Dr. Tom Arnold
Associate Teaching Professor of History
Ph.D. – Ohio State University
B.A. – Oberlin College
Office: EL 008 F
Dr. Thomas F. Arnold has taught history at the Academy since 2004. He received his B.A. with High Honors from Oberlin College in 1985, and earned his Ph.D. in early modern and military history at the Ohio State University in 1993. Following his Ph.D. work, from 1993 to 1994 he held a post-doctoral research position in International Security Studies at Yale University. From 1994 to 2001 he was an Assistant Professor of History at Yale University. In 2001 he became Program Manager for Teaching at the Alliance for Lifelong Learning in New York City, an online consortium of Oxford, Stanford, and Yale Universities. He is the author of several articles on aspects of early modern military history, and the book The Renaissance at War (2001 and later editions), currently published by HarperCollins/Smithsonian press.
He enjoys teaching at the Academy, and the chance to work with motivated, gifted and talented young people who are just realizing their opportunities. Most May Terms Dr. Arnold leads a small group of students on a “history and hiking” trip to Europe. Past destinations have included Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, and Germany.
Tom Arnold News
Lecturer of Japanese
M.Ed. – DePaul University
B.A. – Wellesley College
Office: WA 149
Clara Chi received her B.A in Japanese and English from Wellesley College, and worked in Tokyo, Japan for over ten years as a translator in the Japanese banking industry. She received her M.Ed. in World Language Education from DePaul University in 2014, specializing in Japanese language education. Her thesis on interdisciplinary Japanese and English high school education was selected for presentation at the 2013 Central Association of Japanese Teachers’ conference at Eastern Michigan University. She is also a graduate of Illinois Math and Science Academy, Illinois’ sister consortium school to Indiana Academy. She is passionate about teaching Japanese language and culture, through which she hopes to further appreciation for all world languages and cultures.
Clara Chi News
Associate Lecturer of Computer Science
M.B.A., B.S., Continued graduate studies in Industrial Technology – Ball State University
Office: EL 007
Ms. Cunningham was appointed Instructor of Computer Science in 1996 at the Indiana Academy. Currently, she teaches AP Computer Science A/Java, Introduction to Programming/C++, Visual Programming/Python, Virtual Reality, Web Page Design and Personal Finance. Since the summer of 1997, Ms. Cunningham has also taught summer workshops for teachers and elementary through high school students. During the school year, she is also active in presenting computer technology Saturday programs for elementary through high school students. She is an AP Computer Science A Consultant for the College Board and AP Reader for AP Computer Science A tests.
Before coming to the Indiana Academy, she was Departmental Manager for various computer departments at Ontario Systems Corp. in Muncie, Indiana. She has experience as a Software Project Manager/Systems Analyst at Conseco, Inc. (Carmel, IN) and started as a Programmer Analyst at Ball Corporation in Muncie, Indiana. While attending Ball State University as an undergraduate, she was a programmer consultant for the Charles A. Beard School Corporation in Knightstown, Indiana and was instrumental in setting up their first computer labs. She has also taught night classes at Indiana Wesleyan University, Indianapolis, IN. Currently, she is an independent contractor for various programming projects.
Ms. Cunningham is a former member and officer (serving 3 terms) on the Board of Directors for Heritage Place in Indianapolis, Indiana, former member of the Indianapolis Computer Society, former member of the Network of Business Women in Indianapolis, former member of Toastmasters, former member of Sigma Iota Epsilon (Ball State) and has served on the YMCA Programs and Activities Committee, Muncie, IN. In 1989, she was in the Who’s Who Among Women Executives.
Susie Cunningham News
Lecturer of Mathematics
M.A. – Ball State University
B.A. – Olivet Nazarene University
Office: WA 152
Jessica Edrington joined the faculty of the Indiana Academy in 2018 after teaching mathematics at Lowell Senior High School in Lowell, Indiana, for eleven years. Ms. Edrington earned her M.A. in Mathematics from Ball State University in 2016, B.A. in Mathematics from Olivet Nazarene University in 1998, and graduated from the Indiana Academy in 1994. She enjoys the opportunity to teach at her alma mater.
Jessica Edrington News
Associate Lecturer of Mathematics
M.S., B.S. – Ball State University
Office: WA 153
Since beginning at the Academy in 1991, Ms. Foltz has enjoyed teaching courses in Algebra, Precalculus, Finite Mathematics, Statistics, Calculus, and AP Calculus. She believes that “mathematics is not a spectator sport,” and so she seeks to engage students in the course topics, encouraging them to think like mathematicians in the process. She is also the instructor for the AP Calculus courses that are available through the Indiana Academy Online. Ms. Foltz has led Outreach summer workshops and school in-service sessions on the use of technology in the secondary classroom. She also currently serves as a Faculty Consultant in AP Calculus for the College Board, leading one day and weeklong sessions, and has been a Reader and Table Leader for the College Board in AP Calculus.
