Barbara England came to Freed Hardeman University in 1995. She graduated from the University of Memphis in 1987 with a B.S. Ed. in Secondary Education with an endorsement in Art Education, and received a M.S. Ed. in 1991, from Troy State University. She received an Ed. D. from the University of Memphis in 2000, in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership, with a concentration in Instructional Design and Technology. Before she came to Freed-Hardeman she worked in advertising and taught art K-12 for eight years in Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee. She currently enjoys working in encaustic painting and is the chair of the Department of Fine Arts. She is married to Richard England, Jr.
Brian Bundren holds an M.F.A. from the University of Memphis, an M.A. from the University of Indianapolis and a B.F.A. from the Herron School of Art/Indiana University. Prior to becoming the Painting and Drawing Instructor at Freed-Hardeman, Mr. Bundren worked ten years for the Indianapolis Museum of Art in Curatorial Support. Mr. Bundren has been with the university since 2008 and teaches Painting I - IV; Drawing I & II; Renaissance Art History and supervises Senior Practicum.
Laquita Thomson was born in Corinth, Mississippi, and has lived in the South most of her life, with the exception of extensive travel times spent overseas.
Since she was a little girl, Thomson has done art. She has been on the art scene in various capacities, including teaching art at all levels. She shows professionally and her work is in many museum collections. She feels her most important role for her students is to model what it means to be an artist, both as a profession and a lifestyle.
Thomson also teaches art history and has done original research and published articles and book chapters in the field.
Thomson’s twin sons and her grandchildren live in Georgia.
Lecturer in Fine Arts (Staff)
HoMUR 211 Hamlett
Algene Steele received his bachelor's degree in visual communication from Freed-Hardeman, an MFA in graphic design from the University of Memphis and an MA in creative studies and change leadership from Buffalo State College. He has taught courses in graphic design, illustration and creativity in the Department of Fine Arts since 1986. During this time he has also served as creative director in the Office of Marketing and University Relations and has worked in various roles as freelance designer and consultant to businesses throughout West Tennessee. Additionally, he serves as director of The BellTower Group, an organization that provides opportunities for design, advertising and public relations students to gain practical experience with "real world" clients. His primary focus is helping students, businesses and organizations reach their greatest creative and innovative potential, regardless of their chosen fields or areas of interest. His other interests include painting, writing and travel.
R. Cliff Thompson serves the university as director and professor of theatre. He received a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Mississippi and a B.A. in theatre from Harding University. After completing his M.F.A. at the University of Memphis, Thompson worked professionally in the Memphis theatre community. He then taught college theatre classes for 8 years in north Mississippi before coming to FHU. After 20 years spent in educational theatre training students to work professionally, Thompson feels blessed to see so many of his graduates working in New York and elsewhere.
Richard England holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Union University, with a Master of Music and Doctor of Education degrees from Memphis State University. He also has post-doctoral studies in psychology/school psychology at the University of Memphis and Austin Peay State University with continuing education studies at Oxford University. Dr. England began teaching at Freed-Hardeman in 1995 and has authored numerous published articles, book chapters, and books. He is also a frequent performer with recent performances as a part of Makin’ Music Showband; musical theater performances at FHU; accompanist; and has performed internationally as a solo pianist. Dr. England coordinates the after-school piano program through the Music Development Program of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto (initially known as the Carnegie Hall/Royal Conservatory Achievement Program), and is a Founding Teacher with the program.
Dr. Gary McKnight
Director of University Chorale; Associate Professor of Music
Gary McKnight is the director of the University Chorale and teaches Voice, Conducting, Music for Song Leaders, and Music Appreciation. He received the B.S. in Music Education and M.A. in Choral Music from the University of Alabama and the Ed.D. in Higher Education from the University of Memphis. Gary was chair of the Department of Music at Alabama Christian College (Faulkner University) from 1980-1983. In 1990, he came to Freed-Hardeman University as the director of freshman advising. He became the director of the Sonshine Singers/Chorale in 1993, and in 2003, he became a full-time faculty member in the Department of Fine Arts. Gary is married to the former Rosemary Whittle, and they have two married sons and four grandchildren. They enjoy traveling, taking students on mission trips around the world, and fishing with their grandchildren.
Alan Kinningham has over thirty years experience teaching music at middle school, high school, and university levels. His education includes B.S. in music education from UTMartin, M.M. in music composition from Texas A&M – Commerce, and D.M.A. in music composition from The University of Memphis. At Freed-Hardeman, Alan teaches music theory, composition, form analysis, orchestration, conducting, music literature, and woodwinds.
An active composer, Alan enjoys writing for a wide variety of musical genres and styles such as band, choir, string ensembles, jazz ensembles, as well as popular song styles.
Alan is married to his favorite first grade teacher, Jan. They have two sons: Drew and his wife Kirby live in Springfield, Missouri and are expecting their first child in October, 2013, and Bennett who is studying civil engineering at the University of Memphis. The family resides in Covington, Tennessee and attends the Covington Church of Christ where Alan serves as an elder.