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New Faculty, Staff Bring Energy (and Credentials) to New Year

New faculty and administrators in key roles were in place to start the academic year at Southwestern College, and administrators are delighted with the energy and credentials the new personnel add. Administrators:
Gina Kimble is the new director of campus life at Southwestern College. She began duties at the main Winfield campus July 8 and supervised the renovation of the new Office of Campus Life in the lower level of the Roy L. Smith Student Center. Kimble previously served as program advisor for the Union Program Council at Kansas State University where she completed a master's degree in college student personnel services.

Todd Moore has been named director of admission at Southwestern College and will oversee the college's recruitment efforts for traditional and graduate students. Moore has comes to SC from St. Mary's College in Leavenworth and also has led admission efforts at Avila College and Phillips University.

Charles Kater has been named the Southwestern College associate dean of professional studies and SC Online. Kater began duties in mid-August out of the college's east Wichita professional studies site. Kater holds a Ph.D. in industrial education with an emphasis in management and adult education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has extensive experience with Web-based teaching and learning and with the effective use of interactive video. In his position at Southwestern, Kater will oversee the academic integrity of the college's professional studies majors and SC Online.

Margaret Robinson has accepted the position of director of college services. She had served as the college's director of financial aid since 1988. " The vacancy created by Robinson's move has been filled by

Brenda Hicks, who had been the college's director of admission for six years.

Darrell Johnson has joined the Southwestern College staff as general manager for Sodexho dining services. He replaces former manager Craig Ernsting, who was transferred to Branson, Mo. Jones had been the food service manager for Great Western Dining Services for seven years before coming to SC.

New Faculty:
Richard Cowlishaw, visiting assistant professor of biology, will teach plant botany, microbiology, as well as language arts and sciences courses. He has been a graduate teaching fellow in marine biology at the University of Oregon, a graduate research fellow at South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, and a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala, where he was a conservation extension agent. Cowlishaw holds a Ph. D. in marine biology.

Tom Jacobs, professor of computer science and communications, brings 26 years of teaching experience in communication, multimedia, and computer science from Marycrest International University, Davenport, Iowa. Jacobs chairs the new academic division of computer science and communications at SC and will oversee the college's Center for Academic Technology, which helps integrate technology in student curriculum.

Michael Wood, visiting assistant professor of business and finance, holds a bachelor's degree in theological studies and an MBA in operations management and organizational behavior from the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa. He will teach management finance classes at both graduate and undergraduate levels.

Trinidy Williams, assistant professor of theatre design, will instruct SC's technical theatre students. She graduated from Indiana University with a master of fine arts degree in theatre, and holds a bachelor of arts degree in theatre. Williams taught courses on lighting design, theatre appreciation, scenic design, and stagecraft at Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, Ind.

Tod Megredy, instructor in journalism and mass communications, was formerly the managing editor and reporter for the Winfield Daily Courier before becoming a computer information specialist and adjunct faculty member at SC. He will oversee the journalism department as well as the Collegian newspaper and Moundbuilder yearbook. Megredy will be working closely with the mass communications department to update technology.

Lynne Snyder, visiting instructor in education, has a one-year appointment to teach elementary education. She holds a master of education degree in educational psychology and a school psychologist certification from Wichita State University. Snyder has extensive experience in child psychology and is currently a Cowley County Special Services Cooperative school psychologist.

Unplug That Laptop: SC Opens Academic Year Wireless

Southwestern's state-of-the-art technology took another step forward during the summer with the addition of wireless networking capabilities to all academic and common spaces on campus.

The wireless capability complements the college's commitment to laptop learning on the main campus: As of this fall, all but a few of the main campus's undergraduate students will be issued laptop computers. Only a few fifth-year seniors will not have the laptops.

The first in a multi-state region to make the laptops universally available on campus, the college also is the first wireless main campus in a multi-state region.

Bob Jewell '77 was instrumental in making the wireless campus a reality. Head of the board of trustees technology and facilities committee, Jewell was part of a team from his company (Network Services Inc.) that installed the wireless transmitters.

The crew installed 40 wireless connections throughout campus, making every academic and common area accessible to the laptops with wireless cards. The system works much like a cellular phone system: As a laptop moves out of one transmitter's coverage area, it moves into the coverage area for another transmitter.

Still, Jewell cautioned faculty attending a first-of-year meeting not to put excessive emphasis on the wireless tool.

"It's only a little bit of competitive advantage," he told the gathered professors. "The real value is in how you instructors use the technology to get students to learn.

"It's just another tool."

"Distinctive Excellence" Goal of New Computer Program

Tom Jacobs is clear in what he wants to do as he begins his new role as head of the computer science and communications division.

"We are going to create a program of distinctive excellence," he says, "one that will enhance what is already in place."

The new division was created this year with a redesign of the computer science major, and brought the computer science, mass communications, speech, English, and language faculty into a single division. As it evolves, computer science is expected to bring an art-based major back into the catalog in the form of a digital arts major.

Jacobs, who had been a faculty member at Marycrest International University for 26 years, was chosen to head the redesign and realignment of the existing and new majors. It's a role he's played before as technology and mass communications fields have changed over the years, designing a communications major for the college, then redesigning the program to create a multi-media major, and later, a graphic communications major. Southwestern, while offering a similar challenge in program building, has the advantage of already having program basics in place.

The result, Jacobs hopes, will be an enhanced computer science program that is both academically sound and attractive to the market. The secret will be integrating the communications element into the technology, he says. "We're not necessarily going for pointless gee-whiz effects," Jacobs says. "When it comes to digital arts we need to have solid graphic design principals, but we're focusing on content and communications." This is why Jacobs finds the future of computer science and communications at Southwestern so appealing. "I've built programs from scratch, and I know the pitfalls and pratfalls of doing that. Here the computer side of the program will be built almost from scratch, but the scratch that is here is communications-based," he says. "We can create a program that will be unique."