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Dr. Tony Abbott is the Charles A. Dana Professor of English Emeritus at Davidson College, where he served as Chair of the English Department and Director of Creative Writing for many years.  Dr. Abbott is the author of both novels and books of poems.  He was the winner of the 2015 NC Award for Literature and his recent collection of poetry, If Words Could Save Us, was named co-winner of the 2012 Brockman-Campbell Award from the NC Poetry Society.  His newest book, The Angel Dialogues, is the recipient of honorable mention in the 2015 Brockman-Campbell competition.

Dr. Aldridge obtained his Ph.D. from Emory University.  He taught at Emory and at Ursinus College before coming to Davidson College where he is Professor of History and Africana Studies. He is the author of Becoming American: The African American Quest for Civil Rights, 1861-1976


Dr. Al-Saber was the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Davidson College  2013-2015. During his time at Davidson, his teaching included courses on acting and culture/performance in the Middle East. His teaching and scholarship focused on the intersection of cultural production and political conflict. He has worked in and studied theatre in North America, the Middle East, and Australia. As a cultural critic and historian, the areas of his scholarly interests include Middle Eastern culture, theatre, and performance, the modern history of East Jerusalem, Palestinian Theatre, Arab Theatre, and the performance culture in the Roman Middle East. He often draws on postcolonial studies, marxism, feminism, orientalism, nationalism, globalization scholarship, and exilic studies to illuminate historical and cultural events.



Dr. Ted Amato is Professor of Economics at UNC Charlotte. Ted joined the UNC Charlotte faculty in 1980.  He is a two time finalist for the Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence, UNC Charlotte’s most prestigious campus wide teaching award.  Ted and his wife Christie moved to Davidson in 1994.   Ted enjoys road cycling, travel and college spectator sports.  His near term ambition is to become fluent in Spanish.



Originally from California, Mark J. Barsoum earned a B.S. in Physiology with Highest Honors from the University of California, Davis, publishing his undergraduate research on the development and physiology of brown adipose tissue. He then obtained a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, where he specialized in the pathways to neuronal cell death that occur in numerous central neurodegenerative diseases. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Biology and Director for Math, Science, and Economics in the Center for Teaching & Learning at Davidson College. His current research focuses on genomic testing of pills sold by the largely unregulated herbal supplement industry, as well as developing effective and inclusive pedagogy in biology that helps students better achieve learning outcomes in the undergraduate classroom.



Originally from California, Mark J. Barsoum earned a B.S. in Physiology with Highest Honors from the University of California, Davis, publishing his undergraduate research on the development and physiology of brown adipose tissue. He then obtained a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, where he specialized in the pathways to neuronal cell death that occur in numerous central neurodegenerative diseases. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Biology and Director for Math, Science, and Economics in the Center for Teaching & Learning at Davidson College. His current research focuses on genomic testing of pills sold by the largely unregulated herbal supplement industry, as well as developing effective and inclusive pedagogy in biology that helps students better achieve learning outcomes in the undergraduate classroom.


Dr. Jeffrey Barto  has taught since 1992 in the Department of Kinesiology at UNC Charlotte, including a Baseball History course.



Dr. Cole Barton is the Nelson Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Davidson College.


Jean Stewart Berg believes everybody has a story to tell. Jean has published poetry, articles, a book Saying I Do in Paradise and hosted/produced her program Steeple and People on St. Louis, Missouri CBS television.  She moved to The Pines at Davidson from her home in Cozumel, Mexico. Jean sees herself as a facilitator, more than a teacher; she always learns from the students.


Dr. Marla Brown is a writer/performer and Managing Artistic Director at the Warehouse Performing Arts Center. She studied Theatre, Dance and Performance, receiving her Doctorate from U.T. Austin in 2000. While in Austin, Dr. Brown began her solo performance work, creating and performing such pieces as Revenge of a FemiNAZI, My Museum, Stark White, and Dietrich. In addition to her solo endeavors, she co-founded Bold Maids Theatre Company, writing and performing theatre works for venues and academic conferences all over the country​.


