EMU welcomes 13 new faculty for 2016-2017 academic year

Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) welcomes 13 new faculty to the ranks for the 2016-17 academic year.  [See photo album here and at the end of this article.]

The new faculty, announced by Fred Kniss, provost; Michael King, dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies and of Eastern Mennonite Seminary; and Deirdre L. Smeltzer, vice president and undergraduate academic dean, include:

Linda Alger, instructor of nursing. Alger earned a MSN at Walden University and a BS in nursing from EMU. She brings extensive nursing experience as a staff nurse and director of the critical care unit at RMH/Sentara. Alger has taught at Blue Ridge Community College and will bring her clinical experience to the clinical classroom setting at EMU.

Clement Acevedo, instructor of music. Acevedo is a DMA candidate at James Madison University School of Music, with an anticipated completion date in 2016.  He earned a BM from University of the Philippines College of Music; an MM in piano performance from Temple University Boyer College of Music and Dance; and an MM in piano pedagogy from West Chester University of Pennsylvania School of Music. Acevedo’s professional experiences include serving as the choir director and minister of music at a Lutheran church in Pennsylvania, teaching Suzuki and traditional piano, and performing in the Philippines, China and the United States.

Syafaatun Almirzanah, PhD, professor of religious studies. Almirzanah is a Fulbright Scholar from Indonesia who will teach religious studies. She has a PhD and master’s degrees in theology from the Lutheran School of Theology, as well as a DMin degree from Catholic Theological Seminary, all located in Chicago, Illinois. She earned an MA in philosophy and a BA in comparative religions at Islamic University Sunan Kalijaga, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Tammy Duxbury, assistant professor of accounting. Duxbury earned an MS in taxation from Bryant University and a BS in business and commerce-accounting at the University of Houston-Downtown. Duxbury brings accounting experience in the areas of taxation, taxation research and tax consulting along with experience in personal finance planning and consultation. She was an adjunct accounting instructor and a scholarly practitioner at several institutions.

Jan Emswiler,  instructor of nursing. Emswiler earned a MPH in international health and development from Tulane University School of Public Health and a BA in nursing and biology from Eastern Mennonite University . Emswiler brings international nursing experience in the areas of public health, HIV/AIDS care and support, and maternal child health care. She has taught in Zambia and Tanzania, and at Goshen College and James Madison University

Dana Farrar, instructor of nursing. Farrar holds an MSN and BS in nursing from Eastern Mennonite University . She brings hospital floor experience in medical/surgical units and orthopedics as well as experience as an e-health specialist at Sentara RMH.

Jeanne Heil, PhD, assistant professor of Spanish. A scholar of applied linguistics with the ability to teach both language and linguistics, Heil earned a BA  in Spanish from Wittenberg University and an MA and PhD in Hispanic studies from University of Illinois. She will contribute both teaching expertise and administrative experience as a language coordinator to the language and literature department.

Cassandra Kennell, PhD, assistant professor of psychology. Kennell, an experienced substance abuse therapist, holds both a PhD and MA in clinical psychology from the American School of Psychology. She earned an MA in counseling at EMU and a BS in psychology from the University of South Florida. At Shenandoah Psychological Services, LLC, she has provided individual and group therapy for children, adolescents, families and couples, as well as psychological and neuropsychological testing,

Roxann Allen Kioko, instructor of business. Kioko anticipates completion of a PhD in strategic leadership from James Madison University in fall 2016. She earned an MA in conflict transformation from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at EMU and a BA in history from EMU. Kioko brings professional and administrative experience in numerous non-governmental organizations along with teaching experience in Ethiopia with Mennonite Central Committee. Kioko has been an adjunct instructor for both undergraduate and graduate courses at EMU.

Eva Pastalkova, PhD, assistant professor of biology. Pastalkova holds a PhD and MS in neuroscience, and a BA in biology from Charles University in the Czech Republic. She has been an innovative researcher, teacher, program developer and administrator to both the undergraduate biology and graduate biomedicine departments. Her expertise in the areas of bioinformatics, neuroscience and biology will add value and breadth in both departments.

Andrew Suderman, instructor of theology. Suderman anticipates completing a PhD in systematic theology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa this year. He earned a BA in philosophy from Canadian Mennonite University and an MT in theological studies from Conrad Grebel University in Canada. He brings international and cross-cultural experience in Costa Rica, Bolivia, Colombia and South Africa.

Paul Yoder, PhD, assistant professor of education. An experienced teacher at several levels, Yoder completed his PhD in curriculum and instruction from University of Virginia. He earned his MA in education and a BA in history and social science from Eastern Mennonite University. He has taught social studies, US history and English as a Second Language in Harrisonburg area public schools. In addition, he has been an adjunct instructor at James Madison University and EMU, and taught in the EMU’s Intensive English Program

Zelijko Mirkovic, instructor of digital media. Mirkovic is an award-winning film and television director who contributes expertise in the areas of producing, scriptwriting, technical skills and new media knowledge. He anticipates completion of his PhD in media and communication from the University of Vienna, Austria. Mirkovic earned a BA from The Academy of Art Braća Karić  in Belgrade and an MA in media practice from Bournemouth University, United Kingdom.

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