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Margaret Payne, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Interim Chair, Department of Fine Arts

Old Main, Room 220

Before coming to Freed-Hardeman in 1999, Margaret Payne completed a Ph.D. in English—the first to graduate from that program with an emphasis in women writers. She graduated from Texas Christian University (1991) with a degree in English with an emphasis in writing and the University of Oklahoma (1994) where she completed an MA in American and Native American Literature.

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Adam Booher, B.S., M.M., NCTM
Assistant Professor of Music

Draughon Center for Musical Arts, Room 112

Adam Booher has experience teaching applied piano, music appreciation, and music theory courses. His education includes an M.M. in piano performance from Florida State University and a B.S. in applied mathematics from Lipscomb University. He has performed and presented at conferences, festivals, and universities and serves as the national coordinator of MTNA's senior music competitions.

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Brian Bundren, A.A., B.F.A., M.A., M.F.A.
Associate Professor of Art

Bulliner-Clayton Visual Arts Building, Room 111

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.

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Jud Davis, B.A., M.A., M.A., M.F.A.
Associate Professor of Art

The Studio



Barbara England, A.A., B.S.E., M.S.Ed., Ed.D.
Professor Emeritus of Art

Bulliner-Clayton Visual Arts Building, Room 101

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. She is married to Richard England, Jr.

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Brandyn Graves, B.A., M.F.A.
Assistant Professor of Theatre

Theatre House

Brandyn Graves works as the university’s technical director, as well as an assistant professor of theatre focusing on design and technical theatre. He specializes in production design and conceptual rendering. He obtained his M.F.A. in Production Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design and his B.A. in Studio Art from Freed-Hardeman University.

Some of Graves’ favorite design experiences include The Mountaintop by Katori Hall, Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, and the short film Tesla: War of the Currents.

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Alan Kinningham, B.S., M.M., D.M.A.
Associate Professor of Music

Draughon Center for Musical Arts, Room 111

Alan Kinningham has over thirty years experience teaching music at middle school, high school, and university levels. His education includes a B.S. in music education from UT Martin, an M.M. in music composition from Texas A&M – Commerce, and a 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 have one child 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.  

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Gary McKnight, A.A., B.S., M.A., Ed.D.
Associate Professor of Music; Director of University Chorale

Draughon Center for Musical Arts, Room 103

Gary McKnight is the director of the University Chorale and teaches voice, conducting, music for song leaders, and music appreciation. He received a B.S. in Music Education and an M.A. in Choral Music from the University of Alabama and an 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.

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Cliff Thompson, B.A., M.F.A., Ph.D.
Professor of Theatre; Director of Theatre

Theatre House

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 eight years in north Mississippi before coming to FHU. After twenty 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.

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Laquita Thomson, B.F.A., M.A. in Ed., M.F.A., M.A.
Professor Emeritus of Art

Bulliner-Clayton Visual Arts Building, Room 104

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.

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Dr. Michael Yopp
Associate Professor of Music




Olivia Semore

Old Main Reception Area on A2

Olivia Semore came to Freed-Hardeman as a student in 2010, where she met her husband. During their ten years in ministry together, Olivia graduated from Crowley's Ridge College with a B.A. in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in New Testament Greek.

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