Bill Carrozzella has an MBA in finance.  He has taught math and psychology in high school and worked for 25 years in real estate.  He has personally studied and invested in gold over the past five years.  In conversations with highly educated people, he has been surprised by how little they know about gold.


Rev. Alexis Coleman is the minister of missions and membership at Davidson UMC. She was certified to teach Bridges Out of Poverty in 2010.


Jane D. Cain is Director of Music at Davidson College Presbyterian Church.  She holds a Bachelor of Music in organ performance from Salem College and a Master of Music in organ from UNC-Chapel Hill.



Jacquelyn Culpepper has shared her beautiful soprano voice with audiences around the world, singing with symphony orchestras, opera companies, and music festivals.  See her website ( for specifics.  Jacquelyn holds a Master of Music degree in vocal performance and literature from Baylor University and a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Western Carolina University. She is beginning her nineteenth year as Artist Associate of voice at Davidson College. Ms. Culpepper is married to Clem Huffman, has two daughters, Callie and Jessica, and the two cutest grandsons on the planet.



Dr. Joyce Dalsheim is a cultural anthropologist who teaches at the Department of Global, International and Area Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

​Dr. Scott Denham, E. Craig Wall Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities and Charles A. Dana Professor of German Studies, has taught at Davidson College since 1990. He received the Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award in 2002 and the Thomas Jefferson Award in 2015.  Dr. Denham studied at Chicago, Marburg, the FU Berlin, and Harvard, working there primarily in German studies, but also in comparative literature and history. His teaching and research interests include German studies broadly; modernism and narrative theory; the Holocaust and its representation; literary translation; second-language and writing pedagogy; and questions of identity, loss, and memory in the central European context. He is currently working on translations of the novels and essays of Jagoda Marinić. 



Dr. Enyeart practiced Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in Cincinnati for 31 years.  He moved to this area in retirement and has been actively involved in free clinics in Mooresville and Davidson.  He is currently a Co-Medical Director at Free Clinic of Our Towns at Ada Jenkins.  He is very interested in improving health care delivery and accessibility.

DR. IRINA ERMAN (Inactive)

Dr. Irina Erman was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian Studies at Davidson College. She was born in Russia, but moved to the US as a child, and rediscovered a passion for Russian literature and culture while taking a class on Dostoevsky at Emory University. She went on to receive her PhD at Stanford, and taught a variety of courses on 19th and 20th century Russian literature and literary theory.



Dr. Nancy J. Fairley is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Davidson College and a storyteller. She has performed at a variety of venues including college, elementary, junior and senior high schools, church, restaurant, coffee house and festivals.  Although Fairley is an Africanist, she performs folklore from around the world as well as creates stories based on the following experiences: personal, family and friends.


Jackie Fishman, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, teaches English and Humanities with focus on Holocaust studies, multi-cultural issues, and global awareness.  She has 30 years of teaching experience at East Mecklenburg HS, Northwest School of the Arts, and Charlotte Latin School.



Dr. Ann M. Fox is a Professor of English at Davidson College, where she specializes in modern and contemporary drama, disability studies in literature and visual representation, and medicine in the graphic novel. Her scholarship on disability and theater has been published widely, and she has co-curated four disability-related visual arts exhibitions: RE/FORMATIONS: Disability, Women, and Sculpture (2009), STARING (2009), Re/Presenting HIV/AIDS (2014), and Esse Quam Videri (2018). She was a Davidson College 2017-18 Boswell Family Faculty Fellow; her current scholarly project is entitled Adaptive Activism: How Disability Refigures the Cultural Landscape.


A more extensive profile is available on the Davidson College website.

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After being educated at Davidson College and UNC Law School, Jim Fuller clerked for Chief Justice Susie M. Sharp, NC Supreme Court. He has served various professional legal societies and won the Chief Justice Walter Clark award; the Senator Frank P. Graham award; the NC Black Lawyers Association Lawyer of the Year award; and the NC Association of Educators, Friend of Education award.  He has also served the Town of Davidson as Mayor Pro Tem, commissioner, member of the Planning Board, and board member for the Ada Jenkins Center and Davidson Community Players.



