Union University
Union University School of Education
Dr. Rosebrough lectures.


Thomas R. Rosebrough, Ph.D.

Executive Dean, College of Education and Human Studies & University Professor of Education
E-mail: trosebro@uu.edu

University Profile
Scholarship Profile

Dr. Rosebrough has served as Dean of the College since 1996. He formerly served as a Graduate School Dean and as Department Chair in Education and Psychology at two other Christian liberal arts universities. His duties have also included the roles of Director of Graduate Studies in Education and Director of Teacher Education. Dr. Rosebrough has taught elementary school social studies and middle school mathematics. He has taught extensively at the university undergraduate and graduate levels in educational foundations, learning theory, and instructional design. His interests include pedagogy and engaged learning, educational philosophy and ethics, and the history of education. Dr. Rosebrough has been honored for his university teaching and scholarly excellence. He is active in his writing, research, and presenting at the local, national, and international levels. Dr. Rosebrough is lead author of the book, Transformational Teaching in the Information Age: Making Why and How We Teach Relevant to Students, published by ASCD (2011).

In his tenure as Dean of Education at Union, NCATE accreditation was achieved in 2000 with re-accreditation in 2006 and 2013 for the Teacher Education Program; the School of Education has been honored by AILACTE with the Model of Excellence Award for the moral and ethical dimensions of its learning community; the Center for Educational Practice has been created; the School has added the Master of Education (which now includes an online version of the degree), the Master of Urban Education, the Education Specialist, and the Doctor of Education degree with specializations in School Administration and Higher Education Administration. The School of Education also has more than doubled the size of its faculty during Executive Dean Rosebrough’s tenure.

The School began graduate programs on the Germantown campus in 1998, the university’s first online degree program (Ed.D. in H.Ed.) in 2005, and graduate programs on the Hendersonville campus in 2009. Also in 2009, the School began a partnership with a Memphis foundation to offer an innovative Master’s degree in Urban Education as part of the Memphis Teacher Residency program. In 2014 the School of Education launches its first internship degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The School of Education now enjoys one of the largest enrollments at the university.

Ann Singleton, Ed.D.

Associate Dean, School of Education & Professor of Special Education
E-mail: asinglet@uu.edu

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Scholarship Profile

Dr. Singleton began teaching at Union as an adjunct professor in 1977. She currently serves as Chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning and Associate Dean for the School of Education. Prior to teaching at Union, she served as a special education teacher and the Supervisor of Special Education in the Madison County School System in Jackson, TN.

Her research areas include two different emphases, leadership development and instructional design.  She is a frequent contributor to The Department Chair and presented at its national conference.  She coauthored a textbook, Teaching Mathematics in Diverse Classrooms, published by Prentice Hall, now in its 3rd edition and presents at national conferences on the scholarship of teaching. She was recognized as the Union University 2003 Faculty of the Year.

Dottie Myatt, Ed.D.

Assistant Dean, Teacher Education & Accreditation & Professor of Education
E-mail: dmyatt@uu.edu

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Dr. Myatt came to Union in 1994 following a 14-year career in public elementary education. Her current responsibilities as Assistant Dean for Teacher Education and Accreditation include coordinating all teacher licensure programs; serving as licensing officer; implementing NCATE and State accreditation standards; compiling annual reports to AACTE, NCATE, and the TN Department of Education; and chairing dissertation committees. She coordinated the vast array of documents, persons, and additional information related to the electronic institutional report and documents room as Union secured reaffirmation of NCATE accreditation and approval of programs by the TN Department of Education. Her areas of interest are teacher licensure and the integration of instruction and technology. She has presented regionally and nationally in these areas, and was named Union’s Faculty of the Year for 2007.

Michele W. Atkins, Ph.D.

Chair, Institutional Review Board & Professor of Education
E-mail: matkins@uu.edu

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Scholarship Profile

Dr. Atkins came to Union in 1998 after a 10-year career in the public school arena encompassing service as a special education teacher, administrator, and educational diagnostician. During her public school career, she obtained experience teaching, evaluating children at all grade levels with a wide variety of disabilities, and in district-level administration. She has served graduate students at Union as the Director of Graduate Studies and Director of the Ed.S. and Ed.D. programs on the Jackson campus. Dr. Atkins currently serves as Professor of Education, Coordinator of Program Assessment, dissertation chair, and research mentor. Her areas of interest include ethics in leadership, moral development, emotional intelligence, qualities of effective teachers and leaders, and psychological issues in the schools.

