At Milligan, you will be paired with a faculty or staff mentor, based on your academic interest. If you haven't decided on a major yet, your mentor will help guide you through the core curriculum and career assessments to help you discern God's call.
In addition to meeting regularly with your mentor on campus, mentors frequently have students over for dinner, games, movies, Bible studies, and often worship together. Your mentor will help you successfully navigate through your first year as a college student. From there, you will be ready to work closely with an academic advisor in your major, who will lead you through to your graduation.
Meet Your Mentors
John Paul Abner, 423.975.8013
Dr. Abner received his PhD from the University of Florida in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. He co-mentors with his wife, Pam, and they have 3 kids, a horse, a pony, a dog, and a cat and lots of animal hair on all of their belongings.
Dr. Abner is one of 18 certified Parent Child Interaction Therapy Master Trainers in the world and he travels across the nation training therapists in PCIT. He also consults with the East Tennessee Center of Excellence for Children in State custody where he is trying to help improve services to foster children by training area therapists in evidenced based interventions.
He is an avid hiker, volleyball, and basketball player.
Alice Anthony, 423.461.8970
Originally from Memphis, Professor Alice Anthony completed her master of fine arts in photography at East Tennessee State University and has been teaching at Milligan since the fall of 1991.
Alice has exhibited her photographs in over 20 states and was a featured artist at the Tennessee Art Commission Gallery in 2003. In 2010 she was chosen to be a part of Reunion: an invitational exhibit of 100 art alumni as a part of the celebration of ETSU’s 100th anniversary. She is a part of the Appalachian Photography Project and participated in its inaugural exhibition at the Carroll Reece Museum.
Alice pursues ongoing photo projects, including photographing the Elvis fans who visit Graceland each year. She and her husband Steve enjoy traveling and have visited many interesting places such as the Holy Land, British Isles, St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Mediterranean Sea area. She and Steve have two godchildren, Anthony and Jessie and two cats GW and Reece.
Working with and mentoring students has been one of the greatest joys of her life.
Carolyn Carter, 423.461.8670
Dr. Carolyn Carter completed graduate studies in business education from East Tennessee State University and computer science education from University of Evansville. She completed her doctoral work in instructional technology at Virginia Tech.
Carolyn enjoys cake decorating, gardening, reading, and walking in her spare time.
Her husband, Milton, is Community Outreach and Site Coordinator and teaches cultural geography at Milligan. They have two spoiled cocker spaniels, Oreo and Cocoa, and one husky chihuahua named Taco.
Theresa Garbe, 423.461.8718
Ms. Garbe received a BA from Milligan in communications and humanities-French and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Emmanuel Christian Seminary. She has served as Milligan’s director of alumni relations since 1998 and teaches one section of Bible each semester. In 2011, she was ordained by her home church, Grandview Christian Church.
Theresa is married to a wonderful man, also a Milligan grad, and is blessed with three active kids, ages 15, 13 and 9. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, digging in the dirt and running her children to various activities. Another favorite pastime is eating good chocolate, which you can always find in her office.
John Jackson, 423.461.8794
Dr. John Jackson hails from out west by way of Durham, NC, and has settled into the smooth life of northeast TN. He serves as professor of Bible and humanities and completed his doctoral work in Old Testament studies at Duke University.
John's wife, Mary serves as Milligan's reference librarian (students will all get to know her in their composition courses) and is typically known as a great source of baked goods for their students.
The Jacksons share a love of cooking and travel. They live in Elizabethton with their two children.
Diane Junker, 423.461.8907
Hailing from Minnesota, Dr. Junker started off her college learning right here at Milligan, receiving her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. She went on to receive her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and then a Master's in Nursing from the University of Tennessee.
Her hobbies include cooking, sewing, decorating, and reading. Dr. Junker is the chair of the missions committee at First Christian Church in Johnson City and also plays the organ there.
Lori Mills, 423.461.8663
Dr. Lori Mills completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Louisville. She teaches psychology and counseling and is the director of the Master of Science in Counseling program at Milligan.
Dr. Mills spends her time trying to trying to survive as the only estrogen-based life form in her household of 6. Her family consists of her husband, Cort, her sons Gibson, Cooper, and Camden, and her Trinidadian son, Milligan student Adrian Hall. She loves reading, spending time with her family, and she loves sports of all kinds.
