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Professor Profiles

Dr Wes Atkinson

Dr. Wes Atkinson
Associate Professor
Languages & Literature


Dr. Wes Atkinson studies Native American Literature and Early American Literature, with a passion for Social Justice and Higher Education in Prison. He enjoys helping students of all levels explore the ways literature shapes us and brings us closer to others.


Dr Rob Baron

Dr. Rob Baron
Professor and Department Chair


Dr. Rob Baron is a Professor of Communication and the Chair of the Department of Communication. He earned is PhD in Rhetoric, Scientific, and Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota. He teaches classes in rhetoric, persuasion, digital media, and professional communication. His research interests include Digital rhetoric, social media, professional writing, AI, and digital gaming.


Jamie Bowen

Dr. Jamie Bowen
Assistant Professor


Jamie Bowen is originally from Palo Alto, CA but grew up mainly in Salt Lake City, Utah. He began his faculty career at Austin Peay in 2019 after studying and teaching at Arizona State University. His professional experience includes three years in print journalism (newspaper and magazine) and six years in corporate communication. He has taught various journalism writing courses (COMM 2000 and 4150) and Adobe Creative Cloud based technology courses (COMM 2930 and 3100). Jamie is passionate about helping students attain the knowledge and skills needed for a successful career. 


Dr Rob Baron

Professor Rachel Bush
Graphic Design


Rachel Bush is a Professor of Graphic Design in the Department of Art + Design. She completed her MFA in Graphic Design from the University of Memphis in 2014. Prior to obtaining her masters, Rachel worked in the field as a graphic designer for various organizations including DeSoto County Magazine, Black Knight Press, and the University of Charleston. Rachel’s clients include the Nashville Zoo, University of Memphis Art Museum, and Comedian Amy Schumer. Rachel continues to study humor as an effective method of visual communication and its influence on creativity in the classroom.


Barry Gresham

Professor Barry Gresham
Assistant Professor


Barry Gresham is an associate professor in the APSU Department of Communication and is the coordinator of the Sports Communication concentration.  Under Gresham’s supervision, the student sports productions at APSU received eight different awards from the Ohio Valley Conference including twice receiving the Program of Excellence Award.  Gresham’s play-by-play broadcasts were honored three times with the OVC’s Professionalism in Announcing Award.  Gresham began his broadcasting career in 1986 and has served as a play-by-play announcer for Austin Peay State University, Western Kentucky University, Southeast Missouri State University, Tennessee State University, Sirius Satellite Radio, Comcast Sports Southeast, ESPN3 and ESPN+.


Stephen Kershner

Dr. Stephen Kershner
Associate Professor of Classics
Languages & Literature

  • Education: Bachelor of Arts in Classics, Denison University (OH); Master of Arts in Classics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Doctor of Philosophy in Classics, State University of New York at Buffalo 
  • Location: Harned Hall 214 


Steve Kershner grew up in Rochester, NY,  where he was inspired by Indiana Jones to search the dirt for old stuff he could put in a museum. He only found broken bottles and roofing nails. But, still, he was mesmerized by the ancient world. He has published articles on Roman poetry and its influence in Medieval Ireland and the Renaissance, as well as how Taylor Swift’s songs can help you write in Latin. He has taught courses in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Ancient Literature and Civilization at APSU since 2011 and teaches in a men’s maximum-security prison in Nashville, TN. As well as sharing his love of the ancient world, he is also passionate about spreading the news on how the Humanities can change your life and your career prospects.


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Dr. David Major
Languages & Literature


David L. Major is a Professor of English in the Department of Languages and Literature at Austin Peay State University, specializing in technical writing. He has also worked with international communication and Japanese literature and film.


Daren Michael

Professor Darren Michael
Theatre & Dance


Darren is a Professor of Acting/Directing at Austin Peay State University where he teaches a variety of courses, including Acting, Directing, Improvisation, Playwriting, Script Analysis, and Performance for the Camera.  Darren earned a Bachelor of Arts in Performance from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern Mississippi. His particular interests and training also include Shakespeare and his contemporaries, theatre history, mask work and stage combat. Darren’s plays have been produced across the country from Nashville to New York City. Darren’s full-length play Scarecrows Will Never See A Sunset is published through Steele Springs Stage Rights and his latest work Brief Encounters, a collection of short plays, was released by Waveland Press in January 2023.  Darren is a member of the Dramatists’ Guild, the Southeastern Theatre Conference and former president of the Tennessee Theatre Association. For those interested in viewing more of Darren’s work, please visit www.darrenvanmichael.com.


Jessica Morris

Dr. Jessica Morris
Assistant Professor


Dr. Jessica Morris serves the Department of Communication as an Assistant Professor teaching public relations, social media, and general communication courses and coordinating the Event Planning program through that department. She joined the faculty as an adjunct instructor in January of 2009, after completing her Master of Arts in Corporate Communication at APSU and served in a temporary full-time capacity for ten years before becoming an Assistant Professor. She currently serves as the Undergraduate Coordinator for the Department of Communication and is a member of Faculty Senate.

Dr. Morris received her Bachelor of Science in Communication, concentrated in Public Relations, from APSU in 2005 then began her graduate program in 2007. She completed her PhD in Communication at Regent University in May of 2021.  Jessica worked locally in marketing and advertising and found her niche in event planning before she began teaching at APSU. She has 20 years of experience in this field working to plan and coordinate weddings, galas, festivals, meetings, small conferences, parties and large events including non-profit fundraising events, school organizations events, etc.  In 2013, she completed her certificate program in Meeting and Event Planning through Belmont University and Meeting Professionals International.

