instructors

Brooke Bennett-Day, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology; Program Director, Human Services. B.S. (Psychology) Valdosta State University 1999; M.S. ( Social Psychology) Florida State University 2004; Ph.D. (Social Psychology) Florida State University 2007. My primary interests involve the effect that race may have on an individual's face recognition ability, as well as the developmental differences in child and adult memory for faces. Additional interests include interracial attitudes and stereotype formation, juror interpretations of legal proceedings, and best teaching practices.
 

Holly L Boettger-Tong, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology; Director, Center for Women in Science and Technology. B.S. (Biology) St. Louis University 1986; M.S. (Biology) University of Alabama at Birmingham 1988; Ph.D. (Biology) University of Alabama at Birmingham 1992. Holly’s lab uses both in vitro and in vivo model systems to analyze the molecular mechanisms which control female reproductive tract cellular proliferation. In addition, she is interested in the role of the retinoic acid signaling pathway as it influences early vertebrate embryo development.
 

Jim Ferrari, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology; Program Director, Environmental Studies; Wesleyan College Arboretum Director. B.A. (Biology and Northern Studies) Middlebury College 1986; Ph.D. (Ecology) University of Minnesota. My research interests include bird-plant interactions, seasonal patterns of bird diversity, leaf litter dispersal and effects of leaf decomposition on soil nitrogen cycling rates, and forest ecology.
 

Vince Coughlin, J.D., LL.M
Vince Coughlin, founder of the WALL program, received a B.S. (Physics) from Bucknell University in 1963, an M.S. (Physics) from Franklin & Marshall College in 1973, a J.D. from the University of Toledo in 1977 and an LL.M. from Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson School of Law in 1990. He retired from General Electric as a Senior Patent Counsel to GE and RCA Licensing Operation. Vince has taught law-related courses at Harrisburg (PA) Area Community College, the University of South Carolina Aiken’s Academy for Lifelong Learning and at WALL where he has served as the facilitator for Great Decisions since 2012. Vince’s interests include Constitutional Law and Lifelong Learning.
 

Jim Barfield
Macon native, career educator and published author, James Barfield is an exhaustive and enthusiastic expert on the history of Macon, Georgia. He has been active in historic preservation for more than 30 years and is a leading advocate for Macon’s historic and architectural heritage. He is committed to educating and inspiring appreciation for our unique city.
 

Terry Holland
After graduating from Auburn University with a degree in Architecture, Terry moved to Macon and worked for Charles Brittain and Gene Dunwody. In 1980 he opened his own office to focus on residential projects. Although never considering himself to be a floral designer, he never quits when it comes to creating something original. In 35 years he has created a recognizable interior design aesthetic. He uses his floral talents at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, The Hay House spring show, Museum of Arts and Sciences Festival of Trees and for other non-profit events. His work at Wesleyan College was featured in their 2015 Spring/Summer magazine. He has provided the Christmas decor for the President's House at Mercer for the past eight years.
 

Nadine Cheek, M.M.
Mildred Goodrum Heyward Professor of Music; Program Director, Music. B.M. (Voice) Wesleyan College 1979; M.M. (Vocal Performance) Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music 1981, M.M. (Choral Conducting) Yale School of Music 1991.I am interested in teaching the young singer how to use her voice well in the performance of a variety of repertoire; including classical art-song, opera, sacred music, and Broadway. I have a particular interest in 20th-century and contemporary American song and choral literature.
 

Dr. Jim Rowan
Professor of Psychology. Program Director, Neuroscience. B.A. (Biology and Psychology) Malone College, 1988; M.A. (Experimental Psychology) Kent State University 1990: Ph.D. (Experimental Psychology with Biopsychology Concentration) Kent State University 1993. My area of interest is comparative cognition, more specifically, how humans and animals learn lists of information. I am also interested in the effects of early exposure to drugs on list learning in adulthood.
 

Saralyn DeSmet, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of French and Spanish; Program Director, French. B.A. (French and Spanish) Vanderbilt University 1990; M.A. (French Literature) Indiana University 1993; Ph.D. (Romance Languages) University of Georgia 2001. My professional interests include 18th-century women’s epistolary novels in French, especially Isabelle de Charrière, translation, and foreign language education.
 

Martha Duke
Martha Duke is a member of three Opera Guilds, The Met, Glimmerglass, and Central Georgia. She is in charge of recruiting people to do the pre-opera chats in Macon and has presented many of them herself. Martha has previously taught or co-taught the opera course for WALL on several occasions.
 

