NWC announces faculty promotions, tenurings

Several Northwestern College faculty have recently been awarded tenure and promoted.

Tenure was awarded to Ruth Daumer, Jennifer Feenstra and Juyeon Kang. Feenstra, Kang and Wayne Westenberg were promoted to the rank of associate professor, and three faculty members were promoted to full professor: Randy Jensen, Kimberly Utke Svanoe and Sara Tolsma.

Daumer, an associate professor, was hired in 2005 to develop and lead Northwestern’s nursing program. Previously, she chaired the nursing department at Briar Cliff University. She also coordinates parish nurse ministries in Orange City and Ireton, Iowa. A frequent presenter at national conferences and consultant on parish nursing and health advocacy for churches, Daumer earned a doctorate in educational administration at the University of South Dakota. She received a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and a bachelor’s in nursing from Briar Cliff. She is licensed as an advanced registered nurse practitioner/clinical specialist in community health nursing.

Feenstra, who joined Northwestern’s psychology faculty in 2003, is a social psychologist with research interests in social support and volunteering. A Calvin College graduate, she earned doctoral and master’s degrees in psychology from the University of New Hampshire. The faculty adviser for Psi Chi, the national honor society in psychology, Feenstra has had research published in the Journal of College Student Development and Teaching of Psychology. She has also given presentations at the annual meetings of the American Psychological Association and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

Kang, a member of the music faculty since 2003, has an extensive performance background including soloing with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Korean Symphony Orchestra and the Augusta (Georgia) Symphony Orchestra, as well as solo and chamber performances in Asia, Europe, North America and South America. She released a CD, “Joyful Noise,” in 2008 and is making plans for her next recording, “Joyful Dances.” Kang earned a doctoral degree in piano performance and literature, as well as master’s degrees in pedagogy of music theory and piano performance and literature, at Eastman School of Music. She previously taught at New England Conservatory of Music.

Westenberg joined Northwestern’s mathematics faculty in 2001 after 19 years as a teacher at Unity Christian High School in Orange City and three as a junior high teacher in Sanborn, Iowa. A Northwestern College graduate, he earned a Doctor of Education degree and a master’s degree in mathematics at the University of South Dakota. Westenberg serves as an adviser to freshman students who are undecided about a major. An assistant volleyball coach at Northwestern, he led Unity Christian teams to five state championships.

Jensen has taught philosophy at Northwestern since 1999. He previously taught at UCLA, Claremont McKenna College and California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). He earned a doctorate in philosophy from UCLA after graduating from CSULB with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in philosophy. Jensen specializes in ethics and ancient Greek philosophy, especially Plato. He has contributed chapters to several books in Blackwell Publishing’s Philosophy and Pop Culture series.

Svanoe is retiring this year after 33 years on the music faculty. She conducted the A cappella Choir and Heritage Singers from 1977 to 2000 and directed the Women’s Choir and Symphonette for over 30 years. Svanoe has sung in several festival choruses at Carnegie Hall, and she is active as an adjudicator, clinician and performer throughout the Midwest. The recipient of a doctorate in choral conducting from the University of Iowa, she also earned a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and a bachelor’s degree from Minot State University.

Tolsma has been a member of Northwestern’s biology faculty since 1995. Her research efforts in cancer genetics and cell biology have been widely published in scientific journals, and she has given presentations at regional and national conferences. She has also been a part of several symposia on bioethical issues surrounding genetic technologies, such as stem cells, cloning and genetic testing. A Northwestern College alumna, she earned a doctorate in microbiology/immunology from Northwestern University.