Dr. Atkins has presented her research nationally and co-authored several journal publications.

Nancy Atkeison-Cherry, Ed.D.

Director, Master’s Programs in Education, Jackson & Associate Professor of Education
E-mail: ncherry@uu.edu

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Scholarship Profile

Prior to teaching at the university level, Dr. Cherry came to Union following a fifteen year career in public elementary education. Before coming to Union in 2005, she worked in adjunct and assistant professor positions at Dyersburg State Community College and Lambuth University. Dr. Cherry is a Somerville, TN native and a graduate of Union. She has taught extensively at the undergraduate and graduate levels and brings to Union’s students experience teaching educational foundations, classroom management strategies, literacy across the curriculum, reading assessment strategies as well as a love for children’s literature.

Her research interests and presentations focus on reading strategies, read alouds with children’s literature, writing, the flipped mastery model of instruction as well as the preparation of reading teachers and reading assessment. Dr. Cherry is currently a full time faculty member serving as Union’s Director of Graduate Programs on the Jackson campus, and also as counselor to Union’s Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society.

Melinda Clarke, Ed.D.

Director, Ed.D/ Higher Education Program & Associate Professor of Education
E-mail: mclarke@uu.edu

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Scholarship Profile

Dr. Melinda Clarke, Associate Professor of Education, serves as the Director of the Higher Education Ed.D. Program and the Center for Educational Practice. Dr. Clarke’s 14 years of experience in higher education include service in both faculty and administrative roles. She also served as Special Assistant to the President of the Fund for American Studies and her doctoral research was recognized by the Aspen Institute. In addition to her interests in higher education research and practice, she joins Drs. Rosebrough and Leverett with an interest in the relationship between character, faith development and service.

Service-Learning, the topic of Dr. Clarke’s dissertation research as well as the subject of her national and international research presentations, remains one of her core interests because of its capacity to advance the mission of educational institutions while impacting students and communities in transformational ways. She is grateful for the opportunity to initiate her research on service-learning with two of the foremost experts in the field, Drs. Dwight Giles and Janet Eyler, while at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Clarke’s work with improving the quality of online instruction through the utilization of learning taxonomies was recently requested by the Tennessee Board of Regents to be shared with the Tennessee’s public colleges and universities.

Anna C. Clifford, Ed.D.

Professor of Education
E-mail: acliffor@uu.edu

University Profile
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Dr. Anna C. Clifford brings more than thirty years of both public and private (K-16) teaching experiences to Union University students. Her classroom experience includes mathematics education, early childhood-Montessori education and instructional technology. She has worked closely with the Association for Childhood Education International and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, through the years. Dr. Clifford was the recipient of the Outstanding Instructional Design and Technology Student Award (2007) and the 2007 Professors of Instructional Design and Technology Award given by ICL-Instructional Design and Technology program at The University of Memphis. She received the Tennessee Education Association’s Distinguished Higher Education Faculty Award (2000). Dr. Clifford received honorable mention for the Howard Newell Innovative Teaching Award, Union University (1999, 2008).

Dr. Clifford has made numerous presentations at the local, state, and national levels from both the practitioner and researcher’s perspective, focusing on effective technology integration in the teaching-learning environment. She works extensively with Union’s graduate and undergraduate students in instructional technology. Her research interests are within the framework of effective use and integration of instructional technology in P-16 classrooms. She serves as the Technology Integration Specialist for the School of Education, Jackson Campus.

Carla Cushman

Associate Professor of Educational Leadership
E-mail: ccushman@uu.edu

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Scholarship Profile

Dr. Carla Cushman joined the Union faculty in 2014. Prior to coming to Union, she served as the Director of Teacher and Leader Development for the Tennessee Department of Education. Her other experiences in K-12 public education include serving as a district-level professional development coordinator, an instructional coaching supervisor, a middle school principal, a middle school assistant principal, and as an elementary level and middle school level classroom teacher.

