Meet the full-time faculty who joined MCC in Fall 2019

Michele Bilton

Mathematics instructor, MCC-Blue River

Experience: Five years as an adjunct instructor at JCCC, nine years at MCC-Longview

Education: B.S. in mathematics, Evangel University (Springfield); M.S. in mathematics, Missouri State University

How students would describe her: That she cares about their success. “They would also say that I am able to explain complicated concepts in everyday language and often in more than one way.” She says she’s always willing to answer questions and make sure students understand before continuing.

Her philosophy as an educator: “I believe my first responsibility is to create a classroom environment where every student feels safe and respected.” She also thinks that learning is best when it is interactive, that instructional styles should be varied, and that regular communication and feedback between teacher and student is important.

Hobbies and interests: Reading, a new puppy, watching high school football and college basketball, time with family

Fun fact: “I love being the parent of three teenagers. Give me teenagers over preschoolers anytime!”

Courtney Hanway

History instructor, MCC-Penn Valley

Why she wanted to work at MCC: “I truly believe that education — traditional academic, vocational, technical etc. — should be accessible to all. MCC’s mission and vision for the future fully aligns with this.”

Experience: Ten years of adjunct teaching experience at MCC and Park University, seven-plus years tutoring experience at the Maple Woods Learning Center

Education: B.A. in history, Park University; M.A. in history, Emporia State University

Her philosophy as an educator: “I believe in making connections between my classes and life — service learning projects etc. I don’t expect all my students to become historians, but I do expect them to connect to the material and utilize it outside of class.”

How students would describe her: Student-centered, supportive, fair, consistent and an advocate.

Hobbies and interests: She’s mom to a 9-year-old and a 3-year-old, so she spends a lot of time at her children’s activities. She’s also a voracious reader and loves to travel when she can.

Cassie Franken

Radiologic technology instructor, St. Joseph site

Experience: This is her fifth year of teaching, and she has five years of clinical experience at Mosaic Life Care.

Education: B.A. in occupational education, University of Central Missouri; A.A.S. in radiologic technology, North Central Missouri College; radiologic technologist certificate, Hillyard Technical Center

How students describe her: Positive, caring and fun, but with high expectations. “With our training there is no room for error. I strive to teach this to students in a positive environment. It’s difficult at the time, but they always thank me at the end.”

Her philosophy as an educator: “To be the sunshine!” She primarily teaches senior students in a two-year program who tend to have burnout by the time she gets them. “I strive to keep their spark alive until graduation.”

Hobbies and interests: Spending time with her husband and their 1- and 3-year-old children. “We are lucky enough to live in the country on 2 acres.”

Fun fact: She had perfect attendance as a K-12 student, never missing a single day of school.

Ashley Lynd

English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor, MCC-Penn Valley

Why she wanted to work at MCC: “I appreciate MCC’s goal of supporting students and the community, and I wanted to be a part of that.”

Experience: She has taught abroad in South Korea and also for the UMKC/MCC Applied Language Institute for eight-plus years

Education: B.A. in international studies and Italian, KU; M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language, UMKC

How students would describe her: “Dedicated, easy to understand and sweet!”

Her philosophy as an educator: “Make it comprehensive, relevant and as fun as possible.”

Hobbies and interests: Travel, yoga, hiking, volleyball

Taylor Weese

Practical nursing instructor, St. Joseph site

Why she wanted to work at MCC: “I’m excited to work at an adult institution, especially one that has served so many in our community.”

Experience: She has been a nurse for nine years. She has taught practical nursing for two years.

Education: Practical nursing certificate, Hillyard Technical Center; associate degree in nursing, North Central Missouri College; B.S. in nursing, UMKC

How students would describe her: Tough, smart and a good resource.

Her philosophy as an educator: “I’m a facilitator of learning.”

Hobbies and interests: Tennis, pickleball, learning, reading

Fun (?) fact: “I’m afraid of large bodies of water.”

Jeremy Wilson

Surgical technology instructor, St. Joseph site

Experience: Four years of “scrub tech,” nine years of teaching

Education: B.S. in education, social science, Missouri State University

How students would describe him: Calm, consistent, open-minded

His philosophy as an educator: “Guiding and showing my students that they are capable of obtaining the skills and knowledge to perform the role of a surgical technologist successfully.”

Hobbies and interests: Reading, artifact hunting, watching his girls play volleyball

 

Keith W. Townsend

Speech and drama instructor, MCC-Longview

Why he wanted to work at MCC: “I’m from Missouri and wanted to move back to the state to start a second career.”

