MA in Biomedicine


Roman Miller

Dr. Roman J. Miller is the Daniel B. Suter Endowed Professor of Biology and the Director of the MA in Biomedicine program at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA where he has taught courses in physiology, anatomy, developmental biology, animal science, bioethics, and philosophy of science for the past thirty years. Roman received his Ph.D. in biomedical science from Kent State University, Kent, Ohio and completed a post-doctoral research program at West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, prior to teaching at EMU.

Roman is married to Dr. Elva (Bowman) Miller a retired optometrist. The Millers live on Knoll Acres, a small farm near Harrisonburg, Virginia, where they are busy raising and enjoying their family, as well as a flock of Barbados Blackbelly sheep, AKC registered collie puppies, and horses. The Millers enjoy reading, gardening, blueberry horticulture, traveling, fishing, and working on their farm. They are active members at Dayton Mennonite Church, Dayton, Virginia.

Current research interests:
*Blueberry organic horticulture
*Creating conditions to enhance nutrient-dense blueberries
*Alcohol teratogenesis on mouse embryonic development
*Anabaptist perspective in bioethics

Kim Gingerich Brenneman

Kim Gingerich Brenneman, graduate of the EMC class of 1983, began her teaching career at Eastern Mennonite College in the fall of 1989. She received her Ph.D. in the spring of 2001 in Developmental and Educational Psychology. Her dissertation was titled The Well-being of Internationally Mobile Adolescents. She continues her interest in the well-being of Third Culture Kids.
Currently, Brenneman is conducting research on the relationship between cross-cultural experiential learning, hopeful thinking, and multicultural adaptation.
Brenneman is continuing to research the application of positive psychological principles to education, particularly in the development of hopeful thinking. Direct application of these principles is in the development of courses, assignments and seminars that integrate these, as well as other positive psychological concepts.
Kim has led three groups of EMU college students in semester-long cross-culturals to India in 2007, 2009, and 2011 and believes this is a positive life-changing experience for all involved!
Kim is married and has two children. She is an active member of Weavers Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, VA.

Owen Byer

Owen joined the Eastern Mennonite faculty in 1999 after teaching at Northwestern College (Iowa) for three years. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with secondary certification at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in pure mathematics at the University of Delaware in Newark. His graduate training is in combinatorics (graph theory, specifically), and he is currently coauthoring a Discrete Math textbook. His hobbies include playing basketball, bridge, and watching NFL football. Owen and his wife Barbara were married in January 1990, with son Cameron born in 1998 and daughter Lily in 2001. The family attends Weavers Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Va.

Owen is currently chair of EMU’s Mathematical Sciences department and will be serving as President of EMU’s faculty senate in 2014-15.

Stephen Cessna
Professor of Biochemistry

Steve received his BA in chemistry and biochemistry in Colorado in 1991 and then taught middle school math and science in Lesotho in southern Africa. After returning to the US in 1995, getting married and moving to Indiana, Steve finished a PhD degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2000. His graduate research included genetically altering tobacco plants so that they express a gene from a bioluminescent jellyfish. Cellular calcium concentrations and hydrogen peroxide could then be easily measured in these glow-in-the-dark plants. At EMU, Steve continues this research, involving EMU students in the study of oxidation/anti-oxidation in plant stress, with applications in sustainable agriculture and invasive species ecology. Steve teaches courses in biochemistry, chemistry, and sustainable agriculture.

Dr. Cessna’s research interests include:
- Developing and assessing multiple min-research projects for use in teaching labs
- Developing and assessing strategies for teaching the nature of science and higher order cognitive skills
- Comparing antioxidants in blueberries grown in different soil types and conditions
- Comparing photosynthesis and growth of various native and invasive vine species
- Testing gardening techniques in terms of their impacts on produce yield and nutritional quality

Jeffrey Copeland
Assistant Professor

Dr. Jeffrey Copeland has been at EMU since 2009 and teaches courses in genetics, cell biology, microbiology and immunology. Jeff earned his PhD in Biology from the California Institute of Technology and completed his post-doctoral training at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests include probing the genetics determinants in the aging process, the role of the mitochondria in hyperoxic resistance, and the genetic basis for multidrug resistance in E. coli. While not at work, Jeff spends his time at home with his wife, his three daughters, biking and gardening.

Peter Dula
Associate Professor

Peter Dula is Associate Professor of Religion and Culture. He received a Ph.D from Duke University in theology and ethics in 2004. He is the author of Cavell, Companionship, and Christian Theology (Oxford, 2011). Before coming to EMU in 2006 he was the Mennonite Central Committee Iraq Program Coordinator. He has taught at Lancaster Mennonite High School and at the Meserete Kristos College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he was a Fulbright scholar in 2001-2. He has received several grants and fellowships including, most recently, the Louisville Institute Sabbatical Grant for Researchers.

