Faculty and Staff

Dr. Chris Baxter

Chris Baxter is a Professor of Political Science and Chair of UT–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. This is the thirteenth time he has participated in U.T. Martin’s Governor’s School for the Humanities. His research interests include constitutional law, judicial politics, and state and local government.


Dr. Charles Bradshaw

Dr. Charles Bradshaw, Associate Professor of English, has taught composition, American literature, Southern literature, folklore, and film in one form or another at Brigham Young University, The University of Missouri, Westminster College, and the University of Tennessee at Martin. As an early American literary scholar, he "geeks out" on conspiracy theories and their influence on the earliest American novels; as a writing teacher, he loves to help students combat procrastination and self-doubt! He has been honored with travel and research grants, and UT-Martin's Coffey Outstanding Teaching Award in the past several years, and he has presented and published on various topics in early American literature and in composition studies. He lives in Martin with his wife, Jennifer, and their three kids, Cal, Mac, and Sally.


Dr. Chris Brown

Christopher M. Brown is a professor of philosophy at UT Martin, where he teaches courses in ancient and medieval philosophy, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion. 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 journal articles on freewill in heaven and the logical problems that plague scientism. He is currently working on a book that explains and defends St. Thomas Aquinas' account of heaven. He enjoys living in Martin with his wife Merry Elizabeth and their three sons, Judah Christopher, Leopold Edward, and Thomas Patrick.


Ms. 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 several young adult books, including Gold Manor Ghost House and The Knowers, and loves small town life in Martin with her husband Christopher and their three boys.


Dr. David Coffey

Born in New Mexico and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, David Coffey holds a Ph.D. from 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; Soldier Princess: The Life and Legend of Agnes Salm-Salm in North America, 1861-1867; and Sheridan’s Lieutenants: Phil Sheridan, His Generals, and the Final Year of the Civil War. He is a co-author of Historic Abilene: An Illustrated History. Additionally, he has contributed chapters to well-regarded anthologies on Civil War, Mexican, and Texas history. He has contributed to ten major historical reference works and served as an editor on three award winning multi-volume projects: the Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, the Encyclopedia of American Military History, and the Encyclopedia of the North American Indian Wars, 1607-1890. Coffey is the assistant editor of the six-volume American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection, to which he contributed more than forty entries. He is the 2012 recipient of UTM’s prestigious Cunningham Outstanding Teacher/Scholar Award. Coffey’s most recent work is a co-authored textbook In Harm’s Way: A History of the American Military Experience with Oxford University Press.


Dr. Carol Eckert

Carol Eckert, a professor of art at UT Martin, teaches most of the University's art history and several art education courses. She earned the BFA in sculpture from Austin Peay State 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." In 2013 she received the Cunningham Outstanding Teacher/Scholar Award at UT Martin.


Dr. Chris Hill

Chris Hill received an MA and a PhD in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005. Before that, he spent his college career at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Hill is originally from Manila, Philippines, where he spent his entire childhood. He is an associate professor of English in his twelfth year at UTM, teaching Shakespeare, Milton, sixteenth and seventeenth century literature, and various composition courses. In his spare time, he likes to read anything he can get his hands on and to ride his bike in the countryside around Martin.


Dr. Julie Hill

Dr. Julie Hill, Director of Percussion Studies and Chair, Department of Music at the University of Tennessee-Martin and Immediate Past President of the Percussive Arts Society, has received worldwide recognition as a performer and scholar. Hill has presented workshops, concerts, and lectures extensively throughout the United States on Brazilian Music and the topic of music and social transformation for black women and at-risk children in Northeastern Brazil. As a soloist and member of the award winning Caixa Trio and X4 quartet, Julie has performed in Peru, Poland, Mexico, Brazil, France, Puerto Rico, South Korea, across the United States, as well as the Percussive Arts Society International Conventions (PASIC). Hill is also principal percussionist with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra.


Ms. Tomi McCutchen

Tomi McCutchen is an instructor of communications at UT Martin. She holds two bachelor's degrees from UT Martin, in communications and geography, and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Alabama. She worked as a daily newspaper copy editor for more than 10 years, and she now teaches news writing, copy editing and reporting. As coordinator of the Office of Student Publications, Ms. McCutchen advises the student newspaper, The Pacer, along with two student magazines. She has received the 2004 UT National Alumni Association Outstanding Teaching Award, the 2005 Coffey Outstanding Teacher Award and the 2012 Outstanding Advisor award. Ms. McCutchen also was named the Journalism Educator of the Year in 2013-2014 by the Southeast Journalism Conference. She and her husband, the Rev. George Pasley, spend their free time tending cats, dogs, ducks and land at their city home and country farm.


Dr. Robert Nanney

Robert Nanney, professor and Chair of the Department of Communications at UT Martin, teaches features writing, communications law for professionals, and senior seminar. He earned two BS degrees from UT Martin, a master of journalism degree from Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. in mass communication from Ohio University. Prior to joining the UT Martin faculty, Dr. Nanney worked in the newspaper field for 15 years. He has received the UT National Association Outstanding Teaching Award, the UTM Advising Award and 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 in California, and Ryan, who is pursuing his mechanical engineering degree in Wisconsin. 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.” His first grandchild is due in August.



All applications must be postmarked no later than December 1, 2018

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General Information

The Governor's School for the Humanities is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Education.

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