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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

    Sept. 14, 2015

    Northwest welcomes new employees to start 2015-2016 academic year

    Northwest Missouri State University welcomed 51 new faculty and staff members as it begins its 2015-2016 trimester.

    The new employees, who are those hired at Northwest after the spring trimester began, were recognized during the University’s annual fall All-Employee Meeting Aug 26.

    The new employees, including their positions and departments, are listed below.

    Steven Banks returns as a lecturer of art in the sculpture and three-dimensional design studio in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts. He is a mixed media artist who has participated in more than 70 shows, including numerous solo exhibitions. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Northwest and a master’s degree from Florida State University.

    Steven Banks

    Cathleen Barr is a secretary in the Department of Professional Education. She spent the last 27 years as a travel consultant for Cotter Travel, where she organized many trips for Northwest alumni. She also was secretary for the last three years at West Nodaway R-I Schools. She earned an associate’s degree in business management from North Central Missouri College.

    Cathleen Barr

    Dr. Rhonda Beemer is an assistant professor in the School of Health Science and Wellness. Previously, she was director of health sciences experiential education and associate professor of health sciences at Drake University. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi in health sciences.

    Dr. Rhonda Beemer

    Dr. Tanmay Bhowmik is an assistant professor of computer science in the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Information Systems. Previously, she was a teaching assistant and research assistant at Mississippi State University with a focus on software engineering. She has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from National Institute of Technology in Durgapur, India, and master’s and doctorate degrees in computer science from Mississippi State University.

    Dr. Tanmay Bhowmik

    Albert Boesdorfer is associate director of maintenance in Facility Services.

    Albert Boesdorfer

    Shelby Bottiger is an admissions specialist in the Office of Admissions. She completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology this summer at Northwest. As a student, she was employed in the University’s Office of Financial Assistance.

    Shelby Bottiger

    Brandy Brady is an information librarian and electronic resources management in the B.D. Owens Library. Previously she was the K-12 district librarian for the North Nodaway School District. She has a bachelor’s degree in personnel management from Northwest and a master’s degree in school library media science from Clarion University in Clarion, Pa.

    Brandy Brady

    John Carr returns as an instructor and coordinator of the emergency and disaster management program in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. He was a teaching assistant at North Dakota State University and had served as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Northwest since 2013. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northwest in 2012 and his master’s degree in emergency management from North Dakota State in 2014.

    John Carr

    Dr. Denise Case is an assistant professor of computer science in the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Information Systems. Previously, she was a research assistant and senior consulting engineer at Black & Veatch. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia as well as a master’s degree in software engineering and a doctorate degree in computing and information science, both from Kansas State University.

    Dr. Denise Case
    Melissa Chesnut is the secretary in the College of Arts and Sciences. Most recently she was a quality engineer assistant at Energizer. She earned her business technology certificate from Northwest last spring Melissa Chesnut

    Hannah Christian is an information librarian for digital learning and emerging technologies in the B.D. Owens Library. Previously she was deputy recorder of deeds for Nodaway County. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in higher education leadership from Northwest, where she also was a graduate assistant for the University’s Supplemental Instruction program in the Talent Development Center. 

    Hannah Christian

    Lathan Clayton is a residential counselor at the Missouri Academy. He completed his bachelor’s degree in economics and interpersonal communication at Northwest this summer. As a student he was a resident assistant for two years.

    Lathan Clayton

    Amanda Cullin is communications and project coordinator for the University Police Department. She comes to Northwest from the Jefferson C-123 School District, where she taught English arts, social studies and early childhood parent education for the last 11 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Northwest.

    Amanda Cullin

    Michael Durbin is a complex director in the Office of Residential Life. He comes to Northwest from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, where he was a hall director for the last three years. He has bachelor’s degrees in psychology and communication from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from St. Ambrose University.

    Michael Durbin

    Tara Eckrich is a transfer specialist in the Office of Admissions. She recently completed her bachelor’s degree in political science at Northwest. While working toward her degree, she was a student employee in the University’s cashiering office.

    Tara Eckrich

    Dr. Nathan Eloe is an assistant professor of computer science in the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Information Systems. He previously worked as a teaching assistant at Missouri University of Science and Technology. He earned bachelor’s degrees in computer science and physics and a doctorate degree in computer science, all from Missouri S&T.

    Dr. Nathan Eloe

    Kayla Etherton is an academic advisor in the Office of Advisement. Most recently she was a manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Lexington, Ky. She has bachelor’s degrees in psychology and Spanish and a Master of Business Administration, all from Northwest. As a Northwest student, she held a variety of positions, including a graduate assistantship in the advisement office.

