Faculty Panel: Inclusive Excellence in the Curriculum and the Classroom


Dr. Gail DawsonGail Dawson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Management, UTC

Dr. Dawson received her Ph.D. from The University of South Florida, her M.B.A. from Drexel University, and her undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University. Her areas of expertise and researach are human resources and diversity issues, and her published work include themes like multi-cultural community building, cross-cultural communication, diversity practices in management, and inclusion. Among her many accolades, she is a two-time recipient of the Horace J. Traylor Minority Leadership Award. Dr. Dawson is also an avid line-dancer and instructor, and has participated in a number of national venues.



Dr. Mitsunori MisawaMitsunori Misawa, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology and Counseling Department, UTK

Dr. Misawa is an assistant professor in the Adult Learning (Ph.D.) and Adult Education (MS) programs in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Misawa received his Ph.D. in Adult Education with an Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies Graduate Certificate from the University of Georgia. He also received his M.Ed. in Adult Education (Curriculum and Instruction) and his B.A. in Economics (International Business and Trade) from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Dr. Misawa’s major areas of research encompass social justice oriented research including the intersectionality of race, gender, and sexual orientation, academic and workplace bullying, policy and leadership studies, program evaluation, human resource and organizational development, and social sciences research methodologies (qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods). His scholarship has been published in and recognized by national and international scholarly communities.


Dr. Christopher Silver Christopher Silver, Ed.D.

Faculty Member, LEAD Doctoral Program, UTC

Dr. Christopher F. Silver has been the Instructor of Record for over 12 years in the fields of Psychology and Religious Studies. He has also conducted extensive research in the field of psychology of religion and spirituality. Much of his work has focused on religious deconversion, spirituality, and religious nonbelief. His research has been featured both in local and national media. Currently, Dr. Silver’s interest lies in the area of stigma, and the role stigma plays in influencing self-identity and self-esteem. His work intersects between implicit prejudice and attitudes research. Dr. Silver holds and Ed.D. in Learning and Leadership from UTC, as well as Masters degrees in Religion and Culture (Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario Canada) and Research Psychology (UTC) and he is currently completing a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Social Psychology at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.



Dr. Chandra WardChandra Ward, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Sociology, UTC

Dr. Ward's earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from George State University, her MA in Sociology from Texas State University, and her undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology from the University of Georgia. Her research is guided by the philosophy of helping to amplify traditionally marginalized voices.  This is evident in her research on public housing residents and her textbook, an intersectional introduction to sociology reader titled, Voices From the Margin: Fresh perspectives on an introduction to sociology.”  Her teaching focuses on urban sociology, race and ethnicity, deviance, gender and intersectionality. Professor Ward also uses photography and social media to help make sociology accessible to those outside of academia. It can be found here at sociologysocialshutter.blogspot.com.





Dr. Li YangLi Yang, Ph.D.

Guerry Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, UTC.

Dr. Yang earned her Ph.D. from Florida International University. She is the Director of UTC's Information Security (InfoSec) Center, a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense (CAE-IA/CD). Her research interests include network and information security, big data analytics, massive data mining, bioinformatics, and engineering techniques for complex software system design, and she has authored papers on these areas in refereed journal, conferences and symposiums. She actively involves students into her research. She is also editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Information Security and Privacy. She has secured over four million external funding from National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Health (NIH), Department of Defense (DoD), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).