Faculty Friday: Meet Lynn Russell

Bryan College welcomes Lynn Russell as the new instructor of English on the residential campus. Russell graduated from Bryan College in 2016 with bachelor degrees in English Literature and Music: Piano Pedagogy. Following her graduation from Bryan, Russell earned a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of South Florida.

Russell enjoys the intellectual conversations and rigors of teaching in a college setting. Her desire to work at Bryan College is rooted in the ability to be open about her beliefs in the classroom. The Bryan College community’s inclusion of family and support for one another also drew her to return to Bryan and invest in the lives of students.

In 2017, Russell worked on a research team at the University of South Florida that datamined 17,000 college freshman essays, drawing conclusions about how student vocabulary, syntax, analysis etc. affect student grades, improvement, and college success. She also helped code the university’s online writing program where professors can now compare first and second drafts of papers to give a percentage of how much (or how little) a student had changed from each draft revision. In addition to this work, Russell also was the project leader on grade norming in the 2017-2018 school year.

Russell will soon have a chapter published by the esteemed Edinburgh Press, considered one of the leading university presses in the UK. This chapter on John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress argues for a historic reading of the novel because Bunyan’s fantasy world is the literal road of England, including its Great North Road, fair systems, toll gates, and failed bog systems. She argues for this historical reading because it brings further allegory and Bunyan’s own commentary of Early Modern politics and religion.

Russell is originally from Sarasota, Fla. and recently relocated to Dayton, Tenn. after her marriage to her husband, Chad, on June 2, 2018. She is most excited about teaching Introduction to Literature this fall. One of the most interesting facts about Russell is that she has tent camped across the country from Florida to California. When asked who she would want to take a trip around the world with she responded, “My husband because I love him”.

Please join us in welcoming Russell to the Bryan College family. To learn more about Lynn Russell’s experience, visit her faculty profile.

President welcomes faculty and staff back to campus in 2018 State of the College address

August 16, 2018 – On Tuesday, Bryan College President Stephen Livesay welcomed faculty and staff back to campus during the State of the College address. The President focused on three key areas during his talk, where we are going, how we are getting there and how we are doing, encouraging faculty and staff along the way.

As the college looks to the future, Livesay acknowledged the significant progress that has already been made in regards to the strategic plan. As 2020 draws near, the need for a specific and targeted goal became clear. In light of the College’s mission of preparing difference makers, a strategic goal of producing 320 graduates by 2020 was set.  The President noted specific objectives to reach this goal include increasing the freshman class size, increasing retention rates, increasing the average ACT score of incoming freshman and increasing student life coaching experiences per year.

The President identified people, projects and programs as significant aspects of accomplishing the College’s strategic goals. Livesay recognized the significant achievements of several faculty members in various departments across campus. Five faculty members were celebrated for successfully defending their theses and earning their doctoral degrees since August of 2017. In addition, Dr. Jonathan Newman and Dr. Neal Doran were recognized for their contributions of articles and papers to various academic publications. Five new faculty members were introduced.

The Professional Development Program was highlighted. This program is providing people across campus vital management and professional development training. The program will continue to provide access to new training and development opportunities in the 2018-19 academic year.

Many campus improvement projects were completed over the summer. Projects include repurposing existing campus spaces to improve the student experience. The President also recognized the IT staff, and many of their accomplishments. The new lecture capture system was installed in two test classrooms, providing professors the ability to record their lectures for various purposes.

Many student programs were reviewed, revealing the incredible number of opportunities students have taken advantage of over the last year.  Bryan College impacted the world for Christ through more than 20 service projects and internships across the globe.

The many accomplishments of the various athletic teams were celebrated, with eight NAIA Scholar Teams maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher. For the spring semester, 44% of student athletes earned a 3.3 GPA or higher including 20 earning a 4.0 GPA.

The Bryan College Institute of Leadership, Business and Marketing, a partnership with East Hamilton Middle High School, was highlighted as a significant achievement for the college.  The partnership is one of the many ways the college is furthering its mission.

Adult and Graduate Studies (AGS) was recognized for numerous achievements and partnerships established over the last year, positioning AGS to make significant advances in the online and adult education market over the next year.