Ms. Foltz was the chief developer of educational materials for the web-based Get-A-Five, an online provider of calculus video tutorials, diagnostic questions, and practice AP exams. She was part of the team that prepared materials for the training manual used by AP Calculus consultants. Previously, she was a contributing author for the Kaplan AP Calculus AB & BC study guide and was a member of a project team that completed a National Science Foundation calculus curriculum grant at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Ms. Foltz was the recipient of the Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished High School Mathematics Teaching from the Mathematical Association of America, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Outstanding High School Teacher Award, the Radio Shack National Teacher Award, the Sigma Xi (Ball State University Chapter) Teacher of the Year Award, the Siemens Award for Advanced Placement – Teacher Award for the State of Indiana, and the Dean Roy Weaver Indiana Academy Outstanding Contributor Award.
Lecturer of English
M.A. – Marquette University
B.A. – Ball State University
Office: EL 007 B
David Haynes has been an Instructor of English at the Academy since 2008. He has taught American and World Literature, Creative Writing, Junior and Senior Colloquium, and the Victorian novel. David received his Masters degree from Marquette University and did three years of doctoral work in literature at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has taught composition at Marquette, Ball State, and UIUC, where he also served as a graduate assistant in several literature courses. He has authored an article on an Irish film, which appeared in the New Hibernia Review in 2002. His graduate work focused on British and Irish modernism and Victorian literature.
David Haynes News
Dr. Bridget Lester
Assistant Teaching Professor of Biology and Life Sciences
Ph. D. (Human Bioenergetics), M.S. (Biology), B.S. (Biology) – Ball State University
Office: EL 009C
Dr. Bridget Lester joined the Indiana Academy in 2020. She earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology before earning her Ph.D. in Human Bioenergetics from the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University (BSU) in 2010. Prior to joining the Academy, Dr. Lester was on the faculty at Elmhurst College and Anderson University in their respective Kinesiology Departments where she taught exercise science classes. She has also taught undergraduate cell biology classes at BSU in the Biology Department. Additionally, she has worked as a research associate conducting exercise science research at BSU’s Human Performance Laboratory. Dr. Lester is passionate about sharing her excitement and curiosity for science with the students she teaches. Additionally, she enjoys running and spending time with her husband and two boys.
Dr. Phillip Lobo
Assistant Teaching Professor of English
Ph.D. – University of Southern California
B.A. – Tufts University
Office: EL 008 D
Dr. Lobo began teaching at the Academy in the fall of 2019. He majored in English as an undergraduate at Tufts University, before going on to receive his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California. His research interests include the modern novel, games, formal realism, and the part all three play in the production of identity and subjectivity. He has been published in journals such as Postmodern Culture, Game Studies, and Chiasma, on subjects ranging from ecocriticism to Japanese film. His teaching career includes Comparative Literature, Women Writers, World Culture and Writing Composition. At the Academy he teaches English courses, including American Literature, World Literature, Creative Writing, and Junior Colloquium. He maintains an interest in the way the literary and the ludic converge to create new possibilities, and how they might make room for new voices and new forms of self-expression.
Phillip Lobo News
Lecturer of Social Studies
M.A. – Ball State University
B.S. – Indiana University
Office: WA 150
Mr. Marsh has had a wide-ranging career, though teaching is his greatest passion. He joined the Academy faculty in 2006, and absolutely loves working with these amazing students. His previous teaching experience was with Ball State University and the University of Indianapolis. He has taught American History, Western and World Civilizations, Public History, Government, and Religious Studies. His History of World Religions course is a favorite at the Academy, and his May Term courses are creative, interactive projects such as the construction of ancient Egyptian tombs or famous prehistoric caves. Mr. Marsh was the recipient of the inaugural Robert P. Bell Creative Teaching Award in 2018. He was chosen by Academy students in 2016 to receive the Dean Roy Weaver Award, and he was also selected twice by Ball State students for a University Professorship Teaching Award.
Mr. Marsh and his wife won the national McLaren Comedy Festival Award in 2014 for a play they wrote. He also co-authored a musical play which was produced in Branson, Missouri, during which time he served as Vice-President of Marketing and Production for the theatre, and also performed as on-stage host.
