New faculty, staff


Bluffton welcomes newcomers to campus

BLUFFTON, Ohio—Six faculty members are joining the Bluffton University community this academic year along with more than 20 new staff members and graduate assistants.

New assistant professors for 2015-16 are John Burkhart, in accounting; Rhonda Gottschalk, health, fitness and sport science; Dr. Luke Myers, physics; Marathana Prothro, communication; and Jackie Wyse-Rhodes, religion. Dr. Nancy Banman starts her first full year at Bluffton, meanwhile, after coming to campus last January as an associate professor and chair of social work.

Burkhart is a certified management accountant and a certified financial manager who has held accounting positions at several companies, most recently at Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. He earned his bachelor’s degree and a master of business administration (MBA) degree from Bluffton, in 1994 and 2006, respectively, and has been an adjunct instructor at the university.

Gottschalk, also the new women’s soccer coach, completed a master’s degree in applied exercise science at Ashland University in 2009. Her bachelor’s degree in education, physical education and health is from Concord University in Athens, W.Va. She was also an assistant soccer coach at Ashland and three other universities, including Bowling Green for the last two years.

Myers comes to Bluffton from Virginia, where he was a postdoctoral fellow at Jefferson Laboratory in Newport News. He was previously a postdoctoral associate at Duke University and the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory housed there. He earned his Ph.D. in physics, with a concentration in photonuclear physics, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Prothro, formerly director of marketing and communications at Hesston (Kan.) College, holds a master’s degree in communication from Wichita State University and a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and film from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan. She has also worked as identity director for Mennonite Church USA and as news editor at The (Newton) Kansan newspaper.

Wyse-Rhodes, who previously taught at Bluffton in spring 2012, is nearing completion of her Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Emory University in Atlanta. She holds a master’s degree in the same subject from Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, and a master of divinity degree—with a concentration in biblical studies—from the Associated, now Anabaptist, Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind.

Banman was a social work faculty member at Colorado State University from 1993 until coming to Bluffton last winter. She had also been director of the Center for Lifelong Learning and Outreach Education in Colorado State’s School of Social Work since 2007. Her Ph.D. is from the Bryn Mawr (Pa.) College of Social Work and Social Research. She holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Kansas.

Staff members new to Bluffton since last September are: Jason Carmack, custodian in the University Event Complex (UEC), which includes Marbeck Center, Founders Hall and the Sommer Center; Bob Davis, assistant football coach; Caleb Farmer, director of residence life; Chris Fowler, director of financial aid; Jeff Garmatter, custodian in Centennial Hall; Tyson Goings ’01, director of multicultural student development; Karen Jantzi, development associate; Samantha Lawrence ’12, admissions counselor; Marissa McDaniel, head softball coach; Jane Pahl, UEC administrative assistant; Leah Schroeder ’13, personal visit coordinator; Scott Sharik, director of human resources; Jennifer Van Horn, assistant athletic trainer; Amanda Woolley ’15, learning specialist; and Jeremy Wyant, custodial services manager.  

New graduate assistants in athletics are: Spencer Corrao, football and baseball; Sean Elvert, men’s soccer; Samantha Granger, volleyball; Austin Hunter, football; Sara Savard, women’s soccer; and Devin Underhill, athletic training.   

Britnie Loch ’11 and Aphaphanh Nussbaum are also graduate assistants, in the Center for Career and Vocation and at the Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs, respectively. 

In addition, Amy Marshall continues in the graduate intern position she assumed last January as director of Ropp Hall. She is a master’s degree student in the mental health counseling program at Wright State University.