Faculty and Staff
Listed here are brief biographies of our Faculty and Staff. For a Faculty/Staff directory of office numbers and phone numbers, click here
Education Department Chair:
Deb Morris – resume (pdf) - email Deb Morris
Dr. Deb Morris is the Chair of the Education Department and Associate Professor. Dr. Morris joined the education faculty in January 2004. Before becoming chair, she served as the Associate Dean of ACCESS. Dr. Morris considers herself a professional student. She holds a B.A. in History, M.A.Ed. in Education, M.T.S. in Theoogical Studies, M.Ed. in Reading, Ed.S. in Adult Education, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. Dr. Morris is licensed in social studies at the middle grades (6-9) and secondary (9-12) levels, and in Reading (K-12).
Executive Program Assistant:
Sharon Cupstid - email Sharon Cupstid
Sharon Cupstid is Executive Program Assistant in the Education Department. In 2008, she earned her B.S. in Business Management through the MHC Adult & Graduate Studies Program (formerly the Adult ACCESS Program). Joining the MHC staff in 2001, Sharon worked in the Adult & Graduates Studies office for almost five years before becoming a member of the education department in 2006. She enjoys working with students from both the traditional and AGS programs as they progress through TEP transitional phases towards teaching licensure.
Belinda Eggen - email Belinda Eggen
Dr. Eggen is the Coordinator for Elementary Education. Before coming to MHC, Dr. Eggen chaired the undergraduate Early Childhood Program for the University of South Carolina at Beaufort and the M.A.T. graduate program for the University of South Carolina at Columbia. She is certified to teach Pk-6 and as a Curriculum Instructional Specialist, Principal, and Reading Recovery teacher. Dr. Eggen has written journal articles in state teacher education journals and a chapter in the book, Mentoring Works: A Sourcebook for School Leaders, edited by V. Krupp. She has also presented at national conferences including those of AACTE and NAEYC. She has been a teacher for 39 years, working with every grade Pk-12.
Chris Cain - resume – email Chris Cain
Dr. Cain is the Coordinator of MHC’s Master of Education, Academically & Intellectually Gifted, and Integrated Education Programs. Dr. Cain is an alumnus of Mars Hill College (class of 1999). He completed his graduate studies at East Tennessee University and his doctoral degree through the University System of Tennessee. Chris has received his National Board Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification and is a certified NPBTS assessor. He has licensure and teaching experience in general, AIG, and Special Education settings. Dr. Cain is a Mathematics consultant to the NC Department of Public Instruction. His professional interests include early intervention, mathematics literacy/development (K-12), assistive technology, and current litigation/legislation involving Special Education. Professional research interests include Conceptualization of Mathematics, Measuring Response to Intervention (RTI) using Curriculum Based Assessment (CBA), and professional development within the realm of Education.
Susan Stigall – email to Susan Stigall
Dr. Stigall is an assistant professor, Field Experience Coordinator, and Coordinator of the Special Education Program. A 1984 graduate of Mars Hill College, Dr. Stigall earned an M.A. in Education from the University of South Florida, and her Ed.D. in Special Education from Nova Southeastern University. She lives on a "hobby" farm with her husband, Phil, their three children, Jessica, Eric, and Rachel, and way too many animals.
English as a Second Language:
Thomas Destino – resume – email Thomas Destino
Dr. Destino came to MHC in 2002 as Director of the Center For ESL and is Professor of ESL Education. He earned a B.A. in Spanish Education from Niagara University, a M.A. in Spanish from Wayne State University, and his Ph.D. in Foreign/Second Language Education from Ohio State University. Teaching interests include ESL teacher education, second language and literacy development, cultural and linguistic foundations of education, and second language acquisition. His research interests are in language politics, literacy development in a second language, and educational anthropology.