The President concluded the gathering by reviewing the theme verse of the year for 2018-19.

“Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

The verse is already emblazoned across campus in banners, serving to remind faculty, staff, students and visitors that we are strong in the Lord, that we shall remain immovable and that our work as servants of Christ will be rewarded.

Bryan College partners with Hamilton County Department of Education in bringing Future Ready Institute to East Hamilton Middle High School

Dr. Bryan Johnson, Superintendent and Dr. Stephen Livesay, Bryan Collge President, sign the MOU at East Hamilton Middle High School

August 13, 2018 – Bryan College has partnered with the Hamilton County Department of Education to announce the Bryan College Institute of Leadership, Business and Marketing at East Hamilton Middle High School. The Future Ready Institute program begins this fall and focuses on making students work force ready.

“Bryan College is proud to be a part of such a promising new program,” said Dr. Stephen Livesay, President of the College. “Preparing students to be ready for the next chapter in their lives is a natural role for us and we look forward to how the Institute of Leadership, Business and Marketing will do just that. We have a long-term commitment to this program and are eager to meet our first classes of students.”

Future Ready Institutes provide students with learning opportunities around a career theme, this one being leadership, business and marketing. The goal of the program is to provide students with continued opportunities after high school.

Students of the Bryan College Institute of Leadership, Business and Marketing will be part of a learning community of peers with similar career interests. The curriculum includes business, marketing, accounting, management and entrepreneurship.

As part of the partnership, business professors from Bryan College will serve as guest lecturers throughout the curriculum. Additional opportunities include school to college summer bridge programs, student externships, student leadership training, access to scholarships and more.

The three key elements to Future Ready Institutes are Engaging Instruction, Partnerships and Post-Secondary Jumpstart. There are 20 Future Ready Institutes located in 14 schools throughout the district.

Dr. Adina Scruggs, Dr. Johnathan Newman, Dr. Daniel Gates, and Vaughn Berger of Bryan College with students from EHMHS.

“A big focus for us is making sure our graduates are ready for the challenges of the future they will face after high school,” said Blake Freeman, director of Future Ready Institutes of Hamilton County Schools. “Partners such as Bryan College are helping pave the way to achieving this goal.”

An official signing of the memorandum of understanding took place between Bryan College and East Hamilton Middle High School on Friday, August 10. After the ceremony, East Hamilton students had the opportunity to engage with Bryan College business professors, setting a strong example for the launch of the partnership.

Bryan College announces dual degree program with Union University

July 26, 2018 – Bryan College is proud to announce the addition of a Dual Degree Program with Union University. The Dual Degree Program offers students the opportunity to complete a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Health Science from Bryan College and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Union University in 4.25 years.

Participants in the Dual Degree Program will complete three academic years at Bryan College, fulfilling all liberal arts general education and major requirements, which include the prerequisites for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Accelerated (BSNA) program at Union University.

Health Science majors who are accepted into Union’s BSNA program will spend their fourth academic year with Union, simultaneously fulfilling the remaining 30 hours required for the BS degree from Bryan. Upon completion of the Accelerated BSN program at Union University, students will be awarded a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Union as well as a Bachelor of Science from Bryan.

Bryan College President Stephen Livesay said, “The Dual Degree Nursing Program is a blessing that we are receiving during an exciting time for Bryan College. Bryan is adding several programs along with this new program, enabling us to further our mission of educating students to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world.”

Through the new Dual Degree Program between Bryan College and Union University, participating students will gain a BS degree from Bryan along with a BSN degree from Union after just three years with Bryan and 15 months with Union. Both of these institutions provide a solid education with a Biblical worldview, so these students will be well equipped to enter the health care field and make positive contributions to patients’ lives.

Bryan College’s Vaughn Berger announced as member of Leadership Chattanooga 2018-19 class

On Monday, July 2, the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce announced Vaughn Berger, director of enrollment for the Bryan College School of Adult and Graduate Studies, as a member of the Leadership Chattanooga class of 2018-19.

Mr. Berger has a long history with Bryan College. He is a 2011 graduate of the MBA program at Bryan College and began serving as an adjunct instructor in the undergraduate program that same year. In January 2016, he was named the director of enrollment for the School of Adult and Graduate Studies.

