estar sanos - be healthy
About the Faculty
Dr. Melissa Geist, Professor
The ESTAR Sanos initiative is spearheaded by Dr. Melissa Geist, Professor of Nursing and practicing Family Nurse Practitioner.
Cary Cass, School of Nursing
Lecturer & Registered Nurse
Cary Cass obtained her Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science Nursing (MSN) from Tennessee Technological University and additionally has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Spanish and French. Her main interests are in simulation, community health, the intersection of culture and healthcare, and research.
Cass is a current board member and past volunteer at a local Urgent Care Mental Health Clinic and has also volunteered with Remote Area Medical (RAM). She is a certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE), Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE-A), and Medical Surgical nurse. She is also a returned Peace Corps Volunteer and a certified Teacher of English as a Second Language (TESL). She has had extensive experience teaching, working with, and learning among other cultures in the U.S. and abroad including time spent in France, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ghana, Singapore, and Cuba.
Her experiences include over 10 years working as an ESL instructor and IELTS examiner as well as receiving the English Language Services teaching excellence award for ESL instruction. She is committed to creating healthier communities and increasing cultural competence through education, action, and respect.
Mark Groundland, Ph.D.
Associate Professor / Spanish
Dr. Mark Groundland has taught Spanish to undergraduate students in the United States for 30 years. He earned his Master's in Spanish from the University of Delaware in 1993 and his Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Kentucky in 2004.
He is currently an Associate Professor at Tennessee Tech, where he has taught Spanish for Health Services to first-year students and Introduction to Spanish Translation to Spanish majors.
He has translated in various settings (healthcare facilities, schools, churches, etc.) over the last 25 years. Furthermore, his wife is from Venezuela; hence, he has lived in a bilingual household for 26 years and counting.
Joshua D. Martin, Ph.D.
Dr. Martin holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies from the University of Kentucky.
He specializes in the literature and cultures of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. He teaches all levels, introductory to upper division courses, in Spanish studies at Tennessee Tech.