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Adjunct Instructor of Speech
Adjunct Faculty
The Millard and JJ Oakley School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.A., Vanderbilt University
M.B.A., Texas A & M University

Throughout Jason’s professional and academic career, he has honed his skills in speech and communication, which led to a career change in 2010 away from sales and marketing to keynote speaking and corporate training.

In 2016, Jason completed his own program for teaching extemporaneous speaking and storytelling skills, which he has taught to corporations and students around the country. Jason also completed his own book, which compliments his signature course: 14 Weeks: From Fear to Firebrand.

In addition, Jason has also developed courses in Advanced Extemporaneous Speaking, Intergenerational Communications, Professional Networking, and Interviewing Skills. All of these courses would be highly beneficial to the students at Cumberland.

In addition to his experience developing and delivering speaking programs, Jason has a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, and an MBA from Texas A&M. He also spent over a decade with Toastmasters International, earning the Distinguished Toastmaster designation in 2018.

Jason enjoys competing regularly at the state and national level and truly believes that it is critical for a public speaking teacher to stay active and connected to the professional world, in order to provide the students with the most current and applicable training available.

For any additional information you can visit Jason’s website at: www.Firestory.com or follow him on Twitter/X at @yourFirestory.


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Adjunct Instructor of Music Theory
Adjunct Faculty
The Millard and JJ Oakley School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.M., St. Olaf College
M.M., Eastman School of Music
D.M.A., University of Iowa

Dr. Jeremy C. Hansen teaches music theory and music technology. Previously, he was the professor of horn and music theory at Tennessee Technological University, a position he held since 2007.

In addition to horn, he has taught music theory, aural training, chamber music, rock history, and acoustics. He performed for fifteen years as principal horn with the Bryan Symphony and hornist with the Cumberland Wind Quintet. He holds the degree Doctor of Musical Arts in horn performance and pedagogy from the University of Iowa, Master of Music in Horn Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, and the Bachelor of Music degrees in horn performance and education from St. Olaf College.

Dr. Hansen’s doctoral thesis analyzed the works for horn and piano of Paul Hindemith, creating a method of pedagogy of post-tonal works. He has formerly held positions at Eastern Illinois University and Columbus State University and is a past member of the Quad Cities Symphony and the Terre Haute Symphony. He performs regularly at the Southeast Horn Workshop and hosted the event with his horn studio in 2012.

He serves as the Tennessee Representative to the International Horn Society. Dr. Hansen is an avid fan of diverse solo horn literature and is a specialist in the performance of natural horn, which led to a research project recording all the historic horns in the Bate Collection at Oxford University. Dr. Hansen hails from upstate New York.


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Adjunct Instructor of Art & Graphic Design
Adjunct Faculty
The Millard and JJ Oakley School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.A, East Tennessee State University
M.A., East Tennessee State University
M.F.A., Savannah College or Art & Design

Considering his dual interests in writing and illustration, Steve Simmerman has found that graphic design, whether in the form of a poster, magazine spread, or album cover, offers wonderful possibilities for word and image to coalesce into a message with impact. Design is truly universal, and imagery often confronts us, urging us to connect symbols with ideas.

Among his inspirations are Will Eisner, Gary Larson, Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, and Toulouse-Lautrec. Steve’s also a huge fan of early magazine illustrators like Edward Penfield and Will Bradley, as well as artists Jasper Johns and Edward Hopper.

Simmerman’s passion for music, archaeology, and branding often show up in his artwork. He works in a variety of media — typically ink, watercolor, and acrylic — as well as digital tools like Illustrator and Photoshop. Tinkering with a synthesis of hand-drawn sketches and digital manipulation, Steve continues to explore the rewarding, often meandering paths to visual narrative. He has illustrated two children’s books and exhibited artwork in New York, Chicago, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. Additionally, he’s taught graphic design for over twenty years.


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Adjunct Instructor of English
Adjunct Faculty
The Millard and JJ Oakley School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.A., Lyon College
M.A.E., University of Memphis
M.A.E., Middle Tennessee State University

Adjunct Instructor William Lucas Patton grew up in Arkansas, attending Lyon College for his bachelor’s degree in English and Theatre, later achieved a Master’s in English at the University of Memphis and a second Master’s at Middle Tennessee State University. He has been teaching for over six years in various Tennessee institutions such as Motlow State Community College, Columbia State Community College, and now recently Cumberland University.

William has presented papers and given talks regarding the philosophy behind pop culture usage in society ranging from media including Shakespearean drama, fantasy horror shows for Joss Whedon, anime series such as Cowboy Bebop, modern science fiction and Disney film archetypes.

He is frequently performing at theater events throughout Rutherford County and has recently participated in poetry and literature clubs in the area. He is currently teaching Grammar Studies and Introduction to Literature studies at Cumberland.


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Adjunct Instructor of Music Theory
Adjunct Faculty
The Millard and JJ Oakley School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.N., St. Olaf College
M.M., Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester
D.M.A., Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester

Kristen S. Hansen served as Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer of Music in the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University (Georgia). She holds the DMA and the MM in Horn Performance and Literature from the Eastman School Music in Rochester, New York, and she previously received the degree Bachelor of Music summa cum laude from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.

