Dr. Joseph Hopkins, professor of music and dean of the School of the Arts at Samford University, holds degrees from Shorter College, Baylor University and Indiana University. He completed a diploma from the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education at Harvard University and was recently named a Fulbright Senior Specialist. Before Samford, Hopkins served as dean of the Petrie School of Music at Converse College and chair of the Department of Music at the University of Evansville. He founded the Harlaxton International Chamber Music Festival and served on the faculty of the Operafestival di Roma (Rome, Italy). Performances include leading opera roles with the Operafestival, the Dallas Lyric Opera, and Wildwood Opera Theatre; soloist with the St. Petersburg State Orchestra, International Chamber Orchestra of Rome, and Moscow State Philharmonic; recitals at St. Martin in the Fields Church of London, on Chinese National Radio, and for the Atelier Chabmer Music Series of Paris; and concerts in the North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Recordings include The Songs of Richard Faith, a collaboration with the composer for Leyerle publications; Canciones, a collection of Spanish songs performed with guitarist Renato Butturi; and contemporary christian recordings with his wife, soprano Suzanne Hopkins. Upcoming events include regional performances and various concerts in Asia and England. He is the proud father of two precocious boys, Joseph and Vance, who make every day more interesting and enjoyable.
Rachel Lim holds the bachelor of music in music education with honors in performance from Samford University and the master of music in music theory from Florida State University. She is a member of Delta Omicron international music fraternity, Pi Kappa Lambda national music honor society, and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, from which she received a graduate fellowship in 2005.As an undergraduate student at Samford, Rachel performed with numerous musical ensembles, including the Samford Orchestra, A Cappella Choir, Wind Ensemble, and Bells of Buchanan. At FSU, she served as a graduate teaching assistant for courses in sight singing/ear training and music theory for non-music majors. She also was a committee member for the FSU Music Theory Society’s annual student conference, Music Theory Forum.After five years of service as Arts Recruiter, Rachel became Director of Student Services for the School of the Arts and academic advisor for music majors and minors in fall 2012. She also teaches freshman-level music theory courses.
Dr. Allison Clough holds a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from Drake University (Magna cum Laude) where she studied under Marc Ryser, a master of music degree from Bob Jones University studying under Thomas Grimble, and a doctor of musical arts degree studying under Amanda Penick at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Originally from Duluth, Minnesota, Allison has also lived, studied, and taught in Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama. Beginning piano lessons at age 3 using the Suzuki method, her natural aptitude and diligence created opportunities for working under premiere instructors including Leonidas Lipovetsky at Florida State University. She was winner of the North Florida Concerto Competition, Honorable Mention at the Winter Music Symposium for the Florida Community College Association, received the Gertrude Rowan Scholarship and the President’s Scholarship, a soloist with the Chipola Regional Symphony Orchestra, and has performed in Japan. Dr. Clough has directed large studios of piano students, held the position of Assistant Musical Director for the The University of Alabama Theater Department during the productions of The Threepenny Opera and Side Show, worked as a cocktail pianist for the Ecstasy ship for Carnival Cruise Line, and served on the piano faculty at MississippiState University. In her spare time, Allison enjoys spending time with her husband, John Paul, and her two daughters.
