Faculty and Staff-SCAS
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Committed to your education.

Suomi College of Arts & Sciences faculty take your education and learning seriously. Experienced and knowledgeable in their fields, faculty want you to succeed in your college career. Working together with staff, colleagues and other students, faculty help you to build a better future. Small class sizes and one-on-one attention will help you to secure a better relationship with your professor. With doors always open, faculty look to be available to chat or discuss your options as a student.  Can't get a hold of your professor?  Contact arts&sciences@finlandia.edu.

At Finlandia you are not a number, you are a friend.

SCAS Faculty

Judy BuddJudy Budd

Office: Wargelin 200
Phone: 487-7243
Email: judith.budd@finlandia.edu

In addition to teaching in Finlandia's science department, Dr. Budd is a limnologist who studies the Laurentian Great Lakes. Her research views the lakes from the vantage point of space using satellite remote sensing to examine lake temperatures and productivity.  Dr. Budd's teaching includes introductory biology and chemistry courses.



Janice Cox-AdolphsJanice Cox-Adolphs

English as a Second Language
Office: Mannerheim 311
Phone: 487-7243
Email: janice.coxadolphs@finlandia.edu

Janice Cox-Adolphs’ background includes studies in music, language, and literature. She attended Oberlin Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio, in 1974 and received both her BA and MA from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She has taught German, English, and ESL for many years, both in the United States and abroad. She presently resides in Hancock, Michigan, with her husband, Dieter Adolphs. While she has several hobbies, gardening is her favorite.



Carolyn Dekker

Assistant Professor

Phone: 487-7407
Email: carolyn.dekker@finlandia.edu

Carolyn teaches writing and American literature at Finlandia. She holds a PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan, where her dissertation research focused on how American literature responds to the atomic bomb. She loves to teach environmental literature, war literature, and American literature and she strives to help every one of her students become a better writer.

Dr. Dekker loves small liberal-arts colleges and the interesting, well-rounded students they nurture. Before coming to Finlandia, she taught Environmental Humanities at Bates College in Maine. She attended Williams College in western Massachusetts, where she majored in Biology and English and was the slowest woman on the Div. III Cross Country team. In her free time she loves trail running, skijoring with her dog, and practicing martial arts. You can read more about her teaching and scholarship at carolyndekker.com.



John Dewey

Visiting Assistant Professor
Office: Mannerheim 417
Phone: 487-7515
Email: john.dewey@finlandia.edu

My training is in cognitive science, the interdisciplinary study of the mind and its processes. I earned my B.A. in Cognitive Science and M.S in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Georgia, and a Ph.D. in Psychology with specialization in cognition and cognitive neuroscience from Michigan State University. After completing my Ph.D, I spent two years at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary conducting research on the sense of agency and self-other distinctions. This included investigating questions such as what factors contribute to feelings of being in control of moving objects like cars and video game avatars, and how the sense of agency interacts with other perceptions. Broadly speaking, I'm interested in self-monitoring behavior and the sensorimotor foundations of social life, i.e. how motor, perceptual, and inferential processes govern awareness of our own actions as well as interactions with other people and technology.

While I remain committed to my research, I came to Finlandia because I wanted to develop my teaching at a small, student-centered university. Few things are as rewarding to me as getting students excited about psychology. In my spare time I enjoy reading, painting, the outdoors, and my trusty computer.



Richard Gee

Criminal Justice
Assistant Professor
Office: Mannerheim 409
Phone: 487-7280
Email: richard.gee@finlandia.edu

I was born and raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma. I attended Oklahoma State University for both my undergraduate and Master’s degree in Sociology. During that time I met the love of my life, married her, and we completed our doctorates in Sociology at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

The majority of my research and teaching is in the area of criminology and deviant behavior.I find that one can find a lot about a society by looking at those on the margins. My dissertation involved studying the decriminalization of tattooing in the state of Oklahoma. In addition to my research on tattooing, I am now investigating multi-jurisdictionality of tribal policing on Native American lands.My interests in crime and deviance are based in conceptions of power.

In my spare time I enjoy being outdoors whether I am hunting and fishing or just tromping through the woods with my wife and our three dogs.  I also enjoy spending time in the kitchen experimenting with a variety of different types of cooking.



