Nine join Northwestern faculty

Nine new full-time faculty members at Northwestern College are preparing for the Aug. 23 start of the fall semester.

Laurie Daily joins the faculty as a full-time instructor in education after teaching part time in the department since 2003. She previously directed a field-based special education teacher training program in New Hampshire, coordinated the special education program at Plymouth State College, and taught children with special needs in North Carolina. A doctoral degree candidate in educational leadership at Argosy University, Daily earned a master’s degree in special education at the University of North Carolina. 

Mark De Ruyter, a 1994 Northwestern alumnus, returns to campus as an assistant professor of social work after spending over 10 years in the field. He was the manager of children and family services for Hope Haven in Rock Valley. He also managed a residential home for young men and served as an in-home therapist for children and their families. De Ruyter earned his master’s degree in social work from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

As director of music ministries, Dr. Heather Josselyn-Cranson leads both the music ministry major and the music that is part of worship on campus, particularly during the college’s daily chapel services. Previously the minister of education and music at Old West Church in Boston, Josselyn-Cranson earned a Doctor of Theology degree in liturgy and liturgical music and a master’s degree in sacred music, both from Boston University.

Amy McCann is serving as a one-year visiting assistant professor in English during Dr. Joonna Trapp’s sabbatical. McCann earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing, with an emphasis on poetry, from Eastern Washington University, Spokane. She was an editor for Tyndale House Publishers, and her poetry has been published in Rock and Sling, Elixir, Third Coast and Hotel Amerika.

Kristin McDonald, instructor in Spanish, taught Spanish at Orange City’s Unity Christian High School for 12 years and at Ontario Christian High School in California for three years. She also taught English as a second language and Bible to students in Taiwan and has participated in short-term mission trips to Latin America. McDonald earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Southwest State University, Marshall, Minn.

Dr. Gerry Nachtwey is serving as a one-year visiting assistant professor in English during Dr. Michael Kensak’s sabbatical. The recipient of a doctorate from Loyola University, Chicago, Nachtwey has been published in Essays in Medieval Studies. He also has presented papers at conferences such as the International Congress on Medieval Studies, the Modern Language Association and the International Congress of the New Chaucer Society.

 A new instructor in art, Phil Scorza has 20 years of experience as a professional graphic designer both in a corporate setting and as owner/operator of his own freelance design service. He served as creative director for Creative Resource Inc. in Orange City since 1988. Scorza earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Iowa State University.

Dr. Rod Spidahl joins the religion department as an assistant professor after serving as professor and missions department chair at Lutheran Brethren Seminary, Fergus Falls, Minn., since 1994. He has been a pastor in both the Lutheran and Presbyterian denominations and has worked in leadership training in Cameroon and AIDS relief in Kenya. He earned a doctorate from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a Master of Divinity degree from Lutheran Brethren Seminary.

A previously announced addition to the faculty is Dr. Ruth Dankanich Daumer, who is serving as nursing program developer. A member of the nursing faculty at Briar Cliff University for 20 years, she served as department chairperson since 2000.