Lee News

Nineteen New Faculty Join the Lee Family



Lee University welcomes nineteen new faculty to its campus this fall. Of the 19, seven join the College of Arts & Sciences, one joins the Helen DeVos College of Education, three are added to the School of Business, two to the School of Music, four to the School of Nursing, and two to the School of Religion.

Almeida, Luis
Dr. Luis Almeida


Dr. Luis Almeida joins Lee’s Department of Communication Arts as an associate professor of communication. He comes from Jackson State University where he was an associate professor of emergent strategic communications since 2015. Almeida has also taught at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Waynesburg College, and was an instructor/teaching assistant at The Pennsylvania State University. He has been nationally featured for his work in leadership and technology by the Wall Street Journal, ABC-Jackson, TEDxPhoenixville, and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, among others.

Almeida earned his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from Pennsylvania State University, his Master of Science (MS) from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and his Bachelor of Science (BS) from Slippery Rock University.

Andrea Phillips
Dr. Andrea Phillips


Dr. Andrea Phillips joins the Department of Communication Arts as an assistant professor of public relations. She comes to Lee from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) where she was an assistant professor of public relations and chairperson of the University Public Service Committee and College of Media and Communications Scholars Day. She also served on MTSU's Graduate Public Relations Program Curriculum Development Committee and as the director of university communications at John Brown University.

Phillips received her PhD from Texas Tech University, her Master of Arts (MA) from Dallas Theological Seminary, and her BS from Texas Christian University.

Betsy Poole
Betsy Poole


Dr. Betsy Poole, adjunct instructor at Lee since 2014, joins Lee’s Department of Language and Literature as an assistant professor of Spanish and linguistics. She was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Alabama (UA) prior to coming to Lee. During her time at UA, she received the Outstanding Graduate Student in Spanish Award and the Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Student in Modern Languages Award.

Poole earned her PhD and MS from UA, and her Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Mississippi College.

David Harkins
Dr. David Harkins


Dr. David Harkins joins Lee’s Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics as a visiting assistant professor in chemistry. He comes from Huntington College of Health Sciences in Knoxville, Tennessee. Prior to this, he held a three-year teaching assignment at the Yanbian University of Science and Technology and Pyong Yang University of Science and Technology.

Harkins received his PhD from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK) and his BS from Wofford College.

Thaddeus McRae
Dr. Thaddeus McRae


Dr. Thaddeus McRae joins the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics as an associate professor of biology. He comes to Lee from Broward College where he has been employed since 2012 with his most recent position as assistant professor of biology. During this time, he has also served as affiliated faculty for the University of Miami (UM) in Coral Gables. McRae was an endowed teaching chair finalist for Broward College in 2016 and was the recipient of the Classroom Research Award.

McRae earned his PhD from UM and his BA from Cornerstone University.

Anthony Minutolo
Dr. Anthony Minutolo


Anthony Minutolo joins the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics as a lecturer in chemistry and physical science. A Cleveland resident, he comes to Lee from Chattanooga State Community College and Cleveland State Community College (CSCC) where he taught Mathematics for Engineering, Concepts of Physics, and General Chemistry. He also taught Earth and Space Science, Physical Science, and General Chemistry courses at Lee as a part-time faculty member during the 2016-17 academic year. Minutolo was a Gann Teaching Fellow recipient for 2013-14 and received the Harry Row Scholarship in 2015for use of technology in the classroom, given by the UTK department of Mathematics.

Minutolo received his MS and BS from UTK.

Jason Schmurr
Dr. Jason Schmurr


Dr. Jason Schmurr joins the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics as an associate professor of mathematics. A Chattanooga resident, he comes to Lee from Dalton State College (DSC). He has consistently achieved above excellent evaluations for his teaching and has assisted and mentored students in their undergraduate research projects that were presented at Kennesaw Mountain Undergraduate Research Conference and DSC Student Scholarship Showcase. Schmurr has chaired the Faculty Development and Welfare Committee along with the university wide Tenure and Promotion Committee.

Schmurr earned his PhD and MS from Oregon State University and his BA from Wheaton College.

Shane Brown
Dr. Shane Brown


Dr. Shane Brown joins Lee’s Helen DeVos College of Education as an assistant professor of education. A Lee alumnus and Cleveland native, Brown returns to campus after teaching 10 years at the fourth and fifth grade levels in the Bradley County School System. He has also been a part-time lecturer for the Helen DeVos College of Education in both undergraduate and graduate courses. In 2005 and 2007, Brown received notable recognition in the Manchester “Who’s Who Among Executives and Professionals in Education” and “Who’s Who Among American Teachers,” respectively, and he was the Teacher of the Month at North Lee Elementary in 2011.

Brown received his Doctor of Education (EdD) from Liberty University, and his Master of Science (MS) and Bachelor of Science (BS) from Lee.

Kathy Estes
Dr. Kathy Estes


Dr. Kathy Estes joins Lee’s School of Business as an associate professor of finance. A Chattanooga resident, Estes comes to Lee from Bryan College where she was the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program director and an associate professor of business. She has received many honors including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Corporate Success Award in 2003 and the LaFata Adjunct Teaching Award in 2012. Estes has also served as a business coach for simulation courses at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and taught at Benedictine University of Springfield and Robert Morris College.

Estes earned her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from Anderson University, her MBA from the University of Illinois, and her Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Illinois College.

Marc Gilbert
Dr. Marc Gilbert


Marc Gilbert joins the School of Business as a lecturer in marketing. He comes to Lee from Pinnacle Foods Group where he was employed as a commercialization manager. In this role, he was responsible for managing, coordinating, and assisting new product launches, process improvement projects, productivity initiatives, and equipment installations for three manufacturing facilities. Gilbert was responsible for leading sales teams and coordinating the development and commercialization of new products for large customers. He has trained and developed over 100 soldiers for their missions as non-commissioned officers, combat engineers, and heavy equipment operators while an engineer platoon leader in the Army Reserves.