From 1995-2006, Mr. Marsh was the Executive Director of the Grissom Air Museum. During his tenure, the historic aircraft collection, exhibits, educational programs, and funding grew substantially, while annual museum visitation more than tripled. Other endeavors include writing an op-ed column for the Indianapolis News and other papers, as well as authoring articles for history and general interest publications. Early in his career, Mr. Marsh founded a burglar and fire alarm company in Muncie which he operated for seven years. He has a business degree from Indiana University, and a Master’s degree in history from Ball State University.
John Marsh News
- Teaching During a Pandemic – a Century Ago by Mr. John Marsh
- Academy Instructors Receive Bell Education Grants
- John Marsh Named Recipient of Inaugural Robert P. Bell Creative Teaching Award
- Explore the “Cave of Time” at the Indiana Academy
- Indiana Academy Instructors Awarded Robert P. Bell Education Grants
Lecturer of Life Sciences
M.S. – University of Michigan
B.Ph. – Grand Valley University
Office: WA 147
Mr. Mayfield teaches Human Anatomy and Physiology, Ecology, Environmental Biology, Introduction to Microbiology, Introduction to Zoology, Botany, Humanity/Biotechnology, and Social Issues and Research. Additionally, he serves as the sponsor of the Environmental Club, Speech and Debate Team, and Envirothon Team. Mr. Mayfield is an evolutionary biologist who is doing his dissertation research on evolutionary relationships in orchids. He has published articles in the fields of systematic botany and entomology.
Mike Mayfield News
Dr. Mark Myers
Assistant Teaching Professor of Social Studies
Ph.D. – West Virginia University
M.A. – East Tennessee State University
B.A. – Bluefield State College
Office: EL 009 D
Dr. Myers has been an instructor of history at the Academy since the Fall 2006 semester. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science from Bluefield State College in West Virginia, a Master’s Degree in U.S. History from East Tennessee State University, and a Ph.D. in Appalachian Regional History from West Virginia University, where he wrote a dissertation titled, “Deindustrialization and the Decline of Community in the Coalfields: McDowell County, West Virginia, 1950-2000.” From 2001 to 2006, Dr. Myers taught history part-time at West Virginia University while working on his doctorate. He has also taught history at East Tennessee State University, Fairmont State University (WV), Bluefield State College, Ball State University, and Ivy Tech Community College. Along with the Foundations and American History core classes, Dr. Myers also teaches advanced reading courses in Appalachian History, American Working Class History, Native American History, the History of Science and Technology, and US History from 1920-1945. Dr. Myers is the author of “Depression, Recovery, Instability: The NRA and the McDowell County, West Virginia, Coal Industry, 1920-1938,” published in Coal, Class, and Politics in Modern Appalachia: Essays in Honor of Ronald L. Lewis (Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2009), as well as numerous encyclopedia entries and book reviews. Dr. Myers is currently working on a project on Dr. Henry Hatfield, the Progressive era governor of West Virginia.
Lecturer of English
Inclusive Excellence Coordinator
M.Ed. – East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania
B.A. – Calvin College
Office: EL 008 C
Stephanie Nagelkirk joined the Academy in the fall of 2005. She earned her undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and worked in the law enforcement field for several years before returning to school for a master’s degree in English education. Currently ABD in literature, her doctoral research focuses on African-American and Postcolonial difference feminisms. In her tenure at the Academy, Ms. Nagelkirk has taught the following literature courses: American, World, African-American, Women’s, Utopian, and Holocaust, as well as Creative Writing, AP English Language and Composition, Writing Lab, and the Colloquia series. Additionally, she has developed an International Exchange Program with Sankt Afra School in Meissen, Germany into a bi-annual project and cultural collaboration that enables Academy students to travel to Germany during the spring semester for deep dive work into various content areas. In 2020, Ms. Nagelkirk moved to the newly-formed position of Inclusive Excellence Coordinator, which works to improve inclusivity and diversity at all levels of the Academy. As both the English department head and the Humanities Division Chair, Ms. Nagelkirk has a widely varied set of responsibilities, but she also prioritizes distance running, attending her children’s sporting events, international travel, and advocating for underrepresented groups of people, both within and outside of the Academy.
