Two Milligan professors awarded ACA fellowships

Simon J. Dahlman
Simon J. Dahlman

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (Dec. 14, 2012) — Milligan College professors Simon J. Dahlman and Noah DeLong are among the recipients of the 2013-2014 Appalachian College Association Faculty Fellowship.

Milligan is a member of the Appalachian College Association (ACA), a non-profit consortium of 36 private four-year liberal arts institutions spread across the central Appalachian mountains in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The Faculty Fellowship Program is the longest-running program of the ACA.

Dahlman and DeLong will use the fellowship money to pursue professional development opportunities that will help them complete their terminal degrees.

“This is an exciting opportunity for both of these individuals, and I am very proud of their work,” said Dr. R. Garland Young, Milligan’s dean and vice president for academic affairs. “The professional work of these two individuals is indicative of the fine work you find across Milligan’s entire faculty. The fellowships also are an investment in the future of Milligan.”

Dahlman, associate professor of communications, has worked as a professional journalist and editor over the last 25 years, including seven years writing the weekly “Face to Faith” religion column in the Johnson City Press. For the past 13 years, he has taught journalism and other mass media courses at Milligan. He earned his bachelor of arts degree at Milligan and a master of arts from the University of Cincinnati.

He is currently enrolled in a master of fine arts in creative nonfiction degree program at Goucher College in Baltimore. He will use his grant money to support a book project he is developing as part of his degree program.

Dahlman’s book will focus on the 250-mile Wilderness Road—or what remains of it—that was blazed by Daniel Boone and 30 “ax-men” in 1775, starting at present-day Kingsport, Tenn., cutting through the Cumberland Gap and ending in central Kentucky.

“Boone was hired to do this by Richard Henderson, who created the Transylvania Company and signed that famous—and dubious—land treaty with the Cherokee at Sycamore Shoals,” Dahlman said. “This route became the earliest ‘gateway to the West,’ with more than 200,000 men, women and children traveling the Wilderness Road between 1775 and 1796.”

Next summer, Dahlman plans to walk the entire route and meet people who live near it, describe the places as they exist today and reflect on issues that have emerged as the region involved.

“While my book will describe that history, it will mostly be a work of journalism that focuses on the present-day people and places along the road,” Dahlman said. “In some ways, I see this book as a chance to explore a microcosm of America’s development.”

Noah DeLong
Noah DeLong

DeLong, assistant professor of music, is a versatile musician who has found success as a conductor, tenor soloist, collaborative pianist and church musician. In 2011, he joined the music faculty at Milligan, where he teaches voice and conducts the Concert Choir and Heritage, an a cappella ensemble.

DeLong earned a bachelor of arts degree in music and mathematics from Taylor University (Indiana) and a master of music degree in choral conducting and vocal performance from Ball State University (Indiana). He plans to complete his doctoral degree in choral conducting in December 2013 from The University of Iowa.

Next summer, DeLong plans to attend the Oregon Bach Festival held each year at the University of Oregon in Eugene. This festival offers a diverse schedule of choral-orchestral masterworks, guest artists, chamber music and educational programs.

The festival’s Master Class in Choral-Orchestral Conducting provides a 15-day immersion in the craft of conducting, where participants interact with master teacher Helmuth Rilling and a staff of experienced professionals and first-rate performers. Those selected as participating conductors will receive hands-on coaching and opportunities to lead the Festival orchestra and choruses in rehearsal and performance.

“The Oregon Bach Festival has developed a world-class reputation over its 40-year existence,” DeLong said. “Though the selection process for the festival’s conducting master class will take place this coming spring, the funds received from this ACA fellowship will allow me to attend this exciting program in the summer of 2013 if I am selected.”

Attending this master class will give DeLong a unique vantage point to observe and learn from the numerous rehearsals and performances that take place at the festival. Also, conductors who attend the master class will gain the experience of conducting first-rate musicians on several choral-orchestral masterworks, including the “St. John Passion” by J.S. Bach.

To learn more about Milligan, visit For more information about the ACA, visit

Posted by on December 14, 2012.