Faculty & Staff Members Say Farewell

Here are some parting words from faculty and staff who’ll leave Wheaton this May.

By Record Staff
May 6, 2021
Wheaton College Blanchard Lawn. Photo: Lauren Faber.

The end of this school year marks significant turnover among Wheaton faculty and staff. The Record got in touch with several departing faculty and staff members, who shared parting advice and future plans. 

Richard Butman, Professor of Psychology


Time at Wheaton: 41 years as a full-time professor of psychology (since 1980) and four years as an undergraduate student (1969-1973).


Favorite Class: My favorite classes were psychopathology (abnormal psychology) and the psychology of religion. I got to teach at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. 


Wheaton Memory: I had the privilege to work with 4,500+ students over the years. I will treasure those conversations and connections throughout the remainder of my life.


Future plans: I plan to continue my research on successful aging in ministry and the helping professions. My wife and I plan to spend a lot of time with our adult children, their spouses and our three grandchildren. We hope to travel internationally, especially in the UK and Ireland. We love outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking and gardening. Adjunct teaching at Wheaton is a possible option.


What’s something you’d like to say to Wheaton students?

Life is short and precious. Create memories and have no regrets. Your friendships are crucial for the maintenance of your well-being.

Peter Walters, Professor of Applied Health Science


Time at Wheaton: 25 years


Favorite Class: Wellness


Wheaton Memory: The memories I hold most dear are faculty, staff and students who I have met and have grown to love.


Future Plans: Spending more time with my girlfriend (wife of 37 years), remodeling homes and being “led by God’s Spirit.”


What’s something you’d like to say to Wheaton students? 

All of us are broken — no matter our title, degrees or GPA. And Jesus is the only one who can heal.


Photo provided by Peter Walters.

Jill Lederhouse, Professor of Education


Time at Wheaton: I have been teaching at Wheaton for a total of 42 years, 11 part-time and 31 full time. I began my Wheaton career when I was still teaching in Chicago Public Schools.


Favorite class: Although I have loved teaching all my courses, my favorite has been Elementary and Middle School Math Methods.


Wheaton Memory: I have really enjoyed Elementary and Middle School Math Methods because several students always enter the class anxious about teaching this subject, even though they may have done well in the subject themselves. I have taught it in a research-based, workshop format that uses methods generally unlike the ones my students experienced as K-12 learners. It has been so rewarding to see their confidence grow over the course and hear after student teaching that they actually enjoyed instructing math the most during their experience. Since the research indicates that teachers with math anxiety tend to transfer this same anxiety to their students, it is important to help preservice teachers overcome their apprehension about instructing this subject. I have loved being a small part of this growth process.


Future plans: I will take some time to decide specifically what I will do, but I know it will include helping with grandchildren (number six is due this week), some writing and possibly supervising student teachers in the future, if needed. My husband and I plan to stay in the area and enjoy events at the college.  


What’s something you’d like to say to Wheaton students?

Thank you for sharing your wonderful insights, your heart and your passion for Christ with me. I am a changed person because of you. Treasure your experience here at Wheaton — spiritually, academically and relationally — because all these areas will have a lifelong impact.

Photo provided by Rodney Scott.

Rodney Scott, Associate Professor of Biology Emeritus


Time at Wheaton: This year completes my 32nd year at Wheaton.


Favorite class: My two favorite courses are Genetics and Biology 252 (aka “Introduction to Research,” not the official name, but that’s the best description)


Wheaton Memory: One of my most memorable teaching moments took place during one of the first semesters of the Intro to Research course. It was early in the semester and I’d spent the first several class sessions trying to get my students excited about the model organism we would be using in our research that semester. When I walked into class that day, I was shocked and delighted to see that each student was wearing an identical t-shirt that featured that model organism!


Future plans: My wife and I will be moving to the Carolinas (near Spartanburg, SC where our daughter lives) this summer. While I’ll spend some time continuing to work with collaborators on some ongoing research projects, I mostly look forward to living life at a more leisurely pace. That will certainly include more time for relationships, more hikes in beautiful places, more bird watching and more kayaking. I imagine I’ll also end up volunteering with one or more local organizations, but I won’t be sure about that till we figure out exactly where we’ll be living.


What’s something you’d like to say to Wheaton students? 

After many years of witnessing the awesome accomplishments that occur at this 

institution along with the often equally awesome frustrations we experience, here’s what I’d like to say to my fellow Wheaties. Keep working towards being the best and brightest person you can be, but humbly acknowledge that you are limited. I think giving due attention to both parts of this equation can help us all to be better equipped to do all “for Christ and His kingdom.”

Photo provided by Noah Toly

Noah Toly, Professor of Urban Studies and Politics & International Relations


Time at Wheaton: I joined the faculty at Wheaton in 2006. But it sometimes feels like I’ve been around longer because I was a student here from 1995-1999, and when I returned, many of my former professors were my new colleagues.


