Honors Programs Faculty
and Members of the Honors Council

The Office of Honors Programs

16 McCombs Center

548 University Street

Martin, TN 38238


(731) 881-7436


Dr. John Glass, Director

Honors Programs Faculty
and Members of the Honors Council

John V. Glass, Director, Honors Programs

John V. Glass, Director, Honors Programs

Associate Professor of English

Ph.D. University of Mississippi

M.A. Middlebury College

B.A. Hampden-Sydney College


In 2017 Glass was named Co-Director of the Honors Programs at UT Martin. He became Director Fall 2018. A native of Athens, Georgia, Glass graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia where he majored in English and French. After graduation he taught English for a year Nîmes, France and then worked in the Corporate Relations Department at the Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, Iowa. Glass earned his M.A. in French through Middlebury College’s École Française, studying at the University of Paris, and completed his Ph.D. work in English at the University of Mississippi. From 1998-2001 Glass was a resident English instructor at the Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Since joining the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages at UT Martin Glass has regularly taught composition, surveys I and II of American and British Literature, and upper-division courses in Southern Literature, Modern Poetry, Romanticism, and Fantasy Literature. He is the author of Allen Tate: The Modern Mind and the Discovery of Enduring Love (Catholic University of America Press, 2016).

Emalee K. Buttrey, Assistant Director

Emalee K. Buttrey

Assistant Professor of Animal Science,

Department of Agriculture, Geosciences, & Natural Resources

Ph.D. West Texas A&M

M.S. Texas A&M University

B.S. The University of Tennessee at Martin


Dr. Buttrey was reared in rural Middle Tennessee before pursuing her formal education in agriculture and animal science. She teaches undergraduate animal science courses in livestock evaluation, animal nutrition, reproduction, cow-calf and stocker-feeder beef cattle production, and current issues in animal agriculture. More recently, she has developed a keen interest in the scholarship of teaching and learning and is a member of the 1st and 4th cohorts of the UTM Faculty Learning Community. She is working with her colleagues to foster more inter-disciplinary learning opportunities across the UTM campus. Dr. Buttrey is the faculty advisor for the UTM Student Cattlemen’s Association and faculty and scholarship advisor for Alpha Delta Pi sorority.


Abigail Shelton, Assistant Director

Dr. Abigail Shelton

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Physics

Ph.D. University of Florida

B.S. ACS accredited, Western Kentucky University


Originally from Kentucky, Dr. Shelton earned her B.S. in Chemistry from Western Kentucky University and her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Florida. As an undergraduate, Abigail completed research on cobalt complexes, which led to an internship at the NASA Glenn Research Center and a summer research program at Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France. Her current research involves silica aerogels, transition metal complexes, and the chemistry of honey. She regularly teaches General Chemistry I and II and their labs, Physical Inorganic Chemistry, and Development of Scientific Enquiry.


Christopher M. Brown

Christopher M. Brown

Professor of Philosophy, Department of History and Philosophy

Ph.D. Saint Louis University

M.A. Western Kentucky University

B.M. Western Michigan University


Dr. 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, his M.A. in Humanities from Western Kentucky University, and his 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.

Christopher A. Hill

Christopher A. Hill

Associate Professor of English, Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages

Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

M.A. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

B.A. Samford University


Dr. Hill received an M.A. and a Ph.D. 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. He regularly teaches First-Year English Composition, Early British Literature Survey, Shakespeare, Sixteenth Century British Literature, and Seventeenth Century British Literature. His areas of research include Elizabethan narrative and controversial prose, Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern rhetoric, The Martin Marprelate Controversy, Seventeenth Century religious poetry, Utopian and Dystopian literature.

Arthur Hunt

Dr. Arthur Hunt

Professor, Department of Communications

Ph.D. University of Southern Mississippi

M.A. Marshall University

B.A. Marshall University

B.R.E. Clarksville Baptist College


Dr. Hunt currently teaches courses in Public Speaking, Honors Public Speaking, Public Speaking and the Rhetorical Tradition, and Communication in Professional Environments. He holds a Master’s Degree in Communication Studies from Marshall University and a Ph.D. in Communication from The University of Southern Mississippi. Since his tenure here at UTM he has received the Cunningham Outstanding Teaching/Scholar Award, the Featured Scholar Award, and the Outstanding Junior Faculty Member of the Year Award (College of Humanities and Fine Arts). He is an active member of the Media Ecology Association, which considers the cultural consequences of media change. He is the author of two books and numerous publications. He is married to Sheila and lives in Martin, Tennessee.