Joel Scott Davis is a composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist with a diverse background in music theory, composition, arranging, audio technology, and film scoring. He is an Assistant Professor of Music at Samford University, where he serves as the Coordinator of Music Theory and Composition. He has previously held appointments as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Theory and Composition Studies at The Master’s College, as well as Adjunct Instructorships at Claremont Graduate University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In addition to teaching at Samford, he also serves as an Instrumental Music Associate on the Worship Arts staff at Shades Mountain Baptist Church.Davis received a Bachelor of Music degree in Theory and Composition with Honors in Double Bass Performance summa cum laude from Samford University before earning his Master of Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Composition at Claremont Graduate University. His teachers include Peter Boyer,Edward Zeliff, James A. Jensen, Rebecca Remley, and Bob Burroughs. He has participated in master classes and seminars with Eric Whitacre, Steven Stucky, and Sam Jones, and he has pursued independent studies in arranging and film scoring with Van Dyke Parks and Bobby Horton. He has performed as a double bassist with the Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and Gadsden Symphony Orchestras, and his conducting appearances include concerts and premieres by various choral and instrumental ensembles at Shades Mountain Baptist Church, The Master’s College, and Samford University.As a composer, orchestrator, arranger, producer, and performer, Davis remains active across a wide array of genres: his commissioned compositions have received premieres at Carnegie Hall, the Great Hall at Harlaxton Manor, and the Palais Ferstel in Vienna; his film scores have been featured in international film festivals, as well as television and internet broadcasts; his orchestration credits include premiere performances by the San Francisco Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Academy Awards Orchestra, and the Grand Rapids Symphony; and his production credits consist of EPs and albums for singer-songwriters, bands, and various vocal and instrumental ensembles. Davis’s scholarly interests include the practice of hymn quotation in American music; the relationship between religious faith and the humanities; the resurgence of tonality among contemporary composers; the far-reaching influence of film and popular music; and the increasing impact of technology upon the arts. His doctoral research culminated in a multidisciplinary D.M.A. paper entitled The Populist Variations: The Role of Hymnody in the Music of Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, and John Adams. He has presented film screenings of his original music scores at the Lilly Fellows Program National Conference, as well as the Christ College Symposium at Valparaiso University. His awards and fellowships include the Lilly Graduate Fellowship in Humanities and the Arts, the Fernandez Prize in Music, and the Grace Hobson-Smith Music Fellowship. Past and present professional memberships include the Birmingham Art Music Alliance, the American Composers Forum, the Society for Music Theory, the American Musicological Society, the College Music Society, Broadcast Music International (Classical and Film/TV), and the honor societies of Omicron Delta Kappa, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Kappa Phi.Davis is married to Lauren Heerssen Davis, a fellow Samford alum who serves as the Registered Dietitian at Magnolia Creek Treatment Center for Eating Disorders. They have one daughter, Ansley Kate.
Ms. Harrington has served on the faculties of Samford University, the University of Montevallo, Alabama School of Fine Arts, University of Evansville, and Innsbruck Music Festival in St. Louis. She maintains a large, selective teaching studio in Birmingham, from which students consistently place into All-County, District, and State Bands, as well as All-State Orchestra, Alabama Youth Symphony, and Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra. She has worked as flute sectional instructor and clinician at many secondary schools in the greater Birmingham area, and has presented chamber music concerts in many local elementary schools. For 10 years before becoming a full-time educator, Ms. Harrington had a successful orchestral career, holding Principal Flute positions with the Orlando Philharmonic, Evansville (IN) Philharmonic, and Owensboro (KY) Symphony, and section positions with the Saint Louis, Alabama, and Brevard (FL) Symphonies. She has worked as a guest musician with many other orchestras, including the Indianapolis Symphony, the Nashville Symphony, and the Florida Orchestra. While a member of the Saint Louis Symphony, Ms. Harrington appeared at Carnegie Hall on tour, and was heard on several radio broadcasts. On scholarship, she has participated in the Aspen, Domaine Forget (Quebec, CA), and Grand Teton music festivals.A native of New York State, Ms. Harrington enjoys teaching music to all ages, from preschool to college. Since 2009, she has held the position of Music and Movement teacher at Saint Luke’s Day School, in Mountain Brook, AL. From 2007-9, she was the Music Specialist for Oak Mountain Intermediate School. Mrs. Harrington lives in Inverness with her husband and two children.
Kevin Kozak has been a member of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra since 1981. He holds a Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music in New York. Mr. Kozak has performed, recorded and toured with the Atlanta Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and the Nashville Symphony. His performances include eight recordings with the Atlanta Symphony and appearances in Carnegie Hall with the Atlanta and St. Louis orchestras. He has performed as a studio musician in Nashville, recording the theme music for CNN, Wimbledon, IMAX theaters and local news, as well as commercial and religious recordings. In 2009 he toured the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia with the Trinity United Methodist Brass Quintet, who performed in churches, schools and public squares throughout the region. Locally Mr. Kozak is a faculty member of Samford University, where he is the instructor of horn, a member of the Samford Faculty Brass Quintet, the director of the Samford Horn Ensemble and a classroom teacher of Symphonic Literature, Music Appreciation and Music Theory.In addition Kozak is the horn instructor of the Alabama School of Fine Arts and director of the Chamber Choir of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Hoover.He and his wife Sophie are the proud parents of two grown sons, Michael and Thomas.
