Sioux City, Iowa – Morningside University President Dr. Albert Mosley and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Chris Spicer are pleased to announce a number of new faculty and staff hires for the 2023-2024 academic year.
Dr. Nicole BakerDr. Nicole Baker has been hired as an assistant professor of education in the Sharon Walker School of Education. Baker previously served as the university research methodologist and dissertation chair in the College of Doctoral Studies at the University of Phoenix online campus and as an academic coordinator and adjunct faculty member at Morningside. She has also served as a lecturer or faculty at the University of Phoenix Ground Campus and Online, Purdue University Northwest, and Moraine Valley Community College. Baker holds a bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University, a master’s degree from Concordia University, and a Doctor of Education from Olivet Nazarene.
Dr. Wade BloomquistDr. Wade Bloomquist is an assistant professor of mathematics. He previously served as a visiting professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Gold 21’ Fellow for the MAA Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching), and was an instructor at both Georgia Tech and the University of California Santa Barbara. Bloomquist holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Dr. Christopher BrandtDr. Christopher Brandt is a visiting director of instrumental activities and athletic bands in the School of Visual and Performing Arts. Brandt comes to Morningside from Graceland University where he served as the director of bands and assistant professor of music. He has also previously worked for Lamoni High School, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln Lutheran High School, Washington High School, Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation, Brainerd High School, and Crookston High School. Brandt holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Jamestown, a master’s degree from Sam Houston State University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Dr. Keren BrooksDr. Keren Brooks serves as an assistant professor of agronomy in the Regina Roth Applied Agricultural and Food Studies Department. Her previous teaching and mentoring experience includes time at both Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences and Kansas State University in the Department of Agronomy. Brooks holds a B.S. in agronomy from Kansas State University and a Ph.D. in crop and soil environmental science from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Shannon BurtonShannon Salyards Burton is a visiting assistant professor of music in the School of Visual and Performing Arts who has served as an adjunct professor at Morningside since 2008. She has also served as an instructor at Briar Cliff University, Western Iowa Tech Community College, Doane University, the University of Nebraska Omaha, and Hastings College. Salyards Burton has been an engaged as soprano soloist with organizations such as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, Boston Orpheus Ensemble, Masterworks Chorale and Metropolitan Chorale, Opera Omaha, Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra, Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, Missouri River Choral Society, and many more. She holds a Bachelor of Music from Saint Olaf College and a Master of Voice from Boston University.
Dr. Nicky DalbirDr. Nicky Dalbir has been named an assistant professor for criminal justice. She has teaching experience as an assistant professor in the Stonehill College Department of Criminology, was a graduate teaching fellow at the University of Nebraska Omaha School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and served as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Nebraska Omaha School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Osmania University in India, a Bachelor of Education from S.N.D.T. Women’s University in India, a master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Nebraska Omaha, and a Ph.D. in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Nebraska Omaha.
Dr. Vickie LarsenDr. Vickie Larsen is the inaugural Esther Mackintosh Humanities Scholar of the University. She previously served as an associate professor and assistant professor of English at the University of Michigan-Flint. Larsen holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Riverside, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa.
Courtney LeavertonCourtney Leaverton is an assistant professor of education in the Sharon Walker School of Education who previously worked as a teacher at Liberty Elementary. She holds bachelor’s degrees in special education instructional strategist (K-8) and elementary education (K-6) from Morningside University and a master’s degree in curriculum instruction and leadership from Wayne State College.
Dr. Rochelle MaynardDr. Rochelle Maynard is an assistant professor of education in the Sharon Walker School of Education. She previously served as a PK-8 principal, curriculum director, and instructor in the MVAO Community School District, an adjunct instructor for Morningside University, and an instructor in the OABCIG Community School District. Maynard holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a master’s degree from the University of South Dakota, and an Ed.D. from Ball State University.
Jay MoranJay Moran has been named department head and an assistant professor of business administration for the School of Business. Moran previously worked as an instructor of international business for IES Abroad and LaSalle-Roman Liull University; an instructor of business law for Saint Louis University; a corporate team associate for King & Spalding LLP; staff at The Chief Executive Leadership Institute; and as a consultant for Deloitte LLP. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from DePauw University, a JD and MBA from Emory University, and an MPA with a concentration in leadership from Harvard University.
Dr. Christopher SchwartzDr. Christopher Schwartz is a visiting professor of chemistry who previously served on faculty at Central Community College, as an assistant professor at McNeese State University, as a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota Morris, was an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska Omaha, an adjunct instructor at Metropolitan Community College, an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, and adjunct instructor at the College of Saint Mary. Schwartz holds bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biology from the University of Nebraska Omaha, completed graduate work at Colorado State University, and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Brendan TodtBrendan Todt has been named a visiting assistant professor of English after serving for three years as an adjunct faculty member at Morningside. Todt has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Western Iowa Tech Community College. He holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Knox College and earned an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Dr. Tyler WalkerDr. Tyler Walker has been named a visiting assistant professor of music in the School of Visual and Performing Arts. He previously served as an adjunct professor at Morningside, was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Kansas, was an assistant band teacher at Kearney Catholic High School and Middle School, and has offered private lessons. He holds a Bachelor of Music Performance (primary in saxophone, secondary in flute) and a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, as well as Master of Music in saxophone and a Doctor of Musical Arts in saxophone from the University of Kansas.
New and Returning Staff Hires
Staff also have a number of new and returning hires in their ranks, including:
- Brooke Daane, director of donor relations;
- Michele Hermann, accountant;
- Tim Jager, senior director of donor relations;
- Kindra Johnson, director of The Mside Store;
- Jessica Lumsden, administrative coordinator for the School of Business;
- Joshua Menzenberg, grounds manager for the physical plant;
- Morgan Nixon ‘23, admissions counselor;
- Rulin Pederson ‘15, head men’s wrestling coach; and
- Bailey Portwood ‘20, admissions counselor;
- Kristin Samuelson, administrative assistant for the Nylen School of Nursing;
- Kendell Saunders, administrative assistant for Project Connect in the Sharon Walker School of Education;
- Chris Silva, assistant football coach;
- Katyln Tranmer, housekeeper for the physical plant;
- Susan Trisler, placement coordinator in the Sharon Walker School of Education;
- Faith Troshynski, assistant women’s basketball coach.