Aaron T. Rowland

Dr. Aaron Rowland

Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Behavioral Sciences

Ph.D. Sociology, University of Tennessee

M.A. Sociology, University of Tennessee

B.A. Sociology, Middle Tennessee State University

B.S. International Relations, Middle Tennessee State University


Dr. Rowland is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and earned a B.S. from MTSU in 2002, majoring in International Relations with minors in Economics/Finance and German. After working in the private sector for a year, he returned to MTSU and earned a BA in 2006, majoring in Sociology with minors in Anthropology and Geography. He earned his MA (2009) and PhD (2013) in Sociology from UTK, with emphasis in Environmental Sociology and Political Economy. Dr. Rowland teaches a wide range of courses at UTM, a brief list of which includes: Great Works of the Western World IV—Enlightenment to Modernity, Introduction to Sustainability Studies, Sci-Fi Sociology, Social Movements, Social Research Methods, Society and Environment, Stratification and Inequality, and Urban and Community Sociology. Dr. Rowland is a past recipient (2019-2020) of the Ray and Wilma Smith Faculty Development Award Endowment for “excellence in teaching and exemplary scholarly activity.” He is currently enrolled in the Tennessee Naturalist Program, working towards becoming a certified naturalist for the State of Tennessee. He lives in Martin on a half-acre “tree sanctuary,” certified by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council.


James L. Smart

James L. Smart

Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Ph.D. Simon Fraser University

B.Sc. (hon) Simon Fraser University


Originally from British Columbia, Dr. Smart earned his B. Sc. In Biochemistry, and his Ph. D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Simon Fraser University. After postdoctoral research at Indiana University, he joined the UTM faculty in 2005. Dr. Smart regularly teaches Molecular Biology and lab, Microbiology, and Foundations of Biology: Cell and Molecular.. His major research interests are the regulation of bacterial gene expression, bacterial genetics, and the biochemistry of tetrapyrroles.


John Schommer

Dr. John Schommer

Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Ph.D. Mathematics, Ohio University

M.A. Theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville

M.S. Mathematics, University of New Orleans

B.S. Secondary Education, University of New Orleans


John Schommer joined the UTM faculty in 1994. He has taught at the University of New Orleans, Duke University, and Ohio University He spent two years teaching in the math department at Central Catholic High School in Portland OR, where he also served as the boys' tennis coach. John is the past-chair of the Jackson Deanery Development Committee for Social Ministries and serves as treasurer for the Weakley County affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. He was awarded the Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission for this work. He has served as president of the UTM Faculty Senate and has been a member of the UT Board of Trustees. His major research interests are in point-set topology.

Anderson Starling

Anderson Starling

Assistant Professor of Political Science,

Department of Accounting, Finance, Economics, and Political Science

Ph.D. University of Alabama

B.A. University of Alabama


Dr. Starling received his BA with a double major in Journalism and Political Science in 2009, as well as his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Alabama in 2014. He teaches Public Policy, Public Opinion and Voting Behavior, Campaigns and Elections, and US Political Institutions including the President, Congress, and the Supreme Court, as well as Political Science Research Methods. Dr. Starling’s research interests include political knowledge and the internet, young voters’ internet use, and voting behavior in general. His current research involves voter’s use of Twitter and civic engagement.


Chara VanHorn

Dr. Chara VanHorn

Associate Professor, Department of Communications

Ph.D. Georgia State University

M.A. West Texas A&M University

B.A. West Texas A&M University


Dr. Van Horn received her BA in Speech Communication and Radio/Television/Film, as well as her MA in Communication from West Texas A&M University. Upon receipt of her MA, Dr. Van Horn served as the Director of Forensics at Texas A&M University-Kingsville before attending Georgia State University where she received her Ph.D. in Public Communication with an emphasis in Rhetorical Theory and Criticism and Political Communication in 2010. Dr. Van Horn’s research interests include the intersection between conspiracy theories and official political discourse and marginalized rhetorics. She teaches Public Speaking, Argumentation and Debate, and Intercultural Communication at the undergraduate level, and Persuasive Communication Techniques and Strategies and Communication and the Global Audience at the graduate level

Ray Witmer

Ray Witmer

Associate Professor, Department of Engineering

Ph.D. Wood Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

M.S. Civil Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis

B.S. Civil Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis


Dr. Witmer is one of the engineering professors in the Department of Engineering. He teaches structural analysis, steel design, reinforced concrete design and timber design classes. He supervises engineering senior capstone projects where the students design and build items like a concrete canoe, bridges for pedestrians and small tractors, structural anchor elements and so on. He is always looking for Scholars students in need of a project advisor. Sadly, he has not been issued a sense of humors and is completely unawares. He also has tried desperately to build a pasture on the roof of a university building for his appaloosa unicorn but has been unable to secure the proper permits.


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