Eight join Northwestern faculty

Eight new full-time faculty members at Northwestern College are preparing for the Aug. 22 start of the fall semester.

Carol Braaksma joins Northwestern as an instructor in English as a second language (ESL). She has three years of experience as an ESL teacher in Japan and another three years teaching ESL in China. While living in Holland, Mich., she served as an ESL instructor and department chair at Davenport University. Braaksma holds a master’s degree in teaching English as a second language or other language from Michigan State University.

Derek Brower brings a global perspective and extensive classroom experience to his position as instructor in education, having taught science for 13 years in Iowa, Washington, Botswana, the Marshall Islands and Thailand. A 1989 Northwestern College graduate, he earned education certification and a master’s degree in technology education from Western Washington University. He also has served as a mentor to young teachers.

Dr. Daniela Cambetas will serve as a visiting instructor in developmental psychology while Sandie Kinsinger is on leave to work on her doctorate. Cambetas earned a doctoral degree in educational psychology from the University of South Dakota after graduating from Hunter College in New York City. While at USD, she taught on a part-time basis and also served as a statistical consultant, guest lecturer and tutor. Her research interest is female adolescent peer relationships.

A native of Argentina, Dr. Diana Gonzalez is fluent in Spanish, English and German and can read Italian, Portuguese and French. Before joining Northwestern’s faculty as an associate professor of Spanish, she taught at universities in Peru, the United States, Mexico, Germany and Argentina. Her doctorate in linguistics is from the University of Göttingen in Germany.

Elizabeth Heeg-Truesdell, visiting instructor in biology, is completing a doctorate in biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology from Northwestern University. She has published several articles with her graduate program mentor in journals like Current Biology and Development Biology. As a graduate student, she received training grants from the National Institutes of Health for her research. She graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern College in 2001.

Dr. Paul Savariappan, visiting assistant professor of mathematics, is serving as a sabbatical replacement for Dr. Kim Jongerius. Savariappan comes to Northwestern from India, where he has been a member of the statistics faculty at Loyola College in Madras for the past 20 years. He holds a master’s degree in statistics from Loyola and a master’s in mathematics from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. His doctorate is from the University of Madras in Chennai, India.

Tom Truesdell is serving as a sabbatical replacement for Dr. Ann Lundberg, teaching writing courses as a visiting instructor in English. A 2001 Northwestern College graduate, he has a master’s degree in writing pedagogy and theory from DePaul University in Chicago. Truesdell was a writing tutor while a student at Northwestern and DePaul and most recently supervised a staff of 40 tutors as a writing center specialist for College of Lake County in Grayslake, Ill.

Ryan Zonnefeld, instructor in education, brings nine years of experience as a teacher and administrator at Christian schools in Iowa and California. He served six years as a K-8 teaching principal, most recently at Hull (Iowa) Christian School. The recipient of a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of South Dakota, Zonnefeld is a former president of the Minikota Principal’s Club and secretary of the Iowa Association of Christian Schools board.