Board announces faculty promotions, tenurings

The Northwestern College Board of Trustees has announced the awarding of tenure and promotions to several faculty.

Tenure was awarded to Wayne Westenberg. Keith Fynaardt, Jeff Taylor and Marc Wooldridge were promoted to the rank of full professor.

Westenberg joined Northwestern’s faculty in 2001. An assistant professor of math education, he previously taught and coached for 19 years at Unity Christian High School in Orange City. He teaches the methods courses for Northwestern’s mathematics teaching major, as well as statistics, algebra and calculus classes. He also serves as an adviser to freshmen who are undecided about a major. Westenberg is a graduate of Northwestern College who earned a master’s degree in mathematics and a Doctor of Education degree, both at the University of South Dakota.

Fynaardt has taught English at Northwestern since 1995. With research interests in the intersection of agriculture and the humanities, he is working on a book about modern agriculture’s impact on Midwestern croplands and communities. He has also developed courses like Literature of the Agricultural Imagination and Writing the Farm. Chairperson of the college’s humanities program, he held the Northwestern College Endowed Professorship from 2001 to 2006. He earned a doctorate in English from Northern Illinois University, a master’s degree from Iowa State University and a bachelor’s degree from Dordt College.

Taylor, a member of the theatre faculty since 1980, teaches a range of theatre courses, from playwriting to speech to lighting design. In addition to designing or overseeing lighting design for most Northwestern College shows, he also has directed. Taylor’s scenery and lighting designs have also graced stages in British Columbia, Alberta and Massachusetts. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Temple University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire.

Wooldridge, who joined Northwestern’s faculty in 1992, has directed the Percussion Ensemble and taught music theory, percussion, composition and piano. A percussionist and assistant principal timpanist with the Sioux City Symphony, he frequently serves as a guest marimba soloist. He also gives percussion master classes and composition workshops. Wooldridge holds three degrees from the University of Buffal a doctorate in music theory, a Master of Fine Arts in percussion performance and a master’s in music theory. Wooldridge also earned a bachelor’s degree in percussion performance from Indiana University.

In addition, sabbaticals have been granted to two faculty: Robert Hubbard and Kimberly Utke Svanoe.

Hubbard, associate professor of theatre, will be on sabbatical during the spring and summer of 2008, creating a series of short solo performance pieces tentatively titled “Grace Notes.” Each piece will depict an instant in which a flash of grace shines through the cracks of a seemingly desperate and broken situation. After writing and adapting these pieces, Bob will memorize, rehearse and stage them in the hopes of creating a program that could either function as a series of chapel/worship presentations or as a single theatrical event.

Hubbard has directed plays and taught theatre and speech at Northwestern—specializing in history, theory and performance studies—since 2002. He earned doctoral and master’s degrees in theatre from Bowling Green State University and a bachelor’s degree from Minot State University.

Svanoe’s sabbatical during the 2007–08 school year will include working with Dr. Don V. Moses, founding director of the Classical Music Festival at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., and former director of the University of Illinois School of Music. Svanoe, associate professor of music, will assist him as a contributor and reader as he writes a book on Haydn’s masses. She will also continue her research begun last year regarding the exposure of young children to orchestral musical examples in the elementary vocal classroom.

A member of Northwestern’s faculty since 1976, Svanoe directs the Symphonette, Women’s Choir and chamber music program. She teaches Exploring Music, applied strings, and choral and elementary music education. A graduate of the University of Iowa with a doctorate in choral conducting, she also earned a Master of Music degree at New England Conservatory of Music and a bachelor’s at Minot State University.