Honors College

Faculty & Staff

Kevin Kehl

Kevin Kehl, Ed.D., (Baylor University)
Assistant Professor and Dean, Honors College


About Dr. Kehl

Dr. Kevin Kehl brings more than 25 years of teaching and leadership in higher education to his role as dean of the Honors College.  His areas of interest and expertise include intercultural learning, student affairs, and leadership development.  Kehl graduated from Harding in 1984 with majors in both Psychology and Bible. He holds an M.S from Texas A&M University in Educational Psychology, an M.A from Harding School of Theology, and an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from Baylor University.  He has served for 8 years in Kenya, East Africa as a cross-cultural church and community development advisor among the Kalenjin people and is fluent in their language. Before coming to Harding in 2012, he served as the Executive Director for the Center for International and Intercultural Education at Abilene Christian University.  Dr. Kehl’s research on the impact of study abroad on student global-mindedness helped inform the planning and implementation of study abroad programming under his leadership. His teaching experience at the undergraduate level includes the First Year Seminar, Cross-cultural Studies, Life and Teachings of Jesus and Growth and Mission of the Church. Graduate courses include Multicultural Psychology and Introduction to Student Affairs. Dr. Kehl is a certified Gallup Strengths Coach which he uses extensively in helping students explore ideas related to vocational interests and leadership styles. Dr. Kehl and his wife, Susan, who is Dean of the Carr College of Nursing, have two children.

James (Jim) Miller

James (Jim) Miller, Ph.D., (University of Tennessee)
Honors College Assistant Dean and Associate Professor of Communication


About Dr. Miller

Dr. James Miller earned a Ph.D. in communication in 2008 from the University of Tennessee, where he was named the Dr. Herbert H. Howard Fellow and taught in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media. He has published and presented research at dozens of conferences across the country and received multiple awards for his scholarly work in media effects and communication law and ethics. He was a keynote speaker on crisis communication at Harvard in 2016.

Dr. Miller served as chair of the Department of Communication at Harding from 2014 to 2019.  During his tenure as chair, the department successfully completed a $100,000 fundraising campaign, grew in enrollment by 35 percent, and developed two new interdisciplinary majors. Dr. Miller received the university’s Distinguished Service Award in 2000 and the Teacher Achievement Award in 2012.

He is a member of Kappa Tau Alpha, the national honors society for recognition of scholarship in mass communication. He has worked as a writer and reporter for multiple news media outlets, including the Knoxville News Sentinel. Dr. Miller's role as a faculty fellow in the Honors College includes curriculum design, advising the Honors Student Council and Trustee Scholars, alumni relations, recruiting, and related assessment. Dr. Miller and his wife, Sara, have two children.

James Huff

James Huff, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Engineering Education


About Dr. Huff

Dr. James Huff is an Associate Professor of Engineering Education at Harding University and teaches courses in identity and design thinking. In the context of his research lab Beyond Professional Identity (BPI), Dr. Huff has mentored undergraduate students, doctoral students, and academic professionals from more than 10 academic disciplines in using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) as a qualitative research method to examine identity in a variety of contexts. He has served as a principal investigator of a National Science Foundation grant to examine how engineering students experience shame during their pre-professional education and has published more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, many of which he has presented at national or international conferences. Dr. Huff received his Ph.D. in Engineering Education and M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University. He also received his B.S. in Computer Engineering as an Honors Graduate with Distinction from Harding University.

Amy Qualls

Amy Qualls, Ph.D., (Auburn University)

Office: Am Studies 309
Phone: 501-279-4422

About Dr. Qualls

Dr. Amy Qualls is an Associate Professor of English at Harding University.  She joined Harding's English department in 2011 after teaching for six years for the University of Arkansas system.  Dr. Qualls earned a Ph.D. in English from Auburn University and a B.A. in English from Purdue University.  Dr. Qualls's major scholarly interests are early American literature and women's writing; she teaches courses in both of those areas, as well as writing and film. She also directs Harding's University Writing Center, having gained experience in that work at Auburn as a doctoral student. Dr. Qualls was the recipient of Harding's Teacher Achievement Award in 2017, as well as other teaching awards at her previous academic institutions.  Dr. Qualls's teaching is guided by the idea that creating safe spaces allow students to ask hard questions and engage big ideas. She encourages her students to bring intellectual curiosity to their explorations of story, language, and culture.  Dr. Qualls and her husband, Rodney, have a daughter, Sophie, and a son, Chris.

Debbie Baird

Debbie Baird, B.A., (Harding University)
Honors College Administrator

Office: Honors College
Phone: 501-279-4157

About Mrs. Baird

Debbie Baird joined the Honors College team in 2001. Serving as the Honors College Administrator, she manages the day-to-day functioning of the Honors College.  Mrs. Baird serves as an academic advisor to honors students who have not yet decided upon a major and those who want to create a customized Interdisciplinary Studies major.  She enjoys developing relationships with students and encouraging them to discover the gifts God has given them.

Mrs. Baird is a graduate of Harding and is married to Tim Baird, a faculty member in Computer Science. Tim and Debbie have worshiped with the Cloverdale congregation in Searcy for more than forty years. They have three grown sons and two daughters-in-law.

Kristina Chance

Kristina Chance, B.A., (York College)
Assistant to the Dean

Office: Honors College
Phone: 501-279-4056

About Mrs. Chance

Kristina Chance will greet every student and visitor who enters the Honors House!  Kristina has been a member of the Honors College staff since 2018 and serves as the “Assistant to the Dean”.  She manages our Honors Symposium enrollment process and facilitates Honors College student activities.

Mrs. Chance graduated from York College in York, Nebraska, with a degree in Oral Communication Theory. Married to Jared, they have two school-age children, and are active with the Westside Church of Christ.

Faculty Assisting from Other Departments

Scott Adair, D.Min.

Professor of Bible and Ministry 

Kristi Bond, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor of Spanish 

Phil Brown, Ph.D. 

Professor of Accounting

Heath Carpenter, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English

Larry Hunt, Ph.D. 

Professor of English 

Kristen McCook, M.S.N.

Assistant Professor of Nursing

Robert McCready, Ph.D.

Professor of French    

Jesse Robertson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Bible and Ministry

Mac Sandlin, Th.D.

Associate Professor of Bible and Ministry   

National Science Foundation CAREER Award

Contact Us

Fax: 501-279-4016

Mailing address:
Harding University
Honors College
HU 10782
Searcy, AR 72149-5615

Office hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (closed for the noon lunch hour)