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Humanities Faculty

April Asbury

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April Asbury is an English instructor at Radford University and a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Hollins University.  She is the advisor for the English Club at Radford University and organizer of the annual Highlander Literary Festival.  She holds an M.F.A. in writing from Spalding University, an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Hollins University, and a B.A. from Emory & Henry College.  Her poetry and short stories have appeared in The Anthology of Appalachian Writers, the online journal Still, and other publications.

Laura Dicker

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Laura Dicker received her MAEd from Virginia Tech with an emphasis on American Literature. Laura's favorite authors are John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and William Faulkner, and her passion is literary analysis through multiple lenses. She currently teaches English in Montgomery County Public Schools where she inspires her students to move beyond the curriculum with in-depth questioning and higher level thinking, Laura resides in Blacksburg, Virginia and her hobbies are physical fitness, reading, and culinary arts.

Alan Forrest

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Alan Forrest is Chair and Professor in the Department of Counselor Education at Radford University where he has been for the past 21 years. He is also a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Nationally Certified Counselor who has extensive clinical experience in individual, couples, family and group counseling. He has been a consultant for various mental health centers, school districts, hospices, businesses and other organizations.  

Alan has been a faculty member in the Peace Studies program for the past 10 years.  He has taught the Peace Studies 200 course several times, co-advises the Peace Studies Club, taught Peace Studies in the Governor’s School the past two years, regular guest speaker in the Peace Studies program, presented on numerous topics at the university level, and presented at the National Peace Academy’s conference last year.  Recently, Alan wrote a brief essay on peace and neuroscience that appeared in Chronicles for Peace published by the Peace and Justice Studies Association.
 
Alan believes that in order to manifest peace out into the world, one must begin by exploring peace from within.  He has presented at several conferences the belief of using mindfulness to cultivate inner peace. Peace begins with kindness and compassion towards self, and then is directed outwards to others.

Dr. Jake Fox

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Dr. Jake Fox has earned degrees in anthropology from Arizona State University (B.A. 1997), Iowa State University (M.A. 2000), and the University of Pittsburgh (Ph.D. 2007). He has taught courses in archaeological, cultural, and biological anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University and Radford University. His primary research and teaching interests are in the archaeology of early farming societies, the rise of states and empires, and environmental archaeology. He has directed or participated in fieldwork in Bolivia, Peru, Belize, Jordan and the United States. His research has been published in a variety of books and journals, including "More Than Meets the Eye: Studies on Upper Paleolithic Diversity in the Near East" (2003), "The Early Upper Paleolithic Beyond Western Europe" (2004), "Becoming Villagers" (2010), and "Pathways to Power" (2010). He is currently Assistant Professor of Anthropological Sciences at Radford University, where he has been teaching and conducting research since 2007.

Dr. Andrew Foy

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Dr. Andrew Foy is a Professor of Geospatial Science at Radford University. He holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in geography and a doctorate in geospatial and environmental analysis. He began working as a geographer with the National Park Service studying peregrine falcons and later went to Virginia Tech to work on a NGA research project on spatial data fusion. After six years as the GIS coordinator and developer for the City of Radford he started teaching at Radford University. His research interests are broadly focused around geospatial data fusion and methods to improve how people analyze and use geographic data. Visit his balloon launch.

Russell Gregory

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Russell Gregory says the following about hisefl - I am an Oklahoman by birth, raised by thoughtful, conservative Southern Baptists.  At the age of eighteen, I felt called to the ministry so I attended Oklahoma Baptist University and then went to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.  Toward the end of that degree program, I realized that leading a church was not truly my gift.  From a very early age I had thought the ministry was my goal, but I also thought that medicine and teaching would be professions where I could enable persons.  Medicine seemed out of reach so I turned toward teaching.  I attended Vanderbilt University where I received an M.A and a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the analysis of its narratives.  After one year at Stetson University in DeLand, FL, I moved in 1982 to Radford University where I taught some in my area; however I also taught Introduction of Philosophy, Introduction to Religion, and Survey of [some] World Religions.  My love still lies in the study of narratives which appear not just in the Old Testament, but also, of course, in literature, in film, even in our own lives. By the way, now I consider myself a ZenBuddhistTaoistJewishLiberalChristianAgnostic, or as someone once said: "I am a part of all that I have met."

