Honors Program Faculty
Debbie Bell, Adjunct Professor (M.Ed., The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga), is Assistant Director of The University Honors Program. She teaches honors class-level seminars in college life, study skills, mentoring, and leadership. Ms. Bell was named Outstanding Adjunct Professor by the SGA in 2004.
Robert Bernhardt, Visiting Artist and Adjunct Professor (M.A., University of Southern California School of Music) teaches music history and aesthetics. Maestro Bernhardt is Music Director Emeritus of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Principal Pops Conductor of the Louisville Symphony, and a frequent guest conductor with orchestras across the country.
Clifton R. Cleaveland, Adjunct Professor (M. Phil., Oxford University; M.D., The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine) teaches The Development of Scientific Thought. A Rhodes Scholar and past president of The American College of Physicians, Dr. Cleaveland is author of Sacred Space: Stories from a Life in Medicine, and Healers and Heroes: Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times. He has also been named University Outstanding Adjunct Instructor.
Ralph Covino, Assistant Professor of History (Ph.D., University of St Andrews) teaches UHON 2140 - Classical and Medieval Historical and Political Thought. Dr. Covino is a prosopographer by trade, with a specialist interest in Roman magistrates and provincial administration. He has also been named University Outstanding Advisor.
Zibin Guo, UC Foundation Professor of Anthropology (Ph.D., University of Connecticut), teaches the honors seminar in Chinese and Japanese traditions. Dr. Guo is a medical anthropologist specializing in Chinese medicine and health traditions; community health, culture and mental health, disability and health, Asian-American studies, and cross-cultural aging and health.
William Harman, Professor of Philosophy and Religion (Ph.D., University of Chicago), teaches Traditions of India. He is a specialist in the Hindu traditions of southern India, and is currently doing research on goddesses of disease and healing. Additional interests include comparative issues that focus on healing, violence, and ritual, particularly ritual humor.
Ralph W. Hood, Jr., Professor of Psychology (Ph.D., University of Nevada), teaches Issues in Contemporary Social Science. His major interests are in philosophical psychology and the psychology of religion. He currently is editor of The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and has won several teaching recognitions, including the SGA Outstanding Professor Award.
Richard P. Jackson, UTNAA Professor of English (Ph.D., Yale University) teaches the freshman Humanities sequence, as well as creative writing and classical and twentieth-century poetry. He is editor of Poetry Miscellany and author of 18 books of poetry and criticism. He has been a Fulbright Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and is the recipient of several campus and national teaching awards.
V. Gaye Jeffers, Assistant Professor of Theatre (M.F.A., University of Alabama), teaches honors Introduction to Theatre. She is a director, designer, and playwright. She has numerous Chicago theatre credits, and was a founding member and artistic director of BroadAxe Theatre in
Nashville, where she won an award for Best Theatre Production of 2001. Regional work includes directing and designing for Birmingham Festival Theatre, the Kentucky Arts Festival, Barking Legs Theatre and the Shaking Ray Levi Society.
Immaculate N. Kizza, UC Foundation Professor of English (Ph.D., University of Toledo), teaches Africa Through Its Literature. Her research focuses on African-American literature, the slave narrative
tradition, and the role of language in multi-cultural studies. Dr. Kizza was named Outstanding Teacher in 1999 by the University of Tennessee National Alumni Association.
Gregory O'Dea, UC Foundation Professor of English (Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), is Director of the University Honors Program. He teaches courses on the English-language novel,
eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature, and postcolonial literature. His current research concerns conceptions of history in the contemporary novel. Dr. O’Dea has won the SGA Outstanding
Professor award and was named Outstanding Teacher in 2001 by the University of Tennessee National Alumni Association. He also serves as a faculty member for the American College of Physicians.
Joanie Sompayrac, UC Foundation Professor of Accounting (M.Acc., The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; J.D, The University of Cincinnati), is Faculty Assistant Director of The University Honors
Program. She teaches courses on taxation, financial statement analysis, and business law, as well as an honors seminar on the history and contemporary practices of the United States Supreme Court. Professor Sompayrac, an alumna of the UHON Program (class of ’87), serves as an adjudicator for the UT system.
Victoria Steinberg, Associate Professor of French, (Ph.D., The Ohio State University), teaches Introduction to Film Studies. Her current research focuses on film and literary theory and the Franco-African cinema. Dr. Steinberg has won several advisement and teaching awards in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Christopher Stuart, Katharine H. Pryor Professor of English (Ph.D., University of Connecticut), teaches the freshman Humanities sequence, as well as American literature and autobiography. His current research focuses on the period of American Realism, and especially on the role of death anxiety in the works of Henry James. Dr. Stuart was named Outstanding Teacher in 2004 by the University of Tennessee National Alumni Association.
Gavin Townsend, Professor of Art History (Ph.D., University of California-Santa Barbara), teaches Introduction to Art. His special research interest is American architectural history. Dr. Townsend has
won the SGA Outstanding Professor Award, and has served on the Tennessee Historical Commission.
Paul Watson, UC Foundation Professor of Psychology (Ph.D., University of Texas at Arlington), teaches Origins of the Social Sciences. His current research interests center on the mental health consequences of religious commitment and on the nature of narcissism.