Alice Lloyd College’s Humanities Division houses the academic disciplines of English, Art, Drama, Speech, and Music and offers additional coursework in Philosophy, Liberal Arts, Religion, Communication Studies, Theatre Arts, and Spanish.
By serving as the foundation for ALC’s liberal arts education, the humanities promote the theoretical investigation of the human condition by fostering critical thinking, personal expression, and academic inquiry in its students through the acts of writing, reading, performance, and research. Because of their philosophical orientation, humanities courses most often analyze aesthetic traditions and cultural values within a socio-historical context by a faculty dedicated to providing a student-centered education in the classroom.
Besides regular coursework, the Humanities Division also provides many extracurricular opportunities on ALC’s campus. Students may compete in the Billie and Curtis Owens Writing Contest and the James V. Mongiardo Speech Competition, sing as members of The Voices of Appalachia choir, act in campus-sponsored plays, or learn the craft of spinning clay for pottery. Such opportunities allow students to explore a variety of disciplines in the humanities, which add to their understanding of themselves, their culture, and their place in the world.
Majors / Minors Offered
Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Arts in English
Bachelor of Arts in English Education 8-12
Bachelor of Arts in History
Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts
Minor in English
Minor in History
Speech Communications and Theatre Arts Minor
Voices of Appalachia
The Alice Lloyd College Theatre Club
The Billie and Curtis Owens Literary Society
Spinning Pottery with Michael Ware
The Billie and Curtis Owens Writing Contest
The James V. Mongiardo Speech Competition
Meet Our Faculty
Dr. Dave Buckner
“A native of Newport, Tennessee, Dave Buckner has spent the better part of the last twenty years living and working in the Tri-Cities town of Johnson City. Dr. Buckner earned his bachelor of science and master of arts degrees in history from East Tennessee State University – in 2006 and 2008, respectively – and his Ph.D. in Comparative Humanities from the University of Louisville in 2018. A social and cultural historian by training, Dr. Buckner specializes in the history of ideas broadly construed. His main area(s) of interest/expertise include the histories of science, philosophy, economics, and religion. Before joining the faculty of Alice Lloyd in the Fall of 2022, Dr. Buckner served as an adjunct professor of history, humanities, philosophy, and cross-disciplinary studies at ETSU and several neighboring community colleges, including A-B Tech in Asheville, North Carolina, Mountain Empire in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, and Northeast State in Blountville, TN.”
Dr. Rhonda Smith-Daugherty
Dr. Rhonda L. Smith-Daugherty, Professor of History and Departmental Chairperson, earned her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in 1999 and has taught history since 1993. She joined the faculty of Alice Lloyd College in 2004.
Dr. Smith-Daugherty’s specialty is 20th Century American history. Her research interests include the American Civil War, World War II, and the 1960s. She has published several book reviews and encyclopedia articles. Currently, Dr. Smith-Daugherty is researching the Iran-Contra Scandal for an upcoming collaborative work on counterinsurgency in American history. She is also writing a book on President John Kennedy and South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem.
Additionally, Dr. Smith-Daugherty is a certified Teacher Educator and a member of ALC’s Teacher Education Program Committee. She serves as the American History Content Specialist, Social Studies Education advisor, and Pre-Law advisor. Dr. Smith-Daugherty is also the advisor for the Jack Cooke Kent Scholarship Program, the James Madison Scholarship Program, and the Impact Club. She serves as Assistant Sponsor for the Alpha Chi Honor Society.
Dr. Steve Herr
Dr. Steve Herr serves as a Professor of Political Science at Alice Lloyd College. He received his bachelor’s from Antioch College and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Columbia University in Philosophy and the Social Sciences.
Dr. Herr has worked at the college level for over twenty years as a professor and administrator. He has won awards for both teaching and research. Beyond his book and his academic publications, Dr. Herr’s work has appeared in numerous publications including the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Christian Science Monitor. His editorial, “America needs a free press,” was published in the State Journal-Register, (Springfield, Illinois). He has spoken at numerous national and international conferences, including the Kentucky Association of Teacher Educators Conference where he spoke on the topic of, “A History of Faith and Knowledge.” Dr. Herr has also worked for the Associated Press in Washington D.C. and ran a gubernatorial campaign.
Assistant Professor Natalie Holt
Mrs. Natalie Holt is an Assistant Professor of English, with additional teaching duties in Theatre. She has lived in Pippa Passes her entire life, graduating from both The June Buchanan School and Alice Lloyd College. After receiving her B.A. in English from ALC, she earned her M.A. in English from Morehead State University and her M.A.T. in English Education from the University of the Cumberlands.
Mrs. Holt has participated in several highly selective national programs, including two National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminars and a writing workshop sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2015, Professor Holt was selected by the Kentucky branch of the English-Speaking Union as their scholarship recipient for the month-long “Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance” program, held at The Globe Theatre in London, England.
