General Education Committee People
Dr. Contakes joined the faculty of Westmont in 2007, after completing his doctorate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, undergraduate degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering at Lehigh University, postdoctoral research in bioinorganic and biophysical chemistry at Caltech. At Westmont he teaches courses in inorganic, analytical, and physical chemistry as well as a senior seminar in science and religion and a liberal arts chemistry course for nonmajors. His research, published in more than a dozen scientific journals, involves the synthesis of molecular assemblies and light-driven electron transfer catalysts for water remediation applications. He and his wife have three sons.
Dr. Nazarenko joined Westmont College as Dean of Curriculum and Educational Effectiveness in 2010. She chairs the PRC and works with all academic and co-curriculum departments on issues pertaining to curriculum development, outcome-based learning, student-centered teaching, and assessment. She also serves on the Academic Senate, AS Review Committee, and the College's Strategic Planning Committee. She completed her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Culture at the University of Alberta, and her master's in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington. Her current research interests include assessing and promoting student success in various educational contexts.
Dr. Jana Mayfield Mullen joined the Westmont faculty in 2001 as an adjunct in the history and religious studies departments. She taught courses in European cultural history, world geography, North American religions, and HIS-010, World History, a Common Core GE course. Since 2013 she has served as a Westmont librarian, providing information literacy instruction, research guidance, and collection development for several academic departments. She is currently Co-Director of the Voskuyl Library with Diane Ziliotto. She received a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a PhD with a concentration in 19th-century American religious history from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Her master’s in library and information science was granted by the University of Kentucky in 2012.
Dr. Steve Hodson joined the Westmont faculty in 1996 as an associate professor of music. Dr. Hodson, a native of Portland, Oregon, holds a bachelor's degree in music education from Lewis and Clark College, a master's degree in music education from the University of Oregon, and a doctor of musical arts degree in the literature and performance of choral music from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He serves as Professor of Music at Westmont College, where his duties have included teaching piano, music survey, conducting, and church music, and directing the College Choir, the Chamber Singers, and New Sounds. Presently, Hodson leads the piano studies area at Westmont. Dr. Hodson is elected to a term ending in Spring 2023.
Michelle Hardley originally joined the Westmont staff in 2000 after receiving a B.S. degree in Psychology from Westmont College. After completing an M.S. degree in Counseling and Guidance in 2004 she assumed leadership of the Academic Advising and Disability Services office. In 2012 she joined the Student Records Office as the Registrar. She manages all aspects of the Student Records Office including the collection, storage, safeguarding, retrieval and distribution of the academic records. She is a member (and Secretary) for the Academic Senate, the Academic Senate Review Committee and the General Education Committee. She is also a member of the Enrollment Management Committee, and Admissions and Retention Committee. Her research interests include understanding the college transition process and the psychology behind coping with a disability.
Since 1987, Dr. Spencer has been teaching communication studies at Westmont, emphasizing rhetoric and media ethics. He has published numerous articles and poems, and five books, including two fantasy novels and two books in his field (Awakening the Quieter Virtues, related to media ethics, and Reframing the Soul: How Words Transform our Faith, related to rhetoric). His current book-in-process is a semi-autobiographical novel called Boomer Boy. Dr. Spencer received his undergraduate degree in Speech Communication from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and his Masters and Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Communication from the University of Oregon. Go Ducks!