Michael Guasco is professor and chair of the Department of History at Davidson College. He is a specialist in the history of early America, with courses covering the colonial and Revolutionary periods, the early South, and the histories of race and slavery. He is the author of Slaves and Englishmen: Human Bondage in the Early Modern Atlantic World (2014).



Eric Hight was a high school history teacher for 17 years and a high school administrator for 10 years. He taught courses in Civics, U.S. History, World History as well as Advanced Placement European History. He has been reading about the war and visiting battlefields for the last 20 years.


Dr. Gill Holland has studied Mandarin and Classical Chinese since 1973 at Stanford University (three summers), in Taiwan (nine months), and in Beijing (spring 1989, fall 1995).  For decades he taught in the English department at Davidson College, including a course in Chinese literature in translation.  He won the prestigious Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching award in 1995.



Dr. Randy Ingram earned his B.A. from Davidson College and his Ph.D. from Emory University, where he wrote a dissertation on Shakespeare's sonnets.  He has taught at Davidson College since 1995.  A winner of the Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching award and former Chair of the Humanities Program, he enjoys teaching a wide range of cultural history in lively, discussion-based courses.  But he returns with special joy to courses on Renaissance English literature, including Shakespeare.


Dr. Yves-Renée Jennings holds a Ph.D. from the George Mason University School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. She is a conflict resolution professional and scholar-practitioner with deep understanding of societal and structural issues that often contribute to social conflicts. Dr. Jennings has taught at University of Azuay (Ecuador), American University in Washington, D.C, and George Mason University. She founded Partners for Sustainable Peace, a non-profit organization, in 2007. Prior to that, she worked at the World Bank for over 20 years and in the private sector in Haiti for over 10 years.



Stephen Kaliski, Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre at Davidson, is a director and playwright. He was recently the Resident Director of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Broadway. He is a co-founder of Adjusted Realists, where credits include Eliza Bent’s The Beyoncé (A.R.T./New York) and the 59E59 productions of Gluten! (writer/director) and The Briefly Dead (writer; nominated for Outstanding Original Full-Length Script, NYIT Awards). He was the SDC Traube Fellow on Evita (Broadway) and Assistant Director of Three Sisters (Classic Stage Company).

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Anita Tripathi, Assistant Professor of Design and Technology at Davidson College, has worked professionally as a scene designer for more than 10 years at such venues as The Children's Theatre of Charlotte, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Greenbrier Valley Theatre, and The Virginia Stage Company (Resident Scene Designer). Anita has also worked regionally as both a properties master and scenic charge painter in addition to assisting Tony Award winning designer David Gallo on a number of productions in his New York studio.


Rabbi Morton Kaplan received a BA in Ancient and Medieval European History from the University of Cincinnati.  After attending Hebrew Union College, he received his Rabbinical Ordination and Master of Hebrew Letters.  He served two years as an Army Chaplain before assuming rabbinical positions at several New York and New Jersey congregations.  Committed to Reform Judaism and its outlook on the world, Rabbi Kaplan has taught at Wheeling College and St. Leo College and lectured at many churches as well as teaching at his synagogues.  After his retirement he has become a member of Temple Beth-El in Charlotte, where he continues to teach--on a part-time basis--about Judaism in general and the meaning of Reform Judaism in particular. 



Dr. Randall Kincaid is a Professor at the McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte.  He earned an MA and PhD in economics at Duke University, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and an Earnhart Fellow.  He has also served as a faculty member at Davidson College.


Greg Knudson brings over 35 years of experience in International business - working with the world’s major automotive corporations and setting up businesses in Europe, Asia, and South America; in Venture capital and entrepreneurship - starting up, investing and growing over 90 technology-based companies; and in University leadership and teaching  – running a Center for Business Consulting and executive Education at Indiana University, as well as teaching MBA courses in international business, management and innovation at 5 universities.

