JOHN PIGG

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Assistant Professor of Education
mpigg@cumberland.edu
(615) 547-1285
Bone Hall, Room 204
Faculty
The School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.S., Lipscomb University
M.S., University of Tennessee Knoxville
M.Ed., CArson-Newman University
Ed.D., Lipscomb University

Dr. Michael Pigg joined Cumberland University in Fall of 2021 as Director of the Master of Arts in Education Program and Assistant Professor of Education. Having spent the past fifteen years as a Tennessee educator, Dr. Pigg’s career combines successful university and secondary mathematics teaching experiences with consistently effective school leadership at the elementary and secondary levels.  Dr. Pigg began his career in K-12 as part of the Carter High School math department in Knox County Schools, where he served on the Leadership Team and chaired the school’s Grading Practices Committee.  Dr. Pigg also served as a math instructor in a variety of undergraduate settings, including Lipscomb University, the University of Tennessee, and South College.  For the last 10 years, Dr. Pigg has served as a building-level principal in Wilson County Schools and the Lebanon Special School District, most recently serving as principal of Castle Heights Elementary since 2017.  In that time, he has developed a broad network of relationships with local school teachers and leaders.  These relationships have been cultivated through a variety of collaborative experiences, including serving on district level committees, presenting at both the district and state levels, and supporting or leading various aspects of Wilson County Schools’ leadership development programs for aspiring leaders.

Dr. Pigg has an extensive background relative to teacher evaluation, assessment, and the use of data to foster improvements in student outcomes.  His initial training in the Tennessee teacher evaluation rubrics took place in 2011, the same year Tennessee schools first implemented the TEAM teacher evaluation model still in use today.  His background in mathematics allows him to consistently analyze evaluation and assessment data for the purpose of informing and improving teacher instructional practices over time.  Dr. Pigg’s dissertation research focused on retention and effectiveness of early career teachers, as measured by TEAM teacher evaluation data, as well as the impact of mentoring programs on the early career teacher experience.

Dr. Pigg’s other passions include supporting the College Hills Church of Christ and other nonprofits including the Sara Walker Foundation and Compassionate Hands.  Dr. Pigg previously served as a board member of the Sara Walker Foundation and traveled to Malawi, Africa as a part of multiple mission teams focused on providing training to local Malawian teachers as well as tutoring and support services for students housed at Mtendere Orphanage.

Dr. Pigg lives in Lebanon with Stephanie, his wife of 16 years, and their four children Carter, Alex, Lucas, and Bailey.  

 

A. WAYNE RAY III

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Instructor of Music and Director of Athletic Bands
aray@cumberland.edu
(615) 257-2005
Phoenix Plaza, Band Room
Faculty
The School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.A., Cumberland University
M.M.E., Old Dominion University
Adron Wayne Ray III is an active member of the National Association for Music Education, the Tennessee Bandmasters Association, and the Middle Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association. Mr. Ray holds an active teaching license in Tennessee with endorsements in instrumental music teaching and vocal/general music teaching. Additionally, he holds certification level II in Orff Schulwerk.  As a saxophonist/vocalist primarily, Mr. Ray has performed with jazz greats such as John Toomey, Justin Kauflin, and Billy Williams. While finishing his Master of Music Education, he also performed as part of the Virginia Wind Symphony under the direction of Dennis Zeisler. This group was featured as a session at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. While performing in this group, Mr. Ray had the pleasure of being conducted by Terry Austin, Colonel Arnald Gabriel, and Samuel Hazo. Research interests include Curriculum Design in Higher Education and Pre-service Teacher Training and Self-Efficacy.  

ROSHANDA ODOM

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Assistant Professor of Education
rodom@cumberland.edu
(615) 453-6369
Bone Hall, Room 105
Faculty
The School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.B.A., Middle Tennessee State University
M.A.E., Cumberland University
Ed.S., Union University
Ed.D., Union University
Dr. Roshanda Odom began at Cumberland University in fall of 2018 and teaches courses in the School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts.  Within the School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts, she teaches courses in the Education program.  Prior to arriving at Cumberland, Dr. Odom spent 13 years in K-12 education in a large urban district in the South.  She began her career in education teaching secondary English, and concluded her career as a Literacy Specialist. Dr. Odom earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Middle Tennessee State University.  Her graduate education includes a Masters in Education (MAE) from Cumberland University and Education Specialist (EDS) from Union University. Dr. Odom earned her terminal degree, Doctor of Education (Ed.D), from Union University.

