GARY HEARTFIELD

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Adjunct Instructor of Business
gheartfield@cumberland.edu
Labry Hall
Adjunct Faculty
The Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business Adjunct
B.A., University of South Florida
M.S., Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne
Gary Heartfield has been an Adjunct Professor since the Fall Semester 2019 in the Labry School of Science, Technology & Business (LSSTB).    Professor Heartfield teaches undergraduate Microcomputer Application and Principles of Information Systems courses. Professor Heartfield has a tenured educational instruction career that includes courses in College Algebra I and II and Computer Programming at both the College and High School level. Prior to coming on board at Cumberland University, he was a National Account Manager for both wired and wireless fiber optic equipment sales and a career in Supply Chain Management and Equipment Planning for a major Telecom Corporation. He has received both the Presidents Club and Salesman of the Year awards for Sales Excellence and served a crucial role in assisting the state of Mississippi in their disaster relief network rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. As a Supply Chain Manger his team developed an Activity Based Costing model that was implemented for the reduction of Telecom equipment and service installation costs.   

IAN HAWKINS

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Adjunct Instructor of Chemistry
ihawkins@cumberland.edu
Labry Hall
Adjunct Faculty
The Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business Adjunct
B.S., East Carolina University
M.S., Vanderbilt University
Ph.D., Middle Tennessee State University
Dr. Hawkins is an adjunct professor who teaches chemistry and physical science.  He holds BS degrees in Chemistry and Biochemistry, an MS degree in Molecular Biology from Vanderbilt University, and a PhD in Chemistry Education.  Ian’s published research includes studies in theoretical computational chemistry on the effects of aromaticity, the study of RNA splicing and the SRrp86 control of splicing, the production of aurones for possible drug candidates, and the study of the use of virtual labs in a general chemistry lab. Dr. Hawkins has been teaching for 13 years at various institutions.   

ZACHARY GRIMES

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Adjunct Instructor of Biology
zgrimes@cumberland.edu
Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business
Adjunct Faculty
The Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business Adjunct
B.Sc., Middle Tennessee State University
M.Sc., Middle Tennessee State University

JILL GILBERT

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Adjunct Instructor of Mathematics
jgilbert@cumberland.edu
Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business
Adjunct Faculty
The Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business Adjunct
B.S., Lincoln Memorial University
M.Ed., Vanderbilt University
Ed.S., Union University, Hendersonville
Jill Gilbert joins Cumberland as an adjunct instructor of Mathematics in the fall of 2019. She has worked in the Wilson County School System for 30 years in the roles of math teacher, math instruction coach, assistant principal, and currently as the K-12 Mathematics Coordinator for the district. She has a passion for teaching and learning and enjoys working with colleagues on best practices for teaching mathematics.  Jill also enjoys reading, decorating, music, and spending time with family and friends. She resides in Lebanon and has one son.   

LAURIE DISHMAN

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Director of Institutional Effectiveness, and Professor of Mathematics
ldishman@cumberland.edu
(615) 547-1278
Labry Hall, Room 236
Faculty
Office of Academic Affairs
The Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business Adjunct
B.S., Carson-Newman College
M.A., Vanderbilt University
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
Laurie P. Dishman earned a Bachelor of Arts from Carson-Newman College (1993) with majors in mathematics and French and a minor in music. She earned her Master of Arts (1995) and Doctor of Philosophy (1998) in mathematics from Vanderbilt University. She began teaching at Cumberland University in August 1998. In 1999, Dr. Dishman also became the Director of the Learning Center @ Cumberland University until 2004 when it closed. From 2008 to 2013, she served as the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences (SLAS). She has been the Program Director for mathematics since 2008. In January 2018, Dr. Dishman assumed the role of Director of Institutional Effectiveness. At Cumberland, Dr. Dishman has taught many different courses, including Foundations of Scholarship and Learning for new freshmen and mathematics courses at all levels. Her favorite courses to teach are the calculus sequence and Abstract Algebra. She has served on the Faculty Senate, Institutional Effectiveness Committees, the Admissions Committee, the Financial Aid Student Appeals Committee, the Benefits Committee, the University’s curriculum committee, and many others. While Dean of the SLAS, she served on the Deans’ Council, the Executive Management Team, the 2010 SACS Leadership Team, and the 2010 SACS Compliance Audit Committee, as well as various faculty search committees. In 2015, she served on the SACSCOC Fifth Year Report writing team. Dr. Dishman enjoys taking students to the Mathematical Association of America-Southeastern Section (MAA-SE) conference meetings each spring, where they can participate in many undergraduate activities as well as present their own work in poster sessions or undergraduate talks. Dr. Dishman recently completed a three-year term as the Tennessee State Director (2014-2017) for the MAA-SE.

