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Breeze Logo 2019

New Hires, Promotions & Retirements

Signe Coombs and Tara Bennett join GSW FoundationSigne Coombs web

The GSW Foundation recently welcomed two new Development Officers to the team. These newly formed positions will assist in the Foundation’s fundraising efforts and work to cultivate meaningful relationships with community members, corporate partners, and current and prospective donors.

Signe Coombs (pictured) comes to GSW from Oklahoma Panhandle State University, where she worked as head volleyball coach, athletics compliance coordinator and academic resource center coordinator. “I am grateful to Stephen Snyder and President Weaver for the opportunity to join this team and campus community,” Signe said. “I look forward to working alongside leadership, faculty, staff, alumni and donors to continue building on the growing success at GSW.”

Tara Bennett is also beginning a new position at GSW but is no stranger to campus. She has been an adjunct instructor of management in the College of Business and Computing since 2015 and taught on campus in Spring 2019. “I am thrilled by this unique opportunity to be a part of an exciting time at the University,” Tara said. “I am looking forward to working with all stakeholders as we continue to build upon the wonderful tradition and community outreach that is here at GSW.”

Tara is a native of Mobile, Alabama and currently resides in Eufaula, Alabama with her husband, GSW Professor of Management Robert Bennett, and two sons, Harris (16) and Rhodes (13). She is passionate about travel, antiques, historical dramas and mysteries and loves to cook, especially gulf coast favorites such as gumbo, jambalaya, and white chocolate bread pudding.

GSW welcomes new faculty

GSW’s Division of Academic Affairs has welcomed 12 new faculty in all four colleges this year. They are:

College of Arts and Sciences

  • Lysa Chizmadia, Associate Professor of Geology
  • Alaina Kaus, Assistant Professor English
  • Beau Palmer, Limited Term Lecturer of Music
  • Debra Palmer, Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Daniel Zarzutzki, Lecturer of Mathematics

College of Business and Computing

  • Allen Brown, Assistant Professor of Management
  • Mohammed Deehzooei, Assistant Professor of Economics
  • Dawn Hart, Senior Lecturer of Accounting

College of Education

  • Michael Crosby, Lecturer of Education
  • Melanie Thornton, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Education

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

  • Brittany Mellinger, Lecturer of Nursing
  • Laura Stanley, Lecturer of Nursing

Alaina Kaus joins Department of English and Modern LanguagesAlaina Kaus

Alaina Kaus recently joined GSW as an Assistant Professor of English. Her fields of expertise include 20th- and 21st-century American literature, transnational American studies, and comparative ethnic studies with emphases on immigrant and refugee narratives and human rights. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Connecticut in May 2018.


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