Dr. Cushman is a member of the Board of Directors for Learning Forward Tennessee, serving as president of the state affiliate 2015-2016. Her areas of professional interest include professional development, educational leadership, and instructional coaching.

Nancy Easley, Ed.D.

Associate Professor of Education, Germantown
E-mail: neasley@uu.edu

University Profile
Scholarship Profile

Dr. Easley grew up in a Christian home. She is married to a Union professor in Theology and Missions. While teaching students with hearing impairment, Dr. Easley became aware of a desire to teach at the university level in the preparation of teachers. Before coming to Union in 1998, she taught at Toccoa Falls College (GA), Crichton College, and The University of Memphis. She also served as a Professional Development School supervisor in Urban Memphis. Since arriving at Union she served Germantown programs as Program Director for the MED, MAED, EDS and EDD at one time or another between 1998 and 2009 while teaching. In recent years she has focused on teaching and coaching urban residents, becoming more proficient integrating technology into teaching, and developed two courses that she taught in a Baptist seminary in Indonesia.

Dr. Easley has professional interests in university collaboration with P-12 schools, action research, teaching diverse learners, mentoring new teachers and integration of faith and learning. She teaches courses in Faith and Ethics, Positive Discipline, and mentoring licensure students. She will be a course designer for the new online MED Program for Positive Discipline. She hopes to continue her work as short term visiting professor for institutions overseas.

Robin E. Henderson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Education and Director of the M.U.Ed., Germantown
E-mail: rhenderson@uu.edu

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Scholarship Profile

Dr. Robin E. Henderson has over twenty years of experience in education. She worked as an elementary school teacher and administrator for 12 years before moving into higher education. Dr. Henderson joined Union University as an adjunct faculty member in 2009 as part of the University’s inaugural work with the Memphis Teacher Residency (MTR). She moved into the role of Program Director for the M.U.Ed in 2011 and has a shared role as the Director of Education at the MTR.

Her course offerings have included: 21st Century Classroom Leadership, Reading in the Content Area, Teaching Language Arts in the Elementary Classroom, and Capstone Seminar: Current Issues in Urban Settings.

Charles Lea, Ed.D.

Executive Director, Hendersonville & Professor of Educational Leadership
E-mail: clea@uu.edu

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Dr. Charles Lea joined the faculty of Union University in 2008. In addition to his teaching, Dr. Lea serves as Executive Director of Union’s Hendersonville campus. Prior to joining the Union faculty and administration Dr. Lea served 18 years as Vice President of Academic Affairs at two community colleges, retiring from Volunteer State Community College in 2007. Over the past 39 years in higher education Dr. Lea has served as a faculty member, chief Student Personel officer, chief academic officer, chief development officer, interim president and consultant. Dr. Lea has served on the graduate faculty of the University of Memphis and Tennessee State University. Dr. Lea earned his Ed.D degree from Vanderbilt University with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration.

Among Dr. Lea’s interests are distance education, dual enrollment, developmental education and K-16 partnerships. He has presented at state, regional and national meetings and served in key leadership positions including chair of the Oversight Committee for the Regents On-line Degree Program, chair of the Tennessee Board of Regents Developmental Education Task Force, and chair of the North Central Tennessee Workforce Investment Board’s Youth Council. Still active in his local community, Dr. Lea founded and has led the Education Leadership Academy in Sumner County, a unique private / public partnership to develop teacher leaders and highly skilled administrators. He additionally serves on the regional North Central Tennessee Workforce Board, the Board of Trustees for Davidson Academy and Hendersonville Medical Center. He also serves on the Sumner County Community Council for Wilson Bank and Trust. In 2010 Dr. Lea was named one of Sumner County’s “Most Influential” for his contributions to education. In 2014 The Nashville Business Journal recognized Lea as a Sumner County Impact Award winner joining an elite group of individuals having the greatest impact on the economies and communities of Middle Tennessee.

Stephen R. Marvin, Ed.D.

