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Honors Program Faculty & Staff

Dr. Jim Nutter

Honors Director & Quiz Bowl Coach
Professor of English

As a member the Department of English and Modern Languages, 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 seven Big South Conference championships in nine years, with his team also finishing 20th in the nation out of 103 universities in 2014. In recent years, his Liberty teams have defeated schools such as UPenn, Johns Hopkins, William & Mary, UVa, Duke, 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.

Email Dr. Nutter

Dr. Brenda Ayres

Assistant Honors Director
Professor of English

A full professor in the Department of English and Modern Languages, Dr. Ayres calls herself a Victorianist. She has been widely published in 19th-century British scholarship, including 17 books and over 100 articles to date, and regularly presents papers at conferences.

She oversees the Victorian Society, began Liberty's literary and arts magazine, has led trips abroad, and co-coordinates the annual Civil War Seminar.

Besides her commitment to the Honors Program,  she is a member of the graduate faculty, but she's never too busy to have tea and cake with any student who wants to chat or needs help with scholarship, and she is very fond of praying.

Her office is in the Jerry Falwell Library, Rm. 361B, where there is a lovely, but not too comfortable, pink settee.

Email Dr. Ayres


Dr. 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 PhD 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.

Email Dr. Gadomski

Mrs. Laura Kline

Honors Program 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, DC and has lived in Maryland and New York as well as Virginia.

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

Stop by the Honors office to say hello and have a cup of Honors coffee or tea.

Email Mrs. Kline