Buena Vista University

Buena Vista University Announces New Faculty for 2013-14

Aug. 29, 2013

Buena Vista University announced its faculty changes for the 2013 – 14 academic year.  Seven new hires join the faculty, 5 faculty members were awarded tenure, 7 received promotions and 5 retired.

“It’s my pleasure to welcome this year’s new faculty to BVU. They are dedicated teachers and scholars who will bring new ideas and new energy to our community and our students,” says Dr. David Evans, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty.

Joining the BVU faculty are:

Captain Thomas Gorman, assistant professor of military science and officer in charge of BVU’s Army ROTC program, comes to BVU from a stint as a director of logistics for the U.S. Army in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  He holds a bachelor’s in social work from the University of Iowa and has served in various capacities in the Army since 2007, primarily at Fort Richardson, Alaska.

Dr. Merrin Guice, assistant professor of vocal music, joins the School of Communication & Arts as the director of BVU’s various choirs and vocal ensembles, and will teach vocal music courses.  She graduated magna cum laude from Spelman College in Atlanta with a bachelor’s degree in music/voice performance. Dr. Guice also holds a master’s of music in choral conducting from Rutgers University, and a doctorate in choral conducting, with a minor in vocal performance, from the University of Wisconsin.  Prior to coming to BVU, Dr. Guice was assistant professor of music at Miami University of Ohio, where she worked on both the Oxford and Hamilton campuses.  She has also taught at the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo, and Edgewood College in Madison, Wisc., and has served as choral conductor at various churches and universities. Dr. Guice has led several choral tours and served as an adjudicator at choral competitions.  

Dr. Gail Hartsock joins the School of Science as a visiting assistant professor of mathematics.  Dr. Hartsock is a 2009 summa cum laude graduate from BVU. She recently completed her Ph.D. in mathematics at Baylor University in Texas.  She has extensive experience as a tutor, grader and teaching assistant at Baylor, and received multiple awards at BVU and Baylor, including the Senior Math Major of the Year award in 2009.  

Mr. Peter Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in history and Asian studies from St. Olaf College, a master’s in international studies with an emphasis on Japan from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, and a master’s of English with a concentration in teaching English as a second language from St. Cloud State University.  Mr. Johnson will serve as Director of ESL at Buena Vista University. He spent last year as an English language teacher at Woosong University in Daejeon, South Korea, where he previously served as a summer language-teaching intern.  He also served as an AmeriCorps volunteer tutoring high school mathematics in St. Cloud, Minn.  Mr. Johnson will work with BVU’s international students on their English skills, and he is a member of the School of Education faculty.

Mr. Dennis Stulc joins the faculty of the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business as a lecturer in business after a long and successful career as an executive with Pure Fishing/Berkley and Two Old Hippies – a global guitar manufacturing and importing company - in the Iowa Lakes area.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from BVU, and a master’s degree in organizational communication and a bachelor’s of liberal arts from the University of South Dakota. Stulc also completed the prestigious Stanford University Executive Program with an emphasis in small companies.  He has served as Executive Vice President of Marketing Development, Global Operations, Marketing and Sales, and a variety of manager, director and officer roles, and has global experience in Europe and Asia. Stulc is involved in multiple community volunteer and development activities.

Ms. Bei Yi is this year’s visiting instructor from the Taipei Language Institute (TLI) and will serve as the TLI visiting instructor of Chinese.  Ms. Yi is the director of the TLI Guangzhou Center in the People’s Republic of China, where she is responsible for all site operations and language programs, including both Chinese and English instruction.  Previously she was a Chinese language instructor at TLI’s Guangzhou center.  She has also served as a team assistant for Siemens Ltd. China Transportation System, Zhuzhou Site Office, where she facilitated a range of business operations.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China.

Five BVU faculty members were awarded tenure: Dr. Joni Anderson, assistant professor of management; Dr. Melinda Coogan, assistant professor of biology; Dr. Stephanie Hayes, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice; Dr. Bethany Larson, associate professor of theatre; and Dr. Matthew Packer, assistant professor of English.

Promotions, effective the beginning of the 2013 – 14 academic year, were given to 7 faculty members. Dr. Joni Anderson, Dr. Melinda Coogan, Dr. Stephanie Hayes and Dr. Matthew Packer were promoted to the rank of associate professor.  Additionally Dr. Brian Lenzmeier was promoted to professor of biology, Dr. Jill Rhea was promoted to professor of communication studies and Dr. Shawn Stone was promoted to professor of physics.

The Deans of BVU’s schools are: Dr. Dixie Bartholomew-Feis, professor of history, School of Social Science, Philosophy and Religion; Ben Donath, associate professor of mathematics, School of Science; Dr. Michael Whitlatch, professor of drama, School of Communication & Arts; Dr. Ashok Subramanian, professor of business, Harold Walter Siebens School of Business; and Dr. Paul Theobald, professor of education, School of Education.

Wythe Award honorees Dr. Swasti Bhattacharyya, associate professor of philosophy and religion, and Dr. Bill Feis, professor of history, will take their award sabbaticals in the Spring of 2014. Bhattacharyya will visit the Ahisma/Sustainable Living project in India and develop an Honors course, “Religions of Iowa.” Feis will continue editorial work on his biography of Iowa Civil War veteran, Maj. General Greenville Mellon Dodge.

Additionally, Dr. Shawn Stone, professor of physics, Dr. James Hampton, professor of biology, Dr. Inez Schaechterle, associate professor of English and Dr. Matthew Packer were approved for sabbaticals during the 2013 – 14 academic year.

Five long-time faculty retired and were honored with emeritus status and induction into the Order of Cumberland and Tollefson, which is reserved for retiring faculty members who have given exceptional service to the University. Those honored include: Dr. Bob Ferguson, professor emeritus of psychology; Lanny Grigsby, professor emeritus of mathematics; Dr. Jon Hixon, professor emeritus of guidance and counseling; Dr. Paula Keeler, professor emeritus of vocal music; and Dr. Steven Remington, professor emeritus of marketing.

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