NGU News

New Teachers-Scholars Join NGU

Posted on: August 18, 2021
By LaVerne Howell,

New Teachers-Scholars join NGUTigerville, SC (August 18, 2021) When North Greenville University (NGU) students are asked why they chose to attend NGU, the most frequent response is the warm, personal interaction with faculty and staff. Students realize the faculty are expert craftsmen who help them sharpen their tools as they prepare to transform the world and teach them how to lead others to do the same.

“For 129 years now, one of the hallmarks of the NGU community has been its incredible teaching faculty. Alumni constantly reference the influence and impact of professors who have meant so much to them. This year’s hires extend and strengthen this legacy of outstanding pedagogy, with new faculty members joining us with a strong sense of shared mission and calling, coming from around the nation and from many notable institutions,” said NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. “We are deeply grateful for God’s providence in continuing to bless us with fine leaders in the classroom who undertake the serious and holy work of intellectual discipleship.”

The NGU Board of Trustees approved promotions for several outstanding university faculty members for the upcoming 2021-22 academic year. Promotions are awarded to those who have demonstrated themselves to be influential professors, skilled researchers, and valued leaders in the university community.

The following faculty members received promotions effective August 1.

  • Hayley De González to Associate Professor of Art
  • Christine Haltiwanger to Associate Professor of Health Science
  • Lena Maslennikova to Associate Professor of Business and Leadership
  • Andrew Stevens to Associate Professor of Communication
  • Jeffrey Williams to Associate Professor of Health Science

In addition, the following teacher-scholars joined the university faculty for the new academic year. A record number of 17 faculty will be teaching in 12 different programs.

  • Mark Bjornsen, Assistant Professor of Physical Education/Program Coordinator for Physical Education K-12 (A.B.D., University of Arkansas)
  • Georges Chreifi, Assistant Professor of Biology (Ph.D., University of California-Irvine)
  • Terri Elder, Instructor of Education (M.A., Western Carolina University)
  • Gregory Graf, Assistant Professor of Voice/Director of Choral Activities (D.M.A., University of Maryland)
  • Brad Gregory, Associate Professor of Psychology (Ph.D., North Carolina State University)
  • Cailyn Lee (’19), Instructor of Mathematics/Coordinator of the Math Lab (M.A., Western Governors University)
  • Teresa Lyle, Assistant Professor of Health Science (D.N.P., University of Tennessee-Chattanooga)
  • Caleb Martin, Instructor of Accounting (A.B.D., Gardner-Webb University)
  • Lucas Nossaman, Assistant Professor of English (Ph.D., University of Tennessee)
  • Bess Park, Professor of Theatre Design (M.F.A., University of North Carolina-Greensboro)
  • Martin Price (MMSC’ 19), Assistant Professor of PA Medicine (M.M.Sc., North Greenville University)
  • Nathan Reed, Assistant Professor of Biology (Ph.D., Texas A & M University)
  • Jesse Rine, Professor of Education/Director of the EdD Program/Special Assistant to the President for Educational Research and Policy (Ph.D., University of Virginia)
  • Joshua Scott, Assistant Professor of Theatre Education/Program Coordinator for Theatre Education (M.F.A., Regent University)
  • Joseph Spears, Professor of Sport Management/Chair of the Department of Sport Management (Ed.D., United States Sports Academy)
  • Dallas Vandiver, Assistant Professor of Christian Studies (Ph.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)
  • Lori Vinson, Associate Professor of Education/Coordinator of Educational Studies (online) (Ed.D., University of Phoenix)

“Several new faculty members come with previous teaching experience in Christian higher education, while others are making the transition from state institutions or public K-12 education. A couple have experience teaching in private Christian K-12 contexts,” said NGU Provost and Dean of the University Faculty Dr. Nathan A. Finn. “Two are NGU alums, including the first alum from our PA Medicine program who has returned to teach. “

Finn says that several new faculty members have previously held strategic academic leadership roles.

“One has been an associate provost, one has been a faculty athletic representative, and one has worked full-time in campus ministry for a large Christian K-12 school. Several of them have a strong track record of research and publication, while others have significant marketplace experience within their fields,” Finn said. “At least four have pastoral or other church staff experience, and three are alums of theological seminaries.”     

NGU covets your prayers as this new school year will be filled with many feelings and expectations. In this time of uncertainty, Christ-centered education and transformational learners and leaders are needed more than ever. 

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