Faculty and Staff
Listed here are brief biographies of our Faculty and Staff.
Department of Education Chair and Field Experiences Coordinator:
Susan Stigall – (828) 689-1177
Dr. Stigall is an assistant professor, Field Experience Coordinator, and Coordinator of the Special Education Program. A 1984 graduate of Mars Hill College, Dr. Stigall earned an M.A. in Education from the University of South Florida, and her Ed.D. in Special Education from Nova Southeastern University.
Program Director, Teacher Education Program:
Loretta Link – (828) 689-1204
Loretta earned Master of Arts degrees in College Student Services and Higher Education Administration from Appalachian State University. She is committed to helping students achieve their educational and professional goals.
Belinda Eggen - (828) 689-1442
Dr. Eggen is the Coordinator for Elementary Education. Before coming to MHC, Dr. Eggen chaired the undergraduate Early Childhood Program for the University of South Carolina at Beaufort and the M.A.T. graduate program for the University of South Carolina at Columbia. She is certified to teach Pk-6 and as a Curriculum Instructional Specialist, Principal, and Reading Recovery teacher. Dr. Eggen has written journal articles in state teacher education journals and a chapter in the book, Mentoring Works: A Sourcebook for School Leaders, edited by V. Krupp. She has also presented at national conferences including those of AACTE and NAEYC. She has been a teacher for 39 years, working with every grade Pk-12.
Chris Cain - resume – (828) 689-1495
Dr. Cain is the Coordinator of MHU’s Master of Education, Academically & Intellectually Gifted, and Integrated Education Programs. Dr. Cain is an alumnus of Mars Hill College (class of 1999). He completed his graduate studies at East Tennessee University and his doctoral degree through the University System of Tennessee. Chris has received his National Board Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification and is a certified NPBTS assessor. He has licensure and teaching experience in general, AIG, and Special Education settings. Dr. Cain is a Mathematics consultant to the NC Department of Public Instruction. His professional interests include early intervention, mathematics literacy/development (K-12), assistive technology, and current litigation/legislation involving Special Education. Professional research interests include Conceptualization of Mathematics, Measuring Response to Intervention (RTI) using Curriculum Based Assessment (CBA), and professional development within the realm of Education.
Susan Stigall – email to Susan Stigall
Dr. Stigall is an assistant professor, Field Experience Coordinator, and Coordinator of the Special Education Program. A 1984 graduate of Mars Hill College, Dr. Stigall earned an M.A. in Education from the University of South Florida, and her Ed.D. in Special Education from Nova Southeastern University. She lives on a "hobby" farm with her husband, Phil, their three children, Jessica, Eric, and Rachel, and way too many animals.
English as a Second Language:
Thomas Destino – resume – (828) 689-1182
Dr. Destino came to MHU in 2002 as Director of the Center For ESL and is Professor of ESL Education. He earned a B.A. in Spanish Education from Niagara University, a M.A. in Spanish from Wayne State University, and his Ph.D. in Foreign/Second Language Education from Ohio State University. Teaching interests include ESL teacher education, second language and literacy development, cultural and linguistic foundations of education, and second language acquisition. His research interests are in language politics, literacy development in a second language, and educational anthropology.
Middle Grades Education:
Jim Brown – (828) 689-1185
Dr. Jim Brown is an Associate Professor and Coordinator for the Middle and Secondary Education Programs. Dr. Brown has recently co-published a chapter in the book Many Pathways to Literacy with Dr. Susi Long and Donna Bell from the University of South Carolina. He has presented papers at the International Qualitative Interest Group Conference, American Education Research Association, and the American Education Studies Association. He has worked as a consultant and fellow for the Kenan Institute for the Arts A+ Schools Program and the NC Teacher Fellows.
English – Adrienne Akins Warfield
Dr. Warfield is an Assistant Professor of English and Coordinator of the secondary English Education Program. She received her B.A. from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in 2004 and her Ph.D. from Baylor University in 2011.
Mathematics – Jennifer Rhinehart
Mrs. Rhinehart is the Coordinator of the Math Education Program and teaches full time in the Math and Computer Science program. Mrs. Rhinehart earned her B.S. degree in Math Education at Mars Hill College and her M.S. in Mathematics at North Carolina State University. She enjoys working with all levels of pre-service candidates to help them increase their content knowledge and pedagogy in mathematics.
History – Pauline Johnson
Mrs. Johnson is Interim Coordinator of the secondary History Education Program and Adjunct Instructor in both the History and Education programs. She earned her B.A. in Education with a minor in History from Warren Wilson College, and a M.A. in Education from Western Carolina University. In addition, Mrs. Johnson earned her Academically Gifted Certification from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and has received her National Board Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification.
Special Subject Areas:
Art – Barbara Cary - (828) 689-1364
Music – Mike Robinson – (828) 689-1210
Mike Robinson is the Director of Bands and serves as the Music Education Coordinator. He received his B.M.E. from Mars Hill College, retired after thirty years with the North Carolina Public School System and returned to Mars Hill in 2007. He is the Director of the Asheville Community Band, a church choir director and is the faculty advisor for Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a professional music fraternity.
Physical Education – Joy Clifton – (828) 689-1368
Joy Clifton is Chair of the Health,Physical Education & Recreation Department, Instructor of Physical Education, and serves as the Coordinator of the Physical Education Program. Mrs. Clifton received a B.A. from Mercer University, and earned her M.S. from California College of Health Sciences.
Spanish – Gregory A. Clemons – (828) 689-1120
Dr. Clemons is Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages at Mars Hill University where he teaches language, literature, and culture classes. He serves on the Teacher Education Council as Coordinator for Spanish Education. He has served on the board of FLANC, the Foreign Language Association of NC, and is a former professor of Continuing Adult Education in Spanish at AB Tech. Dr. Clemons received his B.S. and M.A. in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his doctorate in Spanish from the University of Florida. He regularly takes Mars Hill University students to the State of Chiapas in southern Mexico for intensive culture and language classes.
Director of Assessment:
Dr. Jessica Van Cleave – (828) 689-1146
Dr. Van Cleave came to MHU in 2012. In addition to her role as director of assessment, Dr. Van Cleave is also an assistant professor in the Education Department. She holds a B.A. in English (2001), M.Ed. in English Education (2004), and a Ph.D. in Language Literacy Education (2012), all from the University of Georgia. Dr. Van Cleave’s interests include qualitative methodology and research in the classroom. She also enjoys presenting at national and international conferences.