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Joseph C. Konen, MD, MSPH, taught Family Medicine, Public Health, Health Care Systems, and History of Medicine for 35 years at Wake Forest University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the State University of New York, and Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte (now Atrium Health), where he was Professor and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine.  He was also adjunct faculty in Medical Humanities at Davidson College for 17 years.  In addition to his clinical and academic careers, Joe held several pharmaceutical-industry leadership roles over 15 years in medical affairs, pharmaceutical innovation, and integrated health from US and global perspectives at Pfizer (Executive Director) and Sanofi (Vice President) Pharmaceuticals.  He retired in 2019 but continues working part-time in a variety of clinical, consulting, academic, and medical missionary opportunities.


Dr. Peter Krentz has taught Greek and Roman history at Davidson College since 1979.  In his youth, he excavated at Caesarea Maritima (Israel), and he now teaches a course on ethics in archaeology.



Diane Kutyla has 25 years of experience as an economic analyst at several companies, including Merrill Lynch and Deloitte. Over the years she has given presentations on economic, industry, consumer, and demographic trends to corporate executives. She has authored hundreds of reports, including a monthly economic overview of developments relevant to consumer-facing industries. She has her MBA in Economics from NYU.


Dr. John Kuykendall is a graduate of Davidson, Class of ’59, who has lived in Davidson since 1984. He holds advanced degrees from Union Presbyterian Seminary, Yale Divinity School, and Princeton University. His field of special interest is American Religious History. He taught at Auburn University in the Department of Religion 1973-84; Davidson College in the Department of Religion 1984-2003; and as Visiting and adjunct teaching at several other schools. In addition, John served twice as president of Davidson College.


Dr. Zoran Kuzmanovich teaches courses on literature, film, and fragrance at Davidson College.  Twice President of the International Vladimir Nabokov Society, he has served as the executive editor of Nabokov Studies since 1996.  The over 100 rare fragrant plants in his greenhouse and his yard have finally convinced him to begin work on the first encyclopedia of fragrant, aromatic, and pungent plants.



Jim Lane describes himself as a "Life Long Learner."  Though he is in fact a "Rocket Scientist" (Graduate Degree in Propulsion and Orbital Mechanics), his career and interests are all down to earth.  His interest in genealogy started many years ago as the technology became available for exploration of the "where did we come from" question on a personal level.  He has taught continuing education courses for the past 20 years in such subjects as "Digital Photography",  "Managing a Small Business", "Computer Basics for Seniors", "Quickbooks Accounting", and "Genealogy, Using and Family Tree Maker."


Dr. Bill Lawing is the Estes Millner Professor of Music at Davidson College.  Professor Lawing received his BA from Davidson College and his DMA and MM from The Cleveland Institute of Music.  He teaches a wide variety of classes at Davidson ranging from Musical Theatre to Music Technology and Production.  He also directs the jazz ensemble on campus and is an accomplished performer himself.


Paul Leonard  has a Masters in Business Administration from Emory University.  He organized Charlotte Fair Housing and served as its first president.  He then worked for the John Crosland Company and Centrex Real Estate Corp.  After retiring, he served as Chairman of the Board for Habitat for Humanity International  and as the Interim CEO of Habitat for Humanity.  Currently, he is a member of the US Council for Habitat for Humanity International,  Chairman of the Board of Directors for Crosland Interests, LLC, and a director for Crowder Construction.  He has led seminars for businesses, churches, and non-profits on the topics of leadership, faith, and strategic planning.



Dr. Ralph Levering taught U.S. history at Davidson College from 1986 until his retirement in 2013, focusing on U.S. diplomatic and twentieth-century American history. He received the Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award in 2006. He is the author or co-author of nine books, including a recent history of the town of Davidson. Ralph and wife Patty enjoy living in Davidson, hiking in nearby mountains, playing with grandchildren, and attending Davidson Friends (Quaker) Meeting.


Jerry Lewis always loved shorebirds and after retiring, he lived on the Texas Gulf Coast for 20 years and studied/observed birds and carved decoys of shore and wading birds for 15 years that were sold in local galleries.  He developed decoys for the National Audubon Society that were successfully used to relocate shorebirds to safer nesting areas.  He developed and printed data on these birds for use at local facilities (Aquarium and Learning Center) and developed a blog with similar data (



Dr. Dave Martin has been teaching courses at Davidson College related to the economics of environmental policy for over 30 years.  He was a founding member of the Department of Environmental Studies for which he annually teaches interdisciplinary courses including his current teaching of the introduction of environmental social studies.  His current research focuses on the economics of environmental policy and biodiversity protection, both locally and in India.


