Brian Butterfield holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Harding University, a master’s in biology from Arkansas State University and a doctorate in zoology from Auburn University. He began teaching at Freed-Hardeman in 1996 and currently conducts research in vertebrate biology, specializing in amphibian and reptile ecology, biogeography and conservation. Within this research, Dr. Butterfield is focusing on turtle community dynamics and invasive gecko behavior—a task he enjoys sharing with students active in the Research Center. He has authored or coauthored over 40 articles, four book chapters and a book on herpetological subjects. In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Butterfield is also director of the university’s research center and faculty sponsor of the FHU Bass Anglers, our nationally ranked intercollegiate fishing team.
Kay holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from Arkansas State University and has taught at Faulkner University, Alabama Council on Human Relations, and at Freed-Hardeman University. As a certified instructor and third-degree black belt, she founded the Freed-Hardeman University Taekwondo Club in 1996. She currently teaches English Composition and Taekwondo.
Jim Barr completed his undergraduate studies in chemistry at Freed-Hardeman and later received his master's in chemical physics from the University of Nevada, Reno. During his stay at UNR, Mr. Barr took part in several research projects on chemical dynamics and molecular control, working with the Department of Energy at Sandia National Laboratory’s Combustion Research Facility. After graduation in 2005, he returned to Freed-Hardeman as an instructor in chemistry.
Lee Barton is an FHU graduate (class of 2009) with a B.A. in Biology and master's in education (class of 2013). Lee is currently teaching freshman level lab courses and working on his Master's in Science degree through Mississippi State University. He also assists with some undergraduate research with aquatic salamanders and turtles.
Wendy Bennett-Gean, B.S., M.S.
Instructor of Biology
Associates Science Center, Room 128
Wendy currently serves as an instructor of biology, teaching Human Anatomy and Physiology as well as Principles of Biology. She earned her B.S. Degree from Freed-Hardeman University in May 2008 in biology and secondary education. She served as an educator for five years at Chester County High School. Her passions include teaching beautiful minds about the Creator's design, running, and spending time at the center of God's creation, Maywood Christian Camp. In the summer of 2014, Wendy married Ben Gean of Savannah, Tennessee where they happily live.
Charles Corley, B.S., M.S.
Assistant Professor of Health and Human Performance
Charles Corley received his undergraduate degree from Freed-Hardeman University in 1979 and his master's degrees from Memphis State University in 1989. He has worked at FHU for 28 years. He is a certified Water Safety and Lifeguard instructor with the American Red Cross. Before returning to Freed-Hardeman, Charles was an advertising representative with The Jackson Sun in Jackson, Tennessee.
Joe DeLay received a B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics from Middle Tennessee State University, a M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Georgia, and a Ph.D. from Georgia Tech. He taught two years at Abilene Christian and two years at DeKalb Junior College. He has worked as a polymer chemist and a highway marking formulator. He has taught Chemistry and Physical Science at Freed-Hardeman University for 31 years. He has been married to Kay DeLay for 48 years, and they have one daughter, Daphne, who is both a mother and pharmacist. His hobbies include photography and giving away money for mission work.
Jonathan A. Estes, B.B.A., M.A.T.
Lecturer in Arts & Humanities and Physical Education Activities
Dan Kirkland Wells Field House
Jonathan Estes received his bachelor's degree from Freed-Hardeman University in business administration and master's degree in teaching from Lindenwood University. After graduation from FHU, Estes was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals and spent three years as a pitcher in the organization. He then spent four years teaching mathematics and pre-engineering courses at Ritenour High School in St. Louis and three years as head baseball coach at Harris-Stowe State University. Estes came back to FHU in 2009 as the head baseball coach for the Lions. He has been married to the former Ashley Bennett for eleven years and has two boys, Dean and Lane.
Paul Fader came to teach in the Biology Department at FHU in 1993. He graduated from FHU with a B.S. in Biology and went on to Abilene Christian University to get his Master of Science Degree. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi. His research at Ole Miss focused on iron bacteria and its ability to form biofilms in water wells. He is an environmental microbiologist. His research areas at FHU's Research Center include water quality, water bacteria, wetland plants, and bacteria. He teaches Microbiology, General Biology, and Plant Taxonomy.
Caleb M. Kersey, B.S., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Associates Science Center, Room 120
Caleb Kersey graduated from Freed-Hardeman University in 2005 with a B.S. in Biology. He then attended Tennessee State University where he earned his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences. His dissertation focused on the functional genomics of a bacterial plant pathogen, Pectobacterium carotovorum. He currently teaches Principles of Biology as well as Human Anatomy and Physiology.
Anthony W. Kirk, A.A., B.A., M.Ed., Ph.D.
