Messiah College Graduate Program in Higher Education Faculty
All of the courses, whether online or in the classroom, are taught by experienced educators or professionals in the field of higher education. Messiah’s faculty will encourage and mentor you to consider your own faith, the faith of others, and the relationship between theory and practice. We invite you to read more below about the talented faculty members in our graduate program in higher education.
Meet our Faculty
Assistant Professor of Higher Education/Director, The Ernest L. Boyer Center/ Program Director, M.A. in Higher Education
Dr. Cynthia A. Wells
Assistant Professor of Higher Education/Director, The Ernest L. Boyer Center/ Program Director, M.A. in Higher Educationcwells@messiah.edu
Dr. Cynthia A. Wells has provided leadership to FIPSE-funded research on Academic Affairs – Student Affairs Partnership programs. Prior to her current role, Cynthia served as Vice Provost/Dean of Students at Messiah College and in various Student Affairs capacities at Wright State University. Cynthia teaches graduate coursework in higher education as well as undergraduate coursework in the college’s interdisciplinary studies program. Cynthia has published and presented on general education, academic and student affairs partnership programs, racial reconciliation, and college student faith formation. She currently serves as a scholar for the NetVUE (Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education) Scholarly Resources project of the Council for Independent Colleges. She is active in the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) and the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU).
Bachelors in Religious Studies, and Psychology, Occidental College
Master of Science, Wrightsdale University
Ph.D. in Higher Education, The Ohio State University
Assistant Program Director and Adjunct Professor, Master of Arts in Higher Education
Dr. Rebekah Basinger
Assistant Program Director and Adjunct Professor, Master of Arts in Higher Educationbasinger@messiah.edu
Rebekah Burch Basinger is an independent consultant in the areas of board development and fundraising and also a Governance Mentor with In Trust, an organization that focuses on leadership development in Christian higher education. Rebekah has been a member of the development teams of three church-related colleges, including as vice president for advancement at Houghton (NY) College. In addition, she coordinated a three-year Lilly Endowment-funded project for the Coalition of Christian Colleges and served as director of the Foundation of Independent Colleges of Pennsylvania. Rebekah is the co-author of Growing Givers’ Hearts: Treating Fundraising as Ministry (Jossey-Bass, 2001), a theme she continues to explore in numerous articles, book chapters, speaking engagements, and her blog, Generous Matters.
Bachelor of Arts in English, Trinity College
Master of Arts in English, Wichita State University
Ph.D. in Education Leadership and Policy Studies, Temple University
Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology
Dr. Ronald Burwell
Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropologyrburwell@messiah.edu
Dr. Ron Burwell has taught at Messiah College since 1985. During that time he has taught courses in sociology and anthropology including Social Science Research Methods. In addition to his teaching, Dr. Burwell has served in several administrative roles including Assistant Dean and Director of Academic Assessment. His Academic Assessment role included responsibility for program evaluation of academic programs at the college. Professor Burwell has also conducted research funded by a number of organizations including the U.S. Department of Education (FIPSE grants), Lilly Foundation, the Consortium of Christian Colleges and Universities, World Relief Corporation, and the Brethren in Christ Church.
Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, Wheaton College
Master of Arts in Anthropology, New York University
Master of Divinity, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Foundation of Education, New York University
Director of Athletics, Assistant Professor of Sport Management
Mr. Jack Cole
Director of Athletics, Assistant Professor of Sport Managementjcole@messiah.edu
Jack Cole leads the nationally recognized intercollegiate program at Messiah College including the Falcon Athletic Network and the Messiah Athletics Hall of Honor. Prior to his current role, Cole has served as the head golf coach, men’s basketball head and assistant coach, the Health and Human Performance Department Chair, and a faculty member since first arriving to Messiah as an instructor in 1985. During his tenure as Department Chair, he conceptualized and developed the school’s Sports Management major and grew the Health and Human Performance Department to the institution’s third-largest academic department. He is an active member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), among other organizations.
Bachelor of Arts in History, Teacher Certification and Physical Education, Malone College
Master of Education in Sports Science, Ashland University
Vice Provost/Dean of Students and Assistant Professor of Exercise Physiology
Dr. Kris Hansen-Kieffer
Vice Provost/Dean of Students and Assistant Professor of Exercise Physiologykhansen@messiah.edu
In her current role, Kris Hansen-Kieffer gives leadership to the following areas, Athletics, Career and professional Development Center, College Ministries, Health and Counseling, Student Conduct, Student Involvement and Leadership Programs, Residence Life, and the Intercultural office.. Kris has been a frequent presenter and consultant on assessment and how assessment informs and improves Student Affairs work. She is active in the Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD) and the American College Personnel Association (ACPA).
Bachelor of Science in Fitness and Leisure Management, University of Nebraska
Master of Science in Physical Education with a specialization in Exercise Science, South Dakota State University
Ed.D. in Adult and Higher Education Administration, University of South Dakota
Adjunct Professor at CSU Channel Islands, CSU Northridge, and Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
Dr. Jaimie L. Hoffman
Adjunct Professor at CSU Channel Islands, CSU Northridge, and Rocky Mountain College of Art and Designhoffman@messiah.edu
In her current role, Dr. Jaimie Hoffman spends her time teaching face-to-face and online courses in assessment, communication diversity, and leadership to undergraduate and graduate students. Additionally, Jaimie works as a part-time Strategic Development Analyst for the Vice President for Students Affairs office at CSU Channel Islands where she assists with division-wide assessment and training initiatives. Jaimie has had the opportunity to assist with creating both curricular and co-curricular programs including a multi-phase, outcomes-based leadership certificate program and an online doctoral program. During her time as a student affairs professional, Jaimie has worked in many Student Affairs functional areas including orientation, new student programs, leadership programs, residential education, judicial affairs, campus recreation, and career services. Her research interests include assessment in higher education, access to higher education, and leadership development among college students.
Bachelor of Arts in Music, California Lutheran University, Cum Laude
Master of Education in Higher and Postsecondary, Arizona State University
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, University of California Los Angeles
Director of the Graduate Programs in Business and Leadership
Dr. Rob Pepper
Director of the Graduate Programs in Business and Leadershiprpepper@messiah.edu
Rob Pepper is the Director of Graduate Programs in Business and Leadership and Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies. Prior to this, Rob has served in numerous roles in Student Affairs including career development, residence life, student activities, new student orientation and academic advising. He also has experience in admissions and marketing and as an assistant and head athletic coach. His research interests include leadership development, organizational development, retention, the first-year experience, and student involvement. H enjoys working with individuals and groups on leadership development and self-assessment, organizational and team development, and individual and team motivation.
Bachelor of Arts in History: Social Studies Education/Certification, Messiah College
Master of Science in Counseling: College Student Development, Shippensburg University
Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership, Regent University
Adjunct Professor of Business Law
Mr. Kelly Phipps J.D.
Adjunct Professor of Business Lawdkphipps@messiah.edu
Kelly Phipps is the Advisor to the Vice President of Institutional Advancement, and Counsel and Special Assistant to the Board of Trustees at Messiah College. Kelly also teaches Business Law and Communications courses, and advises Pre-Law students. Prior to his current role, he served as Director of Development and Government Relations at Messiah. In addition, he is an independent consultant to educational clients regarding issues in economic development, community planning, strategic and master planning, project management, and development/fund-raising issues.
Bachelor of Arts in Religion, Kentucky Christian University
Bachelor of Arts in Business Management, Malone College
Master of Arts in History (Ethics), Ashland University/Seminary
J.D. in Law, University of Akron School of Law
Assistant Professor of Sport Management
Dr. Alberto Poxes Jr
Assistant Professor of Sport Managementapoxes@messiah.edu
Alberto Poxes is the Assistant Chair of the department of Health and Human Performance and Professor of Health and Exercise Science at Messiah College. Prior to his position at Messiah, Alberto has had much experience in teaching undergraduate student courses in Sports Management Programs, as well as coaching a variety of College Athletic teams. Alberto also spent some time in the role of Department Chair of Sports Administration at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi.
Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies with a minor in Education, African Bible College
Master of Arts in Sports Administration, University of Southern Mississippi
Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration with specialization in Sports Administration, University of Southern Mississippi
Assistant Director for Student Engagement and Service-Learning, University of South Carolina
Dr. Dottie Weigel
Assistant Director for Student Engagement and Service-Learning, University of South Carolinadweigel@messiah.edu
Prior to her work with the Office of Student Engagement, Dottie Weigel served on the publications team at the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. Currently, she is the Bottom Line editor with About Campus. She has presented at several national conferences and published on topics such as student development theory and transition in the first year of college.
Bachelors in English, King University
Masters in Student Development, Appalachian State University
Ph.D. in Higher Education, University of South Carolina
Adjunct Instructor in Interdisciplinary Studies and Higher Education
Dr. Ru Wideman
Adjunct Instructor in Interdisciplinary Studies and Higher Educationrwideman@granthamchurch.org
Dr. Ru Wideman has been an academic administrator, educator, and coach for many years in Canada and the United States. An alumnus of Messiah College (’84) and the women’s volleyball program, Dr. Wideman has sevrved as a varsity coach in high school (Canada) and in College at the NCAA Division III level. Dr. Wideman has been a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), the NCAA Division III Southeast Region Volleyball Selection Committee, the Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), American Academy of Religion (AAR), North American Professors of Christian Education (NAPCE/SPCE), and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF). Dr. Wideman welcomes opportunities for merging personal faith with pragmatic application.
Bachelor of Arts, Messiah College
Bachelor of Education, University of Toronto
Master of Theological Studies, Ontario Theological Seminary (now Tyndale)
Executive Director of the Center for Career Development at Gettysburg College
Dr. Kathy Williams
Executive Director of the Center for Career Development at Gettysburg Collegeklwilliams@messiah.edu
Kathy Williams, prior to starting her current position in 2000, has worked in a variety of student affairs positions, primarily in liberal arts settings in her 30+ years in higher education, including residence life, student activities, academic advising, and continuing education. Outside of higher education, she has provided outplacement consulting services to such corporations as Kodak, Corning, Kraft General Foods, Bausch and Lomb and others. Professionally, Kathy has special interests in how personal and professional values impact and inform one’s work, how young adults find their voice in the career development process, and how active learning experiences in the college years shape future decision making and career planning.
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Albion College
Master of Arts in Counseling/College Student Personnel, Western Michigan University
Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, The George Washington University