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Assistant Professor of Mathematics
(615) 547-1294
Labry Hall, Room 235
The Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business
B.S., University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Ph.D., Indiana University
Dr. William Tune joined Cumberland University in the Fall of 2017 and teaches courses in the Mathematics program.  Prior to this, he taught mathematics courses at Motlow State Community College and Indiana University, where he received the Rothrock Teaching Award in 2013.  His research interests are in the field of Mathematical Logic, especially as it applies to natural language, the λ-calculus, and coalgebras.  He received the Robert K. Meyer Graduate Fellowship twice for his research into creating a calculus for representing monotonic patterns in natural language. Dr. Tune also has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Tennessee, where he was a member of the Chancellor’s Honor program and the Mathematics Honors program.  He participated in two summer undergraduate research experiences, and was selected by the Mathematics Department faculty as the 2010 Outstanding Graduate. In addition, he has co-authored two papers: Eigenvalues and Transduction of Morphic Sequences (2014) and A Monotonicity Calculus and Its Completeness (2017).


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Assistant Professor of Nursing
(260) 438-2878
Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions
The Jeanette C. Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions
A.S.N., Alvin Community College
B.S.N., University of Phoenix
M.S.N., Indiana Wesleyan University
Ph.D., Capella University
Dr. Somerville joined the faculty at Cumberland University in 2015. She works in the RN-BSN and MSN nursing programs, both teaching and developing courses. She taught as an adjunct and was Interim Director of the RN-BSN program, August 2017-2018. She currently is a full-time faculty. Dr. Somerville’s nursing background includes Neuro, Cardiac, and Neuro-Surgical Intensive Care.  She enjoys presenting workshops and presentations promoting nursing education and evidence-based practice.    Publications: Dissertation: QSEN Initiatives Patient Safety Officer: A Quantitative Study On Baccalaureate Nursing Students’ Patient Safety Competency, 2016 Thesis: Nurses’ Perception of Specialty Certification: A Replication Study of the American Board of Nursing Specialties, 2010 Rubrics are a Good Thing. (2010). Illumination, 2 (2). 1-2   Presentation: Student Engagement in Online Learning – Cumberland University – Colloquium (2018)  


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Associate Professor of Special Education
(615) 547-1327
Bone Hall, Room 101
The School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.S., Tennessee Technological University
M.A., Tennessee Technological University
Ed.S., Tennessee Technological University
Ed.D., Tennessee State University
Prior to becoming a higher education faculty member, Dr. Sandy Smith taught twenty years in the P-12 setting.  She served as an elementary, special education, gifted and adult education teacher. Her areas of interest include special education, diversity, assessment, and literacy.  She has co-authored a number of college-level texts including The Student Teaching and Field Experience Handbook (7th edition), Teaching Reading in the Today’s Middle Schools (1st edition), Teaching Through Stories, Yours, Mine and Theirs (1st edition), and Teaching Reading in Today’s Elementary Schools (9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th editions).  Dr. Smith is actively involved in a variety of professional organizations, including the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), The Tennessee Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators (TACTE), the Association for Supervision and Curriculum (ASCD), the International Literacy Association (ILA), and the Literacy Association of Tennessee (LAT).  Currently in LAT, Dr. Smith is a member of the Board of Directors holds the state leadership position of Treasurer.     At Cumberland University, Dr. Smith teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses for candidates seeking teacher licensure.  She teaches courses related to collaboration, special education, English as a Second Language (ESL), and literacy and provides support for candidates in numerous field and clinical experiences.  She advises licensure candidates seeking endorsements in special education, elementary education, and ESL. Dr. Smith serves as the program director for the Masters of Arts in Teaching program. She participates in a number of campus-wide committees, including the CU Colloquium Planning Committee.  Dr. Smith often presents professional development programs for area school systems and serves on a number of state-level committees organized by the Tennessee State Department of Education.   Dr. Smith lives in Overton County with her husband of 47 years, David.  They have two sons, Dustin and Tyler, a daughter-in-law, Mandy, a grandson, Marek, one Siberian Husky dog and four cats.  


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Assistant Professor of Business
(615) 453-6301
Labry Hall, Room 113
The Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business
B.S., University of Tennessee, Knoxville
M.B.A., University of Mississippi
Ms. Karah Sprouse began at Cumberland University in fall of 2014 as an adjunct instructor and joined the full-time faculty in spring of 2018. She teaches various business classes in the undergraduate business program and serves as program director for the AAB program.  Prior to arriving at Cumberland, Ms. Sprouse was a PMP certified project manager in the software industry managing large-scale implementations. Ms. Sprouse holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and an MBA from the University of Mississippi. She is currently completing her Doctorate of Business degree with plans to graduate in the summer of 2020. She also maintains her Project Management Professional certification.


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Assistant Professor of Exercise and Sport Science
(615) 453-6356
McFarland Hall
The Jeanette C. Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions
B.Ed., University of Toledo
M.A., Adelphi University
Ed.D., Trevecca Nazarene University

Dr. Richard “Dick” Storie began at Cumberland University in 2011 teaching in the Exercise and Sport Science Program. He is a former faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at the University of Texas at Austin and Director of the UT Fitness & Performance Center. In addition to academia, Dr. Storie has held various positions in hospitals working primarily in cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation. These experiences led him to start-up and administrator opportunities with three highly acclaimed Medical Fitness Centers that incorporate fitness, physical therapy, physician services, and community health promotion. These achievements garnered him the first ever co-recipient of the National Apple Achievement Award as a pioneer in Medical Fitness awarded by Modern Healthcare.