Mark Lackey is a composer and educator with a background in composition, music theory, and theory pedagogy. An Assistant Professor of Music at Samford University's School of the Arts, he teaches music theory, aural skills, form and analysis, and private lessons in composition. Previous teaching appointments include Adjunct Instructorships at Towson University, Johns Hopkins University, and The Peabody Conservatory. Lackey earned the degrees Doctor of Musical Arts in composition, Master of Music in theory pedagogy, and Master of Music in composition from The Peabody Conservatory where his teachers included Christopher Theofanidis, Bruno Amato, and the late Nicholas Maw. He completed his undergraduate studies with majors in clinical psychology and piano performance under Jerome Reed at David Lipscomb College, now Lipscomb University. Lackey’s music has earned him premieres from the Eastman Wind Orchestra, Definiens Ensemble in Los Angeles, and violinist Courtney Orlando. He has received awards including a Johns Hopkins University Arts Innovation Grant and an Encore Grant from the American Composers Forum. A recording of his chamber work Fairy Tale was featured in the inaugural issue (No. 53) of the College Music Society’s Symposium Online: Audio Performance Archive, a peer-reviewed presentation of the work of College Music Society members. Lackey is a member of the American Composers Forum, the College Music Society, the Birmingham Art Music Alliance, and Pi Kappa Lambda national honor society in music. Mark Lackey is married to Jennifer Lackey, an educator in the field of film studies. They have one daughter, Tabitha.
Sarah attended Belhaven University for her Bachelor of Arts degree in
Collaborative Piano and Pedagogy, studying under Dr. Stephen Sachs, and
completed her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at the
University of Louisiana at Lafayette, studying under Dr. Susanna Garcia.
While living in Lafayette, Sarah taught piano privately at the Acadiana
Symphony Conservatory, Iberia Music Academy, and Highland School of
Music; and taught class piano at ULL as an adjunct instructor.
Sarah is a member of MTNA and of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music
Honor Society. She has done extensive work collaborating with other
classical musicians for performances at the university and in the
community, and served as a church pianist for several years in
Louisiana. Sarah has performed in masterclasses for pianist Dr. Courtney
Crappell, harpsichordist John Paul, and flautist Josué Casillas. She is
also a former member of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Sarah teaches class piano at Samford University and accompanies for
students and classes in the music department. In addition, she teaches
privately in the Birmingham area. She and her husband Steven are members
of St. John’s Anglican Church.
Eric Mathis believes corporate worship is the most important activity in the Christian church, and he is deeply committed to assisting leaders and congregations exercise wisdom, discernment, and responsibility in their local context. Eric is Assistant Professor of Church Music and Worship Leadership at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music and worship and has recently been named program director of anima: the Forum for Worship and the Arts at Samford University. Before moving to Alabama, Eric taught as an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University and Baylor University. He has maintained an active role in various music ministries, serving congregations in Missouri, Illinois, Texas, California, and is now on the music staff at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church.An ordained minister, Eric holds a Bachelor of Music from Wheaton College (IL), a Master of Music in Church Music from Baylor University, a Master of Divinity from George W. Truett Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Theology (Christian Worship, Preaching) from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA, where he has also served as an adjunct faculty member in Worship, Theology, and the Arts. His dissertation, Campaigning in the House of God: How Worship Shaped Southern Baptist Ecclesiology in the Controversy of 1979, examined the relationships of conflict, ritual, and political agenda during the largest denominational split of the twentieth-century.Eric maintains memberships in the American Choral Directors Association, the Academy of Homiletics, Choristers Guild, the North American Academy of Liturgy, and The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada where he has served on the editorial board for The Hymn. Mathis remains active as a speaker, worship leader, and worship consultant with upcoming engagements at the National Convention for the American Choral Directors Association, the Polyphony Fellowship of Pastoral Musicians, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, PASSPORT Camps, Alleluia! Many Voices One Song at Baylor University, and the North American Academy of Liturgy. He is published in The Hymn and Christian Reflections, and he is a regular contributor to Worship Leader Magazine and WorkingPreacher.org. Eric is married to Brittany, a CPA and Coordinator of Tax Reporting for the Energen Corporation. And, perhaps most importantly, Eric is a worshiper himself. To that end, the heart of his vocational calling is to help other worshipers deeply experience the privilege it is to offer worship to God in Christ through the Spirit so that the Kingdom of God may flourish in the world.
