Retiring Faculty Members
Jean Henderson (’64), D.M.A.
Professor of music
Jean Henderson is retiring after 39 years of service to Nebraska Wesleyan University. An alumna of Nebraska Wesleyan, she went on to earn her M.A. in music theory from Eastman School of Music, and an M.M. in viola performance and composition from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before joining the Nebraska Wesleyan faculty. She completed her D.M.A. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in composition in 2003. Her promotion to professor of music followed in 2006.
Henderson is passionate about chamber music and early music. She was a member of the board of directors of Sheldon Friends of Chamber Music; she serves on the board of the Viola da Gamba Society of America; and she is a member of the American Recorder Society. Henderson has performed on many consorts, choirs, ensembles and orchestras in and around Lincoln.
Henderson is a gifted composer whose works have been performed by ensembles all over the world.
When asked what she will miss in retirement, Henderson said, “Of course, I’ll miss the music students and my colleagues around campus. I’ll miss the campus—the trees and paths, and the flowers in summer. I’ll miss the chimes, the Friday recitals, the academic lunches, various lunch groups.” Looking to the future, she said, “Retirement for me means more free time to do what I want. And what I want to do is occasionally come back to campus for music concerts, some recitals, some plays, Sunflower Club, Commencement, and sitting at a window on the third floor of the library, doing creative work.”
Susan G. Horn, M.F.A.
Assistant professor of art
Susan Horn is retiring after 28 years of service to Nebraska Wesleyan University. She started her fixed-term appointment in 2005 after many years of service as an adjunct instructor. Horn earned her B.F.A. in design and drawing, and her M.F.A. in photography from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. In addition to her teaching, she also sculpts and designs. She apprenticed under master sculptor Jay Tschetter.
Horn’s duties at Nebraska Wesleyan included overseeing the photography studio and darkroom and the digital media laboratory. Besides the popular photography classes, she taught design and digital media courses. She has also worked to develop new courses as needed such as the photography course for Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Forensic Science Program.
Her dedication to the university was obvious in the way she worked to recruit new students to Nebraska Wesleyan. She also served on the Faculty Development Committee, worked with the Wesleyan Honors Academy and Global Service Learning. Horn curated four photography shows for Elder Gallery. She is a member of the Society for Photographic Education and serves on the Lux Center for the Arts Exhibition Committee.
Students will miss Horn’s positive attitude and enthusiasm for their artwork. When asked what she would miss in retirement, Horn said, “I will miss watching students develop as artists and individuals over the four-year period of their experience at Nebraska Wesleyan. I still plan to be a part of their creative growth even after I retire, but I’m looking forward to having more time to photograph, sculpt, design and travel.”
John J. Montag, M.A.
Professor of library and information technology, university librarian
John Montag began his career at Nebraska Wesleyan in August 1995. He earned a B.A. in history and English from Midland Lutheran College in 1970, and an M.A. in library science from the University of Iowa in 1976. He did extensive graduate work in history at Washington State University, North Dakota State University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also served as the state librarian of Iowa.
Montag oversaw the ongoing transition from a print-oriented library to one that is mixed print and electronic. He expanded library resources and services as the university enlarged its traditional undergraduate curriculum and added programs in University College. He represented Nebraska Wesleyan on the Nebraska Independent College Library Consortium.
Montag helped write grant applications to the U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities that resulted in $3 million in grants to NWU.
An active promoter of history education, Montag served as a book discussion leader in NWU’s Nebraska Institute and as a judge and volunteer staff member for National History Day—Nebraska. He was cofounder of the Historical Studies Program at Nebraska Wesleyan and helped develop survey and special topics courses on campus and at teacher institutes at Fort Robinson, Neb.
Known as “a walking encyclopedia” by some students, many will miss his quick wit and outstanding reference abilities. Some may even miss his perpetual puns. Montag plans to continue his 24 years of work as a discussion leader at the Sandusky, Ohio, public library. He will spend his retirement working on several projects and enjoying time with his family.
Marie E. Trayer, Ph.D.
Assistant professor of Spanish
Marie Trayer joined Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2003 as a visiting assistant professor; she started her fixed-term appointment in 2005. Trayer earned her B.S. in Spanish and education; her M.S. in education; and her Ph.D. in administration, curriculum and instruction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Trayer brought a wealth of experience in the classroom and from her work as director of IN-VISION—Technology Challenge Project, a $5.9 million federal grant awarded to Education Service Unit #5. Trayer also coordinated a federal grant for the Department of Education, the goal of which was to create standards for Nebraska foreign language education. She taught Spanish for many years at Millard Public Schools.
Trayer coordinated NWU’s first year Spanish instruction and supervised departmental student teachers. Working with the chair of the Department of Modern Languages, she helped plan for the annual Spanish immersion weekend. She served as liaison for the department with Wesleyan Honors Academy for one year and helped with the modern language placement testing during the June sessions for new students.
When asked what she would miss in retirement, Trayer said, “The joy of working with young adults who have the world opening before their eyes here at Nebraska Wesleyan. It’s so inspiring to me to listen to the students’ reactions to all their new experiences, perspectives, and exposures to new cultures provided by NWU. I’m a teacher always and will be teaching in new places, volunteering to teach English as well as exploring new opportunities for my own personal learning and travel.”
Jeannette R. Young, Ph.D.
Professor of music
Jeannette Young came to Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1998, after 22 years of teaching vocal music in the public schools at Schuyler and Papillion-LaVista in Nebraska. She earned an M.M. in music education from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and a Ph.D. in administration, curriculum and instruction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
She was promoted to associate professor of music and received tenure in 2004, and became professor of music in 2011. Young administrated the Nebraska Wesleyan Kodály Certification Program until 2009.
During the past 14 years, Young has taught all of the vocal music methods courses, a Liberal Arts Seminar, brass techniques, piano techniques, and the Senior Capstone Seminar. She has directed the Women’s Choir, supervised music education student teachers and practicum placements, and served as department chair. She has served on the Faculty Development Committee and the Student Faculty Collaborative Research Fund Committee. As department chair, Young has overseen activities in O’Donnell Auditorium, presided over sophomore interviews, and recital and performance juries. Young coordinated the annual Prairie Wolf Honor Choir, Band and Orchestra Festival.
Young’s interest in the Czech Republic led to several trips. She spent a 2005-2006 sabbatical year there. She lived in Prague and Moravia. Young looks forward to spending more time with family, writing and traveling during her retirement.