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New Faculty 2014-2015

Megan Bestwick, McMinnville, Assistant Professor

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Education: B.S. in Chemistry, Southern Oregon University M.S. in Analytical Chemistry, University of Washington Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University of Utah

Scholarly Interest: I am interested in the regulation of mitochondrial transcription and the assembly of electron transport chain protein complexes within the organelle.

Interesting Fact: I enjoy traveling, and I once spent a week above the Arctic Circle in Alaska.

Malynda Bjerregaard, McMinnville, Visiting Assistant Professor
Theatre & Communication Arts

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Education: B.S. in Communication, Southern Utah University; M.A. in Professional Communication, Southern Utah University

Scholarly Interest: The majority of my time and research goes towards coaching and directing the forensic team on individual events and British Parliamentary debate. I am also involved in researching the effects social media has on nonverbal communication development and subtle emotion decoding.

Interesting Fact: I spent part of my childhood running barefoot in the remote Utah desert, in a little trailer with a big family. I somehow survived. I enjoy oil painting, coffee, and new experiences.

Bonnie Bolkan, McMinnville, Visiting Assistant Professor

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Education: B.S. in Biology, Willamette University; Ph.D. in Genetics, Cornell University

Scholarly Interest: I am interested in understanding the "normal" function of proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases. In particular I have been focusing on Tau and Beta-Secretase, using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism.

Interesting Fact: I love traveling and an adventure. Having grown up in Hawaii I decided I wanted to study abroad in northern Finland, in part, because it would be something different.

Tania Carrasquillo Hernandez, McMinnville, Assistant Professor
Modern Languages

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Education: B.A. in Music Performance, Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico; M.S. in Romance Languages, Southern Connecticut State University; Ph.D. in Spanish Hispanic Literatures, University of Iowa

Scholarly Interest: My research centers on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Latin American narratives, with a particular emphasis on Caribbean literatures and cultures. My current research is related to Puerto Rico’s literary production, particularly on the topics of class formation, national identity, discourses of transgression, and gender representations.

Interesting Fact: I love to watch international movies, travel abroad, and visit areas of historical interest.

Sarah Coste, McMinnville, Assistant Professor
Health & Human Performance

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Education: BA Linfield College 1990; MS Oregon Health and Science University, Behavioral Neuroscience 1993; PhD Oregon Health and Science University, Behavioral Neuroscience 1997

Scholarly Interest: Research that focuses on the cardiovascular, endocrine, immune and behavioral responses to stress and the impact that physical exercise has on the stress response. Teaching pedagogy and technology integration.

Interesting Fact: I was involved in a research project during graduate school wherein our rat subjects were flown on the NASA space shuttle Columbia (STS-80) for an 18 day life sciences mission. We examined the impact of dietary calcium supplementation on calcium metabolism and cardiovascular function in microgravity.

Malek Daaboul, McMinnville, Visiting Assistant Professor

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Education: BSEE, MSIE, MSEE, all from University of Toledo, Toledo Ohio.

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Leonard Finkelman, McMinnville, Assistant Professor

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Education: B.A., University of Virginia; Ph.D. in Philosophy, City University of New York Graduate Center

Scholarly Interest: Philosophy of biology with an emphasis on concepts in evolution and extinction.

Interesting Fact: My most prized possession is a signed copy of paleontologist Robert T. Bakker’s most recent children’s book. He sent it unprompted after he somehow got a hold of a syllabus I designed for a class named “Dinosaur Philosophy.”

Julie Fitzwater, Portland, Visiting Assistant Professor
Portland Nursing Department

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Education: B.A. in History, Pennsylvania State University; B.S. in Nursing, Linfield College; M.S.N., Oregon Health and Science University

Scholarly Interest: I am interested in issues facing the hospitalized elderly population after traumatic injuries. This includes non-pharmacological nursing interventions to prevent and treat sleep problems, pain, and delirium.

Interesting Fact: I am a backyard chicken enthusiast and love to make homemade soap!

Albert Kim, McMinnville,

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Education: A.B., Harvard University; M.M., D.M.A., Eastman School of Music

Scholarly Interest: Piano Performance, Collaborative Performance/Chamber Music, Theory, 20th Century Piano Literature

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Jennifer Ruh Linder, McMinnville, Professor

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Education: B.A. University of New Hampshire; M.A., Ph.D. University of Minnesota

Scholarly Interest: My specialty is developmental psychology and close relationships across the lifespan, including parent-child relationships, friendships, romantic relationships, aggression, and media effects. I am especially interested in topics related to children and adolescents. Some of my specific research interests include: observational research methods for studying relationships, aggression and conflict in friendships and romantic relationships, and the effects of media on child development (including television, videogames, and the internet).

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Megan Ludeña, Portland, Visiting Assistant Professor

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Education: B.S. in Nursing, Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing; M.S.N., Washington State University

Scholarly Interest: My research interest has been in increasing nursing workforce diversity through nursing education. I also am interested in the use of social media and nursing.

Interesting Fact: I am a Linfield alumnus (Dec 14), I have been a Maternal-Child nurse for almost 10 years now, and I have two daughters, 5 and 2 years old.

