Published on June 18, 2024  
Arts letters behind Mr Beeson DR04132022452

Samford University’s School of the Arts will welcome five new faculty members this fall, effective August 19, 2024.

Julia Higgins will join School of the Arts as an assistant professor of Christian Ministry. A native of Florence, Alabama, Higgins graduated from the University of North Alabama, then proceeded to obtain a Master of Divinity in Christian Education from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. She completed her PhD in Leadership and Christian Higher Education in 2011. After serving in the Memphis area for 18 years, she moved to North Carolina in 2018 to serve as assistant professor of Ministry to Women at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. With a passion for equipping women to serve their local church and be on mission, she serves as a doctrinal reader for Missions Mosaic, a monthly magazine for women that provides stories and ideas to help women live a life on mission. She also co-edited and contributed to several publications and taught at various events. She and her husband Tony enjoy cooking, traveling and watching college football. Their recent travels included a trip to Cyprus and Turkey to serve missionaries and tour the seven churches of Revelation. You can find them on a fall Saturday cheering on the Auburn Tigers and the Georgia Bulldogs, alongside their loveable Shih-tzu, Charlie.

Haelim Allen will join the Department of Art & Design as an associate professor of Art & Design. She immigrated to the United States with her parents and two younger sisters and grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. She is a three-time alumna of the University of Maryland at College Park, where she received her Master of Fine Arts in painting and sculpture. She also holds a Master of Arts in Art History from the University of Memphis and a Master of Religious Education from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. She has taught studio art and Art History for more than 20 years. Her body of work represents very broad answers to complex questions of identity. She has shown in such places as Washington D.C., New York, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Austin, Memphis and Ulsan, South Korea. Allen loves to travel with her family both in the United States and abroad and she has enjoyed places such as South Korea, England, Italy, France and Switzerland, among others. She is married to Henry, and they have a son, Matthew. 

Theo Metz is joining the Music Division as assistant professor of Commercial Music. Metz, based in Birmingham, Alabama, is a skilled audio specialist and educator with a Master of Music in Studio Composition from State University of New York Purchase College and a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from William Paterson University. He has taught at several universities and currently serves the Samford community. As a live audio engineer, Metz has worked in prestigious venues and events across the United States, mixing for artists like the Kronos Quartet and David Phelps, as well as for films and museum exhibits. He has extensive experience in theatrical sound design and recording, with credits including Pulitzer Prize-winning opera compositions and albums by Slow Six and Wires Under Tension. He has also toured as a musician in many countries. Additionally, Metz is an award-winning composer in sound design and electro-acoustic music.

Callan Childs will be moving from adjunct professor to full time faculty as an assistant professor of architecture.  Childs, a native of Birmingham and alumna of Indian Springs High School, is a licensed architect and notable professional in architecture, urban planning and interior design.  She studied architecture at Washington University in St. Louis and obtained her Master of Architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture.  While in Los Angeles, she worked for Kelly Wearstler Interior Design before moving to Boulder, Colo. and working as an urban planner and Director of Interiors at Barrett Studio Architects.  Since moving back to Birmingham in 2012, Childs has been involved in numerous city and private initiatives contributing to the redevelopment and transformation of the downtown landscape.  While serving as Director of Design and Development for Sloss Real Estate, Pepper Place projects received a number of design awards and recognition, the neighborhood footprint expanded and the Pepper Place Entertainment District was established.  Childs is a member of Design Alabama Board of Directors, the City of Homewood Board of Zoning Adjustments, the Urban Land Institute and American Institute of Architects.

Joel Kerner will join the Department of Architecture and Interior Design as an assistant professor of Architecture. Kerner is a seasoned architect, educator and design leader. He holds a BAAS (cum laude) from Judson University and a Master of Architecture II from the Southern California Institute of Architecture. An Illinois licensed architect, Kerner is affiliated with multiple professional bodies including the American Institute of Architects. His academic contributions include serving as an assistant teaching professor at Syracuse University since 2018 and teaching at University of California, Los Angeles and The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Professionally, Kerner is the Founding Principal of Maketa and had previously founded Studio Joel Kerner. He has also worked at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture and MORPHOSIS Architects among others.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.