ETSU lost a beloved faculty member when Jerome Mwinyelle of the Department of Literature and Language died unexpectedly March 27.

Mwinyelle, who joined the ETSU faculty in 2004, was an associate professor of Spanish.

“He taught my phonetics class, and he was a great person,” said Olivia Martin, one of his students. “He had a very positive spirit, and you could tell teaching was his true passion.”

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Jessica Mynatt, a student who studied abroad with Mwinyelle in Ecuador in 2014 said he was one of the most cheerful men she had ever met.

“He was literally always smiling and his good mood rubbed off on everyone. We all looked up to him as a teacher and a friend,” she said.

Mwinyelle is survived by his wife Tina and two children, Delia and Brandon.

The Department of Literature and Language is collecting donations to assist his family.

Those interested in donating should make checks out to the ETSU Literature and Language Courtesy Fund and indicate that this contribution is for the Mwinyelle family. Contributions can be sent to the ETSU Department of Literature and Language, Box 70683, Johnson City, TN 37614, or dropped off in Burleson Hall 103.

A Funeral Mass will be held at 2 p.m. on May 7, 2016 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Johnson City.