    Kayla Etherton

    Michael Faust is visiting dean for the Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth College of Business and Professional Studies. He retired in February as the assistant to the chairman of Peter Kiewit Sons’ Inc. after a 40-year professional career in Omaha, Neb. Faust earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwest in accounting.

    Michael Faust

    Brooke Fisher is executive secretary for the vice president of finance. Previously, she worked at Nodaway Valley Bank as overdraft privilege coordinator. She has an associate’s degree in accounting and information technology from AIB College of Business in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Brooke Fisher

    Mayur Gangala is a residential counselor at the Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing. For the last two years he served as a graduate assistant in Northwest’s Office of Student Involvement. He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and his Master of Business Administration at Northwest.

    Mayur Gangala

    Jessi Gard is a secretary in the School of Agricultural Sciences. She comes to Northwest from Nodaway Valley Bank, where she was a debit card/fraud specialist. She has a bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing from Northwest.

    Jessi Gard

    Merlene Gilb is an assistant professor in the Department of Professional Education. She comes to Northwest from the Webster Groves School District in St. Louis where she was director of program management at the Ambrose Family Center. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Missouri-St Louis, a master’s degree from Webster University in multidisciplinary studies and a doctorate degree from Saint Louis University in educational leadership.

    Merlene Gilb
    Dr. Arghya Goswami is an instructor of geology in the Department of Natural Sciences. His previous work includes service as a postdoctoral fellow in earth and planetary sciences at Johns Hopkins University; an adjunct instructor at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas; and an adjunct instructor at Cedar Valley College in Lancaster, Texas. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology from Presidency College in Calcutta, India, and a doctorate in earth and environmental science from the University of Texas Dr. Arghya Goswami

    Dustin Greenlee is a personal computing technician in the Office of Information Technology.

    Dustin Greenlee

    Ashlee Hendrix is a graphic designer in the Office of University Marketing and Communication. Most recently, she was a project manager at Ingram’s Magazine in Kansas City, Mo. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwest.

    Ashlee Hendrix

    Dr. Timothy Haglund is an instructor of political science in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. He comes to Northwest from the University of North Texas where he was a graduate teaching fellow and teaching assistant. He has a bachelor’s degree in history and economics from Ashland University and a doctorate degree in political science from the University of North Texas.

    Dr. Timothy Haglund

    James Hinson is director of student recreation in the Department of Athletics. He comes to Northwest with experience as assistant director of campus recreation and coordinator of intramural sports at the University of Vermont as well as graduate associate of intramural sports at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history at the University of South Carolina and master’s degrees in history and sport and fitness administration at Winthrop University.

    James Hinson

    Dr. Charles Hoot Jr. is a lecturer of computer science in the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Information Systems. He comes to Northwest from Oklahoma State University where he was a professor of math and physics. He has a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of California at San Diego, a master’s degree in astrophysical sciences from Princeton University, and a doctorate in computer science from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

    Dr. Charles Hoot Jr.

    Dr. Nissa Ingraham returns an assistant professor in the Department of Professional Education. She returns to Northwest after serving as dean of the School of Education at Peru State College in Nebraska. She earned bachelor’s degrees from the University of Central Missouri in Spanish and French, a master’s degree in teaching English from the University of Northern Iowa and her doctorate in education leadership from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

    Dr. Nissa Ingraham

    Beth Little is complex director in the Office of Residential Life. Most recently she was program advisor for the Union Programs Office at the University of Kansas. Before that she was assistant coordinator for apartment living at Kansas State University. She has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Central Missouri and a master’s degree in counseling and student development with an academic advising certificate from Kansas State.

    Beth Little

    Cynthia Mayes is an admissions specialist and international specialist in the Office of Admissions. Previously, she was employed at Sonic Drive-In in Maryville, serving as managing partner for the last 10 years. She has bachelor’s degrees from Northwest in elementary education and Spanish. 

    Cynthia Mayes

    Charles Mayfield is director of financial assistance in the Office of Financial Assistance. He was associate director of the Office of Student Financial Aid at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, beginning in 2012, and was director of the financial aid office at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Mo., from 2005 to 2012. He has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Missouri Valley College and a master’s degree in education administration from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo.

    Charles Mayfield

    Dr. Lorita Mihindukulasooriya is an assistant professor of geology in the Department of Natural Sciences. Most recently she was an instructor in geology at Kent State University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, a master’s degree in geology from Ohio University and her doctorate in applied geology from Kent State University.

    Dr. Lorita Mihindukulasooriya

    Dr. Scott Overmyer is a term lecturer of computer science in the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Information Systems. He comes to Northwest from Mount Washington College where he was vice provost and dean of the School of Information Technology. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Colorado, a master’s degree in industrial engineering and human factors from the University of Iowa, and a doctorate in information technology from George Mason University.

