Goshen College introduces new employees for 2010-11

GOSHEN, Ind. – Goshen College will open the 2010-2011 academic year later this month with many new faces — and not just among new and transfer students. The college also will be welcoming new employees, some of whom were hired and began their duties earlier in the year:

Jan Emswiler is an assistant professor of nursing, with a teaching focus of psychiatric/mental health nursing. Emswiler graduated from Eastern Mennonite University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and biology in 1998 and from Tulane University School of Public Health with a master’s degree in public health in 2004. She served with Mennonite Central Committee in Tanzania for six years working with a community-based health promotion program as the HIV/AIDS prevention and control unit coordinator. Then she taught advanced nursing studies at the Aga Khan University –Tanzania Institute of Higher Education. For the past year, Emswiler was the executive director for the Valley AIDS Network in Harrisonburg, Va., and taught Swahili at James Madison University.

Christopher Fashun is an assistant professor of music and leads the college’s Symphony Orchestra, Lavender Jazz Ensemble and music education program. An accomplished percussionist and violist, Fashun received a bachelor’s degree from Saint Olaf College in 1996 and a master of music degree from the University of Wisconsin in 2003. He anticipates receiving a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Iowa in 2011. During the past seven years, he has concentrated his study of world percussion in Brazilian and Afro-Brazilian music and dance.

Colleen Geier is the American Sign Language program director. She received a bachelor’s degree in 1982 and a master’s degree in 1994 from SUNY College at Brockport. She taught Deaf and hard of hearing children for 11 years at the Rochester School for the Deaf, public schools and her own private school. She has also taught at Columbia College of Chicago and Purdue University North Central. Through her company Deaf Connection, Geier provides interpreter education, mentoring and training. She holds dual national interpreter certification with Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and has been interpreting professionally since 1987.

Isaiah Goertz, a 2006 Goshen College graduate, is the web designer/developer in the Public Relations Office. He previously worked as a software developer for RedPost Inc. of Goshen and in Web and promotional positions for Habitat for Humanity in Costa Rica.

Heather Goertzen is a resident director. She received a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a master of arts degree in counseling from Mars Hill Graduate School in Seattle, Wash. She spent five years as a counselor and community care coordinator with the Word Made Flesh organization in El Alto, Bolivia, and has had a private counseling practice.

Jennifer Hart is an assistant professor of history during the 2010-2011 academic year while another professor is on sabbatical. Hart is a doctoral candidate in African History and Comparative Colonial History at Indiana University-Bloomington. Her dissertation focuses on the social and cultural history of motor transportation in late-colonial and postcolonial Ghana.

Sophia Henrichs is the assistant director of the Multicultural Affairs Office. She received a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and a master of theological studies degree from the University of Notre Dame. She has worked as a professional in higher education for the past six years, most recently as the rector of a residence hall at Notre Dame.

Tamera Izlar is the assistant professor of theater. She received a bachelor’s degree in acting from the University of Kentucky and a master of fine arts degree in directing from Western Illinois University. Prior to this position, Izlar was a theater faculty member at Howard University. In addition to teaching and directing, she will spend a quarter of her time focused on the arts for the college’s Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning.

David Kempf, a 2009 Goshen College graduate, is the interim AV-IT systems manager for the ITSMedia Office.

Justina Kramer, a 2000 Goshen College graduate, is the payroll clerk. She has worked as a staff accountant at Crowe Chizek, at Goshen College as the DAES administrative assistant and at MMA as the HR administrative assistant and licensing specialist.

Jane Litwiller, a 2005 Goshen College graduate, is an environmental educator and assistant in facilities management at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center. She worked as an intern at Merry Lea for almost two years in environmental education.

Carol Miller, a 1973 Goshen College graduate, is the administrative assistant in the Mennonite Historical Library. Over the years, Miller has worked in many settings including the State Department of Public Welfare, Bridgework Theatre and the Elkhart County Jail Capacity Management Board.

Norma Ortega is a physical plant custodian.

Kent Palmer is an associate professor of informatics. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, a master’s degree in environmental administration from the University of Illinois and a doctorate in information science from Nova Southeastern University. He taught computer science at MacMurray College in Illinois and at Wingate University in North Carolina. Palmer is interested in the use of information technology by mission agencies and other nonprofit organizations.

Maria Sánchez-Schirch is an assistant professor of Spanish this year. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Central American University in Nicaragua and expects to graduate from Goshen College’s Adult Programs in December 2010.

Sandy Saggars, a 2001 Goshen College graduate,is the assistant controller in the Accounting Office. She previously worked at Riegsecker Marketplace in Shipshewana, Ind., as the human resource manager and at Millennium Industries in Ligonier, Ind., as the controller.

Brandy Yoder is the organizational leadership recruiter for the Division of Adult and External Studies. She is also a full-time student.

Carl Yoder, a 1998 Goshen College graduate, is the institutional research analyst. He worked at Jayco, Inc. for 14 years as a computer illustrator, desktop publisher, database specialist, technical writer, Web developer and programmer/Program Analyst.

The Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning (CITL) has two visiting research fellows:

Ruben P. Viramontez Anguiano is an associate professor of human development, family studies and early childhood education in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Bowling Green State University. His research addresses diverse families, their children and their communities from an ecological perspective with a focus on Latino families, schools and communities. Viramontez Anguiano received a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University in 1992, a master’s degree from Iowa State University in 1994 and a doctorate from Michigan State University in 1999.

Kimberly Case was associate dean for student development at Northwestern College (Orange City, Iowa), overseeing student activities, wellness services and directing the orientation program. Case received a bachelor’s degree from Asbury College, a master’s degree from Asbury Theological Seminary and a doctorate in higher education from Azusa Pacific University. Her research in the CITL will focus on the success of students of color by examining students’ sense of belonging, their experiences as learners and their identity development.

The new adjunct professors this year will be: Janna Hunter-Bowman, a 2000 Goshen College graduate, in the Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies Department; Tim Lehman, a 1986 Goshen College graduate, in the History and Political Science Department; Catherine Metcalfe in the Education Department; Jonny Gerig Meyer, a 2008 Goshen College graduate, in the Bible, Religion and Philosophy Department; Agnes Odhiambo in the Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures Department; Justine Pletcher, a 1973 Goshen College graduate, in the Education Department; and Gerald Shenk in the History and Political Science Department.

Editors: For more information about this release, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or jodihb@goshen.edu.


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S.News & World Report‘s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit www.goshen.edu.