Meet Bethel’s Newest Faculty Members

The College of Arts & Sciences welcomes seven new faculty members to the Bethel community this fall.

By Katie Johnson ’19, content specialist

September 06, 2022 | Noon

New faculty members from left to right, top to bottom: Leah Qubty, Marcus Simmons, Jackie Towner, JB Al Hourani, Rebekah Bain, Foster Graif, and Lisa Breger.

New faculty members from left to right, top to bottom: Leah Qubty, Marcus Simmons, Jackie Towner, JB Al Hourani, Rebekah Bain, Foster Graif, and Lisa Breger.

Bethel’s faculty members make a profound difference in their classes and beyond, impacting students long after graduation. They’re not only credentialed scholars with real world experience; they’re also compassionate individuals of faith. Motivated to support students during one of the most transformative seasons of their lives, they lead every lecture, experiment, discussion, and rehearsal from a uniquely Christian perspective.

Meet the newest faculty members within Bethel University’s College of Arts & Sciences.

Rebekah Bain, archivist/research librarian

Rebekah Bain holds a Master of Library and Information Science and M.A. in History from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She will serve as the archives librarian at Bethel and manage the History Center: Archives of Bethel University and Converge, which is located at the Lakeside Center on campus. In that role, she will process donations, preserve historic materials, and connect researchers with primary sources. Additionally, she is the library’s research liaison to the Department of History, Philosophy, and Political Science. Outside of work, she enjoys reading and playing the flute.

Lisa Breger, associate professor of business

Lisa Breger graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh with an undergraduate degree in mathematics education and then earned her Ph.D. in economics from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She has been teaching economics courses for the last six years and comes to Bethel prepared to teach Business Problem Solving and Intermediate Macroeconomics. She lives in Lakeland, Minnesota, with her husband and two daughters and enjoys many outdoor activities, including swimming, cycling, skiing, and trail running. She is looking forward to growing her own faith at Bethel in the coming years. 

Foster Graif, associate professor of mathematics education

Foster Graif graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a B.S. in Mathematics Teacher Education. After teaching high school mathematics in southern Minnesota, he pursued his graduate studies at the University of Minnesota. His main passion lies in teacher preparation, and he’s looking forward to working with Bethel’s teacher candidates. His scholarly interests center on using proof as a teaching tool in mathematics and how teachers respond to errors during class discussions. He also enjoys spending time with his wife and two sets of twins, while hopefully finding time to go for the occasional run.

Baker Jawabrah (J.B.) Al Hourani, associate professor of chemistry

After completing his M.Sc. in Chemistry in Jordan, J.B. Al Hourani spent five years in Germany where he obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry. Later, during his postdoctoral research in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, he began his research in drug design, synthesis, and discovery, specifically as it relates to cancer treatment. He met his wife, Erica, after he returned to Jordan to teach at the American University of Madaba in Jordan, where she was serving as a missionary in a local Jordanian church. They have four lively children who delight in conducting their own “experiments” and turning their home into a laboratory. Besides his research in medicinal chemistry, he also loves using his organic chemistry skills in the kitchen to make hummus, falafel, yogurt, kefir cheese, and mansef (a yogurt and lamb dish served over rice).

Leah Qubty, assistant professor of applied health science

Leah Qubty is excited about the opportunity to work within the Department of Applied Health Sciences. She and her husband, Will, love to travel. They’ve had the opportunity to take several international trips over the past few years for both personal and professional reasons. Destinations have included Lithuania, Latvia, Ghana, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates. In her free time, she loves to experiment with recipe ingredient substitution. Her husband will tell you that she focuses too much on the nutrient profile and not enough on taste! 

Marcus Simmons, assistant professor of music

Marcus Simmons is a conductor, voice teacher, worship coach, and Emmy-winner. He has a wealth of experience in higher education, including teaching at Indiana State University in Terre Heute, Indiana; serving as founding conductor and artistic director of the Hoosier Community Chorus; and working as music program director at 1525 The Warehouse in Bloomington, Indiana. His choirs have performed across the United States, the Caribbean, and in Europe. Additionally, he has won several awards and grants for his work in research, community engagement, and I.D.E.A. education. He is a member of the American Choral Director Association, National Collegiate Choral Organization, National Association of Teachers of Singing, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honors Society, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and serves on the Board for The American Alliance for Theatre and Education and the Institute for Composer Diversity. 

Jackie Towner, assistant professor of biological sciences

Jackie Towner graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a B.S. in Biochemistry and received a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in biochemistry, molecular biology, and biophysics. She pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at University of California, Los Angeles where she studied mechanisms of cardiac fibrosis in muscular dystrophy and participated in a teaching in higher education training program. Outside of the lab and the classroom, she enjoys reading, hiking, puzzles, cooking, singing in church choir, and spending time with her husband and family. 

Bethel Faculty 

From our newest faculty to those who have been teaching for years, each professor is committed to your success. Study under accomplished scholars and practitioners who are experts in their field—so that one day, you'll excel in yours.

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