Randall Richardson is a Professor of Voice in the School of the Arts at Samford University and serves as Department Chair of Performance Studies in the Music Division. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from Louisiana State University and the Bachelor of Music degree from Samford University. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Richardson has performed with the Kansas City Lyric Opera, Atlanta Ballet, Alabama Ballet, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Pensacola Opera, Alabama Operaworks, Birmingham Civic Opera, Opera Birmingham, Northland Symphony, UAB-Town and Gown Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theatre, Red Mountain Orchestra, Birmingham Festival of Arts, and Birmingham Savoyards. He has been a finalist in the Gulf Coast Metropolitan Opera Regional Auditions and the National Association of Teachers of Singing "Singer of the Year" regional auditions. He has also recorded two solo albums of sacred music and been a featured soloist in a number of university and church concert series. His book The Audition Sourcebook (co-authored with Don Sandley, Samford University Theatre Department Chair) was published by Heinemann. Dr. Richardson has served as Chair of the Alabama Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing State Vocal Auditions and is an annual presenter at the Southeastern Theatre Conference regional convention. He has had the pleasure of teaching nine Miss Alabama Pageant winners (including Diedre Downs, Miss America 2005, and a first runner-up, third runner-up, and fourth runner-up in Miss America Pageants). In 1993, his student, John Autry, was a national winner in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions. In addition to teaching careers, past students have performed in Las Vegas, Disney World (Orlando and Tokyo), cruise ships, national TV commercials, film, Off-Broadway, opera companies, and regional music theatre companies. Dr. Richardson is an avid bicyclist, serving as a Birmingham Bicycle Club ride leader, and is married to Rebecca Richardson, retired Director of the Regional In-Service Center at the University of Montevallo. They have two children, Colin and Eden, and attend Baptist Church of the Covenant.
Brandon Slocumb, Interim Director of Athletic Bands, has been teaching and playing music professionally for 14 years in Alabama, Texas, and North Carolina. After completing a bachelor's degree in Music Education at Samford University he moved to Texas to complete a master's degree at the University of North Texas. A desire to teach at the college level led Dr. Slocumb to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 2009. While at UNCG, he conducted extensive research in music performance anxiety and audition preparation, ultimately publishing a dissertation on the subject of anxiety and how it relates to brass performance. This study has lead to many opportunities teaching master-classes on brass fundamentals and audition preparation. Dr. Slocumb has a long track record of successful students, some of whom are now professional musicians. While in Birmingham, he has been on staff at Vestavia High School, Spain Park High School, Samford University, Birmingham-Southern College, and Alabama A&M University. As a trombonist, Dr. Slocumb has been very active in the southeast playing with several big bands and backing up performers such as The Temptations, Wayne Newton, The Irish Tenors, and Natalie Cole.
Chris Smith is a sought after guitarist and guitar teacher in the Birmingham area. Since earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Guitar Performance from Samford in 2005, he has taught guitar for numerous churches and studios, culminating in over 10,000 lessons given. Because of his proficiency in a variety of genres, he is continually in demand for studio recordings and other various performances. His music career has allowed him to perform all over the Southeastern United States.Chris is passionate about church music; ensuring that the best is offered up to our God. He has served at Hunter Street and Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, and is currently the Minister of Music at Cedar Grove Baptist Church. He is married to Rachel Holland Smith, also a Samford graduate, who is the Choral Director at Berry Middle school. They have one daughter, Summerlyn Grace.
Jaroslaw Szurek has a master's degree in musicology with specialization in early music from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, and a master's degree in information science from the University at Albany, SUNY. His research interests include music of the 16th century, early music theory and music metadata. He contributed articles to the Polish Encyclopedia of Music. He is married to Wiesia, and they have two children, Daniel and Anna.
