Lee News

Six Faculty Members Earn Promotion

Six Lee University faculty members recently were awarded promotion in rank by vote of the Lee board of directors. Two faculty members earned promotion from associate professor to professor, Drs. John Coats and Andrew Lee. Three faculty members were promoted from assistant professor to associate professor: Drs. John Hisey, Timothy Miller, and Alexander Steffanell. Mary Dukes was promoted from associate lecturer to senior lecturer.
John Coats
Dr. John Coats

Coats joined the Department of History and Political Science in fall 2006. He received his doctorate and his master’s degrees from Texas A&M University. Prior to coming to Lee, Coats was an associate professor at Quincy University in Illinois, where he won the Excellence in Teaching Award, directed the Honors Program, and served as the Faculty Athletic Representative.

Coats teaches American history, with a special interest in United States foreign policy. His research has focused on two areas: late 19th century America and the foreign policy of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Coats’ most recent works, entitled “Half Devil and Half Child: America’s War with Terror in the Philippines, 1899—1902” and “A Place for Faith in the Public Square?” have appeared in “Enemies of Humanity: The Nineteenth-Century War of Terrorism” and the Maryville Symposium’s proceedings, respectively.

Andrew Lee
Dr. Andrew Lee
Lee joined the university’s Department of Language and Literature in 1996 and was awarded a Mellon Fellowship from the Appalachian College Association during the 2000-2001 academic year to pursue his doctorate in English from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He was valedictorian of Lee College’s class of 1990 as well as a recipient of the F.J. Lee Award.

Lee currently serves as the faculty sponsor for Upsilon Xi. His academic specialties include modern American drama and American literature. He has had articles published in the Eugene O’Neill Review as well as in the Eugene O’Neill Newsletter. He is a founding member of the Edward Albee Society, as well as a member of the Eugene O’Neill Society and the William Faulkner Society.

Dr. John Hisey
Hisey joined the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in 1996. He earned his doctorate from the University of Memphis and master’s from Arizona State University. Before coming to Lee, Hisey taught college courses for 10 years. Seven of those years were spent in China as professor and guest lecturer to several national and provincial institutions. Hisey helped to found and direct an internationally staffed system of private schools in four Chinese provinces and was area coordinator for University Language Services, an organization placing instructors on Chinese campuses. He received the Jilin Province Model Teacher Award in 1990 and 1991.

Since 1998, Hisey and his Lee student researchers have published more than 20 abstracts, authored/co-authored nearly 50 research presentations at professional meetings, local to international in scope, and are in the process of publishing feature articles in professional journals.

Timothy Miller
Dr. Timothy Miller
Miller joined the Department of Theology in 2008. Prior to that, he was a visiting assistant professor of philosophy at Oklahoma Baptist University. He completed his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma, specializing in metaphysics, philosophy of religion, and early modern philosophy. His dissertation focused on the traditional doctrine of continuous creation and the problems it raises concerning the nature of causation and persistence; it was awarded the University of Oklahoma’s 2007 dissertation prize for the Fine Arts and Humanities.

Miller co-edited the textbook “Readings in Philosophy of Religion: Ancient to Contemporary.” His other publications include: “Desgabets on Cartesian Minds”; “On the Distinction between Creation and Conservation: A Partial Defence of Continuous Creation”; “Continuous Creation and Secondary Causation: The Threat of Occasionalism”; and “Solving Rule Consequentialism’s Acceptance Rate Problem.”

Steffanell joined the Department of Language and Literature in 2007.
Alexander Steffanel
Dr. Alexander Steffanell

While at Lee, Steffanell has been director for several cross-cultural and Spanish Language trips such as Argentina, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Colombia. He has produced articles widely published in Germany, Colombia, and in the United States. He is a professional reviewer for a variety of academic journals at an international level. Steffanell earned his doctorate from the University of Florida.

Steffanell runs the Spanish Enrichment Program by sending Spanish majors to schools and churches to teach basic/intermediate Spanish language to children and adults. He is also the director of the Latin American Studies Program. In 2012, his book “El Caso Madre Castillo: Discurso Confesional Hegemonico y Canon en la Literatura Colombiana” was published by Thomas de Quincey Editores. The book focused on the 15th—17th century Colombian spiritual autobiographies, specifically in the case of Mother Castillo, analyzing themes of racism, power relations, and religious discourse.
Mary Dukes
Mary Dukes

Dukes joined the Department of Communication Arts in 1999. She received her master’s degree from the University of Central Florida, completing additional graduate study at the University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to her time at Lee, Dukes was involved in a diverse professional career in both radio and television broadcasting. Her experiences include work as a radio news director and as a television producer.

Dukes has served as Discipline Coordinator of Digital Media Studies for the past 15 years. In addition to her teaching and administrative responsibilities, she maintains active professional involvement in independent music video and film productions. She also coordinates placing digital media students in organizations and corporations in professional internship opportunities.
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