Professor of Health and Human Performance
Tony Kirk graduated from Freed-Hardeman University with an A.A. degree in 1970; from Harding University with a B.A. in Physical Education in 1972; and from Middle Tennessee State University - M.Ed. in Physical Education. From the fall of 1973 until the summer of 1976, he was enrolled in Texas A&M University. In 1976, he returned to Freed-Hardeman University as an instructor in the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Department. He completed his Ph.D. in Health and Physical Education from TAMU in 1979. He has done additional graduate work at the University of Memphis.
Dr. Kirk has served FHU as a baseball coach, a tumbling coach, a cross-country coach, director of intramurals and campus recreation, and as the chairman of the former Department of Health and Human Performance. He teaches Physiology of Exercise, Anatomical Kinesiology, Biomechanics of Human Motion, and Motor Learning, plus other courses. He has been heavily involved with the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) since 1972 and the Tennessee Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (TAHPERD) since 1976, serving in several offices, including two terms as state TAHPERD president.
He is married to the former Debbie Matthews, and they have two children, Matt and Andrea, and two grandchildren, Jack and Levi.
Dr. Kirk has completed his 38th year at FHU.
Gayle McDonald, ATC, LAT, B.S., M.Ed., M.S.
Certified Athletic Trainer; Assistant Professor of Health and Human Performance
Gayle McDonald received her bachelor's degree from Freed-Hardeman University and her master's degrees from the University of Memphis. She became a certified athletic trainer in 1988 and served as an athletic trainer and instructor at Murray State University and the University of Memphis prior to returning to FHU in 1999.
Dale E. Neal, B.A., M.P.E.
Lecturer in Physical Education
Brewer Sports Center, Room 117
Dale Neal received his bachelor's degree from Harding University and his master's degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He just completed his 20th year as head women's basketball coach at Freed-Hardeman University. His Lady Lions teams have been ranked in the NAIA's top 25 in every National Poll since the 1998-99 season and have qualified for 18 consecutive national tournaments. He is married to the former Kathy Miller. They have 4 children and 15 grandchildren.
LeAnn Self-Davis received both her bachelor's and her master's degree in Agronomy and Soils from Auburn University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas. She began teaching in the Department of Chemistry and Engineering Sciences in 1999. While a faculty member at FHU, she has been active in water quality research of local systems. She served as the director of the Research Center for the School of Sciences and Mathematics from 2005 to 2009. In 2009, she began her new role as Dean of the School of Sciences and Mathematics. Dr. Davis now serves as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Jason Shelton, B.A., M.Ed.
Lecturer in Health and Human Performance
Brewer Sports Center, Room 118
Jason Shelton received his undergraduate degree from David Lipscomb University in 1991 and his master's degree from Tennessee State University in 1994. He has worked at FHU for nine years. He is also our men's basketball coach. Before coming to FHU, Jason spent time working at the University of Colorado, the University of Utah, and David Lipscomb University.
Rachel Stevens graduated from Freed-Hardeman University in 2003 with a B.S. in Biology. She then returned to her home state to complete a Ph.D. in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at The Ohio State University. The focus of her dissertation research was identifying and characterizing stimuli that alter DNA repair. She joined the faculty at Freed-Hardeman in June of 2010 and currently teaches Anatomy and Physiology as well as Principles of Biology.
After completing the pre-engineering program at Freed-Hardeman, Charles Tucker received his bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering from Tennessee Technological University. After receiving his degrees, he worked for Carpenter Wright Engineers where he served as the lead structural engineer for the Opry Mills Mall located in Nashville, Tennessee. After obtaining his professional engineering license in 2000, he began teaching in the pre-engineering program at FHU. He completed a Ph.D. in the fall of 2007. His dissertation, "Predicting the In-plane Capacity of Masonry Infilled Frames," has led him to be active in the Masonry Standards Joint Committee that writes the masonry code.
Dwina Willis graduated from Freed-Hardeman with an associate’s degree in biology and later received her bachelor’s degree from Harding University. Following her undergraduate studies, Mrs. Willis pursued a Master of Science in biology. She is an associate professor of biology and Bible at Freed-Hardeman and teaches freshmen biology classes and three women’s Bible classes. Mrs. Willis says she enjoys discussing the beauty of God’s design in nature and in the human body. As director of the pre-professional health arts program, Mrs. Willis works with FHU’s pre-professional health arts students to prepare them for their journey from high school to professional school.
Natalie Zlatovich, B.S.
Anderson Science Center, Room 113
Natalie graduated from Freed-Hardeman University way back in 1996 with her B.S. in Biology. She has been serving in the role of administrative assistant to the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since June 1998, and she loves it! Please feel free to contact her with questions you have about the arts and sciences area. If she is unable to help you herself, she can find someone who can!