Blog Academics, Faculty

Northwestern Welcomes Seven New Full-Time Faculty for Fall 2023

By Kelly Larson on Tuesday, August 8, 2023


University of Northwestern – St. Paul is pleased to announce new full-time faculty hires in departments across campus. These faculty members bring impressive experience from diverse backgrounds and strengthen the academic rigor of Northwestern. We look forward to welcoming them into new or expanded roles with the Northwestern community this fall.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Janet Sommers, celebrates these educators with enthusiasm, saying, “Our university is proud to welcome our new colleagues into the Northwestern community. The Office of Academic Affairs cultivates a rigorous learning community with teaching that is scripturally grounded, intellectually challenging, student-centered, culturally engaging, and distinctively Christian. These individuals reflect this commitment and will help Northwestern develop this generation’s leaders.”

Dr. Jason Draper, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Department Chair of Biology & Biochemistry
Dr. Draper has served Northwestern as an adjunct faculty member since fall 2014. His areas of expertise include organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry (emphasis on antibacterial and antifungal agents), NMR spectroscopy, natural products chemistry including isolation and structure determination, insect pheromones, and flavor and fragrance chemistry. He holds a BS from Bethel University and a PhD from Simon Fraser University (Canada).

Professor Rebecca Fox, Assistant Professor of English & Literature
Professor Fox comes to Northwestern after teaching creative writing courses at the University of Central Florida. Her writing investigates the overlapping of narrative, imagination, and theology, drawing upon fairy tales, mythology, and folklore for inspiration. She writes about memory and time and the narratives, small or large, that shape us, both as individuals and as communities. She holds a BA from Wheaton College and an MFA in Fiction from University of Central Florida.

Professor Iris Dodge, Assistant Professor of Theatre: Design and Technical Theatre
Professor Dodge has served UNW Theatre in part-time roles as an adjunct faculty member for the past ten years and as Technical Director for the past seven years. Her professional theatre experiences include work as an Actors’ Equity Association stage manager in New York City for Broadway and off-Broadway productions. She holds the MFA in Stage Management from the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University.

Dr. Matthew Hyre, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Hyre comes to Northwestern from a similar position at Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA). He brings a love for “Design Thinking,” which helps students deeply engage in learning through experiential, real-world immersive education. Prior to MMA, he taught at Northwestern for twelve years, following nine years in an endowed department chair position at the Virginia Military Institute. He holds a BS from United States Military Academy West Point, an MS from Villanova University, and a PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Santhiny Rajamohan, Assistant Dean of the School of Nursing and Chief Nurse Administrator
Following a national search, Dr. Santhiny Rajamohan has accepted an appointment as Assistant Dean of the School of Nursing and Chief Nurse Administrator beginning August 1, 2023. As a health professional, Dr. Rajamohan specializes in psychiatric, geriatric, and leadership in nursing. She is an accomplished author, whose published articles demonstrate her passion for mental health, resilience, and person-centered care. Dr. Rajamohan brings a long history of training, mentoring, and leading discussions regarding mental health and suicide prevention. She also holds multiple certifications as a coach, teacher, and speaker. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Roberts Wesleyan University (RWU), a master’s degree in Nursing from St. John Fisher University, a Post-Master’s Certification in Nursing Education from RWU, and a doctoral degree in Nursing from the University at Buffalo – The State University of New York.

Andrew Nippert, Assistant Professor of Finance
Professor Nippert is the co-founder of The Gathering Learning Studio, a new faith-infused hybrid micro-school in the St. Croix River Valley focusing on project-based learning for self-directed middle and high school students. Professor Nippert was a Managing Director at Deloitte & Touché LLP in their Banking and Capital Markets regulatory consulting practice for 21 years, helping institutions solve challenges around organizational design, data and technology risk, and financial process optimization. Recently, Professor Nippert was an adjunct professor at Concordia University – St. Paul teaching data ethics, analytics, and algorithmic risk. He earned undergraduate degrees in economics and finance from the University of Minnesota – Duluth and his MBA from the University of St. Thomas.

Dustin Van Hofwegen, Assistant Professor of Biology & Biochemistry
Dr. Van Hofwegen comes to UNW from a similar position at Azusa Pacific University. Prior to that appointment, he held a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health specializing in microbial genetics and host/pathogen responses. Current research in his laboratory focuses on understanding molecular mechanisms of gene regulation to provide insight into how life is organized, how organisms can respond to their environment, and how they can adapt. He holds a BS from Northwest Nazarene University and a PhD from University of Idaho.