Faculty changes coming for next year

By Jac Rhine

Connie Updike, Ph.D.

Retirement, budget cuts and new job opportunities are leading to faculty and staff changes for the upcoming school year.

Connie Updike, chair of kinesiology and recreation management, and Gary Campbell, director of tech services, will be retiring at the end of the school year.

Updike has been a full-time faculty member for 25 years. Olympiad originated as a project in one of her recreation management classes.

“It is really awesome to see it continue through the years and how the students come together as a campus and participate,” Updike said.

With the redirection of the recreation management major for the fall semester, Updike plans to teach courses as an adjunct after retirement to help students adjust to this change. She said she will also participate in events she previously has not had time for.

Campbell has worked in tech services for 11 years and has served as an elder and small group leader at College Park Church.

He and his wife Judy are now looking to move and have already bought a new home. “We’re moving to Manitowac, Wis., because my granddaughters live there,” he said. “My wife’s heart has always been tugged that way [living near their grandchildren].”

Campbell will be involved with Medical Ministry International and is planning a trip to Myanmar with the organization.

Jonathan Bratt, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics, will not be returning for the fall semester due to the physics chair being cut from the science department. He said he believes that it is time to move on in search of new opportunities as he looks for new employment.

Other faculty will be leaving to explore new job opportunities. Matthew Wright, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics, has been accepted to a full-time research position at the University of Minnesota.

Wright said that he will miss interacting with students but that the opportunity to do research is the main motivation for the change in positions.

“Working at the University of Minnesota is a good opportunity where I will be able to complete research in the field of applied and computational topology,” he said.

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