Beverly Maurice obtained her master’s degree in bioethics from Union Graduate College and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai. Now residing in Iredell County, Beverly is pursuing her Ph.D. in the philosophy of psychology (healthcare) while providing early intervention developmental therapy to children with special needs. She is a board member of Carolina’s Medical Center's Ethics Committee and a guardian ad litem. In her free time, Beverly enjoys time with her three children, grandson, dog, friends and the pursuit of travel.



Dr. Maggie McCarthy is a professor of German Studies at Davidson College, where she also teaches in the Film and Media Studies program. She has published articles on German literature and film and more recently a book on German feminism. At Davidson she has taught film classes in translation on art house films, depictions of memory on film, and filmic adaptations.


Dr. Sally McMillen is the Mary Babcock Reynolds Professor of History Emerita and taught at Davidson for 28 years.



Dr. Jeffrey Meyer obtained a PhD from the University of Chicago (1973) in the History of Religions, with a focus on the religions of China and Japan. He has spent more than three years living, doing research, and teaching in Taiwan and China and published books and articles on his research areas. He taught in the Religious Studies Department at UNC Charlotte from 1973 to 2008.


Dr. Annie Merrill is the Thomson Professor of Environmental Studies and Professor of English at Davidson College. She directs the College’s Environmental Studies program. She is co-editor of Coming Into Contact: Explorations in Ecocritical Theory and Practice (University of Georgia, 2007) and has published articles on 19th-century American women writers, 20th-century American environmental literature, service learning and ecocomposition, and contemporary environmental justice literature.


Dr. Grace Mitchell is currently an Educational Consultant and former faculty member at Davidson College.  She also holds an MA in History from UNCC where she taught courses in American History in the past.  She is the author of The Echo of the Bugle Call: Charlotte’s Role in World War I and served as the former Chairperson of the Historic Preservation Commission in Cornelius.



Deborah Nelson grew up in Germany, Cuba and Peru. She has traveled to Mexico, Ecuador and Spain during her college years and holds a B.A. from Vassar College and M.A. from Stanford University, both in Spanish literature.  She has done advanced Ph.D. coursework in Spanish at Catholic University and Boston University and has taught Spanish in various high schools over a twenty year period.  Now retired, she volunteers as a translator at the Free Medical Clinic at Ada Jenkins and helps run Spanish Conversation Hours and an international book club at the International House in Charlotte.


Dr. Jeanne Marie Neumann is a professor of Classics at Davidson College.  She teaches courses in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Greco-Roman literature and culture.



Lia Newman holds an MA from Duke University and is the Director and Curator at the Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College.  She is responsible for curating exhibitions, exhibition-related programming, and overseeing and growing the Davidson College Art Collection.



Dr. Andrew O’Geen obtained his Ph.D. from Stony Brook University.  He is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Davidson College where he has been teaching since 2011. His research focuses on courts, judges, and the legal system in the United States.


Joe Papovich brings 45 years experience in US trade policy, including 21 years at the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), Executive Office of the President. Positions at USTR included Assistant USTR for Services, Investment and Intellectual Property and Assistant USTR for Industry. He has also served as Senior VP International at the Recording Industry Association of America and a consultant on US-China trade to the US Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Papovich continues to serve as a trade policy advisor to a US government agency.



A graduate of Davidson College and the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Dr. Pfohl is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, and Hospice and Palliative Medicine.  He served as the Medical Director of the first two Continuing Care Retirement Communities in the United States and has practiced in a variety of settings, including having his own "At Home Medical Care" practice. He recently retired after five years at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Salisbury, where he was the Principal Physician in the Hospice House.



