Contact & Connect with the College of Communication and Fine Arts | Troy University

Contact & Connect

College of Communication & Fine Arts


Dr. Michael Thrasher
Dean, College of Communication & Fine Arts
(334) 808-6805

Michael Thrasher currently serves as Dean of the College of Communication & Fine Arts and Professor of Music at Troy University. He previously served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Director of Graduate Studies and as Interim Dean at the Florida State University College of Music. His past experience includes administrative and faculty positions at the University of Texas at Tyler, North Dakota State University, North Central Texas College, and in public school music education.

As a researcher, Thrasher has presented papers and lectures at conferences of the College Music Society, National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, Texas Music Educators Association, and National Association for Music Education. He has been featured as a presenter or performer at numerous conventions of the International Clarinet Association, including at festivals in Ohio, Georgia, Sweden, Spain and Belgium. His work has been published in various journals, including the Journal of Performing Arts Leadership in Higher Education, Planning for Higher Education, The Department Chair, The Clarinet, Saxophone Symposium, Medical Problems of Performing Artists, and the NACWPI Journal

As a performing clarinetist, Thrasher has performed in symphony and opera orchestras in various states, including the Tallahassee Symphony (Florida), Shreveport Symphony (Louisiana), Fargo-Moorhead Opera and Symphony (North Dakota), Texarkana Symphony (Texas), and the Longview Symphony (Texas). He has also appeared as a recitalist and chamber musician in locales from Florida to California.

Thrasher has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, and he also serves as a Minister of Music at Immanuel Baptist Church in Tallahassee. He is currently a visiting evaluator for the National Association of Schools of Music.

Thrasher holds the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Northwestern State University, and both the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of North Texas.



Prof. Tori Lee Averett
Associate Dean, College of Communication & Fine Arts
Chair, Department of Theatre & Dance
(334) 670-3979

Tori Lee Averett brings a strong and committed voice for collaboration and integration of different ideas, people, and groups in and through the arts, education, and community. She holds the B.M.E. and M.S. in Vocal/Choral Music Education and the B.S. in Theatre from Troy University, and she holds the M.F.A. in Playwriting and Poetry from Georgia College. Tori is an accomplished performer, director, choreographer, writer, musician, and teacher. She has presented at regional and national festivals and conferences in the areas of education, theatre, arts integration, and creative writing, and regularly serves as a resource person for artists and educators. She has received national and regional honors from the Kennedy Center-American College Theater Festival, and she is a national recipient of the Chair Academy’s 2021 Idahlynn Karre Exemplary Leadership Award. Tori was selected by the Alabama State Board of Education to represent Theatre in the Alabama Arts Course of Study revision, approved and adopted in 2018. Tori is an active artist and performer, a singer/songwriter with two original albums released and several more in production. Her research interests include arts integration, interdisciplinary and multicultural arts, and diversity and inclusion through the arts and arts education. Tori directs the Summer Spotlight performing arts series, coordinates the Summer Arts Academy in Pietrasanta, Italy, leads the Pied Pipers children’s theatre troupe, directs various productions, and heads up the Integrated Arts program. Tori is a member of the Troy Arts Council Board of Directors, and she serves as a resource person for the Johnson Center for the Arts and several other local and community arts, civic, and education organizations. She currently serves as Department Chair and tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Troy University, as well as Associate Dean for the College of Communication & Fine Arts. Tori is a proud native of Brundidge, Alabama. 

Prof. Greg Skaggs
Chair, Department of Art & Design 
(334) 670-5738

Greg Skaggs is an active artist who has shown his work throughout the south and southwest and internationally. Notably, he was selected to show nationally in New American Drawings and regionally in Drawing on Alabama, both showcased up-and-coming talent from the United States and throughout the South. Selected works were also chosen for “Urban Wild” at the Contemporary Museum of Art in Mobile, Alabama, and “Uncommon Territory – Contemporary Art in Alabama” at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art. Skaggs was selected to be a part of a group show at the Ogden Museum of Art in New Orleans. He is also a member of IC3 (International Center of Collaboration and Creativity), which has worked on projects in Halmstad, Sweden. He served on the Board of Trustees at the Wiregrass Museum of Art from 2008 – 2015 and currently serves as the Vice-President for Communications for FATE (Foundations in Art: Theory and Education). Skaggs also was appointed to serve on the curriculum board for Advanced Placement–The College Board (associated with Educational Test­ing Services) and spends part of his summer as a reader for AP Studio in Salt Lake City, Utah. 
Other exhibitions include a solo show at the Birgit Nilsson Galleri, Örebro Konstskola, Örebro, Sweden; and collaborations with McMaster’s University in Hamilton, Canada. Skaggs has also collaborated with artists from Örebro, Sweden; London, England; Tel Aviv, Israel; and Bremen, Germany.
Born in Longmont, Colorado – to the parents of oil tycoons and cattle barons – and living much of his life in Texas and Oklahoma, Greg Skaggs serves as Professor and Chair of the Department of Art & Design at Troy University. Greg holds undergraduate degrees in Graphic Design and Art Education, and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Oklahoma.