Frederick Teardo is Director of Music and Organist at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama. Prior to his appointment in 2012, he held a six-year tenure at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City, where he served for most of that time as Associate Organist, preceded by his initial post as Assistant Organist. He is also Adjunct Instructor of Organ at the University of Montevallo, and currently serves as a lecturer at Samford University.Dr. Teardo received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music, as well as the Master of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees. At Yale, he studied organ with Thomas Murray and harpsichord with Richard Rephann. During his time at Yale, he held the post of Yale University Chapel Organist, and later served as Assistant Organist at Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green in New Haven, CT. Dr. Teardo received his Bachelor of Music degree with Highest Honors from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where he studied organ with David Higgs. His other teachers have included Stephen Roberts and Haskell Thomson. He has also studied improvisation with William Porter and Jeffrey Brillhart. An avid performer, Dr. Teardo has won first prize in numerous competitions and has performed across North America, including such venues as the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Washington National Cathedral, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Trinity Church Copley Square in Boston, Princeton University Chapel, and the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer in Calgary, Alberta. Dr. Teardo’s solo recording is available from JAV Recordings, and features works of Bach, Boyvin and De Grigny on the historic 1741 J.A. Silbermann organ of Saint Thomas Church in Strasbourg, France. He has also been a featured performer at Regional and National Conventions of the American Guild of Organists and Organ Historical Society, on American Public Media’s Pipedreams, BBC Radio 3 and four CD recordings with the Saint Thomas Choir.Dr. Teardo is represented by the Concert Artist Cooperative.
Clarinetist and conductor Brian Viliunas has given performances in eleven states and Washington D.C., fourteen countries, and on three continents. He has played with orchestras in Houston, Racine, and Alabama, and also the Bergen Philharmonic while living in Norway.
Laura S. Byland, who is joining the Samford faculty this fall, has livedand taught in Shawnee, Oklahoma since 1992. In her time at Oklahoma Baptist University she taught, designed, and directed in the theatre department, most recently serving as Associate Professor and Director of Theatre. Byland is most proud of her work in developing the Theatre for Young Audiences that presented quality productions for children at OBU for nearly twenty years. An extension of her passion for children’s theatre can be seen in the Scissor tail Children’s Theatre, an independent children’s theatre in Shawnee, co-founded by Byland andfor which she serves as Artistic Director. Byland has created award-winning scenic and lighting designs for variouscollegiate, community, and commercial theatres. She was honored to light theaward-winning show Your’s Isabel at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival in 2011. Byland has served as the Chair for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region IV Oklahoma State and has received awards including Excellencein Scenic Design, The Director’s Choice Award Region IV, Commendation fordirecting, and the University of Oklahoma’s School of Drama award for Outstanding Lighting Design.Byland’s other creative interests include quilt making and designing andcreating stained glass. She also enjoys spending time with her husband, Dr.David Byland, their three daughters, son-in-law, and grandson.
Mark Castle is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, teaching in the areas of acting, directing and design, and is the advisor for the Musical Theatre program. Originally from England, he attended drama school at the Arden School of Theatre in Manchester. He received a B.A. (Honors) degree in Drama from the University of Leeds, focusing on Scenography. During this time he spent a semester at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark., where he met his wife, Starla. Before coming to live in the States, he worked professionally as a designer and stage manager at several theatres in England. He earned his M.F.A. in Theatre from the University of Memphis, Tennessee, in directing, and has worked as an actor, stage manager, director and designer at Greenbrier Valley Theatre in West Virginia. In the Birmingham area Mark has performed with Birmingham Festival Theatre, Muse of Fire & Theatre Downtown. He was the voice of Charles Wesley in the documentary film "A Heart Set Free", and his short play "The Night the Widget Broke" was published by iUniverse, and performed at the Short & Sweet Festival in Sydney, Australia. Mark is also the director of the Praxis Project, a collaborative faculty/alumni theatre company. He has two sons Sean & Charley.
Mr. Glenn joined the theatre faculty in the Fall of 2010 after serving 10 years as the Technical Director of Samford's 2600 seat Wright Center Concert Hall and 2 years as the Technical Director for the School of the Arts. In addition to his work at Samford, he has worked as a project designer for Ozworks and as a consultant to several schools and churches. Before coming to Samford, Mr. Glenn spent 3 seasons as the Technical Director for the Dallas Theater Center. He also served as the Technical Director for Birmingham Summerfest for 3 seasons as well as 2 seasons as Technical Director with Horn in the West outdoor drama. His emphasis in the department is on teaching Stagecraft to the theatre majors and overseeing the construction of the departments productions.