BARBARA PARKER

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Assistant Professor of Education
bparker@cumberland.edu
(615) 547-1393
Bone Hall, Room 104
Faculty
The School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.S., Middle Tennessee State University
M.A., Middle Tennessee State University
Ed.S., Middle Tennessee State University
Barbara Parker began at Cumberland University in the fall of 2018.  She teaches courses in the English and Education Departments. Prior to arriving at Cumberland University, Mrs. Parker was Director of Schools for the Cannon County School System in Tennessee. Mrs.  Parker holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts Degree in English from Middle Tennessee State University.  She also holds an Education Specialist degree in Administration and Supervision from Middle Tennessee State University.   

TARA MITCHELL MIELNIK

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Assistant Professor of History
tmielnik@cumberland.edu
(615) 453-6423
Labry Hall, Room 233
Faculty
The School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.A., Sewanee: The University of the South
M.A., Middle Tennessee State University
Ph.D., Middle Tennessee State University
Dr. Tara Mitchell Mielnik began teaching history courses at Cumberland University, first as an adjunct in 2013, and then as full-time faculty in 2017.  Her areas of emphasis include Public History and 20th century American History, with specific research interests in the built environment, the homefront in World War I, and the Depression and New Deal.  Courses that she offers at Cumberland include Emergence of Modern America; Environmental History; Introduction to Public History; Museum Studies; American Crime and American Sports History, among others.   Prior to coming to Cumberland, Dr. Mielnik was a historic preservation specialist with the Metropolitan Nashville Historical Commission for fifteen years, and served previously at the Tennessee Historical Commission and the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.  She currently serves on the Tennessee State Review Board for the National Register of Historic Places. Dr. Mielnik combined work in historic preservation, New Deal history, and environmental history with her book, New Deal, New Landscape: The Civilian Conservation Corps in South Carolina State Parks (University of South Carolina Press), and is a contributor in Tennessee’s Experience in World War I (University of Tennessee Press), and the Tennessee Encyclopedia. Dr. Mielnik is a frequent invited presenter to local historical groups as well as at regional and national conferences.  In her classes, she strives to connect local historic events and buildings to larger national historical themes, and to connect to history to other disciplines.  She serves as the faculty advisor for Pi Gamma Mu, the social science honor society, and is active in the campus chapters of Phi Alpha Theta and Omicron Delta Kappa.  

C. WILLIAM (BILL) MCKEE

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Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor
bmckee@cumberland.edu
(615) 547-1311
Memorial Hall, Room 116
Faculty
Office of Academic Affairs
The School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.S., University of Tennessee, Knoxville
M.Ed., Auburn University
Ed.D., University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Dr. C. William (Bill) McKee is currently Cumberland University’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Education and Public Service Management. He has served the institution in a number of other administrative posts including Executive Vice President and Dean. Additionally, he was previously an administrator at Georgia Southwestern State University. A Nashville native, Dr. McKee graduated from the University School of Nashville (USN) and then earned the B.S. in Public Administration from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville), the M.Ed. in Counseling and Student Personnel from Auburn University, and the Ed.D. in Adult and Higher Education from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville). Additionally, he is a graduate of the Carnegie-Mellon University Academic Leadership Institute, the American Council of Education/National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Stevens Institute on Leadership and Administration, as well as the University of Georgia Leadership Institute. Believing that part of the responsibility of a great University is to impact the community, Dr. McKee practices as well as teaches public service management. He devotes many hours of volunteer service to provide leadership in a variety of governmental and not-for-profit agencies and organizations in middle Tennessee. His involvement in the campus community includes advising Alpha Lambda Delta (the freshman honor society) and Omicron Delta Kappa (the national leadership honor society). Current teaching responsibilities for Dr. McKee include graduate courses in public service such as community issues, professional communications, and public policy, and an undergraduate class in the foundation and history of education. Dr. McKee’s research interests and projects include researching with co-researcher Carolyn Bridges Gregory the political and biographical sketches of the 36 individuals who have served as Tennessee Secretaries of State, developing biographical studies on United States Supreme Court Justice Horace Harman Lurton (a Cumberland University graduate), and Rear Admiral Fran McKee (the first woman appointed as an unrestricted Admiral in the history of the United States Navy); working with co-researchers W. Mark Tew, Th.D., William F. Ritchie, Ph.D., and Susan M. (Mitzy) Johnson-Mills, M.S. on studying faculty development opportunities in higher education; and collaborating with Joshua M. Hayden, Ed.D. on both faculty leadership on college and university campuses. Dr. McKee regularly serves as a consultant to institutions of higher education, is a workshop leader, and presenter at both local and regional conferences.

