Randy Jirak has been with Bethany since 2007 and is responsible for supervising all campus facilities operations including maintenance, housekeeping, grounds and security. He is a 1983 graduate of Kansas Technical Institute with and an associate’s degree in mechanical engineering technology.
Prior to coming to Bethany, he has held several positions including a design technician/procurement for Estes Engineering, maintenance technician for REMA Bakeware, maintenance supervisor for Grede Foundries, maintenance consultant for US Foundries and as a self-employed home remodeler.
He is a church council member and property committee chair for Elim Lutheran Church and an active member in the Marquette Lion’s Club.
Alisa Jones is a 1998 graduate of Kansas State University with a bachelors degree in economics. She has two children, Emily and Trevor.
Before joining the faculty at Bethany College, Professor Jorsch was an instructor at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa from 2010 to 2014 and prior to that served at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. He earned a Ph.D. in American social and intellectual history from Oklahoma State University; master’s degrees in history and library science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; and bachelor’s degrees in history and math from Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He is married to Bethany professor, Lisa Guinn.
Professor of Art Mary Kay has been at Bethany College since 1989. She teaches painting, drawing and printmaking.
Kay’s work has been shown in a variety of one-person and group exhibits, including Grand Arts Kansas City, Mo., the Salina Arts Center Salina, Kan., and the Mallin Gallery Kansas City Artists Coalition, Kan. She has also given numerous gallery talks and lectures.
Kay received her Master of Fine Art in painting from the Yale School of Art and her Master of Art in painting from Goldsmiths’ College at London University. She earned Bachelor of Arts Honors in fine art from Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, United Kingdom.
Sean Keasling is the director of Bands at Southeast of Saline. He is in his twelfth year of teaching and is in his second year at Southeast of Saline. At SES he is responsible for teaching High School Band, 7th and 8th grade band, 6th grade band, 5th grade band, and two sections of Music Appreciation.
Prior to teaching at Southeast of Saline Sean has taught at Pratt Skyline, Larned, and spent six years at Hoisington. Keasling earned an Associate of the Arts degree from Hutchinson Community College, a Bachelor’s of Music Education degree from Fort Hays State University, and a Master’s of Educational Technology degree from Boise State University.
Currently Sean is the middle level honor band chairman for the North Central KMEA district. In addition, Sean has given two clinics over various uses of music technology in the classroom at the KMEA music convention in Wichita.
Sean is in his first year as adjunct instructor of the Bethany Jazz Ensemble.
Dr. Kinnaird has nearly two decades as a scholar-practitioner in the field of criminal justice. He grew up in Salina, Kansas and began his career as a deputy with the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department in Hays, Kansas. During his police tenure, Kinnaird served as a jail officer and certified law enforcement officer holding assignments in patrol, investigations, field training, defensive tactics and tactical team operations. He was also a guest use of force instructor at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center. Dr. Kinnaird served the Hays community for ten years.
As an academic, Dr. Kinnaird is formerly tenured as a department chair/assistant professor of justice studies at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas and department chair/associate professor of criminal justice at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. Kinnaird is widely published in a variety of peer-reviewed outlets and has an active training and research agenda.
Dr. Kinnaird earned his B.A. in sociology (1997) and M.L.S. in justice studies (1999) from Fort Hays State University and his Ph.D. in human services/criminal justice (2004) from Capella University, Minnesota. His doctoral dissertation on police misconduct and risk management was published by the International Journal of Police Science and Management.
Shawn M. Knopp is the Director of Bands at Smoky Valley High School and Smoky Valley Middle School in Lindsborg, Kansas. He is in his fourteenth year of teaching and is currently in his eleventh year at Smoky Valley. His responsibilities at the high school include directing the Concert Band, select Jazz Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Clarinet Choir, Saxophone Quartet and teaching Music Theory. At the middle school level, he directs the Concert Band, Jazz Band, 5th Grade Band and 6th Grade Band.
Under Knopp’s direction, the Smoky Valley High School Band has traveled to Chicago, IL for performances at Northwestern University and the Field Museum, San Antonio, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee. The Smoky Valley High School Concert Band was selected to perform at the Kansas Music Educators Association In-Service Convention in 2009, 2013, and 2014. Most recently, the Smoky Valley High School Jazz Ensemble was selected to perform at 2015 Kansas Music Educators Association In-Service Convention. The Concert Band has also performed at Kansas State University with the K-State Concert Band as part of the “Side- by-Side” Concert Series.