Stephanie Nagelkirk News
Dr. Sazzad Nasir
Assistant Teaching Professor of Physics
Ph.D., M.A.S. – University of Cambridge (England)
B.S – University of Dhaka (Bangladesh)
Office: EL 027 A
Dr. Sazzad Nasir joined the Academy in the fall of 2019. He received his BS with Honors in physics from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Subsequently, he earned his Master of Advanced Study with Distinction and Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics from the University of Cambridge, England. His teaching and research career straddled multiple scientific disciplines. Before joining the Academy, he has been a faculty member at Northwestern University, where he taught and led research in neuroscience. His research in physics and neuroscience appeared in leading journals such as Communications in Mathematical Physics, Physics Letters, Nature Neuroscience, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Neuropsychologia. Currently, he has a research affiliation with Haskins Laboratories at Yale University.
He has deep passion for teaching. He takes great satisfaction in nurturing young talents and rekindling in them the passion for learning and making them curious about the world they live in.
Dr. Michael Niemeier
Assistant Teaching Professor of Mathematics
Ph.D., M.S. (Mathematics) – Florida State University
B.S. (Mathematics) – University of Nebraska
Office: EL 007
Dr. Michael Niemeier joined the Academy in the fall of 2020. He received his BS in Mathematics from the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 2014. He then went on to receive his Master and Ph. D. in Mathematics from Florida State University in 2019 and 2020, respectively. His research interests are in Category Theory, Algebraic Geometry, and Homotopy Theory. While attending Florida State as a Graduate student he taught a variety of courses including: Linear Algebra, Discrete Mathematics, Calculus I, Calculus II, and Pre-Calculus. In addition, he received the Distinguished Graduate Teaching Assistant Award in Spring 2019 and helped mentor graduate students teaching solo for the first time in Spring 2020. In his personal time, Dr. Niemeier enjoys rock climbing, traveling, and spending time with his cat, Puma.
Dr. Michael Niemeier News
Lecturer of Chemistry
M.A. – Indiana Wesleyan University
B.A. – Indiana University
B.S. – Trine University
Office: EL 009 G
ChristyAnn Norton joined the Academy in the fall of 2018 teaching General Chemistry and AP Chemistry. Her philosophy on education is that it is not a spectator sport; students must be engaged in what they are learning and be provided with opportunities to apply what they have learned in novel situations. She has over twenty years of teaching experience and continues to seek better and more engaging methods to the classroom. ChristyAnn received her Master’s in Science Education from Indiana Wesleyan and has begun work on her Master’s in Chemistry where she will continue her focus on Chemistry Education. She holds a BA from Indiana University in Sociology with a concentration in Psychology and a BS from Trine University in Chemistry Education and a concentration in Mathematics.
Lecturer of Russian and German
M.A. (Russian Language and Literature) – Purdue University
M.A. (German) – Indiana University
Office: WA 152
Mrs. Rogers has taught Russian language at the Indiana Academy since it opened its doors in the fall of 1990. Over the years she has also taught Russian literature at the Academy and German language both at the Academy and at Ball State University, as well as served as an English/Russian translator for Ball State University and around the community of Muncie. Mrs. Rogers holds a Masters Degree in Russian Language and Literature from Purdue University in West Lafayette and a Masters Degree in German from Indiana University in Bloomington, where the focus of her graduate work was on historical linguistics and old Germanic languages. In her free time, Mrs. Rogers is active with volunteer work for Muncie Community Schools and for First Presbyterian Church in Muncie and enjoys traveling with her husband, two daughters and her beagle.
Heather Rogers News
Associate Lecturer of Mathematics
M.S. – Michigan Technological University
B.S. – Cornerstone University
Office: WA 150
Joshua Ruark earned his Bachelor’s degree in Math and Social Studies in Secondary Education from Cornerstone University in 1999. In 2011, he earned a Master’s in Discrete Mathematics from Michigan Technological University, where he stayed on for the 2011-12 year as an instructor before joining the faculty at the Indiana Academy in 2012.
In addition to teaching classes ranging from Pre-Calculus to Differential Equations, Mr. Ruark coaches both the Quiz Bowl and Academic Superbowl teams.
On a personal note, Joshua is an avid game player, with Scrabble, Dominion, and 7 Wonders among his favorites. He also is a fan of all things Star Trek, and although he doesn’t own a costume from any of the series, he can identify almost any episode of ST:TOS and ST:TNG by title.
Joshua Ruark News
Associate Lecturer of Physics
M.S. – Indiana Univesity / Purdue University at Indianapolis
B.S. – Purdue University
Office: WA 145 A
Mr. Schuh has been with us for over a decade, and teaches all levels of Physics for the school. He received three certificates of Distinguished Service during his education at Purdue University and was awarded the Top Graduate Teacher award in 1998. Since joining the Academy family, he has been awarded Meritorious distinction for both Service and Teaching, and has been listed several times with Who’s Who among American Teachers. Mr. Schuh regularly speaks across the country helping AP teachers improve their craft, and has logged over 2000 hours in front of distance-learning cameras for both national and international instruction.
