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Home Features Meet Concordia’s New Faculty and Staff Members

by Jayme Lowe and Ben Middendorf


Kara Baney, Admissions Counselor 

Kara Baney is from Grand Island, and she graduated from Concordia in 2014 with a degree in Middle Level Education. After graduation, she taught middle school for two years in Deshler. Baney’s goal is to eventually become a guidance counselor.

When the job as admissions counselor for Concordia opened up, it seemed to be a good fit. She and her husband wanted to move to the Lincoln area, so Baney is back to being a Bulldog. So far, she says her favorite part of the job has been the people she works with.

“It’s just fun coming to work,” Baney said. “It doesn’t seem like work.”

Since her time here at Concordia, the biggest change she has noticed has been the updates to the plaza. She’s excited to continue her work in admissions, sharing the Concordia experience with future families.

If she could compete in any event at the Olympics, she would choose curling.


Dr. David Coe, Assistant Professor of Theology 

Dr. David Coe has been a husband, philosopher, pastor and now takes on the role of professor. Coe got his undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Georgia. He then attended the Concordia Seminary in St. Louis to obtain his master’s and doctorate in theology. Before accepting the position at Concordia University, he was the associate pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fremont.

New to the Concordia scene, he says his favorite experience so far took place last March when he interviewed for his current position. On that day, he had lunch with six theology students, and their kindness put him at ease and helped him see a future at Concordia.

His wife, Joanna, is a nurse and attended Concordia for two years. The Coes are expecting their first child, a boy, in January of 2017.

Coe said that if he could compete in any event at the Olympics, it would be volleyball. He loves the game and is excited to possibly partake in some games on the sand volleyball court.


Andrew Monnich, Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Andrew Monnich did his undergraduate work at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa in 2004. After college, he became vice president and then senior vice president of strategy and marketing at the National Research Corporation. He later started Connect, a healthcare software company which handles patient and family feedback in doctors’ offices and clinics.

Monnich taught as an adjunct professor at Concordia and the University of Iowa for several years, but when he sold Connect to the National Research Corporation in 2016, he decided to pursue a position as a full time faculty member at Concordia.

“It seemed like the perfect timing and a great fit,” Monnich said. “I enjoy teaching; it’s fun to see [the students] learn and grow and develop. I’m [teaching] undergraduates now, so I’m excited.”

“I’m looking forward most to the semester getting going,” Monnich said when asked about his favorite experience at Concordia so far. “I’m ready for the students all to arrive and get in the classroom.”

If he could compete in any event in the Olympics, Monnich would play basketball or swim, as those are the only two events he could guarantee his 12 and eight-year-old sons would watch.


Justin Groth, Assistant Professor of Art

Justin Groth is a returning Bulldog. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia in 2011 and went on to get a Master of Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit, where he specialized in ceramics.

Groth worked for the Center of Liturgical Art after graduating from Concordia and then spent a year in Fargo, North Dakota, improving his art portfolio. He taught high school art for several years in Illinois at the Lutheran School Association of Decatur.

“I really enjoyed my experience here as a student,” Groth said. “I always thought we had a really good art program in general.”

Groth hopes to build up the school’s ceramics and sculpture programs.

“As a student I really loved firing the kilns,” Groth said. “I love ceramics, love sculpture, love making art, and I want to instil that in my students.”

Justin Groth is the son of Dr. Terry Groth, assistant professor of theology.

If given the chance and the abilities of a top athlete, Groth would compete in the 400-meter dash in the Olympics.


Todd Johnson, Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Todd Johnson earned a Bachelor of Science from University of Nebraska at Kearney and a Masters of Business Administration from University of Nebraska, Omaha.

He worked for 14 years in accounting, as well as starting and owning both a sign company and a medical supply company. He also taught for seven years at Southeast Community College.

Though he wasn’t originally looking for a position at Concordia, he visited the campus and was impressed by the community and the business administration department.

“The campus is really cool. It’s got a neat godly experience,” Johnson said. “God works. He works in interesting ways.”


Sara Brady graduated from University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelor of Science in psychology. She went on to earn her master’s degree and doctorate from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Specializing in social psychology, Brady uses the social cognitive approach in her research.

Brady worked as a teaching assistant in graduate school, as well as interning as a data analyst for Elite Research, LLC. After earning her doctorate, she taught as an assistant professor of psychology at Charleston, South Carolina for a year before moving to Texas and returning to work for Elite Research, LLC as a full time research and statistical consultant. She also consulted for Texas Woman’s University in Denton.

“During my two years working as a consultant, I missed very much being in the classroom and sharing with students all the cool things about psychology,” Brady said in an email interview. “When I saw the opening at Concordia, I was very excited to have a chance to get back into the classroom [and] incorporate my faith into learning.”

“My favorite experience has been meeting all the friendly people,” Brady said. “Whether it’s administrators, faculty, staff or students, everyone has been very inviting and welcoming.”

A lifelong admirer of women’s gymnastics, Brady wishes she could compete in the Olympics along with great athletes such as Kerri Strug and Simone Biles.


Sarah Jurchen, Interlibrary Loan/Periodicals Coordinator

Sarah Jurchen earned her Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Sciences and Human Psychology from Concordia in 1999.

Jurchen worked as Director of Student Services at Orlando Lutheran Academy. Since then, she’s been raising four children with her husband James as well as working as the music coordinator for St. John Lutheran Church in Battle Creek.

Jurchen joins her husband James Jurchen, sister Debbie Brutlag, brother and sister-in-law Dr. John and Dr. Kristy Jurchen, and father-in-law Rev. Arnold Jurchen in working for Concordia.

Sarah Jurchen would try her hand at archery if given the chance to compete in the Olympics.

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