Program Director, Associate Director, and Camp Director

Dr. Melody Lehn

Program Director and Principal Lecturer in Argumentation & Debate

Dr. Melody Lehn joined SUMMA as Program Director for Camp 2022. She is Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Women’s and Gender Studies and Co-Director of the Center for Speaking & Listening at the University of the South. Dr. Lehn holds a B.A. in communication studies from Furman University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in rhetoric from the University of Memphis. At Sewanee, she teaches courses such as Public Speaking, Argumentation and Debate, U.S. Public Address, Voices of American Women, and the Rhetoric of Mass and Social Media. Her teaching has been recognized with several awards, including the Dwight L. Freshley Early Career Excellence in Teaching Award from the Southern States Communication Association and Sewanee’s College Excellence in Teaching Award. She researches at the intersection of rhetoric, gender, politics, and religion and has published several books, chapters, and articles. Among her recent publications is Rhetoric, Race, Religion, and the Charleston Shootings: Was Blind but Now I See, co-edited with Dr. Sean Patrick O’Rourke. Her co-edited collection (with Dr. Camille K. Lewis) One Hundred Years of Women Debating the Equal Rights Amendment: An Anthology, 1923-2023, will be published by Peter Lang in November 2024.

The Rev. Warren Swenson

Associate Director and Camp Chaplain

The Rev. Warren Thomas Swenson is an Episcopal priest, serving as associate priest of Southeast Tennessee Episcopal Ministry (STEM), a system of yoked congregations on and around the Cumberland Plateau. In addition to his work with STEM, Warren is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Chester and has served as Visiting Instructor of Rhetoric at The University of the South. His research interests include queer theology, homiletics, and American presidential rhetoric. Warren also holds both Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology degrees from the University of the South’s School of Theology.

The Rev. Gina Brewster-Jenkins

Camp Director

The Rev. Gina Brewster-Jenkins returns to SUMMA Camp 2024 as the Camp Director. An alumna of The School of Theology at The University of the South, Gina is a school chaplain at St. Paul's Episcopal School in New Orleans. She has been a teacher and youth minister for over 20 years. She enjoys spending time with her family and two dogs Scooter and Tessa while kayaking, boating, and hiking. This will be Mother Gina's 7th year serving on the SUMMA staff!

Seminar Leaders for Camp 2024

Dr. Eric Ezell

Dr. Eric Ezell is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at The University of the South. He holds a B.A. from Sewanee and a Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Dr. Ezell teaches courses in Biology, Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, and the First-Year Finding Your Place program. He is deeply involved in Sustain Sewanee, the Sewanee Water Campaign, and the Sewanee Greenhouse. Learn more about his teaching and research interests here.

The Rev. Dr. Melissa Hartley

The Rev. Dr. Melissa Hartley oversees all aspects pertaining to worship in All Saints' Chapel and leads Catechumenate (our Christian formation process) at the University of the South. She is a graduate of the University of the South ('93) who majored in Religious Studies and sang in the University choir. She holds a Master of Divinity and a Master of Sacred Theology from the General Theological Seminary in New York, along with a Master of Philosophy and a Ph.D. in liturgical studies from Drew University in New Jersey. Her soul is fed by spending time with her horse each day and going for trail rides on the beautiful domain during the weekends.

Dr. Patrick Loebs

Dr. Patrick Loebs is Professor of Communication at Grace College & Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana. He holds a B.A. in Communication and Media Studies from the University of Northwestern, an M.A. in Speech Communication from Minnesota State University-Mankato, and a Ph.D. in Rhetoric from the University of Memphis, where he completed a dissertation entitled: "An Appeal to the World: The Controversial Rhetoric of Samuel Adams." At Grace College, Dr. Loebs teaches a wide variety of courses including Public Speaking, Argumentation, Persuasion, Political Rhetoric, and Communication Ethics. As a rhetorical scholar, Dr. Loebs focuses on religious rhetoric, presidential rhetoric, and early-American oratory and argumentation. Dr. Loebs is excited to participate in his first SUMMA Camp this year! Learn more about Dr. Loebs here.

Dr. Lydia Reinig

Dr. Lydia Reinig is Director of Dialogue Across Difference Programs in the Office of Civic Engagement at at Sewanee: The University of the South. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder in Communication and her research is focused on public deliberation about local environmental policies. Her dissertation, “Participating in Boulder’s Energy Future,” won the 2020 Dissertation of the Year Award from the National Communication Association’s Language and Social Interaction Division. Before moving to Sewanee, Dr. Reinig was a Postdoctoral Research & Teaching Associate at the University of New Hampshire’s Civil Discourse Lab. There she developed an undergraduate curriculum in civil discourse, public dialogue and deliberation and conducted research on ways of sustaining dialogue in the face of polarization. At Sewanee, she teaches Public Dialogue and Deliberation in the Rhetoric program. Learn more about Dr. Reinig's work in Dialogue Across Difference here.

Camp Counselors

Mary Webster Burke

Mary Webster Burke (C'26) is from Mobile, Alabama studying American Studies and Rhetoric at The University of the South, where is a tutor in the Center for Speaking & Listening. She is also a member of Alpha Delta Theta sorority. One of Mary Webster's favorite quotations comes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." Mary Webster returns for her second year as a SUMMA counselor.

Erin Graffeo

Erin Graffeo (C'26) hails from Birmingham, Alabama. She is pursuing a major in American Studies as well as minors in both Rhetoric and International and Global Studies at The University of the South. She is a member of the varsity track and field team, Alpha Delta Theta sorority, the Multicultural Law Society, the Sewanee Arcadians program, the Sewanee Outing program, and is a tutor at the Center for Speaking & Listening. One of her favorite quotations comes from the book The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab: "Here is one day, and here is the next, and the next, and you take what you can, savor every stolen second, cling to every moment, until it's gone." Erin returns to SUMMA for her second year as a counselor.

Aidan Jones

Aidan Jones (C'26) joins SUMMA this year as a new counselor. He is from Pulaski, Tennessee and is studying Philosophy and Rhetoric at The University of the South. He is very excited to join the SUMMA community and meet this year's campers!

Bryce Timms

Former camper Bryce Timms (C'26) returns to SUMMA as a counselor for Camp 2024. A native of Savannah, Georgia, Bryce is studying Philosophy and Rhetoric at The University of the South, where he will join the peer tutoring staff of the Center for Speaking & Listening beginning in Fall 2024. There is a distinct possibility that Bryce will once again grace SUMMA with his musical gifts on the bagpipes.