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Honors College Faculty and Staff

Dean's Office

Rebecca A. Pyles, Ph.D., Dean

Dean-Elect Rebecca PylesAs the child of an Air Force officer, Rebecca Pyles lived and attended school in England and six states in the USA. Following her father's retirement, her parents settled in Missouri and she completed her Bachelor's of Science in Biology from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Dr. Pyles enrolled in graduate school at The University of Kansas, where she completed M.S., M.Ph., and Ph.D. degrees, concentrating in the areas of systematics and ecology in the biological sciences. After receiving her Ph.D. in 1988, she taught at the University of Kansas and the University of Tulsa.

In 1991, Dr. Pyles joined the faculty of Biological Sciences at East Tennessee State University as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1997. Her research in amphibian biology has attracted numerous undergraduate and graduate students, some of whom now serve as faculty at other universities.

From 1998 to 2002, Dr. Pyles served as the first full-time Director of University Honors Programs at ETSU. In 2002, she accepted the position as Interim Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and in 2004, became the university's first Director of Undergraduate Research. Dr. Pyles continues to teach undergraduate courses in the University Honors Scholars program and graduate courses in the Department of Biological Sciences. She is married to James R. Stewart, Senior Research Scientist in Biological Sciences at ETSU, and lives in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

"Becoming Dean of ETSU's new Honors College is a challenge I look forward to with great excitement and enthusiasm. I can't think of a more exciting opportunity than to serve a college dedicated to helping students from all areas of the university to set high academic goals and become more deeply involved in their studies. The Honors College will join with our many prestigious academic colleges and departments to promote student success in the outstanding degree programs we have available at ETSU. I look forward to working with our exceptional faculty, staff, and students to develop and support opportunities for students to achieve and excel."

Honors College

Box 70589
Johnson City, TN 37614
Phone: (423) 439-6077
Fax (423) 439-6080
email: pylesr@etsu.edu

University & Midway Scholars Honors Programs

Joy Wachs, Ph.D., RN, FAAOHN, Director,
University and Midway Honors Scholars Programs

Joy Wachs, a third generation nurse,  grew up in rural Wisconsin, earning her BSN from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, MS in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and PhD in nursing science from the University of Illinois-Chicago.  She held faculty positions at Blackhawk Technical Institute (Beloit, WI), University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, University of Tennessee-Memphis and Nichols State University (Thibodeaux, LA).  In 1993, she accepted a position as Associate Professor in the College of Nursing at ETSU and moved to Mountain City as a condition of employment.  For the first 12 years of her appointment she taught in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation-funded Community Partnerships program.  In 1997, she was selected by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to the National Leadership Program and traveled the world for three years studying youth leadership and volunteerism.  In 1999, she was promoted to full professor in the College of Nursing and in 2000 she was awarded both the ETSU Distinguished Faculty Award for Service and the UWEC Alumni Association President’s Award.   

Previous to her appointment in the Honors College, Dr. Wachs was Coordinator of the Honors-in-Discipline Program in the College of Nursing as well as the Office of Continuing Nursing Education.  She has chaired numerous dissertation and thesis committees, is President of Epsilon Sigma Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, nursing’s honor society, is editor of Workplace Health & Safety, and studies ways to enhance health care quality and reduce error.  Dr. Wachs is married to Dr. Peter Wachs, Associate Director for Assessment at Appalachian State University and they have two daughters, Alison Knight, an industrial engineer at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and Meredith Stevans, a 7th grade teacher at Columbia Heights Educational Campus in Washington, D.C.

University & Midway Honors Scholars Programs
Honors House
Box 70294
Ada Earnest House
Johnson City, TN 37614
Phone: (423) 439-7881
Fax (423) 439-7880
email: wachs@etsu.edu

University and Midway Scholars Honors Programs

Judith Harrell, Information Research Technician

Judy Harrell has been with ETSU since 1986.  She and her husband enjoy Nascar racing and traveling to the Amish country.  They have two sons, Jeff and Scotty, and two  grandchildren, Makenna and Nolan.