Vivia Fowler, Ph.D.
President of Wesleyan College; B.A. (Religion and Sociology) Columbia College 1976; M.A. (Religion) The Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary 1980; Ph.D. (Psychological and Philosophical Foundations of Education) The University of South Carolina 1994. My disciplinary interests are in biblical studies, women's studies, and philosophies and practices of religious education. In higher education, I am interested in issues related to student success and retention, especially in the first year of college.
 

Clarence Betleyoun
Clarence Betleyoun is an internationally known artist who has taught at a number of colleges and conducted workshops worldwide. He has worked in graphic arts for several years where he then turned to teaching and painting full time.
 

Teresa Smotherman, Ph.D.
Dr. Teresa Smotherman is an Associate Professor of Modern Foreign Languages; B.A. (Spanish) from Valdosta State College in 1973; an M.A. (Spanish) from the University of Georgia in 1983; and a Ph.D. (Romance Languages) from the University of Georgia in 1996. Her research interests include both contemporary Latin American literature, specifically in the area of Liberation Theology, and Peninsular Spanish poetry, the generation of 1950. She also is interested in second language acquisition and the teaching of applied linguistics.
 

Ed Grisamore
Ed Grisamore is an American journalist who has been a local news columnist for The Telegraph in Macon, Georgia since 1996. He was the recipient of the 2010 Will Rogers Humanitarian Award, presented by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Grisamore has written nine books, including collections of his columns, a history of the minor league hockey team "Macon Whoopees", and biographies of football coach Billy Henderson, humorist and television personality Durwood "Mr. Doubletalk" Fincher, and a history of Macon's Nu-Way Weiners, the second-oldest hot dog stand in America. He teachers journalism at Stratford Academy.
 

Rabbi Larry Schlesinger
Rabbi Larry Schlesinger received his BA in Religion from the George Washington University in 1973, his MA in Hebrew Literature in 1976, Rabbinic Ordination in 1978, and his degree of Doctor of Divinity in 2003 from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. Rabbi Schlesinger has served as a visiting professor of Biblical Hebrew at LaGrange College, and as a visiting professor of Jewish History at Syracuse University. He is Rabbi emeritus of Temple Beth Israel in downtown Macon, former President Pro Tempore of the Macon City Council, and currently is a Macon/Bibb County Commissioner.
 

Chuck Rawls
Chuck Rawls is a retired Air Force officer who served for 24 years with assignments throughout the U.S. and Europe. He is a retired public school teacher who taught Georgia History for 14 years in Bibb and Houston County public school systems.
 

Jim Crisp, M.F.A.
Jim Crisp, Founding Artists Director of Theatre Macon, served as Artistic Director until his retirement in 2018. Highly respected, he received the 2018 Governor's Award for the Arts and Humanities.
 

Barbara Donovan, Ph.D.
Dr. Barbara Donovan is a Professor of Political Science and Dupont Guerry Chair of History and Economics; and Program Director of International Relations. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Georgetown University. She teaches courses in comparative and international politics. Her areas of specialization are German and European politics, democratization, regional integration, and immigration. Recently, she has taught courses for WALL on the European Union.
 

Dianne Kent
Dianne Kent has taught Ballroom and Line Dance in the Macon area for more than 18 years. Her class focuses on learning simple steps and keeping the class fun for all.
 

Kenneth Hammond, Ph.D.
Ken Hammond is a retired Mercer University English professor with an interest in poetry of the 19th and 20th century.
 

Douglas Steeples, Ph.D.
Dr. Steeples holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and has 40 years of teaching experience.
 

Lisa Pang (Gratigny)
Lisa Pang became a certified Tai Chi instructor in 2007 and has taught regularly at a number of venues including the Mathews Athletic Center at Wesleyan College and Taekwondo-on-the-Go.
 

Molly Martin
Molly Martin holds an M.A., RMT, and has studied, taught, and loved the practice of Yoga for many years. She is a neurodevelopment therapist and educator, an ordained minister and an adjunct professor at Wesleyan College.
 

Jim David
Jim David has been a Ranger with the National Park Service for over 40 years and Superintendent of Ocmulgee National Monument since 1997.
 

Chenny Gan, D.M.A
Dr. Chenny Gan is an Assistant Professor of Music. B.A. (Music and Studio Art) Wesleyan College 2002; M.M. (Music) UNC-Greensboro; Doctorate of Musical Arts (Piano Performance) University of Southern California. Dr. Gan actively performs and teaches on three continents, with assignments that have taken her to settings as diverse as the inner city neighborhoods of Los Angeles to Carnegie Hall and the Mozarteum to guest lecturer positions at three universities in South China. As a scholar, she has presented and published research for the College Music Society, Society for Ethnomusicology, the Harvard East Asian Studies Conference, and others. She often performs with orchestras and renowned jazz musicians and has recorded four CDs.
 

