It’s still the beginning of the school year, and as you look around campus it’s easy to tell who the freshmen are. They’re the ones wandering around the bell tower aimlessly, looking lost, forgetting that if they use the glass doors in Anderson Commons the alarm will go off, or staring at the washing machine for five solid minutes, hoping that if they wait long enough they’ll suddenly understand how to do laundry.
It’s just as easy to tell who the seniors are. They’re the ones stopping by the Career Center every day hoping to land a job in the next few months, calling the Dining Services workers by name, or staring at their Cobber ring for five solid minutes, hoping that if they wait long enough it will tell them what to do with their lives.
But what about the administrators, faculty and staff? They don’t get a beanie to let the rest of campus know they’re new, and they don’t get a Cobber ring to indicate tenure.
There are many new faculty members this year, as well as faculty who will be leaving Concordia, and although it may be hard to pick them out of a crowd, they are definitely worth taking the time to get to know. Here’s just a couple of the faculty freshmen class:
Name: Christopher Scott
Where you can find him on campus: Olin Arts and Communications Center, as an IOC 100 and advanced public speaking instructor, as well as assistant director of the Concordia forensics team.
Before Concordia: He earned his bachelor’s degree from Hastings College in Nebraska and his master’s degree from Kansas State University. He has also completed a year of doctorate coursework at Ohio State University.
Why Concordia?: Scott was initially drawn to Concordia because of the forensics team. He’s been passionate about forensics for many years, and the fact that the Concordia team is so successful was a big influence. More than that though, he said, was that as he completed the interview process he found the mission of Concordia was the same as his own goals as a coach and educator. In addition, he loved the size of Concordia, similar to his undergraduate college, and the fact that it gives him an opportunity to actually know the students and collaborate with faculty members in different departments. Finally, “I like that I see Dr. Krecji eating lunch in the Maize all of the time,” he said.
What he’s most looking forward to: “So many things!” he said. “[Like] learning exactly what hot dish is…”
What he’ll bring to campus: Scott said that he will bring a passion for teaching to the classroom, as well as a bit of humor and excitement too. “ I care about each student as a person and want all of them to succeed,” he said. “I hope to help my students learn skills that will help them succeed in whatever career they choose.”
Name: Tom Schlotterback
Where you can find him on campus: The Office of Campus Ministry, as director of vocation and church leadership.
Before Concordia: He earned his bachelor’s degree from Concordia College and a master of divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul.
Why Concordia?: Schlotterback said he was drawn to Concordia both as an undergraduate student as well as for this position by “the invitation and encouragement of trusted friends and mentors.”
What he’s most looking forward to: “New connections with people,” he said. He’s excited about connections not only to be made in the college community, but also beyond it.
What he’ll bring to campus: Schlotterback said he’ll bring purpose and playfulness to Concordia. This purpose, he said, comes from valuing the mission of Concordia as well as from being in a world that God loves so much.
Name: Julie Hagen
Where you can find her on campus: Hvidsten Hall of Music, where she teaches fundamentals of music for classroom teachers, methods of teaching vocal music, and directs Bel Canto women’s choir.
Before Concordia: She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music education from Ithaca College in New York, and is currently a doctoral candidate in music education and choral conducting from Michigan State University.
Why Concordia?: “I knew I wanted to be in a school where I would have the opportunity to spend most of my time interacting with students,” Hagen said. ”Also, as a musician, I have known of Concordia’s reputation for quite some time.”
What she’s most looking forward to: “Teaching again,” she said. She was a public school teacher for 11 years before going back to school to pursue a Ph. D. She said this is especially exciting for her because she gets to work with future educators, as well as “such high caliber faculty, staff, and students that comprise the Concordia campus.”
What she’ll bring to campus: Hagen believes that having taught music at elementary and secondary levels will allow her to bring experience and knowledge to the classroom. Also, she plans to bring humor, warmth and compassion. “I think these tools are equally important for current and future educators,” she said.
While Concordia is not able to publicly release a list of administrators, faculty, and staff who are leaving this year, here is one professor that you should get to know before he says goodbye:
Name: Bruce Houglum
Where you’ve seen him: Houglum has been a professor of music at Concordia since 1973 and director of the Concordia Orchestra since 1995. Each holiday season, he is heavily involved in the Concordia Christmas Concert by conducting many of the pieces.
Before Concordia: He graduated from Concordia in 1968 with a Bachelor of Music degree, and in 1971 earned his master’s degree in horn performance and conducting from Northwestern University in Illinois.
The first day: Houglum said that the biggest difference between now and then is the size of the trees, and that the college and the students themselves have really stayed the same. “What I do is something that people have done the same for hundreds of years,” he said. “What I do now is very similar to what I did then.”
Best memory: “It might sound kind of hokey, but I have some great memories every day,” Houglum said. He went on to say that he’s conducted in almost every major city in the world, but the greatest memories have been the students. He can’t recall many days that felt like work. “I feel really privileged to be able to work at a job where the paycheck is extra,” he said.
After Concordia: Houglum said he’s excited to spend a lot of time with his family, especially his granddaughters. He also hopes to travel to Chicago, where he used to live, to spend some time golfing, and even paint a bit in his spare time.
Advice for the new faculty: “To learn as much as they can from their colleagues. As fast as they can,” he added with a laugh.
P.S.: Houglum wanted to emphasize just how much he’s appreciated working with the students and spending time at Concordia. “I couldn’t think of a better place,” he said.
Kate Campbell, class of ’13, is the copy editor of The Concordian and is majoring in English education. She is from Sauk Rapids, Minn. At Concordia, Kate is involved in choir and band and works at the Writing Center. After graduation, Kate would like to teach English in a middle or high school.