Campus Community Health • HEERF I, II & III

estar sanos - be healthy

About the Faculty

M. GeistDr. Melissa Geist, Professor

The ESTAR Sanos initiative is spearheaded by Dr. Melissa Geist, Professor of Nursing and practicing Family Nurse Practitioner.

More About Dr. Geist

C. CassCary Cass, School of Nursing Lab Coordinator & Registered Nurse

Cary Cass is a Registered Nurse and nursing Lab Coordinator. She obtained her Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science Nursing (MSN) from Tennessee Tech University. Additionally, Cass has Bachelor of Arts degrees in Spanish and French. Her main interests are in simulation, community health, the intersection of culture and healthcare, and research.

She is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE), a trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), a board-certified Medical Surgical nurse, a returned Peace Corp Volunteer, and a certified Teacher of English as a Second Language (TESL). Cass 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.

Locally, she volunteers at a local Urgent Care Mental Health Clinic and has also volunteered with Rural Area Medical (RAM) in the past. 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. Case is committed to creating healthier communities and increasing cultural competence through education, action, and respect. 

M. GroundlandMark 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.

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ESTAR Sanos / Be Healthy
Whitson-Hester School of Nursing