Admission to the Leadership Chattanooga program is selective. Members of the program must be nominated and undergo a rigorous vetting and selection process. Qualifications for nominations include:

  • a sincere commitment and interest in the Chattanooga community
  • demonstrated dedication through past community activities
  • interest in community leadership roles
  • potential for advancement to top leadership roles

“Vaughn has distinguished himself with a deep passion to serve the Chattanooga community,” said Rick Taphorn, vice president of finance and enrollment. “Being selected as a member of Leadership Chattanooga is a tremendous honor, and we’re proud of his commitment to leadership and the Chattanooga community.”

Leadership Chattanooga is an excellent example of the various ways faculty and staff prepare themselves to fulfill the Bryan College mission of “Educating students to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world.” The program is sponsored by the Chattanooga Chamber Foundation and uses the exploration of community issues to develop the leadership skills required for these roles.

The 10-month leadership development program prepares graduates to make a difference in prominent business, cultural and political roles by providing experiential learning opportunities, interaction with top community and state leaders, exploring aspects of leadership and community challenges during monthly cohort meetings and community service projects.

Leadership Chattanooga has produced over 1,200 alumni, and provides continued leadership training and opportunities for networking and civic engagement.



Bryan College Enactus team awarded 2nd place in league at nationals

June 25, 2018 – The Bryan College Enactus team recently competed at the Enactus United States National Exposition on May 22. The team was awarded second place in their league in the first round of competition, the school’s first time on the podium at the national exposition.

The Bryan College team presented a live, multi-media summary of their Global Entrepreneurship Initiative, which focuses on job creation and product innovation in Haiti. Working closely with the college’s Haiti Break for Change Team, Enactus members focused on improving and expanding an existing for-profit business, Haiti Made. Haiti Made’s goal since its inception has been to create sustainable work for Haitians in order to keep families united. They do this through leather crafting, creating beautiful and high-quality products from bags to wallets.

This year, Bryan College Enactus saw an opportunity for growth. In collaboration with the biology department, they developed the first stages of a leather care product line with the intent to keep customers coming back to Haiti Made. The first product to emerge, a leather conditioner, proved a success and uses major exports in Haiti as the primary ingredients.

Another project the team began is Bel Cosmetics. This project focuses on natural cosmetics crafted from Haitian resources. Currently, recipes are being developed for natural hair moisturizers for African hair types 2A-4C. This project capitalizes on empowering women through business and the growing market for natural African hair products that meet needs specific to those hair types. Never before has the team undertaken such an ambitious project from scratch. Bel Cosmetics was a particularly stand out project to the judges.

“I am very proud of this year’s Enactus team,” said Benton Jones, Bryan College Enactus advisor and assistant professor of management. “They have continued to take on more impressive projects and to become more competitive.  The quality and breadth of projects this year impressed the judges, who are active professionals within their own industries.  This year’s projects included those with local and national impact in three areas: Economic Development in Haiti, Individual Health in Rhea County, and Job Preparedness in Rhea County.  With the guidance and support of our Business Advisory Board, we expect Enactus to continue to grow and to be competitive.”

The future is indeed bright for the Bryan College Enactus team. Their goals for the fall include locating trustworthy suppliers in Haiti, beginning to manufacture the leather conditioner on a larger scale, and expanding the leather care line to include other products, such as cleaner.

The team will also finish developing the first product in the Bel Cosmetic line and begin testing on the market. They are already planning additional products for the line, which will include skin moisturizers, lip products and face scrubs using all-natural Haitian ingredients.

“The amount of time and energy expended by both the Break For Change and Enactus teams on the Global Entrepreneurship Initiative cannot be overstated,” said recent graduate Abigail Brown. “In addition to the above projects, they also developed internships, marketing strategies, project ambassador programs, inventory management systems, and new product prototypes. Most importantly, they developed relationships with the people of Haiti and saw firsthand the ingenuity and resilience of the people.”

The Bryan College Enactus team is excited to return to Haiti next year and continue the work they have begun. New leadership and recruitment strategies for the fall are already in place to help build a team that will be able to accomplish these ambitious goals.