René Johnson

Servant Leadership Director
Office: Mannerheim 310
Phone: 487-7558
Email: rene.johnson@finlandia.edu 

René Johnson came to Finlandia University in Hancock, MI in 2005 after 12 years of teaching in the African countries of Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania - pretty diverse for a girl with a small-town Minnesota upbringing. A product of Lutheran higher education, she received her B.A. from Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) and M.A. from Luther Seminary (St. Paul, MN) and is currently working on her PhD in Vocation and Servant Leadership through the Graduate Theological Foundation in Indiana. As director of Servant Leadership she is passionate about bringing questions related to who we are (or are becoming) into the classroom and creating a context where students might discern their individual callings to a way of living for the sake of the wider world. René is married to Philip, president of Finlandia University, and they have two sons, Simon and Neal. In her spare time she enjoys reading, cooking and the outdoors. Also, she stays healthy with running, swimming and yoga, although she like to make the distinction that she is recreational, not athletic.



Stephanie Kajpust

Office: Mannerheim 411
Phone: 487-7227
Email: stephanie.kajpust@finlandia.edu

I was born and raised in Chicago, and came up to the UP to go to Michigan Tech for computer engineering.  After completing the degree I stayed for another 2 years to get a B.S. in Mathematics Education.  Deciding that I was never going to leave the UP, I volunteered for AmeriCorps for two years in local high schools and then continued on to get a M.S. in Applied Mathematics.  I plan on eventually retiring out in the woods and becoming an eccentric hermit.
I teach algebra at Finlandia, and in the past have taught algebra at Gogebic Community College and calculus at Michigan Tech.  I believe that math can be fun for everyone, and my enthusiasm is contagious like the plague. 
In my spare time you'll find me walking my miniature dachshund, reading a good book, or watching tv shows like Dexter, Breaking Bad, Grey's Anatomy, and Once Upon a Time.



Bill Knoblauch

Assistant Professor
Office: Mannerheim 415
Phone: 487-7318
Email: william.knoblauch@finlandia.edu

I am originally from Northern Wisconsin, but throughout the early 2000s I lived in the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, the American Southwest, and the foothills of Appalachia.  In that time I earned my B.A. in History from Northland College, my M.A. from Northern Arizona University, and a Ph.D. from Ohio University.  In 2011 I was a fellow of the Contemporary History Institute (Athens, OH), and in 2012 I defended my dissertation "Selling the Second Cold War: Antinuclear Cultural Activism and Reagan Era Foreign Policy."  I love teaching, and my recent course offerings include "History through Film: The Atomic Age," "Cold War America," "U.S. Environmental History," and "America in the World." My research interests reside at the intersection of popular culture, domestic politics, and foreign relations during and after the Cold War.  My recent publications examine the Cold War nuclear arms race and its influence on pop music, music videos, video games, and other aspects of American popular culture.  In my increasingly spare free time, I enjoy reading, running, or playing electric bass. Link to Bill Knoblauch's faculty page here.



Mark Lounibos

Assistant Professor
Office: Mannerheim 413
Phone: 487-7336
Email: mark.lounibos@finlandia.edu 

I was born in the Bronx, New York, (this means I am a Yankees fan - I feel I should apologize in advance) but I have been gravitating north and west ever since, spending time in Vermont, upstate NY and most recently Madison, Wisconsin, where I earned a PhD in English Literature at the University of Wisconsin. My research there focused on the relationship between religious dissent and British romantic literature, with a specific interest in the way that writing as a form of self-representation works to foster agency in the writing subject.  Lately I've begun to focus on community writing projects, particularly those involving seniors, to consider how such work might inform our understanding of the importance of the Humanities today.  Above all else I love teaching, and I'm excited to begin my career here at Finlandia University where the importance of community engagement and holistic education are primary.  In my free time I like to read speculative fiction, play soccer, hike, ski, canoe, and spend time with my family.



Juan Marin

Associate Professor
Office: Mannerheim 407
Phone: 487-7385
Email: juan.marin@finlandia.edu 

Marin has a Ph.D. and a master's of arts in mathematics, both from Bowling Green (Ohio) State University.  He has a bachelor of arts in mathematics from Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Prior to joining the Finlandia faulty, Marin was an assistant professor of mathematics at Alfred University, Alfred, New York.

As a teacher, Marin works to inspire and guide his students to discover for themselves the wonder of mathematics.  He tries to teach his students by encouraging them to discuss math with him as often as possible.  Marin and his wife, Kate, have three young children, Juan III, Roberto, and Andres.  They live in Hancock and enjoy canoeing and the outdoors.