Dr. Julian Pleasants received his BA from Davidson College and his MA and Ph.D from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is the author of 10 books including Hanging Chads: The Inside Story of the 2000 Presidential Recount in Florida, (2004) (Palgrave/MacMillan), which won the 2005 Proctor Oral History Prize, and The Political Career of W. Kerr Scott: The Squire from Haw River, 2015 (University of Kentucky Press).  He was a Professor of History at the University of Florida for 39 years and winner of 13 teaching awards.


Wanda Richards is a multi-published fiction writer (under the name Leigh Barbour) in the Paranormal, Time-travel, and Romance genres.  Being an experienced critique group member, she can give you the tips you need to develop the idea you have in your head into a polished manuscript. She has a Master's degree in English Linguistics and has taught English as a Second Language.



Stacey Riemer is Associate Dean of Students & Director of the Center for Civic Engagement

where she provides campus and community-wide direction and supervision for major programs and activities in the areas of civic engagement and leadership including the coordination of community partnerships, support to faculty in the area of community- based pedagogy, and oversight for major programs. She has over 25 years of experience in student and academic affairs as a practitioner and faculty member. Throughout her career, she has worked to develop student learning and leadership through various functional areas including community-based learning, civic engagement, leadership development, student activities, and union management. Immediately prior to coming to Davidson, she served as a lecturer in the Higher Education graduate program at Syracuse University where was involved with the development of innovative curricula around learning communities, community-based learning and critical reflection. In addition, she was involved with a multi-institutional research project that aimed to understand the experiences of under resourced college students involved in curricular learning communities. She received her B.S. degree in Management from St. John Fisher College, M.S. degree in Education from the University of Rochester and Ph.D. in Higher Education from Syracuse University.


Leslie Rindoks is a publisher, editor and writer (writing fiction under the name Avery Caswell).  She was the lead writer in the anthology, LUCK, and the author of the forthcoming novel FALL.  She has a BFA from Kent, an MFA from Purdue and studied at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. In addition to writing, she plays the cello, loves chocolate and likes fast cars.


Joe Van Riper is a veteran audio engineer, voice talent and studio consultant who has earned a national reputation over the past 40+ years. He was instrumental in the design and construction of Jay Howard Production Audio, one of the busiest recording studios in the Southeast during the 80's and 90's, and has built or improved countless home studios from Charlotte, NC to Long Island, NY. His voice can be heard promoting clients such as BMW, Milwaukee Tools, Jackson Hewitt, and hundreds more.

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Dr. Ritz began his education in genealogy 70 years ago at his mother's knee, but recent advances in technology have seriously accelerated his progress. Chris holds an Economics degree from MIT as well as an MBA and PhD in Operations Research from Cincinnati. He is recently retired from a multi-decade private-sector consulting practice in supply chain optimization.



Dr. Robinson ​is a physician who has had a long career in academic medicine, public health and in anti-infective drug development in the pharmaceutical industry before moving to Davidson.  He has had a long-standing interest in virology and epidemiology, especially HIV and other viral infections.  Dr. Robinson received his medical school training at Wayne State University in Detroit, and his Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases training at University of Pittsburgh and University of Oklahoma. He was an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control, and Chief of the Infectious Diseases at West Virginia University, before joining Pfizer and then Boehringer Ingelheim to lead teams developing drugs for serious fungal, bacterial and viral infections, including HIV. 


Dr. Susan Roberts is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Davidson College.


Dr. Marilyn Rousseau is Professor Emerita of the City University of New York. She has been conducting genealogical research for over 30 years, and has published articles in The American Genealogist and the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy. She has done research for clients in several states and has traced one of her own family lines to England in 1554.


Michael Rowland was Associate Music Director at DCPC and Artist Associate in Accompanying at Davidson College for 9 years. Prior to Davidson he was at Salem College and Ardmore United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem.  Rowland has played organ recitals and accompanied both soloists and choral groups on the East Coast and in Europe.  When there is free time, he likes to hike and to play golf.  Often there is little to distinguish between the two.



