Dr. Natalie Inman joined Cumberland University in 2010 after receiving her doctorate from Vanderbilt University. Her research is on the intercultural interaction of American Indians and Anglo-Americans, with particular attention to the roles of kinship networks. Dr. Inman is the author of Brothers and Friends: Kinship in Early America (University of Georgia Press), articles in the Tennessee Historical Quarterly and Journal of East Tennessee History, as well as a chapter in Before the Volunteer State: New Thoughts on Early Tennessee History, 1690-1800 (University of Tennessee Press). Dr. Inman helps lead Cumberland University’s annual Spring Break student leadership conference in Haiti. She is also active with organizations that support Haitian education.
Born in Eschenbach, Germany, Jaclyn Jennings was raised in southern Tennessee on the Alabama state line. Mrs. Jennings grew up with a nursery behind her home, playing ball with her twin sister against a backdrop filled with blue-green, rolling hillsides, and visiting a neighbor across the field who split his time between Old Salem, Tennessee, and Paris, France, capturing a young girl’s imagination. Nothing beats the sound of that gray gravel driveway coming home.
Jennings came back to Cumberland in the fall of 2016 when she was hired as an adjunct instructor of English. Visiting campus for a baseball game with her twin and brother-in-law, Jaclyn ran into a professor who asked what she’d been up to since graduating from CU?
After graduating with an undergraduate degree in English from Cumberland University, Mrs. Jennings began her teaching career under her maiden alias Ms. George at a small, private Christian school in Robertson County. Three years later, she had a crisis of belief and switched fields opting for a job in customer service and perhaps a career with a different passion -travel. While working in an office setting at a travel agency with very memorable colleagues evoked memories of growing up playing on sports teams, Jaclyn missed the classroom. She especially missed the connections with her students.
So, Jennings pursued her master’s degree first online and then on ground in night classes. Working two part time jobs and going to school she relates to the student population today who are largely not ‘traditional’ university college students.
As a full-time instructor at Cumberland, Mrs. Jennings teaches Composition I, Composition II, Introduction to Literature, and FSL. Her activities at CU include sponsoring Sigma Tau Delta, meeting bi-weekly with Table of Comments, a book club for all, supporting any English Department events, and trying to catch her student-athletes outside the classroom in action on the field or court.
Mrs. Jennings’s interests include reading, writing, traveling, hiking, skiing, baking, and cooking as long as she doesn’t have to do the dishes. She is a novice rower, fiddler, and gardener (containers and planters count, right?). A dream day is waking up in a tent or hammock outside, fishing or sunbathing all day, and then sitting around the campfire with hotdogs and marshmallows as the sun sets, geese fly home, crickets serenade, and bullfrogs croak. Or…just sitting on the front porch of Memaw’s house on Neal Street in Huntland, Tennessee, swinging, sipping sweet tea, breakin’ beans into an old metal bowl, and watching the world go by again would be nice
Jaclyn is a graduate of Huntland High School, holds a BA from CU, and an MA from WKU. She is an alumna of Sigma Tau Delta. Jaclyn is married to Drew Jennings, a CU alum, and they have one daughter. They’re members and attend services at First Baptist Church where Mrs. Jennings prefers to sit on the back row.
Ever since reading Lauren Slater’s Lying in a writing class with Dale Rigby, Jaclyn has been largely stuck on reading nonfiction, but still manages to reread a few classics like Wide Sargasso Sea, The Awakening, and a little Hemingway on summer breaks. Mrs. Jennings’s latest kick is food writing which she discovered during her pregnancy when she was unable to eat much that agreed with her, finding comfort in words about food instead. Having recently discovered poets Frank O’Hara on YouTube and Jericho Brown in a Garden & Gun article during her Covid-19 quarantine Mrs. Jennings’s 2020 summer reading list is looking promising.
Jaclyn’s humble abode is in Portland, Tennessee, home of the Middle Tennessee Strawberry Festive, but that’s not why she and her husband live there. It is Drew’s hometown. She lives with him, their two dogs, and the newest, cutest addition to the household, a baby girl, their daughter, on a quiet cul-de-sac off the 8th green of the local, municipal course. It’s not Sun-Drop country, but she’s not north of the state line either.
After teaching ENG 216 Topics in Literature over Travel Literature last fall and reminiscing over her travels to the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Ireland, and Iceland, Mrs. Jennings looks forward to the opportunity of teaching the class again. Maybe food writing will be chosen as the next topic.
Sara Farris begins her fourth year at Cumberland University and her second as a full-time member of the Athletic Training staff. She provides coverage for women’s volleyball and baseball. Farris has also covered football and wrestling at CU as a Graduate Assistant.
The Jacksonville, Fla., native graduated from the University of North Florida in May 2016, earning her bachelor’s in Athletic Training. While at UNF she gained clinic experience with the football, soccer, basketball and volleyball teams at Creekside High School, providing first aid during games and implementing return-to-play protocol for concussed athletes. During undergrad, Farris also worked with the baseball team at Jacksonville University, UNF women’s soccer team and gained experience with the soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, lacrosse and track and field teams at The Bolles School.
She also gained experience with the soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, lacrosse and track and field teams at The Bolles School, evaluating upper and lower extremity injuries, facilitating rehabilitation and stretching techniques and administering baseline Impact testing for spring sports.
Farris completed her master’s in Sports Management at Cumberland in May 2018.
Farris resides in Lebanon with her new puppy Siler.
Tyler Bennett serves as a full-time assistant in Athletic Training at Cumberland after spending two years at Tennessee Tech. He oversees athlete care, injury prevention, evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation for football, men’s volleyball, track and field and cross country at CU.
Bennett was a graduate assistant at Tennessee Tech, assisting the Head Athletic Trainer with football for the Golden Eagles, including athlete care, injury prevention, evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation. He scheduled office appointments for injured student-athletes with the team physician and assisted with pre-participation physicals and student-athlete drug testing as well as packing travel trunks and field set-up at away football games. Bennett also provided coverage for men’s tennis home matches and out-of-season coverage for women’s soccer practices and matches at TTU.
He is a member of the National Athletic Training Association and the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.
Bennett received his bachelor’s in Athletic Training from Kent State in December 2013 and earned his master’s in Exercise Science with a concentration in Sports Management from Tennessee Tech in May 2016.
Bennett and his wife, Catherine, reside in Lebanon with their dogs Braxton and Sadie. They are expecting their first child in December.