NewsAcademics, Faculty

Four New Faculty Join University of Northwestern

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

University of Northwestern welcomes four new full-time faculty to the College of Arts & Humanities and the College of Behavioral & Natural Sciences. Among this new cohort of faculty members are three UNW alumni. 

Brianna Flavin ’11, Assistant Professor of English

A UNW alumna, Brianna earned her M.F.A. in Poetry at the University of Virginia and her B.A. in English at Northwestern. Her areas of specialty include poetry writing, contemporary poetry literature, writing and strategy, editing and proofreading, and local poets and literary organizations. She has been teaching courses in English writing and literature since 2014 and most recently wrote for colleges and universities in her role at Collegis Education.

Brianna has been awarded a Loft Mentor Series Fellowship in Poetry and has collaborated with both poets and prose writers in the Twin Cities. In her spare time, Brianna mentors incarcerated poets through the Minnesota Prison Writer’s Workshop.

Lisa Kepple, Assistant Professor in the School of Education

Lisa joins Northwestern as an assistant professor in the School of Education and serves as the K–12 Physical Education & Health Coordinator. Prior to coming to Northwestern, she taught in the Human Kinetics and Applied Health Science Department and Education Department at Bethel University where she was the Program Director for 5–12 Health Education and Community Health. Lisa earned her Ed.D. in Leadership: K–12 Administration and M.A. in Education K–12: Educational Leadership Concentration from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN.

Lisa has also taught Health, Physical Education, and Developmental Adapted Physical Education in the South Washington County School District where she coached swimming, basketball, and softball. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and relaxing at the cabin with her husband Dave and boy, Owen.

Eric Netterlund ’08, Assistant Professor of Communication

Another Northwestern alum, Eric earned his Ph.D. in Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder and his M.A. in Communication at the University of North Dakota. He earned his B.A. in Theatre at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul. He has seven years of experience teaching Communication Studies courses and has presented his research at the National Communication Association convention and the Western States Communication Association convention.

Prior to joining Northwestern, Eric served as a Star of the North Fellow at the State of Minnesota, providing communication expertise to several different web development projects. In his free time, he likes to spend his time with his wife, Larisa, and their two children, cooking, hiking, and reading.

Heather VanZee, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Criminal Justice

Heather comes to Northwestern with more than 11 years of experience in the courtroom. She has experience working on both sides of the law, having worked as both an Assistant County Attorney and an Assistant Public Defender. Heather handled all types of juvenile and adult criminal cases, and has worked closely with judges, attorneys, law enforcement, probation officers, and social workers. Heather earned her J.D. from Mitchell Hamline School of Law and her B.A. in Criminal Justice from UNW.

In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time with her husband Brian and daughter Kennedy, fishing, and coaching high school mock trial.