J. MICHAEL RIPSKI

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University Chaplain and Assistant Professor
mripski@cumberland.edu
(615) 453-6347
Learning and Career Commons, Room 121
Faculty
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.

 

N. LEANN BLEVINS

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Director of Career Services and Internships, and Instructor
lblevins@cumberland.edu
(615) 547-1357
Learning and Career Commons, Room 202
Faculty
Academic Success Center
A.S., Volunteer State Community College
B.S., Western Kentucky University
M.P.S., Western Kentucky University
By joining Cumberland’s faculty, LeAnn Blevins returns to higher education as the Director of Career Services and Internships.  A native of Gallatin, Tennessee, LeAnn graduated from Volunteer State Community College with an Associate of Science degree in accounting, and went on to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and her Master of Public Service in Counseling at Western Kentucky University.  She is a graduate of Leadership Sumner, former member of the Women’s Political Caucus and served on the campaign staff of a former U.S. Representative. She began her career in higher education at Volunteer State Community College, where she served for eleven years as the Director of Special Adult Programs.  There she managed grants funneled through the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education. Through those grants, students were afforded the opportunity to train in a more marketable career field and receive career and personal counseling along the way.  She also served as the legislative liaison for Gender Equity Programs across higher education in Tennessee, leading program directors and students in sharing their stories with federal legislators to encourage continuation of funding.   From there, LeAnn moved to the Tennessee Board of Regents as the Grants Coordinator.  She worked with additional federal grants, distributing those funds across the state to state-supported colleges and universities to assist qualifying students while providing programmatic support for the on-campus operators.  In addition, LeAnn worked closely with the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, providing guidance and support for student services personnel, faculty and staff in daily operations, conducting investigations of campus complaints and serving as the legislative liaison for the TCATs.   She also managed the TBR system’s compliance requirements for non-discriminatory and accessibility legislation as required by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. During her fourteen years with the TBR, LeAnn also composed and edited the statewide newsletter for the TCATs and authored articles for various national journals regarding technical education.   After taking five years off to be home more with her children, including serving part-time for two years as a paralegal for a law firm in Nashville, LeAnn welcomed the opportunity to return to a college campus.  As a faculty member, LeAnn is an instructor of the Foundations of Scholarship and Learning courses. She also counsels students regarding concerns about their career choices. In addition, she serves as a campus liaison for students seeking to obtain internship opportunities in their career fields prior to graduation. LeAnn, along with her husband and two children, reside in Lebanon, where they have been active in animal rescue, and are often found at their children’s various sports and school activities.