Marty Willett
Marty Willett has been dedicated to historic preservation and interpretation developing diverse sites such as Jarrell Plantation, Georgia Music Hall of Fame, and Fort Hawkins. Since 1980, he has researched and portrayed Macon's native son Sidney Lanier revealing more of his life than is found in most history books.
 

Steve Nofs
Steve Nofs is the owner of Shamrock Apiaries and is a University of Georgia Master Beekeeper and President of the Heart of Georgia Beekeepers Association. He also sells at the Wesleyan Market!
 

Tanner Coleman
Tanner Coleman is a resident artist at Cherokee Brick Company and has created public architectural ceramic artworks for six years. He has a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Georgia.
 

Jan Lewis, Ph.D.
Dr. Jan Lewis, now retired, was the Chair of theatre at Wesleyan College and has taught Shakespeare for many years. Dr. Lewis joined the Wesleyan Theatre program in the fall of 2006 as a scholar, teacher, author and director. Prior to coming to Wesleyan she was a professional director, producer, playwright and actor for 20 years in theaters in and around Los Angeles.
 

Erin Kitchens
Erin Kitchens has 29 years of interpreting in the educational field, is a nationally certified Sign Language Interpreter and is listed on the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).
 

Alice Bailey
Alice Bailey has worked in mass communications since 1957. She personally knew many of the 1950/1960's Macon Black musicians and promoters. She attended school with Otis Redding, knew James Brown and Little Richard from the community and as a result of her talk show "The Party Doll".
 

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones has taught film studies for six years at the college level. He has programmed, introduced and led question and answer sessions for several years at a small town art cinema and has worked for the Sundance Film Festival for over fifteen years.
 

Regina Oost, Ph.D.
Dr. Regina Oost earned her Ph.D. in 18th & 19th century British Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Utah. She has taught English at Wesleyan College since 1991, including classes on Austen, women’s writing, and 19th century British Literature and Culture.
 

Isadora Jiang
Dr. Xiaoping (Isadora) Jiang has a long record of teaching Chinese culture and language in Japan, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S.A. where she worked as a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence for the 2011 – 2012 academic year. In addition to her overseas teaching experience, she also has many years of experience in teaching Chinese to international residents, including business executives and scholars in China.
 

Mary Wilder, Ph.D.
Dr. Mary Wilder was Chair of the English Department and a teacher for 50 years at Mercer University. Her major emphasis is southern literature and the short stories of Flannery O’Connor.
 

Rabbi Damian Eisner
Rabbi Damian Eisner is a Messianic Jewish Rabbi currently pursuing a Masters of Judaic Studies. He has led a Messianic congregation for the last 5 years and has been actively involved in the Messianic community for the last 10 years. Having been raised in a traditional Jewish home, then spending 10 years attending churches before returning to the Messianic synagogue, he is about to offer members the unique perspective of both sides of the Judeo-Christian “equation.”
 

Rabbi Aaron Rubinstein
Rabbi Aaron Rubinstein is also a musician, an avid listener and a collector of music as well as a dedicated reader of literature. Music is a powerful portal for cultural exploration and class members will experience various types of Jewish music within a larger cultural context.
 

Nadine Cater, B.S.
Nadine Cater holds a BS in food and nutrition. She is currently teaching nutrition at Helms College.
 

Parrish Jenkins
Parrish Jenkins is a licensed financial planner with Edward Jones. She is a graduate of Wesleyan College and also holds Georgia Insurance licenses for Life and Variable Products. Parrish is licensed for Series 7 and 66 for securities.
 

Imam Adam Fofana
Imam Adam Fofana is the spiritual leader and a teacher at the Islamic Center of Middle Georgia. He was born into the religion of Islam in Guinea and attended primary, secondary, and high school in Guinea. By the age of 14, he had memorized the entire Qur’an thus earning the title of Hafiz, one who can recite the Qur’an by memory. He won the national championship in Qur’an recitation in 1992 in Guinea. From 1994-1997, he attended the University of Madinah, Saudi Arabia, majoring in Qur’an and Religious Studies. He was appointed Imam of the University Mosque of Madinah. While serving in that capacity he traveled to many countries to lead prayers and religious services. He earned Master degrees in Islamic Revealed knowledge and Heritage from International Islamic University of Malaysia in 2002.
 

