Meet Liberal Arts Faculty

Program Chair & Directors

Chair of the School of Liberal Arts
Professor of History

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Patricia DillonDr. Pattie Dillon serves as the chair of Liberal Studies and associate professor of History, having completed her BS in sociology at the University of Florida, her MA in history at the University of Central Florida, and her PhD in history at Mississippi State University (Starkville). Her doctoral research focused on the connections between race, gender, and religion during the Civil War and Reconstruction era. Dr. Dillon teaches courses on civil war and reconstruction, Jim Crow, gender history, and U.S. history since 1945. Within these courses, students use primary sources to explore the dramatic events, exciting personalities, and complex underlying forces that create historical narratives. Students are also encouraged to become their own historians by collecting and presenting oral interviews.

Program Director of African American Studies
Associate Professor of African American Studies and History

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Deonte HollowellDr. Deonte Hollowell is a native of Hopkinsville, Ky., and a graduate of University of Louisville (Pan African Studies) and Temple University (African American Studies). Hollowell’s special area of study is the relationship between African Americans and police. Hollowell is also on the Board of Directors for 2Not1, an organization that supports fathers and families, as well as The West Louisville Math and Science Project. He also works with the Pivot to Peace group, extending resources to victims of violence. Hollowell also currently serves as the Lead facilitator for the Rites of Passage Brotherhood which introduces young boys to conflict resolution tactics and traditional African method of being.

Program Director of BFA in Creative Writing
Assistant Professor of Creative Writing

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Charles MaynardThe courses Mr. Maynard teaches focus on introducing students to the writing process while creating a foundation for academic writing and understanding that feedback and revision are necessary components of building a writing life. The students he teaches leave his classes with a feeling of empowerment, confidence, and understanding that they can become great writers. Mr. Maynard also serves as the Director of Spalding University’s Writing Center which allows him to pursue his scholarly interests in writing center theory and best practices. Maynard is a fiction writer and game designer. His upcoming novel, The Way Things End, is to be published by Tartarus Press in England in 2019.

Director of Honors Program
Professor of Religious Studies

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Dorina Miller ParmenterDorina Miller Parmenter teaches a wide variety of courses in Religious Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies. Her teaching specialties include the history of Christianity, religion and material culture, and religion in the United States. In addition to her role as a Professor of Religious Studies she is the founding Director of Spalding’s Honors Scholar Program. Prior to coming to Spalding University, Dr. Parmenter was the co-founder of the Iconic Books Project at Syracuse University, which is now the Society for Comparative Research on Iconic and Performative Texts (SCRIPT). She is Vice President this international research group and has numerous publications and presentations on material uses of the Christian Bible. Dr. Parmenter received the Spalding University Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Faculty in 2015 and the Spalding Writing-to-Learn Award for Innovative Teaching in 2020. Her degrees include a Ph.D., M. Phil., and M.A. in Religion from Syracuse University, an M.A. in Studio Art from Ball State University, and a B.A. with a major in Art and minor in Religion from Central College.


Assistant Professor of Communication
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Sarah BeachSarah Beach teaches interpersonal communication, public speaking, business and professional communication, leadership communication, and health communication, among others. She is a rhetorical scholar with an interest in the circulation of rhetoric, especially in digital spaces. In particular, she focuses on ambient rhetoric and internet communication, and how memetic culture online participates in and reinforces offline “worlding” of received knowledge(s) and information(s). Dr. Beach previously taught Communication at Jefferson Community & Technical College in Carrollton, Kentucky and teaches Philosophy at the Governor’s Scholar Program. Dr. Beach holds a Doctorate in Communication, Rhetoric & Public Culture from Ohio University and a Master’s in Communication, Technology, & Society from Clemson.

Professor of Communication

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Melissa ChastainDr. Melissa Chastain joined Spalding University in 2004. Higher education experience includes executive academic leadership, accreditation, enrollment management, recruitment, new program and partnership development. Scholarship focus includes Ethics and Philosophy of Communication, Dialogic Leadership and The Philosophy of St. Edith Stein’s “Rhetoric of Responsibility.”

At Spalding, Chastain is the Provost and Chief Academic Officer, serving on the President’s Cabinet.

A tenured faculty member in the School of Communication, Chastain served as Dean of Enrollment Management; Dean of Undergraduate Education; Associate Dean, College of Social Sciences & Humanities; Chair, School of Communication; and Chair, Spalding University Strategic Plan.

Chastain serves as member of Kentucky Chamber’s Education and Workforce Council and Kentucky Competitiveness Council, is a member of the Rotary Club of Louisville and is a Health Enterprise Network (HEN) Fellow for the Louisville Chamber of Commerce, Greater Louisville Inc (GLI).

Other past leadership roles include Chairman, Kentucky Authority for Educational Television (KET) and the Kentucky Educational Television Foundation; President, Kentucky Communication Association; President, National Association Women’s Business Owners KY Foundation and President, Association of Communication Administration.

