MC’s Beale named senior co-director of ACA’s Teaching and Leadership Institute

MC’s Beale named senior co-director of ACA’s Teaching and Leadership Institute

July 3, 2019

Dr. Karen Beale, associate professor of psychology at Maryville College, has been named senior co-director of the Appalachian College Association’s (ACA) Teaching and Leadership Institute (TLI).

The ACA TLI is a week-long summer program with two tracks: Track One is aimed at helping faculty reinvigorate, or invigorate, their teaching skills (Beale is co-director of this track), and Track Two is aimed at helping faculty in leadership roles.

Beale’s interest in the ACA TLI began in 2016, when it was held at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C., and she had the opportunity to teach during the program.

“I was so impressed with the TLI that I vowed then and there to try to bring it to MC so that my colleagues would have a better chance of attending,” Beale said. “So, when the call went out that they were looking for a co-director, I applied. Then, I encouraged (Interim Vice President and Dean of the College) Dan Klingensmith to put in a bid to have the TLI held at MC for the next two years. All the cards fell into place.”

Klingensmith said Beale is a good choice to direct the TLI because “she’s a great teacher and is herself a lifelong learner.” Beale, whose research focuses on promoting healthy relationships and sexuality, arrived at Maryville College in 2006 and has won the Outstanding Teacher Award twice.

“Her involvement with ACA is good for Maryville College,” Klingensmith said. “The ACA is a wonderful resource for faculty professional development, and Karen’s work with the TLI will help focus attention on the opportunities ACA provides, especially in continued education about teaching.”

Maryville College will host the program in summer 2020, and Beale and the program’s co-director will work to hire summer faculty, conduct interviews for the lead teacher position, develop the topic and set the program.

Beale said hosting the program on campus has many benefits, including helping others in the region learn more about MC by bringing faculty to campus from other ACA institutions.

“It will help faculty connect to one another and share ideas about teaching, governance, programming and retention,” she said. “It will give our faculty easy access to attending the ACA TLI because they can go home to their families each night, which is a big barrier for attending when the TLI is several hours away. It is tough to take that much time away from family during the summer. By attending the ACA TLI, faculty will gain new teaching and leadership skills that will benefit our students.”


Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges. For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything — to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville, Maryville College offers nearly 1,200  students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last. Today, our 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of our Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”