Eric Olson earned his B.A. in 1972 from the University of Montevallo where he majored in business with a minor in theater and philosophy. He went on to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and earned his M.F.A. in stage design in 1974. Olson is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829, New York City: Scenic Design Category.Since receiving the M.F.A., Olson has created scenic, costume and/or lighting designs for more than 200 productions in the worlds of theater, opera, ballet, concert and television, working in venues from London to Las Vegas. Since 1974, he has been faculty designer at Samford University. In the fall of 1993, he served as an assistant in the production offices of London's Royal National Theatre. Olson has also designed scenery for Six Flags over Georgia's music revue This Is America! and designed the main news and weather set for WBRC-TV, Fox 6, in Birmingham, Ala.Olson specializes in scenic, costume and lighting design at Samford University and also teaches theatre appreciation, professional competency reading, set design, costume design, stage management and scenic art and theatre in London."Mr. O" believes the educational process in theatre, especially in the design and technical areas, takes place as much in the backstage and in the scenic studio as the classroom. Skills that students master include more than sculpting, painting and draping. Teamwork, organization, imagination and ingenuity are all part of the process of putting a set on stage and clothing the characters. When lights come up on the finished setting on opening night, everyone who worked to make the visual production a reality can feel a sense of pride.
Don Sandley has built a thirty-year career as a director, actor, playwright and professor. A few of his recent credits include Gidion’s Knot for Birmingham Festival Theatre, The Light in the Piazza for Samford and he co-direction and co-author of the children’s play Alicia en la Loteria for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland, and The Light in the Piazza for Samford University. Don has acted professionally on stage and screen, appearing in the feature film October Baby and the sold outproduction of White Christmas for the Wright Center.Don’s recent projects include Theatre Outreach, an arts education ministry designed to bring theatre and dance to underserved populations and the Betterworld Theatre Project, an initiative that use theatre to explore ethics in the professional world. In April, Don will direct the Pulitzer Prize winning play Water by the Spoonful for Birmingham Festival Theatre.
Joseph Cory is an artist and associate professor in the Department of Visual Art. He received a BA from Central College (IA), a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA from the University of Chicago. A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Cory previously taught as an instructor at the University of Chicago and Carthage College (WI), and full time for seven years in the Department of Art and Design at Judson University (Elgin, IL). While at Judson, he also served as the director of the Draewell Gallery of Art from 2008-2012 and Department Chair in 2013-14. His artwork has been exhibited nationally and he is the recipient of a number of grants and awards, and has participated in a variety of competitive workshops including: "The Whale and Star Summer Workshop in affiliation with the Anderson Ranch" in Miami with the artist Enrique Martinez Celaya (2011), and the "Project R5: A Visual Arts Workshop and Studio in Johannesburg and Cape Town South Africa" (2013). He is scheduled to have a one person exhibition at ROOM406 in Chicago this coming March (2015). When not working in the studio or teaching in the classroom, Cory enjoys spending time with his wife Sara and their four children, cooking, reading, and cheering for the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bears.
Dr. Mary Ann Culotta is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. Prior to her retirement in 2007 she was Director of Arts Education for the Jefferson County Board of Education supervising Fine Arts programs K-12 in 55 schools. She is currently Visual Artsand Art Education professor at Samford University where she received her undergraduate art degree. Dr. Culotta holds a Masters degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and a PhD from The Florida State University. Dr. Culotta serves on several arts boards, as well as, acting in an advisory capacity to various arts and educational organizations. She has received numerous awards for her work in the areas of arts education, administration and advocacy. She has conducted workshops/lectures at the national, state and local levels. She is an appointed Art and Design Examiner for the International Baccalaureate Organization - Cardiff, Wales. Dr. Culotta is a painter and mixed media artist often using eclectic media as part of the creative process. In her spare time she enjoys travel, cooking,reading and aerobic activities in and outdoors.
