Maryville College welcomes four new professors for this school year. They all come from different backgrounds and departments, yet they have come together to join the college in progressing secondary education.
The professors, Angela Myers, Dr. Nikki Hilton, Dr. Rayanne Streeter, and Dr. Kristin Rigsbee have provided a look into their lives for students to have a chance to get to know them and why they have joined the Maryville College community.
Professor Angela Myers is the new Associate Professor of American Sign Language—English Interpretation. Myers teaches the skill of interpreting. Meaning, she teaches students who already know ASL and lead them towards interpretation for the deaf community.
She chose interpretation because she is most passionate about teaching her students the skill. Myers is originally from Indiana, where she stayed and taught for over 20 years before coming to Maryville. She chose to teach ASL at the college level for the last 23 years, despite having a BA in education for K-12, as she felt more inclined to teach college students. So far, she has enjoyed her time here at Maryville and just how welcoming the faculty and students have been to her.
“It was very fortunate that this position opened up when it did,” Myers said. “Everything just fell into place at just the right time.” Myers’ hobbies include painting, hiking and listening to a variety of podcasts.
Dr. Nikki Hilton is the Assistant Professor of Psychology and has an interesting perspective on college life. Hilton is originally from Houston but did not enjoy the heat. She moved from New York to Delaware, and finally to Tennessee, where she taught at ETSU before coming to Maryville College.
Hilton was originally a theatre major before taking a psychology class only to discover her passion for the subject and realized, “Oh hell yeah, I love doing this.” She realized that she no longer wanted to chase the spotlight and became a licensed psychologist by earning her psychology degree at NYU and her Ph.D. at UTK.
Her experience at Maryville College so far has been very positive and welcoming as she went from being the only professor of psychology previously to now having a full department to enjoy.
Dr. Rayanne Streeter is now the Assistant Professor of Sociology. Streeter is from Washington state, near Seattle. She then moved to Virginia and received her masters and Ph.D. As an undergrad, Streeter was undeclared until she took a core curriculum class where she found her calling in sociology.
“It’s the teaching of your life. Everything you do is sociology.” Streeter said. She went to PLU, a liberal arts college with a similar structure to Maryville, and she has always wanted to give back by providing the same education she received as a student.
“I just wanted to learn,” Streeter said. “I wanted to be in a classroom.” The mentorships she had with professors helped her as she was a first-generation college student. Having a professor show her she could get a Ph.D. provided her with the push she needed to find a new goal—and achieve it. Once she got her Ph.D., she narrowed down her job search to teaching college students who are on the cusp of learning more about the world. Streeter wants to direct students towards their passions.
Dr. Kristin Rigsbee is the Visiting Lecturer in Health Promotion. Originally from Bradenton, Fla., Rigsbee came to Tennessee when she was young and stayed in the state, gradually making her way closer to the mountains. Rigsbee was also a non-traditional student as she went back to school for her bachelor’s degree right after she had her first son. She already had experience as a LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse).
“I’m a huge cheerleader for those students whose college careers are not necessarily linear in nature,” Rigsbee said. Rigsbee decided to teach Health Promotion because it was a mix of nursing and community nutrition, which allowed her to teach a variety of subjects and pass on her own enthusiasm for public health and policy. She also decided to teach college students because she found it rewarding to see young adults achieve their goals as they develop as professionals.
“Seeing my students succeed is a far better experience than achieving it myself,” Rigsbee said.
While she worked on her doctorate at UT, Rigsbee took the opportunity to teach courses at Maryville College and was impressed with the caliber of students she encountered. When she was given the opportunity to stay and take a position, she jumped on it. Rigsbee loves living in a historic district where she walks the streets with her family and mini dachshunds.
“My main food philosophy is that all food is good food, and food is meant to be enjoyed just in appropriate portions,” Rigsbee said. “I particularly love my food shaped as Mickey. I love all things Disney and just became an annual passholder recently. So, my students can look forward to me bringing in pictures from this as well as wearing my Slinky Dog ears.”