Buena Vista University Announces Faculty Changes

Buena Vista University Announces Faculty Changes

Buena Vista University has announced faculty changes for the 2012-13 academic year including several retirements, promotions and 10 new professors.

“I am truly excited to welcome this year's new faculty to BVU. They bring a wide variety of academic and professional experiences to our community, and continue our tradition of excellent support for our students' learning. They have outstanding credentials and a clear commitment to teaching, scholarship, and collaboration,” says Dr. David Evans, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty.

The changes reflect additions to the faculty or replacement of some open positions. Six veteran faculty members retired in May. They are Dr. Stan Bochtler, professor emeritus of education; Dr. Richard Beebe, professor of management information systems; Denise Beebe, assistant professor of management information systems; Dr. Kline Capps, professor emeritus of secondary education; Dr. Ken Schweller, professor emeritus of computer science and psychology; and Dr. Jeanne Tinsley, professor emeritus of psychology.

The new faculty members are:

Dr. Nathan Backman, assistant professor of computer science. He earned bachelor's degrees in computer science and mathematics (2006) from Whitworth University, Spokane, Wash.; and a master's degree (2009) and PhD (2012) in computer science at Brown University, Providence, R.I., where he has been a graduate research assistant. He has been published multiple times in academic areas that include both high-performance distributed computing and medical image processing. Among his pastimes are computer programming contests, ranging from competing to designing problems for contestants; and playing the guitar and mandolin. His wife, Megan, previously an information technology support specialist for medical software infrastructures used by hospitals, is a stay-at-home mother. They have two daughters, Lily, 2, and Brooke, 10 months.

Dr. John C. Bedward, assistant professor of education-STEM. Originally from Ottawa, Canada, he received his bachelor's degree in technology education (2005), master's degree in technology education (2008) and PhD in science education (2012) from North Carolina State University, Raleigh. His field of specialization is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) educational research. He has been an instructor at NC State and previously taught science, technology and STEM courses in K-12 schools. Bedward has also had private sector experience in electronic publishing and management positions in marketing and communication, sales, product development in Canada and worked as a product manager in distributed computing and emerging Internet technologies in Research Triangle Park, N.C. His wife, Lisa Marshall, is a doctoral student in geography at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and an instructor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at NC State. His outside interests include wood and metal crafts, hiking, urban bicycling, kayaking, gardening and travel.

Dr. Thomas W. Bonagura, Jr., assistant professor of biology. He earned a bachelor's degree in biology (1993) at the University of Maryland, College Park; and PhD (2001) at The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the Center for Studies in Reproduction at the University of Maryland School of Medicine from 2005 to 2011. Since 2011, he has been an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Biology at Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Penn. His outside interests include playing organized baseball and soccer and coaching soccer. He and his wife, Heidi, a corporate controller, have two children, Nicolette, 17, and Alassandra, 12.

Callè A. Friesen, assistant professor of education/literacy education. She earned her bachelor's degrees in English and secondary education (2006) at Buena Vista University; and her master's degree in teacher effectiveness and professional development with reading specialist designation (2011) at Drake University where she is also working on an EdD in cultural literacy and educational leadership. Friesen taught at St. Mary's School in Storm Lake from 2006-2010 and has been an adjunct instructor in the School of Education at BVU since 2010. Her outside interests include reading, participation in theatre, quilting and textile art. Her husband, Byron, owns Harvest International in Storm Lake. They have four children: Zac, an architectural student at Iowa State University; Jessica, a student in the nursing program at Bethel University, St. Paul, Minn.; Hannah, a senior at St. Mary's school; and Isaiah, an eighth grader at St. Mary's.

Dr. Jennifer R. Seymour, assistant professor of education. She earned her bachelor's degrees in education studies, psychology and English interdisciplinary study (1994) and master's in educational psychology (2000) at the University of Missouri-Columbia; and a masters (2002) and PhD (2003) in educational psychology-cognitive science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From 2004 to 2009 she was an assistant professor of mathematics education at Iowa State University. She has co-authored a number of articles in academic publications and made presentations at professional conferences. Her children are Brennan, in sixth grade, and Amelia, in third grade. Her outside interests include activities with her children, volunteer work in local schools and boating, swimming and reading.

Dr. Miyuki Vamadevan Arimoto, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice. She earned her bachelor's degree in law (1993), and master's in law (1995) at Kwansei Gakuin University, Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan; and her PhD in sociology (2010) at Washington State University. Her areas of academic interest include criminology, social deviance, juvenile delinquency and corrections, the sociology of gambling, and the sociology of the family. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at Eastern Washington University and Eastern Kentucky University. Vamadevan Arimoto has also authored and co-authored a number of papers for academic publications. Her outside interests include traveling and running in marathons.

Dr. Heather A. York, assistant professor of biology. She received bachelor's degrees in ecology, evolution and behavior, and Spanish linguistics (2001) from the University of Minnesota; and her PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology (2007) from the University of Kansas, Lawrence. York, whose academic specialty is Neotropical bat ecology, has been an assistant professor of biology at Doane College since 2007. She was also an instructor for the University of Kansas teaching Neotropical ecology courses in Costa Rica and Peru and for Lawrence Academy, Groton, Mass., and Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, N.J., teaching rainforest biology courses in Costa Rica, Peru and Nicaragua. York is also a field biology and nature photographer with several of her photos published in academic and consumer publications, including The New York Times and Discover Magazine Online. Among her outside interests, she has been involved in dog agility training and she and her husband, Walter Schwarz, a computer systems specialist, enjoy beekeeping as a hobby. They have a daughter, Zoey Schwarz, 3.

New faculty appointments previously announced were: Dr. Ashok Subramanian, professor of business and dean of the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business; Dr. Paul Theobald, professor of education and dean of the School of Education; and Dr. Andrea Breemer Frantz, associate professor of digital media.

Deans of BVU's other schools are: Dr. Dixee Bartholomew-Feis, professor of history, School of Social Science, Philosophy and Religion; Ben Donath, associate professor of mathematics, School of Science; and Dr. Michael Whitlatch, professor of drama, School of Communication and Arts.

Among other faculty changes effective this academic year: Dr. Scott Anderson, who had previously received tenure, was promoted to associate professor of marketing; Beth Blankers was promoted to associate professor of accounting and granted tenure; Jamii Claiborne was promoted to associate professor of digital media and granted tenure; Jerry Johnson, assistant professor of digital media, was granted tenure; David Walker, assistant professor of theatre, was granted tenure.

Sabbaticals for the fall semester were approved for Dr. Wind Goodfriend, associate professor of experimental psychology; Dr. Jill Rhea, associate professor of communication studies; and Kathryn McKinley, assistant professor of social work.

Sabbaticals for the spring semester were approved for Dr. Melinda Coogan, assistant professor of biology; Dr. Beth Lamoureux, professor of speech communication; Dr. Stan Ullerich, professor of economics; Dr. James McFadden, associate professor of English; and Dr. Lei Wen, associate professor of finance. Coogan, Lamoureux and Ullerich are all past recipients of the George Wythe Award for excellence in teaching and these sabbaticals are one of the benefits of the Award. Goodfriend is also a Wythe recipient, but will use her award for a future sabbatical.

The fall workshop for faculty at the Storm Lake campus will be held Aug. 20-22 with a main focus on general education. The workshop will include reports and updates from President Fred Moore and BVU's vice presidents; a report on BVU technology initiatives; discussion of a new online process for course evaluations; and information on initiatives in BVU's Graduate & Professional Studies program.

The faculty development conference for Graduate & Professional adjunct faculty will be held Oct. 26-27.