University & Midway Honors Scholars Programs
Honors House
Box 70294
Ada Earnest House
Johnson City, TN 37614
Phone: (423) 439-7881
Fax (423) 439-7880
email: harrellj@etsu.edu

University & Midway Scholars Honors Programs

Secretary

University Honors Programs
Honors House
Box 70294
Ada Earnest House
Johnson City, TN 37614
Phone: (423) 439-7886
Fax (423) 439-7880
email:

Honors-in-Discipline Programs

Karen Kornweibel, Ph.D., Director, Honors-in-Discipline Programs

Karen Ruth Kornweibel was born in Sacramento, California where she grew up loving school, listening to cheesy 80s pop music, doing lots of reading, and playing soccer. After high school she earned her BA in General Literature at the University of California, San Diego in 1994.  At that point the West Coast phase of her life ended; she spent the next six years at The University of Texas at Austin where she earned an MA and a PhD in Comparative Literature with concentrations in African American Literature, Latin American Literature, and 19th Century Russian prose.  

After completing her PhD, Dr. Kornweibel was an Assistant Professor of English for four years at Stephen F. Austin State University. She then moved to Ohio University as an Assistant Professor in the African American Studies Department where she spent three wonderful and productive years.  

Dr. Kornweibel came to ETSU in 2007. Happy to be a part of the new Department of Literature and Language, she regularly teaches survey courses on American literature, African American literature, and European literature, and has offered topics courses on Caribbean literature, the African American Slave Narrative, and Magical Realism. Her two most recent publications are an article are on the play Venus by contemporary African American playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and another article on the Cuban testimonial novel Reyita by Daisy Rubiera Castillo Bueno. Dr. Kornweibel served for two years as the coordinator of the English Honors-in-Discipline program before taking on the position of Director of Honors-in-Discipline programs in The Honors College.  

In addition to having presented papers at various regional and national conferences in the United States, Dr. Kornweibel has studied, presented papers, and/or done research in Mexico, Russia, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Barbados. She lives in Jonesborough, Tennessee, with her husband, Daniel, and son, Benjamin. She loves to read, cook, travel, and wander around the beautiful forests and mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina backpacking, camping, and fly fishing.

201 Yoakley Hall
Johnson City, TN 37614
Phone: (423) 439-7506
Fax (423) 439-6080
email: kornweib@etsu.edu

Honors-in-Discipline and Fine and Performing Arts Scholars Program

Eva S. Lynch, Secretary

Eva S. Lynch and her husband, Frank, moved to Johnson City, TN from Hackensack, NJ (Frank was born and raised in Kingsport, TN and is a retire machinist); she has been with ETSU and the Honors College since October 2007.

Eva was born in Governor's Island, NY (a former Army base off the island of Manhattan, NY) and has lived in New York, Maine, Dominican Republic, and New Jersey.  Her parents are both from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, but became U.S. citizens in the late 1950's (father served in the United States Army, became a Presbyterian minister, and later was head chaplain at Mid-State Correctional Facility in Fort Dix, NJ; mother served as Moderator for the Synod of the Northeast for The Presbytery, as well as, Enabler for the Hispanic Churches in the Presbytery).

Eva has two sisters, who live in Maryland and New Jersey, respectively.  She has a son who is currently serving in the United States Navy (as a petty officer 3rd class in the aviation division) and a step-daughter, who graduated from Montclair State University, New Jersey majoring in secondary education and is working for a state-funded educational organization.

Mrs. Lynch has served as a deacon, choir member and Sunday school teacher (2nd-4th grade) at her home church in New Jersey.  In her spare time, she enjoys bowling (averages 162), cooking and baking, arts and crafts, reading and going to the movies (suspense and mysteries are her fav).