Dr. Morris serves with several non-profit ministries within her church and community. She served as a member of the TN Dept. of Education Parent Advisory Council from 2016-2018. Currently, while not at APSU, she serves as the Director of Communication for Hilldale United Methodist Church here in Clarksville, TN. This role includes event planning, professional writing, social media management, public relations, website management and internal communication. In this role, she helped to write formal policy regarding church organization and Covid-19.

Dr. Morris has focused her research and academic presentations around social media and public relations topics, working most recently with public relations topics related to health and unaware or unaffected publics. Her current teaching is focused in business communication, social media principles and tactics, as well as courses in event planning and strategic communication.


Marissa Sikes

Dr. Marisa Sikes
Associate Professor
Languages & Literature


Marisa Sikes joined the APSU faculty in fall 2014 after teaching at the University of New Mexico for two years upon completion of her Ph.D. She specializes in the literature and culture of the Middle Ages with an emphasis on Middle English language and literature, gender and medieval women authors, and religious literature. Her current research engages with French feminist theory and the writings of Hrotsvit of Gandersheim, particularly her dramas. She has published in the online journal The Once and Future Classroom, sponsored by TEAMS, the Teaching Association for Medieval Studies, and has an article that will be forthcoming in the journal Quidditas. On campus Dr. Sikes has organized the Pilgrimage through Medieval Language and Literature every spring since her hiring, which brings students and faculty together outside of the classroom to experience languages and literature from the past. Dr. Sikes teaches courses in British Literature, medieval women's writing, Chaucer, world literature, and the first-year writing program. She teaches online and traditional classes, and has earned the Quality Matters (QM) Peer Reviewer credential, a tool that helps ensure excellence in her online course design.


Micca Terrell

Professor Micca Terrell


Micca Terrell is an Instructor in the Department of Communication and has earned her Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Media and her Master of Arts in Corporate Communication. Micca has worked in the broadcast industry nearly two decades in a variety of roles, including a radio news reporter and anchor at WSM-AM (Home of the legendary Grand Ole Opry), and as a television news producer, web content producer, and assignment editor at WSMV-TV in Nashville. She enjoys sharing her real-world experiences and her research into political communication and social media with her students in her Broadcast News Writing classes, Broadcast Technology and Operations classes, and Media Ethics classes.


Dr Amy Wright

Dr. Mickey Wadia
Professor of Shakespeace and Technical Writing
Languages and Literature

  • Location: Harned 227


Dr. Mickey Wadia serves as Professor of English in the Department of Languages and Literature at Austin Peay State University. A Shakespearean scholar by discipline, he also teaches Technical Writing and courses within the Honors program and is a seasoned classroom veteran with 41 years of higher education teaching experience (30 of those years being at APSU). He regularly presents guest lectures on Shakespeare topics to students in both the Montgomery County School System and schools in Houston County. A frequently invited scholar/speaker for Insight Talks preceding performances of Shakespearean plays by the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Dr. Wadia is also the recipient of APSU’s two most prestigious teaching awards: The Socrates Award (1996) and the National Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award (2007).

Reflecting on his administrative and leadership roles on campus, Dr Wadia has served on the executive committee of the Faculty Senate several times and has also served as president of the Faculty Senate from May 2018—May 2019. For two decades, he has been one of the instrumental driving forces behind several policies, most notably those governing retention, tenure, and promotion at the university. He was elected as the faculty representative to the APSU Board of Trustees and served for two years from July 2019 through June 2021.

A London travel veteran and study abroad “expert,” Dr. Wadia has taken hundreds of students and community members to London, Scotland, Ireland, and Australia in his capacity as Chair of the Curriculum Committee and Board Trustee for CCSA (Cooperative Center for Study Abroad). In June 2019, he was invited to teach a Shakespeare class in London and Paris (May-June 2019) for the Catalyst program. He has also been invited as the faculty representative to accompany APSU alumni in their travels to London, Scotland, Wales, Switzerland, Austria, and Bavaria.  

In his spare time, he loves singing, jamming on his keyboard, and playing guitar. In September 2023, he was chosen by the Dean of the College of Arts and Letters to be the inaugural faculty member to be featured on the Dean’s Faculty Spotlight podcast for the academic year 2023-2024. The podcast can be viewed here.


Dr Amy Wright

Dr. Amy Wright
Professor and Coordinator of Creative Writing for CECA
(Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts)
Languages & Literature

  • Education: Ph.D., University of Denver, M.A., University of Colorado, Boulder, B.A., University of Virginia
  • Location: Harned 215


Amy Wright began teaching at Austin Peay in 2007, after growing up on a farm in southwest Virginia and traveling west for graduate school. She has authored three poetry books and six chapbooks. Her nonfiction debut, Paper Concert: A Conversation in the Round, (Sarabande Books) won the 2022 Nautilus Gold Award for Lyric Prose. She coordinates CECA’s annual Visiting Writers Series and other creative writing events, including the publication of Zone 3 Journal and Zone 3 Press. She recently served as ETSU’s 2022 Wayne G. Basler Chair of Excellence and co-edited and introduced the Virginia volume of The Southern Poetry Anthology.