Prior to teaching in Lindsborg, Shawn served as Director of Bands for U.S.D. #393, Solomon Public Schools from 2003-2005. Knopp earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Kansas State University in 2002 and completed his Master of Music degree, with an emphasis in Wind Band Conducting, from Kansas State University in 2009. In 2012, the Kansas Bandmasters Association recognized Shawn with the Outstanding Young Band Director Award.
Within the Lindsborg community, Shawn serves on the Board of Directors for the Lindsborg Arts Council and is director of the Lindsborg City Band. In addition, he teaches Clarinet and Saxophone at Central Christian College; Clarinet, Saxophone, and Woodwind Techniques at McPherson College; and Clarinet, Saxophone, and Woodwind Methods and Repertoire at Bethany College. Shawn is currently Vice-President of the South Central District of the Kansas Music Educators Association and also serves as High School Honor Band Co-Chair and previously served as the Middle School Honor Band Chairman. His professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, Kansas Music Educators Association, Kansas Bandmasters Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Holly Krech Thomas began teaching in the Psychology Department at Bethany College in 2012, after moving to Kansas from New York City, where she taught at Kingsborough Community College, CUNY.
She received her doctorate in cognitive science and linguistics from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2004. With interests in cognitive psychology ranging from perception and attention to language processing, Krech Thomas’ research includes experimental studies about reading transfer and speech perception as well as pedagogical work on using contemplative practice in the classroom.
When not on campus, she teaches in the Christian education program at Christ Cathedral in Salina, volunteers in the PTA at her children’s school, and delights in riding her bicycle around town.
Greg LeGault is an associate professor of theatre at Bethany College. A member of the Bethany College faculty since 2000, LeGault is artistic director of Bethany College Theatre and teaches courses in acting, oral interpretation, playwriting, theatre history, set design, and directing. He is currently serving as chair of the English, Theatre and Communications Department.
His plays have been performed in a number of venues, including Strawdog Theatre in Chicago and the Orlando Fringe Festival. His full-length play “Masterpiece” was produced in the Southern Illinois University Playwrights’ Workshop. A one-act version of the play received the Christian M. Moe Playwriting Award for Best Short Play. “In the Wake,” co-written with Michael Speller, was a play lab selection at the 2009 Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha.
LeGault has over 25 years of experience in acting, directing and set design. He earned his M.F.A. in Playwriting from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, an M.A. in Theatre History and Criticism from Ohio University, Athens, and a B.A. in Theatre Arts with a Performance Emphasis from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Linda Lewis, a professor of English at Bethany since 1987, is the author of a number of articles, as well as four books: The Promethean Politics of Milton, Blake, and Shelley (1992); Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Spiritual Progress (1998); Germaine de Stael, George Sand, and the Victorian Woman Artist (2004); and Dickens, His Parables, and His Reader (2011).
She has written numerous conference papers and has been invited to present her scholarship for the New York Browning Society and the Swedish Writers Union, and at the Oxford Round Table.
At Bethany, Lewis has received the Mortvedt Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership award, the Donna Meredith Humphreys Award for Teaching, and the Sears Teaching Excellence award.
Lewis received her Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, her M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and her B.A. from East Central State, Okla. She taught British literature, composition and linguistics and retired in 2014.
Loranelle Lockyear is a professor of chemistry at Bethany College. She has been a member of the Bethany College faculty since 2002.
At Bethany College, Lockyear teaches general chemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, and scientific research & writing. She is an advisor of the Bethany College Bio-Chem Club.
Lockyear’s research has been published in many scientific journals. In 2005, she contributed two chapters to the book Microfluidic Techniques: Reviews and Protocols. She co-holds an international patent for an “Apparatus and Method for Trapping Bead Based Reagents within Microfluidic Analysis Systems.”
Lockyear has given presentations of her work at Kansas State University, the American Chemical Society National Meeting, micro-TAS, Pittcon, and numerous other venues.
Previously, Lockyear has done post-doctoral research with Jed Harrison at the University of Alberta and taught at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo.
Lockyear earned her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.