KALA DIXON

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Adjunct Instructor of Biology
kdixon@cumberland.edu
Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business
Adjunct Faculty
The Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business Adjunct
B.S., Cumberland University
M.S., Clemson University
Ms. Kala Dixon is a new Adjunct Biology Professor at Cumberland University and a newly promoted Research Assistant lll in the Department of Surgical Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is 2014 Cumberland University alumni and graduated Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry. Following her B.S., she pursued her Master of Science in Biology from Clemson University in which she graduated with a 4.0 GPA. Additionally, she is a soon to be Ph.D. graduate of Interprofessional Healthcare from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science with a continued 4.0 GPA standing.  After obtaining her Master’s, Ms. Dixon interned in the Harrison Lab in the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at VUMC. The lab investigated the mechanistic etiology of hypertension caused by inflammation via activation of NADPH oxidase by the coupling of antibodies p47phox and gp91phox.  Also, while in the Harrison Lab, she was the head author for a journal article entitled Dendritic Cells and Isolevuglandins in Immunity, Inflammation, and Hypertension which was published in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology (Dixon, Davies, and Kirabo, 2017). The publication discussed the role antigen-presenting dendritic cells play in response to inflammation and hypertension.  She then took on a Research Assistant position in the Serezani Lab, in the Department of Infectious Disease at VUMC, studying the effects of MRSA in diabetic mice. In 2017, Ms. Dixon accepted a Research Assistant II position in the Abumrad Lab, in the Department of Surgical Sciences at VUMC, where she currently resides as a Research Assistant III. Her lab’s research interest seeks to investigate neural signaling and its interaction within the enteric nervous system’s gut-brain axis interaction with several hormones, specifically ghrelin, responsible for hunger and appetite stimulation. The study purpose is to determine if drug administration of Benzocaine blocks neural signaling and minimizes ghrelin production. Additionally, whereas, her occupational responsibilities center around laboratory bench work, conducting experimentation at the molecular level, her dissertation research is studying the effects of patient care administered to bariatric surgery patients. Furthermore, Ms. Dixon has always had a passion for learning, gaining scientific knowledge, and helping others. During her time at CU, she served in several organizations including President of the Tri-Beta National Honor Society and Vice President of Pre-Professional Honor Society. She was also a member in the Omicron Delta Kappa National Honor Society, Gamma Beta Phi National Honor Society, and the Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society. IN 2014, Ms. Dixon received the nationwide accolade “Who’s Who Among College Students” and the “Most Promising Biology” Award from the CU Biology Department. She was also was a CU Telecounselor all four years and a biology tutor her junior and senior year. As a tutor, she discovered that she would like to gain teaching experience at the collegiate level, in the future, and is now embarking on a new and exciting journey by gaining experience as an adjunct biology professor at CU this Fall. Outside of her professional career, she became engaged this summer while vacationing at the Grand Canyon and will be married in the spring of 2020. She also loves to draw, paint, bake, scrapbooking, wreath making, traveling in her spare time, and has been to 47 states. Reference: Dixon, K. B., Davies, S. S., & Kirabo, A. (2017). Dendritic cells and isolevuglandins in immunity, inflammation, and hypertension. American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology312(3), H368–H374. doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00603.2016  

B. ALISON DORRIS

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Instructor of Biology
adorris@cumberland.edu
(615) 547-1369
Memorial Hall, Room 309A
Faculty
The Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business Adjunct
B.S., University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
M.S., Tennessee Technological University
Alison Dorris graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2010.  After spending a year working at an engineering firm, she decided to pursue an advanced degree at Tennessee Technological University.  While there, she studied under the direction of Dr. Sharon G. Berk at the Center for Management, Utilization, and Protection of Water Resources.   Dr. Berk’s laboratory allowed Mrs. Dorris to become skilled in isolating and culturing marine and freshwater protozoans in laboratory and alternative media.  Mrs. Dorris’s research aided in furthering a patent pending and novel alternative biofuel. Also while at Tennessee Technological University, she discovered her passion for teaching.   Upon graduating, Mrs. Dorris worked at an environmental laboratory as an assistant biologist where she was trained and certified in areas of aquatic toxicology, microbiology, mold, and EPA Method 1622/1623.  During her time as an assistant biologist, Mrs. Dorris was asked to serve as an Adjunct Instructor at Cumberland University teaching Human Anatomy and Physiology. After leaving the environmental laboratory, she took several graduate courses at Middle Tennessee State University.  Subsequently she was asked to teach as an Adjunct Instructor again at Cumberland University. Mrs. Dorris now serves as a full-time Instructor of Biology and as the Program Director of Associate of Science.  Mrs. Dorris currently teaches biology for non-science majors, human anatomy and physiology, and aquatic biology. Mrs. Dorris is a member of the Tennessee Academy of Science and faculty advisor for Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society.   In her free time, Mrs. Dorris enjoys running, playing golf, baking, watching old movies, and spending time with her family.   Poster Sessions: Dorris, A. (2014). Developing Protocols for Use of Tetrahymena as an Alternative Biofuel Organism. American Society for Microbiology 114th General Meeting, Boston, MA Presentations: Rogers, M., Smith-Walters, C., & Dorris, A. (2016). Super sleuths:  Project WET. Tennessee Science Teachers Association, Murfreesboro, TN.   Sadler, K., & Dorris, A. (2016) Tennessee Association for the Education of Young Children Conference, Franklin, TN

LAURA BECHARD

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Assistant Professor of Biology
lbechard@cumberland.edu
(615) 547-1361
Memorial Hall, Room 309D
Faculty
The Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business Adjunct
B.SC., Erskine College
Ph.D., University of Georgia
Dr. Laura Bechard attended Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in music in 2004.  She then moved on to graduate school in the Department of Genetics at the University of Georgia, where she received a PhD in Genetics in 2010.  While pursuing her PhD, she worked in the field of telomere dynamics, with a focus on how telomeres relate to cancer.  After receiving her PhD, she moved to Nashville, where she spent 4 years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Vanderbilt University, continuing her studies on telomeres.  She has worked at Cumberland University since 2014, where she teaches several biology courses.  

RACHEL BENTON

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Adjunct Instructor of Business
rbenton@cumberland.edu
Memorial Hall, Room 109A
Adjunct Faculty
The Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business Adjunct
B.S., Bethel University
M.B.A., Bethel University