John Abel --John Abel is the assistant director of the Boling University Center at UT Martin. He serves as the technical assistant for the Governor’s School for the Humanities (GSH). Mr.
Abel served as the hall director for the 1999 GSH and returned in 2003 as the technical
assistant and producer of the GSH video yearbook. He earned B.S. and MBA degrees from
UT Martin and is an adjunct instructor in the University’s College of Business and Global
Affairs. He and his wife Debbie reside in Martin with their young sons, Jackson and Peyton.
Mr. Tim Barrington -- Mr. Barrington is the instructor/technical director and sound designer with the Department of Visual and Theatre Arts at UT Martin. While in graduate school at Memphis State University, he was selected as one of five honors students in theatre. A 35-plus-year employee of UT Martin, he is also production coordinator for the Office of Student Life, advisor to the Student Activities Council and technical director of the award-winning Miss UT Martin pageant. For the past 17 years, Mr. Barrington has also been entertainment/technical director of the Tennessee Soybean Festival. He has been the technical director/sound designer for more than 250 theatre, dance and opera productions and has acted roles in more than 50 productions. He is a member of the Southeastern Theatre Conference, The United States Institute of Theatre Technicians, Alpha Psi Omega National Honor Theatre Fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha National Honor Music Fraternity, The National Association of Campus Activities and The Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities. Mr. Barrington has worked with the Governor's School for the Humanities for 22 years and is the Voice of the UT Martin Skyhawks as public address announcer for the football and men's and women's basketball programs. He is also proud to say he is a 30-year veteran volunteer firefighter with the Martin Fire Department.
Dr. Chris Baxter --Chris Baxter is an associate professor of political science in U. T.–Martin’s Department of Accounting, Finance, Economics, and Political Science, teaching courses in public administration and American government. He graduated with a B.S. in political science from U.T.M. in 1994 and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Alabama. Dr. Baxter also serves as a pre-law advisor. His research interests include constitutional law and judicial politics; his recent articles have focused on how interest groups attempt to influence judges’ decisions and the outcomes of judicial elections. His wife Lisa is also a U.T.M. alum, and they have one son, Jake. Chris is proud to be participating in the Governor’s School for the seventh time.
Dr. Chris Brown -- Christopher M. Brown is an associate professor of philosophy at UT Martin, where he teaches courses in ancient and medieval philosophy, metaphysics, the philosophy of religion, and ethics. He received the bachelor of music degree in percussion performance from Western Michigan University, the M.A. in humanities from Western Kentucky University, and the Ph.D. in philosophy from St. Louis University. Dr. Brown's recent publications include a book on St. Thomas Aquinas's philosophy of material objects and an article on God and the problem of evil in an anthology entitled, Star Wars and Philosophy. He enjoys living in Martin with his wife Merry Elizabeth and their three sons, Judah Christopher, Leopold Edward, and Thomas Patrick.
Mrs. Merry Brown -- Merry Brown is a full-time lecturer in philosophy at UT Martin, where she introduces students to the history of philosophical ideas and encourages contemplation of what it means to lead a good human life. She received the Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and psychology from Azusa Pacific University and the M.A. in humanities from Western Kentucky University. She participates in the UT Martin Philosophy Forum and enjoys meeting with her students outside of the classroom to do thought experiments and service projects. She is the author of the young adult book The Knowers and loves small town life in Martin with her husband Christopher and their three boys.
Mrs. Anna Clark -- Anna Clark is a faculty member in the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages at UT Martin, and she also serves as co-coordinator of the Hortense Parrish Writing Center. She earned the M.A. in English from the University of Missouri and has done additional graduate work at the University of Mississippi. She teaches composition and literature courses at UT Martin and is a traveler who has led numerous UT Martin-sponsored travel-study experiences. She has received several teaching awards, including the 2003 University of Tennessee National Alumni Association Outstanding Teaching Award, and she has served as president of the UT Martin Chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Special academic interests include the study of modern Southern literature and various forms of creative expression.
Dr. David Coffey -- Born in New Mexico and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, David Coffey holds a Ph.D. from Texas Christian University (TCU). He is professor of history and chair of the Department of History and Philosophy at the University of Tennessee at Martin, where he offers classes in US, military, and Latin American history. His books include John Bell Hood and the Struggle for Atlanta, Historic Abilene: An Illustrated History, and Soldier Princess: The Life and Legend of Agnes Salm-Salm in North America, 1861-1867. He has contributed to ten major historical reference works and is an assistant editor of three award-winning, three-volume projects: the Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, Encyclopedia of American Military History, and The Encyclopedia of the North American Indian Wars. Additionally, Coffey has chapters published in critically acclaimed anthologies of Civil War and Mexican history. His latest book is Sheridan’s Lieutenants: Phil Sheridan, His Generals, and the Final Year of the Civil War. Most recently he served as assistant editor on and contributed dozens of entries to another major reference work, the five-volume Encyclopedia of the American Civil War, published by ABC-CLIO. He was the 2012 recipient of UT Martin’s prestigious Cunningham Outstanding Teacher-Scholar Award.