Dr. Sean Scott
Assistant Teaching Professor of History
Ph.D. – Purdue University
M.A. – Ball State University
Office: WA 149
Dr. Sean A. Scott joined the Academy history faculty in August 2015. He earned a Ph.D. in history from Purdue University in 2008. Since receiving his doctorate he taught history at Ouachita Baptist University and American studies at Christopher Newport University. He also served as an assistant editor with the Papers of Abraham Lincoln project, conducting research at the National Archives. A specialist in the study of religion during the Civil War era, he has authored A Visitation of God: Northern Civilians Interpret the Civil War (Oxford University Press, 2011) and several peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals.
Dr. Maria Slocum
Assistant Teaching Professor of French
Ph.D., M.A. – University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.A. – Albion College
Office: WA 151
Dr. Slocum teaches French courses at the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and the Humanities at Ball State University. She has previously taught French at Colorado State University-Pueblo, Michigan Technological University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned her Ph.D. in French literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed her minor in the department of Theatre and Drama. Her research focuses on twentieth century French literature and theatre.
Lecturer of Spanish
M.A.T.L. – University of Southern Mississippi
B.A. – University of Massachusetts
Office: EL 008 B
Mr. Robert Smith joined the Academy in 2014. He received his B.A. in Spanish grammar and conversation from the University of Massachusetts at Boston in 1991. He earned his Master’s degree in Teaching Languages in 2008 from the University of Southern Mississippi campuses in Madrid and Mexico. Before coming to The Academy, he taught Spanish most recently at Danville High School in Danville, IN. Before that, he taught at a college preparatory school called Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, MA. He also taught at Boston College High School in Dorchester, MA. As part of his graduate and undergraduate studies, he spent almost 2 years in Spain and three months in Mexico. He also spent a year in Ecuador working with the poor and underprivileged. He has also travelled extensively in Latin America. His professional work includes serving as a Spanish/English interpreter in courtrooms, hospitals and for private businesses. He was an Adjunct Faculty member at Indiana University for 8 years before coming to The Academy. He is married to his wife Christina and they have two kids: Elizabeth and Bobby. When he is not teaching, Mr. Smith enjoys many outdoor sports like running, biking and hiking. He also practices basketball, golf and his new passion: Muay Thai; which is a martial art from Thailand. Mr. Smith has been practicing Muay Thai since 2009 and he has fought in a few competitions. He considers it a great skill to know and a great way to keep in condition. Mr. Smith is looking forward to working with the talented people here at The Academy as teaching Spanish is his passion and he loves sharing it with people.
Dr. Godfrey Walwema
Assistant Teaching Professor of Physics
Ph.D. (Curriculum & Instruction) – University of Wyoming
M.S. (Physics) – Western Illinois University
B.S. (Physics & Mathematics) – Makerere University (Uganda)
Dr. Godfrey Walwema is thrilled to join The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities as a Physics Instructor. Godfrey has taught physics for over 15 years at the International Baccalaureate and Advanced levels as well as high school. Prior to joining Ball State University, Godfrey taught physical science to preservice teachers at the University of Wyoming. He has also taught physics in Uganda, Kenya, Eswatini, and Botswana.
Godfrey believes that students should find the learning of physics interesting and exciting because the application of physics principles is evident all around them in real-life situations. He contends that naturally, students are likely to be interested in exploring and learning about what happens around them. For instance, they would want to know how the microwave oven functions, the principle behind the GPS, the most efficient way to conserve energy, and the technology involved in computers and cellphones. To this end, Godfrey’s research interest is to investigate teaching strategies that would make the learning of physics interesting and exciting to students.
Godfrey earned a B.S. in physics and mathematics from Makerere University, an M.S. in Physics from Western Illinois University, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Science Education from The University of Wyoming. In his spare time, he reads about the latest innovations in the field of science and technology.
Dr. Godfrey Walwema News
Associate Lecturer of Mathematics
M.A. – University of Maine
B.A. – Assumption College (Worcester, MA)
Office: WA 151
In 2011 Mrs. Wright moved to Muncie and began teaching at the Academy. She studied mathematics and education as an undergraduate at Assumption College in Worcester, MA while she played on the basketball team for four years. She completed her graduate work in mathematics at the University of Maine. Before she came to the Academy she taught at a community college in Maine. She believes Academy students are challenging but lots of fun. She is an instructor of Statistics, and Precalculus, among other math courses.