Director, Center for Civic Advancement, Global and Mission Studies
Ext. 5216, Rankin Hall, Room 201
Ronda Gentry joined Tusculum as the Director of the Center for Civic Advancement (CCA) in July 2014. Ronda came to Tusculum following seven years of service to Virginia Intermont College, where she held various roles in both Student Affairs and Institutional Advancement. These experiences follow nine years of ministry in local churches in both North Carolina and Florida.
Ronda holds a PhD from Union institute and University in Cincinnati, OH. Her dissertation titled, “Cultural Conversations and Community Leadership: Creating Pathways for First-Generation Appalachian Students and Colleges” focused on ways that the Appalachian community and the College community can work together for the benefit of both. In addition to this work, Ronda holds a Master of Divinity from Duke University in Durham, NC with a specialization in Baptist Studies. She also holds a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC.
Throughout her life Ronda has always had a passion for bringing communities together to address issues of social justice. To accomplish this, she has led student teams to places such as Boston, MA, Homestead, FL, Navajo Mountain, UT, and Port Au Prince, Haiti, where students and local communities worked together to improve the lives of those affected by poverty, hunger, and injustice.
As Director of the CCA Ronda seeks to deepen Tusculum’s relationship with local, state, national, and international communities; engaging students, faculty, and staff in partnerships which will benefit these communities as well as instill a sense of Civic Engagement within Tusculum.
Coordinator, Center for Civic Advancement, Bonner Leader Program
Ext. 5252, Rankin Hall, Room 203
Courtney Washburn joined the team as a Program Coordinator for the Center for Civic Advancement in September 2015. Originally from Memphis, Courtney moved to East Tennessee to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and concentration in Sociology at Maryville College. During her time at Maryville, she served in a community service based scholarship, the Church and College Fellowship. She was also Vice President of the Environmental Action Team, engaged and served the community outside of campus, and studied abroad in Finland for a semester taking Anthropology courses. After graduation, Courtney served as an AmeriCorps member for two years with the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee. She served her first year as the Program Coordinator at Keep Blount Beautiful, educating the community about sustainability initiatives. Her second year was served in the Sustainability Office as the Outreach Coordinator at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. It was in this position that Courtney fell in love with higher education and the campus community. After serving in AmeriCorps, Courtney joined the Auburn University Waste Reduction and Recycling Department as a Recycling Coordinator. She worked with faculty, staff, and students to engage in waste conscious practices through events, social media, and campus programs. Having recently relocated to East Tennessee, Courtney is excited to join the team at Tusculum! She is looking forward to serving the community and working with campus to tackle areas of social justice.
Faculty Member, Service-Learning
Ext. 5777, Rankin Hall, Room 205
Robin Gordon, assistant professor of social science, has been a leader in Tusculum College’s continuing growth in service outreach to the community. She has served in leadership roles in the Center for Civic Advancement and the Bonner Leaders student service organization. As an instructor of service-learning courses, she has introduced scores of students to the personal enrichment found in serving others whether it is on the Tusculum College campus, in the surrounding East Tennessee communities or in West Virginia, New Orleans and Belize.
Director, Career Services
Ext. 5447, Niswonger Commons, Room 307
Ms. Robin E. Lay is the Director of Career Services at Tusculum College. Ms. Lay came to Tusculum in June 2013 from Richmont Graduate University, where she served as the Director of Recruiting, Academic Advisor and Ad Hoc Career Services Representative for seven years at Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta, GA.
Ms. Lay has a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Richmont Graduate University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, with a Concentration in Business Administration from Carson-Newman College. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Georgia and a member of multiple professional organizations; such as, the American Counseling Association; the National Board of Certified Counselors; as well as, the National, Southeastern and Tennessee Associations of Colleges and Employers.
As the Director of Career Services, Ms. Lay provides career workshops and individual meetings for the following services: career assessment and exploration, graduate school application, Linkedin profile and resume review, networking strategies, career fairs, as well as, internship and job search assistance. Additionally, she works to develop internship and job opportunities, as a liaison for employers and students. Ms. Lay provides career services for approximately 2000 students on all four Tusculum campuses and many Tusculum alumni.