Campus Welcomes New Deans and Faculty Members

New Faculty at NCUNorthwest Christian University starts the 2019-2020 academic year with five new faculty members joining the campus community along with a new lineup of departmental deans.

Academic Affairs has implemented a new leadership model with six academic deans (five of whom are new appointees) leading the University’s major academic departments and reporting directly to Dennis Lindsay, Dr. Theol., Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty. Under the new leadership model, the Deans share common administrative and oversight responsibilities for six academic areas: Arts & Sciences; Bible & World Christianity; Business; Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Nursing; and Teacher Education.

The Academic Deans and Departments are:

  • Connie Wilmarth, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences. Dr. Wilmarth is also Professor of Mathematics and has been at NCU since 2008.
  • Agam Iheanyi-Igwe, Ph.D., Assistant Dean of Bible & World Christianity. Dr. Iheanyi-Igwe is now in his third year as full-time Assistant Professor of Bible and World Christianity.
  • David Walsh, J.D., MILR, MBA, Dean of Business. Dean Walsh is new to NCU this fall, having recently served as Executive in Residence at the Columbia University Business School, New York.
  • Ryan Melton, Ph.D., Assistant Dean of Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Dr. Melton holds the rank of Associate Professor of Counseling and has served at NCU since 2016.
  • Linda Veltri, Ph.D. RN, Associate Dean of Nursing. Dr. Veltri, Associate Professor of Nursing, has led the efforts to build our nursing programs at NCU and is now in her fourth year at NCU.
  • Kathy Ditommaso Owen, M.S., Associate Dean of Teacher Education. Dean Owen is our ‘veteran’ departmental dean and has served full-time at NCU since 2016.

In addition to the new academic affairs leadership team, there are four other new faculty members this year:

  • Melisa Ortiz Berry, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of History and World Christianity. Dr. Berry’s Ph.D. in History of Christianity is from Claremont Graduate University. She has extensive background in history and theology and also holds an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary.
  • Ally Goertzen, M.A. Instructor of School Counseling. Ms. Goertzen is an alumna of NCU, earning both her B.A. (Psychology) and her M.A. (School Counseling) as a “Beacon”. She returns to her alma mater directly from the field, having served as a Professional School Counselor at Willamette High School.
  • Kaj Kayij-Wint, Ph.D. LMFT, Associate Professor of Counseling. Dr. Kayij-Wint, born in the Congo to missionary parents, earned her Ph.D. in Counseling from Oregon State University. She most recently taught in the graduate counseling program at St. Martin’s University.
  • A.J. Swoboda, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies and World Christianity. Dr. Swoboda earned his Ph.D. in Theology from University of Birmingham (UK) and comes to NCU from a successful church planting venture in inner-city Portland.

“I am deeply encouraged by the addition of these new faculty members and with the implementation of the new academic affairs structure,” Dr. Lindsay said. “These new colleagues join an already excellent NCU faculty who are dedicated to delivering academic excellence to our students that is grounded in wisdom, faith, and service. And the newly-appointed deans will help to ensure that this happens even more effectively.”