Capella University with an Master’s in Business Administration degree.
As Chief Operating Officer, Malonda will assume leadership for Facilities, Planning and Construction, Human Resources, Information Technology Services, and Safety & Campus Police.
Chief of Staff
Ms. Elizabeth Blevins has 34 years of experience in public relations, communications, marketing, and corporate development. She joined Shawnee State in 2008, created the brand for the institution, and developed an integrated Marketing & Communications Office.
Liz earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Morehead State University and a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Central Michigan University. She is accredited in public relations through the Public Relations Society of America and maintains her credentials through recognized continuing education. In 2019 she was named the PR Practitioner of the Year by the River Cities Chapter of PRSA.
As Chief of Staff, Liz will work closely with leadership throughout the institution to achieve our strategic goals, foster relationships that support our mission, and facilitate projects that strengthen the institution.
Chief Enrollment Officer
Mr. Jim Farmer brings nearly two decades of professional experience in admissions and enrollment management. Since 2015, he has led the Office of Admissions through major improvements in processes, technology, strategies, and relationships. Jim led implementation of the Slate CRM platform, quietly completed in four months despite being advised it would take more than a year. Prior to the pandemic and since, Farmer and his team have accomplished significant year-over-year increases in new student applications and registrations. We are positioned for another strong fall class of new students.
A Shawnee State alumnus, Jim holds a master’s degree in higher education with a concentration in institutional research from Penn State University and is in the process of obtaining an SEM (Strategic Enrollment Management) certificate through AACRAO. For the last 12 years, Jim has served as the University’s Course Applicability System (CAS) expert and faculty liaison.
As Chief Enrollment Officer, Jim will oversee the new Enrollment Management organization that includes the offices of Admissions, Bursar, Financial Aid, Registrar, and Student Business Center to maximize resources, improve student-centered processes, and strengthen communications to students.
Chief Advancement Officer
Mr. Michael McPhillips joined Shawnee State in 2017 after previously representing various Ohio universities and colleges at the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
A graduate of Syracuse University where he earned a bachelor's degree in communications, Mike earned a J.D. from Capital University Law School.
Mr. McPhillip's role as General Counsel includes advising the Board of Trustees and administration on policy development, ethics, contracts, personnel issues, public records, and compliance with federal and state laws. Mike is also serving as secretary to the Board of Trustees.
Mr. Gerald Cadogen brings more than two decades of experience in athletics, team-building, and goal-setting as a former professional athlete, collegiate student-athlete, teacher, and coach. His professional career includes three years in the National Football League, two years in the Canadian Football League, and ten years as an educator and high school football, swimming and track coach.
Gerald became SSU’s first men’s and women’s swimming head coach in 2019. In the first three seasons, the program celebrated two NAIA All-Americans and finished top four in the Mid-South Conference. Since 2013, he has served as a teacher and coach with Portsmouth City Schools. He founded and managed Cadogan’s Camp Football and Swimming, a youth summer camp to help students develop athletically and professionally, and is founder of the Portsmouth Unity Project that fosters community collaboration on artistic and educational experiences.
A graduate of Shawnee State University’s Master’s in Education Intervention Specialist program, Gerald earned two undergraduate degrees, a Bachelor of Science in Biological Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Services, from Pennsylvania State University. As a student-athlete at Penn State, he was a two-time Academic All-American, was named First Team All-Big Ten, received the John Oswald award of leadership and was a Sports Mural Honoree.
As Athletic Director, Gerald will work with our coaching staff to lead our 22 collegiate varsity teams, make college possible for more students who want to continue to compete while earning their degrees, and in partnership with faculty, advisors and support services, help student-athletes successfully reach their educational and career goals.
University Faculty Senate President
Mariah Woodward, RDH, MPH, is a distinguished member of Shawnee State University's President's Cabinet. She is a proud graduate of SSU's Allied Health Dental Hygiene Program and furthered her education at The Ohio State University before earning her Master of Public Health degree from the American Public University.
With a solid foundation as a dental hygienist in Ohio for a decade, Mariah returned to Shawnee State University in 2009. Initially, she served as an adjunct in the Dental Hygiene clinic, later transitioning to a full-time faculty role in 2015 within the Dental Hygiene program. In 2019, Mariah assumed the Director of the Bachelor of Health Science role, overseeing one of SSU's fully online programs.
Mariah's commitment to academia and faculty leadership became evident when she took on the UFS (University Faculty Senate) President role in 2022. In this capacity, she serves the faculty and actively participates in various committees, including the UFS Executive Committee, Academic Resource and Management Committee, Provost Task Force, J1 Academic Affairs Committee, Distinguished Lecture Series, and Ohio Faculty Council.
Beyond her professional endeavors, Mariah is a doctoral candidate at the University of the Cumberlands, pursuing a degree in Educational Leadership. Her research focuses on exploring the correlation between the Emotional Intelligence of Faculty Members and the Behavioral Health of students.
Mariah, a Southern Ohio native, has dedicated her entire life to the region. Alongside her professional achievements, she is a devoted wife and mother of four children.