Gilbert received his MBA from the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, and his BS from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.

Beth Seymour
Beth Seymour


Beth Seymour joins the School of Business as a senior lecturer in accounting. She has been with Lee since 2013 and most recently served as the assistant director of accounting and budget in the business and finance sector. Additionally, she has taught accounting as a part time faculty member in the School of Business. Seymour has been involved with the university’s federal and state unemployment returns, income tax preparations, and training of small groups regarding tax issues for ministries.

Seymour earned her Master of Arts (MA) from Bryan College and her BS from the University of Alabama.

Susanne Burgess
Dr. Susanne Burgess


Dr. Susanne Burgess joins Lee’s School of Music as an associate professor of music education. Formerly an associate professor and area coordinator of music education at Samford University, she brings a diverse teaching experience at the college, middle, elementary, and early childhood school levels to Lee. She held the position of director of music education at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga (UTC) from 2000 to 2015. Burgess has also taught at Westmont College and the University of Memphis (UM). She holds the professional teaching license for grades K-12 from the state of Tennessee, is a certified Orff-Schulwerk music instructor, and serves as a founding board member of the Southern Appalachian American Orff-Schulwerk chapter.

Burgess received her EdD from UTC, her Master of Music (MM) from UM, and her BA from California State University, Fullerton.

Joong Han Jung
Dr. Joong Han Jung


Dr. Joong Han (Jonathan) Jung joins the School of Music as an assistant professor of piano. He comes to Lee from Jones County Junior College where he was a piano and music theory instructor. While there, he taught undergraduate keyboard to majors, and accompanied and coached vocalists and instrumentalists for recitals. Prior to teaching there, Jung was an assistant professor of piano and music theory at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

Jung earned his Doctor of Musical Arts, MM, and MA from Eastman School of Music, and his Bachelor of Music from the University of Auckland.

Lynn Jenkins
Lynn Jenkins


Lynn Jenkins joins Lee’s School of Nursing as a lecturer in nursing. Jenkins comes to Lee from the Colorado Department of Education where she served as a regional nurse specialist and program manager since 2009. She was responsible for researching, creating, and presenting competency-based chronic disease management courses and professional development for school and community health providers. Jenkins’ clinical nursing experiences include level-three newborn intensive care, stepdown medical surgical care, rehabilitation nursing, homecare, and management of a long-term care facility.

Jenkins received her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from Colorado Christian University and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Wright State University.

Nancy LaBine
Nancy LaBine


Dr. Nancy LaBine joins the School of Nursing as an associate professor of nursing. She comes to Lee from Cleveland State Community College (CSCC) where she most recently served as professor and director of nursing. In this role, she was responsible for faculty, curriculum, and meeting all board of nursing and accreditation requirements. LaBine also worked with the Tennessee Board of Regents, Deans and Directors to develop a statewide common curriculum for the associate’s degree programs in Tennessee. During her many years with CSCC, she has served on the Executive Committee with the Tennessee Board Regents Common Curriculum project for Community Colleges in Tennessee and on the Academic Council.

LaBine earned her PhD from East Tennessee State University, and her MSN and BSN from UTC.

Shannon McBrayer
Shannon McBrayer


Shannon McBrayer joins the School of Nursing as a lecturer in nursing. McBrayer joined Lee as the School of Nursing professional practice coordinator in 2014, where she has planned and organized all of the clinical instructors, placed students into clinical settings, controlled inventory, and set up all labs. In 2011, she began serving as an adjunct instructor of nursing at CSCC while also working at in the Trauma Center at Children’s at Erlanger, where she was previously employed.

McBrayer received her MS from Capella University and her BS from UTC.

Rachel Tolliver
Rachel Tolliver


Rachel Tolliver joins the School of Nursing as a lecturer in nursing. She has been a part-time instructor at Lee since the spring in the School of Nursing teaching health promotion and supervising students at Erlanger Medical Center in their clinicals for Maternal and Child Health. Prior to this, she was with United Health Group in Minnetonka, Minnesota, previously known as Alere/Optum. Tolliver has had five years of experience as a registered nurse coordinator at Orange Grove Center where she taught the State of Tennessee Medication Administration class for unlicensed staff in the Residential and Supported Living group homes.

Tolliver is currently enrolled in a Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree program at Southern Adventist University. She earned her MSN from Western Governors University and her BSN from UTC.

Casey Cole joins SOR
Casey Cole


Casey Cole joins the School of Religion as a visiting lecturer in theology. A Lee alumna and former adjunct, she is currently serving as the student pastor at New Beginnings Church of God in Cleveland. During her time at Lee, Cole was the Introduction to Theology head preceptor, where she lectured, co-taught, helped to establish curriculum, and graded and evaluated student academic work. Her presentations and writings are getting attention from scholars in theology, and she has been approached about opportunities to publish her work. Cole has founded and directed six teen-to-child mentoring programs and directed five mission trips to Mexico for high school age students.

Cole earned her MA and BA from Lee.

Mark Walker joins SOR
Dr. Mark Walker


Dr. Mark Walker joins Lee’s School of Religion as a professor of pastoral studies and chair of the Department of Christian Ministries. He comes from Mount Paran North Church of God, where he served as a pastor for the past 25 years and senior pastor since 1997. He earlier pastored First Assembly of God in Orlando, Florida. Additionally, Walker has served on the Lee University Board of Directors since 2010. He currently serves as chair of the Church of God Benefits Boards and is a former chair of the Church of God National Pastor’s Advisory Council.

Walker received his PhD from Regent University, and his MS and BA from Georgia State University.
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