Elliot Koester, a recent addition to the Health Science department


By Au’mario Landrum

With the return of new and old students alike, McPherson College welcomes new faculty. Professor Elliot Koester is a recent addition to the Health Science department. Below he answers several questions  

why did you pick up teaching?  

Koester: “…I’ve been an epidemiologist for the last 5 years handling the covid epidemic, and I concluded that I wanted to pursue a different field, and I thought what I had learned might assist future generations…My background in epidemiology with the importance of surveillance, data collection, and data analysis, and how community health works would be beneficial to you guys.” 

what do you teach at McPherson college? 

Koester: “I teach health science classes along with health care management classes” 

what was your path to becoming who you are today? 

Koester: “I was born and raised in Arizona, did a semester in Ohio then a semester in a juco. Then I moved to Kansas and ended up going to Southwestern College. Played football at Southwestern, got my degree in Biology. I then moved to Fargo, North Dakota got my master’s in public health. While I was there, I was a GMP scientist, and did clinical research. Pursued my NPH, ended up moving back and marrying my college sweetheart. I then worked for the Reno County Health Department as an epidemiologist for the past 5 years. Our old boss, then recruited me over here.”  

what was it that keep you motivated? 

Koester: “Continually trying to improve myself is the way I stay motivated.” 

what are your hobbies? 

Koester: “Hanging out with my wife and dogs. I also really like grilling and smoking meats.”  

what’s on your bucket list? 

Koester: “Get a PhD, and travel.” 

favorite movie?  

Koester: “Lord of the Rings Series, and I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan”  

favorite food?  

Koester: “Chicken and Waffles”  

favorite song? 

Koester: “Can I Kick It by Tripod Quest” 

what are you most excited about for the next semester? 

Koester: “Creating opportunities for our students to participate in meaningful community engagement” 

and maybe some crazy miscellaneous facts about yourself?  

  • I was a cadaver dissector for $7.50 at southwestern college. Id cut up the bodies and help dissect for the younger students under me.  
  • I’m a multi-time state chess champion 
  • I was an all-state middle line backer