Middle Grades Education:
Jim Brown – resume (pdf) - email Jim Brown
Dr. Jim Brown is an Associate Professor and Coordinator for the Middle and Secondary Education Programs. Dr. Brown has recently co-published a chapter in the book Many Pathways to Literacy with Dr. Susi Long and Donna Bell from the University of South Carolina. He has presented papers at the International Qualitative Interest Group Conference, American Education Research Association, and the American Education Studies Association. He has worked as a consultant and fellow for the Kenan Institute for the Arts A+ Schools Program and the NC Teacher Fellows.
English – Adrienne Akins- email Adrienne Akins
Dr. Akins is an Assistant Professor of English and Coordinator of the secondary English Education Program. She received her B.A. from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in 2004 and her Ph.D. from Baylor University in 2011.
Mathematics – Jennifer Rhinehart – email Jennifer Rhinehart
Mrs. Rhinehart is the Coordinator of the Math Education Program and teaches full time in the Math and Computer Science Department. Mrs. Rhinehart earned her B.S. degree in Math Education at Mars Hill College and her M.S. in Mathematics at North Carolina State University. She enjoys working with all levels of pre-service candidates to help them increase their content knowledge and pedagogy in mathematics.
History – Pauline Johnson – email Pauline Johnson
Mrs. Johnson is Interim Coordinator of the secondary History Education Program and Adjunct Instructor in both the History and Education Departments. She earned her B.A. in Education with a minor in History from Warren Wilson College, and a M.A. in Education from Western Carolina University. In addition, Mrs. Johnson earned her Academically Gifted Certification from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and has received her National Board Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification.
Science – Kari Loomis - email Kari Loomis
Dr. Loomis is an Assistant Professor of Cellular and Molecular Biology and Coordinator of the secondary Science Education Program. She received her Ph.D. from North Carolina State University where she concentrated on Functional Genomics with a minor in Biotechnology. Her special areas of interests are Molecular Cancer Research, Cell Cycle Regulation, and Cell Signaling. Prior to her graduate work, Dr. Loomis worked as a middle school science and math teacher as well as a high school biology teacher in Connecticut. She is looking forward to inspring new young scientists to enter the field of education.
Special Subject Areas:
Art – Barbara Cary – email Barbara Cary
Music – Mike Robinson – email Mike Robinson
Michael Robinson is the Director of Bands and serves as the Music Education Coordinator. He received his B.M.E. from Mars Hill College, retired after thirty years with the North Carolina Public School System and returned to Mars Hill in 2007. He is the Director of the Asheville Community Band, a church choir director and is the faculty advisor for Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a professional music fraternity.
Physical Education – Joy Clifton – email Joy Clifton
is Chair of the Health,Physical Education & Recreation Department, Instructor of Physical Education, and serves as the Coordinator of the Physical Education Program. Mrs. Clifton received a B.A. from Mercer University, and earned her M.S. from California College of Health Sciences.
Spanish – Gregory A. Clemons – email Gregory Clemons
is Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages at Mars Hill College where he teaches language, literature, and culture classes. He serves on the Teacher Education Council as Coordinator for Spanish Education. He has served on the board of FLANC, the Foreign Language Association of NC, and is a former professor of Continuing Adult Education in Spanish at ABTech. Dr. Clemons received his B.S. and M.A. in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his doctorate in Spanish from the University of Florida. He regularly takes Mars Hill College students to the State of Chiapas in southern Mexico for intensive culture and language classes.
Field Experience Coordinator:
Dr. Susan Stigall – email Susan Stigall
See Special Education Coordinator
Director of Assessment:
Dr. Jessica Van Cleave email Jessica Van Cleave
Dr. Van Cleave came to MHC in 2012. In addition to her role as director of assessment, Dr. Van Cleave is also an assistant professor in the Education Department. She holds a B.A. in English (2001), M.Ed. in English Education (2004), and a Ph.D. in Language Literacy Education (2012), all from the University of Georgia. Dr. Van Cleave’s interests include qualitative methodology and research in the classroom. She also enjoys presenting at national and international conferences.