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Meet Our Visual & Performing Arts Faculty


 

James Ewald, assistant professor of art & design
 

Dr. Kathryn Pohlmann Duffy, professor of music (department chair)
Welcome to Grand View! I chair our music department, direct the Grand View choir and teach courses in Theory and History of Music, Music Appreciation, and Conducting. I believe in challenging students to explore the richness of music and to claim this richness in their own life – whether as a part of a career in music, an avocation, or just as an informed and interested listener.  To that end, I seek out ways to help students nurture their intellectual curiosity and allow themselves to be fully engaged by their subject matter. Beyond the academic arena, I enjoy a good mystery, traveling, needlework, and spending time with my husband, Steve, and our two sons, Paul and Mark. See you in rehearsal!
Faculty Website

Mary Jones, professor of art & design
I teach a variety of courses, including Graphic Design, Typography, Printmaking and Bookbinding. My background includes many years of professional experience as a designer and illustrator. Lately, I've enjoyed working on collaborative projects with other printmakers and book artists. I enjoy working with students in both fine art and graphic design, and in helping them make connections between the two areas.
Faculty Website

 

 

Sean Kearney, professor of speech and theatre
Welcome to Grand View theatre! I teach Intro to Speech, Theatre Stagecraft and Production, and Theatre Arts for Children, among other courses. Teaching should be individualized to allow students to play to their strengths and to their goals. I look forward to helping you reach your theatre goals and will see you soon.

Kristin Larson, professor of speech and theatre
This is my third year here at Grand View and I'm very excited to be a part of such a great place. I teach Acting, Directing, Movement, and Theatre Appreciation, as well as others. In my courses, I consider it my highest goal to prepare the way for students to discover their unique abilities. I attempt to create exercises and experiences that operate as revelatory vehicles. This allows students to experience and awaken intellectual curiosity. It is my hope that my students, regardless of career path, retain that curiosity for a life rich with learning. In my free time, I enjoy hiking and camping in the mountains of Montana. I also like baking bread and attending live concerts - and theatre, of course!
Faculty Website

 

Rachel Merrill-Schwaller, assistant professor of art & design


 

Aaron Powell, instructor of guitar
Hello! I have a Masters of Music Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (2003) where I studied with Douglas Niedt. I'm also an alumni of Simpson College (1999), graduating with a Bachelor of Music Education. I've been an instructor of guitar at Grand View since the fall of 2005. I have performed as a guitarist with the Des Moines Metro Opera, Des Moines Playhouse and Des Moines Symphony. I appear in recital in various fine arts series and forums throughout the state and in the midwest. I've appeared as a performer in the master classes of notable guitarists such as the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Sergio and Odair Assad, Antigoni Goni and Christopher Parkening.

Josh Ryther, professor of art & design
I'm active as a professional artist and designer, and I teach Foundations and Design courses at Grand View. My experience gives me a unique perspective on working as a graphic designer, and on how to use that as a teaching tool. I constantly challenge myself in my own work, and as an educator I try to inspire students to do the same.

Richard Thimmesch, director of bands
I began playing trumpet in my school band in 1963, and I haven't stopped playing yet! Music is my passion and my life! I graduated from Ankeny High School, earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Iowa, and master's degree from Southern Oregon University in music education. After conducting marching bands, concert bands, jazz bands, pep bands, pit orchestras, and teaching lessons to every kind of instrument, I retired from public school teaching, and started teaching music at the university level. Performing remains a significant part of my life as I perform with the Central Iowa Wind Ensemble, A Touch of Brass, and at many civic, church, and private functions.

Aaron Tinder, professor of art & design
I primarily teach in the areas of painting and drawing, as well as art education. I enjoy working alongside students in studio courses, helping them find ways to present ideas in new and challenging ways. My background includes experience teaching art in the public schools, which helps me bring an important perspective to future art educators as well.


 

Cyndi Wiley, assistant professor of art & design
I primarily teach in the areas of painting and drawing, as well as art education. I enjoy working alongside students in studio courses, helping them find ways to present ideas in new and challenging ways. My background includes experience teaching art in the public schools, which helps me bring an important perspective to future art educators as well.

 

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