Honors program faculty


Contact info and brief biography of our Honors faculty.

The honors general study program brings together top faculty from many Walla Walla University academic departments. Many honors courses are interdisciplinary and team-taught by faculty from different areas.

Cynthia Westerbeck

Honors Director 

(509) 527-2370


  • MA Washington University in St. Louis
  • PhD Washington University in St. Louis

Teaching Areas

English major seminars in Restoration and Enlightenment, Romantic British Literature, Victorian Literature, Honors Western Thought, composition, Literature and the Arts and Environmental Literature


She has a particular interest in the intersection between literature and the arts as reflected in her dissertation, "Jubal's Journey: The Musician as Exile in Victorian Literature."

Nineteenth- century British literature


Playing viola and piano, hiking, mountaineering


  • Joined the faculty at WWU in 2017
  • Served as Chair and Professor of English at Pacific Union College and Columbia Union College

Kellie Bond

Chair, Associate Professor of English

(509) 527-2825


  • BA Walla Walla University, 1993
  • PhD University of Oregon, 2002

Teaching Areas

Literature, Composition and Honors Western Thought


  • Joined the Walla Walla English Department in 2004
  • Served as College Writing Coordinator from 2005-2009


Modern poetry is the focus of her research, as it was at the University of Oregon—specifically the work of Edna St. Vincent Millay, Carl Sandburg, and Sterling Brown.

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, modern literature, poetry, composition


Basketball, cats, reading novels and reading poems

Cecilia Brothers

Assistant Professor of Biology

(509) 527-2068


  • PhD University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2016

Teaching Areas
Anatomy and physiology, biostatistics and advanced microbiology 

Professor Brothers writes, "Research in my lab focuses on the physiology and ecology of marine invertebrates from coastal ecosystems, and the ability of these organisms to respond to climate change and other anthropogenic stressors."

Dr. Brothers' website

Kyle Craig

Chair, Professor of Chemistry

(509) 527-2762


  • PhD University of British Columbia; specialized in bio-organic chemistry with an emphasis in natural products/drug discovery
  • M.S. Walla Walla University; Biology with an emphasis in rodent ecology
  • BS Andrews University; Chemistry

Teaching Areas
Biochemistry, General Chemistry, Survey of Chemistry, Integrated Chemistry Laboratory and Communicating Chemistry

Metabolism, Chemical Ecology, and Chemical Education.

Camping, Hiking, Canyoneering, Photography and Reading

2021 Walla Walla University Excellence in Advising Award

Hilary Dickerson

Professor of History

(509) 527-2065


  • PhD Washington State University, 2011; U.S. History
  • MA Washington State University, 2004; American Studies

Teaching Areas
History of the U.S., Modern East Asian History, Spain and Latin America, History of the Pacific Northwest and Western Thought


Cultural exchanges between Japan and the U.S. from the 1920s-1950s, particularly focused on the lives on Nobuo Tatsuguchi and B.P. Hoffman

Twentieth Century American History; Japan, particularly from the Meiji-Era to the American Occupation; America during World War II and the Cold War; US foreign policy
Other Activities: Member-at-Large, Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast Board.

Family, travel, literature, camping and cooking



Administration Building 232

Greg Dodds

Chair, Professor of History

(509) 527-2851


  • PhD Claremont Graduate University, 2004; History
  • MBA Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management, 2000

Teaching Areas
Medieval and early modern Europe, History of Christianity, Science and the Enlightenment, women and society in early modern Europe, History of England, Western Thought and summer study tours in England


The Common People and Religious Toleration in Restoration England

Early Modern Europe, the History of Christianity, Desiderius Erasmus, post-reformation England

Family, travel, golf and water sports



  • Chair of the community council for the Walla Walla Children's Home Society
  • Executive officer of the Erasmus of Rotterdam Society


  • Administration Building 227


  • @gddodds

Dr. Dodd's website >

Paul Dybdahl

Professor of Mission and New Testament

(509) 527-2467



(BA, Walla Walla College; MDiv, Andrews University; PhD, Andrews University)

Paul Dybdahl was born in Thailand and spent the first eight years of his life in Asia before moving to the Walla Walla Valley. He attended grade school and high school in College Place, and graduated from Walla Walla College in 1992. He then accepted a call to be a pastor in the Oregon Conference, where he served for nearly five years. His time as a pastor included a sojourn to Andrews University, where he earned his MDiv in 1995. Paul later returned to Andrews for his doctorate and received his PhD in Missiology in 2004. His academic interest centers on the issues related to the effective communication of the gospel, especially across cultural barriers. Paul has been teaching at Walla Walla University since 2001.

Paul and his wife, Kristyn (also a graduate of Walla Walla College), have three children: Noah, Alyssa, and Sarah.

