Luther College announces grants of tenure and promotions

Luther College President Paula Carlson and Dean of the College Kevin Kraus have announced promotions and grants of tenure for current faculty members.

At its February meeting, the Luther Board of Regents approved tenure for Todd Green, religion; Michael Johnson, mathematics; Don Jones, economics and business; Ginger Meyette, social work; Ben Moore, art; and April Rowe-Neal, nursing. These six faculty were also promoted to associate professor.

President Carlson announced promotion to full professor for Ruth Berger, mathematics; Du Huang, music; Mark Johns, communication studies; and Eric Kutz, music.

Todd Green

Todd Green

Todd Green, religion, has taught at Luther since 2008. Green holds a bachelor's degree from Birmingham-Southern College, a master of divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary and master's and doctoral degrees from Vanderbilt University.

He teaches in the area of European and American religious history. He is the past co-chair of the Religion in Europe Group of the American Academy of Religion and serves as a member of the editorial board for the journal, Religions. He also blogs for Luther's Ideas and Creations and the Huffington Post.

Green's research focuses on Islamophobia, secularization and interfaith dialogue in the West. He is the editor of "Islam, Immigration, and Identity" and the author of "Responding to Secularization: The Deaconess Movement in Nineteenth-Century Sweden." In his upcoming book, "The Fear of Islam: An Introduction to Islamophobia in the West," Green surveys anti-Muslim bigotry and hostility in the United States and Europe.

Michael Johnson, Luther College associate professor of mathematics

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson has been an assistant professor in the mathematics department since 2010. He holds bachelor's degrees in mathematics and music education from University of the Pacific, a master's degree in mathematics from the Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. in mathematics from Northwestern University.

Johnson's research interests are in the field of dynamical systems, ergodic theory and more recently cellular automata. He has had works published in the Illinois Journal of Mathematics and Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems. This summer he plans on collaborating with Luther students to investigate the frequency of various sized avalanches in a sandpile model.





Don Jones, Luther College associate professor of economics and business

Don Jones

Don Jones began teaching in the economics and business department at Luther in 2009, focusing on the topics of marketing techniques and ethics, advertising, and sales and promotion.

He holds a bachelor's degree from Iowa State University, and a Master of Business Administration from Regis University. Jones is a Professional Certified Marketer through the American Marketing Association.

Before coming to Luther, Jones served as Director of Marketing-Retail at Brunswick Corporation in Lake Forest, Illinois, where he received the President's Executive Council-Management Award five times.




Ginger Meyette, Luther College associate professor of social work

Ginger Meyette

Ginger Meyette has been a professor in the social work program since 2009. She teaches Social Work with Groups and Families, Research Methods and the Senior Paper course, and serves as Field Director for the Social Work Program.

Meyette graduated with a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Northern Colorado, then went on to earn the Master of Divinity/Master of Social Work from the Iliff School of Theology at the University of Denver. She also earned a Ph.D. from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work.

She has taught as an adjunct professor at Metropolitan State College, the University of Denver and Colorado State University, and she has worked as a hospice grief counselor and social worker, and as a therapist in a residential/day treatment facility for children ages 5-13 with mental health diagnoses.



Ben Moore, Luther College associate professor of art

Ben Moore

After graduating from Luther in 2001, Ben Moore studied at the Scuola Internationalle de Grafica in Venice, Italy, and received a master's degree and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa. He has also served as adjunct faculty at the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College. He returned to Luther in 2008 to teach in the Visual and Performing Arts department. His areas of specialty are painting, drawing, foundations and digital media.

Moore's works have been shown across the Midwest, most recently in the MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, the Kinsey Institute at the University of Indiana, (SCENE) Metrospace Gallery in East Lansing Michigan and Gallery 455 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He's also recently held exhibits at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, BaseSpace in Brooklyn, New York and the Tug Boat Gallery in Lincoln, Nebraska.

In addition to teaching, Moore also works as the lead artist and game designer for Random Thoughts Entertainment.                  

April Rowe-Neal, Luther College associate professor of nursing

April Rowe-Neal

April Rowe-Neal joined the Luther faculty in 2008, teaching in the medical/surgical courses and pathophysiology courses on the Rochester, Minnesota, campus of the nursing department.

Rowe-Neal graduated from Luther in 2001, and went on to earn a Master of Science in nursing from the University of Minnesota. She is working on a Ph.D. in nursing education from Capella University. Her dissertation seeks to understand the experience of staff nurses teaching nursing students in the clinical learning environment.

Prior to teaching at Luther, Rowe-Neal served as the student nurse preceptor for the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Education Committee co-chair at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She has also worked as a Critical Care Registered Nurse for St. Elizabeth Medical Center and a Staff RN for Hennepin County Medical Care Center, Mayo Clinic, and Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota.

Ruth Berger, Luther College professor of mathematics

Ruth Berger

Ruth Berger came to Luther in 1993 and teaches mathematics courses in calculus, geometry, abstract algebra and elementary number theory.

Berger is originally from Germany, where she graduated from Albertus Magnus Gymnasium with Abitur in 1979, and received her Vordiplom from Universität des Saarlandes in 1981. She went to graduate school at Louisiana State University where she received a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1988.

Her first teaching job was at Memphis State University (now University of Memphis), before she decided to make the move to a smaller college teaching position. She enjoys working with Luther students in a liberal arts environment.


Du Huang

Du Huang

Du Huang received a bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, and a Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati's Conservatory of Music. He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

He has presented solo performances at the Grosser-Saal of the Konzerthaus and the Brahms-Saal of the Musikverein in Vienne; Salle Gaveau and Salle Cortot in Paris; Shanghai Music Hall and Beijing Music Hall; and numerous concert venues in Czech Republic.

He performs frequently in the Unison Piano Duo with his wife, pianist Xiao Hu. They have presented piano duo recitals at Carnegie Hall Weill Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, and on many concert series and university campuses. Their performances have been featured on Iowa Public Television and Minnesota Public Radio on numerous occasions. 

Mark Johns, Luther College professor of communication studies

Mark Johns

Mark D. Johns teaches courses in media studies at Luther. His research interests include social impacts of new communication technologies and intersections of media, religion, and culture.

Johns earned a bachelor's degree in social science from Midland Lutheran College of Fremont, Nebraska, and a Master of Divinity degree from Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary of Saint Paul, Minnesota. He received a Master of Arts in communication studies from University of Northern Iowa, and a doctorate in mass communication from the University of Iowa.

He is an ordained Lutheran minister and served congregations in Iowa and Minnesota prior to coming to Luther.

Johns is co-editor of Symbolic Interaction and New Social Media published in 2014. He has written a number of congregational resource materials for the ELCA, and has authored or edited a number of papers for academic conferences, books and journal publications.

Eric Kutz

Eric Kutz

Cellist Eric Kutz, on the Luther faculty since 2002, is active as a teacher, a chamber musician, an orchestral musician and soloist.

Kutz earned a Bachelor of Music degree, magna cum laude, from Rice University; he also holds master and doctoral degrees from the Juilliard School in New York City.

He and wife Miko Kominami founded the Murasaki Duo, a cello and piano ensemble that is in residence at Luther. The duo advocate for new music by actively commissioning new works, in addition to performing the classics. As an orchestral musician, Kutz summers in Chicago as a member of the Grant Park Orchestra's cello section. He has also played with the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and he was the principal cellist of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and the Juilliard Orchestra.


A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,400, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in 60 majors and preprofessional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: