Thirteen Faculty Receive Promotion in Rank 

Faculty, News

The Lee University Board of Directors recently awarded promotion in rank to 13 faculty members. Nine faculty were promoted to professor, three were promoted to associate professor, and one was promoted to associate lecturer.   

The faculty promoted to professor in the College of Arts and Sciences are Christopher Blake, Jonathan Cornett, Matthew Fisher, Jason Schmurr, Laura Singletary, and Kirstee Williams.   

Blake, professor of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Linguistics, joined Lee’s Department of Language and Literature in the fall of 2011. He is also the English as a Second Language (ESL) program coordinator and director of Lee’s Center for English Language and Literacy (CELL), a service program that teaches free English courses to speakers of other languages in the community. 

Cornett, professor of biology, joined Lee’s Department of Natural Sciences in 2012. He teaches courses in genetics, anatomy, and physiology and has published articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Nature Genetics and PLoS one. 

Fisher, professor of communication, joined the Communication Arts Department in 2011. He teaches classes in screenwriting, directing, film theory, and film criticism, and the films he has written and directed have screened and won awards at festivals internationally.  

Schmurr, professor of mathematics, joined the Department of Mathematical Sciences in 2017, where he teaches a wide range of courses in mathematics and computer science and has been active in promoting student research, through both pure theoretical research and collaborations with industry.  

Singletary, professor of mathematics, joined the Department of Mathematical Sciences in 2012. She has published research in many publications and serves as a mentor for undergraduate student research.  

Williams, professor of psychology, joined Lee’s faculty in 2012 and is the program and clinical director of Lee’s Marriage and Family Therapy graduate program.  

The faculty promoted to professor in the School of Theology & Ministry are Robert Debelak and Brian Peterson.  

Debelak, professor of Bible, joined the Lee faculty in 1995. He has earned six accredited degrees with an emphasis in biblical studies and has extensive instructional experience in the classroom and online education.  

Peterson joined the Lee faculty in 2011 and since then has taught Hebrew and a variety of Old Testament classes at the undergraduate and master’s levels. He also spends a portion of his summers involved with archaeology in Israel where students often join him for two-to-three week digs. 

In the School of Music, Andy Harnsberger was promoted to professor of percussion. He joined Lee’s School of Music faculty in 2012 and enjoys a versatile career as a performer, composer, and educator.  

The faculty promoted to associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences are Anthony Minutolo and Mark Scully.   

Minutolo, associate professor of engineering, has experience teaching a wide variety of engineering, mathematics, physics, and chemistry courses, and currently serves as the coordinator of engineering programs at the university.  

Scully, associate professor of political science, joined Lee’s faculty in 2018 where he teaches courses on the American Presidency, Congress, and political parties and leads Lee’s public administration major. He also directs Lee’s Mock Trial team as well as Lee’s participation in the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature.  

Allison Pierce was promoted to associate professor of business administration in Lee’s School of Business, where she teaches courses in organizational business and healthcare. She has won numerous awards, such as the 2003 National Young Businesswoman of the Year and 2003 Governor’s Outstanding Achievement Award in Tennessee.  

In the Department of Natural Sciences, Dana Perry was promoted to associate lecturer in health science. She has completed research for the Tennessee Department of Health, Communicable and Environmental Disease Services and has presented research at the Southern Association of Clinical Microbiology.  

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