A native of Huntsville, Ala., Richard Dendy received his B.F.A. from Auburn University in 1979 and his M.V.A. from Georgia State University in 1983. He began his teaching career at Auburn University in 1982 and taught there for three years before moving to Montevallo. He was a visiting professor at Georgia State University and taught 13 years at the University of Montevallo. Professional experience includes illustration and design for NASA, art direction for Performing Arts magazine of Houston and design for Texas Instruments. Clients and publications featuring his work include: Southern Living, National Forum, Georgia Trend, Southern Living Classics, Christian Single, Cooking Light, Performing Arts , Scope magazine of Houston, Smithsonian, The American Dietetic Association, Southpoint, Life, In Health, Parenting, Sports Illustrated, Oxmoor House, Jackhammer Design, Lewis Advertising, Gillis Advertising and Public Relations and Houston Symphony.
Scott Fisk is a graphic designer, artist, and educator. He graduated first in his class from Memphis College of Art with an M.F.A. in computer art and received his B.F.A. in graphic design from Henderson State University. Fisk’s interests include web design, typography, photography, motion graphics and multimedia. He began his career in graphic design in 1994 at NetM Communications, an interactive agency with customers in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe. Since then, he has lived and worked in the U.S. and Britain. His motion graphic works have been featured on major television networks in the U.S., Australia and Japan. Fisk's work is part of permanent collections in numerous galleries and museums, including the U.S. National Archives. He served as an Army Reserve photojournalist in Iraq, often serving as a combat photographer with U.S. and Iraqi units during combat operations. He was recently selected as a Road Scholar by the Alabama Humanities Organization. Fisk is an active member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and serves as a Birmingham AIGA board member and educational chair. He enjoys traveling with his wife, Timarie, who shares his peculiar interest in broadsides, ephemera and antique printing processes.Website: www.scottfisk.com
Dr. Charles Ford is an Associate Professor in the Department of Interior Architecture, teaching in the areas of Building Systems, Digital Communication, Historic Preservation, and Sustainable Design. Prior to joining Samford University in 2006, he taught eight years in secondary and post-secondary education. Prior to teaching, he worked in various design firms for seven years. He serves on the Bessemer Hall of History’ board of overseers, ADDA International Board of Directors, committee member of Energy/Existing Building/Green/Property Maintenance/Zoning Code Interpretation Committee (ECIC) and participates widely in various industry-related events. He is an active member of IDEC, The International Code Council, and the Southeast Chapter Society of Architectural Historians.Research areas include image-based inquiry, vernacular architecture of Alabama,and sustainable design.
Preston Hite, Associate Professor, earned his Bachelors of Science (1999)degree and his Masters in Architecture (2001) degree from Georgia Institute of Technology and is a Registered Architect. Since 1999, he has practiced in a variety of settings, including traditional design practice, as an owner of a design-build firm, and, most recently, as a preconstruction coordinator for a large construction company. His project experience ranges from small residential additions up to new construction of major hospitals. Included within his project experiences, his projects have won four AIA design awards. His first teaching experience came in 2008, when he taught an architectural theory course at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. In 2009, he taught visual arts, art history, and music at the Tianjin International School in China. He first taught as an Adjunct Instructor at Samford in 2010, teaching design studios courses. Preston is an active member of the American Institute of Architects.
Kathryn Kauffman is an instructor of art and art history and manager of the Warner Foundation. She received a BFA from Birmingham-Southern with a concentration in sculpture and a double-major in art history, and an MA from the Universities of Alabama at Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. A native of Birmingham, Kauffman has previously taught at UAB and Birmingham-Southern College.Her professional areas of focus include Renaissance, Baroque, and American art, as well as museum studies. In her work with the Warner Foundation, she oversees a collection of over 200 works by American artists and craftsmen dating from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Among the collection are works by Marie Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, Thomas Cole, the Peales, Gilbert Stuart, and James McNeill Whistler. Outside of class and collection management, Kauffman enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and three dogs, and cooking what is harvested from her garden.
Jeannie Krumdieck, IIDA, Professor and Chair of the Department of Interior Architecture, earned her Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Mississippi State University and her Master of Science in Interior Design from the University of Alabama. She began teaching after14 years of successful professional practice in New Orleans and Birmingham. Prior to joining the faculty at Samford, she was part owner and Director of Design for the Garrison-Barrett Group, Inc., a local architectural and interior design firm. She and her husband own Krumdieck A+I Design, Inc., an architectural and interior design firm where Jeannie continues to serve as a consultant. She has served as president of the state chapter and on the National Board of Directors for IIDA (International Interior Design Association), and remains involved in the architectural and design community. Her collaborative design projects have won numerous awards and recognition from the Design Educator’s National Exhibition, Alabama Chapter of IIDA, Birmingham and Alabama Chapters of the American Institute of Architects, Southern Living Magazine, Southern Accents Magazine,and was the grand-prize recipient of the 2008 Southern Accents /ASID National Residential Interior Design Award.
