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Wesley Faculty and Staff Retire

Several Wesley College faculty and one staff member retired from their positions at the conclusion of the spring 2014 semester.

Christine Jarrell, nursing clinical lab coordinator, started working at Wesley in 2001 while in the process of studying for her MSN degree which she earned in 2004. During her time at Wesley, Jarrell presented a research poster on the effects of including safe patient handling and movement training in a BSN program at the Delaware Nurses Association spring conference in 2008. Prior to joining Wesley, she worked as a Delaware public health nurse and was part of the staff at Kent General Hospital. She also earned a $2000 grant for tobacco cessation programs from the American Cancer Society/American Lung Association. Although Jarrell is retiring from her full-time position she is considering working part-time in the nursing department moving forward.


Dr. Michael Nielsen, professor of media arts, began teaching at Wesley in 1989 and used his expertise in the field to build the school’s media arts department. As program chair, he was instrumental in the advancement of Wesley’s campus TV and radio stations. Nielsen is the producer of numerous video and CD projects covering topics from local educational institutions to Celtic culture, as well as author of several publications. Nielsen also works as a professional musician, playing the Celtic harp, Irish bouzouki and singing vocals. He has performed at various events at Wesley and in the local community.


Dr. Elizabeth Siemanowski, associate professor of psychology, started working at Wesley in 1982 as an adjunct and became a full-time faculty member in 2006. As the psychology department’s chair from 2006-2009, Siemanowski researched various areas in the field including success in college students and the relationship between dogs and their owners.


Dr. Judith Strasser, professor of nursing, has been at Wesley since 1996 and played a large role in the advancement of the school’s nursing programs. She aided in the creation of the Masters of Nursing program, which is built around community health. It is currently ranked as one of the 50 best graduate nursing programs in the country according to the U.S. News and World Report. Strasser also worked with her colleagues to secure grants that were used to improve the department. Professionally, she is a member of various healthcare organizations and has given numerous presentations on various health issues. She is currently in the process of writing a book on how to understand health.


Dr. Tom Sturgis retired from Wesley College at the end of the fall 2013 semester after more than three decades of service to the institution.  Hired in 1979 his career at Wesley included interim president, vice president and dean of students, director of graduate studies and chair of several departments in addition to director of residence life and a tenured faculty member. Sturgis was also instrumental in creating a charter school on the College campus.


Each retiree has made an impact in the lives of Wesley students and will be missed.