Bryan College students interested in Enactus, please email enactus@bryan.edu.

You can learn more about Haiti Made by visiting haitimade.com.

Written by Abigail Brown ‘18
Edited by Britney Wyatt – director of marketing

Bryan College generates $28 million annual economic impact in Rhea County

28 million dollar annual impact.June 13, 2018 – A recent study conducted by Younger Associates found that the economic impact generated by Bryan College and all related operations total $28.6 million for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Bryan College generates annual economic impact from ongoing operations and by capital investments. Economic impact is also generated by student spending in the local economy, as well as the special programs operated by the College that serve groups of people other than enrolled students.

“We are fortunate to be a part of such a strong community,” said Bryan College President Stephen Livesay. “This report shows that investment in Bryan College’s success coincides with the success of our area. Bryan continues to grow and develop so that we can help make all facets of our community stronger.”

Each year the staff, students, contractors, service providers and other vendors of Bryan College spend over $14 million with local businesses, including over $2.5 million on housing, over $2.5 million spent on transportation costs, and over $1.8 million spent for food and groceries.

Individuals employed by the College, both directly and indirectly, generated more than $18.2 million in total wages and benefits, and $551,922 in local tax revenues during the 2016-2017 school year.

In total, 574 jobs in Rhea County are supported by Bryan College operations. The College and dedicated contractors directly employ the full-time equivalent of 372 people. There are 202 indirect jobs that exist throughout the Rhea County economy because of the College’s operations. These jobs exist across all economic sectors in areas such as retail, business and professional services, wholesale suppliers, transportation, utilities, and construction.

The study, conducted by Younger Associates, is based on a model of the local economy, which utilizes data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis that is specific to Rhea County. Regional Input-Output Multipliers have been applied to determine economic impact in terms of dollar value of total economic output, jobs, wages, and local tax revenues generated as a result of Bryan College.

Younger Associates has conducted hundreds of economic impact studies across the United States for over 25 years. The firm’s methodology is recognized by the International Economic Development Council and utilized in courses by the Economic Development Institute.

Bryan College ranked among best online colleges in Tennessee

2018 Best Online Colleges for Value - Tennessee - SR Education Group - Ranking SealJune 5, 2018 – Bryan College was recently ranked #8 in the 2018 Best Online Colleges in Tennessee on GuideToOnlineSchools.com.  The ranking is based on affordability and academic strength.

“This ranking is based on value” said Kelsey D’Ewart with SR Education Group. “We manually researched every regionally accredited online college in the state, taking into account both tuition and academic strength in order to determine the best value schools for students.”

Bryan College offers affordable tuition rates and regularly updates curriculum to meet the needs of the job market. Bryan also offers outstanding extra value through the Bryan Difference Maker; a program through which qualifying Bryan graduates can earn a tuition-free master’s degree.

“Bryan College has been a recognized leader in adult education for over 20 years,” said Dr. Adina Scruggs, Dean of Adult and Graduate Studies. “As the overall education market has trended online, we have transitioned to this preferred modality while maintaining the quality standards expected from Bryan.  We are honored by this recognition of placement in the best online colleges in Tennessee.”

Bryan College now offers seven online undergraduate degrees, twelve online graduate degrees, and two online graduate certificates. All online degrees are offered in an accelerated format to provide students the flexibility to work full-time and care for their families while earning a quality, valued degree.

Learn more about online education at Bryan College.

Bryan College making global impact through international development

The Bryan College entrance sign.May 31, 2018 – Earlier this month, Bryan College’s Center for International Development (CID) hosted Theresa Turtukowskyj from CARITAS, an international Catholic charity based out of Rome that serves the impoverished and vulnerable around the globe.

The Latin word for respect and love, CARITAS works to provide that and more for people in all walks of life. CARITAS offers services that support, counsel, and care for those in need including refugees, migrants, the elderly, individuals with mental and physical disabilities, and those seeking shelter from abuse.

Theresa Turtukowskyj, Director of CARITAS Burgenland, runs three major facilities along the eastern border of Austria that houses and treats children and adults with severe mental and physical disabilities.