    Dr. Scott Overmyer

    Robert Pippin is a lecturer of music. In addition to being an active performer and freelance artist, he has served 13 years as a public school music teacher, most recently as director of bands at Thompson Valley High School in Loveland, Colo. He has a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree in conducting, both from Colorado State University, and he is completing his Doctorate of Musical Arts in wind band conducting at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University. 

    Robert Pippin

    Justin Ross returns as a lecturer in the School of Communication and Mass Media. He is head of development for Main Line Pictures in Los Angeles and most recently served as associate producer of “Texas Chainsaw 3D” for Lionsgate Entertainment. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwest in mass communication and a master’s degree from Florida State University’s Graduate Film Conservatory.

    Justin Ross

    Kevin Royal is an instructor for the School of Agricultural Sciences. He comes to Northwest from Central Community College in Nebraska, where he was project manager for the Nebraska Precision Ag Center for Excellence (N-PACE). His previous experience also includes management of a GIS software support team at MicroImages Inc., adjunct instruction at Iowa Lakes Community College, and work as a precision agriculture specialist or manager at several agricultural cooperatives including MaxYield in Iowa, Winfield in Minnesota, and CPI in Nebraska. He has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business and a master’s degree in geographic information science, both from Northwest.  

    Kevin Royal

    LaTessa Ruehter is a secretary in the Department of Professional Education. Previously she worked as a licensed Missouri property and casualty insurance agent with Jake Taylor of American Family Insurance in Maryville. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Northwest.

    LaTessa Ruehter

    Kathleen Ryan is secretary in the Department of Business. She comes to Northwest from Metropolitan Community Colleges in Kansas City where she was a maintenance management systems technician.

    Kathleen Ryan

    Dr. Devlin Scofield is an assistant professor of history in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. Previously, he was a teaching assistant and instructor at Michigan State University. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Montana State University and recently completed his doctorate degree at Michigan State.

    Dr. Devlin Scofield

    Melvin “Rusty” Shipley is an instructor in the School Agricultural Sciences. Most recently, he taught at South Page High School in College Springs, Iowa, and previously spent 25 years in accounting, with 11 years as a partner in a certified public accounting firm and eight years as a chief financial officer. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and management/data processing and a master’s degree in agriculture education, both from Northwest.

    Dr. Dong Si is an assistant professor of computer science in the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Information Systems. He previously worked as an instructor at Old Dominion University. He has a bachelor’s degree in electronic information science and technology from Nanjing University in China, a master’s degree in information systems engineering from Chang’an University in China, and a doctorate degree in computer science from Old Dominion.

    Dr. Dong Si

    Dr. Hilmi Songur is an assistant professor of finance in the School of Business. Previously, he served as a visiting professor of finance at Antalya International University in Turkey and the University of Texas El Paso. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Kadir Has University in Turkey, a Master of Business Administration from Ball State University and his doctorate in finance from the University of Texas at El Paso.

    Dr. Hilmi Songur

    Lauren Stehlik is coordinator of student involvement in the Office of Student Involvement, where she oversees Greek Life. She recently completed a graduate assistantship with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Programs and Housing and Dining Services while earning her master’s degree in higher education at Eastern Illinois University. She has a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

    Lauren Stehlik

    Billy Steinman is a hall director in the Office of Residential Life. He recently completed his bachelor’s degree at Northwest in interactive digital media with a business technology concentration and worked as a resident assistant, station manager and desk assistant.

    Brian Swink is an instructor of mathematics the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Information Systems. Previously, he taught at Eugene Field Elementary School. He has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in elementary mathematics, both from Northwest.

    Brian Swink

    Cassandra Tavorn is the director of Northwest’s TRIO programming. Previously, she was an education specialist and tutor coordinator in the TRIO Educational Talent Search Center at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock in international studies and a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in the management of non-profit organizations.

    Cassandra Tavorn

    Todd Weddle is multimedia specialist in the Office of University Marketing and Communication. He comes to Northwest from the St. Joseph News-Press, where he spent the last 17 years as a photographer and visuals editor. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwest in journalism.

    Todd Weddle

    Mary Welch is a groundskeeper for Landscape Services.

    Sarah Winans is a fifth and sixth grade instructor at Horace Mann Laboratory School. Previously, she was an instructional technology coach in the Lincoln (Neb.) Public School District. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Northwest and her master’s degree at Doane College in Nebraska.

    Sarah Winans
    Dr. Chi Him “Dennis” Wong is an assistant professor of computer science in the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Information Systems. He comes to Northwest from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, where he was a lecturer and teaching assistant. He earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and master’s and doctorate degrees in computer science from University of Guelph.   Dr. Chi Him “Dennis” Wong

    For more information, please contact:

    Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
    mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

    Northwest Missouri State University
    215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468