Nursing Dept


Melody Cash
Professor and Department Chair

Melody earned her BA in nursing from EMU in 1989 and went on to earn a MS in medical/surgical nursing from University of Virginia two years later. In 2003 she earned her graduate certificate in teaching nursing. In August 2010 she earned her PhD in Education (Instructional Technology) from the University of Virginia Curry School of Education.

Wendy Carr
Instructor of Nursing

Wendy joined the nursing department in 2011. She received her BS in Biology from Bridgewater College, then completed her BS in nursing at Virginia Commonwealth University. She worked part-time in medical psychiatry and long-term care while completing her MS in nursing at VCU. Her favorite area of practice came during her four years at Hospice of the Piedmont where she worked first as a long-term care case manager and then a nursing supervisor.

Wendy is married to Jeff, a local pastor and Eastern Mennonite Seminary graduate. They have two young sons.

Kate Clark
Monica Compagnari
Assistant Professor
Marcy Dean
Ann Hershberger

Ann Graber Hershberger has worked in family health, community health, international health, and nursing education since 1976. Ann and her husband Jim, director of Church World Service Harrisonburg Refugee Resettlement Program, have spent 10 years in church sponsored service in Central America. She earned her PhD from the University of Virginia; completing a dissertation entitled “A case study of relationships between Nicaraguan non-governmental health organizations, communities served, donor agencies, and the Ministry of Health.” She spent the 1999-2000 academic year in Nicaragua researching the project. Other research includes the experiences of families in Guatemala and West Bank, Palestine who have hosted EMU Cross Cultural students over the last decades. She has been a consultant for a Nursing School in Nicaragua, and has been on various boards of MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) since 1997, and is currently the chair of MCC U.S. Mother of three adult children, grandmother of one, she enjoys speaking Spanish, reading, gardening, and sitting on her porch.

Judy Hiett

Judy grew up in Harrisonburg, VA. She attended Eastern Mennonite High School, then Rosedale Bible Institute before coming to EMU. She married Richard, her best friend, in 1985 after spending a year in Richmond, VA, and working at Medical College of Virginia hospital. They have 3 adult children.
After moving back to Harrisonburg, she has worked as a nurse at Sentara RMH Medical Center since 1985. She has also taught clinical for Blue Ridge Community College and James Madison University. She worked for a short time at Lord Fairfax Community College as a nursing instructor. She has been teaching as a nursing instructor for Eastern Mennonite University since fall of 2012.
Some of her hobbies are reading, writing poetry, baking, sewing, piecing quilts or wall hangings, or walking/talking with a friend. She loves spring flowers, especially hyacinths. She also enjoys Christian music, cultures, and traveling. To be a life-long learner is one of her priorities.

Lisa King
Kristen Kirwan
Assistant Professor

Kris joined the EMU nursing department in fall of 2013. She received her BSN from the University of Virginia in 1998. She worked at the UVA Teen Health Center for several years before returning to school in 2000. She then went on to Vanderbilt University to earn her MSN with a Family Nurse Practitioner focus. Kris has worked as a family nurse practitioner since 2001. She has practiced in several different family practices, as well as JMU student health. She continues to work at JMU student health on a part-time basis. At JMU, Kris had the opportunity to precept nurse practitioner students; she enjoyed this role so much she decided to pursue teaching on a more consistent basis. She is extremely happy to be part of the nursing department here at EMU.

Kris is married to Daniel, a middle school principal. They have three children—Hayden, Kate, and Clare.

Tammy Kiser
Assistant Professor

Tammy has many years experience in Community Health Nursing roles. In addition, she serves in a number of volunteer roles in the community setting, including working as a Faith Community Nurse. Working with vulnerable populations, including the area homeless through the Healthcare for the Homeless Suitcase Clinic is also a major area of interest. Currently, Tammy is pursuing a DNP in Public Health Nursing Administration from the University of South Alabama.

Audrey Myers
Assistant Professor
Marcia Pusey
Cathy Rittenhouse
Associate Professor
Asst Professor of Practice

As an Assistant Professor in the Practice of Nursing at EMU, and a Certified Nurse-Midwife in private practice, Ann combines a life-long interest in women’s health and health education. Ann first pursued a doctorate in Counseling Psychology, but after earning her Master’s switched her focus to nursing. She attended the 2nd degree BSN program at UVA, then earned her CNM and MSN at Frontier Nursing University. Over the years, Ann has worked in hospitals, birth centers, and health departments, and has helped over 1000 babies into the world. Teaching allows her to help educate the next generation of nurses, and also tell some great stories! Her professional interests include therapeutic communication and connection in the healthcare setting, the political and professional role of nurses and advanced-practice nurses, and sexuality education. In the Department of Nursing, she teaches Nursing Care of the Childbearing Family (NURS 326), Professionhood II (NURS 427), is the Level 2 Coordinator, and assists with Family in Community. She has also taught in the ADCP (2014).

Ann lives with her partner and their 2 children in the city of Harrisonburg, and enjoys gardening, running, reading, and all that the beautiful Shenandoah Valley has to offer.

Debora Snarr
Assistant Professor

Born in San Jose, California and raised on the East Coast in a family of 12 where love, as a strong and common bond, provided the framework for her work in the community. Deb received her BSN in 1977 and MS degree at the University of Maryland in 1977. She is a certified adult nurse practitioner and certified in wound care. She worked for many years with hospital systems and in the community providing meaningful access to quality care for vulnerable populations. She worked with inner city and rural populations, the elderly, estranged young women, HIV positive persons, migrant and seasonal farm-workers, employees and patients suffering with chronic wounds. Her impact has been on an individual and systems’ level. She shifted her focus to academia in 2013 after 37 years in the nursing field. Two places of honor she notes are at the foot of a patient and standing next to a nurse.

Don Tyson
Associate Professor

Don Tyson has been teaching in the Nursing Department at the undergraduate and graduate levels at EMU since August 1999. In addition to teaching, he serves as the Director of the MSN program. During the summer, as well as on weekends throughout the school year, he works at Sentara – Rockingham Memorial Healthcare in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit on a prn basis. He has previous experience in a variety of clinical and administrative nursing roles related to critical care, post-anesthesia care, and quality improvement. He graduated from Goshen College in 1979 and from the University of Virginia in 1986. In April of 2012 he received his PhD in Nursing from George Mason University based on his qualitative research examining the critical thinking characteristics of African students enrolled in nursing programs in the United States. While a student at George Mason, his research focused on issues related to the uninsured and undocumented immigrants as well as critical thinking, learning style, and other issues experienced by international nursing students. He enjoys singing in the local Shenandoah Valley Choral Society, baseball, gardening, biking, and camping.

Laura Yoder
Associate Professor

Laura has clinical experience in medical-surgical nursing, progressive care/ telemetry nursing, advanced nursing care (Primary Care Adult Nurse Practitioner), and nursing research. She is a BSN graduate of Goshen College, holds a MS degree in nursing from the University of South Florida, and a PhD in nursing from the University of Virginia. Her research centers around understanding adolescent health behavior and the multilevel contextual influences relating to the development of healthy lifestyles. She enjoys spending time with her son, daughter, husband, and family, and hobbies include singing, ballroom dancing, road cycling, and reading. She is a board member for the Pi Mu At Large chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honors Society and for Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship. Laura is an active member of Park View Mennonite Church.

Adjunct Faculty


Andrea Burkholder
Office Assistant
Dolores Hertzler
Office Coordinator
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