Assistant Dean, Graduate Studies in Education, Germantown & Associate Professor of Education
E-mail: smarvin@uu.edu

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Scholarship Profile

A native of California, Dr. Stephen R. Marvin has served in a variety of educational capacities throughout his career. Prior to beginning his service at Union University in 2007, Dr. Marvin served as an adjunct professor for the University of Memphis, Freed-Hardeman University, and David Lipscomb University. Dr. Marvin has also served in several positions within public and private school systems, including as a Business Technology teacher and technology coordinator for Cordova High School, in Cordova, TN. Dr. Marvin has served as an educational researcher for The Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREP) at the University of Memphis, as well as the tutor coordinator for the Academic Services Center at Harding University. Dr. Marvin was a recipient of the $15,000 Paige E. Mulhollan Dissertation Award, granted by the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities.

Dr. Marvin’s research interests include learning theory, the Multiple Intelligence Theory, and technology integration. Dr. Marvin has authored and co-authored journal publications and presented his research at the state, regional, national, and international levels. Dr. Marvin is a graduate of West Hills Community College and Fresno Pacific University. He earned a Masters of Education degree in Elementary and Secondary Administration and Elementary and Secondary Curriculum from Harding University and a Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in College Administration and College Teaching from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Eric D. Marvin, Ed.D.

Asst. Dean, Graduate Studies, Hendersonville; Director, Center for Ed. Practice; Assoc. Prof. of Education
E-mail: emarvin@uu.edu

University Profile
Scholarship Profile

Dr. Eric D. Marvin completed his doctoral studies in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership concentrated in Instructional Design and Technology at the University of Memphis.  He has served in a variety of educational capacities, having served as an educational research analyst, site researcher, teacher and trainer.  He came to Union as an Associate Professor of Education from Freed-Hardeman University.

In addition to being the co-author of Technology Coach Handbook: A Resource to Support Effective Technology Integration, Dr. Marvin is the lead author of an iTunes U course, Integrating iPads into the Classroom.  The course provides technology integration and skills training about iPads, leveraging the power of the iPad’s mobile platform to deliver the course.  The course has an enrollment of over 83,000 students and has obtained a ranking as the number one course in the Teaching and Learning category of iTunes U.

Dr. Marvin was the recipient of the Outstanding Instructional Design and Technology Student Award at the University of Memphis. He holds a Masters of Education degree from Harding University, and he is a graduate of Fresno Pacific University.

Dr. Marvin serves as the Director of the T. R. Rosebrough Center for Educational Practice, which aims to promote the work and interests of the School of Education, its faculty, staff, students, and alumni across Union's three campuses located in Jackson, Germantown, and Hendersonville, Tennessee.  Dr. Marvin also serves as the Director of Online Instructional Innovations for Union’s School of Education, in which he has most recently provided leadership in developing a fully online Master of Education degree (M.Ed.).

Dr. Marvin has presented at numerous international, national, state, and local conferences, and he is a member of several leading educational organizations. Dr. Marvin’s research interests are related to technology integration and the ways in which new technologies can enhance student achievement.

Melessia E. Mathis, M.Ed.

Director, Clinical Experiences & Assistant Professor of Education
E-mail: mmathis@uu.edu

University Profile
Scholarship Profile

After graduating from the University of Alabama, Mrs. Mathis returned to Brownsville, TN. While teaching in the Haywood County School system, She completed her master’s degree at the University of Memphis. She taught public school for 13 years in math, science, and social studies to fifth and sixth graders. She left teaching before the birth of her third child.

Mrs. Mathis came to Union as a supervisor of practicum students in Spring 1998 which led to a position as a part-time instructor. She became a faculty member in Fall 1999. In addition to her responsibilities as Director of Clinical Experiences, she teaches instructional design course in science and social studies.

Dianne Morgan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Education, Germantown
E-mail: dmorgan@uu.edu

University Profile
Scholarship Profile

Prior to her tenure at Union University, Dr. Morgan was an Assistant Professor at the University of Memphis. Her expertise includes how culture shapes engagement in learning, language development/acquisition, as well as early childhood development. She received her Bachelor’s of Science and Masters from The University of Texas at Austin in the areas of Deaf Culture and Education. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Educational Psychology studying human development and engaged learning. Her research areas include Deaf teachers’ visual engagement practices and learning, as well as their sense making of those practices. She has also examined the school setting and program philosophy’s influences on practices in Deaf education. Dr. Morgan is presently examining faith, teaching, and community practices of teachers.

