Honors Program Faculty & Staff



Dr. Jim NutterDr. Jim Nutter

Honors Director
Quiz Bowl Coach
Professor of English

As a member the Department of English, Dr. Nutter currently teaches courses in American Literature as well as in the Modern Novel and American Novel; for Honors, he frequently teaches seminars in Composition and Rhetoric (ENGL 101), Composition & Literature (ENGL 102), and American Literature I & II (ENGL 201 & 202), as well as HONR 495-Senior Honors Thesis.

He received his doctorate in English from the University of Mississippi in 1993; he also earned an M.Ed. in 2004 from the University of Virginia with a specialization in Gifted Education.

A professor at Liberty since 1985 and Honors Director since 1995, he previously taught at Marshall University where he received his master's degree. He met his wife Laurie, who is also a current Liberty professor, at Tennessee Temple University where they both received their undergraduate degrees in English in the early 1980s.

As the Liberty Quiz Bowl coach, he has led his team to nine Big South Conference championships in ten years, with his team also finishing 14th in the nation in 2015. In recent years, his Liberty teams have defeated schools such as UPenn, Johns Hopkins, William & Mary, UVa, Duke, Ohio State, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Kentucky, Alabama, and Auburn.

Away from campus, he serves as a deacon in his church, Rivermont Avenue Baptist Church, and cooks the Family Night suppers and co-teaches an adult Sunday school class. When not in the LU classroom or at his church, he enjoys camping, fishing, driving his Jeep, and watching Orioles baseball.

Dr. Brenda Ayres

Assistant Director of Honors
Professor of English 


A full professor in the Department of English, Dr. Ayres calls herself a Victorianist. She has published 26 books and over 170 articles to date, primarily in 18th- and 19th-century English literature. Also a member of the graduate faculty, she teaches both online and residential courses and directs Ed.D. dissertations, and M.A. and Honors theses. If you plan to produce a creative project for your Honors thesis, she will work with you on it.  

In addition to serving as an assistant director in the Honors Program, she is the editor-in-chief of two Honors journals, The Kabod and Honorable Mention. The former publishes outstanding papers by Honors students, and the latter publishes information about the Honors Program including articles by current students and alumni.

Dr. Ayres gave her life to the Lord when she was an undergraduate at Clarion State University many, many years ago and would love to tell you about her journey. She is a member of The Well on Thomas Jefferson in Forest, a non-denominational church whose pastor is one of the best Bible teachers around.

Her office is in the Jerry Falwell Library, Rm. 361B, where there is a lovely, but not too comfortable, pink settee waiting for any student who wants to talk, pray, or have cake and tea.

Dr.. Marilyn GadomskiDr. Marilyn Gadomski

Assistant Honors Director
Professor of Psychology 

In her role as professor at Liberty since 1991, Dr. Marilyn Gadomski teaches Child Psychology and Foundations of Learning, along with advising psychology interns in residence and online programs.

She works with Honors students in several capacities, including Alpha Lambda Delta (Freshman Honor Society), Psi Chi (Psychology Honor Society), and students conducting empirical research in the Honors program.

She earned her Ph.D. in Child Development from Virginia Tech and Master's degrees in Early Childhood Education and Educational Administration from the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies.

Her priorities are established in the order of serving God, her family, and the students; this focus allows mental energy for each without sacrificing the others. Activities outside of Liberty center around TRBC and music, Geary, her husband of 38 years, much time with the three children's families and the eight grandchildren, and mentoring with students and friends.

Life is good when it can be shared.

Dr. Cindy GoodrichDr. Cindy Goodrich 

Assistant Honors Director
Professor of Nursing

Dr. Goodrich was saved at the age of 23. She is member of Thomas Road Baptist Church which was started by Dr. Jerry Falwell and feels blessed to be able to attend such a wonderful church. Dr. Goodrich has been a registered nurse for over 40 years. She initially graduated from a diploma program in Poughkeepsie, New York, completed a BSN at Russell Sage College in Troy, New York, earned a MSN at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, a certificate in gerontology (post masters) at Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia, and a doctorate in education from the University of Sarasota, Sarasota, Florida. She has worked in various nursing roles including staff nurse, nurse manager, nurse educator, clinical nurse specialist, Magnet™ Program Director, and Research Coordinator. 

Dr. Goodrich has been a full time faculty member at Liberty University since 1996. She has taught med-surg, pharmacology, community health, undergraduate research and one of her favorites, pain management. She is currently certified as a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) through the National League for Nurses. Her areas of research interest include pain management, leadership, and education topics. She enjoys exercising (especially aqua aerobics) and cooking.

Dr. David SchweitzerDr. David Schweitzer

Assistant Honors Director
Associate Professor of Mathematics


Dr. Schweitzer has been a member of the math faculty at Liberty since 2012. He teaches a variety of general education math courses residentially and online, as well as upper level math courses in probability and statistics. A graduate of Liberty’s Honors program (1999), he considers his honors work to have been a helpful first step in his academic career.  

Subsequent to his graduation from LU, he spent a brief time in industry working as both an actuarial analyst and a software engineer. Realizing that teaching was his true calling, he soon returned to school and earned his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University four years later. Prior to returning to Liberty, Dr. Schweitzer held full time faculty positions along with administrative titles at in the University of Arkansas system and the University of Central Florida.

He and his wife have been married 14 years and have three children, to whom he is currently teaching piano. Over the years, Dr. Schweitzer has played both keyboards and drums for his church’s worship team. He thoroughly enjoys playing games with his family, though he may take them a bit too seriously at times.

Dr. Tess StockslagerDr. Tess Stockslager

Assistant Honors Director
Assistant Professor of English
Director of Center for Writing and Languages


Tess Stockslager received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Liberty University and is an Honors Program graduate. While earning her master’s, she began working at the Graduate Writing Center and has been with the Center for Writing and Languages ever since, where she currently serves as the department director. She is an assistant professor who teaches various English and study skills courses. Tess earned her Ph.D. in Literature and Criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2015. Her research interests include the Victorian novel, children’s and young adult fantasy, composition pedagogy, and trickster figures.


Mrs. Laura KlineMrs. Laura Kline

Office Manager

Mrs. Laura Kline is the Honors Program Office Manager and is well-loved by the Honors students she serves every day. She has worked in the federal government, churches, and Christian schools and colleges. Most recently, she worked at the SBC of Virginia in Richmond before relocating to Lynchburg in 2010.

Laura enjoys reading, shopping, and watching anything on HGTV. She is a native of Washington, D.C. and has lived in Maryland and New York as well as Virginia.

Laura enjoys spending time with her two daughters and three granddaughters.

Stop by the Honors office to say hello.