Betty Kennan

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Betty Kennan graduated from West Texas State University (now affiliated with Texas A & M) with a bachelor's degree in Education, earning a teaching license in Business and Speech; she was a graduate teaching assistant while earning her master's degree in Communication.  After teaching high school (business courses) for 5 years in Amarillo, Texas and relocating to Virginia, she has taught in the Communication discipline—10 years at Virginia Tech, several years as an adjunct at Hollins University, and is beginning her 8th year at Radford University.  She teaches Interpersonal Communication and Teamwork in the School of Communication, in addition to supervising internships for PR and Advertising students.  She mentors students preparing for projects at regional and national conferences, most recently chaperoning 8 students to present their 4 projects at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in LaCrosse, Wisconsin--this was her third time to serve as faculty mentor at the national level.

Ron Kolenbrander

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Ron Kolenbrander taught in the College of Education at Radford University for twenty years and before that was a U.S. Government and History teacher at Manhattan High School in Manhattan Kansas. He lived in several states in the Midwest before coming to Virginia.
Ron has always been interested in current events which helped to spark his interest in the study of history and politics. A particular interest has been what factors have created the current event/issue and what are the consequences of those events for the society and the political system. These interests led him to pursue an undergraduate degree in history/social science and a Master’s Degree in both history and political science before completing a Ph.D in education. He had the opportunity to conduct research at the Eisenhower Presidential library as part of his education.

Dr. Ted McKosky

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Dr. Ted McKosky retired from Radford University in 2010 after 27 years of teaching. During his time there, he taught radio, sound design and cinema. He served as the coordinator of the cinematic arts component of the Department of Theatre and Cinema.

Dr. McKosky was a presenter/discussant at the Virginia Film Festivals in Charlottesville, Virginia, and created cinema symposiums for Radford University and the New River Valley. He covered all manner of moving-picture-related topics, from Ballyhoo to the Marx Brothers and everything in between. He brings his life-long love of motion pictures, radio, reading and gadgets to play in his teaching, design and free time.

Dr. Ann Roberts

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Dr.  Ann Mary Roberts – “I have been working on peace issues since 1982 when the New River Valley Free Press was housed in my living room. My career paths have included crisis worker, drug and alcohol counselor, seventh-grade social studies teacher, clown and teacher educator. I am interested in sustainability, inner peace and social emotional learning. I received my doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Tech. I am a certified dance Llader for Dances of Universal Peace. I live on a farm in Floyd with too many cats and Willy and Waylon.”

Dr. Matthew Turner

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Dr. Matthew R. Turner has been teaching at Radford University since 2006. At Radford, he teaches primarily in the Production Technology area including Video Editing and Effects, Media Performance and the Production Technology Portfolio. Dr. Turner also enjoys teaching interdisciplinary classes such as a course he originated on Brazilian arts and media. Dr. Turner received his bachelor’s degrees in Communication and English from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. He has worked in Television Production and Engineering as well as video editing and producing professionally before returning to academia. Dr. Turner received his M.A. in Telecommunication from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Arts also from Ohio University. Dr. Turner has presented at numerous national and international conferences in interdisciplinary studies, theater, art history, philosophy, English, and film. He has also published articles and book chapters on comedy westerns and the Marx Brothers. Dr. Turner continues to work as an editor and consultant to Jonesfilm Group Ltd. and has edited several documentary films for them. He enjoys spending time with his family and traveling.

Dr. Erin Webster-Garrett

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Dr. Erin Webster-Garrett, a native of Roanoke, Virginia, received her doctorate in literary studies from the University of Denver in 2001. Her dissertation, which was published by Mellen Press in 2007, focuses on Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, and Shelley’s struggle as a late Romantic writer to reconcile her professional ambitions with her private roles of daughter, wife and mother. This struggle is one that Dr. Webster-Garrett can relate to in particular as the mother of two precocious children and an aspiring scholar and writer.

Since moving to Radford, Dr. Webster-Garrett has been fascinated with the idea of a “cyborg” (a blend of the human and the mechanical), and in result has been actively pursuing different means of blending technology with traditional humanities coursework. She is the co-designer of a digital archive, the Web of Mind, which she uses in her nineteenth-century literature courses as a means of exposing students to the burgeoning field of digital humanities.

This is Dr. Webster-Garrett’s second year teaching in the Governor’s School summer program. She was absolutely blown away by the talented students she worked with last summer, and knows that this year’s class will be just as fabulous.