Meet the Current Faculty
Jeff Stein serves as Special Assistant to the President, Secretary to the Board of Trustees and Assistant Professor of English. Prior to this role he served as Associate Dean of Students for Service-Learning, Multicultural Center and Residence Life and Assistant Professor of English at Elon. He earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Colorado State University, Master of Arts in English from University of Northern Colorado and a BA in Creative Writing and Literary Studies from Beloit College. He has published poems in Third Coast, Diner, Heliotrope, New Delta Review, Phoebe, Many Mountains Moving, and others. He has co-authored an article and authored a book chapter on Student Affairs and Academic Affairs working together in Service-Learning.
Kenn Gaither is an associate professor/associate dean in the School of Communications, where he teaches courses in strategic communications and mass communication. He has written or co-authored articles in several public relations journals and two books on international public relations. He serves as series editor for the Cambria Press Communication Collection and has more than nine years of professional public relations agency experience. Gaither speaks Portuguese and has lived or taught in Brazil, Ghana and China. He has sailed on eight Semester at Sea voyages, most recently as executive dean on the spring 2008 voyage. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Park Doctoral Fellow and outstanding graduating Ph.D. student in his class. He has an M.F.A. in literary journalism and B.A. in English Writing/Latin American Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.
Rev. Phil Smith is Associate University Chaplain & Director of Religious Life at Elon University. The Chaplain has spent six years at Elon and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University. He is a fan of all things Phoenix, a good cup of coffee, bow ties, and the UNC Tar Heels.
Paula Patch coordinates the College Writing Program and teaches writing and language courses in the English department at Elon. She has taught writing, language, and literature courses at colleges and universities in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico. She also has a background in print journalism, and worked for several years as managing editor for HomeCare magazine, a trade publication for the home medical equipment industry.
Her research focuses on composition pedagogy: What classroom experiences help students develop as writers? Her scholarly interests include helping faculty discover ways to strengthen their students' and their own writing, mentoring undergraduates in research about writing and in teaching assistantships, analyzing the impact of technology on writing and the teaching of writing, and incorporating sustainable practices into the classroom. In 2011, she co-wrote a proposal for the university's Quality Enhancement Plan to focus on creating a culture of writing at Elon in which students, faculty, and staff work together to become stronger writers. This plan will be designed and implemented over the next five years.
Professor Patch lives in Greensboro, her hometown, with her husband and two daughters.