Dr. Storie has been involved in a number of entrepreneurial ventures, including a consulting firm specializing in athletic physiological testing, injury prevention, and performance enhancement that he founded and operated for 11 years. During that time, Dr. Storie served on two U.S. Olympic Committees addressing High Performance Athletics, and he has served as a Sport Physiology Consultant to the Nashville Predators since 2006.

He has served on numerous committees and boards throughout the industry, including the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) National Committee on Certification, and Education Chair for the Medical Fitness Association. He currently serves on the ACSM Professional Education Committee, Exercise Science Education Committee, and holds several ACSM certifications. His research has been published and presented nationally, including anaerobic power assessment and training outcomes in various populations; dose-response relationships during physical activity; and cardiopulmonary, metabolic, and functional responses to acute and chronic exercise and therapeutic interventions.



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Instructor of Nursing
(615) 547-1288
McFarland Hall
The Jeanette C. Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions
B.S.N., Tennessee Techonological University
M.S.N., Vanderbilt University
D.N.P., University of Alabama, Huntsville
Dr. Jennifer Spires began at Cumberland University in the spring of 2019. She has taught in both Adult Health 2 clinical rotations and Nursing Foundations labs. Dr. Spires started her nursing career working as a bedside nurse in a stepdown cardiac surgery unit at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where she spent 4 years. During this time, she was working towards the completion of her Master of Science in Nursing with a Family Nurse practitioner concentration. She then went on to practice as a nurse practitioner in an ENT outpatient clinic where she has been for the past eleven years. After obtaining her Doctor of Nursing Practice in 2017, she knew that she wanted to pursue a position in nursing education. She enjoys working as adjunct faculty and finds her time interacting with the students extremely rewarding.  Dr. Spires is Board Certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is a member of the International Nursing Honor Society, Sigma Theta Tau, Middle Tennessee Advanced Practice Nurses, and the Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head-Neck Nurses.  Dr. Spires lives in Mount Juliet with her husband and their two sons. She enjoys reading, traveling, trying new restaurants, and playing with her family’s three dogs in her personal time.       


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Librarian and Instructor
(615) 547-1354
Vise Library
Doris & Harry Vise University Library
B.S., Middle Tennessee State University
J.D., University of Tennessee, Knoxville
M.S.I.S., University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Steve joined the Vise Library staff in the fall of 2019 as a Librarian and Instructor. He earned his Masters of Science in Information Sciences from the University of Tennessee in the spring of 2019. Steve had two practicum experiences in 2018, one at Vanderbilt University’s Divinity School Library and one at Vanderbilt University’s Law School Library. He also worked as a reference librarian at the Williamson County Public Library in Franklin, Tennessee while he was pursuing his M.S.I.S. 

Steve grew up in the Bellevue community of Nashville. He earned a Bachelor of Science in political science from Middle Tennessee State University in 1981. He was a member of the school’s debate team. He then earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Tennessee in 1984. He spent the next 25 years practicing law in Nashville, working for the Middle District of the Tennessee Court of Appeals, law firms King and Ballow, and Sherrard and Roe, and in the legal departments of First American National Bank and Gaylord Entertainment Company. He was involved in a wide variety of legal issues, but worked primarily in contracts, labor and employment law, general business litigation, and intellectual property.  



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Instructor of Mathematics
(615) 453-6308
Memorial Hall, Room 310C
The Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business
B.S., State University of New York, Fredonia
M.S., Middle Tennessee State University
Milton Sager earned a Bachelor of Science from SUNY Fredonia College (2010) with a major in mathematics. He earned a Master of Arts from MTSU (2013) in applied mathematics. His thesis was the research and development of a Switched Reluctance In-Wheel Hub Motor which was the first interdepartmental thesis between the Math and Engineering departments at MTSU. The concept was to put an electric motor inside the rear wheel of a motorcycle eliminating the gasoline engine. He began teaching at Cumberland University in August 2015. Prior to this he had taught at MTSU, NSCC, and Belmont University.  Other than teaching math, his hobbies include backpacking, collecting vintage Star Wars memorabilia, and woodworking. He has consulted several small businesses such as B&B Metal Works, Paul’s Rocket Stoves, and a few cottage backpacking gear start ups on the math and engineering aspects of some of their projects. He runs a men's small group through his Church. He and his wife have two children and live in Murfreesboro.  


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University Chaplain and Assistant Professor
(615) 453-6347
Learning and Career Commons, Room 121
Academic Success Center
The School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.A., Rhodes College
M.Div., Emory University
D.Min., Emory University

Retiring after 40 years as a United Methodist pastor of churches in West and Middle Tennessee, Dr. Ripski serves as University Chaplain. He also has teaching responsibilities.

He previously taught courses in philosophy, Bible, and religion as an adjunct instructor at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

His publications include: Conversing with God, Abingdon Press, 1992; This Side of Easter, A Lenten Study for Adults, Abingdon Press, 1998; and numerous articles.