Additional accomplishments include Business First’s 20 People to Know Education & Workforce Development and Kentucky Communication Association’s Hamm Longstanding Service Award.

Chastain holds a PhD, Communication, Duquesne University; MA, English Literature & Theory, Duquesne University; and BA, English Literature, Westminster College.

Assistant Professor of Communication
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NO PHOTO AVAILABLERyan Greene is an Assistant Professor of Communication at Spalding University. He currently teaches public speaking. His research interests include comic books and their film adaptations, as well as unproduced cinema and bootleg comics. He has presented research at San Diego Comic-Con’s Comic Arts Conference, and at multiple International Communication Association and Society for Cinema and Media Studies conferences. He was previously a lecturer of popular culture at Colorado State University. He has also taught a range of different humanities subjects at universities in China and the Philippines. As a grad student, he was awarded several Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence awards for political cartooning.

Professor of English
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Youn-Kyung KimDr. Kim currently teaches courses in linguistics, humanities, and composition. She taught TESL courses (e.g., second language acquisition theory, TESL methodology, teaching grammar, and introduction to linguistics) in the TESOL Endorsement Program for public school teachers (K-12). Her main research interests are in discourse analysis in educational settings and world English. She has presented papers at TESOL national convention, AAAL (American Association for Applied Linguistics), AILA, CCCC, and International Writing Center Association (IWCA) Conference. Her dissertation was published as a book, titled Frame Analysis of Writing Center Interactions. She also has written a chapter, entitled “Frame Analysis,” in Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics published by Blackwell Publishing.

Associate Professor of Anthropology
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Christopher KolbAnthropologist Chris Kolb is passionate about helping students learn to critically examine taken-for-granted aspects of the world and to imagine alternative ways of life and unconventional approaches to address entrenched social problems. Topically, Kolb researches and teaches about culture, race and racism, global economic policy, political and economic systems, crime and justice, drug policy, substance abuse, mental health, housing, qualitative research methods and college writing. He is also heavily involved in local politics and community organizing, having twice been elected to the Jefferson County Public Schools Board of Education and serving in several leadership roles in one of Louisville’s largest community groups. He regularly contributes to high-profile debates and discussions, having been a featured speaker at several local and national forums, conferences and convenings.

Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing
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Aaron LubrickAaron Lubrick received his MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and his BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design. Lubrick lives in Louisville, Kentucky, and teaches painting and drawing at Spalding University as an associate professor while pursuing his studio practice. Lubrick exhibits his work both locally and nationally. His work often draws upon his experiences of growing up an identical twin. Another motif of Lubrick’s work connects the viewer to a timeless almost prehistoric landscape while seeking the human’s contemporary relationship to our natural world.

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design
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Matthew WalshMatthew Walsh received his MFA in Fine Art and 2-D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI. He has taught Typography, Graphic Design, and Illustration at schools in Portland, OR; Grand Rapids, MI; Fort Wayne, IN; and Bloomington, IL. His work contains poetry and illumination, comics, digital illustration involving video games, and portraiture; it also looks into notions of beauty and the grotesque; mythology both past and present; etymology and linguistics. He has a healthy interest in magic in addition to maintaining a healthy professional practice in design. At Spalding he teaches classes in comics and narrative drawing, lettering and visual writing, and graphic design.

Program Director of Design Thinking and Social Innovation
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Deborah WhistlerDeborah Whistler received her MFA in Printmaking from the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Ohio. She holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Miami University of Ohio. She has been teaching at the university level since 1997 and before graduate school worked as a graphic designer and illustrator. She considers all of her work to derive from drawing as she strives to achieve a delicate visual balance and calm in the midst of chaos. Her drawings are both two-dimensional and three-dimensional and range from steel to delicate paper cuttings. As the Program Director for Spalding Creative Arts, Deborah also teaches Drawing, Illustration and Design Thinking.

Professor of Philosophy
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John WilcoxDr. John Wilcox has been teaching at Spalding since 1987 following completion of his PhD from Notre Dame. Since 1993, he has taught philosophy during the summer for the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program. His primary teaching interests are in ethics, logic, and the philosophy of the person. In ethics he encourages students to search for the foundation of right and wrong. In logic he helps students to develop their abilities to think clearly and consistently. He also enjoys teaching advanced philosophy courses that develop the students’ abilities to read, understand, discuss, critique, and write about difficult philosophical texts.


Department Coordinator, School of Liberal Arts

Damian BotnerDamian Botner is the Department Coordinator for the School of Liberal Arts and Director of the Huff Gallery. He is a Perryville, KY native and a 2019 Spalding graduate with a BFA in Painting and Drawing. Mr. Botner worked as an intern under Louisville local artists Rudy Salgado and Susanna Crum at Calliope Arts Printmaking Studio in 2018.