KERRY ANN MOORE

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Assistant Professor of English and Creative and Imaginative Writing
kmoore@cumberland.edu
(615) 257-2008
Memorial Hall, Room 200D
Faculty
The School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.S., University of North Carolina, Charlotte
M.A., University of North Carolina, Charlotte
M.F.A., University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Kerry Ann Moore joined Cumberland University in the fall of 2015, and she teaches Creative Writing and English courses in the School of Humanities Education and the Arts. Mrs. Moore specializes in teaching the writing and reading of Creative Nonfiction and Fiction. Before coming to Cumberland, she studied and taught courses at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Mrs. Moore holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and a Master of Arts in English. Her writing earned a prestigious fellowship from the University of Minnesota, various graduate assistantships and arts grants, and publication in a longstanding, reputable literary journal. She participated in several writers’ conferences and workshops with award-winning authors from around the world.

LARRY MENEFEE

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Professor of Communications and Theatre
lmenefee@cumberland.edu
(615) 293-7304
School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts
Faculty
The School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.A., David Lipscomb University
M.A., Southern Illinois University
Ph.D., University of Denver
“Doc” Menefee joined the faculty in 1996 as Professor of Theatre and Speech.  He serves as the Director of Theatre and was responsible for developing the theatre major at Cumberland University.   Dr. Menefee has served as Director of Theatre at several universities and has directed more than a hundred university and community theatre productions. He has written and published several articles in regional and national theatre journals, as well as serving as editor for Theatre Southwest, a regional theatre journal.  Dr. Menefee has also completed his own translation and adaptation of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King from the original Greek which was produced as a main stage production at Cumberland in the fall of 2007.   Dr. Menefee is an avid reader with wide-ranging interests from the classical to contemporary novels.  He particularly enjoys novels of other cultures, sci-fi and western fiction.  Two of his favorite novels are The Count of Monte Cristo and Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. His personal study regularly involves reading from the Greek New Testament and the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament). Having worked as the theatre draftsman at the University of Denver, Dr. Menefee has designed and drafted many of the sets for the university productions, which are then built by the students themselves. His highly professional sets are integral to his teaching philosophy.  Doc’s directorial techniques and teaching of acting focus on Stanislavski’s classic system, and his enthusiasm for directing and teaching theatre is echoed in his comment on the relationship of his detailed set designs and his directing:  “My acting students are like diamonds, and although rough and unpolished while being trained, are diamonds nonetheless, and deserve the finest possible setting for their talents.” An accomplished speaker, Dr. Menefee has taught thousands of students in basic communication courses, and has taught courses in Linguistics, public speaking, oral interpretation, speech for the elementary school teacher, and presently teaches voice and articulation for theatre which focuses on dialect problems, stage speech, phonetics (IPA), and the British dialect. Dr. Menefee is the father of three daughters.  His oldest daughter, Charissa, also holds a Ph.D. in theatre and is a professor at Iowa State University.  Her husband, whom Dr. Menefee recruited to his program as a freshman student while Director of Theatre at West Texas State University, is Kenneth L. Cook, a published novelist and the winner of the Spokane Award for his fiction.  Kenny teaches creative writing at Iowa State.    His daughter Melanie has an M.A.T. and teaches art in Nashville, and Amanda, with a degree in journalism from MTSU, works with the Academic Success Center of Clemson University in South Carolina.  “Daughters|” according to Doc, “are the roses in a man’s life.” Carson, the oldest grandson, recently graduated from Harvard Law and currently works in Los Angeles.

WHITNEY MATTHEWS

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Assistant Professor of Education
wmatthews@cumberland.edu
(615) 547-1273
Bone Hall, Room 106
Faculty
The School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.A., Western Kentucky University
M.A., Belmont University
Ed.S., Austin Peay State University
D.A., Murray State University

A native of Memphis, TN, Ms. Matthews engaged in interdisciplinary learning at Western Kentucky University focusing on education pedagogy. She then completed her Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching – Elementary Education at (from) Belmont University in Nashville, TN. She later continued her higher education in Reading and Literacy at (from) Austin Peay State University. Currently she is completing her Doctoral Degree at/from Murray State University in English Pedagogy with a concentration in Literacy. 

While completing her Master’s and Ed.S, she began her teaching career in the public school system while holding a multitude of leadership positions.

Research Interests include mentoring novice teachers, non-profits focused on improving the mental health of student and novice teachers, as well as literacy and reading learning through all ages. Many of her research interests were published during her time at APSU as a part time faculty member.

In her free time, Ms. Matthews enjoys spending time with her wonderful husband, (infant) son, and three miniature dachshunds.

Degrees: 

B.A., Western Kentucky University

M.A.T., Belmont University

Ed.S., Austin Peay State University

DA, Murray State University

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