Julie Davey, N.P.
Julie Davey is a Nurse Practitioner and a wellness advocate and has taught courses on the use of essential oils for more than two years.
 

Ernst Takacs
Ernst Takacs was born and raised in Bavaria and recently moved to Macon where he surprisingly finds a lot of similarities to his beloved native Bavaria.
 

Richard Davies, Ph.D.
Dr. Davies is a retired United Methodist minister who holds a Ph.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. He has traveled extensively in Greece and Italy and has an interest in classic mythology.
 

Emily Woodyard, M.B.A.
Emily Woodward has an MBA from the University of Southern Mississippi and worked as a researcher for the University. She has completed certification for Genealogy through the Daughters of the American Revolution.
 

Teresa Kochera, DNP
Teresa Kochera is the Associate Professor of Nursing at Wesleyan College and has a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) from Georgia Health Sciences University. She holds clinical certifications in Adult Progressive Care (PCCN) and Clinical Nurse Leadership (CNL).
 

Lisa Sloben
Lisa Sloben, Curator of Collections at wesleyan College, is a graduate of Fashion Institute of Technology and Wesleyan College (Art History).
 

Katherine Walden
Katherine Walden has 40 years of interior design experience, along with more than 30 years of freelance writing skills. She returned to school to pursue her interior design career and first began her teaching experience at Wurzburg, Germany. She taught at Macon State College and Central Georgia Technical College, while also writing for Macon Magazine, Address Macon, and Georgia Family Magazine. She currently writes weekly events columns for The Telegraph and a monthly column for The Telegraph on interior design.
 

Jeff Cox
Jeff Cox is the Chief Meteorologist at WGXA-TV in Macon.
 

Johnathon Hardwell-Dye
Jonathan Harwell-Dye is the director of creative placemaking at Macon Arts Alliance where he leads the arts-based community development initiatives in Mill Hill: East Macon Arts Village. He is a member of the One Macon! Economic Development Implementation Committee and on the board of the Middle Georgia State University Alumni Association. He’s a graduate of Leadership Macon, the Middle Georgia Regional Leadership Champions, and GeorgiaForward’s Young Gamechangers.
 

Normal Tyrus Ivey, D.D.S
Dr. Tye Ivey is a dentist by profession and an accomplished photographer by avocation.
 

Trip Shinn, Ph.D.
Dr. Trip Shinn is a Professor of Economics and Associate Director of the Center for Economic Analysis at Middle Georgia State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of South Carolina and has additional degrees in History and Philosophy.
 

Chester Fontenot, Ph.D.
Chester Fontenot is the Baptist Professor of English and Director of the Africana Studies at Mercer University. He has published 8 books, over 70 articles, and was the founding chair of the Black Literature and Cultural Studies Division of the Modern Language Association. He is also a founding editor of Black American Literature and Culture.
 


 

Susan Welsh
Susan Welsh is the Executive Director of the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon as well as an artist in her own right.
 

Nicholas Steneck, Ph.D.
Dr. Nick Steneck is Associate Professor of History, Department of History and Political Science and Co-Director of Confucius Institute, Wesleyan College.
 

Lody Odeh, Ph.D.
Lody Odeh did doctoral course work in International Affairs from the University of Virginia. With a Masters degree in International Trade from George Mason University, and an undergraduate degree in Economics and Business Administration from the American University in Cairo. Teaching university level courses in Economics, Management, and Globalization.
 

Mary Keating, Ed.D.
Mary Keating holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Music (Voice) from Indiana University, a master’s degree in music from the University of Florida, and specialist and doctorate degrees in education, also from the University of Florida. She has been a finalist in the Metropolitan Opera auditions and for several years sang in the repertoire company of the Frankfurt (Germany) Opera. She taught music for many years and was also a successful grant writer and college fund raiser. Now retired, she lives in Dublin, teaches music appreciation at GMC’s new Dublin campus, and coordinates the opera chats that precede every broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera in HD at the Douglass Theater.
 

Gul Celkan, Ph.D.
Dr. Gul Celkan has a BA, MA and PhD in English Language and Literature and a minor in History from the University of Ankara, College of Languages, History and Geography. She has taught “History of Turkey and the Turkish Reforms” to foreign students enrolled at the University, and presently teaches at Middle Georgia State University.
 

Paul Fisher
Mr. Paul Fisher is the Curator of Science at the Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences, following a twenty year career as an Aerospace and Electrical Engineer.
 

