EIGHT NEW FACULTY COMING TO BLUFFTON
Bluffton University is welcoming eight new faculty members in 2011-12.
Joining the faculty as assistant professors are Denise Durenberger, in business; Dr. Ross Kauffman, in Bluffton’s new public health program; Dr. J. Walter Paquin, in social work; Dr. Jon Peterson, in music; and Jackie Wyse Rhodes, who will begin work in the religion department next spring semester.
In addition, alumnus Andreas Baumgartner is returning to Bluffton as a visiting assistant professor of art, while Dr. Robert Cecire is coming to campus as a visiting assistant professor of history and Darin Kerr will be a visiting instructor of theatre.
Durenberger, who holds a master of business administration degree from the University of Findlay, was a marketing instructor last year at Terra Community College in Fremont. Before that, she worked for a combined 11 years at two Findlay-based tire and rubber companies—Hercules, where she was marketing coordinator from 2007-10, and Cooper, where she was advertising manager from 1999-2007. Since 2007, she has also been an adjunct business, marketing and English professor at Owens Community College and Brown Mackie College. At Bluffton, she will be teaching marketing and sales, as well as working with student internships and the Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs, which partners with the university.
Leading Bluffton’s public health program will be Kauffman, who earned master of public health and doctoral degrees in epidemiology from The Ohio State University in 2006 and 2009, respectively. For the last two years, he has been a postdoctoral fellow in the Training in Research for Behavioral Oncology and Cancer Control program in Indiana University’s School of Nursing, at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental science from Eastern Mennonite University. This fall, in addition to introductory public health, Kauffman will teach first year seminar and criminology courses and, at the graduate level, health care informatics, which deals with information technology-related topics.
Paquin comes to Bluffton after eight years at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, where he was an instructor of social work for four years (2003-07) and then an assistant professor for four more. Both his master’s degree and Ph.D. are from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. A licensed clinical social worker in Missouri, he also worked in the field for several years in St. Louis. Paquin, who received his bachelor’s degree in social work from Western Carolina University in 1992, will teach human behavior in the social environment, community practice and social welfare policy and analysis.
Most recently the director of music and fine arts at First United Methodist Church in Little Rock, Ark., Peterson has also been minister or director of music at churches in Tucson, Ariz., and Dallas and Denison, Texas. His master’s and doctoral degrees are each in choral conducting, from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and the University of Arizona in Tucson, respectively. A graduate teaching assistant at both universities, he has been a private voice and piano instructor since 1999 and has sung with both the Dallas and Tucson Symphony choruses. Along with teaching music history, music ministry and integrated arts at Bluffton, he will conduct the Bel Canto women’s choir and, in the spring, the Bluffton Choral Society.
Wyse Rhodes expects to complete her Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible next year at Emory University in Atlanta. She holds a master’s degree in the same subject from Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, as well as a master of divinity degree—with a concentration in biblical studies—from the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind. Her bachelor’s degree in English is from Hiram (Ohio) College. A mission worker for Mennonite Mission Network in the Netherlands from 2002-07, she speaks several languages in addition to English. Her teaching assignment come spring will include New Testament and New Testament Greek-language courses.
A 2008 Bluffton graduate in fine art and graphic arts, Baumgartner went on to a master of fine arts degree in digital art from Bowling Green State University in 2010. He was an instructor in digital art at BGSU between 2009 and 2011. Since 2006, he has participated in a number of juried and invitational exhibitions and, last year, he received the Second Place Print Award at the SIGGRAPH International Conference SpaceTime Print Exhibition in Los Angeles. That artwork traveled internationally for a year with a traveling student exhibition. Back at Bluffton, he will teach design, graphic design, illustration and silkscreen printmaking.
The visiting assistant professor of history, Cecire has been a faculty member in religion at the University of Findlay since 2000. He earned a Ph.D. in ancient history and a master’s degree in the New Testament, both from the University of Kansas. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies from Wheaton (Ill.) College and another in pastoral ministry from the former Gordon Divinity School, now part of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, in Massachusetts. He was pastor at several Baptist churches, most of them in Kansas, from 1967-90. Among the subjects he will teach at Bluffton are humanities and world history.
Kerr, the visiting theatre instructor, is completing his Ph.D. in theatre at Bowling Green State University. His other degrees are all from the University of North Dakota—bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English, as well as a bachelor of fine arts degree and a master’s degree in theatre arts. In addition to teaching, writing and making academic presentations, he has directed and acted in a number of theatrical productions both in North Dakota and Ohio. In addition to teaching oral interpretation and play production, he will direct Bluffton’s fall play, "The Castle of Otranto," by John Minigan.
Bluffton public relations, 8/26/11