The Testament Team

Meet the people who make Testament possible

Dr. Robin Riner


Dr. Riner is a professor of anthropology at Marshall. She has conducted ethnographic research on death penalty trials across Texas, investigating how the use of language shapes jurors’ experiences during trials and impacts their life and death decisions. Her book, Confronting the Death Penalty, published by Oxford University Press (2016), explores how jurors use language to counter moments of empathy they share with defendants, thereby justifying their decisions for death.

Dr. Riner is also engaged in multiple projects that seek to understand the experiences of military veterans and help with issues that they face in their post-service lives. The first, funded in part by a WV Humanities grant and conducted in partnership with the local V.A., investigates the “moral breakdown” many veterans face in combat and afterward. The project explores yoga and other forms of collaborative, embodied interaction as beneficial for veterans struggling with moral injury.

Dr. Christina Franzen


Christina Franzen, associate professor of classics, joined the faculty of Marshall University in 2007.  Her research interests, regeneration through violence, the body’s dissolution, and stoicism explore how language exposes cultural, social, and political collapse within ancient texts. Dr. Franzen has been awarded four West Virginia Humanities Council grants, three of which are the WV Humanities Major Grant (2020) for this veteran project, and is co-director with Dr. Robin Riner. 

George Williams

Veteran Discussion Leader

George Williams is an Assistant Professor of English and the Veterans Advocate at Concord University in West Virginia. He served ten years in the Navy as an Electronics Technician and two years in the West Virginia Army National Guard as a Cavalry Scout. He graduated from Concord University in 2011 with a BA in English and Philosophy before moving to Scotland, where he earned an MLitt. from the University of Aberdeen and a Ph.D. from the University of Dundee. His interests are in helping veterans and studying and writing about Transatlantic Gothic fiction.

Bill Taylor

Veteran Discussion Leader

USMC Infantry, VN , Marshall Grad BBA, lives in Huntington with his wife. Bill has two daughters, and two granddaughters who he enjoys spending his time with.

Josh Perry

Veteran Discussion Leader | Web Developer

Joshua Perry served as a Combat Engineer in the Army for eight years. He is an active member of the Student Veterans of America along with other veteran groups, where he volunteers his time to help others find the benefits they are entitled to. Today he studies Fine Art at Marshall, exploring trauma and PTSD through his work in design and ceramics.


Jamie Springston

Veteran Discussion Leader

Jamie Springston served in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman( Fleet Marine Force) attached to numerous Marine units in combat operations.

He has helped establish Student Veterans of America at Marshall University, where he serves as the chapter President.

Jamie actively advocates for veterans on Capitol Hill, the WV State Capitol, the city of Huntington, and on the campus of Marshall University.

He serves on the West Virginia Veteran Service Organization (VSO) and the City of Huntington’s DEI committees. Jamie has co-founded Benefit Talk, a collaboration program that provides accurate disability and education information to servicemembers within the Reserves and National Guard units. Jamie is an active volunteer with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs Homeless Outreach Program and the Wounded Warrior Project.

He is a senior at Marshall University studying social work and will continue his education to serve the veteran population as a trauma therapist.