In addition to her teaching duties, Mrs. Holt directs theatrical productions for both The June Buchanan School and Alice Lloyd College. She also serves as the advisor of the Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society and is the coordinator for ALC’s involvement in the Appalachian College Association’s Study Away Network.
Assistant Professor Art Melton
Art Melton is born and raised in Eastern Kentucky. He is married with two sons and his family looks after their three dogs (Daisy, Bowser, and Lily) and two cats (Timmy and Henry), all of which are rescue animals.
Mr. Melton served eight years on active duty in the U.S. Army and 14 years (and counting) in the Kentucky Army National Guard. He is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm and worked as a Criminal Investigator with the United States Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID). He retired from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, having worked as a Correctional Officer and UNICOR Factory Foreman.
Currently, Mr. Melton serves as the Humanities and Social Sciences Division Chair, Criminal Justice Program Coordinator, and Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Alice Lloyd College. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Justice, Policy, and Leadership (Criminal Justice), both from Eastern Kentucky University. He is working on his doctorate (EdD) in Educational Leadership with Liberty University and is currently in the dissertation phase (ABD).
Dr. Sara Pitts
Dr. Sara Pitts is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies. She completed her doctorate in Communication Studies with emphasis in Instructional and Interpersonal Communication at West Virginia University. She completed her M.A.E. in Counseling and Student Affairs in 2012 and her B.A. in Corporate and Organizational Communication from Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, KY. She is a Kentucky native with an interest in helping students achieve their goals. She worked as an academic advisor at WKU for several years before starting her PhD, which ultimately lead to her research interests in the intersections between instructional communication and academic advising. Her teaching interests include small group communication, interpersonal communication, and organizational communication. When she is not in the classroom or her office, you will likely see her walking around campus with her best boy, her dog, Archibald.
Dr. Mark Rubin
Dr. Mark Rubin, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, came to Pippa Passes in 2021. Dr. Rubin has nearly 30 years of law enforcement experience at the state and local levels and holds a Master Peace Officer license and Police Instructors certification in the state of Texas. He has been teaching traditional and adult students at the university level for 10 years in Ohio, Florida and Texas, most recently as the director of the criminal justice program at Ashland University. Additionally, he has taught in law enforcement academies for over 20 years.
Dr. Rubin holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Houston, a master’s degree in education from Western Governors University, and a doctorate in criminal justice from Capella University. His areas of expertise are in cybercrime, human trafficking, criminal investigations, homeland security, and law enforcement administration but has a particular affinity for criminology and theories of crime and victimization.
Dr. Rubin is married to Dr. Mindy Rubin. Together they enjoy traveling, riding trails in their Jeep, and spending time with their three dogs.
Dr. Cindy Salmons
Dr. Cindy Salmons is an Assistant Professor of English and co-chair of the English Department. She joined the faculty at ALC in 2008. Her areas of study include 20th Century American Literature, Women’s Literature, and Appalachian Literature. Her doctoral dissertation, “‘Strength to do what we can’: Sacrifice and Empowerment in Appalachian Women’s Literature,” combines these interests and was completed at the University of Kentucky in 2012, where she also completed a certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies. She earned a Master’s Degree from Marshall University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Alice Lloyd College. Her other areas of teaching interest include Composition (introductory and advanced), 19th Century American Literature, African American Literature, and Technical Writing. She won the Alice Lloyd College Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award in 2015. She attended The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s Seminar on Slave Narratives in American Literature and History, held on the campus of Yale University, in June 2016.
Instructor Wendy Saylor
Wendy Saylor is the conductor of the Voices of Appalachia. Mrs. Saylor is a native of Tampa, Florida. She is a graduate of the University of the Cumberlands with a Bachelor in Music Education. Meeting her husband at Cumberland, they began their teaching careers in Knott County, Kentucky, in 1976. Mrs. Saylor taught elementary music, beginning band, and high school choir. She retired from the Knott County School System after 33 years.
Along with her teaching career, Mrs. Saylor was the Choral Director of the Hazard Community Civic Chorus for 10 years and is presently the Choir Director of the Hindman First Baptist Church Adult Choir, in Hindman, Kentucky. She has held this position for 20 years.
In addition to her bachelors degree, Mrs. Saylor has a fifth-year graduate program degree in Education from Morehead State University. She has held a position as an adjunct faculty member at Alice Lloyd for 12 years. The last 8 years included serving as the Music Instructor at The June Buchanan School, a private, K-12 college-preparatory school on the campus of Alice Lloyd College. Wendy and her husband, Bob, have one daughter who is married and living in Georgetown, Kentucky, and has blessed them with twin grandsons.