Art - Faculty 

Jen Oke

Ejenobo Oke
Department Chair
Associate Professor of Art

A Nigerian-American, Ejenobo Ruth Oke was born in Tallahassee, Fla., but grew up in her father’s country. Her family returned to the United States in 1987. She attended high school at John Glenn H.S., in Walkerton, Ind., where she first began to take a serious interest in art. She attended Manchester University, where she studied painting, drawing, sculpture and fiber investigation. Oke graduated Summa cum Laude, in 1997, with a Bachelor of Art degree. In 1999, Oke continued her education by pursuing a graduate degree in the Visual Studies program at Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, Va. She graduated in 2001, with a Master of Fine Arts. Her thesis work entitled "The Blue Square and the Bed" focused her investigation on the interactions between the individual and the quilt. The Blue Square is a series of six handmade batik quilts that explore the life activities on and around the bed.

She spent five years teaching at Ford Middle School, and was named Teacher of the Year in 2003. In August 2006, she returned to Manchester as an art instructor. Currently, she teaches Basic Design, Elementary Art Education Techniques, Outdoor Sketching & Painting, 3-D Construction, Arts & Crafts, Fabric Design, Graphic Design and a First Year Colloquium.

Jeff Diesburg
Associate Professor of Art 

Jeff Diesburg began his teaching career at Manchester as an Assistant Professor of Art in 2011.  He is adept with a variety of media and teaches both digital and traditional techniques. His courses include Oil Painting, Life Drawing, Graphic Design and Camera Techniques. He is most experienced with graphite and watercolor, and proficient with the Adobe Suite design programs. In addition to 2-D media, he taught glassblowing at Iowa State University, and enjoys making jewelry and sculptures.

Diesburg earned a B.A. in Biological Pre-Medical Illustration from Iowa State University in 2003 and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He completed a M.F.A. in Illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2006.

After earning his graduate degree, Diesburg served two years with the Peace Corps.  Living in a rural rain forest community, he worked with Panamanian, American and European organizations to educate children and adults. He also led and taught college students from all over the United States. Networking and teaching in adverse conditions, he learned to work effectively with faculty, staff and students from diverse backgrounds. Following his time in the Peace Corps, he earned Teaching Licenses in Visual Arts and Biology and served one year with the AmeriCorps and Porter County (Ind.) United Way as a career advisor for high school students.

Thelma Rohner

Thelma Rohrer
Assistant Professor of Art
Director of Study Away and Off-Campus Academic Programs’

Thelma Rohrer teaches various courses in the Art Department and the Humanities Division. Her area of emphasis is in art and architectural history, and her studio areas include drawing, ceramics and weaving. She graduated from Manchester University "With Distinction," has a master's degree from Michigan State University, and has studied at the University of Notre Dame, the University of Michigan, and Ohio State University.

A specialist in American art, she has contributed scholarly articles to several encyclopedias, including the Lexikon der Düsseldorfer MalerschuleThe Ohio Artists Project, and the American National Biography, published by the Oxford University Press.

She was named "Winterthur Fellow, Scholar-in-Residence" in 1998, "Outstanding Young Woman of America," national award, 1997, "Who's Who in American Universities and Colleges," 1984, and has received many other awards for excellence in teaching.

Rohrer has had a life-long interest in other cultures, and has traveled widely. Before entering college, she spent a year in Switzerland as an American Field Service exchange student. Once in college, she studied at Philipps Universität in Marburg, Germany. She has been leader or co-leader of study trips to Italy, England, France, Spain, Morocco, Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras, and recently participated in a conference for study-away directors in Ecuador.

She has served as curatorial assistant for the Kresge Art Museum at Michigan State University, and was curator and author of the "Labor and Leisure: Images of Rural America in Prints of the 1930s and 1940s" exhibition at the Columbus Museum of Art, in Ohio. She currently oversees the two art galleries at Manchester University.

Faculty Emeritus


James R.C. Adams
Professor Emeritus of Art
Lecturer of Art

James R.C. Adams retired in 2008 after 51 years of teaching on the Manchester University art faculty. In 2002, he was honored nationwide as the U.S. Professor of the Year for baccalaureate colleges, and he has received numerous awards for art restoration.

Adams has degrees from George Washington University (A.A. and B.A.) and the Instituto Allende, affiliated with the University of Guanajuato, Mexico (M.F.A.). He has studied at the Corcoran Art School in Washington, and the Ruskin Art School, Oxford University, and has done graduate work at the University of Barcelona.

He has exhibited in England, the U.S. and Mexico. He taught a year at a school in Germany, and three years at the University of Barcelona, in Spain, and was a Faculty Fellow of the Indiana Campus Compact.

Professor Adams specializes in drawing and painting, photography, video, and general humanities classes. He is an active member of the art community.