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Thomas University welcomes new full-time faculty members

This semester Thomas University welcomed seven new full-time faculty members.

Dr. Nilakshee Bhattacharya joined TU as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Lady Brabourne College in India; a master’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Colorado State University, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Florida State University. Before joining TU, Dr. Bhattacharya was a research scientist at FSU. Her hometown is Tallahassee.

Jason Dunn joined TU as an Associate Professor of English. Dunn has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of South Florida, a master’s degree in English from San Diego State University, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of California-Davis. Before joining TU, he was an Assistant Professor, Communications and Honors Faculty, at the College of Central Florida; an Associate Instructor and then Lecturer in the English Department and University Writing Program at the University of California-Davis; and an English Instructor in the English Department and the Department of Rhetoric and Writing Studies at San Diego State University.

Mina Haretos joined TU as an Instructor of Business. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Flagler College and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Valdosta State University. Before joining TU full-time, Haretos was an adjunct faculty member at TU and at Flagler College in Tallahassee. Originally from Athens, Greece, her business experience comes from running a family-owned business in Greece importing costume jewelry and accessories for the fashion industry.

Jaime Ortiz came on board as an Assistant Professor of Medical Laboratory Science. He earned an associate degree in Medical Laboratory Technology from Valdosta Technical College, a bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science from Thomas University, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from TU. Before joining TU, Ortiz worked at the Smith Northview Campus of South Georgia Medical Center. Originally from Orange Grove, Texas, he now lives on a small farm outside Hahira, Georgia.

Three new full-time faculty members joined the Division of Education: Dr. Nickey Owen Johnson and Dr. Jennifer Phillips as an Assistant Professors of Education, and R.C. Tucker as an Instructor.

Originally from Montgomery, Alabama, Dr. Johnson holds bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University. She also has a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration as well as a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, both from Florida State University. Before joining TU, Dr. Johnson was an Assistant Professor at the University of West Georgia and an Adjunct Professor and Graduate Teacher at FSU. She previously served as a teacher and school administrator at Triple C School, First Baptist Christian School, Faulkner Academy and Grady Christian Academy, private schools on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. She was also a teacher at the Auburn Early Education Center in Auburn, Alabama.

Dr. Phillips has a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Florida State University; a master’s degree in Education, Linguistic Development from National University in Costa Mesa, California; and a doctorate in Education from Florida State University. Before joining TU, she was an Instructor at Tallahassee Community College, Workforce Development; a Teaching Assistant and then Instructor in the FSU College of Education, and a Reading/Literacy Coach with the Lake County school Board in Tavares, Florida.

Tucker earned a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a master’s degree in Education, both from Thomas University. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in Education from the University of Florida. Before joining TU, Tucker spent 12 years with the Grady County School System teaching first grade, fifth grade, and Elementary Technology. He resides in his hometown of Calvary, Georgia, with his family.

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