Honors-in-Discipline Programs and Fine and Performing Arts Scholars Programs
206 Yoakley Hall
Johnson City, TN 37614
Phone: (423) 439-7507
Fax (423) 439-6080
email: lynche@etsu.edu

Fine and Performing Arts Scholars Program

Scott Contreras-Koterbay, DirectorScott Koterbay

Scott Contreras-Koterbay has been at ETSU since 1998, the same year that he received his doctorate from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He has lived in many countries and travelled to even more (about 34, some of which don't exist anymore), published articles on aesthetics, contemporary art, and written reviews of artists' exhibitions, and he published his book "A Kierkegaardian Description of the Individual" in 2004, one of the very few English language books describing art and its role in Soren Kierkegaard's philosophy.

At ETSU, Scott teaches in the Department of Art & Design- modern and contemporary art as well as art historiography- and the Department of Philosophy-aesthetics and ethics. He is married to Karlota Isla Contreras-Koterbay, who is the Gallery Director of the Slocumb Galleries at ETSU and originally from the Philippines. On top of all that, he reads, cooks Indian food (and is learning to cook Filipino food), and plays with his dog Santi when he's not trying to figure "what the heck is art?", the title of one of his next books.   Scott Contreras-Koterbay, Ph.D. Department of Art & Design/Department of Philosophy East Tennessee State University

Fine & Performing Arts Scholars Program
P.O. Box 70708, 207 Yoakley Hall
Johnson City, TN 37614
Phone: (423) 502-3734
Fax (423) 439-6080
email: koterbay@etsu.edu

Fine and Performing Arts Scholars Program

Patrick Cronin, Artist in Residence

Pat CroninPatrick Cronin is former holder of The Basler Chair, the first holder of the Permanent Artist in Residence position at East Tennessee State University, and the first director of the Arts Scholars Program.  As a professional actor, member of Screen Actors Guild, Actors Equity Association, and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Mr. Cronin has appeared in over 150 professional plays and 200 film and TV shows

He appeared as a regular cast member in 11 series, including Seinfeld, Home Improvement, Hill Street Blues, Alice, Knot's Landing, Family Matters and in the films, Splash, Rampage and Rocky V.  

Mr. Cronin received his bachelor of arts degree from La Salle University and his master's in directing from Temple University, where he taught for five years. He is the father of ETSU graduates James and Charlie Cronin and is married to Dr. Amber Kinser, ETSU's Director of Women's Studies.

"Expanding the definition of Honors, ETSU has created a division of the Honors College that uniquely honors the arts and the contributions that art and artists make to the city, the region and the world. ETSU has created a place in which gifted women and men can come together to create their art in a college that recognizes the place that the arts have always held in human culture.  The Arts Scholars Program affords singularly gifted women and men the opportunity to be part of a creative community, while at the same time placing their artistic achievements in an Honors College context."

Fine & Performing Arts Scholars Program
P.O. Box 70667
Johnson City, TN 37614
Phone: (423) 439-6513
email: croninp@etsu.edu

International Programs and Services

Maria Costa, Director

Maria CostaMaria Costa was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil and came to the United States in the mid 1980s as an international student. She attended ETSU, where she received her Bachelor', Master's, and EdD degrees. In 1992, she joined the office of International Programs as the International Student and Study Abroad Advisor and in 2005 became Director.   She lives in Erwin with her husband, John, and son, Daniel.   

"As someone deeply transformed by the experience of studying abroad, I am committed to the support and development of all areas related to international education at ETSU.  As we join the newly created Honors College, I look forward to working with colleagues who believe that international education opportunities must reach all qualified ETSU students, and that it is a pivotal component of educating students in a diverse world.  Joining the college will not only give our office a home for the first time in 20 years, it also will give us allies in the pursuit of our vision of internationalizing the campus and the curriculum."

International Programs and Services
P.O. Box 70668
Johnson City, TN 37614-0720
Phone: (423) 439-7737
Fax (423) 439-7131
email: costa@etsu.edu

International Programs and Services

RJ Powell, Advisor

RJ began his career at East Tennessee State University in 2009 in the College of Nursing as an academic advisor to Pre-Nursing students. He joined the Honors College staff in June 2011 as the International Student Advisor in International Programs and Services. RJ began his international experience while in high school, studying abroad in Germany. While working on his B.A. in Modern Foreign Languages at James Madison University, he had the opportunity to travel to Latin America, India and South Korea. RJ moved to Johnson City in 2003 to attend Emmanuel Christian Seminary for a M.Div. in Church History. He has since traveled to the Middle East twice on an archeological tour and to do volunteer work.