Thomas Rynne is a retired Intelligence Officer from the Defense Intelligence Agency and served in the Intelligence Community for twenty-four years.  As a senior analyst and manager he briefed members of the Executive and Legislative branches of the government, policymakers, U.S. diplomats and other members of the Intelligence Community.  He participated in annual intelligence exchanges with foreign government intelligence services.


Dr. Matt Samson is a sociocultural anthropologist and the chair of the Latin American Studies Department at Davidson College.  His research addresses religious change and ethnic identity among the Maya in Guatemala and the larger Mesoamerican region.  Besides core courses in the anthropology curriculum, he teaches courses such as “Human Rights in Latin America,” “Borderlands, Identity, and Rights,” and “The Anthropology of Development and Environmental Sustainability.”  From Louisiana, his interest in culture, social justice, and human-environment relations in the Mexico-US borderlands has led to a sustained interest in the situation of immigrants to the United States.



Dr. Ron Schmidt was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Montreal (2005), and has taught as an adjunct professor at Davidson College since 2013. His teaching and research fields are racial and ethnic politics and public policy. He authored an award-winning book on language policy and identity politics, co-authored a book on the impact of recent immigrants on U.S. racial politics, and has published numerous book chapters and articles on racial politics, language policy, and immigration policy.


Joey Schnople is an entrepreneur who has worked in the food and beverage industry.  He has owned chocolate shops and cafes, specializing in handmade chocolates, custom roasted coffees, and specialty teas.  He has formal sommelier training from the International Court of Master Sommeliers and 10 years’ experience teaching at community colleges.  He earned an MBA from the Babcock School at Wake Forest University.


Sylvia Schnople has been involved in theatre as an educator and director for the past 30 years.  She has taught at all academic levels from kindergarten to graduate school. Professionally, she has held top positions at Raleigh Little Theatre, Ft. Lauderdale Children’s Theatre, Mooresville Community Children’s Theatre and Austin Peay State University Community School of the Arts.  She has been a faculty member at Austin Peay State University and Tennessee State University where she taught on both the undergraduate and graduate level. Sylvia has served on the boards of the Tennessee Theatre Association and Circle Players in Nashville, Tennessee. She was a lead facilitator for the Humanities Outreach Tennessee program for three years. Sylvia has directed over 100 productions on the East Coast. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting/Directing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Currently, she is the Artistic Director of Davidson Community Players.



Rabbi Michael Shields has served Temple Kol Tikvah of Lake Norman since 2008..  He is the first full-time rabbi in the Lake Norman region.  Rabbi Shields was ordained by the Reform Movement in 2008.  He is committed to the ideals of the Reform movement and those principles provide a framework for Temple Kol Tikvah.



Celia Brewer Sinclair (BA, Duke University; MA, Yale Divinity School) is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at UNC-Charlotte.  She has taught courses entitled “Jesus and the Buddha,”  “Suffering and the Problem of Evil,” and “Heroes and Warrior Women.” She is a writer of curricula for the United Methodist Publishing House and the author of the Disciple: Short-Term Bible Study on the Old Testament.  She has authored three books published by Westminster/John Knox Press:  A Guide Through the Old TestamentA Guide Through the New Testament, and Genesis.  Celia’s current interests are the intersection of biblical narratives and art, and of religious studies and contemporary films.  She has two daughters, Anna and Sally, and is married to David Sinclair.

Dr. Alan Singerman is Richardson Professor Emeritus of French at Davidson College. He has taught courses including Sartre, Camus, and Beckett many times throughout a 39-year career teaching French language, literature, society & culture, cinema, and semiotics. Dr. Singerman has published widely on French literature, including a half-dozen books, editions, and translations of works from or on the French 18th century, as well as several textbooks in both French and English on French cinema.


Dr. Fred Smith is a Professor of Economics at Davidson College.  Fred is a microeconomist who teaches courses in urban, public, sports, and American economic history at  Davidson College.  A Davidson resident, Fred once volunteered on the Davidson Volunteer Fire Department.  He is currently a member of the board for the HealthReach Community Clinic in Mooresville.


