Hunter Epperson ~ Staff Writer
For the academic year of 2020-2021, the University of Lynchburg’s health promotion department welcomed a new professor who is already making a positive impact in students’ lives.
Rebekkah McLellan, MPH, CHES, is now an adjunct faculty member to the department. She currently teaches HP: 300 Drugs and Behavior Management.
McLellan is from Amherst, Va., and she earned a B.S. in psychology from Rutgers University. After graduating in 2017, she attended the University of Lynchburg to work towards a master’s degree in public health with a global health emphasis. She transferred to Liberty University to complete her degree, and is now an “all-but-dissertation” (ABD) candidate at A.T. Still University, where she is pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Health Professions.
McLellan was a first-generation student at Rutgers University. She was a member of Phi Epsilon Kappa, Omega Phi Alpha, Omega Nu Lambda, and Omicron Delta Kappa. Before becoming a professor, McLellan was a veterinary technician in New Jersey and was a vet assistant and practice manager in the state of Virginia before she applied to veterinary school.
For fun, McLellan explained that she likes traveling, tinkering with her cars, spending time with her dogs, running, flying, and enjoying time outdoors. “I think my dream vacation would be to go to Australia and New Zealand, Bali, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands,” she said.
McLellan also talked about difficult decisions she had to make during her academic journey.
“I never would have thought of becoming or deciding to become a professor until I was going to go to veterinary school and decided not to go. I questioned what I was going to do with my life. I went to a government agency affair where I applied and went through the application and interview process for a secret governmental agency, thought about joining the military, and even did some soul searching during it all until Dr. [Charlotte] Guynes helped me find my journey to become a professor,” said McLellan.
She continued, “Being a professor is different [than I imagined] because you are teaching someone career and life skills. As a professor, it is different than I imagined because I often wonder if my students or myself have learned more because I am always learning from them.”
Colby Takacs, another professor in the health promotions department said, “[Prof.] McLellan is a kind and compassionate person who strives to be present for all who she comes in contact with as she recognizes the necessity to build relationships with her students and colleagues. She demonstrates dedication to the craft and the process of engaging others in learning, always willing to collaborate, and seeks growth inside and outside of the classroom. [Prof.] McLellan has been an excellent addition to the Health Promotion Department as she brings a passion to teaching and learning for herself, her colleagues, and her students.”