Her teachers in horn have included Peter Kurau, Kendall Betts, and Verne Reynolds. After completing master’s coursework in Rochester, Dr. Hansen was the director of high school and middle school bands in the Fonda-Fultonville district in central New York. Concurrently, she played as assistant and then principal horn with the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra. She has taught and performed at the Kendall Betts Horn Camp and has appeared as a Regional Artist and a lecturer at annual conventions of the International Horn Society and the Southeast Horn Workshop.

She was a founding member of the Barry Tuckwell Institute and for ten years held the position of second horn with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. With the CSU Horn Studio, she hosted the Southeast Horn Workshop twice, as well as the International Horn Competition of America. She served several times as a faculty member or site director for study abroad programs in Oxford, United Kingdom, and Paris, France, and in August 2010 performed with the Vianden Festival in Luxembourg.

She has authored an undergraduate theory text and teaches humanities courses for Columbus State, online. Dr. Hanse is the Minister in Music and Parish Administrator at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Nashville and has led two performances of a “sing along” Messiah with Early Music City and community partners. She joins the Cumberland University faculty to teach music theory.


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Adjunct Instructor of Physical Education & Athletic Coaching
Adjunct Faculty
The Millard and JJ Oakley School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.S., University of Arkansas
M.S., Pittsburg State University

In my career, Mr. Moore has had a combination of over 30 years in the education profession as a secondary health/wellness schoolteacher, a track collegiate coach, and college/university residence director. In each of these previous positions, he designed a highly competitive and conducive learning environment for diverse students’ skills and improved performance and leadership, focusing on life lessons like social/personal issues, dealing with pressure, setting goals, maintaining focus and motivation and more.

Mr. Moore has served as a cross country/track coach at several high schools/universities such as: Shorter University, Campbellsville University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Columbus State University; and high schools such as The Arthur School for Young Men – New Orleans (Physical Science Teacher), Episcopal High School, St. John’s School, and Wentworth Military Academy and College. He has coached National Champions: Ayana Walker 400m ran 53.01, Justyna Mudy ran a 3K Steeple 10:12, Nick Dodson ran 400h 50.3, and Montagious Brown high jumped 2.13m/7’0”.

Mr. Moore holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training/Physical Education from the University of Arkansas, where he was engaged in several campus activities and was a scholarship student in its Track and Field program. Additionally, he has a Master of Science degree in Health Human Performance, Recreation and Wellness, from Pittsburg State University.

Personally, he enjoys family/friends time, active in racquet sports and running, and watching All Sports SEC and volunteering with Special Olympics and community mentoring. He is a native Houston – 5th Ward, Texas, and a R. E. Lee HS graduate.

In summary, my whole existence has been about diversity and inclusion, and I can think of no other way to successfully operate in our society.


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Adjunct Instructor of History
Adjunct Faculty
The Millard and JJ Oakley School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.A., Abilene Christian University
M.A., University of North Texas
PhD., University of North Texas

Dr. Luke Truxal is an American military historian who focuses on the application of American air power during the Second World War. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of North Texas in 2011 and 2018.  His teaching fields include Europe in the twentieth century, United States history, United States military history, and United States political history in the twentieth century.

Truxal’s main research interest is the air war in Europe from 1942 to 1945. He is the author of the forthcoming book Uniting against the Reich: The American Air War in Europe, which comes out in fall 2023. He is also an assistant editor for the scholarly web journal Balloons to Drones. He previously published “Bombing the Romanian Rail Network,” in the Spring 2018 issue of Air Power History.  He is currently researching the air war over Romania from 1942 to 1944 with a particular emphasis on American and Soviet coordination and joint operations.



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Adjunct Instructor of Digital Photography
Adjunct Faculty
The Millard and JJ Oakley School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.F.A., Middle Tennessee State University
M.F.A., University of Memphis

Johnny Lee Park is a lifelong student of art, history, and language. He has supplemented his English, Graphic Design, and Photography/Printmaking degrees with many years of personal creation and research, while simultaneously taking an avid interest in the ways technology and its effect on societies is portrayed in art.

Following graduation from MTSU and Graduate School at the University of Memphis, Johnny has worked as artist, designer, photographer, and instructor, both freelance and at the university level. His visual works have been featured in Nashville Arts magazine as well as in numerous national and local venues including the Frist Art Museum. Examples of his work can be seen at: eccentricartfoundry.com


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Adjunct Instructor of English
Adjunct Faculty
The Millard and JJ Oakley School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.F.A., Watkins College of Art and Design
M.F.A., Queens College

Craig Garrett is a writer and educator based in rural Tennessee. His fiction has appeared in The Brooklyn RailShotgun Honey, and other places. Craig is also an avid fan of classic films and golden-age television. He’s likely in the middle of a The Twilight Zone marathon as you read this.

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