Alumni/-ae

Class of 1970
Greg Caldwell — Associate Dean of Students and Director of International Student Services, Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR. Also served in the Peace Corps in Korea, and taught there as a Fulbright Scholar. Graduate school: U of Hawaii.

Class of 1971
Tom Willingham —Self-employed as Executive Director of Community Counseling Service of Pascack Valley, Park Ridge, NJ. Ordained in the United Church of Christ, similar polity to the Southern Baptists, but much more open socially and theologically. Also worked for a year and a half for the Opportunity Corporation of Madison County doing community organizing and writing funding proposals. Then took an internship in campus ministry for two and a half years at Brown University in Providence, RI. Graduate school: MDiv, Union Theological Seminary; postgraduate residency in psychotherapy, Institute for Religion and Mental Health, NYC. Has worked full-time as a psychotherapist for the past nineteen years.

Class of 1973
Jeanne Bowen Tyner — Currently living in Burnsville, NC.

Class of 1974
Ed Sams — Member of the English faculty, San Jose State U, San Jose, CA, teaching composition, science fiction, and American literature. Graduate school: MA in English; MFA in creative writing. Writing, publication: A long list of publications is available at the Yellow Tulip Press website.

Class of 1975
Alex Miller — Vice President for Institutional Advancement, North Greenville University. Formerly Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Mars Hill College.

Class of 1976
Bill Taylor — Has taught theatre arts at Copperas Cove High School in Texas since the late 1990s, having previously worked in youth ministry and as an English teacher.

Class of 1977
Alan D. Bunn — Administrative Pastor, North Hills Community Church, Taylors, SC for the past three years. Previously taught US history in the public schools and then spent 20+ years in marketing and public relations.

Carla Bunn Isaacs — Taught for the past two years at Mayland Community College in the English Dept. Prior to that time, taught for five years at Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, VA.

Class of 1978
Jayne Jaudon Ferrer — Author of four books of poetry, currently working on a Christmas novella. Lives in Greenville, South Carolina.

Class of 1979
Ellen Peterson Beck — “After leaving school I briefly was a receptionist and then tried to sell life insurance to college students. I became a supervisor trainee at Seibels Bruce Ins. in Columbia, SC. I loved the training but hated being a supervisor. I worked at the Longview News-Journal for three and a half years as church news editor, rewriter, food editor, and obit writer. I even wrote a couple of articles, though I didn't aspire to be a reporter at all. This is my twelfth year teaching third grade language arts (of course!). I am the language arts grade-level chair and have been for about seven years.” Graduate school: Elementary education certification, University of Houston-Clear Lake. Writing, publication: “My single greatest accomplishment [at Seibels Bruce] was I wrote the manual for my department describing how to do every job in my unit. I learned every position as the supervisor, and then I wrote detailed job descriptions.” Comments on the Carbo Recorded Book method for teaching reading are included in the new edition of Jim Trelease’s The Read Aloud Handbook.

Bob Burnette — “I have been in payroll services sales for the last eighteen years, and I use the English language creatively every day.” Writing, publication: “I had a poem published, and I continue to write, but not much else to report about publishing.”

Wright A. Culpepper — D.Min., United Methodist Church, Saint Simons Island, GA.

Wayne King — “I worked at Furman as an Area Coordinator in Housing for two years and then returned to Mars Hill as Director of Housing for 18 months. Then, the Director of University Housing position opened unexpectedly at Furman. I was invited back and worked in that position for 15 years. After some Housing burnout, I decided to give fundraising a try, and I love it. I became Associate Director of Annual Giving in August of `99 and Director of Annual Giving about two years later. I have been Director of Donor Relations for 14 months.” Graduate school: Master’s in Higher Education Administration, Florida State U.

Karen McKinney — Graduate school: MA, Western Carolina; PhD, U of New Mexico, specializing in Native American literature.

Phyllis Sledge Stiles — Director of four community leadership programs run by the University of North Carolina at Asheville; Corporation and Foundation Relations Director at Mars Hill College; most recently, Campaign Director for Blue Ridge Forever, a 13-member coalition of land conservation organizations protecting the places you love in the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains. Graduate school: Master’s in Human Resources Development, Western Carolina U, 1993. Writing, publication: Coeditor of Handmade Magazine; editor of Not Just Another Embroidery Book (Lark Books); communications director, grant writer, and project director for a non-profit organization doing international development work.

Class of 1981
Dalene Vickery Parker — Currently serving as Spartanburg, SC, District 3 Teacher of the year.

