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Meet MLC's Newest Instructors

Installed August 25th

Martin Luther College new instructors for 2014: (Back row L-R) David Starr – Admissions Counselor, Benjamin Clemons – Professor of Urban Ministry, Ryan Kolander – Dormitory Supervisor, James Carlovsky – Professor of Mathematics and Instructional Technology, Matthew Pearson – Professor of Physical Education and Coach, (Front row L-R) Tingting Schwartz – Professor of Mandarin, Grace Hennig – Professor of Music,  Natalie Borgwardt – Lead Teacher, Early Childhood Learning Center (View larger image)

Natalie Borgwardt

Natalie Borgwardt (pictured with MLC Early Childhood Learning Center Assistant teachers - L-R Natalie Borgwardt, Teresa Otterstatter, Peggy Pekrul, Stacy Dobberpuhl) was born and raised at East Fork Mission, a WELS Apache mission in White River, AZ. She graduated from DMLC. Her first call was to Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw, where she was a dorm supervisor, 9th grade English teacher, and girls’ basketball and softball coach. She then was called to MLC, where she was a dorm supervisor, a teacher's assistant in a number of English courses, and a member of the coaching staff in women's volleyball, soccer, basketball, and softball.  She married her husband, Daniel, and moved to LaCrescent, MN. She then served for four years at Little Lambs Preschool in Holmen, WI, as lead teacher. She has been working for the last eight years as a teacher's aide and bus driver for the New Ulm Head Start program. She and Daniel have three sons. In her free time Natalie enjoys gardening, reading, coaching basketball and softball at St. Paul's, and spending time with her husband, children, dog, and cat.

James Carlovsky

James Carlovsky grew up in Crystal Lake, IL, where his father still serves as a pastor. He graduated from MLC in 2002 with elementary and secondary degrees in math education. In 2010, he received his master's degree from MLC in instruction. James was assigned as principal, teacher of grades 6-8, and organist at St. John's, Sparta, WI. His wife, Kate Carlovsky (nee Knickelbein), also received a call to serve as teacher of grades 1-2 at St. John's. They are blessed with five children. James also served as an instructor at Kettle Moraine LHS in Jackson, WI. At KML, he served as a boys' basketball and baseball coach, and as curriculum coordinator for KML and the KML federation schools. James is called as a professor of mathematics and instructional technology. He is excited to show future pastors, teachers, and staff ministers a love and passion for teaching. 

Benjamin Clemons

Benjamin Clemons is a 2003 graduate of MLC. He served five years as the principal of Risen Savior Lutheran School, Milwaukee. In 2008, Ben and his wife, Karyn, moved to the People’s Republic of China, where they taught English at Hangzhou Normal University and had opportunity to share the Good News. Ben recently finished his fifth year as 8th grade teacher at Mt. Lebanon Lutheran School, Milwaukee. He is currently taking on a new role as the professor of urban ministry at MLC. Ben and Karyn have been married eight years. Following her years of teaching at both Risen Savior and Mt. Lebanon, Karyn worked part-time as a food ambassador for a local company and full-time raising three lovely children.

Grace Hennig 

Grace (Wessel) Hennig was born and raised in New Ulm. After attending Bethany Lutheran College, she enrolled at DMLC and graduated in 1989. For three years she served Good Shepherd Lutheran in Downers Grove, IL, as lower grade teacher and organist. After additional study in Chicago and Germany, she was called in 1994 to serve one year as a DMLC music instructor. The following year, she served as tutor at Michigan Lutheran Seminary while her fiancé, Brian Hennig, finished his studies at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. Grace and Brian were married in 1996 and moved to California, where Brian was pastor at King of Kings Lutheran Church, Garden Grove. While in California Grace did research on the life and work of Emil Backer, a DMLC music professor from 1923 to 1957, and in 1999 she earned a Master of Church Music degree from Concordia University, Chicago. In 2000 Brian accepted a call to Emanuel Lutheran Church in New London, WI, where the family lived the next 13 years. Grace remained active as a church musician, piano instructor, and mother of three. She has also presented for WELS Worship Conferences, participated in committee work for Christian Worship: Supplement, and served as s WELS School of Worship Enrichment consultant. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. She likes to travel and compose music, and she has an active interest in the community of New Ulm.

Ryan Kolander

Ryan was born in Saginaw, MI, lived in New Ulm during his formative years, and moved to Brookfield, WI, a year before heading to high school. He graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran High School in Milwaukee in 2006 and from MLC in 2010. He has enjoyed numerous tastes of ministry in the field, assisting stateside congregations in Georgia, Florida, and Wisconsin, and working alongside missions abroad in Ukraine and Mexico. He just completed his vicar year at Grace Lutheran Church in Falls Church, VA.

Matthew Pearson

After attending Christ Lutheran School in North St. Paul, Matt attended St Croix LHS. He was a member of the last graduating class in St. Croix’s old location. After high school, it was off to New Ulm to attend DMLC as a 5-year STEP student with a physical education major. He graduated from MLC in 1997 and was assigned to St. John's Jefferson, WI. After 10 good years in Jefferson, Matt and his family took a leap of faith to Houston, TX, so that he could give competitive golf a shot. His goal was to qualify for the Nationwide Tour. He played in the Houston division’s Individual Tour and Golf Channel Tour during the 2009 season, and won the 2009 River Ridge Summer Classic in Sugarland, TX, by five strokes—his one and only victory on either tour. After receiving a divine call to Abiding Word Lutheran School in Houston to be a full-time upper grade teacher and assistant principal, he felt God was calling him back into the teaching ministry. On January 29, 2014, Matt was called to be a physical education professor and coach athletics at MLC. Matt is married to Amy (nee Bauer). The family is blessed with two children. Amy will be teaching at Trinity Lutheran School, Nicollet.

Tingting Schwartz   

Tingting is from Hangzhou, in the southern part of China, where she taught Chinese as a foreign language for three years and obtained a master’s degree in comparative literature and world literature from Zhejiang University. Before that, she majored in Chinese language literature education at Liaoning Normal University, Dalian, in northeast China for four years. In China, Tingting has not only parents and two twin brothers, but also Friends of China (FoC) teachers as her extended family. During her time with FoC, she saw them grow in love for China. She also saw their frustrations and tears because of their difficulties adapting to Chinese culture, language, and life. She wants to help people gain a deeper understanding of China and provide a means for them to adapt more easily to China. She believes being a Chinese professor at MLC is a wonderful opportunity. She will teach classes in Chinese language, culture, and history. On August 1 she was united in marriage with Dan Schwartz. 

David Starr

David, a 2014 graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, will serve MLC as an admissions counselor. He was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where his parents served as missionaries. His father’s influence and the encouragement of called workers in his life inspired him to train for the pastoral ministry. In 2006 he graduated from Michigan Lutheran Seminary and went on to MLC (2010). There he met his wife, Anne (nee Zietlow), a 2012 graduate of MLC. He spent his vicar year (2012-2013) in West Palm Beach, FL, at Hope Lutheran Church.