Monday, March 28th

Dr. Nancy Dishner

President and CEO of the Niswonger Foundation

Dr. Nancy Dishner serves as President and CEO of the Niswonger Foundation in Greeneville, Tennessee. She previously served as Vice Provost for Enrollment Services and Director of the Roan Scholars Leadership Program at East Tennessee State University. She was a tenured professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Prior to her position at ETSU, she was a public school teacher in Unicoi County.

(Link to Bio:

Tuesday, March 29th 

Stephen and Jessica Callahan

Founders of Tennessee Hills

Stephen and Jessica Callahan were both born in East Tennessee. As high school sweethearts, they both attended Emory & Henry College in VA where Stephen received degrees in biology and chemistry and Jessica majored in biology. Both worked in research and development at Eastman Chemical Company for five years until founding Tennessee Hills Distillery in Jonesborough, Tn in 2014. The pair recently partnered with Scott and Daphene Andrew to form a new company called Rugged American Spirits with Stephen as the acting president. Rugged American Spirits has since purchased an existing brewery in Johnson City and created what is now known as the Tennessee Hills Brewstillery, Tennessee's first brewery and distillery under one roof. The Callahan's and Andrew's have sense announced a multi-million-dollar distillery expansion that is due to break ground by mid-2022. Rugged American Spirits is preparing to take a national distribution shot and on track to be one of Tennessee's largest producing distilleries. 

Keynote session information:

University Spirit(s) – Partnering for Student Learning, Tourism, and Workforce Development

This unconventional plenary session will focus on a new undergraduate minor in Brewing and Distilling Studies. In this session, you’ll learn about how Tennessee Hills plays a pivotal role in this new academic program. We’ll visit the Brewstillery, hear from the company’s founders Stephen and Jessica Callahan, and learn about the curriculum from the ETSU faculty. We’ll also tour and taste while we are on site.

Wednesday, March 30th

Building Your Professional Identity

Interprofessional Leadership Team:

Dr. Brian Cross, Director

Dr. Alicia Williams, IPE Assistant Director

Dr. Caroline Abercrombie, IPE Director of Community Engagement