New faculty at McPherson College

By KBBE News
August 30, 2017

The newest group of McPherson College faculty beginning this fall brings with it an impressive list of credentials and experience. There’s even a Bulldog in the mix. Four full-time, tenure-track professors joined the faculty when classes began on August 22. 

Bruce Clary, vice president for academic affairs, states that the McPherson College faculty, as a whole, is the strongest he has seen during his 35 years with the college and is very excited about the new faculty members joining campus this year.

“Our newest faculty members bring an outstanding combination of academic credentials and professional experience,” he said. “I have great confidence they are going to provide our students with engaging classroom experiences.”

James Bowyer,will lead the McPherson College vocal music program as associate professor of music and director of choral activities. Dr. Bowyer comes to the college from Indiana University-South Bend where he was a tenure-track professor. He is a graduate of Manchester University and Bethany Theological Seminary and holds three master’s degrees from prestigious Westminster Choir College. He completed a D.M.A. in Choral Conducting at the University of Washington in 2010. In addition to nine years teaching music in elementary through high school levels, he has more than 15 years experience teaching and conducting at the collegiate level, having held positions at Gonzaga University, University of Puget Sound, University of Wyoming, and Brooklyn College. His book, “Creative Sightsinging,” is a widely adopted course text and seven of his choral compositions are in print.

April Counts,brings more than 20 years experience at the K-6 level to her new position of assistant professor of education. Most recently she served as the K-5 ESOL teacher for three years at Cottonwood Elementary in Salina. Prior to that she taught in classroom and special education positions at Cottonwood Elementary as well as in Abilene and Odessa, Missouri. She also served as a homebound teacher and inclusion consultant with Central Kansas Cooperative in Education. Professor Counts earned a master of arts degree in education from Baker University and is a graduate of the University of Central Missouri. Although this is her first time teaching at the college level, she has proven experience as a teacher mentor.

Lindsey Thiessen Godfrey,a 2007 McPherson College graduate, will join the college as an assistant professor of business, marketing, and management. She has had a successful career marketing medical services, working her way up in four different organizations. Since 2014, she was director of marketing at Bluestem Communities, headquartered in North Newton, Kansas. She completed her M.B.A. in marketing from Columbia Southern University in 2011. She is a member of the American Marketing Association and serves on the Visual Communications Advisory board of Hutchinson Community College.

Julia Largent,brings an intense interest in social media and pop culture to her position of assistant professor of communications. Prior to the start of fall classes, she completed her Ph.D. in media and communications at Bowling Green State University where her dissertation is a study of social media interactions among filmmakers and documentary fandoms. She has presented at more than 25 academic conferences and published articles in industry journals. She is currently the managing editor of “The Popular Culture Studies Journal,” and has served on committees of the Midwest Popular Culture Association and the Popular Culture Association, both of the American Culture Association. She holds a master’s degree in telecommunications: digital storytelling from Ball State University and is a graduate of Manchester University with a double major in peace studies and communications: media studies. In addition to her teaching duties in the communications department, she will serve as the faculty advisor to “The Spectator,” the McPherson College student publication.

Also joining the McPherson College faculty as adjunct professors are: Mary Gere Bridger, English; Jennifer Flood, business/entrepreneurship; Becky Horne, music: brass; and Deanna Hurst, art.

New athletic department personnel and coaches include: Josh Baldwin, assistant coach for men’s soccer; Francis Fiemawhle, assistant coach for women’s soccer; Katie Holmes, assistant coach for softball; and Chandler Short, athletic assistant and campus store coordinator.