Priya Meyer, Portland, Visiting Assistant Professor
Portland Nursing Department

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Education: B.S. in Neuroscience, Washington State University; B.S. in Nursing, Johns Hopkins University; M.S.N., Johns Hopkins University

Scholarly Interest: My scholarly interest is in child abuse and neglect.

Interesting Fact: I've lived in eight different states.

Pamela Pearson, McMinnville, Assistant Professor

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Education: B.A. in French and Spanish, Central College; M.A. in TESOL/Applied Linguistics, Iowa State University; M.A.T. in Secondary Education, Drake University; Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics, Georgia State University

Scholarly Interest: As an educational linguist, I am interested in the intersection of language and education. My research centers primarily on the impacts medium of instruction and language policy on student learning -- both in K-12 (U.S.) and international contexts.

Interesting Fact: I’ve studied abroad or taught on almost every continent. Don’t hesitate to stop me on campus to talk about study abroad (where you’re going, where you’ve been); I would love to chat with you!

Andrea Reinkemeyer, McMinnville, Assistant Professor

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Education: B.M. in Composition, University of Oregon; M.M. in Composition, University of Michigan; D.M.A. in Composition, University of Michigan

Scholarly Interest: As a composer, I work in both the acoustic and electroacoustic realms. My music draws inspiration from other art forms, nature and science.

Interesting Fact: I'm a native Oregonian, but have also lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Bangkok, Thailand. In my spare time, I also enjoy photography, hiking, cooking, and gardening.

Evan Schick, McMinnville, Visiting Assistant Professor
Health & Human Performance

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Education: B.A. in Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara; M.S. in Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton; Ph.D. in Exercise Science, University of Toledo

Scholarly Interest: I’m interested in investigating hormonal and metabolic responses to exercise.

Interesting Fact: You would never know I’m a man by looking at my dogs.

Paul Smith, Portland, Assistant Professor
Portland Nursing Department

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Education: BSN, University of Phoenix; MN, Washington State University; Ph.D., University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Scholarly Interest: My research scholarship focuses on diversity, cultural competence, and health disparities seen in the LGBT community. I am passionate to learn more about how nurse educators can prepare future nurses and providers to adequately care for as well as meet the needs of the LGBT community.

Interesting Fact: Prior to choosing nursing as a career, I was a music education major and trumpet was my primary instrument. When I was younger I marched six summers with a Drum and Bugle Corps.

Brittany Teahan, McMinnville, Assistant Professor

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Education: B.S. in Economics, Fairfield University; M.S. in Economics, Iowa State University; Ph.D. in Economics, Purdue University

Scholarly Interest: I teach courses in labor, behavioral and experimental economics. My research uses both experimental and field data to investigate a variety of policy issues.

Interesting Fact: This summer I teamed up with 11 friends to run a 198 mile relay race from Madison, WI to Chicago, IL. Our team, “Just Purdue It”, finished in 27 hours, 0 minutes, 47 seconds.

Cecilia Toro, McMinnville, Visiting Assistant Professor

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Education: B.A. in Biology, Reed College; Ph.D. in Neuroscience, Brown University

Scholarly Interest: I am a neurobiologist, and my research has focused on understanding the modulation of neuron activity by signaling pathways between neurotransmitter receptors and presynaptic ion channels.

Interesting Fact: During the year before I attended graduate school I worked a few miles from Linfield at WillaKenzie Winery as a harvest laboratory intern. I learned all about the wine making process and spent unforgettable time enjoying the beautiful Willamette Valley countryside.

Beth West, McMinnville, Assistant Professor and Teaching and Online Learning Librarian

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Education: B.A. in English, Southeastern Louisiana University; M.A. in English, University of New Orleans; MLIS, Louisiana State University

Scholarly Interest: My primary scholarly interest is studying how academic libraries can better serve neurodiverse populations. I’m also interested in exploring how materials considered to be popular culture (specifically graphic novels/comics and popular music) fit into academic library collections.

Interesting Fact: Until moving to McMinnville, I had never lived outside the greater New Orleans area. I love it here, but I definitely plan on celebrating Mardi Gras (my favorite holiday) in some way when it rolls around next year. Who wants to join me?

Isaac Winkler, McMinnville, Visiting Assistant Professor

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Education: B.S. in Zoology, Brigham Young University; Ph.D. in Entomology, University of Maryland

Scholarly Interest: I am interested in the biodiversity and evolution of insects, especially true flies. The big question I am trying to answer is: why are there so many species? My research compares DNA sequences from different species to estimate evolutionary trees for species-rich groups. These evolutionary trees can be used to answer specific questions about the when, how, and why of evolution.

Interesting Fact: I have collected insects for research on six continents.

Patrick Wohlmut, McMinnville, Reference & Instructional Librarian, Visiting Assistant Professor

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Education: B.A. in English, Portland State University; MLS, Emporia State University

Scholarly Interest: Information Literacy Instruction, Information Behavior, Media Production, and Copyright.

Interesting Fact: I have been an actor and playwright in the Portland theater community for over twenty years. I also love to cook, am a neophyte gardener, and have recently taken up running.