Cliff Searcy — Currently in twenty-sixth year teaching English in the Henderson County Public Schools. Writing, publication: “I continue to write occasionally for personal edification. I do write songs and recently have begun performing again with The Piney Mountain Band”

Class of 1983
Kimberly Myers — “After ten years in Montana, I have accepted a tenured professorship at Penn State College of Medicine in the Department of Humanities, with a joint appointment in English at Penn State University (College of Medicine is in Hershey; Penn State U is in State College, PA), should I ever want to teach just English for a semester.” Graduate school: Most recently, PhD in English, U of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Writing, publication: Edited Illness in the Academy: A Collection of Pathographies by Academics (Purdue UP, 2007). Articles, especially on medical humanities.

Class of 1985
Lisa Anderson Sessions — English teacher, School of Inquiry and Life Science-Asheville (SILSA). National Board Certified.

Class of 1986
Tony Glenn — Marketing, graphic artist/writer, Blue Ridge HealthCare. Writing, publication: Completed a draft of a mystery novel titled Strat.

Class of 1987
Jan K. Ertzberger — Assistant Principal, James B. Dudley High School, Greensboro, NC. Graduate school: Master of School Administration, 2005, UNC-Chapel Hill.

Roy McGinnis — Teaching world literature to freshmen and sophomores and a Bible class for freshmen at Asheville Christian Academy. Graduate school: Completing work for an MA in English, Western Carolina U. Writing, publication: Published several articles and essays in local, state, and national magazines and newspapers. Completing a historical novel set in Hot Springs for the master’s thesis; seeking publication also for a middle school novel.

Class of 1987
Kelley Pardue — “After working in advertising and marketing for many years, I began teaching seventh grade language arts four years ago. I love it!” Graduate school: Graduate work in secondary English education. Writing, publication: “I always write and am currently working on songs. I have some poems published, but am anxious to add lyrics to those.”

Class of 1988
Tim Storey — Senior Fellow, National Conference of State Legislatures, Denver, CO. Recently returned from a project working with the Egyptian Parliament in Cairo.

Class of 1989
Donald Lourcey — Northwest Regional Distance Learning Advisor Consultant and Coordinator of Textbooks and Instructional Materials for North Carolina Virtual Public School. Teaching for 14 years, serving as Lead Teacher at North Iredell High School for 2 and a half years. Graduate school: MAEd, Western Carolina U. Principal’s License from Appalachian State U expected July 2008. Writing, publication: Served on National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, AYA/ELA, 2001; codesigned curriculum for Candidate Support Provider Training as member of National Board Faculty.

Class of 1990
Michelle Harrison Lourcey — Teacher Liaison, North Carolina Virtual Public School. Spent 13 years in education teaching English at three different high schools. Graduate school: MA, Western Carolina U; thesis on Lee Smith. Currently working toward Principal’s License at Appalachian State U. Writing, publication: “Master’s thesis produced several papers on the marriage and divorce themes in the novels of Lee Smith.”

Vickie Howell Smith — Independent education consultant/literacy coach working primarily with middle and high schools, helping them develop literacy plans. Graduate school: “I am currently working on an add-on literacy licensure from UNC-CH. I have my MEd and am National Board Certified.”

Class of 1991
Suzann Moffitt Ledford — Has taught English and communications at Tri-County Community College since 1993. Graduate school: MA, Appalachian State, 1993.

Jennifer Nichols Moore — Became an attorney with a small firm in 2004, after working in a much larger firm. Now as a working mother, bills 15-20 hours a work with an attorney “who doesn’t care if I’m in the office or not, so long as I’m getting the work done.” Graduate school: MA in English, Boise State U. “I was a teaching assistant at BSU, . . . and I learned pretty quickly that if I was going to deal with that much political maneuvering, I wanted to be paid better—so I decided to go to law school.” Writing, publication: “The only published works I have to my credit are extremely boring articles written for an audience of lawyers who are dying to know about a tenant’s rights when landlords file bankruptcy.”

Class of 1992
Maurica Wills — Commercial Department, The Adams Agency, Inc., Nationwide Insurance.

Class of 1993
April Phillips Boone — Assistant Professor of English, North Greenville University. Recently adjunct instructor of English in both the regular and ACCESS programs at MHC. Graduate school: In the fall of 2007, completed requirements for the PhD in English at UT-Knoxville, focusing on Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.

Class of 1994
Tericia Sox Summers — “I teach English in the ninth grade academy at West Caldwell High School. I am in my fourth year there any my tenth year of teaching: eight years in high school and two years at community college. . . . I am National Board Certified.”

Class of 1995
Dolly Bush — Currently living in California.

Jason Martin — After teaching English in the public schools, served for period of time on the faculty of the KIPP Academy, Asheville, NC. Currently painting, singing and playing guitar, and working at a local bakery.