RJ has a passion for international and multi-cultural experience, and is grateful to work in an environment that encourages others to explore their global neighborhood.

International Programs and Services
P.O. Box 70668
Johnson City, TN 37614-0720
Phone: (423) 439-7737
Fax (423) 439-7131
email:  powellrj@etsu.edu

International Programs and Services

Kelly Hill, Study Abroad Advisor

Kelly Hill joined the staff of East Tennessee State University after spending two years in Sydney, Australia working on her Master's Degree and acting as the Coordinator in Australia for the Walt Disney International Program. Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Kelly graduated with a BA in Management from Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Through her undergraduate studies at Hope College Kelly participated in a summer study abroad program in Vienna, Austria, another summer study abroad in London, England, and finally a study abroad semester in Wollongong, Australia. Her positive experience in Australia led her to return to Australia to receive her MA in Commerce and Economics at the University of New South Wales.  

Kelly's favorite hobby is traveling internationally and learning about other cultures. While traveling she loves to take photos of her travels and then put them in scrapbooks. Kelly is an avid tennis fan and also enjoys watching soccer and cheering on the University of Michigan football team. She looks forward to helping ETSU students experience the positive life changing impact of studying abroad.

International Programs and Services
P.O. Box 70668
Johnson City, TN 37614-0720
Phone: (423) 439-7737
Fax (423) 439-7131
email: hillkl@etsu.edu

International Programs and Services

Janice Howell, Executive Aide

Janice Whitaker Howell is from Johnson City and has been employed by ETSU since 1992. She is the Executive Aide for International Programs and Services and is the support for the Director and Study Abroad Advisor. She attributes her many years in the same department to the wonderful work environment, the very knowledgeable and experienced team in International Programs, and getting to meet and work with so many interesting international students from all over the world. 'I have a job I love and am very fortunate to be part of International Programs, the Honors College, and ETSU.' Her favorite idiom is 'Everyone smiles in the same language!'  She has two wonderful children and two awesome grandchildren.

International Programs and Services
P.O. Box 70668
Johnson City, TN 37614-0720
Phone: (423) 439-7737
Fax (423) 439-7131
email: howellj@etsu.edu

International Programs and Services

Erin Garner, Secretary

Originally from Newport, Tennessee, Erin moved to Johnson City in 2004 to attend ETSU and graduated in May 2007 with a double major in Sociology and Spanish.  Regarding continued education, she plans to pursue a Masters of Education with a concentration in English as a Second Language.  Eventually, she hopes to teach abroad and be instrumental in helping with community development in less developed countries.

Erin loves to cook, work in the garden and make fruit jams.  She also enjoys playing golf, watching UT football and spending time with friends and family.

International Programs and Services
P.O. Box 70668
Johnson City, TN 37614-0720
Phone: (423) 439-7737
Fax (423) 439-7131
email: garnerem@etsu.edu

Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities

Frosty Levy, Ph.D., Director

After graduating with a Ph.D. in genetics and botany, accepted position as faculty member in ETSU' Department of Biological Sciences.  For many years his research emphasized the genetic basis of sterility in plant hybrids.  Frosty teaches courses at ETSU in population genetics, genetics, conservation and plant taxonomy.  With Dr. Tim McDowell, he co-founded the ETSU Arboretum.  Approximately five years ago, Frosty began a research collaboration with infectious diseases specialists at the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center and James H. Quillen College of Medicine where they have been studying the genetics and epidemiology of antibiotic resistance. 

Frosty enjoys hiking anywhere, fishing the small mountain streams, and growing trees and vegetables.

Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities
P.O. Box 70703
Johnson City, TN 37614
Phone: (423) 439-6926
Fax (423) 439-6080
email: levyf@etsu.edu

Dean's Office

Daniel Hedden, Curriculum Coordinator

Daniel has been at ETSU since 2007 when he began teaching in the Department of Philosophy and Humanities. He joined the Honors College in 2012 where he teaches Foundations of Research. Originally from Alabama, Daniel graduated from Auburn University with a BA in Philosophy and English. He received his MA in philosophy from the University of Virginia and is currently ABD there. He is working to finish his dissertation which focuses on John Stuart Mill’s theory of rights. Daniel’s primary philosophical interests are in moral and political philosophy, though he is happy to be considered a generalist as his interests extend into many other areas.

Daniel lives in Asheville with his wife and three American Eskimo dogs (along with a revolving door of rescue and foster dogs). He spends a lot of time in the garden, enjoys cooking vegetarian food and spends way too much time obsessing over his fantasy football and baseball teams.

 

Honors College

Box 70589
Johnson City, TN 37614
Phone: (423) 439-6088
Fax (423) 439-6080
email:  hedden@etsu.edu

Dean's Office

Project Manager

Honors College
Box 70589
Johnson City, TN 37614
Phone: (423) 439-6075
Fax (423) 439-6080
email:

Dean's Office

Donna Williams, C.P.S., Office Coordinator

Donna Williams began her employment with ETSU in 1995 and joined the Honors College at its inception July 1, 2005. 

Donna is an avid sports fan and enjoys traveling.  She is also an enthusiastic music fan of all genres, particularly Celtic, bluegrass, and country music. 

She has one son, Seth, and two grandchildren, Max and Wyatt.

Honors College
Box 70589
Johnson City, TN 37614
Phone: (423) 439-6076
Fax (423) 439-6080
email: williadj@etsu.edu

Dean's Office

Susan Kellogg, Alumni Development Manager 

Susan Kellogg was born in Fargo, North Dakota and attended Utah State University. She worked as an in-house graphic designer for engineering firms in Connecticut, Utah, and Idaho, prior to moving back to North Dakota to work with the NDSU Development Foundation. Another move took her to Oregon where she worked as creative director, managing university publications and marketing efforts for the Oregon Tech Alumni Association and Development Foundation. She has won numerous design awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. She moved to Johnson City in 2009 and received her B.S. degree from ETSU with minors in Art and Advertising.

Spending time outdoors, Susan enjoys gardening, hiking, camping, and any activity where water is involved. She is NAUI certified and loves to travel and explore new places on land and underwater. Her spare time is devoted to reading, painting and ceramics. Susan and her husband live in Johnson City and have two sons, Keith and Vance along with two Border Collies, Shelby and Maud.

"I welcome the opportunity to be able to make connections and build strong relationships with our ETSU Honors College students and alumni. They are an extraordinary group who are a unique asset for the university, for our community, and for the world as they transfer their knowledge and innovations beyond our campus. What a pleasure it will be to watch our students on campus today become our alumni of tomorrow; ambassadors and future volunteers, mentors, board members and, ultimately, donors willing to share their expertise, experience and time to enhance the future of ETSU."

Honors College
Box 70589
Johnson City, TN 37614
Phone: (423) 439-6074
Fax (423) 439-6080
email: kelloggs@etsu.edu

USPS Mailing Address:
The Honors College at
East Tennessee State University
PO Box 70589
Johnson City, TN 37614-1708

Phone: 423.439.6076
Fax: 423.439.6080
email:  Honors College

Street Addresses of The Honors College offices:
  Administration: Yoakley Hall, Room 129
161 S. Dossett Drive
University & Midway Scholars: Ada Earnest House
310 S. Dossett Drive
Honors-in-Discipline Programs: Yoakley Hall, Room 206
161 S. Dossett Drive
Fine & Performing Art Scholars: Yoakley Hall, Room 206
161 S. Dossett Drive
Undergraduate Research: Yoakley Hall, Room 129
161 S. Dossett Drive
International Programs & Services: Yoakley Hall, Room 122
161 S. Dossett Drive