Bruce Montgomery, 423.461.8776
With a PhD in Interpersonal and Public Communication from Bowling Green State University, along with a Master of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary, Dr. Montgomery has taught Communication at Milligan for 18 years.
Prior to Milligan, Bruce worked 27 years in professional ministry. He ministered in Indiana, Ohio, and Texas. During his time in ministry he founded and directed campus ministries at Bowling Green State University and The University of Toledo.
He also served as the first State Director for The Fellowship of Christian Athletes in the State of Ohio, and during that time he was Chaplain of the New York Yankee’s AAA team, the Columbus Clippers. He is also a founding member and Director of Leadership Development of Higher Ministries, a ministry to church leaders and local congregations.
Dr. Montgomery has traveled widely in the area providing workshops in conflict management, team building, strategic planning, and serving as interim minister at many area churches. Currently, he is serving as Associate Minister at Colonial Heights Christian Church in Kingsport.
Bruce has always had a strong interest in the power of story and storytelling. The last several years he has pursued that interest by becoming a performing member of the Jonesborough Storytelling Guild, a group of local professional storytellers. He enjoys telling stories, teaching others how to tell stories, and introducing students to the power of story.He has been married to his lovely wife, Carol, for 45 years. They have three children and nine grandchildren.
Carrie Swanay, 423.461.8795
Graduating from East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor's in Communications/Broadcasting, and again from ETSU with a Master's in Instructional Technology, and finally from Virginia Tech with a PhD in Instructional Technology with an emphasis in Digital media, Dr. Swanay loves working with all aspects of multimedia development and design, video production and editing.
Carrie has been with Milligan for over 20 years and serves as the chair for the area of performing, visual and communicative arts. She has been serving as a mentor for the past 10 years.
Dr. Swanay has two rescued pugs (Eleanor and BB). For fun, she enjoys riding her 750 Honda motorcycle, cruising the open seas and roller skating in Central Park.
Gary Alan Taylor, 423.462.8497
Gary Alan Taylor is works in Institutional Advancement as an Assistant to the President. Gary Alan works with alumni and friends to secure annual scholarship goals in order to offset tuition costs for students.
He graduated from Milligan in 1994 with a degree in history. Gary Alan is married to his wonderful wife Jennifer and has three awesome kids.
Ted Thomas, 423.461.8996
Professor Ted Thomas teaches German, Sophomore Humanities and European History. After undergraduate work at Pepperdine University in Southern California, and Heidelberg, Germany, he received his PhD from the University of Maryland.
Ted honed his skills as a lobbyist and journalist while working for the Pacific Egg and Poulty Association, later preached in Heidelberg, Germany, and Silver Spring, Maryland; and directed Pepperdine University’s “Washington, D.C. Internship Program” right before coming to Milligan.
As well as his teaching responsibilities, Dr. Thomas enjoys sponsoring Milligan College’s Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society, and leading Humanities Tours (2003, 2007, 2012). Dr. Thomas is also the man behind “Today in Milligan History.”
The focus of his research is the life and work of Hermann Maas, a German pastor who did what he could to get Jewish families out of Nazi Germany (read Professor Ted’s article about Maas on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website). Dr. Thomas and his wife Jane-Anne travel to Europe most summers, collecting stories from survivors and eye-witnesses, reading archival documents and photographing places and people for an upcoming book about this man.
They enjoy singing, entertaining students in their home, “working out” in the Wellness Center, and Barnes & Noble dates.
Brad Wallace, 426.461.8748
Brad Wallace is on his second go-round working with college students, having previously served as Campus Minister and Director of Counseling at Kentucky Christian University.
Before coming to east Tennessee in 2010, he served churches in Paris, KY and Cincinnati, OH. As Campus Minister, Brad coordinates Milligan’s Spiritual Formation Program, putting together chapel services and working with student groups like FCA, Vespers, and the Cross-Cultural Missions Committee.
He and his wife Chris have two kids and one on the way, and on a rare unoccupied afternoon you’re likely to find him up a mountain stream chasing trout.
Michael Whitney, 423.461.8908
Professor Whitney hails from New Hampshire, and he completed his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at Messiah College. He continued his education by earning a PhD in genetics from Penn State. Milligan was very pleased to welcome Dr. Whitney to campus in the Fall of 2008.
He and his wife of nine years have three sons. When he's not in the classroom or with his family, you'll find Dr. Whitney playing guitar, sports and video games.