MC welcomes seven new educators for 2017-18 academic year

MC welcomes seven new educators for 2017-18 academic year

Sept. 5, 2017

This fall, Maryville College welcomes to its campus three assistant professors, one lecturer and three visiting lecturers, bringing the total number of full-time faculty members to 78.

“As an institution committed to teaching excellence, hiring new faculty means hiring individuals who are both professionally qualified and passionate about teaching,” said Dr. Barbara Wells, vice president and dean of the College. “We are excited about the strengths these faculty bring to our academic programs and are confident that they will serve our students very well.”

In the College’s Division of Behavioral Sciences, Jennifer Briggs joins the faculty as an assistant professor of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies. Briggs earned a bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language from Gallaudet University and a master’s degree in Teaching American Sign Language as a Foreign Language from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Her thesis title is Non-Manual Grammatical Marking Among L2 Learners of American Sign Language.

Previously, Briggs was an ASL lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology, where she taught American Sign Language and Interpreting. She has also served as an ASL coordinator and adjunct professor at DePaul University in Chicago, Ill. She is a certified Deaf Interpreter and Deaf-Blind Specialist, and she has served as a freelance Deaf Interpreter. She is also qualified through the American Sign Language Teacher Association and has communication competency in American Sign Language (Sign Communication Proficiency Interview rating: Superior-Superior Plus range), International Sign Language and as a Deaf-Blind Interpreter – Tactile American Sign Language.

Dr. Zachary Himmelberger joins the Division of Behavioral Sciences as a lecturer in psychology. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rivier College in Nashua, N.H., and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in experimental psychology (emphasis in cognitive psychology and developmental science) from the University of Alabama. His dissertation title is The Acquisition of Survey Knowledge Across Repeated Exposures to a Novel Environment in Individuals with Down Syndrome.

Most recently, Himmelberger was an instructor at the University of Alabama, where he taught undergraduate courses in psychology and statistics. He was also a research assistant for Dr. Edward Merrill at the University of Alabama. Recent research includes: how typically developing adults process different kinds of spatial relationships in their environment; strengths and weaknesses of wayfinding in people with Down syndrome; and how variation in attitudes towards people with intellectual disability is related to self-reported feelings of discomfort and avoidance behavior.

In the Division of Social Sciences, Reeves Johnson joins the faculty as assistant professor of economics. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Kansas. He also earned a bachelor’s degrees in economics and environmental science and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in economics and mathematics. His dissertation title is Theories of Stagnation, Old and New.

Previously, Johnson was an instructor at Loyola University Chicago, where he taught intermediate macro- and microeconomics and macro- and microeconomic principles. His research interests include economic theory, monetary macroeconomics, heterodox economics, history of economic thought, ecological economics, mathematical economics and methodology.

Morgan Manning joins the Division of Fine Arts as assistant professor of art (design). He earned an associate of arts degree in painting and drawing from Chattanooga State Community College, a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design from Savannah College of Art and Design, and a master of fine arts in graphic design from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

As a graduate instructor of record at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Manning taught Graphic Design 2 and 3. His professional graphic design experience includes serving as lead graphic designer and creative director for the Chattanooga Zoo for nine years. He was also a freelance consultant in Chattanooga, where he did visual communications strategy and design development for cultural institutions and social organizations.

Tanya McNamara joins the Division of Education as visiting lecturer in physical education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science/physical education from Arizona State University and a master of arts degree in teaching from Grand Canyon University. She also completed post baccalaureate teacher education program at the University of Phoenix, and she completed Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training at Mesa Community College.

For the past 10 years, McNamara has served as an adjunct instructor at Maryville College, teaching aquatic education, communication strategies, health and wellness, lifelong personal health and wellness, personal fitness, physical education for children, physical education games and physical activity for special populations. She has also supervised student teachers. Prior to joining MC, she was a high school physical education teacher in Maryville, Tenn., and Peoria, Ariz.

In the Division of Natural Sciences, Skip Savage joins the faculty as visiting lecturer in chemistry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in instruction and curriculum from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where he earned certifications in chemistry and physics. He also earned an Ed.S. degree in educational administration from Lincoln Memorial University.

For 20 years, Savage was a teacher for Maryville City Schools, where he taught chemistry, physics, physical science and AP chemistry. He also taught chemistry, physics and geology at Webb School of Knoxville. Prior to teaching, he was a senior staff process engineer/area supervisor for ALCOA.

Dr. Chase Worley ’11 joins the Division of Mathematics and Computer Science as visiting lecturer in mathematics. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Maryville College, and he earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. His research areas include Hadamard matrices, commuting squares and subfactor theory.

Most recently, he was a graduate teaching associate in the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s Department of Mathematics. As an instructor of record, he taught college algebra, basic calculus and calculus I-III. He also aided in the development and implementation of courses.

Promotions, Title Changes and Reassignments


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the Fall 2017 semester is 1,181.