In working with individuals with disabilities, CARITAS Burgenland stresses the principles of normalization, self-determination, and integration. CARITAS Burgenland integrates modern, needs-oriented services with high-quality care so that each individual can express their individuality and independence.

Turtukowskyj spent her time in Chattanooga visiting with local nonprofits including the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, Siskin Hospital, and Orange Grove Center. She got to know local leaders and learned how the different nonprofits manage their various services and reviewed their policies so that she can improve how her centers are managed in Austria.

Dennis Miller, CID Director said, “Bryan College stresses the importance of outreach not only in our local community, but around the world. In connecting members of our community with those who do similar work across the globe, we are able to learn from each other and foster long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.”

Bryan College’s CID and the Partnership have a long running relationship spanning over 13 years. In that time, Miller has connected the Partnership with seventeen guests from countries all around the globe including Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Greece, and China. These guests typically specialize in human rights issues like human and sex trafficking and abuse of women and children.

“Since 2005, Partnership has worked with Bryan College in spreading our mission of empowering people and building communities at a global scale,” said Partnership Chief Operating Officer Regina McDevitt. “Partnership has sent employees to Slovakia and Romania to consult and train directors at their centers, focusing on issues related to domestic violence and sexual assault. In a true give and take spirit, Partnership has brought home priceless experiences and knowledge to benefit our clients while also sharing the practices that have worked best for us to help them serve the vulnerable in their communities.”

Since 2003, CID has organized more than 600 global education lectures, seminars, conferences, and projects to provide Bryan students and others with the opportunity to interact with major international experts in areas such as business, politics and government, communications, Christian worldview, and more.

Bryan College 2018 faculty and staff service awards

May 23, 2018 – Each year Bryan College celebrates the years of service of the faculty and staff. The 2018 Citation of Merit awards are as follows.


25 Years of Service

Assistant Professor Bernie Belisle headshot Mr. Bernard Belisle
Assistant Professor of Performing Arts


20 Years of Service

Associate Professor Michael Palmer headshotMr. Michael Palmer
Associate Professor of Communication Studies


15 Years of Service 

Vance Berger, Brenda Sims, Karen Randen, Stephen Livesay(in order of appearance left to right)

Mr. Vance Berger

Mrs. Brenda Sims
Environmental Services

Mrs. Karen Randen
Physical Plant Office Manager
Landscaping Supervisor

Dr. Stephen Livesay

Mr. Dennis Miller (not pictured)
Executive Director of External Communications
Director, Center for International Development

Mr. Steven Paulson (not pictured)
Lead Instructional Designer, AGS


10 Years of Service 

Matt Meloncon, Vickie Patterson, A.J. Caudill, Dr. Adina Scruggs, Dr. Dwight Paige, Dr. Dave Perron(in order of appearance left to right)

Mr. Matt Meloncon
Senior Applications Developer

Mrs. Victoria Patterson
Student Financial Aid Specialist

Mr. A.J. Caudill
Pioneer Food Services Manager

Dr. Adinal L. Scruggs
Dean, School of Adult and Graduate Studies
Associate Processor of Business
Chair, Department of Business and Economics
Secretary of the Faculty

Dr. H. Dwight Page
Professor of Languages and Linguistics

Dr. David E. Perron
Associate Professor of Exercise and Health Science
Assistant Coach, Fishing

Dr. Kathryn A. Saynes (not pictured)
Associate Professor of Education
Chair, Department of Education

5 Years of Service 

Andrew Smith, Wendy Harris, Tommy Shook, Trudy Oviatt, Dwayne Hardyman, Dr. Daniel Gleeson

(in order of appearance left to right)

Mr. Andrew Smith
Assistant Director of Admissions

Mrs. Wendy Harris
Website Content Manager

Mr. Tommy Shook
General Repair and Maintenance Specialist

Mrs. Trudy Oviatt
Environmental Services Assistant

Mr. Dwayne Hardyman
Environmental Services Assistant

Mr. K. Daniel Gleeson
Assistant Professor of English
Assistant Director, Academic Success Center

Mrs. Chloe Townsend (not pictured)
Advancement Writer and Editor