James E. Brenneman, President
Kenneth Newbold, Provost/Executive Vice President
Jo-Ann Brant, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean
Jim Caskey, Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Adela Hufford, Dean of Admissions
Gilberto Pérez, Jr., Senior Director of Intercultural Development and Educational Partnerships
Deanna Risser, Interim Vice President for Finance
Launa Leftwich, Dean of Students
Kathleen Yoder, Executive Assistant – Office of the President
Dr. James E. Brenneman
Goshen College 2006 – present
Phone: (574) 535-7180
B.A., Goshen College
M.Div., Fuller Theological Seminary
M.A., Claremont Graduate University
Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University
Educator, visionary, ancient near east scholar, biblical theologian and church leader, Dr. James E. Brenneman became the 16th president of Goshen College in 2006. As president of Goshen College, Brenneman’s vision for the college includes it becoming more diverse, more sustainable and more known for the ways students and alumni are making a positive difference in the world.
After coming to Goshen College, he launched the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning (now the Center for Intercultural & International Education) in 2006 upon receiving a $12.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. Since becoming president, the percent of traditional undergraduates who are Hispanic grew from 5 percent (2006-07) to 18 percent (2015-16). Brenneman became the second Indiana college president to sign the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment to work toward a carbon neutral campus in 2007 and was invited by the White House to participate in the American Campuses Act on Climate roundtable in November 2015. The college has added its first master’s degree programs: M.S. in Nursing (2007), M.A. in Environmental Education (2008), M.A. in Intercultural Leadership (2013-16) and The Collaborative MBA (2014). In 2011, Brenneman helped launch three institutes on campus: the Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism, the Institute for Ecological Regeneration and the Institute for Latino Educational Achievement. In 2012, the general education program called the Goshen Core was overhauled to focus on intercultural, international, interdisciplinary integrated learning. Brenneman was reappointed for his second term in 2010 and for his third term in 2014.
As a Goshen College student, Brenneman pursued an interdisciplinary degree, combining Bible, biology and natural science, and graduated in 1977. He went on to attend Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (now the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary) and completed a master of divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. At Claremont Graduate University, he earned a master of arts degree in religious studies and a doctorate, with a focus in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament studies.
Brenneman is an ordained minister of Mennonite Church USA and was the founding lead pastor of Pasadena (Calif.) Mennonite Church where he served for 20 years. For fifteen years, he also served on the faculty at Episcopal Theological School at Claremont (Calif.) in Old Testament scholarship. Brenneman authored “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks: Lessons from the Book of Deuteronomy” (Herald Press, 2004) and “Canons in Conflict: Negotiating Texts in True and False Prophesy” (Oxford University Press, 1997), and has written numerous book chapters and articles on theological and church-related themes.
Brenneman’s wife Dr. Terri J. Plank Brenneman is a clinical psychologist and also a 1977 Goshen College alumnus. They are the parents of son Quinn.
Dr. Kenneth Newbold
Provost/Executive Vice President
Goshen College 2015 – present
Phone: (574) 535-7550
B.A., Bridgewater (Virginia) College
M.A., James Madison University
Ph.D., James Madison University
As provost and executive vice president, Dr. Kenneth Newbold runs the day-to-day operations of the college, serving as chief operating officer and providing oversight for athletics, academic affairs, student life, finance, enrollment management and marketing, as well as long-range planning.
Dr. Newbold came to Goshen College from James Madison University, where he led the institution’s sponsored research efforts. Additionally, he served as the director of the institute for energy and environmental research and director for the institute for infrastructure and information assurance. His research interests include critical infrastructure protection, homeland security policy, intelligence analysis and higher education.
Dr. Newbold graduated from Bridgewater (Virginia) College in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in history and political science. He completed a master of public administration degree with a concentration in higher education at JMU in 2001, and earned a Ph.D. in strategic leadership in 2014. His dissertation, “Influence of Entrepreneurship Education on Entrepreneurship Development in Post-secondary Education,” focused on the impact that education has on developing entrepreneurs.
Dr. Newbold lives in Goshen with his wife, Tiffany, and their two daughters.
Dr. Jo-Ann Brant
Interim VP for Academic Affairs & Academic Dean
Goshen College 1993 – present
Phone: (574) 535-7503
B.A., University of Alberta
M.A., McMaster University
Ph.D., McMaster University
As interim vice president for academic affairs and academic dean, Dr. Jo-Ann Brant is responsible for managing and administering the academic programs consistent with the mission of Goshen College and overseeing the Good Library, Mennonite Historical Library, Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, general education, Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning, student Life and the registrar’s office.
Visit the Academic Dean’s website.
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Goshen College 1997 – present
Phone: (574) 535-7556
B.A., Goshen College
Jim Caskey became vice president for institutional advancement in January 2010 following 12 years working in the development office, first as the regional director of development and then as director of major gifts. Raised in Bluffton, Ohio, Caskey is a 1984 Goshen College graduate with an art major. After college he pursued a career as a designer and then lived with his family in Indianapolis while working as an account executive for Ropkey Graphics, Inc. for 11 years.
