Carl Isaacson, professor of communication, has been at Bethany College since 2004.
Isaacson teaches classes in public speaking, rhetoric, mass communication, argumentation and human communication. His fields of interest include Swedish Americana. He has served as educator/curator of the Swedish American Museum Center in Chicago, and his research has been published in the Chronicle of Higher Education and American Communication Journal.
For the 2006 Messiah Festival of the Arts, Isaacson translated, adapted and directed a student production of “Barabbas” based on Pär Lagerkvist’s 1950 novel of the same title.
Isaacson received his Ph.D. in theatre from the University of Minnesota, Minn. He also holds a M.Div. with a major in Parish Ministry from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, S.C.
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.
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.
Brian Kinnaird comes to Bethany College with nearly two decades as a scholar-practitioner in the field of criminal justice. He grew up in Salina, Kan., and began his career as a deputy sheriff with the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department in Hays, Kan. During his 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.
After seven years of full-time service, Kinnaird jumped into the academic arena where he has served since. He is formerly tenured as a department chair/assistant professor of justice studies at Fort Hays (Kan.) State University and program coordinator/associate professor of criminal justice at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Tex. Kinnaird is widely published in a variety of peer-reviewed outlets and has an active training and research agenda.
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 (Min.). His doctoral dissertation on police misconduct and risk management was published by the International Journal of Police Science and Management.
Gail Konzem has been a professor of education at Bethany College since 2006, and now serves as Chair of the education department.
Konzem earned his master’s in educational administration from Kansas State University and his bachelor’s in education from Marymount College, with majors in music education, K-12, and elementary education, K-6.
He joined the Bethany Faculty after serving the Salina Public Schools as a teacher, elementary principal, and middle level principal.
In 1980, Konzem was named an Outstanding Young Educator, has been actively involved in educational initiatives, and has served on a variety of community organizations connected to the arts and humanities, as well as serving as member of the Board of Directors and various offices in Child and Parent Services, an active children’s advocacy group in Salina. He is past president of the Board of Trustees of the Salina Education Foundation, and continues to be actively involved in that organization.
He and his wife are active members of the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Salina, and serve as musicians and on a variety of committees and commissions. In 2007, they represented Kansas Ambassadors of Music during their European Tour.
Konzem is a former member of many education organizations during his years as a public school education and as associate professor of education at Bethany.
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.
Larsen, Fallbrook, Calif., is a 2010 graduate of Bethany College. He received his bachelor of arts degree in business management, operations management and finance before being drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 34th round of the Major League Baseball draft. Prior to transferring to Bethany Larsen played for Lee University where he played for the NAIA Baseball National Championship.
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.
Edward F. Leonard III, Ph.D. began as Bethany’s 13th president on August 1, 2007. He came to Bethany from Wilmington College in Ohio, where he served as vice president of college advancement for nine years. Prior to that Leonard served William Jewell College and Georgia College in the areas of admissions, alumni, and development.
Over Leonard’s tenure, Bethany College has seen success in the following areas:
- Developing a bold and audacious vision and strategic directions – As One Bethany we will soar bigger, better, and stronger, guiding student success and with them co-creating the best total experience by living Bethany Pathway while qualitatively renewing each component of the Bethany experience and by focusing our resources to deliver results or to add value
- Reaffirming the college’s guiding principles through clarity in identify and mission, core values, and promise to students
- Imagineering the Bethany College of the 21st century through four missional directions of discovery, reflection, & vocation; servant leadership; global citizenship; and sustainable living, which resulted in a new interdisciplinary general education curriculum (Bethany Pathway), a new first-year experience program (Bethany Quest), and strategic partnerships with MindFire Academy (Wichita, Kansas), Harlaxton College (Grantham, England), Karlstad University (Karlstad, Sweden), and Linnaeus University (Växjö, Sweden)
- Growing enrollment 14% from 537 to 626
- Increasing freshmen-to-sophomore retention from 53% to 64%
- Raising almost $3.9 million (exceeding the goal of $3.5 million) toward the construction of the Bud Pearson Swedish Chapel and Mabee Welcome Center, the first fully-fundraised building in over 30 years
- Launching the largest fundraising campaign in the college’s history at a $25 million stretch goal and a $20 million base goal
- Enhancing the campus’ facilities and technology 79% from a net $6.3 million to a net $11.3 million
- Receiving reaffirmation of accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the National Schools of Music and initial accreditation and reaffirmation of accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation for Athletic Training Education
A champion of engagement, Leonard’s service to higher education and the community over the last six years include:
- Chair of Council of College & University Presidents of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- Chair of Kansas Independent College Association
- Board of Directors member of Kansas Independent College Finance Authority
- Board of Directors member of Lutheran Educational Conference of North America
- Vice Chair of International Chess Institute of the Midwest
- Board of Directors Executive Committee member of Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery Foundation
- Board of Directors member of Swedish Council of America
- Board of Directors member of North American Interfraternity Conference
- Member of City of Lindsborg’s Sister City Committee
- WEBELOS Den Leader of Lindsborg’s Cub Scout Pack 120
- Volunteer Coach of Lindsborg Wavemakers Swim Team
- Former Chair of Associated Colleges of Central Kansas
- Former Chair of Lambda Chi Alpha International Fraternity
- Former Vice Chair of Kansas Independent College Finance Authority
- Former Bear Den Leader of Lindsborg’s Cub Scout Pack 120
- Former Wolf Den Leader of Lindsborg’s Cub Scout Pack 120
Leonard has been recognized by the Independent College Advancement Association with the Ernest E. Sheetz Mentor Award, is a recipient of William Jewell College’s Citation for Achievement, and an inductee in the William Jewell College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Leonard holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from William Jewell College, a Master of Business Administration from St. Louis University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in educational administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Most importantly, Leonard and his wife, Sheila, have two sons, Quade and Thomas.
You can learn more about President Leonard by reading his e-portfolio at http://edleonard.foliotek.me/.
You can learn more about President Leonard by reading his e-portfolio at http://edleonard.foliotek.me/.
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.