Professor of English

Ph.D. in English, Wayne State University
M.A. in English, University of North Texas
B.A. in English, Harding University

School: School of Humanities
Office: Muirhead 110
Phone: (248) 218.2134



  • Composition A and B
  • World Literature
  • American Writers I and II
  • Shakespeare
  • Senior Writing Project
  • Advanced Composition
  • Studies in Genre: Fiction
  • Diversity in American Literature
  • Critical Writing and Literary Analysis



  • Faculty Member of the Year, Rochester College, 2001
  • Nominated for the Faculty Excellence Award at Lourdes University, 2008 and 2009
  • Certificate of Franciscan Studies from the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities (AFCU)



Beth is married to Mark VanRheenen, CFO and COO of Rochester College. They have two daughters, Sara (Mrs. Casey) Dacus of Searcy, Arkansas, and Anne (Mrs. Tim) Nichols of Washington, Michigan, and three grandchildren, Hailey and Tyler Nichols and Case Dacus. Beth began her career as a high school teacher and has a continuing interest in bridging the gap between secondary and higher education. In addition to being an avid reader, Beth enjoys gardening, running on the Macomb Orchard Trail, and bicycling with Mark.



  • November 2011 Christianity and Literature Conference at the University of Dayton, “Bartolomé de las Casas: Love in Action in the New World”
  • July 2010 Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C., “Homer the Classic”
  • April 2008 Wright State University’s 8th Annual Diversity Conference, “An End to ‘Othering’: Examining Our Preconceptions about Other Ethnicities” in Dayton, OH
  • May 2003 Pepperdine University Lectures, “On the Outside Looking In: ‘Othering’ in the Gospel of Luke”
  • August 2001 “Celebration of Christian Education” in Dallas, TX, sponsored by Abilene Christian University, “Applying the Concepts of Steve Garber’s Fabric of Faithfulness in the Classroom”
  • October 1999 Guest Speaker at the Dean’s Conference hosted by Rochester College; Review of The Abandoned Generation: Rethinking Higher Education by William H. Willimon and Thomas H. Naylor
  • Movie Review of Signs in New Wineskins, Sept./Oct. 2002. Print.
  • Book Review of Fallen in The Christian Chronicle, Dec. 2005. Print.
  • Article: “One Woman’s Journey from Sectarian Practice to Unity of All Believers” in New Wineskins, January-April 2006 at Web.
  • Book Review of Access, Opportunity, and Success: Keeping the Promise of Higher Education in The Learning Assistance Review 12.2 (Fall 2007): 57-60. Print.
  • Article: “Autism Awareness Month, Academics, and Franciscan Values.” Online publication of the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities. January 2011.