Northwestern’s faculty this year took in a fresh crop of professors, including a consultant in international economic development, a magazine editor and a specialist in medieval history.
Dr. David Befus, associate professor of business, spent the last two years overseeing post-earthquake business reconstruction for Compassion International in Haiti. He has also served as international director of microfinance for World Vision.
In addition to his work in business, Befus has a variety of teaching experience. He is a former faculty member at Azusa Pacific University and Westmont College.
“I think the interaction of the professors here is quite special,” Befus said. “This place is as friendly as Disney World, and people here aren’t even being paid to be friendly.”
Unaccustomed to small-town life, Befus said he was surprised by the safety that NW students feel.
Attending a NW football game, Befus sat behind a group of students who got up from their seats midgame, leaving behind a cell phone and wallet. Befus said he called out to alert them.
“They just looked back and smiled, ‘We’ll be right back.’ The phone and the wallet were saving their places,” Befus said. “That’s something you should never do in Miami, but it’s a demonstration of how special this place is.”
Befus is the author of “Where There Are No Jobs,” which has been listed as one of the top 25 books on social enterprise.
Dayne Logan joined the communications department after serving as an associate managing editor of four monthly magazines for Anthem Media Group, a communications firm based in Kansas.
“I come from big cities and large state schools, but I like the intimate feel of NW,” Logan said. “I’m getting to know my students on an individual level, and that’s something that was difficult to do other places.”
Already in his short time here, Logan has learned much from his students about life in Orange City.
“Don’t pick tulips, don’t even try to do anything after 8 p.m. and never go for evening walks near the golf course. Apparently that’s a public disturbance that results in the police being called,” he said.
Even so, Logan said he looks forward to his future at NW.
“I’d say both the town and the college are places that punch above their weight,” he said. “They’re small, but they have a lot to offer.”
However, Logan said he isn’t quite prepared for everything Orange City has to offer.
“Tulip Festival is a terrifying proposition,” he said.
In addition to his teaching role, Logan also serves as faculty advisor to the Beacon.
Katherine Meyers, lecturer in history, is teaching in place of Dr. Bob Winn this year while he is on sabbatical.
“The noise level before I start class is very high, indicating that the students know one another well and enjoy talking to one another,” she said.
“I sometimes have difficulty getting their attention to start class. In other places I have taught there was not that much interaction between students before class.”
Previously, Meyers taught in New Mexico.
“NW is much smaller and definitely more friendly. Everyone gets to know everyone else and there is a sense of shared purpose among faculty and students that I am really enjoying,” she said.
Though Meyers said Orange City has given her a good impression, she teased that her arrival was disenchanting.
“The first thought I had when I got to Orange City was, it’s not orange,” Meyers said.