Dusty Anderson

Professor of Information Technology


Ed.D., Computer Education, West Virginia University, ‘95
M.A., Computer Education, Virginia Tech, ‘84
B.S., Industrial Engineering & Operations Research, Virginia Tech, ‘82


Professor Anderson joined the Bluefield College family in 1998. His background includes 25 years of academic computing experience. This includes a mixture of faculty and administrative technology roles. He also has practical work experience in computer engineering, systems administration, industrial engineering, and systems analysis. Dr. Anderson strives to keep the College and his classes current and responsive to emerging technologies by continually monitoring discipline developments and engaging in professional development opportunities. As a part of his personal investment in the global IT industry, Professor Anderson has participated in symposiums and work assignments in Europe and the Middle East. He also endeavors to work personally with students interested in the ever changing world of information technology by offering a variety of special topics courses in Information Technology.

Cynthia Bascom

Professor of Communication; Chair, Departments of Communication and Graphic Communication


Ph.D. in Mass Communication, Ohio University
Master of Business Administration (Marketing Concentration), Ohio University
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Graphic Concentration and Art Education), Denison University


Dr. Bascom’s diverse background encompasses the art, science, and business of communication. Being trained as an artist/designer and then as a businesswoman, she appreciates the aesthetic qualities of communication, yet understands the dynamic economic forces that shape marketing communication in the U.S. and globally. Dr. Bascom’s career includes working in children’s television (Sesame Street and The Muppet Show), new product development in the toy industry, market research for shopping networks, and curriculum development for the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. Courses that she teaches in the Communication and Graphic Communication programs include, Fundamentals of Speech, Mass Communication, Advertising, Public Relations II, Media and Society, Senior Seminar, and Senior Project.

She is especially honored to have received the Educator of the Year Award (an award voted upon by the student body) her first year teaching at Bluefield College. She has also received the Distinguished Faculty Award and was Bluefield College’s first female teacher to be promoted form associate professor to the rank of full professor.

Stephen Bird

Professor of Communication


Ph.D. in Communication Studies (Journalism emphasis), Regent University
Master of Arts in Mass Communication (Journalism emphasis), Central Missouri State University
Bachelor of Arts in English/Journalism, Averett University


Dr. Stephen V. Bird has taught college students for more than 20 years, working at several universities. Dr. Bird directed a journalism education non-profit in the National Press Building a block and a half from the White House for nearly 5 years. A full-time journalist for more than 5 years, he also pursued an active freelance career for many years. As a freelance writer, he wrote for The Associated Press, The Washington Times, The Boston Herald, The Roanoke Times, Virginia Living Magazine, and a number of other newspapers in Virginia. His work for The Associated Press appeared on websites all over the country including ESPN, The New York Times, Fox News, and The Baltimore Sun.

Courses that Dr. Bird teaches include Media Writing, Journalism, Media Ethics, Media Law, Sports Journalism, Press and Politics, and Storytelling with Video.

Kimberly Farmer

Professor and Chair, Department of Criminal Justice; Pre-Law Advisor; Title IX Coordinator


Dr. Farmer teaches the survey course, Introduction to Criminal Justice, as well as upper-level courses in Criminology, Criminal Law, and Business Law. She participated in the development of the original adult degree completion program in Criminal Justice and continues to teach in the Bluefield College Online Degree Program. She attended Bluefield College as an undergraduate and went on to obtain a B.A. in Psychology from West Virginia University, and a J.D. from the WVU College of Law in 1989. Dr. Farmer began teaching at BC in the fall of the same year, creating the Criminal Justice major out of the existing Behavioral Science degree. She has received numerous service awards and is a member of several professional CRJ organizations.

Mark Gettle

Associate Professor, Psychology and Management & Leadership; Department Chair, Human Services, Management & Leadership, and Entrepreneurism


Bachelor of Science in Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University
Master of Business Administration, Strayer University
Doctorate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Capella University


Dr. Gettle teaches a broad array of courses in the Human Services, Management & Leadership, and Entrepreneurism Majors, and participated in the development of several of the online degree programs offered at Bluefield College.

He is an active member in the Virginia Psychological Association and a member of the Virginia School of Applied Psychologists. Dr. Gettle is a Board Certified Safety Professional, as well as the founder of Safety Consulting Associates, a third party loss control and risk management consulting firm that now operates in five states in the Mid-Atlantic.

He has been published with work on the concept of automaticity and emotional intelligence, and is a frequent guest speaker on these topics, as well as behavioral observation, employee engagement, worker motivation, organizational and leadership development, and industrial/organizational psychology.

Other professional competencies include behavioral management and training systems, behavioral auditing and observations, and workplace and organizational behavior and culture modification.

Dr. Gettle has received recognition for his work in private and public organizations and community involvement, working with inner-city families and military support organizations.

