Mount Mercy's team of talented and accomplished academic department leaders, in conjunction with our provost, are responsible for shaping the faith-inspired, practical and values-based education that we provide.

Together, these individuals boast a combined 230 years of experience and service in the higher education arena; they are poised to utilize their expertise to help inspire and shape Mount Mercy students into the future leaders of tomorrow. 

Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate programs at Mount Mercy are organized into eight academic departments led by chairs. 

Rob RittenhouseRobert Rittenhouse, M.B.A.
Chair, Department of Business
Assistant Professor of Business

Robert Rittenhouse received his Bachelor of Science degree from South Dakota State University and a Master of Business Administration from the Universtiy of South Dakota. 


Alesia Hruska

Alesia Hruska, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Natural and Applied Sciences
Associate Professor of Biology

Alesia Hruska completed undergraduate studies at Luther College with a Bachelor's degree in biology and art, with a minor in chemistry. She then went on to earn a Doctorate at the Iowa State University in the Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology with a major in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology.

Kathryn HagyKathryn Hagy, M.F.A.
Chair, Department of Communications, Literature & Arts
Professor of Art
Kathryn Hagy holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting/printmaking from the University of Washington in Seattle, and a Master of Fine Arts in painting/printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island. Hagy's printmaking work focuses on pattern and rhythms in nature, which manifest themselves in the phenomena via movement through air, space and fluid. Hagy is a 2010 Fulbright Scholar, studying in Nepal.

Edy Parsons

Dr. Edy Parsons, Professor of History, joined Mount Mercy in 2005 after she received her Ph.D. in History from Iowa State University. She received her Bachelor's degree in English and Literature in 1997. She then went on to earn her Master's degree and Ph.D. in history while working as a teaching assistant and instructor.

Jennifer RasmussenJennifer Rasmussen, M.B.A
Chair, Department of Education
Associate Professor of Education
Rasmussen earned her M.A. in Teaching and Learning from Nova Southeastern University and is a Doctoral Candidate in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Northern Iowa. Her certificartions include K-6 Elementary teaching, K-8 Reading, K-8 English/Language Arts, K-8 Music and as well being a Reading Recovery trained teacher.

Mary DuceyMary Ducey, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Philosophy and Religion
Professor of Philosophy
Mary Ducey joined Mount Mercy in 1994. Prior to coming to Mount Mercy she taught at St. Louis University, as well as Catholic University of America, Avila College, Rockhurst College, and Webster College. She also has experience teaching high school math and theology. Teaching areas include Greek philosophy, ethics and critical thinking.

Mary TarboxMary Tarbox '74, Ed.D., R.N.
Chair, Department of Nursing
Professor of Nursing
Mary Tarbox has been on the Mount Mercy nursing faculty since 1977. She previously worked as a pediatric nurse at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics, and in various public health nursing roles. She holds an Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has been recognized as one of the 100 Great Nurses of Iowa for 2008, and was awarded the Iowa Nurses Association Region 2 Nurse of the Year award (2007).

Joni HowlandJoni Howland, M.S.W.
Department of Psychology, Sociology, Social Work & International Studies
Associate Professor of Social Work
Prior to joining Mount Mercy she spent the majority of her career working with adults with chronic illness. Specific assignments included working with AIDS patients and their families at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas, as the social worker in a regional cancer treatment center, and as the adult cardiology social worker at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. She has held several leadership positions in the Iowa Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and developed and piloted a healthcare access program at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Accelerated & Graduate Programs

Scot ReisingerScot Reisinger
Dean of Adult Programs

Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Reisinger came to Mount Mercy in 2006 as director of athletics. His responsibilities include recruiting a diverse group of adult students, monitoring the program's effectiveness and student success and providing leadership within all areas of the programs.

Alesia Hruska