Abby Hodges named MNU vice president for academic affairs

Abby Hodges named MNU vice president for academic affairs

by
MidAmerica Nazarene University
| 28 Mar 2024
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Hodges

Abby M. Hodges is now vice president for academic affairs at MidAmerica Nazarene University, effective 1 March 2024. Hodges served in an interim capacity following Nancy Damron's departure last fall.

Hodges joined the MNU faculty in 2014 from Azusa Pacific University, where she served as associate professor of chemistry and assistant department chair of biology and chemistry. At MNU, she primarily taught organic chemistry, biochemistry, and a science research seminar. She took on leadership roles such as chair of the Natural, Health, and Mathematical Sciences department and, in 2023, became dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.

Hodges is a recognized scholar and researcher in the field of chemistry. Her research has focused on protein folding and protein engineering, and she has mentored more than twenty students in these research projects. She has also furthered the MNU first-year experience program and chaired the General Education committee for five years. She was recognized as the MNU Faculty of the Year in 2021.

“Dr. Hodges has demonstrated her strong commitment to MNU and promoted the high levels of academic excellence and scholarship we seek to affirm,” MNU president David J. Spittal said. “Her understanding, keen insight, and leadership skills are helpful as we work through complex issues. She is forward-thinking, creative, and in a perfect position to lead the university academically into the future.”

Hodges expressed delight in this opportunity.

“Our community is deeply invested in students through all aspects of their academic studies and their lives,” she said. “The commitment to each other in and out of the classroom is one of the best parts of MNU and provides a unique environment to begin this new position. I am honored and excited to support the excellent work of the faculty and staff in our academic departments while continuing to look forward to how MNU can meet the needs of our future students through new programs and different teaching methods.”

Hodges earned a Bachelor’s in chemistry at Denison University and a Master’s and PhD in organic chemistry from Yale University. Her undergraduate research led to her doctoral research at Yale and internships with the Procter and Gamble Research-Biotechnology Division. She has produced numerous publications and holds a patent for modified miniature proteins, leading to many professional presentations about her findings. These experiences have made Dr. Hodges a champion for undergraduate research at MNU, resulting in exceptional research opportunities for students.

Hodges participated in Aspiring Leaders Academy sponsored by Kansas Independent Colleges Association and Leadership Olathe, a program of the Olathe Chamber of Commerce. She, her husband Ryan, and their two sons reside in Olathe, where they attend College Church of the Nazarene.

--MidAmerica Nazarene University

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