Get to know your FYE Instructors
Mary Marjorie Weber Marr joined the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Walker
Center for Teaching and Learning in April 2014 as a Senior Instructional Developer.
She has 15 years experience as an Academic Technology Consultant. She also has experience
as an adjunct faculty member with TBR's Regents Online Degree Program and UTC's FYE
program. Within the WCTL her primary role is supporting faculty in UTC’s mission of
excellence in instruction and student learning.
Mary enjoys working with faculty on specific areas of interest, including using technology
to enhance student learning. She is involved with faculty across campus, from New
Faculty Orientation, Adjunct Faculty Orientation, the Course Redesign Program, Quality
Matters, and one-on-one teaching and learning faculty consultations. She is interested
in empathic teaching, deeper learning, and growth mindset.
Mary also participates in the Read2Achieve program on campus and Freshman Orientation
sessions through the WCTL's ThinkAchieve program.
Mary still feels new to Chattanooga, having been a lifelong Memphian and graduate
of The University of Memphis (Go Tigers!). She has a BA ('95) in Art History and Theater,
and an MAT ('97) in Education. She enjoys learning about her new hometown and all
of the beautiful parks and mountains in the area.
Stephanie graduated from Michigan State University with a MFA in Production Design
not so long ago fulfilling a life-long dream of becoming a Costume Designer. Shespends
five weeks of her summer as Costume Designer in Italy working with La Musica Lircia
an opera company for young singers. She currently lives with her husband and owns
two golden retrievers, a parakeet and Monty, the horse. The only drawback to Living
in TN is that her son PJ still lives in Michigan.
I graduated from Mars Hill University with a Bachelor’s in Athletic Training in 2007.
I then went to Western Carolina University to complete my Masters Degree in College
Student Personnel in 2009. Throughout my college career and post graduate employment
I have had the opportunity to work within a variety of campus departments such us:
Campus Recreation, Camps/Conferences, Champs Life Skills for Athletes, Financial Aid
and Housing. I am currently the Assistant Director of Occupancy Management for the
Housing and Residence Life department for UTC. Simply put…I manage the room assignment,
room change and housing billing. After 5pm and on the weekends I enjoy mountain biking,
hiking, working around the house and hanging out with my family and friends.
Jamie F. Harvey, EdD serves as Assistant Professor in the Health and Human Performance
Department at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. Her departmental emphases are
advising and teaching health and physical education students with service on various
committees where she has taught for 31 years.
For anyone working with other people, collegiality embraces the attitude of camaraderie,
inclusiveness and selflessness. To be an effective colleague means you are available
and approachable, yet not afraid to ask for assistance. Colleagues are consistently
respectful; holding each other accountable and supporting one another when needed.
Driven by power, status and/or ego-laden attributes create struggling imbalances amongst
teams of people; thus, thwarting progressive efforts. Regardless of position, individuals
need to focus on what is contributed for the whole team (multiple people) rather than
personal gain (the individual).
Tracye has been an employee of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga since 1991.
She has taught ACT preparation classes for Continuing Education, and, for 20 years,
she has taught a variety of classes for the English Department, including Professional Writing, Rhetoric and Composition, Developmental Writing, and Writing for Social Sciences. She has also taught The Real Skinny: Anorexia in Medieval Saints and Contemporary Women, for UTC’s Women’s Studies Department. In Fall 2013, she designed and taught the
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's pilot program with Coursera, an online education
platform. She currently serves on the English Department’s Composition Committee.
At Georgia Northwestern Technical College, she taught dual enrollment English. She
has also taught memoir writing for a non-profit literacy program. She is Past-President
of the Chattanooga Council of Teachers of English (CCTE), and currently serves as
the CCTE’s National Council of Teachers of English Liaison. She is a member of the
Chattanooga Writers Guild and Past-President of the Arts and Education Council and
former Chair of the Conference on Southern Literature. She presented a paper on Massive
Open Online Courses (MOOCs) at the Conference on College Composition and Communication
in March, 2015. She has contributed short stories, articles, and poems to Healthscope Magazine, Adobe Abalone, Confection Magazine, Apollo's Lyre, and the National Council of Teachers of English Writer's Gallery. She has also co-written a chapter about MOOCs for Trends in Training (Cambridge Scholars Publishing Ltd.: in press). She has written newsletters, grant
proposals, training manuals, and promotional materials for non-profit organizations
and corporations. She is Past-President of the Mizpah Congregation Sisterhood and
served as Co-Chair of The Festival of Trees. She has volunteered for the Boys and
Girls Club of Chattanooga, The Arts and Education Council, The Anti-Defamation League,
Health House of Chattanooga, and the Chattanooga Jewish Community Religious School.
I am an Academic Advisor in the School of Education. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree
in Classics from College of Charleston and my Master’s at The Citadel in Student Affairs
and College Counseling. I love working with our future teachers at UTC. I have a
dog, Shadow, who runs with me daily and keeps me in check! Chattanooga is full of
great places to visit and things to do! In spare time I love to travel and make crafts
of varying sorts.