Experience: He comes to MCC with 17 years of experience at El Paso (Texas) Community College and another 16 years of secondary and dual-credit experience.

Education: Master classes with the Actors Studio, West Hollywood, California; associate degree from State Fair Community College (Sedalia); bachelor’s in speech and theater, Eastern New Mexico University (Portales); master’s in speech and theater, University of Texas at El Paso

How students would describe him: Challenging yet fair, a cheerleader, a guide

His philosophy as an instructor: All students can learn and desire to do so, he says. He sees his job as leading them by facilitating the learning process in a positive manner.

Hobbies and interests: Chiefs football and Royals baseball, playing with the dogs, family outings

Fun fact: He is also the artistic director of Viva! El Paso, one of the nation’s longest-running outdoor theater productions. Now in its 43rd year, the show tells the 400+-year history of the El Paso Del Norte region.

Hollie Hild

Practical nursing instructor, St. Joseph site

Experience: She has been a nurse for 12 years and is in her second year of teaching.

Education: Associate degree, nursing, North Central Missouri College; B.S. and M.S. in nursing, WGU Missouri

How students would describe her: Fun, inventive and caring

Her philosophy as an educator: “We were all a student once.”

Hobbies and interests: Tennis, knitting, spending time with family

 

Susan McMillian

Surgical technology coordinator, St. Joseph site

Experience: She worked seven years as a surgical technologist and is in her second year of teaching.

Education: Associate degree, Colorado Technical University; working on B.A. in education, University of Central Missouri

How students would describe her: Knowledgeable, caring, personable

Her philosophy as an educator: “As an adult educator, I work hard to prepare students for the workforce.”

Hobbies and interests: Spending time with family and friends, camping, crafts

Fun fact: “I have five daughters.”

Breanne Dustin

Mathematics instructor, MCC-Longview

Why she wanted to work at MCC: She had been teaching part time at Longview for five years, and “I fell in love with MCC and its commitment to serving communities and students.”

Experience: In addition to her adjunct experience at Longview, she taught as a graduate student at UMKC, staying on as an adjunct lecturer for four years. She also worked at the MCC-Blue River tutoring center.

Education: B.S. and M.S. in mathematics, M.A. in curriculum and instruction, UMKC

How students would describe her: Caring, patient, concerned about student goals and success

Her philosophy as an educator: “I strive to be a resource for students as they work toward their personal goals. I also hope to instill an appreciation of mathematics.”

Hobbies and interests: Reading, hiking, spending time with my family

Fun fact: “I had a huge 6-foot-long iguana as a pet in my 20s. Pro tip: Don’t do that!”

Crystal Oldham

Licensed practical nursing coordinator, St. Joseph site

Why she wanted to work at MCC: She’s “excited for the new journey and a better structure.”

Experience: She brings 25 years of nursing experience. She’s in her third year teaching.

Education: B.S. in nursing, Kaplan University; M.S. in nursing, Purdue Global

How students would describe her: Funny, caring.

Her philosophy as an educator: Her goal is to “reveal the art and beauty of nursing.”

Hobbies and interests: Family, church, gardening, fishing, cooking

Lorinda Ross

Radiologic technology instructor, St. Joseph site

Experience: Twelve years in health care, as a registered radiologic technologist and MRI technologist

Education: A.A.S. in radiologic technology, Fort Hays State University; B.A. in healthcare management, Ottawa University

How students would describe her: Tough and challenging but fun

Her philosophy as an educator: “Expect excellence; encourage student success.”

Hobbies and interests: Traveling, boating at the Lake of the Ozarks

Fun fact: “I currently have six grandbabies.”

Melissa Jaquish

ESL instructor, MCC-Penn Valley

Experience: “I taught ESL in France for three years and ESL in the San Francisco Bay area for 11 years. I spent the last two years writing curriculum and developing a noncredit ESL program in Silicon Valley.”

Education: B.A. in psychology, B.A. in secondary education/English, M.A. in English with TESOL focus, postsecondary reading certificate

How students would describe her: “They usually say that I’m kind, funny and energetic.”

Her philosophy as an educator: “I try to give my students the skills they need to become self-sufficient learners.”

Hobbies and interests: “Like a lot of ESL teachers, I love to travel. I’ve done about 22 countries so far. I also love to study and drink wine.”

Fun fact: “I worked in wine bars for years doing wine education, and I passed the first-level sommelier course.”

