Six join Northwestern faculty

Among the six new full-time faculty at Northwestern College this fall are a former Naval Research Lab physicist, a religion professor with a unique blend of mission and pastoral experience, two nursing professors with decades of healthcare experience in a variety of settings, a software developer whose work has led to four patents, and an award-winning pianist.

Frank Bentrem is an assistant professor of physics. He has 10 years of experience as a research physicist at the Naval Research Laboratory, where he worked on algorithms for acoustical seafloor images. A frequent presenter atconferences of organizations such as the American Physical Society, Bentrem also was a visiting research professor of physics at Tulane University during a sabbatical. He earned a doctoral degree in scientific computing and a master’s degree in physics, both at the University of Southern Mississippi, and a bachelor’s degree in engineering and physics at Bob Jones University.

John Hubers joins the religion department as an instructor in missiology. A Ph.D. candidate in world Christianity and global mission at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, he served as a Reformed Church in America missionary for 13 years in the Middle East. Hubers also supervised the denomination’s mission programs in the Middle East and South Asia and pastored churches in three states. He holds a Master of Theology degree from the Lutheran School of Theology, a Master of Divinity from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern College.

Carol Kleyer, a new instructor in nursing, is completing a Master of Science in Nursing degree from Briar Cliff University. A registered nurse, she has worked with patients ranging from pediatric to geriatric, and her experience has included medical clinic, emergency room, coronary care, labor and delivery, post-partum, and medical-surgical. Kleyer coordinated nursing care in Orange City Area Health System’s long-term care facility for many years. A B.S.N. graduate of Morningside College, she has previous experience instructing certified nursing assistant courses, training nursing staff, and implementing volunteer programs.

Also new to the nursing department as an instructor is Diane Smith, a registered nurse who earned B.S.N. and M.S.N. degrees in nursing from Briar Cliff University. Formerly with Akron Mercy Medical Clinic and Mercy Medical Business and Urgent Care, she has experience in admissions, outpatient, surgery, labor and delivery, nursery, emergency room, intensive care unit, and skilled nursing departments. Smith also provided community health education for Woodbury County and in a family practice setting. She was previously an adjunct instructor at Northwestern, Briar Cliff and Western Iowa Tech Community College.                         

Tom Tiahrt is an instructor in computer science. He earned a master’s degree in computer science and a bachelor’s in accounting at the University of South Dakota, where he is in the process of completing his doctorate in computational science and statistics. Tiahrt was previously chief scientist for BrightPlanet Corporation, where he oversaw research and development of novel indexing, storage, search and retrieval software. His professional software development experience spans nearly three decades, with work in accounting systems, newspaper production, image databases, picture archiving communication systems, bioinformatics, and information retrieval software.    

Paul Whitley joins the music department as an instructor on a one-year appointment. He is pursuing a Doctor of Music degree from Northwestern University, where he has won piano competitions. He earned a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College in Illinois. He taught piano at both the Hinsdale Center for the Arts and Wheaton College, and received extensive experience as an accompanist. Whitley is serving as the sabbatical replacement for Dr. Juyeon Kang, who is spending the 2010-11 academic year studying piano and attending master classes in Europe.