Her course offerings have included Learning Theories in Urban Contexts, Faith and Ethics, Engaged Learning. She has provided guest lectures in Special Education, Cognition, and Learning at both of her alma maters. She has also created seminar classes connecting pre-service educators with community leaders and professionals.

Ben T. Phillips, Ed.D.

Director, Ed.S. and Ed.D. Programs & Associate Professor of Educational Leadership
E-mail: bphillips@uu.edu

University Profile
Scholarship Profile

Prior to Dr. Phillips’ full-time role at Union, he served as an adjunct instructor in the Ed.D. program that he now directs. His education experience includes serving as a secondary school math teacher, high school assistant principal, and high school principal. His varied background has taken him from rural schools to urban schools to suburban schools. After ten years in public education, he began his ministry in Christian education at Trinity Christian Academy in Jackson. During his time as Trinity’s high school principal, he also completed a year-long interim assignment as the Head of School, overseeing the day-to-day operations and educational program for grades PreK-12. Now, Dr. Phillips oversees both the Ed.S. and Ed.D. programs on the Jackson campus.

Dr. Phillips continues to pursue his research interests that began with his dissertation, including the calculation and understanding of student gain scores and the factors that influence students’ academic gains. Dr. Phillips has also spent almost a decade preparing high school students for the ACT. Recently, he has begun training high school teachers to incorporate ACT-style instruction and testing into their classrooms. In the leadership and research classes he teaches at Union, he strives to show how theory relates to practice in today’s schools. His years as a practitioner provide a solid background that helps him bring relevant meaning to his classes.

Michael Shackleford. Ed.D.

Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Hendersonville
E-mail: mshackleford@uu.edu

University Profile
Scholarship Profile

Dr. Michael Shackleford joined Union University, Hendersonville, in the fall of 2009 as an adjunct professor. In the summer of 2010 he became a full-time faculty member as an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership. Prior to joining Union University, Dr. Shackleford was a public school classroom teacher, administrator, school accreditation visiting team member, curriculum publisher consultant, educational consultant, conference speaker, guest lecturer for various universities, and professional development specialist working with community college instructors as well as for a variety of corporate clients. In addition to Dr. Shackleford’s work at Union University, he provides professional development training and consulting services to schools and school districts across the United States and Canada.

Dr. Shackleford has his doctorate in Administrative Leadership from Vanderbilt University. His research centers on the use of problem-based learning in professional preparation for administrators and teachers as well as classroom applications in K-12 settings. Additional research focuses on specific strategies that classroom teachers and schools can implement in the areas of learning environment, curriculum, assessment and instruction which lead to improvement in student learning.

Stephanie Lee Steele, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Education, Hendersonville
E-mail: ssteele@uu.edu

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While Dr. Steele joined the faculty in 2009, she has been a part of Union in other roles. She is a graduate of Union's School of Education undergraduate program (1998), and she also served in Union's Student Services as the Director of Student Leadership Development (2000-2003). Dr. Steele received both her master's and doctoral degrees from Vanderbilt University. Her experience in higher education spans student life, university instruction, and research and policy analysis. Prior to her faculty appointment, she worked for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in the fiscal policy analysis division.

Her research interests focus on the college choice process and the college student experience. Dr. Steele serves the Ed.S. and Ed.D. programs in Hendersonville.

Carrie L. Whaley, Ed.D.

Professor of Education
E-mail: cwhaley@uu.edu

University Profile
Scholarship Profile

Dr. Whaley previously served as an early childhood teacher in public and private schools for 15 years. Prior to these roles, she served positions in youth, education, and music ministry in Mississippi and Maryland. She is a Jackson, TN native and a graduate of Union, Southwestern Seminary, and Texas Woman’s University. Her interests relate to early childhood education, particularly language arts and early literacy instruction.

Since coming to Union to teach in 1997, she has been active in a wide variety of professional groups related to early childhood and education. Dr. Whaley’s expertise in early childhood has led to publications in various professional journals and to numerous presentations at the local, state, national and international levels, including the Oxford Round Table at Oxford University and the ACEI World Conference in Moscow, Russia. The 2011 recipient of the Tennessee Education Association’s Distinguished Higher Education Faculty Award, she currently serves as President of the Association for Childhood Education International.