Director Lionel Crews was born in Nashville, TN along with 3 brothers. His father joined the military when he was 4, and thus began his trek across the globe. He has lived in Mississippi, Texas, and California, and attended Ramstein American High School in (then) West Germany. He then returned to the United States to obtain a bachelors, masters, and doctorate in Physics and Astronomy at Vanderbilt University. During his undergraduate years, he met his future wife Lori. They were married in 1996, and she worked at an actuarial firm while he finished his doctorate in 2000. He then took a term appointment position at UT Martin, and was finally upgraded to tenure-track in the spring 2005 semester. In 2003, his twin daughters Emma Elizabeth and Amelia Ann were born, and then in 2005 his son William Jackson was born. In 2009 he was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor of Physics at UT Martin.
Highlights of his career thus far include participating several grant programs to improve middle school science education, traveling to Belize to develop a travel study course including astronomy, traveling to Kitt Peak National Observatory and Las Campanas Observatory in Chile to obtain data for his research, being appointed assistant Honors director for UT Martin in 2006, associate director of Honors in 2008, and Director in 2011, successfully mentoring five University Scholars, Brian Stiles, Dustin Lambert, Rhett Chrysler, Zachary McCain, and Katelin Turner, working as an associate curator at the Pink Palace Museum system in Memphis and Science Committee Chair for the so to be opened Discovery Park of America in Union City, acting as a faculty advisor to the Tennessee Earth Science Teachers association, being a regular invitee at the MidSouthCon Science Fiction conference in Memphis, and being dubbed "Lionel Crews the science dude" for answering science questions on the local radio station, WCMT.
Crews enjoys being a father, spending what little time he can with his wife in-between being a father, travelling, sports, music, discussing anything interesting, and getting to know the University Scholars and Honors students.