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Meet Our Faculty | MEd Alumni Testimonials | Meet Our Staff

Meet the MEd Faculty & Staff

The Walker School of Education works hard to provide programs that benefit learning outcomes and the students within our program. With the help of our faculty, students can not only benefit themselves, but they can also become leaders within their schools.

Meet Our Faculty

Mary Ritzdorf, Dean of the Walker School of Education
Dr. Mary Ritzdorf

Dean, Walker School of Education

BS, College of St. Mary; M.Ed., Doane University; EdD, College of St. Mary

Dr. Mary Ritzdorf serves as the Dean for the Walker School of Education. Ritzdorf’s career in education spans nearly 40 years, beginning with a 32-year tenure with Millard Public Schools, in which she served in various roles at both the elementary and middle school levels. After retiring from MPS, she was an assistant professor for math and technology at Doane University and also oversaw the supervision of student teachers. Ritzdorf moved to her alma mater, College of St. Mary, in 2019 where she served as Assistant Director for Education. Ritzdorf earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from CSM and earned both a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane University. She gained her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from CSM. 

Dr. Cammy Romanuck-Murphy, Director of Graduate Programs, Walker School of Education
Dr. Cammy Romanuck-Murphy

Director of Graduate Programs, Walker School of Education

BS, MS, Minot State University; MA, Wayne State College; EdD, Trident University International

Dr. Cammy Romanuck-Murphy serves as the Walker School of Education Director of Graduate Programs. Dr. Romanuck-Murphy holds an EdD in Educational Leadership from Trident University International, a Master of Arts in P-8 Educational Administration from Wayne State College, a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, and a Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders from Minot State University. She began her career as a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and remained an active SLP for nine years in K-12 education. In 2019, Dr. Romanuck-Murphy began teaching graduate courses as an adjunct instructor, in addition to her role as an SLP. She taught in the Masters and Doctoral programs at Trident University International in the College of Education and in the Communication Disorders undergraduate program at the University of Nebraska, Kearney. In 2021, Dr. Romanuck Murphy served as a full-time doctoral professor and research chair with Trident University International before accepting the Director of Graduate Programs role at Midland University.

Jamie Folkers, Administrative Coordinator and Certification Officer
Jamie Folkers

Administrative Coordinator and Certification Officer

Jamie Folkers has been the Administrative Coordinator for the Walker School of Education since 2016.  She has been the Certification Officer for Midland since 2019. She is a former elementary education teacher and youth director for her local church.  She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA and MA in Education. Jamie works with the dean of the Walker School of Education and all faculty to help coordinate all the behind-the-scenes work necessary to run the undergrad and graduate-level programs offered at Midland. She also works with the Nebraska Department of Education on all things related to teacher certification. Her favorite part of working at Midland is seeing the dedication the faculty has in providing great experiences for students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Nancy Christensen, Assistant Professor of Education, Midland University
Nancy Christensen

Assistant Professor of Education, Midland University

B.S., University of Nebraska Lincoln; M.Ed., Doane University

Nancy Christensen is currently serving as Assistant Professor of Education at Midland University, teaching in both the undergraduate and M.Ed. programs. Nancy earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Doane University. She spent the first years of her career serving as a reading specialist in Omaha Public Schools and then a classroom teacher in Fremont Public Schools. Nancy then transitioned into an Instructional Writing Coach for K-8 Teachers and an Independent Consultant providing professional development in teaching writing for more than 25 districts in Nebraska, Iowa, and North Dakota.   

Carla Noerrlinger, Adjunct Instructor, Midland M.Ed.
Carla Noerrlinger

Director of Research Division, Omaha Public Schools and Adjunct Instructor, Midland M.Ed.

As an educator, Carla was employed by the Omaha Public Schools (OPS) for 39 years serving in many different roles. After her retirement in July 2014, she became an adjunct instructor at Midland University in the Walker School of Education. In this capacity, she assists graduate students in the Leadership, Teaching and Learning program as they designed, research, and implemented action research projects. Additionally, she has supervised elementary, middle school, and special education teacher candidates in their capstone clinical experiences.

Carla has a Master of Education in Administration and an Endorsement in Assessment certified by the State of Nebraska.

Dr. Tony Weers, Adjunct Instructor, Midland M.Ed.
Dr. Tony Weers

Director of Secondary Education, Millard Public Schools and Adjunct Instructor, Midland M.Ed.

BA, Dana College; MA, Doane University; EdD University of Nebraska-Omaha

With 20 years of experience as a teacher, building administrator, superintendent, and director Tony is convinced the most critical aspect of leadership is people. Empowering people to do more for the students they serve has become a passion of his. With over 15 years of administrative experience, Tony is excited to help professionals learn how to stretch themselves and lead in new and innovative ways.