Dr. Carol Eckert -- Carol Eckert, a professor of art at UT Martin, teaches all of the University's art history and several art education courses. She earned the BFA in sculpture from Austin Peay University, an M.A. in art history from Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. in art education from the Union Institute and University. Prior to coming to UT Martin, Dr. Eckert taught at Austin Peay State University and ran a private art studio for 10 years. She received the Higher Education Division Educator of the Year Award for 2005 and for 2013 from the Tennessee Art Education Association. In addition, she was recognized by the UT Martin College of Humanities and Fine Arts as Outstanding Junior Faculty Member of the Year for 2005. In 2010, Dr. Eckert published a text/workbook for introductory art appreciation courses entitled " Conversing in Art: Learning the Language of the Visual Arts."
Dr. Julie Hill --Dr. Julie Hill, Associate Professor of Percussion at the University of Tennessee-Martin, has presented clinics and concerts at PAS Day of Percussion festivals and is a frequent guest lecturer and performer on the topic of Brazilian percussion at universities across the United States. As a member of the acclaimed Caixa Percussion Trio, Julie has performed in Mexico, Brazil, France, Puerto Rico, South Korea, and the Percussive Arts Society International Conventions. Caixa's first CD, Commissioned Works, was released in 2008. Hill is the co-author of a collection of solos/duets entitled Music for Multi Percussion: A World View (Alfred Publications) and has numerous publications with Innovative Percussion and Row-Loff Productions, and her scholarly research has been published in Percussive Notes and the Garland World Music Encyclopedias.
In addition to her duties at UTM, Dr. Hill serves on the international advisory board for Escola Dida, a project in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, dedicated to social transformation for black women and at-risk children through music. She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Tennessee at Martin. Hill is in demand as an academic speaker on the topic of music and social transformation.
Julie currently serves as Second Vice President of the Percussive Arts Society as well as the TN PAS Vice-President and Webmaster. She was recently awarded the 2012 winner of the University of Tennessee at Martin's Cunningham Outstanding Teacher/Scholar Award and selected as a recipient of the Hardy Graham Distinguished Professorship Award.
Julie Hill is an endorser of Pearl Drums / Adams Musical Instruments, Innovative Percussion, Evans Drum Heads, Zildjian Cymbals, and Grover Pro Percussion. For more information, visit Julie Hill’s website at www.utm.edu/jhill or www.utm.edu/percussion
Mr. Lane Last -- Lane Last is a professor of art at UT Martin in the Department of Visual and Theatre Arts. He is an artist, graphic designer, and experimental filmmaker. Lane holds an M.F.A. and a B.S. degree in art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with primary concentrations in Painting, Digital Art, Video, and New Media, though he has worked in Film Production, Installation/Non-Static Forms, and Printmaking. He was previously on the faculty at Mount Senario College in Ladysmith, Wisconsin and Highland Community College in Freeport, Illinois. Lane has been exhibiting his animations and media works in international venues and competitions for the past twelve years. He has also been exhibiting his paintings in international, national, and regional museums and galleries for the past twenty years. His works can be found in public and private collections across the United States, Italy, Korea, and Japan. In November 2012, Professor Last had a film shown in the competi¬tion program of PSSST! Festival of Silent Film in Zagreb, Croatia.
Dr. Robert Nanney -- Robert Nanney, professor of journalism and Chair of the Department of Communications at UT Martin, teaches features/editorial writing, desktop publishing, and senior seminar. He received his master's degree in journalism from Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. in mass communications from Ohio University. Prior to joining the UT Martin faculty, Dr. Nanney worked in the newspaper field for 15 years. He received the UT National Association Outstanding Teaching Award in 1999 and has earned numerous other teaching recognitions at UT Martin. He has been with the Governor’s School as a faculty member or newspaper adviser since 1993. He and his wife, Jeanie, have two children, Emily, who is an Air Force flight nurse, and Ryan, who is a budding rock star touring the country with the rock band "Fouls Fours Rowan". Dr. Nanney and his twin are the youngest of seven children. He loves to travel and is a huge fan of “The Andy Griffith Show.”