In 1997, Caskey returned to Goshen College to serve as the regional director of development, with responsibility for fundraising in the eastern half of the United States. During that period, he helped form the Maple Leafs Athletic Club, assisted with a capital campaign to raise funds for the Music Center and helped form the President’s Circle, the group of donors who give $25,000 for unrestricted use to the college annually.
In 2004, he began to focus primarily on maintaining strong institutional relationships with the college’s top donors. In 2006, Caskey became the director of major gifts, with a significant role in introducing the then-new president and vice president to key donors, doubling the size of the group of largest donors, as well as helping to design a comprehensive campaign.
Dean of Admissions
Goshen College 2012 – present
Phone: (574) 535-7706
B.A., Anderson University
As dean of admissions, Adela Hufford oversees admissions.
Gilberto Pérez, Jr.
Senior Director of Intercultural Development and Educational Partnerships
Goshen College 2012 – present
Phone: (574) 535-7434
B.A., Eastern Mennonite University
M.S.W., Universidad Interamericana in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Gilberto Pérez, Jr. leads a team focused on creating a transformed learning community on campus, increasing access to Goshen College for under-served students and doing research on changing local demographics and their implications for higher education. This includes diverse student support, the Master of Arts in Intercultural Leadership (MAIL), research, and community outreach and education.
Pérez has served as associate professor of social work at Goshen College since 2012. Prior to coming to Goshen College, Pérez was employed at Northeastern Center, a community mental health center in Northeast Indiana. There he worked on authoring the Bienvenido curriculum, a nationally recognized mental health promotion curriculum for Latino immigrants that addresses access to mental health services, increased knowledge of mental health and increased sense of belonging for Latinos in their respective communities. The curriculum has been implemented in 13 cities in Indiana and is available in 14 states across the United States.
Pérez earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), as well as a graduate certificate in conflict transformation from EMU. He earned a master’s degree in social work from the Universidad Interamericana in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers. His social work experiences include hospice social work, emergency social services 911 and community mental health. Pérez lives in Goshen with his wife and three children.
Interim Vice President for Finance
Goshen College 1999 – present
Phone: (574) 535-7557
B.A., Bluffton University
M.B.A., Indiana University, South Bend
In her time at Goshen, Risser has worked in various departments in addition to her work in finance, including church relations, human resources, provost’s office and institutional research. She led a unit of Study-Service Term in Nicaragua in 2012. She was instrumental in updating the Employee Handbook and providing overall support for the 2015 comprehensive evaluation for continued institutional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.
Risser is involved in several local nonprofit organizations. She is past board chair and volunteers at Ten Thousand Villages in Goshen, and is current board chair at The Hermitage, a contemplative retreat center near Three Rivers, Michigan. Risser is a Middlebury native and resides in Goshen.
Visit the V.P. for Finance website.
Dean of Students
Goshen College 1995 – present
Phone: (574) 535-7543
B.A., Goshen College
M.A., Western Kentucky University
As Dean of Students, Launa Leftwich provides direction and leadership to the offices of residence life, campus ministries, counseling and health, and academic support center. She serves as a liaison among administrators, teaching faculty, parents, and students. Leftwich communicates with parents and other necessary parties to address students’ personal and academic development. She serves broader campus community on select committees that address academic, institution, and constituency concerns. As the adviser for Student Senate and director of student leadership program, she supports the larger learning environment through development of policies and programs promoting the personal growth of students within the college’s mission and values. Leftwich was a founding and active member of faculty team-teaching first-year interdisciplinary initiative. She also assist offices in the interpretation and compliance of federal laws and guidelines, such as Title IX, FERPA, American Disability Act and contributed to successful reaccreditation process by the Higher Learning Commission.
Since returning to her alma mater in 1995, Leftwich has taught in the psychology department, led three units of Study-Service Term in Costa Rica and served as Associate Dean of Students for 13 years. She works to facilitate a positive relationship with the local city by representing Goshen College on the Downtown Goshen, Inc. Executive Board. She lives in Goshen with her husband and two sons.
Executive Assistant – Office of the President
Goshen College 2012 – present
Phone: (574) 535-7501
B.A., Goshen College
Kathleen Yoder became the Executive Assistant for the Office of the President and joined the President’s Council in Fall 2015. Yoder performs the administrative and operational functions of the office of the president and provost, manages the business of the president’s office and provides support for the board of directors. She works with the GC President’s Council to facilitate communication between administrators, faculty and staff, students and external constituents.
Yoder moved to Goshen and began working for the college in 2012. Prior to her current role, Yoder served on the Enrollment Leadership Team for 2014-15 and as the HLC Coordinator for the 2015 comprehensive evaluation for continued institutional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. She is married to Todd Yoder, a major gift officer at Goshen College. They are the parents of two Goshen College graduates.