Doug Skelton, M.D.
Dr. Doug Skelton, Dean Emeritus of Mercer University School of Medicine, received his MD from Emory, completed psychiatric training at Columbia, followed by a two-year assignment to federal prisons in Oklahoma and West Virginia where he examined many federal prisoners for competency to stand trial and criminal responsibility. He later served as Emory's service chief for the psychiatry service at Grady Memorial Hospital.
 

Michael McGhee, D.M.
Dr. Michael McGhee is Associate Professor of Music at Wesleyan College where he teaches music history, music theory and literature, organ and harpsichord. He performs frequently and has won numerous organ competitions.
 

Deidre Donmoyer, Ph.D.
Dr. Deidre Donmoyer is Professor of Communication and Director of Woman’s Studies at Wesleyan College.
 

Christopher Blake, Ph.D.
Dr. Christopher Blake, who was born, raised and educated in England, is President of Middle Georgia State University.
 

Rabbi Aaron Sataloff
Rabbi Aaron Sataloff has been the Rabbi at Temple Beth Israel since 2017. His undergraduate degree was in Judaic Studies. He earned his M.A in Jewish Literacy from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion where he also received his Rabbinic Ordination. Rabbi Sataloff also holds an M.A in Jewish Nonprofit Management.
 

Shelly Martin, Ph.D.
Dr. Shelly Martin is professor of Psychology at Wesleyan College as well as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with many years of clinical experience. She is also an avid and experienced long distance backpacker who completed the northbound hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2018. She earned her doctorate in Psychology at the University of Virginia.
 

Richard Ackerman, M.D.
Dr. Ackermann received his Bachelor of Science from Furman University and his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Naval Hospital, Charleston, SC. He is board certified in family medicine and also certified in geriatrics and in hospice/palliative medicine. Dr. Ackermann is the Hospice/Palliative Medicine Fellowship Director. His special interests are geriatrics and end of life care. "I came to Macon in 1991, attracted by Mercer's unique method of teaching medicine. I've been on the family medicine residency faculty for 22 years - I was the residency director for 5 years. My clinical passion is caring for frail older adults, particularly those living in nursing homes and those facing end-of life decisions."
 

Johnny Mack Nickles
Johnny Mack Nickles, captivated by American history since childhood, has been an avid collector of native American artifacts and War between the States collectables for more than fifty years. He has guest lectured at Middle Georgia State University, to various Confederate and historical groups as well as to school children in Bibb and Jones Counties and Clinton, Georgia.
 

James R Bodell
James Bodell's sculptures range from small indoor designs to a seven foot garden portal commissioned in Oregon, a thirty-five foot metal sculpture at Mercer Medicine and large pieces at Wesleyan College and Tattnall Square Park. Mr. Bodell began his career in Oregon where he managed traveling art exhibits, artists in residence and work study programs. He then became the Visual Arts Coordinator for the Arizona Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Next, as Archeological Researcher/Surveyer for University of Washington, Mr. Bodell surveyed and excavated prehistoric Native American habitation sites along the Columbia River. From 2005-2007, he served as Exhibition Preparator for the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon, GA.
 


 

Matthew R. Martin, Ph.D.
Dr. Matthew Martin is Assistant Provost, Knox Professor of Humanities, Professor of English at Wesleyan College. B.A. (English) Furman University 1985; M.A (English) Oxford University 1987; PhD. (English) University of Virginia 1994. His professional interests include creative writing, Southern and African-American literature.
 

Amber Erickson, M.P.H.
Amber Erickson received her Masters in Public Health Epidemiology from Georgia Southern University in 2008. Currently she is the director of Epidemiology and Assessment for the North Central Health District, Georgia Department of Public Health. She has led public health responses for several outbreaks throughout her tenure as an epidemiologist, including emerging threats such as 2009's H1N1 Influenza Pandemic, 2014's Ebola, 2016's Zika Virus, and the 2017 opioid overdose cluster in Middle Georggia.
 

Nick Hazleton
 

Carole Seegert, Ph.D
 

Dr. James Black
Dr. James Black, who earned his master's degree in Journalism Management and doctorate in Public Communications, is the Schumann Endowed Chair Professor in Writing for the Media at Mercer University. Dr. Black has the distinction of having created the first student run college newspaper (Mercer Cluster) and American-run student radio program in China.
 

Max Wood
 

Brian Whitley
Brian Whitley is co-owner and head brewer at Piedmont Kitchen and Brewery, located in downtown Macon.
 

Sloan Oliver
 

Confucius Institute at Wesleyan College
 

Mercer Medical School Faculty