Andrew Lawrence

Associate Vice President for Online and Distance Education; Instructor of Management and Leadership

Mimi Merritt

Assistant Professor of Communication; Director of Institutional Effectiveness


Master of Arts, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Bachelor of Arts, Duke University


Mimi teaches journalism and communication law classes at Bluefield College. A graduate of Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in English, she earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to teaching, Mimi serves as faculty adviser for the online student newspaper, The Rampage; as Director of Institutional Effectiveness; and as secretary of the Faculty Committee, which she chaired for five years. Before coming to Bluefield College, Mimi worked 12 years as a journalist for newspapers in North Carolina and Virginia; as an information specialist at Virginia Tech; as a technical writer and editor for PDR Communications in Lexington, Kentucky; and as a writing tutor and freelance journalist. She is married to Rob Merritt (Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at BC), and they have two children: Charlie and Caroline. Mimi is a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Bluefield, West Virginia, where she has taught Sunday school and served on the Vestry. She served eight years as president of Blue Mountain Performing Arts, a non-profit community concert provider for which she is now a grants writer.

Sharon Perot

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Business; Dean, College of Professional Programs


Ed.D., Instructional Technology, Northern Illinois University, ‘99
M.B.A., Systems Management, DePaul University, ‘86
B.A., English and Education, Lake Forest College, ‘77


Dr. Perot joined the Bluefield College family in 2014 as the Dean of Professional Programs and Associate Professor of Business. In her current position, she teaches courses in Management, Marketing, and Organizational Behavior. Her academic interests include leadership, student assessment, and organizational behavior. Professor Perot has been an international speaker on Distance Education and eLearning in Central America and Scandinavia. Dr. Perot has been a college professor for over a decade and Associate Dean of a regional Chicago graduate business school.

Her professional career outside of academia includes senior leadership in organizational development and training for a large academic healthcare system in Portland, Oregon, and a multi-state large healthcare system where she served as the Chief Learning Officer. Her professional expertise is in succession planning, leadership development, online education, and change management.

As the Dean of Bluefield College’s Professional Programs, she is committed to driving innovation and continuous improvement to improve student outcomes and nurture a desire for life-long learning and transformational leadership.

Allen Roberts

Instructor of Graphic Communication


Currently pursuing a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications, West Virginia University
Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design/Advertising with a minor in Studio Art, Concord University


Mr. Roberts comes to Bluefield College after working for more than a decade in the local news media — first as an editor at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, and most recently as Internet Director for WVVA-TV.

A lifelong resident of the region, Roberts is a 2002 graduate of Concord University, where he earned a BA in Graphic Design with a minor in Studio Art.

After graduation, Allen spent nearly seven years at the Telegraph, where he was responsible for page layout, headline writing, and editing in the daily edition. He was a two-time winner of ‘Best Front Page’ from the West Virginia Press Association during this time.

In 2010, Allen joined WVVA, the market-dominating NBC affiliate, where he oversaw all of the station’s interactive efforts, including the website, mobile apps, text alert services, social media, and the design of many online ad campaigns. He also appeared on-air as host of the weekly ‘Web Minute’ segment.

While at WVVA, Allen received the 2014 award for ‘Best Use of Digital Media’ from the West Virginia Broadcasters Association.

In addition to his full-time duties in the local media, Allen began teaching Graphic Communication classes in an adjunct role at Bluefield College in the spring of 2010, which he continued to do until accepting a full-time position at the college.

Allen is thrilled to be a part of the Bluefield College family and is pursuing his Masters degree in Integrated Marketing Communications at West Virginia University.

Courses that are taught by Professor Roberts include Typography Design and History, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Photography, Dreamweaver and Flash, InDesign, Storytelling with Video, Senior Portfolio, and Designing for the Graphic Customer.

Kelly Walls

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice; Coordinator, Campus Safety


Dr. Kelly Walls, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, became a local police officer in West Virginia at the age of 20, while attending college. During a 24-year career, he was involved in patrol, investigations, K-9, and special operations, including supervision of detectives, D.A.R.E., hostage negotiation, firearms training, and all internal investigations. This includes all allegations of misconduct, as well as officer-involved-shootings. While a police officer, Dr. Walls finished a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice and attended graduate school, earning a doctorate in 1996 from Southwest University in Kenner, La. Dr. Walls is also a Graduate of the FBI National Academy, 142nd session, 1995. He trained and worked as a Special Deputy United States Marshal for nine years.

Dr. Walls has either personally investigated or supervised the investigation of any kind of case imaginable, from petty theft to 1st degree homicide. He has also personally investigated allegations of police misconduct, ranging from misfeasance/malfeasance of duty to improper use of police weaponry resulting in death.