Meet Bethel’s Newest Faculty Members

Bethel University is excited to welcome 11 new faculty members to the community this fall.

By Heather Schnese S’12, contributing writer.

September 22, 2023 | 2 p.m.

New faculty at Bethel Univeristy. Back row, left to right: Abbie Marten, Paige Hardy, Jon Dalger, and Taneesha Douglas. Front row: Teri Emenecker, Tara Cheath, Jana Nohrenberg, and Michael Discher. Not pictured: Wayne Raman-Nair, Polly Hendell, and Krista Nauman.

Back row, left to right: Abbie Marten, Paige Hardy, Jon Dalger, and Taneesha Douglas. Front row: Teri Emenecker, Tara Cheath, Jana Nohrenberg, and Michael Discher. Not pictured: Wayne Raman-Nair, Polly Hendell, and Krista Nauman.

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 Bethel's newest College of Arts & Sciences faculty. 

Tara Cheath, clinical assistant professor of nursing

Tara Cheath completed her master’s in nursing education and has been an adjunct clinical instructor for five years at Bethel. Alongside her new role, she will continue working as a registered nurse in the Allina Urgent Care. She and her husband have three boys and stay busy with their garden and pets. They enjoy camping, bike riding, kayaking, swimming, fishing, church, trying new food and recipes, and spending time together.

Jon Dalager, associate professor of political science

Jon Dalager earned a diploma from Brown Institute in Radio and Television Broadcasting and a bachelor’s degree in political science and speech communication from the University of Minnesota, Morris. He went to the University of Minnesota Law School; practiced law for several years; and got an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is currently in the master’s program for higher education and student affairs at St. Cloud State University. Jon comes to Bethel from Alexandria Technical and Community College where he directed an initiative to increase educational opportunities for active-duty and military veterans at a consortium of colleges and universities in Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District. An avid downhill skier, Jon cheers for Minnesota United soccer and volunteers with the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival and the Woodbury Community Theater.

Michael Disher, assistant professor of business

Michael Disher studied economics at Wheaton College and got his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Chicago where he researched segregation, immigration enforcement and policing, criminal justice and mental health, income tax policy, and Medicaid. As a scholar, his goal is to better understand the challenges facing the urban poor, how the actions of the public sector affect their lives, and what policies we can enact to create a more equitable society. He is passionate about Christian community development and figuring out how the church can seek the Kingdom of God in our poorest communities. In his free time, he loves playing basketball, watching the Chicago Bulls, hiking, and trying new cuisines. He and his wife live in the Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul.

Abbie Marten, professor of biology

From Mitchell, S.D., Abbie Marten received her B.A. in Biology from Augustana University, Sioux Falls and got her M.S. in Anatomical Sciences from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. She’s researched the creation of an ultrasound model for practitioners to practice diagnosing Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA) and is currently interested in the use of 3-D printed anatomical models in the classroom. She previously taught human biology and online microbiology at Bethel and will now teach human anatomy. When she’s not working, you’ll likely find her watching basketball, golf, or football with her husband.

Jana Nohrenberg, associate professor of nursing

A Bethel grad, Jana Nohrenberg ’95 also has a M.S. in Nursing from University of Texas Health Science Center and a DNP from University of Cincinnati. A retired U.S. Army Nurse Corps Colonel, she has served both in the United States and overseas. Most recently, she was the nurse executive for the Medical Readiness Command in Europe. She is passionate about healthy work environments, evidence-based practice, professional coaching, and building resilience in new professionals. Outside of work, she loves to spend time with her husband and two children, playing games, and exercising.

Wayne Raman-Nair, professor of physics and engineering

Born on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, Wayne Raman-Nair holds degrees in mathematics and mechanical engineering from the University of the West Indies as well as a master’s and Ph.D. in Ocean Engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Prior to Bethel, he was a research engineer at the National Research Council of Canada and an engineering instructor at the Marine Institute in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He and his wife have two children who live in Canada, and in his spare time he enjoys playing the guitar.

Meet Bethel's newest College of Adult & Professional Studies and Graduate School faculty. 

Teri Emenecker, assistant professor, post-baccalaureate nursing program

Teri Emenecker started at Bethel in January 2023 as an adjunct clinical instructor with a B.S. in Nursing from Arizona State University and an M.S. in Nursing from Grand Canyon University. During her time as a bedside nurse, she worked with student nurses, mentored senior nursing students, and oriented newly hired nurses to the unit. She’s passionate about evidence-based practice and raising up the next generation of nurses. She and her husband of 26 years moved to Minnesota in 2022 from Orlando, Florida. They have one daughter and enjoy spending time together, being outdoors, and serving in their church.

Paige Hardy, associate professor, nurse midwifery program

Paige Hardy has been an adjunct faculty member in Bethel’s nurse midwifery program for the past four years. She was a Certified Nurse Midwife for 20 years at a rural clinic in Morris, Minnesota, and then received her DNP from the University of Minnesota. She and her husband have a blended family of eight children. She stays busy cheering on her step-son in bull-riding competitions across the country, quilting, and working on their 118-year-old home.

Polly Hendel, assistant professor, physician assistant program

In addition to teaching clinical medicine, Bethel grad Polly Hendel ’16 has been a guest lecturer at Bethel and is also the admission coordinator for the physician assistant (PA) program, vetting and selecting candidates. She is a practicing PA with a passion to help those affected by mental illness; she specializes in psychiatry, treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. She’s excited to help shape the next generation of Bethel’s PA graduates. When not working, she enjoys gardening, running, and working in the children’s ministry at her church.

Krista Nauman, assistant professor, physician assistant program

Krista Nauman ’12, GS’16 graduated from Bethel with a B.S. in Exercise Science, completed Bethel’s Physician Assistant (PA) program and then became an adjunct faculty member in the PA program in 2020. She practiced full-time as a physician assistant for seven years, primarily working in orthopedic surgery where she’s passionate about helping restore quality of life by minimizing pain and facilitating a return to activity. In addition to Bethel, she now practices clinically at Summit Orthopedics in spine surgery. Outside of work, she loves traveling, walking and hiking with her golden retriever, CrossFit, spending time with friends and family, reading, and getting up north to spend time on the lakes.

Taneesha Reynolds Douglas, associate professor, nurse midwifery program

With degrees from Vanderbilt University (Certified Nurse Midwife), Tennessee State University (master’s in Nursing), and the University of Phoenix (MBA), Taneesha Reynolds Douglas is compelled to empower others mentally, spiritually, and physically. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Taneesha lives in Nashville and is passionate about teaching, addressing health disparities, and spirituality. She’s married and outside of her professional life enjoys traveling and spending quality time with family and friends.

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