Faculty

Dr. Dennis Chen

Dr. Dennis C. Chen is an Associate Professor of Management and International Business at Belmont University. He received his Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Kentucky as well as a MBA degree from Baylor University and a BE degree in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University. He has seventeen years of operations, engineering and R&D management experience within multinational companies, specifically in the consumer products disposable diaper business.

Dr. Chen lived and worked in China on a two year international assignment as the startup plant manager for a production facility outside Shanghai, China. He has since visited China and Taiwan on multiple occasions, leading groups of undergraduate and MBA students on study abroad trips.

Dr. Chen teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in operations and supply chain management and international business. He also facilitates several executive education courses for Belmont’s Center for Executive Education. In his operations management course, he emphasizes systems thinking and continuous improvement utilizing lean and six sigma methods. He also volunteers with TNCPE to help TN organizations continuously improve using the Balridge framework. His current research interests are in the areas of supply chain relationships, supply chain social responsibility and lean Six Sigma implementation.

Kerry Graham

Kerry is the founder & proprietor of The Brand Hotel, an innovative marketing agency that swaps marketing expertise and senior staff time for corporate equity and a share of revenue. Prior to The Brand Hotel, Kerry was the CEO of BOHAN Advertising in Nashville. Under Kerry’s direction, BOHAN won the coveted awards “Southeast Small Agency of the Year” and “Best Agency Culture/Silver” from Ad Age, as well as “2015 National Healthcare Agency of the Year” from Modern Healthcare magazine. In adddition to BOHAN, Kerry has worked at several ad agencies, including J. Walter Thompson and Hill Holliday Connors Cosmopoulis, and founded the ad agency Campaign, Inc., which became the agency of record for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Kerry is active in the Nashville community. He has served as President of the Tennessee Repertory Theater Board, Marketing Chair for the Adventure Science Center, and board member for the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Art Museum, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Ensworth School and Wake Forest University’s School of Business.

Kerry is an avid biker and bad golfer; he and his wife have three children.

Kerry earned his BA in English and Drama from Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Andrew Johnston

Dr. Andrew Johnston is a sought after teacher, coach, and consultant whose personal style and practical approach distinguish his work in corporate, academic, and non-profit contexts. Clients connect easily and deeply with him as he helps them increase their potential and inhabit it fully. Dr. Johnston is known for preparing leaders for real world challenges and opportunities. His engagements are focused on results, and he equips clients with new insights and strategies they can put to work immediately.

Dr. Johnston connects meaningfully with clients because he knows the charms and challenges of leadership himself. Twenty-five years of surviving and inspiring transformation as a senior-level leader have tested and tempered his own practice, and left him committed to empowering and encouraging others who want to lead and live well.

This heart for leaders is coupled with a head for leadership. Dr. Johnston knows how to move others and make the most of them. He draws from extensive academic preparation in Interpersonal Communication, Counseling Psychology, and Leadership as well as diverse experiences as an executive, psychologist, professor, NCAA coach, and counselor to create unusually powerful experiences for his clients. In them, they discover new skills, new energy, and new vision for the future.

Dr. Johnston is the husband of a wonderful woman that reminds him leadership is about genuine collaboration and occasionally taking out the trash, and the father of two children who remind him that leadership is a high (and frequently humorous) calling not for the faint-of-heart. Equally comfortable on stage, in a classroom, or over a cup of coffee, Dr. Johnston calls leaders to a higher place, and leaves them feeling more capable and more hopeful in the process.

Lougan Bishop

Lougan Bishop is the Web &  Digital Media Manager for Belmont University. He is responsible for the development of strategies for web, social, video, and other digital media that support Belmont’s efforts to advance the strategic priorities of the University. He leads the digital marketing team in development, implementation, and production of related campaigns or projects. He also leads efforts to continuously evaluate and improve web, social, and video content.

Lougan also serves as the chair of Belmont’s Social Media Administration Team, which oversees the University’s flagship Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, SoundCloud, and YouTub accounts and supervises the Boulevard Team, Belmont’s social media student street team.

Dr. Jeffrey Cornwall

Dr. Jeff Cornwall is the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Belmont University and the inaugural recipient of the Jack C. Massey Chair in Entrepreneurship. He spent much of the 1990s as co-founder and President/CEO of Atlantic Behavioral Health Systems (ABHS), headquartered in Raleigh, NC. ABHS operated a variety of health care facilities and programs throughout North Carolina.

Dr. Cornwall has received national awards for his work in curriculum development and teaching, and the Belmont entrepreneurship program has been named a Top 25 Undergraduate Program in the nation by Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. Belmont University received the 2008 National Model Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program Award from the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and in 2010, Fortune magazine featured Belmont as one of five universities to study entrepreneurship.

Dr. Cornwall is a Fellow of the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship and has published six books and numerous articles on entrepreneurship. His blog, The Entrepreneurial Mind, is among the most popular with a focus on small business and entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneurial Mind is part of the Forbes blog network and was named by the magazine as a “Best of the Web.” It is also syndicated by The Christian Science Monitor and Business Insider.

Dr. Cornwall holds a Doctorate in Business Administration and an MBA from the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Melanie Lashlee Adams

Melanie is the Executive Director for the Center for Executive Education at Belmont University. In this role, she leads CEE’s team of facilitators, curriculum designers, and program staff in developing programs and instructing leaders within the center’s programs. She has experience in developing and teaching fully customized leadership development programs for Fortune 100 and 500 organizations and specializes in cultivating a connection between the topics she teaches and the strategic focus of those organizations. One of the main goals Melanie has for the participants of CEE’s sessions is that they are able to readily understand and apply new concepts, fully embracing the center’s motto of “learn it today, apply it tomorrow.”

