Converse University faculty are well-known for their commitment to teaching, scholarly and creative achievements, and steadfast service to Converse students and the community.
Converse University is dedicated to empowering and celebrating our people, and our Board of Trustees has awarded promotions to five faculty members.
In recognition of their commitment to teaching, scholarship, and service, the Converse Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the following faculty members who have been awarded tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor:
- Dr. Lee Givens – Department of Leadership
- Dr. Courtney LeBauer – Petrie School of Music
- Dr. Evan Thomas – Department of Marriage and Family Therapy
- Professor Laura Zeisler – Department of Art, Design, & Letters
In recognition of his commitment to teaching, scholarship, and service, the Converse Board of Trustees is pleased to announce Professor Andrew Blanchard (Department of Art, Design, & Letters) has been awarded tenure and promotion to the rank of Full Professor.
About the Faculty
Professor Andrew Blanchard’s print-works on wood and paper have been included in more than one hundred group and solo exhibitions and collected throughout the United States, in Hawaii, France, Bulgaria, South Korea and the United Kingdom. His work has been published in numerous arts and literary publications, such as New American Paintings, the Oxford American, several issues of Manifest Press’s International Painting Annual, Ecotone, and the Southwest Review. His artwork is in the permanent collections of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, LA, and the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, MS. He co-owns and curates exhibitions at Levee Contemporary in Princeton, WI, and is represented by Southside Gallery in Oxford, MS and LeMieux Gallery in New Orleans, LA.
Dr. Lee Givins serves the faculty of the Department of Education at Converse. Prior to Converse, he served the students of Greenville County as a teacher, coach, and administrator for 28 years. He served as a middle school principal for 11 of those years. Dr. Givins’ academic preparation includes a B.S. in Social Studies from The Citadel, an M.A. in Educational Administration from Furman University, an Education Specialist in Educational Leadership from The University of South Carolina, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from The University of South Carolina.
A respected and sought-after recitalist and chamber musician in Europe and America, Dr. LeBauer has performed and taught with Julia Fischer in Vitznau, Switzerland as a part of her Musikferien for young talent, and performed throughout Germany. LeBauer has performed with numerous American and European symphonic and chamber orchestras both as a member of their first violin sections, as well as a soloist. Dr. LeBauer served as concertmaster of the Orchester der Landesregierung in Düsseldorf, Germany. Education is a passion of Dr. LeBauer, and she is proud of the successes of her students, which include going on to masters and doctoral work at major conservatories, earning graduate assistantships, founding the Chamber Music Society of San Francisco, and earning From-the-Top and Fulbright grants.
M. Evan Thomas is the current Chair of the Marriage and Family Department and the Program Director for the MMFT Program. Dr. Thomas works with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) to advocate for the Queer and trans* community. A native of the Georgia Appalachian Mountains, Dr. Thomas’ research focuses on Appalachian mental health and the opioid epidemic occurring in Appalachia. Additionally, he focuses on the Queer community and the ethical implications for queer therapists practicing within their community group. Dr. Thomas owns a small private practice in Greenville, and his work focuses on substance use and the Queer community.
Laura Zeisler is a Board Certified Art Therapist with more than 25 years of clinical mental health experience. She has presented internationally in the field of art therapy and has been nominated for a teaching excellence award. Professor Zeisler’s clinical practice includes a variety of settings, from hospital trauma and oncology units, to hospice, schools, residential treatment centers, art museums, and private practice. Her clinical research includes the somatization of trauma in children and adolescents and inquiries about multicultural narratives through Intersectionality and Mindfulness. As an Artist-as-Therapist, she uses photography to create story walls, examining end-of-life dynamics.