This semester, AU welcomed six new faculty members to campus. Of those six, five were MBA Director Dr. David Brewer, Instructor of Computer Science Jonathan Craton, Instructor of Nursing Randall Gray, Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity Jason Lowmiller and Assistant Professor of Athletic Training Emily Day.
Dr. David Brewer
Dr. David Brewer, AU’s new MBA director, earned his bachelor’s degrees in English and history from Northwestern University. He also holds an MBA in management and a doctorate in organizational leadership from Eastern University.
Brewer has taught at five universities and directed two nonprofit organizations.
AllOne Community Services is a nonprofit based in Portland, Oregon, that was founded by Brewer.
“It was aimed at helping churches in the community work together to meet social service needs,” he said. “Over the course of about five years we ended up with more than 40 churches working together to do housing, healthcare, education and business development.”
Brewer has been married to his wife, Rose, for more than 23 years. She is an ordained pastor in the Free Methodist Church. Together they have two children—a 17-year-old son named Zephaniah and an 11-year-old adopted African American son named Jakobi.
Before they got married, Brewer and his wife knew they wanted to adopt a child from another culture.
“It’s a really rich way to learn and expose our own blindnesses and biases,” he said. “When we go out somewhere we always think, ‘Where are the places we can go where all our family members will be accepted and welcomed?’ It’s not always as easy as you’d like to think.”
In his spare time, Brewer enjoys reading, hiking and cooking. He and his wife share garden beds with their neighbors. Brewer likes experimenting with the fresh ingredients.
“It’s great to be able to go out and grab beans, peppers, tomatoes or whatever else is ready to harvest, and do something with them in the kitchen,” he said.
Other than the Bible, some of Brewers favorite reads include “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “Leadership and Self-Deception” by John Maxwell and books by David Halberstam and David McCullough.
Jonathan Craton joined the School of Science and Engineering this semester as an instructor of computer science. Craton earned his bachelor’s in computer engineering and his master’s in higher education and student development from Taylor University. He is currently finishing a master’s in computer science at Dakota State University.
Craton has experience working with students as an RD, director of student programs and assistant director of housing. This semester he will be teaching software engineering and computer networks.
“I really enjoy working with students,” he said. “That’s what drew me into this career path. I want to educate students in the practical things they need to know, but I also want students to leave here transformed into a better person than they were when they came here.”
Craton has a real passion for mentoring students and watching them grow.
“Walking alongside people as they’re defining who they are, building their identity, determining what they want to do with their life and who they want to be is what I really value about this work,” he said. “I hope to help and guide students as they do this.”
Outside of working with students, Craton is interested in LEGO bricks, woodworking and working on his house.
“I’m coming from living in a residence hall for the last six years, so having my own house is a brand new experience,” he said. “Working on my house is a hobby, but also kind of a chore, depending on how you see it.”
Craton lives with his wife, Karin, and their 3-year-old son Benji.
“There’s definitely a period after you have a kid where you wonder what you were doing with all your time before you had a kid,” Craton said. “It forces you to reprioritize and think about what really matters to you.”
Randall Gray joined AU’s School of Nursing this fall as an instructor of nursing. After graduating from AU with a bachelor’s in nursing and psychology, Gray has worked in the ICU at St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital for 16 years.
He is teaching a class on adult health this semester, which focuses on the endocrine system.
“My students have become my patients,” Gray said. “There aren’t as many fires to put out. There’s not as much disease or illness to fight. I’m looking at in from the long-term perspective of raising up the next generation of nurses.”
What excites Gray most about the upcoming year is being able to encourage nursing students to make a difference in their chosen field.
“I joke that I’ve never done anything in nursing that I didn’t love,” he said. “I hope to be able to motivate and inspire young people to want to be a nurse, and to want to be the kind of nurse who really makes a big difference.
“What I think I’m going to love about this job is seeing the students go through that transformation, find out what they want to do, fall in love with being a nurse and get hooked on the idea of making a difference.”
Gray is currently enrolled in an acting class. The class is a two-year study of the Meisner technique, an approach to acting that encourages the actor to react naturally to imaginary circumstances. He has found the class helpful in his nursing career for helping him become a better listener.
Gray has two sons—a 20-year-old named David and a 9-year-old named Eli. He enjoys playing Fortnite and going to the park and with Eli, as well as encouraging Eli’s creativity.
“We made a movie over the summer,” he said. “It was a stop-animation with his LEGO characters. We took about 1,000 pictures and put them together for a 60-second clip. It’s been fun to watch his creative side develop.”
Jason Lowmiller is a new assistant professor of cybersecurity at AU. Lowmiller earned his master’s in cybersecurity from Bellevue University.
Lowmiller has experience as a developer, a network and systems engineer and a security analyst.
“The majority of my work has been training certification—bootcamp, immersion style—and training organizations and individuals in cybersecurity topics,” he said. “I also help clients do risk analysis, including some vulnerability assessments and penetration testing. Throughout my career, cybersecurity has always had some element of focus.”
According to Lowmiller, the transition into his new position has been smooth.
“The transition to AU has been amazing,” he said. “I’m super excited to be here and to have the opportunity to impact lives at this level.
“This really has been a very natural progression. I have been winding down and transitioning areas of my business to focus on AU full-time. It’s been time consuming to be doing elements of both small business work and being a full-time professor.”
Lowmiller said he has been traveling a lot recently, so he’s happy to finally be settled in one place.
He and his wife live in Marion. She works for Indiana Wesleyan as the Director of Grants and Sponsored Programs. They have a dog and three children. Their oldest child has just started third grade and is 8 years old. Their youngest two children are twins who have just started kindergarten.
Some of Lowmiller’s interests include hunting, the TV show “Stranger Things” and the band Iron Maiden.
Emily Day is a new assistant professor of athletic training at AU. She graduated from Franklin College with a bachelor’s in athletic training and earned her master’s from Campbell University in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in exercise science.
For two years Day worked as an athletic trainer primarily for the women’s volleyball team and the men’s and women’s tennis teams at Campbell on a graduate assistantship. This semester she is teaching a senior-level class on the administration of athletic training and the lab portion of a rehabilitation class.
“This is my first year out of graduate school,” said Day. “I’ve never taught before, so I’m really excited to see how that goes. I want to see if I can actually have an impact on the students in a way I never have before.”
As well as teaching classes for the first time in her career, Day is stepping in as an athletic trainer for AU’s men’s soccer and track and field teams. She says the transition has been difficult, especially from a D-I to a D-III school.
“The way things are done at a D-I school, and athletics in general, are very different,” she said. “Learning how AU does everything and learning how to be a good professor has been a little bit tough, but it’s been two weeks and I’m still here.”
Day is most looking forward to seeing the athletes grow and helping them throughout the season.
“I’m looking forward to being able to watch the athletes grow over the season,” she said. “That’s really fun to me. I’m excited to be able to help them with whatever they need when it comes to injuries.”
In her free time, Day enjoys exercising, yoga, puzzles, reading and spending time with her friends. One of her favorite shows is “That ‘70s Show.”