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Learning and Career Commons
Academic Success Center, Office of Enrollment, Admissions, and Student Financial Services
B.A., University of Georgia
M.A., Western Kentucky University
Michael Sostre is an Academic Coach at Cumberland, focusing specifically on students within the Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions. In this role, Michael works with a piece of Cumberland’s student population to help them find ways to thrive during their time in college, academically or otherwise.
Before Cumberland, Michael was a Graduate Assistant for the Intercultural Student Engagement Center (ISEC) at Western Kentucky University, where he earned a Master of Arts in Education, Student Affairs in Higher Education, in August 2022. He has experience with ISEC was focused on helping underrepresented minority students at WKU thrive and planning cultural celebrations and programs with WKU’s Hispanic student population.
Michael received a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from the University of Georgia, graduating in May 2020. During his time at UGA, he served in student leadership roles, welcoming and mentoring first year students to help them feel like they could make their campus home.


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Director of Student Success and Instructor
(615) 547-1295
Learning and Career Commons, Room 122
Academic Success Center
The School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts Part Time and Adjunct Faculty
B.A., Harding University
M.A.T., Middle Tennessee State University


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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.



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Academic Coach and Instructor
LLC 203
Academic Success Center, Office of Enrollment, Admissions, and Student Financial Services
B.A., Education, University of South Florida
M.B.A., Systems Management, Florida Institute of Technology

Gary Heartfield has been an Adjunct Professor since the Fall Semester 2019 in the Labry School of Science, Technology & Business where he has taught undergraduate Microcomputer Application, Principles of Information Systems, Introduction to Business and Business Communication. Prior to coming on board at Cumberland University, he was employed in the telecommunications Industry for over 30 years. He has worked as a National Account Manager for both wired and wireless fiber optic equipment sales and has had a career in Supply Chain Management and Equipment Planning for a major Telecom Corporation. He has an instructional background in College and High School Algebra and Computer Programming. He also helped in the development of the Palm Beach County Computer programming curriculum.

As one of the new Academic Coaches at Cumberland I will be focusing on students within the Labry School of Science, Technology & Business. We work with the student to help them with academic and career goal setting, learning strategies, time management, and organizational skill sets. Our goal is to help the student formulate positive and effective habits that lead to academic, professional and personal success.