Office of Faculty Development
The Office of Faculty Development promotes an institutional culture of mentoring relationships and effective support for professional development, so that teacher-scholars can flourish in the classroom and within their scholarly disciplines at all stages of their career. We believe a diverse and inclusive community of faculty is essential, and we work to advance the College's efforts to cultivate a diverse faculty at all levels.
Rhodes College joined the ranks of hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide in becoming a member of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), a national organization dedicated to supporting faculty and their professional development in academia.
Dean for Faculty Development
Amy E. Jasperson, professor of political science, joined the faculty in 2012. She was the recipient of multiple teaching awards, including the President’s Distinguished Achievement Award in Core Curriculum Teaching, the President’s Distinguished Award in Teaching Excellence, the Amber Award given by students, and the Regents Outstanding Teaching Award given at the System level, at her prior institution. Her teaching and research interests focus on American politics, political communication, public opinion, and political psychology. Students in Dr. Jasperson’s classes have participated in research involving young voters’ responses to political campaign messages through media. Dr. Jasperson served on a Rhodes team working with faculty at other liberal arts colleges to identify best practices in core curricula and to communicate the value of a liberal arts education to wider audiences. She also has served as a Faculty Trustee, a member of the strategic planning steering committee, and an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in the U.S. Senate. Dr. Jasperson is a magna cum laude graduate of Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where she double-majored in Art History and Political Science. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.
Dr. Jasperson is the office’s point person for faculty development, mentoring, and faculty evaluation. She administers a number of faculty development programs (e.g., Faculty Development Endowment Grants, Professional Travel Funding, Rotational Professorships, Early and Sabbatical Leaves) and liaises with the Faculty Development Committee (FDC) and the Technology and Academic Space Committee (TASC). Her office works to expand faculty development programs and resources. On the reviews side, she administers the student evaluations of teaching (SETs). She works closely with chairs and faculty evaluation committees (Tenure & Promotion) at all levels of faculty evaluation.
Director for Teaching Mentoring
Gordon Bigelow, professor of English, has taught at Rhodes since 1998 when he finished a Ph.D. in the Literature Program at UC Santa Cruz. A scholar of nineteenth-century Britain and Ireland, Bigelow publishes on subjects ranging from the history of economic thought to the Irish Famine and the history of the novel. Current research projects are focused on the Irish novels of Anthony Trollope and on the treatment of Atlantic slavery in Victorian political economy. At Rhodes, he teaches courses in modern literature and literary theory, with emphasis on race, colonialism, and economic thought. A former chair of the English Department, he has served on the Faculty Governance Committee and was elected Presiding Officer of the Faculty 2015-2018. He is the 2010 winner of the Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Teaching.
Director for Scholarly and Creative Activity Mentoring
Dr. Loretta Jackson-Hayes is professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry, and has been at Rhodes for 16 years. Trained as a pharmacologist, her research focuses on determining the roles of genes involved in fungal cell wall metabolism. The results gathered could be applied in the development of antifungal drugs and agricultural and industrial fungicides. Dr. Jackson-Hayes has published scientific papers with students as co-authors and her research has been supported by over one million dollars in grant funding from Research Corporation, the Merck Company Foundation, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). In 2015, she received the Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Teaching and as a result delivered the 2015 Rhodes College Opening Convocation Address entitled “Become Essential.” Dr. Jackson-Hayes is a national spokesperson for STEM education, particularly within the liberal arts environment, publishing a Washington Post op-ed and delivering a TEDX Talk on the subject. She has served on numerous NSF grant proposal review panels and was a member of the 2018 NSF Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Committee of Visitors, which served as an external review team for the entire division’s operations. She is a 2016 alumna of the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Institute, a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Dr. Jackson-Hayes is a proud native of Coldwater, MS, and enjoys spending time with her husband, Ken, son, Kendel (16 years), and daughter Naomi (6 years).
Director for Faculty Reviews
Rashna Richards, associate professor and T. K. Young Chair of English, has been at Rhodes since 2008. She directs the Film and Media Studies program and has served on the Admissions Policy Committee, the Common Table, and the Tenure and Promotion Committee, as well as ad-hoc working groups on campus. She has received Mellon-funded faculty innovation fellowships and ACS-awarded faculty development grants. Richards’s areas of specialization include American film and television, critical theory, and transnational cultural studies. She has published two books on American cinema with Indiana University Press, and her monograph on serial TV dramas is currently under contract with Oxford University Press.
Instructional Technology Team
The Instructional Technology Team (ITT), part of Information Services at Barrett Library, is dedicated to supporting excellent teacher-scholars at Rhodes:
Director of Academic Technologies
Manager of Instructional Technology
Desktop Support Specialist