2 New Faculty Members You Need to Meet

As we rapidly approach the midway point of the quarter and you begin to settle into your routines, I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to some of the Online division’s newest faculty members.

Michael Thomas is the newest edition to our health fitness specialist program, and Nicole Rassmussen has taken on teaching a variety of classes from Computer Literacy to Career Capstone. Check out their bios below!

Online college

Michael Thomas is a new instructor to our Health Fitness program

Michael Thomas:

What type of experience in the health fitness field do you have?

I have owned a personal fitness training business for 12 years and been involved in the fitness industry for over 25 years, in either management or personal training. I have also taught school and coached baseball at a local public school.

What is your educational background?

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Physical Education and a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science. I will be starting work on my PhD in Kinesiology in the fall of 2013. My research interest is on the adaptations to resistance exercise, specifically recovery, and muscle physiology.

What type of things do you do in your spare time?

I am married to Lana and have two boys, Eli and Isaac (4 and 6yrs). My hobbies include spending time with my boys, and exercising. Recently, my boys and I have become immersed in Monster Truck racing. We have the best time going to these events, watching the races, and then going into the pit area seeing the trucks up close.

What’s your favorite part about teaching?

I enjoy helping others achieve their goals and I truly believe anything is possible.

online education

Nicole Rasmussen is a service learning coordinator and one of the Online division’s newest instructors

Nicole Rasmussen:

What type of experience are you bringing to the Online division?

I’ve been an Minnesota School of Business (MSB) employee since June of 2004 and have worked in St. Cloud and Elk River in both the admissions department and as a faculty member.  Prior to coming to MSB, I taught in the K-12 school system as a special education teacher, primarily focusing on students with learning disabilities and most often worked with middle-school aged kids.  I enjoyed teaching so much that while I was working in admissions, I completed my Master’s degree in Education online.

Since then, I’ve been teaching a variety of classes on campus from Global Citizenship to Intro to Computer Literacy to Professional Communications and Career Capstone.  I’m really excited about teaching online since I am familiar with the experience of being an online student.

You’re also a service learning coordinator, so you must be active in your community! What type of activities do you do?

I am very involved and active in my community, which is a big part of my job, but I also thoroughly enjoy it.  I am an active member of the Elk River Rotary and board member, have participated in several local Chamber of Commerce events, and strive to get out and about as much as possible to network and find new contacts and opportunities for my students.

You’re obviously a busy lady, but what type of stuff do you enjoy doing when you have spare time?

In addition to my work life, I live in Elk River, Minn., with my husband, Darby, 7-year-old daughter, Hailey, and 2-year-old Shih Tzu, Milo.  I am an avid runner and recently completed my third full marathon.  I plan to run my sixth half marathon this fall.  I also absolutely love to read and often am working on two-three books at a time.  My latest obsession is with the Game of Thrones series – I recently finished the third book in the series and just started reading the fourth.  I have also found that audiobooks work really well for me when I run!

Lastly, but most importantly, what’s your favorite part about teaching?

I have a tremendous passion for what I do and look forward to bringing that into the online world!