Faculty and Advisors

James Blackburn, EdD, MBA, MA, CSSB, CSQE

James Blackburn

Dr. James Blackburn joined Middle Georgia State University as the new Associate Provost of Academic Innovation in January 2023. He is leading the university's efforts to improve processes across the institution. He joined the university after leading several initiatives at Georgia State University over the past five years. Prior to joining Georgia State, he worked at a consulting firm in Atlanta. Dr. Blackburn has worked in higher education and private enterprise for over thirty years. His previous work focused on improving organizational performance through service design, quality improvement, data analytics, technology enablement, and behavioral economics. Recently, Dr. Blackburn is researching how non-cognitive factors impedes individual achievement and success. He hopes this research will lead to AI-enhanced interventions that will improve organizational performance, individual achievement, which includes student success.

James excels in transforming organizations through data analytics, innovative problem-solving, and continuous process improvement. He believes successful and thriving organizations use data to improve five pillars of excellence: people, process, technology, quality, and training. James holds an EdD from the University of North Georgia, an MBA from Auburn University and an MA in Humanities from California State University, Dominguez Hills. He is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and Software Quality Engineer.

Chi Cheung, PhD

Dr. Cheung is an assistant professor at Middle Georgia State University. She received her PhD in psychology from Emory University. As a psychologist who studies how our mind processes numerical information, Dr. Cheung is enthusiastic about helping others to understand stories told by data. She is proficient in statistical packages such as R and SPSS, and she is experienced in communicating findings to audiences with or without a statistical background. She also has extensive experience in research, which involves innovations and finding solutions to ill-defined problems. Her work can be found in peer-reviewed academic journals. 

Tammy Haislip, PhD

Dr. Haislip has spent most of her career “playing" with technology. It began 25 years ago when she was tasked with developing a technology-driven K-12 GT curriculum, and grew graduated in the first cohort for the MS in educational technology and information systems at Texas A& M University. She continued to play as she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in educational technology, and wrote a grant for creating a university maker space which included iPads, a 3-D printer, VR equipment, and a media studio with a cyclorama and podcast booth. Her goals for MGA graduates are that they leave with enhanced technology skills relevant to their chosen field, and are able to communicate with intentionality how these skills make them valuable in the workforce. 

Kem Lingelbach, PhD

Dr. Kembley Lingelbach is an Assistant Professor of Information Technology at Middle Georgia State University’s School of Computing. She has over 30 years of experience in Cybersecurity and Information Technology working for the Department of Defense. Dr. Lingelbach has been teaching first as an adjunct beginning in 2010 while working for the United States Air Force and full-time since retirement in 2017.  Dr. Lingelbach has a BS in Logistics Systems with a Computer Science minor from Georgia College and State University, a master’s degree in Management of Information Systems also from Georgia College and State University, and a Ph.D. in Information Systems (Information Security) from Nova Southeastern University. Her research interests include women in cybersecurity, cloud computing, and ethical hacking

Simone T. A. Phipps, MBA, PhD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Dr. Simone Phipps is a Professor of Management in the School of Business at Middle Georgia State University, and a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School's Centre for Social Innovation (UK). She is also a member of the Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2021 and a winner of the Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea Award. She teaches a number of Management courses including Organizational Behavior, Entrepreneurship, Principles of Management, Strategic Management, Human Resource Management, and Leadership. Her research interests include Management History, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Social Innovation, Social Sustainability, and relationships between the organization and society. Her research usually involves the exploration of gender, racial, and ethnic minorities, with the aim of highlighting their struggles and contributions, as well as finding possible solutions to improve the minority experience in business and society. She has published in a number of scholarly outlets including the  Journal of Business Ethics Academy of Management Learning & Education Harvard Business Review MIT Sloan Management Review , and the  Journal of Management History.  She and her co-author have been recognized by the Academy of Management for publishing “ground-breaking African-American Management History research,” and have also written a book entitled  African American Management History: Insights on Gaining a Cooperative Advantage.  

Dr. Phipps holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Science (MIS) from Claflin University, and earned her MBA from Ohio University, and Ph.D. in Human Resource and Leadership Development from Louisiana State University. She is also a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).

Scott Spangler, DSIT

Dr. Spangler is an Associate Professor of Information Technology at Middle Georgia State University's School of Computing. He has 20 years of experience teaching human-computer interaction and multimedia software technology courses. Before his academic career, Dr. Spangler was an award-winning journalist for 25 years, working for the Tribune-Review, Parkersburg News, and Marietta A.M., as well as for the New York Times, Runners World, Running Times, Nike, and Arnold Palmer's magazine Kingdom. Spangler joined Middle Georgia State University eight years ago and has a research focus on mobile security and privacy and how technology can enhance and protect the digital culture and MGA’s students. The researcher holds an Associates degree in Commercial Art and Design, a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Communications, a master's degree in Mass Communication, and a Doctorate in Science in Information Systems and Communication. 

Annie Watson, PhD

Dr. Watson is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Middle Georgia State University, a Research Fellow for Women's and Children's Rights at the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI), and a Research Analyst for the Social and Economic Rights Fulfillment Index (SERF). She earned her doctorate in Political Science and International Affairs (with a minor in methodology) at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on evaluating governmental performance and holding governments accountable to their obligations under international law.