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Mrs. Susan Alford, Director of Teacher Education
With over 28 years of teaching experience and particular expertise in both English Language Learning and Special Education, Mrs. Alford was a key architect in designing and developing the high-quality Teacher Education Program that Grace University currently offers.
Throughout her distinguished career, she has taught a variety of courses that have included teacher preparation courses like Introduction to Special Education and ESL Methods, as well as General Education courses like Biology and Physical Science.
Mrs. Alford has also been instrumental in implementing the Business as Mission Teaching as Mission (BAM-TAM) study abroad program, which helps students learn how to apply their academic studies to a professional setting abroad. She has been particularly involved in coordinating the in-country practical application activities aimed at increasing students’ professional competence within a culturally diverse setting.
Her professional expertise combined with her passion for preparing future teachers, deep love of the Lord, and far-reaching strategic vision continue to grow the Grace influence through a best-in-class department that continually releases high-quality, Christ-centered student-leaders into educational systems within the Omaha metro and beyond.
Dr. Michelle Lundgren, Director of Student Teaching
A tenured professional with extensive expertise in both the K-12 classroom and educational administration and a sincere love of the Lord, Dr. Lundgren brings a wealth of diverse experience, spiritual wisdom, and contagious enthusiasm to the teacher preparation courses she teaches.
One of her most satisfying rewards during her years as a K-12 principal was serving as an instructional leader to both new and experienced teachers. Using this dynamic gift for educational leadership, Dr. Lundgren prepares prospective students to succeed in the classroom by building their competence in specialty areas of particular importance in the 21st century--classroom management and cultural diversity. She also helps train her teacher-candidate students to use the spiritual lens of Biblical integration to view, understand, and counteract destructive influences they will likely face in their future classrooms.
Additionally, she has been instrumental in facilitating a top-quality student teaching experience for both student teachers and their cooperating school districts. As a result, Grace graduates continue to rank among top teaching candidates throughout Omaha and the surrounding communities.
Mr. John Hood, Certification Officer
For over fourteen years, Mr. Hood has been involved in influencing the next generation, first through a junior high classroom and most recently as a member of the Teacher Education Faculty. In addition to teacher preparation courses, Mr. Hood has also been instrumental to providing high-quality instruction in his area of expertise—the Social Sciences.
With a heart for impacting today’s youth for Christ, Jon not only helps to produce Grace’s high-quality teaching candidates who represent Christ in a variety of venues, but also lends his expertise to leading short-term mission trips focused on Christ-centered interaction with young people abroad.
During his time in Teacher Education, Mr. Hood has served as the department’s Certification Officer, handling all Nebraska Department of Education certification activities for Grace graduates. Most recently, Mr. Hood’s love for the Lord and his enjoyment of sports has led him to serve Grace athletes in the role of Athletic Director. Under his leadership and through the guidance of top-notch coaches, the sports program at Grace has continued to flourish and has resulted in numerous National Championship games. Additionally, athletic participants have experienced strong spiritual guidance and growth.
Mrs. Justine Campbell, Director of Practicum Field Experiences
The most recent faculty addition and a former Grace Teacher Education graduate, Mrs. Justine Campbell comes to Grace directly from a local middle school, where she used her gift of teaching to instruct students in her content specialties—language arts and social science. During her time in classroom, however, she also worked with her students to raise their expectations and performance beyond mediocrity to excellence.
Through her recent role as a middle school teacher, Mrs. Campbell has first-hand experience of what future teachers will face in today’s classrooms. Known for her high standards and first-rate results, as well as her deep devotion to God and spiritual discernment, Mrs. Campbell provides both professional instruction and spiritual guidance to help future teachers reach their full, God-given potential.
Calling on her years of service in the United States Air Force, Mrs. Campbell has also used her gift of Administration to facilitate beneficial practicum experiences that help teacher candidates begin to apply their educational coursework to real-life classrooms.
Mr. Chris Benson, Teacher Education Coordinator
As the newest member of the Teacher Education Team, Mr. Benson has deep connections to Grace University. A former Admissions Counselor and a graduate of Grace’s Intercultural Studies program, Mr. Benson brings a variety of strengths to the Teacher Education Team, including his intercultural expertise and his deep desire to use his gifts and talents to serve the Lord by ministering to students and other members of the Grace family.
In addition to managing the department’s educational compliance requirements, Mr. Benson also helps administer the graduate activities of the Teacher Education Department and facilitates all training, team dynamics, and cross-cultural adjustment of BAM-TAM participants.
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