Wheaton memory: There is no way I could choose between my favorite memories at Wheaton. Excellent students and gracious community partners feature in lots of my favorite memories. But the memories that will most stick with me involve Wheaton colleagues who have taught me the meaning of friendship. There are no words adequate to express my gratitude for all we’ve shared together and all I’ve learned from them.


Future plans: I’ll be serving Calvin University as its next provost.


What’s something you’d like to say to Wheaton students? 

Never stop expecting your Wheaton education to change your life.

Paul Egeland, Associate Professor of Education


Time at Wheaton: 26 years (plus four as a student back in the 1970s)


Favorite Class: Educ 125, School and Society (4-hour credit foundation courses for those interested in Education)


Future Plans: First, a three to four month sabbatical for rest, discernment and refreshment, which will include a trip to visit grandchildren and a backpacking trip; second, depends on God’s leading through the sabbatical.


What’s something you’d like to say to Wheaton students?

In spite of all the uncertainty, change and unrest, we serve a God who never changes and is unfailing in love! Hold tightly to our Savior and Lord.


Photo provided by Paul Egeland.
Photo provided by Annette Tomal.

Annette Tomal, Professor of Business


Time at Wheaton: Since 1995 as an Economics and Statistics professor.  I later got my CPA and eventually became the Accounting professor.


Wheaton memory: My favorite memories are with students on trips abroad – HNGR and the ISI/FPE summer trips, as well as Spring Breakaway trips.


Future Plans: As I used to say to my Statistics students, “only God knows!”  I look forward to God’s plans for my next stage in life (Jeremiah 29:11).


What’s something you’d like to say to Wheaton students?

Thank you for the joy and blessing of being your professor; I will miss you. Blessings to you in your time at Wheaton College and beyond.

Sheila Caldwell, Chief Intercultural Engagement Officer

Time at Wheaton: I have served at Wheaton College for three years. My start date was June 11, 2018.


Wheaton Memory: One of my favorite Wheaton memories was working alongside alumni, faculty, staff and students to launch the two-day Rodney K. Sisco Symposium which featured Dr. Bernice King. It was memorable for me because Dr. Bernice King and many of our racialized ethnic students are manifesting the Dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They are indeed what our ancestors longed to see. I am confident they will continue to open doors and shatter glass ceilings.


Future Plans: Ephesians 2:10 reads “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  I will continue to do the good work God has prepared in advance for me to do when I transition to Southern Illinois University System Office as their Vice President for Antiracism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. I will serve diligently and faithfully to dismantle racist policies and to create systems and structures that ensure all can thrive and live more abundantly.   


What’s something you’d like to say to Wheaton students?

 I would like to tell Wheaton students that Jesus came that they may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10). We serve a Good Lord and Savior who came to ensure abundant happiness, lively hope and bountiful love in this lifetime and eternal joy in the hereafter. The promise is for all of God’s children, irrespective of gender or ethnicity. I pray for students to reside in His faithful promise today and always.

Photo provided by Sheila Caldwell.
Photo provided by Karin Edwards.

Karin Edwards, Professor of Music, Piano


Time at Wheaton: Finishing 34 years.


Future Plans: Performing concerts — several are already scheduled for next season — plus learning new repertoire and studying books on music already on my shelf.


What’s something you’d like to say to Wheaton students? 

God loves you unconditionally; live out of that. Follow your own path, with God’s guidance, without comparing yourself to others. The world needs you with your specific gifts and characteristics and training, and you cannot see all the upcoming twists and turns in your life’s journey. If you do the best you can in each situation, doors will open; don’t neglect what seem like small opportunities.


Cheri Pierson, Associate Professor of TESOL 


Time at Wheaton: I have been a faculty member for 25 years.


Favorite Class: I think one of my favorite classes is the LING 613 Classroom Dynamics Practicum in TESOL. I love this course because we prepare our graduate students to teach English language learners in classrooms locally as well as globally.


Future plans: Spend lots of time with my grandson! As travel restrictions due to COVID loosen up, we plan to travel to see extended family and friends as well as return to Europe for a short period of time. I will continue to be involved with language learners and return in January 2022 to serve as adjunct Emeritus faculty in the TESOL program. I want to serve Christ wherever he leads in the days ahead.


What’s something you’d like to say to Wheaton students?

It has been such a privilege to be a part of this community, especially the Graduate School community. In these difficult times remember Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Becky Toly, Associate Lecturer in Spanish, Assistant Department Chair


Time at Wheaton: Since 2007


Favorite Class: Spanish 201


Future plans: We’re relocating to Grand Rapids where I hope to find new opportunities to teach Spanish.


What’s something you’d like to say to Wheaton students?

Actively practice listening to others that God puts in your path. 

Wheaton College, IL

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