Grace Welcomes Dr. Joseph Frentzel as New Professor of Biology

By Alaister McFarren

While the new spring semester at Grace often brings in new transfer students, it also occasionally brings in new faculty.  Such was the case this spring semester as Grace brought on Dr. Joseph Frentzel to become the new assistant professor of biology in the Department of Science and Mathematics.  Frentzel teaches anatomy and physiology and microbiology, as well as helping Grace start a new microbiology course specifically for nursing students.

After finishing his undergraduate degree at IPFW,  Frentzel received his doctorate from Michigan State University in biochemistry and molecular chemistry.  Frentzel stated that his interest in biology developed from his desire to tackle subjects that he had struggled with in high school.  Since he found science challenging, he decided to “grab the bull by the horns” and step into the field of biology.

“Biology is a young science with lots to discover,” said Frentzel, “with lots of untapped potential.  I love getting chances to discover things that haven’t been looked into extensively before.”

Unlike many other professors, Frentzel did not follow a conventional path to teaching in the classroom.  

“After serving at the research bench for the first part of my career, I actually took a few years off to homeschool my kids while my wife, Tonya, went through her physician’s residency,” said Frentzel. “Eventually, I felt the itch to get back out into the professional world and took a few adjunct positions at places like Indiana Tech.  That led to teaching at Ivy Tech locations in Goshen and Warsaw.”

After almost taking a chairman’s position at Ivy Tech Warsaw, Frentzel’s wife informed him about a position at Grace.  Shortly thereafter, he accepted Grace’s offer to become assistant professor of biology.

In his first few months at the school, Frentzel says that he finds his new students to be both intensely motivated in their studies and extremely compassionate and caring towards their fellow students.  

“I often find notes of encouragement between students when I’m grading lab notes,” said Frentzel. “They really embody John 13:35.”

In addition to helping start the new microbiology course for nurses, Frentzel is excited to begin collaborating with the Lily Center for Lakes and Streams and have biology students manage the collecting and monitoring of algae samples.  

Frentzel advises any students that take his classes to be regimented in their studies.

“Don’t do like I did and cram the night before,” he said.  “If you want to retain information long term, just pace yourself throughout the semester.”


Image above:  New biology professor Joseph Frentzel teaches anatomy and physiology and microbiology.  Additionally, he is starting a new microbiology course aimed at nurses.