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Olivet College announces new and full-time faculty members
Aug 19, 2011

Cynthia Eller, Lisa Furman, Lynda Neff, Sylvia Rogers and Marcus Wasilevich, Ph.D., have been named full-time faculty members at Olivet College, according to an announcement by Maria Davis, Ph.D., provost and dean of the college.

“I am impressed with the caliber of our new faculty members,” said Davis. “They are all experienced professionals who will bring new talents to an already strong faculty at the college.”

Eller, of Olivet, is now a full-time assistant professor of art. She previously taught part-time for the visual arts program for 20 years. Eller has a bachelor’s degree and Master of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan. Prior to coming to Olivet, she taught at U of M and worked as a professional freelance medical illustrator. Eller was the recipient of the teaching award for adjunct faculty at the college’s Honors Convocation in April. She will teach a variety of art courses, including ceramics, drawing and bioillustration.

Furman, of Rives Junction, joins the performing arts faculty as assistant professor of music. Furman earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and master’s degree in music education from U of M. She is currently in the final stages of her doctoral studies in music education at U of M. Furman previously taught at Jackson Community College and served as director of bands at East Jackson High School, East Jackson Middle School and Northwest High School of Jackson. She will be teaching various music courses, directing the wind ensemble and athletic bands, and serving as the instrumental music program director.

Neff, of Lansing, joins the business faculty as assistant professor of insurance and risk management. She holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from High Point University of North Carolina, and a master’s degree in financial services from American College of Bryn Mawr, Pa. Neff also holds several professional certifications, including being a Chartered Financial Consultant and Chartered Life Underwriter. Neff joins Olivet after a 24-year career in the insurance industry, most recently serving as a product development specialist and director with AAA Life Insurance and Farm Bureau Insurance. She will be teaching insurance and financial planning courses, as well as spearheading an innovative program in insurance education for high school students in collaboration with the Eaton Intermediate School District.

Rogers, of Mason, joins the education faculty as assistant professor of education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in special education learning disabilities from MSU. Rogers comes to Olivet after serving for 24 years as a teaching professional, with 16 years as a teacher consultant in special education with Holt Public Schools. This past year she served as a coach for teachers in the Ingham Intermediate School District who were implementing “Response to Intervention” methods in early childhood education. Rogers will be teaching courses in special education as well as supervising students in their student teaching experience.

Wasilevich, of Grand Ledge, joins the science faculty as assistant professor of biology. He graduated with bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry from Hope College, and earned a doctorate in biology from Tulane University. Wasilevich has served on the faculty at Lansing Community College and the University of New Orleans. He will be teaching introductory biology, and anatomy and physiology, as well as various upper level biology courses.

Classes for the 2011 fall semester begin Tuesday, Aug. 30. For more information, visit

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