Teaching Faculty

Dr. Dale Hess
Ecological Field Station Director
Associate Professor of Agroecology
B.A. in Biology, Millersville State Teachers College, 1976
M.S. in Plant Pathology, Purdue University, 1984
Ph.D. in Genetics and Plant Breeding, Purdue University, 1989

Dale Hess, a plant pathologist, joined Merry Lea's staff in 2004 in order to direct the Summer Agroecology Intensive program. His experience in sustainable crop production research includes more than a decade spent in West Africa. Dale also teaches botany at Goshen College. His interests include integrated pest and disease management and promoting the development of agricultural systems that function like natural ecosystems.

Michelle Horning
Associate Professor of Accounting
B.A. in Business, Goshen College, 1991
M.S. Drexel University, 1995
CPA certification earned, 1996

Michelle Horning currently teaches Managerial and Cost Accounting, Financial Management, and Individual and Corporate Tax at Goshen College. she also supervises the students that manage and operate Java Junction, the on-campus coffee shop. She has experience in public accounting and the supermarket industry.

Melissa Kinsey
Assistant Professor
B.A. in Communication, University of Kentucky, 1992
M.P.A. from the School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, 2004

Melissa Kinsey, a certified Indiana Master Naturalist, coordinates environmental and sustainability programs including Sound of the Environment and the Community Clean Water Project.  She teaches business and marketing classes for Amish and rural business owners and farmers.  Melissa has served as the director of the Goshen College Entrepreneurship Learning Center and Assistant Professor of Business.  She is an entrepreneur with a focus on business and environmental sustainability.

Dr. David J. Miller
Program Director Emeritus
Associate Professor of Biology
B.S. in Biology and Bible, Eastern Mennonite University, 1964
M.S. in Entomology, University of Delaware, 1972
Ph.D. in Entomology, Michigan State University, 1977

Dave is an entomologist who joined Merry Lea in 1988 as Program Director and has served in many roles since then. Dave retired in 2011, but continues field research with the development of species lists of selected insect orders at Merry Lea. His scientific interests are in natural history, specifically in biodiversity. Also of interest is the intersection of faith/spirituality and science. His hobbies include nature photography and woodworking.

William Minter
Director of Land Management
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
B.S. in Forestry, Colorado State University, 1980
M.S.F. in Forestry, Purdue University, 1989

Bill is a certified professional forester who has served on the staff since 1991. He has restored over 100 acres of wetland and prairie at Merry Lea. When not practicing land management, he teaches Forest Resources and Land Management to both Goshen College undergraduates and Merry Lea's graduates in environmental education. Bill takes a special interest in oak savanna ecosystems.

Dr. Ryan Sensenig
Lindsey Research Fellow
Associate Professor of Biology
Director of the Environmental Science Program at Goshen College
B.S. in Biology and International Agriculture, Eastern Mennonite University, 1992
Ph.D. in Ecology, University of California, Davis, 2007

Ryan teaches ecology, biology and environmental science courses at Goshen College and conducts field research at Merry Lea. Ryan’s doctoral research was conducted in Kenya and focused on the effects of grassland burning on grazing animals. He continues to research the relationship between grazing animals and healthy prairies. Before moving to undergraduate teaching, Ryan taught high school science and won several state and national teaching awards.

Paul D. Steury
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Education Coordinator for K-12 Programs
B.A. in Sociology, Goshen College, 1988
M.S. in Outdoor Resources Management, Indiana University, 1997

Paul, who loves world-wide adventure, returned home to northern Indiana in 1999 to join the Merry Lea staff. He teaches pedagogy and environmental issues classes in Merry Lea's graduate program and oversees the K-12 program. His interests include wild edible plants, citizenry, the definition of environmental education, current environmental issues, politics, and ethics, and how people learn.

Dr. Larry Yoder
Executive Director Emeritus
Associate Professor of Biology
B.A. Manchester College, 1964
M.A. Indiana University, 1966
M.A.T., Indiana University, 1970
Ph.D., Indiana University, 1972

Larry Yoder, a botanist and educator, has been with Merry Lea since 1981, serving first as executive director and later as assistant to the executive director until his retirement and appointment as associate professor emeritus in 2007. In the agroecology program, Yoder focuses on geomorphology and soils. Larry also hosts field trips to the Yoder Farm near Fort Wayne where he and his extended family focus on entrepreneurship with specialty crops such as maple syrup and asparagus.