A new year at Northwestern college has ushered in many changes around campus, like a new dining provider, new ID cards and readers to enter buildings and new full-time faculty.
The science department gained an addition this fall in Emily Grace, who previously taught at Sterling College in Kansas. She will be an assistant professor of physics. She received her doctorate in physics from Royal Holloway University of London where she continued to be a visiting lecturer. With her post-doctoral work on dark matter, she is sure to offer a new perspective on physics.
Christina Hanson holds a master’s in physician assistant studies and has been hired to help develop and direct a new master’s degree program in physician assistant studies at NW. She studied at Bethel University and helped them select and mentor their first physician assistant group. “I am so excited about the opportunity to take what I have learned at Bethel and create a program where students can learn to be exceptional medical providers while continuing to develop in their personal faith,” Hanson says.
Mark Haselhoff was hired to teach in the computer science department. When asked why he picked NW, he said, “I’m an alum of Northwestern and I really enjoyed my time here as a student, so I was excited for the opportunity to join the Computer Science Department.”
Haselhoff began as a computer support specialist and moved to managing the development of the college website as well as being an adjunct professor for several computer science courses. He really enjoys algorithms, “which is basically finding efficient ways to tell a computer how to accomplish a certain task,” he explained.
Michelle Henrich will be a new assistant professor of education, and she has certainly earned the right. She has over 25 years of experience as a classroom teacher, special education teacher, interventionist and elementary principal in the Sioux City Community Schools and the Douglas School District in South Dakota.
Gary Richardson is a professor of practice for NW’s Master of Education program and will teach graduate courses in educational administration and oversee the development of the college’s graduate internship programs and principal licensure program.
When asked why he chose NW, Richardson replied, “Northwestern is recognized as a leader in education and it is an honor to help promote teaching and learning with the present faculty and staff. Northwestern is gaining momentum locally, state-wide and nationally as an educational institution that is aggressive in its pursuit of excellence.” He is looking forward to effecting transformational change in how K-12 systems approach teaching and learning.
Tricia Steenbock begins this fall as an instructor in nursing. She is a registered nurse with emergency room experience who has worked for hospitals in Iowa, South Dakota and Colorado. She has also taught in classroom, clinical and simulation settings for Briar Cliff, Morningside, Western Iowa Tech and Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City. She earned her master’s degree in nursing from Briar Cliff University.
An organic chemist, Zachary Varpness graduated from NW in 2002 and then began graduate studies at Montana State University. There he served as a graduate research assistant while working toward a doctorate in bioinorganic and materials chemistry. He joined Chadron State’s faculty in 2007 after earning his Ph.D. for 11 years before moving back to Orange City to join NW’s faculty.