Jennifer Benson, Dean of Academics
Jennifer Benson is Dean of Academics and professor in the Communication Department. She received her B.F.A. with honors in drama from Carnegie Mellon University and her M.F.A. in dramatic media from the University of Georgia. Before coming to Emmanuel in 2004, she worked for CNN, DreamWorks Pictures, and as a newspaper reporter and photographer. She teaches courses in communication, mass media, film, and theatre. She is a Governor’s Teaching Fellow and CCCU Leadership Development Institute Fellow.
Paula Dixon, Associate Professor, Chair
Paula Dixon, associate professor, received her B.S. and M.A. in Communication Arts from Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. She also serves as Communication department chair. After working in public relations, she began teaching at Emmanuel College in 1995.
“I love helping my students discover then apply what they are learning,” she says. “I strive to create an engaging, interactive atmosphere where we can share and learn from each other.”
From 2012 until 2016, Mrs. Dixon also served full time as EC’s first director of communication while continuing to serve as the communication internship coordinator and teach courses in communication.
She served a number of years on the executive board for the Georgia Communication Association as publication editor, and she is also a Governor’s Teaching Fellow. She is currently a board member with Georgia Broad River Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) as well as The Ark Family Preservation Center. In her community, she is a member of the School Governance Team at the local elementary school.
Mrs. Dixon and her husband Chris have three awesome children and one beloved puppy dog.
Dr. Terilyn Goins, Professor of Communication Studies
Hi – I’m Dr. Terilyn J. Goins; my students call me Doc G. My favorite Bible verse is Ecclesiastes 3: 1, To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. Regardless of where I am in my life, I know that God has a purpose and a plan and my desire, above all else, is to fulfill the purpose for which He created me.
My B.S., M.A. and Ph.D. are all in the field of Communication Studies; B.S. from Liberty University, M.A. from University of Virginia, and Ph.D. from Indiana University. I have been a professor of communication for the past 25 years. For the past six years, I have been teaching both graduates and undergraduates at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Prior to that, I was a full time professor at Christopher Newport University for 16 years, 13 in Communication Studies and three in Leadership Studies, and I served as the chair of Communication Studies for three years.
My primary research interests are in the scholarship of teaching and gender communication. I’m particularly interested in the way we frame our reality through our language and ways in which our culture defines women and men based on their biological rather than psychological makeup. I recently published a leadership text for the Leisure Studies discipline, serving as co-editor and a contributing author.When I’m not teaching, consulting, or writing, I do motivational/music presentations in which I intertwine an inspirational message with my music. I have recorded five vocal CDs, three of which are contemporary Christian and inspirational music, one is Christmas music, and one of my originals.
Clint Ross, Assistant Professor of Communication
(Digital Media Production)
Clint Ross received his M.A. in film & television from Savannah College of Art and Design. Before coming to EC, he worked as the production leader at Compassion Christian Church, one of the top 100 largest churches in America. Here he oversaw and developed all video components, including live services and short films.
He is an Emmanuel School of Christian Ministries graduate and has worked as a writer, producer and director. His experience spans both feature film and television, where he worked on such films as “THE CONSPIRATOR,” by Robert Redford, as well as ABC Studios’ “ARMY WIVES.”
Most recently, he completed work on his fourth screenplay which he has pitched at various studios from Sony Affirm (WANT YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR), Inspiration Networks (BLUE RIDGE) and Franklin Entertainment (MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN). Mr. Ross is an award-winning screenwriter who writes inspirational bio-pics and rugged outdoor thrillers. He teaches courses in public speaking, film and screenwriting.
Anna Shelton, Associate Professor of Graphic Design, Assistant Chair
Anna Shelton received her MFA in Communication Design from Texas State University and teaches graphic design courses. She has worked in various areas of design since graduating from the Communication department at Emmanuel College in 2002. Her expertise includes art direction, typography, digital illustration, web, ux/ui, interactive, packaging, environmental design, and fashion design. Anna was chosen as a 2019-20 Governors Teaching Fellow with the University of Georgia and received the Georgia Independent College Association and Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award in 2018.
Professor Shelton believes that graphic design students at Emmanuel deserve the same quality education as any art and design school. She strives to bring that excellence together with the one-on-one benefit of a smaller college.
She also serves as the Creative Director of Emmanuel’s marketing department and is the yearbook art director/advisor at Emmanuel. Anna joined Emmanuel after spending 7 years in Atlanta and 4 and a half years in Austin, TX.
A native of Cleveland, Georgia, April James joined Emmanuel College in 2013 as an adjunct professor. She also serves as the director of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Bridge Student Success, and Career Services as well as the SACSCOC Liaison.
Her previous experience includes serving as vice president of development at Habersham Medical Center, Demorest, Georgia, for sixteen years where her responsibilities included marketing, public relations, advertising, volunteer services, fundraising and strategic planning. She also hosted a television program for eight years and worked as a radio announcer for twelve years. And, she served as the director of special projects for Piedmont College, Demorest, Georgia, for four years.
James earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Piedmont College, Demorest, Georgia, a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Brenau Women’s College, Gainesville, Georgia, and an Associate of Arts in Journalism from Gainesville College, Oakwood, Georgia. She has been honored with several awards including a Georgia Associated Press Broadcasters Association Best Staff Documentary award, Southern Gospel Association TV Show of the Year nomination, Habersham County Rotarian of the Year and a Brenau Young Alumna award. Active in the community, she served as President of the Rotary Club of Habersham County and Chairman of the Habersham Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
She and her husband Brian reside in Franklin Springs, Georgia, and have three children. They attend Lavonia First Baptist Church and enjoy spending time on Lake Hartwell and attending events on the Emmanuel College campus.
Ashley Westbrook, Adjunct Faculty and Director of Public Relations
Ashley Westbrook is from Windsor, NY. She graduated from Clemson University in December of 2010 with a BA in Communication Studies and obtained a Master’s degree in Mass Communication and Broadcast Journalism. Ashley teaches EC’s Sports Communication classes and also serves as the Director of Public Relations. She and her husband have two precious children!
Janet Howard Geuter – Adjunct Faculty, Business
MBA, Masters in Business Administration – Regent University
BS, Family & Consumer Science – Berry College
Areas of Concentration:
Marketing, Management, and Communication
- 8 yrs. teaching at the college level – 3 yrs. at Emmanuel and 8 yrs. for the technical college system of Georgia
- 15 yrs. working for the University of Georgia, as off-campus faculty member with Georgia Extension
- 5 yrs. in the field as a Marketing Specialist
- Marketing consultant work