New faculty come from varied backgrounds

New faculty come from varied backgrounds

Posted on Friday, August 30, 2019

New faculty lined up in two rows in the library

The college is welcoming eight new faculty members for the 2019-20 academic year. They are: from left, Colleena Collins, Kelly Ansley, Dr. Samuel Miller, Dr. Dixie Powers, Dr. Richard Soash, Deborah Butler, Amber Spratlin and Beth Dismuke-Evans.

Dr. Colleena Collins, Visiting Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, earned a bachelor’s degree in pre-med and biology from Southeastern Louisiana University, a master’s of exercise and doctorate in chiropractic, both from Life University. She was director and orthopedics instructor at Atlanta School of Massage and owner of Sports Academics and Performance and Rehabilitation, Retrain and Iron Cubz, in Woodstock, Georgia. She likes to watch live sports events, cook Louisiana cuisine, camp with her husband and dog and binge-watch Netflix shows. 

Kelly Ansley, Assistant Professor and Library Director, earned a master’s of education in instructional technology, library media and a master’s in library and information science from Valdosta State University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in history from Georgia State University. She was previously library director and Title IX Coordinator at East Georgia State College. In the sixth grade, she had so many books that she started a lending library, loaning books to her young friends (with no overdue fees).  Her extended family includes two turtles, a beagle and cats Smoky, Spooky, Oliver, Popsicle and Meow. 

Dr. Samuel Miller
, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Ensembles, earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Valdosta State University, a master’s in music education from the University of Georgia and in Choral Conducting from Mercer University. He also holds a doctorate in musical arts, choral conducting from the University of Kentucky. Before coming to LaGrange, he was a high school choir teacher at Woodland High School in McDonough, Georgia. A native of Brunswick, he and his wife have two children. His claim of fame is that he once sang backup for Kenny Rogers.

Dr. Dixie Powers, Assistant Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Auburn University, a master’s from the clinical mental health program at Auburn and a doctorate in counselor education and supervision, also from Auburn. She worked previously as an adjunct at Auburn University. Dr. Powers comes to us from Columbus, Georgia, where she owns her own private practice. She is a big Auburn Football fan, and she and her husband spend most of their time with their 7-month-old son and dog.

Dr. Richard Soash, Visiting Assistant Professor of History, holds a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Florida Southern College, a masters of arts and a doctorate in U.S. history post- 1865, both from Florida State University. He worked as a visiting assistant professor at Florida State University, and has done research on immigrants from the Middle East to the United States around the turn of the century, as well as the policies affecting those group’s legislation and judicial cases. His hobbies include pickup basketball, board games and college sports, especially those of Florida State University.

Deborah Butler, Assistant Professor of Nursing, holds a master of science in nursing degree from Troy State University and a BSN from LaGrange College. She was previously a nurse practitioner at several local medical clinics and a registered nurse at WellStar West Georgia Medical Center in LaGrange. She has lived in Gabbettville (halfway between LaGrange and West Point) for all her life. She has two grandchildren and one on the way. One of her favorite activities is finding frogs with her grandson.

Amber Spratlin, Electronic Resources Librarian, earned her bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from LaGrange and a master’s in library and information science at the University of Alabama. She was program coordinator in the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects at the University of West Georgia. Amber enjoys portrait photography and photo editing, worked for a while with exotic wildlife (including baby tigers and giraffes), and once solved a Rubik's cube in less than 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Beth Dismukes Evans, Assistant Professor of Nursing, holds a bachelor’s in public relations from Auburn University and BSN from Jacksonville State University, a master’s in public health and nursing administration from University of South Alabama and a post-master’s certificate in nursing education from Jacksonville State University. She was a nursing instructor at Southern Union State Community College and a registered nurse at several area medical clinics and the Auburn City School System. Originally from Brewton, Alabama, she met her husband, Dexter, while taking care of his father at UAB.  They were married in 2011 and have two girls – Sidney, 7, and Emma, 4. She teaches Pilates classes and loves to travel with her family.


Video of the week


Campus notes

It’s less than 50 days until Homecoming 2019. Be sure to visit to learn more and start making your plans.

The Tutoring Center will open Tuesday. Its regular operating hours are 5-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays in the group study rooms in the 24-hour study area in Lewis Library. Tutors will be available for mathematics, problem solving, organic and general chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology, physics, Spanish, intro to statistics, psychology/behavioral statistics and business/accounting, economics. For more information, contact Dr. Stacey Ernstberger at or by calling 706-880-8016.

Dr. John Tures, Professor of Political Science, was recently interviewed on HBO’s “Vice News” about the assault weapons ban.

The college will be closed Monday for Labor Day. Classes will resume on Tuesday.

Panther meter showing 60 donors of a 1,140 goal

Alumni: Your philanthropy makes all the difference to the students at LaGrange. Your gifts help provide them with tools to succeed, but your involvement also means more opportunities for the college to receive large charitable foundation grants that provide even greater opportunities for students—like new buildings and programs. If at least 1,140 alumni join us in supporting students by June 30, 2020, it will show how passionate our alumni are about higher education, providing great opportunities for the next year. Go to or call the Development office at 706-880-8039 to make your gift.



Cultural Enrichment events


  • Clubs and Organizations Fair, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Dickson Assembly Room



Men’s soccer
The Panthers open their 2019 season with a two-game road trip to Jackson, Mississippi. LC faces Millsaps today (Friday) and Belhaven on Saturday. The Panthers were 10-9 last season and reached the USA South Tournament.

Women’s soccer
As with the men, the Panthers travel to Jackson, Mississippi, to start their 2019 season. LC takes on Centenary (Louisiana) today (Friday) and Millsaps on Sunday. The Panthers return 15 players from last season, including leading scorer Zoe Watts.

The Panthers begin the 2019 season at the McAttack Bash hosted by Birmingham-Southern in Alabama. LC takes on St. Catherine and Rhodes today (Friday) and host Birmingham-Southern on Saturday. Senior middle blocker Jazzlyn Kenner was a USA South All-Conference first team selection last season.

Cross country
The LC cross country teams open their 2019 season today (Friday) at the Watermelon Run hosted by Berry College. Sophomore Holly Moreland was USA South All-Conference Honorable Mention last year.

Category: College, Faculty, Academics

Keywords: faculty

Press Contact

Debby Baker

Last updated: 08/30/2019