Next fall, Covenant students will not only welcome a new president, but also eight new professors. There are three recently confirmed faculty additions to introduce as the hiring process continues.
Joining future computer science professor Dr. Jeff Humphries and theater’s Professor Deborah Kirby, who were introduced in The Bagpipe last month, are Dr. Sarah Donaldson in education, Dr. Hans Madueme in biblical studies and Dr. Nola Stephens in English. Candidates for the remaining engineering, film and English positions are still being interviewed.
College assessment determines the number of open positions. Each department decides if its class sizes are too large or if more classes are needed to meet the needs of students. According to Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Jeff Hall, the projected increase in number of students and a raise in tuition financially enables Covenant to hire new professors next year.
Hall predicted that the engineering and English professors will be hired by the end of April, but the search for a film professor will extend into the summer.
The English department welcomes Dr. Nola Stephens who is currently a visiting assistant professor of linguistics at Pennsylvania State University. She received her Ph.D. in linguistics from Stanford and enjoys thinking about language in new ways as she teaches Introduction to Linguistics.
Stephens said she grew up in “the Texas part of the Bible belt” and one of her treasured possessions is a waffle maker that makes Texas-shaped waffles. While looking for a job in linguistics and composition, Stephens discovered the position at Covenant. She is excited to move to the South and enter the Covenant community.
“Up to now, there’s been a clear separation between my Christian community and my academic community. I’m looking forward to relating to my students and colleagues, not just as fellow academics, but also as fellow believers,” said Stephens.
Dr. Hans Madueme, who works full-time as the managing director of the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding, will be joining Covenant’s biblical studies department. He is also an adjunct professor of theology and bioethics at Trinity International University Graduate School and a research scholar at the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity.
Born in Sweden, Madueme grew up in Nigeria, Austria, and England. He loves theology but originally planned to be a medical doctor.
“I completed a residency in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic. Right after my residency, I decided to change my career direction and pursue seminary studies. Needless to say my parents were devastated and my colleagues thought I was losing my mind,” said Madueme, who is thrilled to be teaching Doctrine I this fall.
“When you see me on campus and you think I’m looking a bit too serious, don’t be deceived. It’s likely I’m lost in some theological tangent or just sleep deprived, as my wife and I are expecting our first child this summer. And don’t take me too seriously! Please come up to me and introduce yourself,” said Madueme.
Dr. Sarah Donaldson, currently a visiting professor in Covenant’s mathematics department, will be teaching in the education department beginning this fall. Donaldson is a Covenant graduate and received her Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Georgia. Prior to beginning her Ph.D., she taught for 3 years at Riverside School in Prague, Czech Republic and spent one year at the Christian International School of Prague.
“The philosophy of Christian education that I learned while I was a student at Covenant has shaped so much of what I do as a teacher,” said Donaldson. “So it’s a real joy and honor to step into the role of professor where I hope the Lord will use me in the lives of future teachers.”
Though the hiring process is still ongoing, Hall is confident the latest additions to Covenant faculty are the best possible fits for their positions.
“I’m pleased that people who are so dedicated to our mission and are experts in their fields are so excited to be here,” said Hall.