Mathilde Frey

Professor of Hebrew Bible, Old Testament

(509) 527-2379


(BA, Seminar Marienhoehe, Darmstadt, Germany; PhD, Andrews University)

Mathilde Frey comes to Walla Walla University with a European background. She grew up in communist Romania where she attended elementary and high school, and graduated with the Baccalaureate. In 1984, she immigrated to West Germany, studied Theology in Austria and Germany, and served as a pastor in the South German Conference for five years. In 2003, she moved to Berrien Springs, Michigan, and earned a PhD in Old Testament from Andrews University. Her dissertation is titled, The Sabbath in the Pentateuch: An Exegetical and Theological Study.

In 2008, Mathilde accepted a call to teach Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and Hebrew Language at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, in the Philippines. She also served as the editor of the Journal of Asia Adventist Seminary (JAAS) and as chair of the Master of Arts in Theology Program until 2014, when she moved to Walla Walla together with her husband Marcus and their two children, Delia and Eva.

Mathilde's academic interest is focused on close reading of the Hebrew Bible. She has written articles and book chapters on the Sabbath, has authored the Deuteronomy commentary for the Andrews Study Bible, and is currently writing a commentary on the book of Judges for the Seventh-day Adventist International Bible Commentary. Her international experience combined with pastoral ministry and academic work enriches her teaching in the classroom and her other contributions to the Walla Walla University campus.

Bob Gardner

Professor of Social Work and Sociology

(509) 527-2512



  • PhD University of Utah, 1977

Teaching Areas
General sociology, sociological theory, sociology seminar, social research methods, social policy and advocacy

The Social Transformation of Seventh-day Adventist Medicine and Health Care, Church and Sect in Postmodern America, Navajo Health Disparities

Traveling, indigenous art, reading, skiing and golf


Professional Memberships/Affiliations  

  • Pacific Sociological Association


  • Walla Walla University Seventh-day Adventist Church

Timothy Golden

Professor of Philosophy

Director, Legal Studies

(509) 527-2217


  • PhD University of Memphis, 2011; Philosophy 
  • MA West Chester University of Pennsylvania 2006

Teaching Areas
Intro to Philosophy, Essentials of Critical Reasoning, History of Philosophy, Existentialism, Phenomenology, African-American Philosophy, Philosophy of Law, Social/Political Philosophy and Philosophy and the Bible


  • Practiced law in the Federal Court of Appeals


Constitutional Law, Individual Rights and Critical Race Theory

Kant and 19th/20th Century Continental Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion/Philosophical Theology, African-American Philosophy/Critical Race Theory

Acting and cooking 



Administration Building 235 

Benjamin D. Jackson

Chair, Associate Professor of Mathematics

(509) 527-2088
Kretschmar Hall 338


Research Interests
Partial differential equation models, parameter estimation and uncertainty quantification and collaboration with experimentalists

Sara Kakazu

Professor of English




  • MA Western Washington University 
  • PhD University at Buffalo, SUNY 

Teaching Areas

Poetry and creative nonfiction, composition, early American and 19th-century American literature 


Poetry and American narratives, particularly 19th-century travel narratives and their role in identity formation, slave/liberation narratives, and captivity narratives   


  • Served as Chair and Professor of English at Pacific Union College  
  • PUC Educator of the Year, 2021 

    Kirt Onthank

    Associate Professor of Biology

    (509) 527-2642


    • PhD Washington State University, 2013

    Biological research, cell biology I: structure and bioenergetics, biocomputing and bioinformatics and animal physiology


    • Research interests include ecological physiology and behavioral ecology of marine invertebrates, especially cephalopods. 
    • His current research is focused around the idea that all living things must bring to bear specific physiological adaptations to survive and thrive in the environments in which they find themselves.  He is particularly interested in how cephalopods' physiology, which is similar to that of slugs, snails and clams, has enabled this group of marine invertebrates to be active, mobile predators that compete with vertebrates.  He is also interested in adaptations, behavioral and physiological to dynamic, changing environments, such as hydrothermal vents.

    Dr. Onthank's website

    Monique Roddy

    Assistant Professor of History

    (509) 527-2863


    • PhD University of Chicago, 2016; Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

    Teaching Areas
    Ancient Near East, Classical Greece and Rome, Western Thought, Middle Eastern History, African History, The West and the World, World Geography


    Iron Age Households at Khirbat al-Balua, Jordan (co-director of the Balua Regional Archaeological Project)

    History and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East; Households and Communities of the Iron Age Southern Levant (circa 1200 BC)

    Travel, knitting and cooking



    Vice President of the Walla Walla Society of the Archaeological Institute of America

    Publications Manager for the Center for Near Eastern Archaeology, La Sierra University


    Administration Building 233