Kayti Pfaffle

Adjunct ELL Instructor

BA, California Baptist University; MA, Morningside College

With 17 years of experience in education, including teaching all Spanish levels (1-4), Spanish for Native Speakers, and English as a Second Language. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a Master’s degree in Education and ELL. She serves as the head ESL teacher for grades 9-12, the district coordinator for ELPA testing, and the district director for the Seal of Biliteracy.

Before teaching, she lived in Costa Rica and Mexico. She also spent time in other countries traveling, studying, interpreting, and participating in short-term missions. She currently teaches a Linguistics class as part of Midland University’s ESL endorsement. In this class, she loves being able to share her ESL expertise, helping students engage in the course content online and offer a practical application for their classrooms. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and 4-year-old son, traveling, social networking, and participating in Sunday school and women’s events at her church.

Janeal Zechman, Coordinator of Field Based Experiences and Adjunct Faculty
Janeal Zechman

Coordinator of Field Based Experiences and Adjunct Faculty

BA, Tabor College; MEd, Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Janeal spent nineteen years as a secondary teacher and principal in private Christian schools in Oklahoma and Texas. She spent an additional ten years working for ACSI, where one of her major responsibilities was overseeing the accreditation process for Christian schools in a six-state region. She also helped plan and organize three teachers’ conventions for the region each year. Additionally, she served on numerous accreditation visits throughout the United States and overseas.

After getting married in 2014, she moved to Nebraska to begin a new chapter in her life. She began working for Midland University in 2016 as the Field-Based Experience (FBE) Facilitator for the Walker School of Education and assisting students struggling to pass the math portion of the Core Praxis Exam. After one year, she began teaching Assessment for Learning at the undergraduate level and Continuous School Improvement at the graduate level while continuing her FBE placements and tutoring.

In 2019, the Core Praxis Preparation course was added to her undergraduate responsibilities to assist students who had not yet passed the Core Praxis Exam’s math portion. She has continued to serve as a chairperson for accreditation visits annually. When Janeal married, she became a wife, mother, grandmother, and pastor’s wife. Her husband and his late wife had six children. Several were already married by 2014, but three were still in the home. The first grandchild was born just twelve days before her wedding, so her “new chapter” was very full! Three more grandchildren have been added to the family. In addition to spending time with her family, Janeal enjoys making greeting cards and reading in her spare time.

Kate Hough, Adjunct Faculty
Kate Hough

Adjunct Faculty and HAL facilitator in Elkhorn Public Schools

BS and MS, The University of Nebraska-Lincoln; HAL Endorsement, The University of Nebraska-Kearney

Kate Hough began her career as a Speech-Language Pathologist earning both her Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Kate then went on to earn a HAL endorsement from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Currently, Kate has completed half of the Educational Administration Doctorate Program from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. 

As an Adjunct Faculty Member at Midland University, Kate has helped to develop and teach the following HAL endorsement courses at Midland since May of 2019:

  • Psychology of the Gifted (HAL 510) 
  • Administration of Gifted Programming (HAL 530) 
  • HAL Practicum/Seminar (HAL 599)

Kate also works as a HAL facilitator for Elkhorn Public Schools and teaches the Loyola Scholars Program at Creighton Prep. This is Kate’s 20th year teaching and 10th year as a HAL facilitator. 

Dr. Ryan Ricenbaw
Dr. Ryan Ricenbaw

Adjunct Faculty

Dr. Ryan Ricenbaw is a seasoned education professional who has devoted his career to improving educational outcomes and supporting teacher and principal development. Ryan currently works at the Nebraska Department of Education and serves as the Director of Statewide Teacher and Principal Support. Previously, Ryan served as the Chief Education Officer for an education non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, CA where he directed the organization’s education program operations working to expand access to identity and career alignment for underserved students. Before working with a non-profit, Ryan served as the principal of Waverly High School, a rural district of 3,000 students outside of Nebraska for 12 years. During his tenure, he worked with staff to build a collective commitment to student success through a culture of shared leadership. 

Dr. Cecilia Wilken

Educational Consultant, Educational Service Unit 3 & Adjunct Instructor, Midland

Dr. Cecilia Wilken has served as a teacher, coach, building administrator, and assistant superintendent for learning.  With eleven years of administrative experience, Cecilia believes that the heart of leadership is about building relationships and connecting with the community, while developing healthy systems to move student learning forward.  Leadership is about learning, and Cecilia is excited to support the continued development of those looking to be future administrators.

From Our MEd Alumni

Meet Our Staff

Our recruiting and advising team at Midland University is a valuable resource to students who have questions about their program, school schedule, or even what books to purchase for next semester!

Meghan Christensen
Meghan Christensen

Enrollment Specialist
Email Address: 
Phone Number: 402-941-6079

Schedule a Virtual Meeting

Brianna Ward at Midland University
Brianna Gieseking

Academic Advisor
Email Address: 
Phone Number: 402-720-5502

Schedule a Virtual Meeting

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