Meet the Staff

For general questions and office information please contact or call 423.236.2087

Dr. Tammy Overstreet, Director
Tammy, a lifelong Adventist educator and administrator, is an alumnus of Southern Adventist University. Tammy has a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, with over two decades in literacy education, most recently as a professor of teacher education and as a program director of a graduate degree program. These experiences have prepared her well for her role at Southern’s Online Campus where she strives to provide the highest level of excellence in our online courses and to support professors as they use technology in their face-to-face classrooms both to teach more effectively and to increase student engagement.

Greg Merchant, eClass and Classroom Technology Support
Greg has provided support in the field of technology since 2000. For the last 6 years he has been instrumental in developing and managing educational technology for Adventist educational institutions. Before working in Adventist education Greg managed information technology in both the banking and health care industries. In 2001 Greg earned his bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications Management from DeVry University.

Ryan Harrell, Interactive Media & Creative Design
Ryan is an alumnus of Southern Adventist University’s School of Journalism and Communication, and has a long history with the university. He brings over 15 years of practical web design and programming experience to the Online Campus in addition to the theoretical background of a master’s degree in media from The New School. In addition to his responsibilities for Online Campus, Ryan enjoys teaching Intro to Web Design for the School of Journalism and Communication during the fall and winter semesters.

Amanda Orozco,
Administrative Assistant/Academic Advisor

Amanda is an alumnus of Southern Adventist University’s School of Education & Psychology, having graduated with a B.A. in Spanish in 2011. Since then she has gained five years of classroom teaching experience working in K-12 both in the US and abroad. Amanda’s previous experience as well as her passion for online learning and educational technology has prepared her well for this role as she assists students and professors with online courses, and takes care of administrative duties for the department.

Course Coaches

Course coaches are an integral to our processes here at the Online Campus and are an important part of our team!

Mindy Herman
Mindy is a Southern Alumnus, graduating in 2005 with a B.F.A. with an emphasis in painting. Mindy loves working with teachers and students of all ages as she is also a kindergarten teacher assistant at A.W. Spalding elementary school. When she is not working, Mindy enjoys spending time with her husband, Ryan, and three school aged children. She also enjoys creating all types of art, directing her church choir, and helping with Southern's annual Sonrise Pageant as a scene director.

Lisa Hess
Lisa Hess is the Online Program Manager for the Global Community Development department. She attended Southwestern Adventist University where she completed her bachelor's degree in Office Administration. Lisa has enjoyed working in a variety of industries from Pharmaceutical, the airline industry, to higher education starting at Andrews University and now Southern. Her first position here at Southern took her to the Online Campus. Now with the GCD program, Lisa works with prospective students applying to the graduate program and with the online Rotation-1 Knowledge Building session. Outside of her work, family time with her husband and daughter on their small farm is one of her greatest joys, along with entertaining family and friends.

Cathleen Ordóñez
Cathleen Ordóñez received her Psychology degree from Southern in 1994. Since then she and her husband Robert (also an alum who graduated in 1995) have traveled through many of the SDA colleges and universities throughout the US. After graduating from Southern Cathleen and Robert met again at Andrews University where they were both working on their master’s degree. After marrying in 1996 the couple began working for Andrews, Cathleen in Human Resources and Robert in the Computer Science Department. They served in similar positions in Columbia Union College (now WAU), Pacific Union College and eventually in 2013, back to where it all began, here at Southern. After a career of over 20 years in Human Resources, most recently as HR Director for a local long-term care facility. She is excited to apply her experience organizing complex projects and her people skills in a new setting with the team at Online Campus. She is thrilled to be able to spend more time with her family, including son Matthew who is 10 years old and goes to Spalding. Her hobbies include scrapbooking/crafting, growing flowers, decorating their home for the various seasons, reading and listening to audiobooks.

Jessica Ordóñez
Jessica Ordóñez is currently a student at Carson-Newman University working towards her Ed.D. in Leadership with a focus on Curriculum and Instruction. She holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Marygrove College and a B.S.Ed. in Biology from Western Carolina University. She loves learning in the online environment and plans to use her Doctorate to one day teach university courses online. Jessica was a high school science and math teacher for sixteen years before deciding to pursue her passion for museum education. Since 2016, she has been a teacher at a children’s museum where she provides science and art learning experiences for kids in grades K-6. Jessica’s husband, Alfredo, is also a former teacher and together they homeschool their three creative children. The entire family loves gardening and spending time with their dachshund and five guinea pigs.

Sherry Manison
Dr. Sherry Manison taught multi-grade elementary school for seven years, and has experience as a Bible Worker and an Associate Pastor. She also worked for a few years at the Review and Herald Publishing House. She has written Study Bible notes for the R&H’s Study Bible, and multiple articles for the archaeological Study Bible from Safeliz Publishing House. Her specialty is Psalms. Recently she has taught online classes for Griggs and Southern Adventist University, is an online coach for other classes at Southern, and works with course development both at Southern and the Adventist Learning Community. Dr. Sherry holds an M.Div. and a D.Min. from Andrews University. Her passions outside of ministry include fanatical birding (it’s impossible to travel anywhere without going birding in the area!), and music.

Debra Maxwell
Debra Maxwell has a B.S. degree in education with an English major from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. degree in education with a specialization in secondary interdisciplinary learning strategies. She taught high school English for 21 years and was a high school instructional coach for 3 years.

Tammy Parks
Tamara is a Southern Alumnus, graduating in 2004 with a B.S. in Elementary Education (Math and Science focus), and in 2008 with a M.S.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. Prior to joining Southern Online Campus, Tamara taught middle school math and science for Hamilton County Schools. Having taken and assisted with teaching online courses, she works to provide support for professors and students alike. When she is not working, Tamara stays busy spending time with her husband, Brian, and four very energetic children.

Joy Payne
Joy Payne is a transplant from the West Coast but has grown to love her new home in Chattanooga. An alumna of Southern Adventist University, she graduated with a B.A. in Biblical Studies and minors in English and Biblical Languages. Joy has been working in higher education since 2015 as a writer in both creative and technical capacities as well as online coaching. She is passionate about sharing new knowledge with others and believes the online environment is critical to making education accessible. In her free time, Joy likes to travel, read, write, play musical instruments, and bake. She also loves spending time with her husband, Tom, and her beloved Chihuahua, Sir Laurence Wolfswift.

Frantz Philossaint
Frantz earned a degree in Network Communications from Devry University and has provide technology support from elementary all the way up to university level. He also has is master's degree in the same field. He loves giving support to students, teachers, and supporting staff. He has also taught technology at American InterContinental University and loves to engaged students in learning new technologies.

Donna Vargas
Donna has a Bachelor’s degree, with dual majors in Computer Information Systems and Business Administration from Andrews University, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from DeVry University, and a Master of Science Degree in Project Management from George Washington University. Her years of professional experience include 10+ years in Information Technology support and project management. For the past 5 years she has been working as an Online Coach here at SAU, primarily supporting professors in the preparation and delivery of online courses in the School of Business.

Deanna Walker
Deanna holds a Master's degree in Audiology from Purdue University. She spent five years as an audiologist in Indiana and then became a stay-at-home mom to two girls for 12 years. Prior to joining Southern Online Campus, Deanna homeschooled her children and utilized many online programs in the process. She met her husband, Mark, at a mutual friend's wedding and they have been married for 18 years.