Evangel University started the 2018-2019 academic year with three new full-time faculty members.
• Sandra Cassell, a 1993 graduate of Evangel with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, returned to the campus this fall as an assistant professor of business. She will also serve as the Enactus adviser.
Her most recent experience was as a lead corporate trainer and a quality control analyst with the Internal Revenue Service. Prior to that, she served as a senior IT instructor with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Cassell got her start as a staff analyst with the Fed, after earning her Master of Business Administration from University of Central Missouri in 1996.
She completed her Doctor of Business Administration coursework and exam in June.
“Sandra Cassell brings extensive corporate experience, strong academic credentials, and a passion to teach and mentor students,” said Dr. Mike McCorcle, provost and executive vice president for Evangel. “Her desire is to help students grow and integrate their faith within their vocational and personal life choices.”
Cassell is part of a three-generation alumni family.
“I was Sandy Beltz as a student and met my husband, Bruce, while we were both in the business department at Evangel,” she said. “His mother, Saundra Cassell, attended Evangel in the late ’50s, and now our son, Josh, is a Founder’s Scholar freshman studying biblical studies and counseling.”
• Dr. Emily Johns is welcomed to Evangel as an assistant professor of digital learning. She holds a doctorate in curriculum studies from Stellenbosch University in South Africa and has 20 years of experience in institutions of higher education on the international level. She recently completed Online Teaching Certification with a Mastery in Instructional Design.
“My specialization during my Ph.D. studies was the development of a curriculum to teach pastors and community leaders about HIV/AIDS,” she said. “This was during the days when Southern Africa was the epicenter of the disease and the stigma surrounding HIV was so strong that people were killed for divulging their positive status.”
Dr. Johns served for 25 years with her husband, Greg, as Assemblies of God Missionaries in South Africa. From 2008-2013 her job was as team leader for Cry Africa, the HIV/AIDS initiative for the continent of Africa.
On the local front, Johns is an alumna of four Springfield colleges and universities. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sacred music from Central Bible College, then earned a second bachelor’s of music education from Missouri State University. This was followed by a masters of education in curriculum and instruction from Drury University. And the fourth? “Although I did not graduate from here, I did attend kindergarten on the campus of Evangel when I was 5!”
Dr. Johns is the wife of Greg Johns, Evangel campus pastor. Together they have two married children.
“As long as I can remember I have been drawn to Evangel University and believe deeply in the mission of the school,” she said. “Throughout the years I have been continually impressed with the quality of graduates that the school has produced, as well as the devotion and calling of the faculty.”
• Kelly Richardson, is joining the Evangel University faculty as an assistant professor of kinesiology.
A Willard, Missouri, native, Richardson graduated from Evangel in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education. During her time at Evangel, she was a NAIA All-American volleyball player. She then earned her Master of Science in Athletic Administration/Activity from Southwest Baptist University.
She has spent the past 13 years coaching collegiate volleyball at SBU, University of Texas at Arlington, and Western Illinois University (NCAA Div. I) before returning to her alma mater.
In the spring of 2016, she was inducted into the Willard Activities Hall of Fame and in the fall of 2016, she was inducted into Evangel Athletics Hall of Fame.
“What brought me back to Evangel was the opportunity to return home where family is,” she said. “Getting the opportunity to work in the department that helped me so much throughout college is a dream come true.”
Her husband, Robb ’06 teaches PE at Sherwood Elementary and is a member of the Evangel football staff. They have a 7-year-old son and a baby girl on the way in November.
WRITTEN BY: Paul K. Logsdon and Mallory A. Johnson