Mr. Rehm currently serves as the Associate Director of Clinical Services at the Counseling
and Personal Development Center, and has been working at UTC for over six years.
His passion in counseling is to help students develop their unique identity through
strength building and by overcoming the traumas that hold them back. This will be
the third year that Mr. Rehm has taught First Year Studies and he loves to interact
with students outside of his role as a professional counselor. When not enjoying his
work life at UTC, Mr. Rehm can be found spending time with his wife and 4 month old
baby Justice, or out on the tennis court or working in his backyard.
Hi! I’m Nikita O’Connor. I currently work as a Resident Director in Lockmiller Apartments
and as a personal trainer for the ARC. I have my Master’s Degree in Higher Education
from Florida State University and I am currently pursuing my Educational Doctorate
in Learning and Leadership at UTC. I enjoy working with students because their time
in college is an integral part of their life and I find it rewarding to help them
along in their journey. In my spare time I like to spend time outdoors and be active.
I enjoy running, biking, camping, hiking, and paddling.
Director of the University of Tennessee Chattanooga Challenger STEM Learning Center
Perry came to the University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC) Challenger STEM Learning
Center in July 2013 after 18 years as Principal of Notre Dame Catholic High School
in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His additional prior work experiences include Director
of Employment and Training Programs Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland,
Tennessee; Senior planner at the North Georgia Regional Planning Commission in Dalton,
Georgia and at UTC in Student Services and Housing. Perry is a two time Graduate
from UTC holding a Master of Education and ED.S. in Educational Administration and
Supervision. This is his third year teaching a First Year Experience class.
Rebecca Dragoo is a Chattanooga native. She graduated with her undergraduate degree
from The University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!). In May 2015 she became a Moc when she
completed her Master of Business Administration degree at UTC (Go Mocs!). She has
worked in the Records Office at UTC for 4 years now. She has a bearded husband (Will),
a precious baby girl (Florence), and an adorable mutt (Eve). This is her second year
teaching USTU 1250 and she’s really looking forward to another great group of students!
Avalon Gourlay came to UTC as a Freshman in 2001 and has been either a student, faculty,
or staff member since then. She graduated with a degree in Psychology and continued
her studies at UTC by earning a Master of Science in Research Psychology. Avalon enjoys
being part of the UTC community and is actively engaged with the campus through teaching
and working as the Certification Officer in the School of Education. In her free time,
she going on adventures with her husband, (who she met studying abroad!), 2 year-old
daughter, and Shaka the (best) dog.
Director of Visual Art Education, Southeast Center for Education in the Arts
Joel has worked as an artist and a teacher in a variety of settings. He has created
commercial art and design for print and electronic media, designs for stage productions,
and works of fine art for show and commission. He has taught children and adults
including experiences as an art specialist, a college instructor, and a teaching administrator.
He has presented on visual art and arts integration nationally, including the Annenberg
Connecting with the Arts workshop series.
Executive Director, Southeast Center for Education in the Arts
Laurie Melnik is the Executive Director for the Southeast Center for Education in
the Arts (SCEA) at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she also oversees
theatre education programming for the center. At SCEA, Laurie cultivates multi-organizational
collaborations around strengthening arts teaching and learning across diverse populations
and interdisciplinary contexts. Culturally responsive pedagogy and asset-based community
development maintain a strong presence in Laurie’s work as she works across sectors
to help communities realize and maximize their creative potential when solving critical
problems. She is a member of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education where
she served as a Professional Development Co-Chair and was recently elected to their
Board of Directors. She has an M.F.A in Theatre with a concentration in Theatre for
Young Audiences from the University of Central Florida, an M.P.A. in Nonprofit Management
from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and is a 2013 Holmberg Arts Leadership
Deardra McGee has been an employee of UTC for over 20 years. After working 11 years
with the GEAR UP program here at UTC, she joined the Center for Advisement and Student
Success (CASS), now Center for Advisement, in the fall of 2011 where she works as
the Academic Advisor for “undecided” first-time freshman. She is also the coordinator
for the undecided living learning community “Discover & Declare” providing dedicated
programming and resources to undecided students living in Decosimo Residential Hall.
Deardra received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Tennessee
at Chattanooga in 2008 and later received her Masters of Professional Studies: Strategic
Leadership from Tennessee Technological University. In addition to teaching the FYE
course, Deardra also teaches a MINDSET (1) hour credit course for freshman during
the spring semester. This course is designed for first-time freshman on academic probation
after their first semester in school. Deardra participates in any and everything freshman
Deardra enjoys her work with undecided students in helping them “discover and declare”
the best major/career option for their future. She LOVES that “AHA moment” she’s able
to experience with students as they spend their first year of college exploring self,
others and the world around them! She has four amazing adult children and two beautiful
grandbabies (Jonathan and JoJo) and spends her time spoiling them. Deardra LOVES football
and is a BIG Dallas Cowboy fan!