Robert Valentine began his life-long study of Mark Twain in 1973 when he adapted a short story for the stage. Since then, he has performed his interpretation of the iconic writer and storyteller more than 2,000 times on three continents.
A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Professor Valentine is the author of four books and several plays including “Edison: A Man,” which premiered at the 1982 World’s Fair. He served for 10 years as the director of the Storytelling Tour for the National Scouting Museum, where he continued to develop the storytelling skills he learned from his study of Twain’s work.
Professor Valentine teaches advertising at Murray State University and is the coordinator for Basic Studies in Mass Communication. He continues to perform on stage, for television and on film, recently appearing in the film, “Revelation Trail.”
Dr. Teresa Collard is a professor in the Department of Communications at UT Martin. She teaches courses in public speaking and interpersonal communications.
Dr. Collard received her bachelor’s degree in speech communication and political science and her master’s degree in speech communication from Eastern Illinois University. She has 45 post-master’s hours in communications from Southern Illinois University in addition to the Ed.D. in leadership and higher education administration from Union University. In addition to teaching, she devotes a great deal of time to consulting on interpersonal communications and its applications to the business environment. She and Dr. Lisa LeBleu have served as consultants for the Cobb County Education Consortium and various other state and regional organizations.
In 2002 and again in 2013, Dr. Collard was a recipient of the UT National Alumni Association Outstanding Teaching Award. In 2016, she also received UT Martin’s Outstanding Advisor Award.
Dr. Lisa LeBleu is graduate coordinator and a professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at UT Martin. She serves as the family and consumer sciences teacher educator and also teaches basic courses in child and family studies.
Dr. LeBleu received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in vocational home economics from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. She has a Ph.D. in home economics education with a minor in child development from Iowa State University.
In 2003 and again in 2017, Lisa received UT Martin’s Coffey Outstanding Teacher Award. She also received the UT National Alumni Association Outstanding Teaching Award in 2010.