Faculty & Staff

All bios are sorted alphabetically.


Phyllis Hildreth

Academic Director, Institute for Conflict Management
Associate Professor

Phyllis Hildreth joined the Institute for Conflict Management in May 2010 and now serves as Academic Director and Adjunct Professor, as well as Adjunct Professor for Lipscomb’s Institute for Law, Justice & Society. Her experience includes serving as a Chief Counsel in the Office of the Public Defender for the...

Contact via email
615.966.5695 (ext. 5695)

Steve Joiner

Dean, College of Leadership and Public Service
Director, Institute for Conflict Management

Steve Joiner is the Dean of the College of Leadership & Public Service and also Managing Director of the Institute for Conflict Management. He is a professor in areas of systems design, negotiation, conflict in religious settings, and leadership. Joiner has extensive experience conducting management and staff trainings, courses, and...

Contact via email
615.966.7141 (ext. 7141)

John Lowry

Vice President for Development and External Affairs
Associate Professor

John Lowry is vice president for development and external affairs. As such, he manages the university’s fundraising activity as well as community involvement. Lowry also serves as executive director of Spark, Lipscomb’s technology-rich, off-campus learning and community/corporate meeting location in Williamson County. Lowry has a Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist...

Contact via email
615.966.5687 (ext. 5687)

Nancy Magnusson Durham

Professor of Psychology, Counseling and Family Science

Nancy Magnusson Durham, a clinical psychologist, began her career at Pepperdine as an assistant professor. Magnusson has more than 35 years of experience in higher education and in helping students be prepared for their tomorrows. Before bringing her expertise to Lipscomb, Magnusson was senior vice president for planning, information and...

Contact via email
615.966.5343 (ext. 5343)

Matt Milligan

Assistant Professor of Conflict Management
Associate Director of Legal Outreach

Contact via email
615.966.2502 (ext. 2502)

Jim Thomas

Executive Assistant to the President

Thomas serves as the Executive Assistant to the President of Lipscomb University. In addition, he teaches in the Graduate Education and Communication programs at Lipscomb University. He has also served as Instructor in Speech, Director of Advance, Director of University 1101, Director of Student Retention, Assistant Registrar, Registrar, Dean of...

Contact via email
615.966.5828 (ext. 5828)


placeholder for Sherrie Guenther

Program Manager

Contact via email
615.966.7140 (ext. 7140)

Randy Lowry


Connecting the university to the Nashville community is a hallmark of Dr. L. Randolph Lowry’s presidency at Lipscomb University. He views the city of Nashville as the university’s campus and the world as its classroom. Not long after his arrival on the Lipscomb campus in September 2005, Dr. Lowry proposed...

Contact via email
615.966.1787 (ext. 1787)

placeholder for Sara Oeser

Rule 31 and Student/Alumni Manager

Contact via email
615.966.5085 (ext. 5085)

Adjunct Faculty

Tracy Allen

Tracy Allen is an international professional mediator, arbitrator and ADR trainer. As a litigator and business tax attorney for many years, she now specializes in conflict resolution and ADR. Allen acts as a neutral service provider in other ADR areas such as early neutral evaluation, summary jury trials, special master,...

Contact via email

placeholder for Leigh Ann Roberts

Contact via email
615.966.7140 (ext. 7140)

Additional Adjunct Faculty

Steve GroomSteve Groom
Adjunct Professor

Steve Groom joined Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) in March 2001 and now serves as General Counsel and Executive Vice President.  His experience includes serving as a partner in the law firm of Stites & Harbison, PLLC, and as the general counsel for SunTrust Bank. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Lipscomb University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from the University of Memphis, where he was a member of the Law Review. Groom serves on the adjunct faculty of Lipscomb University’s MBA program, teaching corporate governance and the legal and regulatory environment of business.

Dr. Larry BridgesmithLarry Bridgesmith
Adjunct Faculty

Dr. Larry Bridgesmith serves as a Senior Fellow and associate professor at the Institute for Conflict Management at Lipscomb University.  He is the President of Creative Collaborations LLC a consulting and training organization. He is also Of counsel with Miller & Martin, PLLC. In these roles, Dr. Bridgesmith brings over 30 years of experience in dispute resolution and innovative workplace strategies to clients, students and business entities alike. Dr. Bridgesmith integrates the practical, legal and academic "best practices" in dispute resolution strategies in service to his client relationships. Dr. Bridgesmith is listed annually in notable attorney rating publications such as Chambers USA, Americas Leading Lawyers for Business and Woodward White Inc.’s, America’s Leading Lawyers.  He currently serves as the President of the Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators.  He is also a member of the Tennessee Academy of Mediators and the International Academy of Mediators, both of which are invitation only associations.