Dr. Kirk L. Curnutt 
Chair, Department of English 
(334) 241-9701 


Kirk Curnutt joined the faculty of Troy University’s Montgomery campus in 1993 and was for the first stretch of his career the youngest tenured professor in the system. During his twenty-two years in the capital city, he helped developed first the television distance learning initiative and then the English department’s online major and its writing courses. In 2016 he relocated to the Troy campus to oversee English offerings throughout the entire system. Thanks to his time in Montgomery, his research interests have focused on F. Scott Fitzgerald. For many years he served on the board of the Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum in Montgomery and since 2013 has served as the executive director of the international F. Scott Fitzgerald Society. He is the author of several works of fiction and criticism on not only Fitzgerald, but also Toni Morrison, William Faulkner, the 1970s, and popular music. He teaches both online and on the Troy campus, focusing on creative writing, American literature, senior seminar, and—finally, after many years of begging the School of Music to permit him—the history of rock ‘n’ roll. 



Dr. Robbyn Taylor
Director, Hall School of Journalism & Communication
(334) 670-3233 


Robbyn Brooks Taylor is the director of Hall School of Journalism & Communication, where she also teaches undergraduate, master's and doctoral students. She earned both her B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and M.S. in Strategic Communication from Troy University and completed her Ph.D. in Communication at Regent University. Dr. Taylor specializes in mobile journalism and multimedia journalism techniques, and also works with the department's broadcast, advertising and public relations students. Dr. Taylor was the student publications adviser for Troy's student newspaper, The Tropolitan, and the school's yearbook, The Palladium until June 2022 when she became the school's director. Before joining the Hall School's faculty, Dr. Taylor worked as a photojournalist at WSFA in Montgomery, a reporter at WNCF in Montgomery, a reporter, mobile journalist, columnist and editor for Freedom Communications in Northwest Florida (The Destin Log, The Northwest Florida Daily News and The Crestview News Bulletin), an international spokesperson and media coordinator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in Washington, D.C. and as managing editor of The Messenger in Troy. Dr. Taylor has garnered awards for her journalism writing both in Florida and Alabama, and has won top paper awards from divisions in the Southern States Communication Association, the National Communication Association and the Religious Communication Association. Dr. Taylor is currently the immediate past-chair and nominating representative of the Political Communication Division of the Southern States Communication Association, the president-elect of the Southeast Journalism Conference and on the editorial board of Artifact Analysis. 



Dr. Hui-Ting Yang
Director, John M. Long School of Music
(334) 808-6644

Dr. Hui-Ting Yang is Professor of Piano at Troy University John M. Long School of Music, where she serves as the Director and the Coordinator of Applied Studies.

As an active performer and educator, she has performed, lectured, and conducted master classes throughout the Czech Republic, Korea, China, Taiwan and the United States. In summers 2015, 2016, and 2018 she was invited to give recitals, lectures, master classes, and to teach applied piano in several schools in China, including at the Sichuan Normal University, Sichuan University of Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Arts, Nanjing Normal University, Southwest University, Chongqing Normal University, Guangzhou Normal University, and Shandong University at Weihai. She also performed Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Symphony Band as the first concert of the Steinway Artist Concert Series at Troy University in April 2015. In 2018 she collaborated with the Symphony Band again performing the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2 and Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs. In September 2012 she recorded three chamber works by Ladislav Kubík with mezzo-soprano Phyllis Pancella and violinist Karen Bentley Pollick. In November 2016 Dr. Yang and Ms. Pancella performed a recital in celebration of Kubik’s seventieth birthday in Prague and recorded several his works, including 24 HAIKU for mezzo-soprano and piano, and Gong for mezzo-soprano, alto flute, piano, and electronics. In June 2010 she performed seven solo recitals throughout the Czech Republic, including performances at the highly acclaimed Cesky Krumlov International Music Festival and the Artist Concert Series in Děčín.

She has also performed at numerous conferences and festivals including “The Days of Contemporary Music” festival in Prague, Parma New Music Festival, the Festival of New Music at the Florida State University, the Society of Composers Inc. National Conference, International and National Conferences of the College of Music Society, and the Florida State Music Teacher’s Association Annual Conference. Her recordings are available through Kum Seoung Records, Parma, Arco Diva, and Neos.

In Spring 2022, Dr. Yang was selected as a Troy University Chancellor’s Fellow and has been an advocate of the faculty/staff training and readiness in student mental health crisis since then. She is the recipient of the 2016 Steinway & Sons Top Teacher Award and the recipient of the Orpheus Award from the Iota Nu Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity at Troy University in 2018. She also received the Troy University 2009 Faculty Senate Excellence Award.

Hui-Ting Yang is a Steinway Artist and an inductee of the Steinway and Sons Teacher Hall of Fame 2023. To visit the Steinway & Sons Artist roster go to:




Peter Howard has been a member of the Troy University faculty for fifty years, during which time he has taught courses in English, linguistics, German, Latin, Greek, classical civilization, and the University Honors Program. He holds degrees in classical languages and music history from the University of Alabama and The Florida State University, and he has studied additionally at Loyola University of Chicago’s Rome Center and the Free University of Berlin. A military veteran, he worked for three years as a German translator/analyst with the U.S. Army Security Agency in West Berlin. He has been a department chair in various capacities at Troy since 1983. At the state level, he served two terms as president of the Alabama Classical Association and two terms as president of the Alabama Association of Foreign Language Teachers. At the national level, he has worked with the College Board and Educational Testing Service for over thirty years, holding the positions of Chief Reader for the Advanced Placement Latin Exams and chair of the Development Committee for the SAT Latin Subject Test. For ten years he directed the National Placement Service for Teachers of Latin and Greek, and more recently he served two terms as president of the American Classical League. For thirty-one years, he was associate editor of the Journal of Band Research, and with a lifelong love of music, he continues to play french horn in the Southeast Alabama Community Band. His general interests include musical theater and all types of classical music. He is a former Scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America, and he is a charter member of the International Frisbee Association.

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