Eric Wehmueller

Industrial technology instructor, MCC-Business & Technology

Why he wanted to work at MCC: “To increase the skilled labor pool in industry, and to use my skills and knowledge to create success for the future.”

Experience: He’s a master electrician in the areas of commercial and industrial service/maintenance. “I’m a jack of all trades and a master of one!”

Education: A.A.S. in engineering, MCC; master electrician; National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) apprenticeship

His philosophy as an educator: “I’m here to help the students learn marketable skills and be successful in industry.”

Hobbies and interests: “Family-family-family,” volleyball, carpentry, saxophone, equipment and machinery repair

Mallary Hann

Radiology program director, St. Joseph site

Experience: She has worked as a radiographer/MRI technologist since 2004 and an instructor at Hillyard Technical Center since 2009. She has been program director since 2015.

Education: Radiography certificate, Hillyard Technical Center; B.A. in healthcare administration, Ottawa University; master of education, administration, William Woods University

How students would describe her: Friendly

Her philosophy as an educator: “They’ll learn in spite of me . . . but I’m going to give them as much info as I can.”

Hobbies and interests: Spending time with her family

Fun fact: She’s an only child.

Cindy Maxey-Droege

English instructor, MCC-Penn Valley

Why she wanted to work at MCC: “It’s diverse and cutting edge.”

Experience: She taught for 10 years at Moberly Area Community College.

Education: B.A. in English, Columbia College; M.F.A. in creative writing, Queens University of Charlotte (N.C.)

How students would describe her: “Fair, flexible and student-oriented.”

Hobbies and interests: Cycling, metal detecting, photography

Fun fact: Each morning she prepares loose leaf tea from China using the gaiwan method of brewing tea.

James Bryan

Chemistry instructor, MCC-Blue River and MCC-Penn Valley

Why he wanted to work at MCC: “I started at a community college and feel it’s where I can make the most difference and have the greatest impact.”

Experience: He was an adjunct instructor at the Blue River and Maple Woods campuses over the past three years.

Education: A.A., Johnson County Community College; B.S. and M.S. in chemistry, UMKC

How students would describe him: “Tough but fair, knowledgeable and entertaining.”

Philosophy as an educator: He likes to provide multiple resources for material presentation, and he holds students accountable through multiple methods of assessment.

Hobbies and interests: Playing pool; card, trivia and board games; cooking

Kyle Anderson

Education instructor, MCC-Maple Woods

Philosophy as an educator: “Whomever is doing the reading, writing and speaking is doing the learning. I strive to ensure students do all three at some point in each class through intentional planning and cultivating a community of learners.”

How students would describe him: “Someone with high expectations but willing to provide support to get there.”

Experience: He has worked as a high school history teacher, a teaching and learning coach, a district administrator (North Kansas City Schools) and an MCC adjunct.

Education: B.S. Ed. in social studies and journalism education, M.A. in history, University of Central Missouri; M.Ed. in educational leadership and policy analysis, University of Missouri; Ed.D. in educational leadership, Baker University

Hobbies and interests: He’s an avid classic-auto collector and restorer. Loves traveling and attending sporting events and concerts.

Jaclyn Pruitt

Sonography program coordinator, St. Joseph site

Philosophy as an educator: “Put in the hard work and I’ll help guide you to success.”

How students would describe her: “Strict, knowledgeable, down-to-earth.”

Experience: She has worked in sonography for eight years. This is her fifth year of teaching at Hillyard Technical Center.

Education: Sonography program at Hillyard Technical Center; B.S. in kinesiology, Kansas State University; M.S. in career and technical education leadership, University of Central Missouri

Hobbies and interests: Family (three young children), exercise, gardening

Fun fact: “We recently bought a house that is approximately 150 years old.”

Amanda Merryman

Biology instructor, MCC-Longview

Why she wanted to work at MCC: “I love the ‘community’ part of community college. I think higher education and job training should be accessible to all, and MCC satisfies that for me.”

Experience: She brings to MCC 12-plus years of teaching at the college level, plus community outreach with teens in oceanography and conservation in Texas.

Education: B.S. in biology and M. Ed. in curriculum and instruction, Arizona State University; M.S. in biology, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi

How students would describe her: “Outgoing, approachable, hard. Some students think I’m funny.”

Philosophy as an educator: “Raise the bar — they’ll meet your expectations!”

Hobbies and interests: Travel, crochet, birding, science fiction books and TV, cooking, plants of all types

Fun fact: “I met Chuck Norris when I was working on my Ph.D.”