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 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. Rebekah received her doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Temple University.
Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology
Dr. Ronald Burwell
Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropologyrburwell@messiah.edu
Dr. Ron Burwell, Professor Emeritus of
Sociology and Anthropology, has taught at Messiah College since 1985.
During that time he has taught courses in sociology and anthropology
including Social Science Research Methods. Dr. Burwell holds graduate
degrees from New York University (M.A. and Ph.D.) as well as a M.Div.
from Trinity Seminary. 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
Dr. Ron Burwell, Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology, has taught at Messiah College since 1985. During that time he has taught courses in sociology and anthropology including Social Science Research Methods. Dr. Burwell holds graduate degrees from New York University (M.A. and Ph.D.) as well as a M.Div. from Trinity Seminary.
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.
Vice President of Enrollment Management
Mr. John Chopka
Vice President of Enrollment Managementjchopka@messiah.edu
John Chopka serves as Vice President for Enrollment Management at Messiah College. Prior to Messiah, he served at Malone College and The University of Akron. With a wealth of enrollment management experience at both private and public institutions, John brings expertise in higher education marketing, strategic planning, and student recruitment and financial aid. John recently served as Chair of the Commission of Senior Enrollment Officers for the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is active in the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) John completed his MA in Higher Education Administration from the University of Akron and is completing a PhD program in Educational Leadership at Alvernia University.
Director of Athletics, Assistant Professor of Sport Management
Mr. Jack Cole
Director of Athletics, Assistant Professor of Sport Managementjcole@messiah.edu
Jack Cole is the Director of Athletics at Messiah College. In this role he 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. Cole holds a bachelor’s degree from Malone College in history and physical education and Master’s degree in sports science from Ashland University. He is an active member of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, among other organizations.
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
Kris Hansen-Kieffer serves as an assistant professor of exercise science
and the Vice Provost/Dean of Students at Messiah College giving
leadership to the following areas, Athletics, Career Center, College
Ministries, Health and Counseling, Judicial Affairs, Multicultural and
International Student Programs, Student Involvement and Leadership
Programs and Study Abroad. 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). Kris received her doctorate in Higher Education
Administration from the 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
Dr. Jaimie Hoffman currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at CSU Channel Islands, CSU Northridge, and Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, 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. Jaimie received her Ed.D. in Leadership from the University of California Los Angeles and her research interests include assessment in higher education, access to higher education, and leadership development among college students.
Director of the Graduate Programs in Business and Leadership
Dr. Rob Pepper
Director of the Graduate Programs in Business and Leadershiprpepper@messiah.edu
Robert Pepper is the Director of Graduate
Programs in Business and Leadership at Messiah College. He has served in
numerous roles in Student Affairs including career development,
residence life, student activities, new student orientation and academic
advising. In addition, he has served as an assistant and head athletic
coach and has taught courses at the undergraduate level on leadership
and strategic management. His research interests include leadership
development, organizational development, retention, the first-year
experience, and student involvement. He is an active member of the
Association of Christians in Student Development (ACSD).
He enjoys working with individuals and groups on leadership development
and self-assessment, organizational and team development, and individual
and team motivation. Rob received his Ph.D. in Organizational
Leadership from 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. Kelly received his J.D. in Law from the University of Akron
School of Law, and his M.A. in History (Ethics) from Ashland
Assistant Professor of Sport Management
Dr. Alberto Poxes Jr
Assistant Professor of Sport Managementapoxes@messiah.edu
A graduate of University of South Dakota, Assistant Chair of the department of Health and Human Preformance and Professor of Health and Exercise Science.
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
Dottie Weigel is the Assistant Director for Student Engagement and Service-Learning at the University of South Carolina. Prior to her work with the Office of Student Engagement, Dottie 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. Dottie holds a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of South Carolina and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from King University and master’s degree in student development from Appalachian State University.
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
Cynthia A. Wells serves as Assistant
Professor of Higher Education/Fellow, The Ernest L. Boyer Center as well
as Program Director for the Master of Arts in Higher Education program
at Messiah College. She 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 seminar 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). Cynthia earned her Ph.D. in higher education from
The Ohio State University.
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 is Executive Director of the Center for Career Development at Gettysburg College, a position she has held since 2000. She 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. She completed her doctorate in higher education administration at The George Washington University, received her master’s degree from Western Michigan University, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Albion College in Michigan. 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.