BARBARA KAY MULLINS-NELSON
Center Higher Education
Office Location: 315 Browning Hall
Phone: (901) 678-4270
Barbara Mullins Nelson holds a Ph.D. in Adult Education and a certificate in
Human Resource Development from Florida State University. She teaches online
graduate level courses in adult learning, adult and community education, and
global and comparative issues in leadership. Her research focuses on non-formal
education and experiential learning among culturally diverse people.
Prior to graduate studies Dr. Mullins Nelson worked as an educator and
trainer in community agencies including the American Red Cross, the YWCA, and
4-H youth programs. These experiences inspired her to pursue graduate studies
in adult and community education.
Dr. Mullins Nelson has lived and worked in The Republic of Trinidad &
Tobago and Ghana, West Africa. While in Trinidad, she developed curriculum
materials for 4-H youth programs to build entrepreneurial skills among youth.
In Ghana, she was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Ghana's Institute of
Adult Education where she taught graduate courses and conducted research on adult
learning. She also organized Ghanaian students to build houses for Habitat for
Dr. Mullins Nelson has published widely, often with her doctoral students,
in journals including International Journal for Lifelong Education, Journal
of Professional Studies, Adult Learning, National Society for Experiential
Education (NSEE) Quarterly, Journal of Black Studies, International Journal for
the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, The Journal on Excellence in College
Teaching, Journal of Adult Development and Research and Practice in
As a faculty member in Higher and Adult Education at the University of
Memphis, she developed a portfolio assessment model that was adopted for
graduate students completing their M.S. in Leadership. She pioneered online
teaching in her department and initiated efforts to move the M.S. degree in
Leadership to an online format which launched fall 2009.
Dr. Mullins Nelson has been recognized by colleagues at the University of
Memphis with several awards including "Honor an Educator" (Kappa
Delta Pi), Distinguished Faculty Award (University College), Alma Bucouvaz
Urban Service Award (University College) and the Ellery Crader Professor of
Education Award (College of Education).