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New Faculty

New Faculty

This year, Graceland has welcomed 10 new faces to its faculty, allowing the students on Lamoni campus to have access to 10 new sources of knowledge, academic guidance, and inspiration.

The Division of Humanities has gained a new Assistant Professor of Spanish, Jonathan Montalvo PhD, who received his doctorate in Hispanic Cultural Studies from Michigan State University, currently focuses his research on queer Caribbean cultural production, and has already made a name for himself with the help of one of his hobbies – cooking, by sharing delicious plantain dishes with the community.

Another addition to the Humanities is Kristin Seemuth Whaley PhD, an Assistant Professor of Philosophy, who teaches courses that cover issues in epistemology, metaphysics and philosophy of religion and ethics among other topics. Her dissertation titled “Immaterialist Solutions to Puzzles in Personal Ontology” earned her a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and when not working Dr.Seemuth Whaley enjoys practicing Ashtanga yoga.

Ildo Kim has also joined the ranks of the Humanities faculty as an Assistant Professor of Communication. He specializes in interpersonal communication with an interest in humor, and explored the influence of a bystander in teasing interactions for his dissertation by employing experimental methodologies to analyze his research. Professor Kim holds a passion for travel, in addition to teaching, and enjoys photography.

The Division of Visual and Performing Arts has gained a new Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Brian McSherry, JD, who began his research after receiving a Fullbright Fellowship to study bilingual graphic design trends in Quebec, completed a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art, and a Juris Doctorate with a focus on Intellectual Property.

The Division of Arts has also acquired a new Visiting Instructor of Percussion and Director of Athletic Bands, Melinda Leoce MM, who directs the Yellowjacket Marching Band and teaches percussion. She studied Music Education and Percussion at the University of Central Florida and Percussion Performance at Florida State University and Indiana University, and enjoys knitting, attending live music performances, cooking and skiing in her free time.

The Division of Social Science has gained a new Assistant Professor of Sociology, Jessica Ziegler PhD, who completed her Master’s and Phd at Bowling Green State University, focusing her dissertation on group-based trajectories of violent victimization experiences from adolescence to adulthood. Dr.Ziegler is interested in the relationship between parenthood and criminal desistance, and all the intricacies involved in this issue.

The Division of Health and Movement Science has welcomed an Assistant Professor of Allied Health, James Geiselman, DC, MS, EMT-P, who worked as an EMT after completing his bachelor’s degree at Illinois College, earned a Doctorate of Chiropractic degree from Logan University, and treated personal injury patients in private practice. Dr. Geiselman runs an online functional medicine and nutrition practice, enjoys attending concerts, and empowering individuals to become active participants in their healthcare, as well as overall well-being.

Another addition to the the Health and Movement faculty is Christopher King MS, an Instructor of Health and Movement Science, who has taught physical education and coaching for the past five years, while also serving as an activities direction at the junior high and high school levels, and earned his Master of Science in Health, Education, Recreation and Dance from Emporia State University in 2016.

The Division of Science and Math has acquired a new Professor of Chemistry, Jeff Draves PhD, who specializes in physical chemistry, analytical chemistry and environmental science, has an interest in forensic chemistry, the chemistry of cooking and data analytics, and experiments with aqueous particulate matter. Dr.Draves received his PhD from the University of Illinois, enjoys sports, and attends choir concerts and musical theater performances in his free time.

Last but not least, the Science and Math division has also gained an Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Tyler Mitchell PhD, who is a proponent of quantitative literacy, critical thinking, abstraction and application in liberal arts, is interested in algebra and combinatorics, and studies fusion rings or normalized table algebras. Dr.Mitchell received his PhD from Northern Illinois University, and enjoys math contests, games and puzzles in his spare time.

About Lucy Bergere

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