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Wilkes University Welcomes New Faculty for 2021-2022 Academic Year

by Gabrielle D'Amico

Wilkes University welcomed seven new faculty members at the start of the 2021-2022 academic year. The new faculty and their areas of specialization are:

Kristiana Feeser has joined the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences as a visiting assistant professor in the department of psychology. Prior to joining Wilkes, Feeser was a faculty member and researcher in the kinesiology program at Southern Illinois University. Feeser has authored a variety of publications and presentations related to the student experience, particularly in intercollegiate athletics programs. Feeser earned a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts in applied psychology from Southern Illinois University, and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and anthropology from Western Kentucky University. 

Melissa Gaydos has joined the Passan School of Nursing as a visiting instructor of undergraduate nursing programs. Gaydos previously served as an adjunct instructor in the nursing programs at Wilkes and Misericordia University and worked as a registered nurse in the obstetrics department at Geisinger Wyoming Valley. Gaydos earned a Master of Science in nursing from Wilkes University and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Joseph Harris has returned to Wilkes in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences as a visiting assistant professor in the theatre department. Harris has extensive scenic design experience in a variety of productions and previously taught at institutions that include Alabama State University, the University of North Florida, Loyola University New Orleans, McMurry College in Texas and Wilkes University. Harris earned a Master of Fine Arts in theatre from Texas Tech University and a Bachelor of Arts in theatre from King’s College.

Julie Murphy has joined the Passan School of Nursing as assistant professor of undergraduate nursing programs. Prior to joining Wilkes, Murphy was an assistant professor and director of the RN to BS program at King’s College, taught in the practical nursing program at Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center and worked as a registered nurse at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. Murphy’s research interests are in examining communication in families to improve the advance care planning process. Murphy earned a Doctor of Philosophy in nursing from The Pennsylvania State University, Master of Science in nursing from Drexel University, a Bachelor of Science in nursing from The Pennsylvania State University and an associate degree in nursing from Luzerne County Community College. 

Avni Patel has joined the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy as an assistant professor of pharmacy practice. Patel is a board-certified ambulatory care pharmacist and a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist with research interests in chronic disease management, transitions of care and service implementation. Prior to joining Wilkes, Patel completed a postgraduate year two ambulatory care residency at Yale New Haven Hospital and a postgraduate year one general pharmacy practice residency at the University of New Mexico Hospitals. Patel earned a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy and a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Ghazaleh Taherzadeh has joined the College of Science and Engineering as an assistant professor of computer science. Prior to joining Wilkes, Taherzadeh worked as a postdoctoral research scholar at the University of Maryland’s Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnical Research. Taherzadeh’s research is focused on data mining, artificial intelligence and pattern recognition as well as bioinformatics and computational biology, with emphasis on antibodies and protein function prediction. Taherzadeh earned a Doctor of Philosophy in computer science from Griffith University in Australia, a Master of Science in computer science with a major in artificial intelligence from the University of Malaya and a Bachelor of Science in software engineering from Multi Media University in Malaysia.

Kendall Tucker has joined the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy as an assistant professor of pharmacy practice. Tucker is a board-certified infectious disease pharmacist and a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist with research interests in antimicrobial stewardship, clinical decision support and implementation science. Prior to joining Wilkes, Tucker served as an infectious disease, epidemiology and outcomes research fellow at Oregon State University and infectious disease pharmacist at Oregon Health and Science University Hospital. Tucker completed an infectious disease pharmacy residency at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in North Carolina and a general practice residency at the University of New Mexico Hospitals. Tucker earned a Doctor of Pharmacy from South Carolina College of Pharmacy and a Master of Health information technology from the University of South Carolina.

From left to right, first row: Kendall Tucker, Avni Patel, Ghazaleh Taherzadeh and Kristiana Feeser; second row: Melissa Gaydos, Julie Murphy and Joseph Harris.

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