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TU welcomes new faculty members

With the start of Fall Semester, Thomas University welcomes several new faculty members, eight campus-based and two distance professors.

The Division of Education welcomes Dr. Susan Yvonne Hagood as an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Assessment and Accreditation.  She previously served as an Assistant Professor at Valdosta State University and Indiana State University.

She is a national evaluator for EDTPA, a metric used to assess teaching effectiveness of students preparing to become PK-12 teachers, and a state evaluator for the Teacher Keys Evaluation System.

Hagood holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Physical Education Teacher Education, a Master of Science Degree in Physical Education, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education, all from Florida State University.

A native of Bartow, Fla., Hagood now resides in Thomasville with her dog Tilly.

Dr. Claire Dede Avery joins Thomas University as an Assistant Professor of Psychology.

Avery has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a Master of Science Degree in Psychology, both from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, Calif. She also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from TU.

Avery is completing her post-doctoral residency at the Florida State Hospital as a Behavioral Analyst/Forensic Evaluator. Avery also conducts forensic psychological evaluations for the courts in Florida and provides expert testimony regarding competency to proceed and risk assignments.

A native of Florida, Avery now lives in Cairo with her husband, Scott, and their four children: Rob, Jeffrey, Ashley and Timothy.

Dr. James Brightman joins TU as an Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Counseling. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Brightman also holds an Education Specialist Degree, a Master of Education Degree and a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree, all from the University of Georgia.

For the past eight years, Brightman worked with the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

A native of Alpharetta, Ga., Brightman now lives in Tallahassee, Fla., with his wife and two children.

Dr. Cristina Llanos Jones joins Thomas University as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Counseling and Psychology.

She holds a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation and Counseling, a Master of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology with a Certificate in Gerontology, all from Florida State University.

Jones has served as a Graduate Assistant at Florida State University, an In-Home Family Counselor with the Community Intervention and Research Center, a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a Senior Outreach Counselor with Elder Care Services, and as Secretary of the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association Executive Board.

Originally from Miami, Fla., Jones now resides in Buford, Ga., with her husband Jamey and children Logan, 11, Cade, 8, Aubree, 6.

Angela Robinson joins TU as an Assistant Professor of Medical Laboratory Science. She holds a Master of Adult and Career Education Degree and a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree, both from Valdosta State University, as well as a degree in Medical Laboratory Technology from Valdosta Technical College (now Wiregrass Technical College).

A graduate of Valdosta High School, Robinson has served as the Clinical Laboratory Technology Program Coordinator at Wiregrass Technical College since September 2011 and previously from August 2001 to September 2007. Robinson also served as the Laboratory Manager at Smith Northview Hospital in Valdosta, Laboratory Manager at Brooks County Hospital in Quitman, and in different positions at Doctor’s Laboratory, Inc. in Valdosta.

Bipin Patel joins TU as an Assistant Professor of Medical Laboratory Science. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and a master’s degree in Medical Microbiology.

A resident of Cecil, Ga., Patel previously served as a Microbiologist at Adel Memorial Hospital and as an Assistant Manager and Microbiologist at Solstas Lab Partners in Valdosta. Patel has served as a professor of Microbiology at Valdosta State University since 2010.

Deana Baker joins Thomas University as an Instructor of Biology. She has worked as a Biological Engineer/Consultant in the Life Science Fields of Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices for many years.

Baker holds a Master of Science Degree in Science Curriculum from California State University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology/Education from Eastern Mennonite University. She is currently working on a Master of Science Degree in DNA and Serology at the University of Florida.

Originally from Bremen, Ind., Baker now resides in Greater Minneapolis, Minn., area and Goshen, Ind., with her daughter Zoe, 17, a high school senior.

Jennifer Leigh Pepin joins Thomas University as an Instructor in the Division of Education.

She holds a Master of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from Thomas University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Newberry College. A native of Asheville, N.C., she now lives in Thomasville.

Pepin previously served as a Regular Education Classroom Teacher at Harper Elementary School in Thomasville. She previously taught first and second grades at Alexander II Math and Science Magnet School in Macon, Ga., and second grade at Smithfield Elementary School in Charlotte, N.C.

Remigio Padilla-Hernandez joins Thomas University as an Instructor of University Studies and Developmental Studies as well as the International Student Advisor.

Padilla-Hernandez holds a Master of Education Degree in Adult and Career Education and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics, both from Valdosta State University, as well as an Associate of Science Degree in Mathematics from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Padilla-Hernandez comes to TU from Valdosta State University, where he was a math instructor with the South Georgia State College Entry Program. He was also a math tutor, translator and interpreter for the After School Enrichment Program ECHOES (Each Child Has an Opportunity to Excel and Succeed) at Brooks County Middle School.

A native of Mexico, he resides in Quitman with his wife, Lois M. Moon, and their two corgis.

Christopher Cartright joins Thomas University as an Instructor of English. He is also a novelist represented by Vilar Creative Agency and a former graduate instructor at Florida State University.

Originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Cartright holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in French, a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in English and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing, all from Florida State University.

Cartright resides in Tallahassee, Fla.

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