Carson-Newman University has welcomed 14 new faculty members since January 2021. Eleven of those joined the University in August for the start of the fall semester.

“In the same way that we’re celebrating the start of an academic year, celebrating our returning students, celebrating our new students, freshmen, transfers and dual-enrollment students, we’re also celebrating new faculty that are joining us today,” said University Provost Jeremy J. Buckner. “They demonstrate creative and effective instruction and make noteworthy contributions to the program or programs of their respective department.”

New faculty members include:

  • Sandra Austin, assistant professor of education; BS, Samford University; Med, University of Louisville; EdS, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  • Karen Gibson, associate professor of family and consumer sciences; BS, Minnesota State University, Mankato; MS, University of Kentucky; DCN, Rutgers University.
  • Andrew King, assistant professor of religion; BS, Crichton College/Victory University; MA, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; MA, Yale Divinity School; PhD, University of Notre Dame.
  • Ryan Baltrip, associate professor of management and marketing; dean of professional studies and executive director of online and digital learning; BA, Carson-Newman University; MDiv, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; PhD, University of South Florida; post-doctoral program, University of Florida.
  • Chandra Blanken, assistant professor of nursing; BSN, Carson-Newman University; MSN, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  • Jessica Evans, visiting professor of biology; BS, Lees McRae College; MS, Eastern Illinois University.
  • Jennifer Griggs Finley, assistant professor of family and consumer sciences; BS, Carson-Newman University; MS, East Tennessee State University; MAT, Carson-Newman University.
  • Brandon Hollihan, assistant professor of music. BA, University of Notre Dame; MM and MA, The Ohio State University; DMA, University of Notre Dame.
  • Douglas Johnson, assistant professor of communication; AS, Walters State Community College; BA, Carson-Newman University; MA and MDiv, Luther Rice University; PhD, Regent University.
  • Dara Lindner, assistant professor of biology; BS (combined science) and BS (equine science), Middle Tennessee State University. DVM, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  • Kelley Obringer, assistant professor of nursing; BSN and MSN, Milliken University; PhD, Illinois State University.
  • Pamela Smith, assistant professor of nursing; BS, James Madison University; MSN, Carson-Newman University.
  • Marcela Rodriguez Valverde, visiting professor of spanish; BA, Santa Paula University; MS, University of Barcelona.
  • Mary Van Huss, visiting professor of business; BA and MBA, King University; DBA, Walden University.

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman University is a Christian liberal arts-based university affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. The University is located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Carson-Newman offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.