Ayers Institute Leadership
- Rachael Milligan, Ed.D.
Managing Director of the Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning & Innovation
- Deborah Boyd, Ed.D.
Dean of the College of Education at Lipscomb University
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Faculty & Staff Directory
(Listed alphabetically by last name.)
Dean and Director of Graduate Studies and
Professor of Education
Dr. Boyd brings deep educational experience to Lipscomb, having served at the local, system and state level. Her areas of interest include curriculum, assessment, educational leadership, and effective instruction. Her research interests include teachers of ELL students and teacher effectiveness. Deborah and her husband Don have two daughters: Jennifer and Julie.
- B.A. in German (Secondary Education) from Middle Tennessee State University
- M.A. in English (History) from Middle Tennessee State University
- Ed.S. in Administration & Supervision from Middle Tennessee State University
- Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from Tennessee State University
Content Technology Specialist
Forrest joined the Ayers staff in January 2014 with a focus on the deployment of online courses and development of digital learning materials. He brings experience in media production, web design and programming, multimedia authoring, database design and administration, system administration, user training and support. Forrest previously worked five years in higher-education instruction (digital media communication) and 10 years as a technical communicator and system administrator for a Fortune 200 company.
- B.A. in Radio/Television Communication from Harding University
- Graduate Certificate in Online Instructional Development from Florida State University
- M.S. in Interactive and New Communication Technology from Florida State University
In his work with the Ayers Institute, Forrest enjoys using digital communication technology to share resources that build capacity in educators and support the academic success of students.
Program Director in the Ayers Institute and
Instructor of Education
Karen Marklein is a program director for the Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation. Most of Karen’s professional career has been devoted to the students of Sumner County Schools, where she taught high school English for 16 years, and served as a secondary instructional coach and district-wide TEAM evaluator. Karen is a TEAM Certified Evaluator and Trainer, an ardent supporter of teaching and learning, and a believer in the power of collaboration. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Learning Organizations and Strategic Change as a candidate in Lipscomb's Ed.D. program.
- B.A. in English from the University of Tennessee at Martin
- M.A. in English from Middle Tennessee State University
- Post-baccalaureate Teacher Certification from Middle Tennessee State University
- M.S. in Educational Leadership from Bethel University
In her work with the Ayers Institute, Karen appreciates the opportunity to build capacity in educators so that they can build capacity and improve outcomes for students.
Managing Director in the Ayers Institute and
Assistant Professor of Education
Dr. Rachael Milligan joined the Ayers Institute in August 2013 and served as a Program Director before becoming Managing Director. She taught social studies at the middle school level for nine years, both in Arkansas and in Tennessee. Prior to joining the Ayers Institute, Rachael served as an assistant principal in Williamson County, Tennessee. Additionally, Rachael has been Director of 21st Century Community Learning Centers and a house parent at the Tennessee Children’s Home. She is married to Matt Milligan, J.D., who works in Lipscomb University’s Institute for Conflict Management. They have three children and love to travel.
- B.A. in Social Science from Harding University
- M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University
- Ed.D in Learning Organizations and Strategic Change from Lipscomb University
In her work with the Ayers Institute, Rachael loves being a thinking partner with teachers and leaders as they work to improve practice for the benefit of students.
Technology Integration Specialist in the Ayers Institute and
Instructor of Education
Julia joined the Ayers Institute Staff in August, 2013 with a focus in Online Learning. She also coaches College of Education faculty on their use of technology for learning and is an Instructor in the College of Education. Julia has worked in both private and public K-12 education for 27 years. From classroom teacher to Technology Integration Chair, Julia has had experience not only in the classroom as a teacher but also with coaching teachers as they plan learning activities that use available technologies for student learning goals.
- B.S. in Elementary Education from Lipscomb University
- M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Georgia State University
- Ed.S. in Instructional Design and Technology from The University of Georgia
In her work with the Ayers Institute, Julia enjoys coaching teachers, teaching graduate courses for the College of Education, and make a difference in the lives of students.