Doug Graber Neufeld

Click here for Research and Course Webpages

Dr. Graber Neufeld is Professor of Biology. He works primarily with the Environmental Sustainability program at EMU, with a concentration in issues that relate to environmental monitoring and toxicology. He teaches in the introductory biology course, Concepts in Biology, and in a variety of courses related to environmental issues (such as Environmental Toxicology, Natural History of the Shenandoah Valley). He has a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in environmental physiology, and worked at the University of Arizona and the University of Otago (New Zealand) before coming to EMU. He served a two year term with Mennonite Central Committee in Cambodia, were he worked on environmental issues through the Royal University of Agriculture and the Royal University of Phnom Penh. Doug lives in Harrisonburg with his wife, Cristina, and two young sons, Alex and Evan. They enjoy many outdoors activities, and take as many opportunities as possible to go camping and traveling.

Doug’s current research is in collaboration with students and includes projects:
- water monitoring assessing stream health in a local watershed, and the effects of stream restoration
- baseline water monitoring in an area that was proposed as a hydrofracking site
- assessing pesticides in market vegetables using a novel combination of techniques, and
- using zebrafish startle response as a sensitive toxicity indicator

Julia Halterman
Assistant Professor

Dr. Julia Halterman is an Assistant Professor of Biology at EMU who has taught Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II, Animal Form & Function, Mammalian Physiology, Mammalian Anatomy and Nutrition Fundamentals. Julia also serves as faculty for the MA in Biomedicine program and instructs the graduate-level Human Anatomy cadaver dissection course, a Biomedicine Transdisciplinary Seminar, Medical Terminology and Research in Biomedicine. Julia received her B.S. in Biology at Texas A&M University and her Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the University of Virginia. While completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia, Julia taught as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Piedmont Virginia Community College. In her free time, Julia enjoys spending time with her husband, family, and friends and enjoys doing anything outdoors.

Dr. Halterman’s research interests include:
- Determining how diet influences changes in gene expression in hypertension (chronic high blood pressure)
- Understanding how high-salt diets alter organ function
- Utilizing rats to determine how consumption of a high-salt diet will alter expression of a protein called NFAT5
- Identifying genes regulated by NFAT5 in hypertension using a computational bioinformatics approach

Greta Ann Herin

Dr. Greta Ann Herin is currently on sabbatical at the Computational and Experimental Neuroplasticity Laboratory in the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Studies, George Mason University.

She has taught: Mammalian Anatomy, Faith, Science and Ethics, Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Neuropsychology, Advanced Neurobiology, Mammalian Physiology, Molecules, Genes, and Cells, Biological Explorations, a Senior Seminar called"Origins". She has also co-taught Concepts in Biology, a Senior Seminar “Form, Finitude and Faith” and a Colloquium “Passion and Obsession”.

Greta Ann usually serves as a Pre-professional Health Sciences advisor.

She has dual Bachelors Degrees in Biochemistry and Psychology from Kansas State University and a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Her dissertation was on interactions among modulators of NMDA receptors, an important glutamate receptor in the brain. In addition Dr. Herin did a post-doctoral fellowship at the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany. There she studied metabotropic glutamate receptors.

Ann Hershberger

Ann Graber Hershberger has worked in family health, community health, international health, and nursing education since 1976. Ann and her husband Jim, director of Church World Service Harrisonburg Refugee Resettlement Program, have spent 10 years in church sponsored service in Central America. She earned her PhD from the University of Virginia; completing a dissertation entitled “A case study of relationships between Nicaraguan non-governmental health organizations, communities served, donor agencies, and the Ministry of Health.” She spent the 1999-2000 academic year in Nicaragua researching the project. During the fall semester of 2008 she was on sabbatical and completed a research study on the experiences of families in Guatemala and West Bank, Palestine who have hosted EMU Cross Cultural students over the last decade. She has been a consultant for a Nursing School in Nicaragua, and has been on the board of MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) since 1997, and is currently the chair of MCC U.S. Mother of three adult children, she enjoys speaking Spanish, reading, gardening, and sitting on her porch.

Daniel King
Assistant Professor

Daniel King graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Goshen College, where he majored in Physics and Music. He received his M. S. and Ph. D. degrees in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from the University of Illinois, where his research focused on the dynamic interactions between ultrasound and contrast agent microbubbles. In addition to bubbles, his broader research interests include acoustics and fluid mechanics. In his spare time he enjoys playing Ultimate and writing quirky little pop songs.

