Friends University welcomes new faculty to campus

Friends University is pleased to welcome the following new faculty to campus this fall:

Dr. Jena M. Cantwell
Dr. Jena M. Cantwell will begin serving as assistant professor of business but has served since 2014 as an adjunct instructor in business. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas, her Master of Arts in Human Resources Development and MBA from Webster University, and her Doctor of Education in Business in Organizational Leadership and Development from Argosy University. Dr. Cantwell’s dissertation focused on student soft skills and the need for these skills in the workplace. Dr. Cantwell has held roles in banking and education for the past 25 years, and her focus has been on customer service, banking, job satisfaction and training. Dr. Cantwell’s new role will be as a business generalist working with students at all levels of their education.

Dr. Jacob Alan Cook
Dr. Jacob Alan Cook will serve as visiting assistant professor of religion and Apprentice Institute Coordinator. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy from Friends University and his PhD in Christian Ethics from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, where he also served as the associate director of Fuller’s Just Peacemaking Initiative. His dissertation, Evangelicals and Identity Politics, passed with distinction, and he is currently revising it for publication with Fortress Academic/Lexington Books. Jake has written several chapters on peacemaking and Christian identity, three of which will appear in books later this year.
Dr. Arlen Jeffery
Dr. Arlen Jeffery will serve as assistant professor of chemistry. He graduated from Friends University with Bachelor of Science degrees in mathematics and chemistry, and he earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Iowa, researching the synthesis of antiviral compounds. In 2002, he was awarded a National Science Foundation-MRI grant to repair the NMR at McMurry University and received a Pacesetter Award for teaching and research. A high-energy teacher, Dr. Jeffery uses the scientific method in the lab and classroom to prepare undergraduate students for the future. In 2011 and 2015, he presented at regional American Chemical Society meetings on advanced techniques in chemical education using microwave energy instead of conventional heating methods. His work in chemical education extends into online homework platforms that provide instant feedback.

Darla Loggans
Darla Loggans will serve as visiting professor of education but has served since 2018 as a student teacher supervisor and an adjunct instructor of teaching reading. She received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Friends University, her Master of Education in Reading and Instruction from Wichita State University and her National Board Certification in Literacy in 2010. She serves on the Friends University Professional Education Board Advisory Council and has worked extensively on curriculum development for the Wichita Public Schools. Loggans has taught elementary education for the Wichita Public Schools for more than 30 years and has mentored numerous student teachers in her classroom throughout her career.

Teresa Molina
Teresa Molina will serve as assistant professor of Spanish. She is a veteran Heritage Spanish teacher, International Baccalaureate Spanish and Foreign Language department head with USD 259 and she taught Spanish and Foreign Language Methodology as an adjunct faculty for Friends University for years before joining the faculty full-time.  Teresa teaches the Interpretation/Translation classes for the newly designed Spanish major, Hispanic History and Culture as well as traditional Spanish courses. She is also the sponsor of the Hispanic American Leadership Organization. Teresa holds degrees from Friends University and Wichita State University.

Dr. Rebecca Reyes Adams
Dr. Rebecca Reyes Adams will serve as assistant professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at the Kansas City site. She graduated from Pepperdine University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and minor in French, from Abilene Christian University (ACU) with a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy and from Kansas State University with a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy. She served as an adjunct faculty member for the Online Master of Marriage and Family Therapy at ACU and as a behavioral health consultant in a primary care clinic in Kansas City. Her clinical, research and teaching specialties are focused in the advancement of integrated care, couples and families coping with chronic illness, and the impact of family functioning on health.

Ken Spurgeon
Ken Spurgeon will serve as assistant professor of history. He has served as an adjunct professor at Friends University since 2010. He received his Bachelor of Art and Master of Art degrees in History from Wichita State University, while also completing hours in Secondary Education Social Studies. He has taught at Central High School in Burden, Kan., and at Northfield School of the Liberal Arts and has been a director of instruction and education at Cowley College. His master’s thesis, “A Kansas Soldier at War,” later became a book published by the History Press in 2013. In 2004, he founded Lone Chimney Films Inc. and has written or co-written and directed three documentaries and a docudrama. Two of his films have earned the Western Heritage Award (Wrangler), and three have aired on PBS stations.

“I’m delighted with the strong group of new faculty who will be joining us at Friends University this fall,” said Dr. Ken Stoltzfus, academic dean. “They bring exemplary academic credentials, a great deal of professional experience in their respective fields, and, most importantly, a sincere commitment to furthering Friends University’s mission of equipping students to honor God and serve others by integrating their intellectual, spiritual and professional lives.”

Friends University, a Christian University of Quaker heritage, equips students to honor God and serve others by integrating their intellectual, spiritual and professional lives.