Class of 1996
Dragan Djukic — Professional writer, Idenix, Cambridge, MA.

Class of 1997
Sarah Shaw Cooley — Assistant Principal, North Buncombe High School, Weaverville, NC.

Amanda Frazier Hobbs — Principal of Cape Fear Elementary School in Rocky Point, NC.

Class of 1998
Michelle Best — “I am currently the Artistic Director of the Actor’s Chapel in New York, working in the heart of the theatre district coordinating all of the artistic endeavors of St. Malachy’s Church. I am currently developing a one-woman show of characters in the style of Jane Wagner for a February performance. I also write and perform with my theatre ensemble Artistic New Directions. I have starred in a few off broadway productions (I have a New York Times review under my belt!) and I am in a few independent feature films, as well as several national and regional commercials. Graduate school: MFA in Dramatic Arts, New School University, through the Actors’ Studio program.

Class of 2001
Eydie Pittman Jones — Employment: Associate Minister to Families at First Baptist Church, Jasper, GA. Graduate school: “I studied for seven months at Princeton School of Theology and for three years at McAfee School of Theology. On May 19, 2007, I graduated from McAfee with a Master of Divinity.” Writing, publication: “Right now, I'm only writing children's sermons and youth Bible studies, but my hope for the future is to write curriculum for Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.”

Class of 2002
Mary Kim Cumming Harp — Employment: “I am living in Northwest Arkansas and teaching at a private school here. I teach computers (it's a little bit random, but I love it) to 3rd through 7th grade students. Also, I am responsible for all the school's publications including our handbooks and annual report.” Graduate School: MA in English, 2005.

Teresa Reep Tysinger — “I am currently employed as the Director of Media/Communications at Christ United Methodist Church, the largest UM church in Greensboro. I also work as a freelance designer of print materials, book covers and such for local organizations (both non-profit and commercial). While I hope to continue work at the church, we are in the works to design and produce our own Christian curriculum to be available to other churches, as well as publish a book of sermon collections of our senior pastor.” Graduate school: Master’s in Editing/Publishing, UNC-Greensboro, December 2006. Writing, publication: “In the spring of 2006 I designed and published my grandfather’s memoirs in a book titled My Life: A Memoir, by Graham S. Smith.”

Class of 2003
Jessica Weeks — Completed M.D. degree at Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University. Currently working as a medical missionary in Honduras through Shoulder to Shoulder and blogging about her experiences. Plans to begin residency in 2009.

Class of 2004
Blaise Shaw Hartman — “I'm a contract Office Administrator for GE through Granite International now. I am responsible for more than 100 people in four states, which is nice. When my contract is up, there has been discussion of my joining GE as an employee fulltime.” Writing, publication: Short fiction published in Flash Me. Script for “A Study in Red” voted best script in the Chiller Dare 2 Direct Short Film Contest 2007 and later screened in the Cape Fear Film Festival.

Class of 2005
Gaelyn Byrnes Jenkins — Married Jeff Jenkins ’04 in June 2007. Completed MLIS degree at University of South Carolina May 2008. Begins work this fall a media specialist at Greer Middle School in Greer, South Carolina.

Catherine Scholfield — “I still work with SSC Service Solutions as an Executive Assistant, [which] has amazingly little to do with English aside from editing proposals. . . . I’m still trying to find a job that will pay me to sit a home and read all day, but I’m not having much luck.” Learning Latin independently with the ultimate goal of reading Ovid’s Metamorphosis in the original.

Class of 2006
Emma Cagle — Currently working for the Tennessee Department of Human Services as an eligibility counselor at the Family Assistance Service Center in Morristown, a call center that assists DHS clients from all 95 counties in Tennessee and a few people who do not have DHS cases at all.

Erin McKee — Graduate school: Currently in the MFA program at Hollins Collins in Virginia. Named a Teaching Fellow for 2008-2009 and awarded the James Andrew Purdy Prize for her short story “Southbound,” which will appear in The Southeast Review 27.1.

Class of 2007
Matt Finch — Graduate school: Working toward an MA in English, East Carolina U.

Ingrid Hopkins — Currently working with the North Carolina Community College System on a team doing online course development for instructor orientation and on an adult basic skills credential project. She also works for Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College as an instructor and in development and administration of online learning management and adult basic skills.

Kristine Pugh — Graduate school: Currently working toward an MA in English at Hofstra U, Hempstead, NY, planning for a career in college teaching and writing.

Jill Sharp — Employment: Tour guide at the North Carolina Arboretum; also holding a position at the Sourwood Art Gallery, Black Mountain, NC.

Class of 2008
Kristen Newton Lail — Will begin teaching sophomore and junior English at West Rowan High School in the fall.