Meet the Faculty - Arts and Letters

Wendy Beavers

Assistant Professor of History; Chair, Department of History

No Information Provided

Thomas Kinney

Associate Professor of History

Education

Ph.D., History, Case Western Reserve University, 1998.
M.A., History, Case Western Reserve University, 1992.
B.A., History, University of Maine, 1990.

Bio

At Bluefield College since 2004, Dr. Thomas A. Kinney teaches survey and upper-level courses in U.S. history, Virginia history, the Civil War, historiography and historical methods.  After graduating from the University of Maine he earned advanced degrees in history at Case Western Reserve University.  During graduate school he contributed to The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History and American National Biography and in the course of his doctoral dissertation researched over a hundred nineteenth-century Cleveland businesses.  Adjuncting at several northeast Ohio colleges after graduation, he also published a history of the U.S. wagon and carriage industry, The Carriage Trade: Making Horse-Drawn Vehicles in America (Johns Hopkins, 2004), co-winner of the 2005 Hagley Prize in Business History.  During that time he continued his research on industry and manufacturing while editing a reprint of Knight’s American Mechanical Dictionary, a landmark nineteenth-century reference work.  Here in Bluefield, besides teaching classes, advising students, and serving on faculty committees, Dr. Kinney speaks at college and community functions and has provided historical commentary for the local evening news.  He continues to write for the scholarly and popular history markets and is currently researching the history of the Brewster carriage-making companies of New York.  A firm believer in the value of inspired classroom teaching, he employs everything from voice imitations and historical music to wooden drill muskets and WWII-vintage copies of Time magazine.  As one of his students put it, “the energy and enthusiasm Dr. Kinney shows about his love for history makes all the difference!”

Peter Laws

Instructor of English

Wayne Massey

Professor of English

No Information Provided

Rebecca McCoy-Reese

Assistant Professor of Theater & Technical Director; Artist in Residence

No Information Provided

Rob Merritt

Professor of English; Dean, College of Arts and Letters; Director, Honors Program

Education

Ph.D., English, University of Kentucky, 1990
M.A., English, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1981
B.A., English, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1974

Bio

A native of North Carolina, Rob Merritt came to Bluefield College in 1990, after completing his PhD at the University of Kentucky where he focused on British and American Modernism and completed a dissertation about Ezra Pound and music.  He is interested in the interrelation of the arts, and in his literature classes he often uses examples of music and painting to help explain the stylistic choices made by writers of a given period.

His critical writing includes articles about Pound, Yeats, and Joyce and the book, Early Music and the Aesthetics of Ezra Pound

Dr. Merritt is a poet who has been published in a variety of journals.  He has published two books: Landscape Architect (2006) and The Language of Longing (2012).   In these books, he is interested in the power of place and the continual search for home.  His poems demarcate journeys through West Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia, Maine, Oregon, Florida, Spain, Ireland, and China.  His writing often concerns how the sensibilities of Appalachia can engage with other consciousnesses for a global synthesis of growth and acceptance.

About the title of his recent book, he says “The longing is for the longing to continue.  Desire is life.”  He wants students to share his zeal for writing.  He says, “One great pleasure I find in writing is to discover and invent pattern—in this case of my wandering.” Every student has the power to shape his or her life.  Often writing can be a great help.  He is a board member of the National Association for Poetry Therapy.

Dr. Merritt is Director of the Honors Program at Bluefield College and faculty advisor for The Bluestone Review, the college literary magazine he founded in 1992.

Bryant Moxley

Assistant Professor of Music; Chair, Music Department; Director, Variations

Bio

Mr. Bryant Moxley has a Bachelor of Music with concentrations in Piano and Church Music from Ouachita Baptist University and a Master of Divinity in Church Music from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mr. Moxley teaches Church Music courses, Music Theory courses, Conducting, and Applied Piano. Mr. Moxley also directs Variations. On occasion, Mr. Moxley teaches some courses for the Christian Studies Department.  Mr. Moxley recently received his national certification as a piano instructor through the Music Teachers National Association.

 

Charles Priest

Assistant Professor of Music; Director, Instrumental Studies, Concert Band, Community Orchestra

Bio

Dr. Charles Priest received his D.M.A. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, M.C.M. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and his undergraduate degree from Bryan College. Dr. Priest is an experienced private instructor of trumpet, guitar, and piano. His published works include articles, hymn texts, anthems, and hymn treatments. Dr. Priest has led and participated in music mission trips within the United States and internationally. Dr. Priest has previously taught on the faculty of Boyce College and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He will be directing the Concert Band and Community Orchestra. Additionally, Dr. Priest teaches Applied High Brass lessons, Music Theory, and Music Literature. Dr. Priest, his wife, Lenore, and daughter, Katy, reside in Bluefield, VA.

Charles Reese

Associate Professor of Theater; Artist In Residence

No Information Provided

Irene Rieger

Assistant Professor of English; Chair, Department of English

No Information Provided

Walter Shroyer

Professor of Art; Chair, Department of Art and Design

Education

M.F.A., Pennsylvania State University
B.F.A., University of Georgia

Bio

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Walter Shroyer came to Bluefield College in 1991. Previously, Shroyer taught at Dekalb College in the Atlanta area and Georgia Southern College in Statesboro, Georgia.

Shroyer is the faculty sponsor for the Kappa Pi International Honorary Art Fraternity, the Bluefield College Art Club, and the Bluefield College Outdoor Club.

Shroyer works in several mediums, but ceramics is his first love. In his current ceramic work, he seeks to increase consciousness of the fragility of our environment, employing mosaic-like tree forms that exist at the intersection of man and nature. Using stoneware clay and found objects as his materials, he collapses wheel-thrown vessels, which then become a home to a variety of discarded found objects. Preservation and stewardship of the natural environment is always an important theme in his work. Shroyer also works in Printmaking, Watercolor, Collage, and Oil Painting. His website is http://www.angelfire.com/va3/inspiringimages.

You may purchase his work online or at Heartwood in Abingdon, Virginia and the Appalachian Arts Center in Claypool Hill, Virginia.

 

Tracey Stout

Associate Professor of Christian Studies; Chair, Division of Christian Studies

No Information Provided

Ben Thorburn

Assistant Professor of Music; Director, Vocal Studies

No Information Provided

Shawn White

Assistant Professor of Christian Studies; Director of Spiritual Formation

Education

Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible, University of Edinburgh, '13
M.A. Theology in Hebrew Bible, Acadia Divinity College, '99
M.Div., Acadia Divinity College, '97
B.Sc. in Biology-Chemistry, University of New Brunswick, '94

Bio

Shawn made his way to Bluefield College in 2009 after three years of study in the Ph.D. program at New College, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. A native of Canada, Shawn spent eight years in pastoral ministry (Ordination 1999) as Associate and then Senior Pastor before pursuing doctoral studies. Shawn serves as the faculty representative for Theta Alpha Kappa (a national Religion and Theology Honors Society) and, besides teaching courses in English Bible, also offers instruction in both biblical Greek and Hebrew. Shawn continues to be actively involved in church life while teaching, including serving as interim pastor for churches in transition. Keenly aware that today's church needs leaders who both understand the theological foundations of ministry and the ability to carry on the many tasks of ministry, Shawn blends academic awareness and skill training into every course.

Maria Zalduondo

Associate Professor of Languages; Director, Global Education