With the 2010-2011 academic year underway, Goshen College welcomes 20 new employees to campus this fall.

Here’s a look at three new faculty members: Kent Palmer, informatics, Jan Emswiler, nursing and Tamera Izlar, theater.

Kent Palmer

Beginning this fall, students can be accepted into the informatics program – the first program at a Christian college in the midwest and the only informatics program available at a Mennonite institution. What is informatics, exactly?

“In informatics, students learn how to use computers to preserve and store information,” said Palmer. “Through the use of computers they will learn to process information and then communicate it effectively.”

The informatics major entails collaboration between the business and mathematics departments. Kent Palmer is the newly appointed faculty member to provide the necessary leadership and vision needed to maintain the new informatics program. He will also teach courses for current computer science and business information systems majors.

With 15 years experience in assisting businesses, governmental agencies and nonprofits in using computer technology, Palmer brings a multifaceted academic, work and volunteer background to the Goshen College community. Prior to his move to Goshen, he taught computer science at MacMurray College in Illinois and at Wingate University in North Carolina.

“I chose this college because I was excited about Goshen’s new program in informatics,” said Palmer. “And I feel that my interest in information technology used by mission agencies and other nonprofit organizations fits well within the GC community.”

Jan Emswiler

Emswiler joins the Goshen College nursing department as assistant professor of nursing, with a focus on psychiatric/mental health.

Emswiler served with Mennonite Central Committee in Tanzania for six years, working with a community-based health promotion program as the HIV/AIDS prevention and control unit coordinator. She then taught advanced nursing studies at the Aga Khan University–Tanzania Institute of Higher Education. For the past year, Emswiler was the executive director for the Valley AIDS Network in Harrisonburg, Va., while also teaching Swahili at James Madison University.

Emswiler looks forward to sharing her international experiences with students in addition to being involved in educating nurses within a program that emphasizes becoming a global citizen.

“I am excited about the opportunity to teach in an environment which not only challenges me academically and professionally, but spiritually as well,” said Emswiler.

Tamera Izlar

Tamera Izlar returned to Goshen because she sees the College as a calling on her faith journey. Right out of grad school, Izlar lived and worked as an actress with the Bridgework Theater in Goshen. Now she rejoins the Goshen College community as assistant professor of theater. In addition to teaching and directing, she will be working with Dr. Rebecca Hernandez and the CITL department. Prior to this position, Izlar resided in Maryland where she taught theater at Howard University.

Izlar is looking forward to the opportunity to work collaboratively with academic departments, clubs and student organizations on campus.

“As an educator, I am most excited to work with students at Goshen College who I have found to be disciplined, creative, inquisitive and eager to learn,” said Izlar. “Yet most importantly, I look forward to learning from the students I teach.” Look for her as director of this fall’s performance of The Gentler Place by Jeffery Carter.

Jan Emswiler will join the nursing department this fall.