Jason Oyadomari

Associate Professor and Interim Dean
Office: Wargelin 240
Phone: 487-7381
Email: jason.oyadomari@finlandia.edu

Originally from Hawaii, I grew up enjoying the outdoor lifestyle of swimming, fishing, surfing/boggie boarding, biking, hiking, and camping.  Despite having diverse interests, it came naturally to be most fascinated by the diversity of life.  I obtained a BA in Zoology from the University of Hawaii, Manoa before leaving my island home to further my education in aquatic ecology.  I obtained an MS in Biology from Eastern New Mexico University studying how tiny freshwater organisms sample their environment and access risk of predation.  The desire to study a habitat that contrasts to the tropical waters of Hawaii and the grassland streams of the southwest lead me to the temperate lakes of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  I obtained a PhD in Biology from Michigan Technological University studying how large lake processes of Lake Superior affect the transport of fishes during their larval stages, and in turn, potentially effect early growth and later recruitment.

While studying in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I quickly grew to love its environment, seasons, cultural history, and people.  I appreciate the opportunities Finlandia affords its students, and Finlandia's devotion to growth and education.  I draw upon my past and ongoing challenges and successes in education to help others along their paths to academic excellence.



Casey Rentmeester

Philosophy and Religion
Assistant Professor
Office: Mannerheim 405
Phone: 906.487.7351
Email: casey.rentmeester@finlandia.edu

Casey Rentmeester was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and received his B.A. from Saint Norbert College where he was captain of the football team and named Student-Athlete of the year in 2005. He then went on to receive his M.A. from Kent State University in Ohio in 2007 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Florida where he wrote a dissertation on environmental philosophy, focusing specifically on anthropogenic climate change and issues of resource depletion from a Heideggerian perspective. Casey spent the academic year of 2012-2013 at the University of Alaska Anchorage as a term assistant professor and joined the faculty at Finlandia University in 2013. His primary research interests are in environmental philosophy, Continental philosophy, and Chinese philosophy. Casey teaches classes in both philosophy and religious studies at Finlandia, and thinks it is vitally important for students in a liberal arts environment to have an understanding of both philosophy and the world’s religions to become an educated person. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor activities, particularly hiking and biking, collecting vinyl records, and playing sports. Casey is thrilled to be at a university that emphasizes teaching and is committed to environmental sustainability. Link to Casey Rentmeester's faculty page here.



Hilary Virtanen

Finnish Studies
Assistant Professor
Office: Mannerheim 317
Phone: 487-7514
Email: hilary.virtanen@finlandia.edu

Hilary Virtanen is Assistant Professor of Finnish Studies and Coordinator of the Sisu Seminar, Finlandia University’s Freshman experience course. She holds a BA in English and Anthropology from Michigan State University, an MA in Folklore from Indiana University, an MA in Scandinavian Studies, and a PhD in Scandinavian Folklore, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At Finlandia, she teaches coursework in Finnish History and Culture and the Kalevala, and is developing additional courses within the Finnish Studies Program. As a folklorist, Hilary enjoys conducting oral history and ethnography research. Her past research has included work in festivals, ethnic folk dress, workers’ culture, and more. A native of the Copper Country, Hilary loves exploring back roads and spending time on the beaches of Lake Superior. She lives with her husband, Ron Stewart, and their three children in Ripley. Link to Hilary Virtanen's faculty page here.



Jim Sliwinski

Associate Professor
Office: Mannerheim 401
Phone: 906-487-7282 
Email: jim.sliwinski@finlandia.edu

I earned a BA from the College of Wooster in 2007. After my undergraduate schooling, I spent some time working as a crisis assistant and family resource specialist for the Counseling Center of Wayne and Holmes Counties, as well as a research coordinator for the Traumatic Stress Lab at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio. I then spent seven years living in Texas, where I earned a MA in health psychology from Texas State University and a Ph.D in social psychology from Baylor. My dissertation focused on the role of response expectancies during a hypnosis intervention designed to reduce hot flash frequency in postmenopausal women. My current research interests involve mind-body interventions and their applications, placebo effects, and scale development. I enjoy teaching classes from several of psychology’s sub disciplines, and I take pleasure in helping my students develop their experimental design and writing skills. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my wife, Jessica, and daughter, Clara, fishing, hunting, gardening, reading fantasy novels, gaming, and following college football.

SCAS Staff

Aggie Pietila
Administrative Assistant, SCAS
Office: Mannerheim Hall, 410
Phone: 906-487-7513
E-mail: aggie.pietila@finlandia.edu