Dr. Shaw Smith is a Professor of Art History at Davidson College.  He grew up in Davidson and attended North Mecklenburg High School before going to the University of North Carolina as a Morehead Scholar.  He then went on to receive his PhD in Art History at Chapel Hill. His professional activities include nearly thirty years of teaching Art History and Humanities at Davidson College as well as classes on French Art and the Art of the American South.  He also participated in many academic and community activities related to the Romare Bearden Centennial of 2011 in the area.



Dr. Rob Spach is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). A graduate of Davidson College (B.A.), the University of Virginia (M.A.), Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Columbia Theological Seminary (D.Min.), he has served as the Chaplain at Davidson College since 1993. His interests include religion and literature, the practice of passage meditation, and wisdom traditions of various world religions. He is married and has two grown children.


Dr. Norman K. Spencer currently resides in the Lake Norman area and has worked for both UNC Charlotte and the Logan Community Music School in Concord. Trained as a cell biologist and chemist, he trained overseas in the United Kingdom and at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His professional teaching activities include teaching biostatistics, Spanish language, and other natural sciences.  As an administrator, he is the Vice Director of Sustainability at the Logan Community Music School in suburban Concord.  He also remains committed to service and principled leadership in his capacity as Chair-Elect of Executive Committee of the Carolina-Piedmont Section of the American Chemical Society and his volunteerism with Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region.



Mark Stanback is a Professor of Biology at Davidson College. He has been teaching at Davidson for over 22 years. His field of specialty is avian behavioral ecology (think birds + behavior + evolution + ecology). The courses he teaches most often are Animal Behavior/Behavioral Ecology, Vertebrate Zoology, Evolutionary Biology, and Introductory Biology. He and his research students study the breeding biology of Eastern Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, Brown-headed Nuthatches, and other cavity-nesting species. He also conducts research on the breeding biology of hornbills in Namibia.



Dr. Thrailkill holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Emory University, a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Georgia State University and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Central Florida.  She also worked as a certified Lamaze childbirth instructor for twelve years. She has had a lifelong interest in lifespan human development and for thirty-six years taught children over every grade of elementary school, first as a classroom teacher and then as a resource teacher for children in CMS's Gifted and Talented program. She has served as a supervising teacher for interns, a supervising teacher for an exchange teacher from China, a contributor to several professional magazines for teachers and a presenter at regional and state gifted conferences.

Now, retired from teaching children and young adults she is interested in exploring the impact and the role that grandparents have in the 21st century American family.



Mark Washburn is a semi-retired Charlotte Observer reporter and columnist who has spent his career in a variety of editing and writing roles. He served as media writer for the Observer for a decade, has been a war correspondent in Iraq, state editor of The Miami Herald and writes a monthly column for the Observer's editorial page.


Ms. AlTonya Washington lives in Davidson, NC.  She wears the hat of mom, reference librarian and romance novelist.  A published writer for 10 years, her novel His Texas Touch won Romantic Times Magazine's Reviewer's Choice Award for 2012.  She’s an avid crime fiction reader and a huge fan of JD Robb's In Death series.  Her favorite author is Stephen King and curling up with a good book or classic movie are among her favorite things.  Her most recent work is The Caterer's Wife, a mystery novella.


Jeanie Welch is a retired professor and reference librarian at UNC Charlotte and a former adjunct professor at UNC Greensboro.  She holds both a BA and MA from the University of Denver and a Master of International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management (AZ).  She is the author of numerous articles in professional journals, two books, and numerous presentations at professional conferences.  She is a member of the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies and Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.


Born and raised in Pakistan, Syed Rizwan Zamir joined Davidson College’s Department of Religion in fall 2010. He holds a Ph.D from the University of Virginia and Bachelor degrees from both the University of Punjab and James Madison University. He has written numerous journal articles and book chapters, and is currently writing/editing books that include Islamic ethical life and lived practice. He is on the Board for Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics (SSME) and Vice President Elect of the American Academy of Religion’s Southeast region (SECSOR). Dr. Zamir has developed and taught numerous courses in Islamic and religious studies, including introductory surveys of Islamic life and thought, a comparative study of Sunni and Shiite traditions, Islamic eschatology, and encounters of Islamic civilization with Western modernity.

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