Meet the Team

For general questions and office information, please contact online@southern.edu or call 423.236.2087.

Gus Martin, PhD, Director
423.236.2083 : gusmartin@southern.edu
Gus is a Walden University graduate, where he earned his PhD in Educational Technology. He also attended Aquinas College earning his degree of Master's in Education and Universidad Adventista del Plata in Argentina, pursuing a degree in Science of Education. Gus has many years of experience as an educator, administrator, and technology coordinator. He is passionate about the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the importance that distance education brings to the needs of our society.

Polina Kadatska, PhD, Curriculum Development Specialist
423.236.2084 : kadatskap@southern.edu
Originally from Ukraine, Polina received her Ph.D. in Educational/Instructional Technology from University of Missouri – St. Louis. She loves working with faculty on designing interactive, student-centered courses. Polina has always had a passion for education and views it as one of the main contributors to empowerment. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling the world on a budget, volunteering for community-based projects, and cooking international cuisine, but most of all, she thrives on having heartfelt conversations over a cup of tea (a Russian-Ukrainian tradition).

Greg Merchant, eClass and Classroom Technology Support
423.236.2086 : gmerchant@southern.edu
Greg has provided support in the field of technology since 2000. For the last six 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.

Deanna Walker

Deanna Walker, MS, Course Development-Online Coach Manager 
423.236.2087 : deannawalker@southern.edu
Deanna is an alum of Andrews University and 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 her two girls. 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 20 years. 

Course Coaches

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



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 Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities throughout the U.S. After graduating from Southern, Cathleen and Robert met again at Andrews University, where they were both working on their master’s degrees. 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 goes to Collegedale Academy. Her hobbies include scrapbooking/crafting, growing flowers, decorating their home for the various seasons, reading, and listening to audiobooks.

Debra Maxwell

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

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 engage students in learning new technologies.

Karina Savelio
Karina Savelio graduated from Andrews University (BA in Spanish '93) after completing two years of college at Universidad Adventista del Plata in Argentina (Riverplate Adventist University), her native country. She then earned her Master's degree in Spanish Literature and Linguistics from the University of California, Riverside. She has worked as a translator, interpreter, and Spanish teacher for many years. She brings with her the experience of having created and conducted online classes using Adobe Connect and Zoom. She is an avid supporter of Christian education and is excited to see how online learning can connect people and bring them together.

Mya Slocumb
Mya Slocumb graduated with a B.A. degree in history from Southern Adventist University in 2010. She then went on to get her Master’s degree in Global Affairs from the University of Denver. She currently lives in Ooltewah, TN, with her husband Devin and one year old son Micah.

Lawrence Spencer
Lawrence Spencer graduated with a B.S. degree in Family Studies from Southern Adventist University in 2012. Since then, he's worked at McKee Foods as a Production Supervisor. He has a passion for service and currently lives in Ooltewah, TN with his wife Sarah and daughter Shiloh.