Neal Richard Phillips, Ed.D., has been teaching with Valencia College since 2001. He earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida in 2008, and he obtained both a bachelor's in English and a master's in Secondary Education from Duquesne University. Professor Phillips specializes in ENC 1101 and 1102 courses whether face-to-face, hybrid, or online exclusive. He has studied Shakespeare at both Rollins College and the New Globe Theater in London and is a former board member of the English-Speaking Union based in Winter Park. He believes that everyone can write, it's the planning and thinking that writers encounter as problems. With the right tools, however, notions such as "writer's block" can be a thing of the past.
Dr. Phillips is well-traveled having completed mission trips in both Guyana and Haiti. He also spent an entire academic year of college studying at the Vatican-run Villa Nazareth Academy under the supervision of Achille Cardinal Silvestrini in Rome, Italy. Dr. Phillips has continued with his desire to focus on international education and connecting students worldwide; he serves on the International Education Committee at Valencia and has presented at conferences focusing on distance-learning in North Carolina and New York City.
In his spare time, Neal has a passion for music and comic books. Growing up, he spent 10 years as a member of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra as a violinist; he has performed solo in South America and Europe as well. An aspiring songwriter, Dr. Phillips is currently having material pitched via an agreement with Cellar Door Publicity in Nashville,and he performs as a fiddler with a number of area country-rock bands. He is a songwriter affiliated with BMI music group. Neal has performed with any number of famous artists, including opening for Grandpa Jones of "Hee Haw" when he was just 14 years old. Dr. Phillips has also been part of acts opening for John Eddie, Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers, Mike Reid, Easton Corbin, Zac Brown Band, and Montgomery-Gentry. He has recorded with Cliff Hillis of Starbelly, Copper West, Cross Canyon, and with Chris Kirkpatrick of N'SYNC for the "Gone Country 2" reality show. When not focused on music, Neal escapes with the latest comic books, citing the Dan Slott Superior Spider-Man and Bendis' Ultimate Spider-Man as his favorites.
Dr. Phillips lives in Clermont, Florida with his wife of three years, Ellen. They have two children, Anthony and Alexia, and a third, Luke, due around Thanksgiving of 2013. The family also hosts a beloved, rescued dog -- Ebony, a lab/greyhound mix.