New Faces On Simpson Campus Enrich Faculty

by Nicole CleveringaStaff Writer

With more than 35 new hires for both staff and faculty in nearly every area, new faces will be seen as students venture across campus this fall.

The most high profile hire for this school year was the Academic Dean, Steve Griffith. With him, though, came many others.

New professors can be seen in many classes across campus. Paul Craven is a new instructor of computer science this year while Sharon Wilkinson has taken over for Bob Gieber as an associate professor of French.

Ryan Rehmeier is the new assistant professor of biology, Emily Machen is the newest face in the History Department as assistant professor of history and Kimberly Roberts has become part of the Music Department as instructor of music.

New admissions counselors have also joined the Simpson staff as well as some new hires in Financial Aid and athletic training.

Student Development is the department with the most new faces.

Two new area coordinators have joined the Residence Life staff. Luke Behaunek is in charge of the Buxton/Picken/Worth area and theme houses, and Nate Chua is in charge of the apartments and Greek housing.

Chua came to Simpson from Texas. Although he lived in Austin for seven years, he’s no stranger to the Midwest. Chua grew up in Marshalltown, Iowa and attended Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. Chua is happy with his experiences at Simpson thus far.

“It’s been really easy working with the professional staff and student staff here at Simpson,” Chua said. “Everyone has been really helpful. Simpson seemed to fit very quickly.”

Jeff Ellens is another new face in the Student Development office, taking the place of Jori Edwards as Simpson’s mental health counselor.

Although Ellens did not attend Simpson, he has many ties to the campus. With a brother who graduated last year and a first-year cousin on campus this year, Ellens feels right at home.

“The best part is the community I feel here,” Ellens said. “I received a warm welcome upon my arrival. It’s a very welcoming, very supportive, encouraging place.”

Jill Rossiter, another new staff member in the Student Development Office, will be taking the place of Denise Ross-Haynes as interim director of Counseling and Career Services.

Lindsey Hunzelman has also joined the Student Development staff as the assistant director of student activities and the Greek advisor. Hunzelman is happy about her position here at Simpson and is looking forward to the future.

“It’s really a new adventure everyday,” Hunzelman said. “I’m excited to see the new things on the horizon.”

Across campus, Jeff Buettner has taken over as interim director of choral activities.

Buettner came to Simpson from Michigan State University where he received his doctorate. He’s optimistic about the year ahead.

“I’ve learned very quickly the strength and value of singing at this school,” Buettner said. “I’m very excited to get to know all of students and to work with two fantastic choirs.”

The year has begun, and Simpson is a bustling college campus once again as the new staff and faculty have begun their journey.