Robin Snyder received her degrees from University of South Alabama and Florida State University. She has taught art at kindergarten through college level and has also taught workshops, community courses and various art museum programs. as well working as an art therapist in a mental hospital. She is currently the art gallery director at Samford and teaches Foundation Design courses. Her personal art is multimedia and reflects art history as well as the irony and humor found in modern-day life.Browse some of Robin Synder's Work.
Larry Thompson, Professor of Art, has served as Chair of the Art Department since coming to Samford in 2007. A native of El Paso, Texas, Thompson has taught in Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas prior to moving to Birmingham. In addition to teaching painting and drawing courses, and chairing the department, Thompson is an artist who has recently exhibited work in China, New York, Texas, California, Alabama, Illinois, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee. He is an active member of the College Art Association (www.collegeart.org), and has served as Career Mentor for CAA numerous times and will be doing so again, in addition to presenting at the CAA Conference in Chicago in 2014. Thompson holds an MFA in Painting from The University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, and a BFA in Art and Design from The University of Texas at San Antonio, and is represented locally at Space One Eleven Art Space. You can view more of Thompson's work at www.artbylarrythompson.com. Larry also serves on an advisory council creating the Salvador's Deli art event and fundraiser for art supplies for school children in partnership with UAB and The Birmingham Museum of Art, more information can be found at www.salvadorsdeli.org. Leaving LouisianaOil on Wood12”x 24”2010 National Juried ExhibitionSylvia White Gallery, Ventura, Californiawww.sylviawhite.com Reading FriedmanOil on Wood42”x 48”Art of the State Juried Exhibition 2010Tennessee Valley Museum of ArtTuscumbia, AlabamaChasing Blue SkyOil on Wood8”x 18” National Small Oil Painting Juried Exhibition, Juror’s AwardWichita Center for the Fine Arts, Wichita, Kansas A MondayOil on Wood48”x 66”Art of the State Juried Exhibition 2010Tennessee Valley Museum of Art Tuscumbia, Alabama Someone Else Oil on Wood 24” x 48”TKAM 2010Exhibition: An exhibition of works celebrating Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Birmingham, Alabama
Stephen Watson earned a B.A. in Art in 2010 from Williams Baptist College, where he studied painting and Christian ministries. He earned an M.F.A. in Art in 2013 at The University of Alabama, where he transitioned from painting to sculpture. Prior to joining the Samford family in the fall of 2013, he taught part-time in Tuscaloosa, Alabama at both Shelton State Community College and The University of Alabama.Stephen creates multi-disciplinary conceptual sculptures, utilizing materials such as spices, tape measures, balloons, and gum wrappers to create theologically rich work. He strives to make work that is both contemporary and faithful, or, as he likes to put it, “I’m devoted to Christ and devoted to Art without adulterating either.”
Mary E. White is a professional artist who has received local, regional and national recognition for her work in photography and oil painting. Her photographic skills lend a special dimension to her landscape paintings; she captures the emotive experience of light and mass. White is a freelance artist and photographer for a wide range of project areas, including portraiture, equine art, promotional and industrial photography, nature and wildlife works. She has been awarded area portrait commissions for public viewing, and her oils are in several state collections. Her work has been included in national magazines and art catalogs. White's entry was among the Top 100 in the National Arts for the Parks competition. Her numerous exhibitions include the Smithsonian Institute and the Birmingham Museum of Art.White has been a faculty member at Samford University since 1989 and concurrently, at the Birmingham Naval and Marine Center for Limestone College, South Carolina. She has also taught gifted high school students in the Alabama Governor's School and has taught numerous private students. White serves as a juror, lecturer consultant for art exhibits in Alabama and assistant professor in the department of art at Samford University.White earned a master of fine arts degree at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Although she obtained her formal education in Alabama institutions, she has continued her lifelong learning experience in Europe as well as in various regions of the United States.