Melanie also serves as CEE’s principal consultant, working directly with clients to design customized leadership development programs for local and national organizations. Her focus is assessing and understanding the needs of both the business and the leaders in those organizations, and then working to design programs that align to both the strategic and human sides of those organizations. In her work for CEE over the last several years, Melanie has also maintained an active teaching role in programs, delivering courses such as Leading Organizational Change, Personal and Organizational Communication, Conflict Management and Difficult Conversations, Coaching and Development for Optimal Performance, Building a Winning Team, Strategic Thinking, The Generations at Work, Emotional Intelligence, StrengthsBased Leadership, Critical Thinking and Decision Making, as well as many others.

Melanie holds a doctorate in organizational leadership from Vanderbilt University, a master’s degree in organizational communication from Murray State University, and a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Tusculum University, and numerous professional certifications in the subject matter areas that she teaches. Away from work, Melanie has served on the Board of Directors at the Linden Waldorf School. She also loves to read and cook and looks forward to her family’s yearly vacation in Maine, where she spent her summers as a child. Melanie resides in West Nashville with her husband and their daughter, and their beloved Labrador retriever, Posey.

Dr. John Gonas

Dr. John Gonas is an Associate Professor of Finance in the Jack C. Massey College of Business at Belmont University. He teaches Corporate Finance, Introduction to Investments, and Investment Management. Prior to joining Belmont’s faculty in 1998, Dr. Gonas worked in the financial planning industry for eight years primarily in retail brokerage, investment consulting and fee-based asset management.

Dr. Gonas also serves as the Sam Walton Fellow responsible for advising Belmont’s ENACTUS (formerly SIFE) students. ENACTUS is an international, non-profit organization active on over 1,500 college and university campuses in 47 countries. Under Dr. Gonas’ leadership, Belmont’s ENACTUS program has won numerous regional and national awards, including the 2006 National Rookie of the Year Award, a 2007 and 2008 placement as a top-20 team at the USA National Exposition, and winning the Motion Picture Association of America 2007 Grand Prize of its Anti-Piracy Public Service Announcement. In 2008, Dr. Gonas was selected as Tennessee’s Professor of the Year by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Dr. Gonas received his B.B.A. and M.B.A. from George Washington University, an M.Ed. from Vanderbilt, and his M.S. and Ph. D. from the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Barry Padgett

Dr. Barry Padgett joined the faculty of the Jack C. College of Business at Belmont University in the Fall of 2010. He teaches courses in Business Ethics, Bioethics, Philosophy of Law, Principles of the American Constitution, among others. He has received multiple awards for his teaching, believing that education – particularly applied ethics – works best when it challenges individuals to search introspectively for resolutions to difficult contemporary issues. Prior to Belmont, Dr. Padgett taught at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, where he directed the Ethics and Social Justice Program since 2002.

Dr. Padgett’s research has appeared in professional journals such as the Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues; Business Ethics Quarterly; and Academy of Marketing Studies Journal. He has also authored two books. In hiss 2009-published article entitled Professional Morality and ‘Guilty Bystanding:’ Merton’s Conjectures and the Value of Work, Padgett asserts that work has a central role in our lives and is a major component of self actualization and well-being. Using the works of Thomas Merton as a guide, Padgett contends that a renewal of our professional lives and the institutional contexts in which we operate is needed to humanize the alienating aspects of work and professions.

Dr. Padgett received his B.A. from the University of Mobile, M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Louisville, and Ph.D. from Purdue University.

Lavona Russell

Lavona Russell retired from Caterpillar in 2014 where she most recently served as the Business Excellence Manager for the Financial Products Division. While at Caterpillar, she led the company’s Strategic Planning, 6Sigma, Governance, and Continuous Improvement initiatives.

Prior to joining Caterpillar, Ms. Russell was a founding principal of Nashville Management Group, a local operational consulting company. She worked with clients on strategic planning and managing strategic projects, operational and organizational assessments, as well as implementing recommendations from these assessments to improve operations. She also served in several leadership positions with Ingram Book Group including President of Ingram Book Compnay, Sr. VP of Distribution, and Chief Administrative Officer.

Ms. Russell has a B.A degree from Vanderbilt University and a MEd from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Marilyn Young

Dr. Marilyn Young is a professor of accounting at Belmont University. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate classes in taxation and corporate accounting. She also helps non-accounting students prepare to enter the Master in Accountancy program by teaching in the Summer Accounting Institute. Dr. Young is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with industry experience as a Tax Accountant for Deloitte & Touche; Frasier, Dean, and Howard; and as a Tax Specialist in Corporate Finance at Empire Berol Corporation.

Dr. Young has presented her research at various regional and national conferences and has been published in professional journals including the International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Administration, Tennessee CPA, Economics and Politics, and Journal of S Corporation Taxation.

Dr. Young holds membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants, American Accounting Association, and American Taxation Association. McGraw-Hill/Irwin sought her expertise as a textbook reviewer for a new textbook entitled Taxation for Individuals. She has overseen Belmont students working in the IRS-sponsored VITA program to assist low income and elderly residents of Middle Tennessee prepare their income tax returns and she presented basic financial accounting concepts to entrepreneurs participating in The Growth Challenge Program.

Dr. Young has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master of Tax Accounting from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Accounting from the University of Mississippi.

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