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Waldorf welcomes new faces to campus

By Eno Lomo-Mainoo

Marla Britton

Marla Britton Johnson Waldorf’s newest assistant professor of  theatre. Photo by Eno Lomo-Mainoo

Waldorf College this fall has received four new professors and one instructor. Even more exciting, two of them are Waldorf alumni.

Marla Britton Johnson is the Assistant Professor of theatre. She obtained her P.H.D at Texas Tech and taught there beginning in 2008.

“I’ve wanted to teach for so long. I enjoy liberal arts colleges,” Johnson said. She also added music technology used to be her interest, and she would have been involved in that field if she wasn’t teaching.

“Everyone knows everyone; the school is the community. I love it here,” she said. She encourages everyone to come and see the theatre shows.

Mariah Benesh used to be a molecular biologist at a seed testing company, and taught as a graduate student at the University of Memphis. Benesh is the new Biology instructor, and says everyone is super nice here.

“The first time I taught here students said goodbye and thank you. It was amazing,” Benesh said. “I never had that teaching at Memphis; it made me feel very welcome here.” If she wasn’t teaching she would still be with the seed testing company working with DNA and making new tests for agriculture.

Carlos Ruiz

Carlos Ruiz Waldorf’s newest media specialist. Photo by Eno Lomo-Mainoo

“Waldorf to me is home. I went to school here so I’m very comfortable with the area and I love it here,” said Carlos Ruiz, the new media specialist, and a 2014 Alumnus with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.

This is his first year of teaching, but has done a lot of photography and freelance film and sound work as well as  workshops. He would have been involved in film and sound if he wasn’t teaching. He is, however, glad his teaching field is connected with film and sound.

Dr. Traci Francis, the new assistant professor of Criminal Justice, taught at the University of Central Florida for two years.

Francis loves the close nit nature of the college, and environment of the city. She said, “The faculty and staff genuinely care about the students and community.”

As a hobby, Francis and her husband rescue senior dogs from kill shelters. She would have been an administrator with senior services, as well as a conductor for drug court program evaluations.

Rebecca McKanna, Photo by

Rebecca McKanna. Photo by Eno Lomo-Mainoo

Originally from Iowa, Rebecca McKanna finds the idea of working in a smaller school in her state very appealing since she hailed from a large one.

McKanna, who writes fiction for fun, spent the first three years after Graduate School teaching at Purdue University.

McKanna enjoys the Midwest mentality most. “Everyone is nice and polite,” McKanna said.