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New faculty members to provide ‘high-powered academic leadership’

JACKSON, Tenn.May 1, 2009 – Union University has announced the addition of Jennifer Gruenke, Steve Halla and Scott Huelin to its faculty beginning in the fall semester.

“These three new faculty, in addition to Dr. Ben Mitchell (recently appointed as the Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy), add high-powered academic leadership to Union’s stellar faculty,” Union President David S. Dockery said. “The opportunity to add faculty of this caliber at this time in the life of Union University is absolutely amazing.”

Gruenke, who will be an associate professor of biology, comes to Union from Bluefield College. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Bryan College and her doctorate in cell biology from the University of Virginia.

“Jennifer Gruenke is a young scholar in the areas of biology and immunology who can interact across the board with questions related to faith and science,” Dockery said. “She is a very articulate scientist who will have a positive impact on students for years to come.”

Halla, who will be assistant to the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and assistant professor of art, comes to Union from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he is assistant professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Christianity and the Arts. Halla holds a doctorate from the University of Texas at Dallas.

“Steve Halla is gifted and creative,” Dockery said. “His understanding of the Christian intellectual tradition and how it intersects with the art community will bring new insights for Union students in the areas of art history, theology and the arts and aesthetic philosophy.”

Huelin will serve as director of Union’s honors program and associate professor of English. He comes to Union from Valparaiso University, where he has been an assistant professor of humanities in Christ College.

Huelin has a doctorate in religion and literature from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in comparative literature and a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of North Carolina.

“Scott Huelin’s proven scholarship in the areas of literature and the history of Christian thought will enable him to provide guidance for a new and innovative honors program for the best of the best among the Union student body,” Dockery said. “As scholar, teacher and a devoted Christian, Scott will make an immediate impact upon the academic community at Union.”

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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