Tara Kishbaugh

Dr. Tara L.S. Kishbaugh obtained her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Wheaton College and her graduate degree in organic chemistry studying the reactivity of electron deficient indoles at Dartmouth College under the mentorship of Gordon W. Gribble. During graduate school, she spent a year teaching organic chemistry at St. Michael’s College, Winooski, Vermont. Afterwards, she was a Dreyfus postdoctoral fellow at the University of Massachusetts, North Dartmouth campus. During this position, she taught as well as studied fluorinated allenes. At EMU, Tara has taught a variety of courses, including organic, general, medicinal, and environmental chemistry as well as seminars on ethics, land use, and food chemistry. Since 2013, she is chair of the biology and chemistry departments. Tara has been involved in a number of trans-disciplinary projects on campus, such as EMU Common Reads, a common reading and associated programming. Tara’s chemistry-related hobbies include photography, baking, and tie-dying. Tara’s research interests include chemical education, heterocyclic chemistry, and water quality studies.

Dr. Kishbaugh’s research interests include
- Chemical education projects, such as assessing non-content learning in laboratory research projects, or
- Assessing student familiarity with and understanding of green chemistry, or
- Improving student’s engagement with math coursework by adding contextual relevance to the assignments
- Writing review chapters on heterocyclic chemistry- in particular indoles and pyridines
- Water quality monitoring in the local watershed related to bacterial contamination, run-off or hydrofracking.

Jess Kraybill
Assistant Professor

Jess is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at EMU and also serves as faculty for the MA in Biomedicine program. Her research centers around executive function abilities. Executive function (EF) refers to higher order cognitive abilities necessary to consciously persist in a task or behavior despite facing challenges in the form of competing rules, distractions, or delays. A significant body of work has documented the relation between EF deficits and early child development. Low levels of EF are associated with clinical-level ADHD symptamotology (Gewirtz, Stanton-Chapman & Reeve, 2009), social difficulties (Fahie & Symons, 2003), academic difficulties (Zhou, Main, & Wang, 2010), and difficulty regulating emotions (Kochanska, Murray, & Harlan, 2000). Jess’ research focuses on understanding the nature of EF and the factors associated with optimal regulatory abilities through a longitudinal, latent analysis framework. Her 2013 paper in Developmental Psychobiology (‘Infancy predictors of preschool and post-kindergarten executive function’) is one of their top 10 most downloaded articles and was a finalist for the 2013-2014 Hennessy-Smotherman-Wiley Best Student Paper Award.

Jess is an avid runner and dog lover. If you frequent downtown Harrisonburg regularly, you’ll probably see her running with her dog Jake at some point.

Judy Mullet

Judy Mullet received her Ph.D. from Kent State University, where her dissertation work focused on context-motivated, conflict strategy choices of middle school students with learning disabilities. She was a school psychologist before coming to EMU, and has authored and co-authored recent publications on restorative discipline and harmful teacher behaviors. A member of the faculty since 1986, Dr. Mullet specializes in restorative discipline in schools, conducting workshops across the USA.

Carolyn Stauffer
Assistant Professor

Carolyn Stauffer has taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels at 2 higher education institutions on the African continent and holds a Doctorate in Sociology from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. She has lived and worked in Africa (16 years), the Middle East (17 years) and has also engaged in various short-term assignments in North America, Europe and the Caribbean. As a veteran in cross-cultural settings, Stauffer is an agile educator whose pedagogy exemplifies the integration of both left and right brain educational approaches that pervade in our postmodern and global world.

Stauffer’s research interests include Intersectionality theory applications, social capital formation and enhancement strategies, and violence mitigation within intimate and domestic domains. Undergirding Stauffer’s academic pursuits has been a rich tapestry of work experiences in the human service and humanitarian aid arenas. While in the U.S., Stauffer worked in the mental health field in the Shenandoah Valley as well as researching urban demographics amongst marginalized center-city communities in Richmond, Virginia. During her decade and a half in Africa, Stauffer worked under the auspices of MCC, an international relief and development organization with development and emergency assistance training initiatives that took her from the southern-most tip of the continent (Cape Town) to the outlaying eastern parts of Uganda (Jinja).

During her time in South Africa, Stauffer worked as an organizational development consultant (with NGOs and blue chip companies undergoing dramatic post-Apartheid workplace diversity shifts), in the domestic and gender-based violence field (as a senior trauma counselor and public relations officer for a rape crisis support center), and as a community development specialist (and founding member of a Soweto-based HIV/AIDS Program servicing AIDS infected or affected communities living in the informal settlements surrounding Johannesburg). Stauffer weaves the depth and breadth of these many and varied experiences into her decade of teaching.

Carolyn is married to CJP professor Dr. Carl Stauffer, and together they have had the privilege of raising two university-age children. Carolyn is fluent in Hebrew, loves dance, music and art, and enjoys all things creative, imaginative and off the beaten track.


Cheryl Doss
Administrative Coordinator
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