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NOVA-Manassas welcomes new faculty

Nine people joined the faculty at the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College at the start of the fall 2014 semester. 

“We are pleased to welcome these accomplished educators to the Manassas Campus and feel sure they will contribute to our mission of service to our students and the community,” Provost Roger Ramsammy said.

Santwana Das teaches information technology and cybersecurity courses. She earned a master’s degree in information security assurance at George Mason University and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Calcutta University in India. She previously taught at NOVA’s Annandale Campus and also brings real-world experience as an application developer. Das lives in Centreville with her husband, Jayant, and their two sons.

Assistant Professor Nathan W. Dean teaches political science courses. He holds a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and a doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Professor Rosemary Gallick teaches art and art history courses. Gallick comes to the Manassas Campus from NOVA’s Woodbridge Campus with more than 20 years of teaching experience.  She holds a master of fine arts degree from Pratt and another master’s degree in communication from Cornell University. A prolific painter, Gallick exhibits her artwork around the nation and has an upcoming show at the Center for the Arts in Manassas, Sept. 16 to Oct. 20. She lives in Centreville with her husband, Ross.

Rohini Ganjoo is an assistant professor of biology and biotechnology. In addition to two years of teaching experience, she brings knowledge acquired in the pharmaceutical and technology industry. Ganjoo holds a doctorate degree in molecular biology and cancer research from the University of North Texas Health Science Center. She lives in Stone Ridge, Virginia, with her husband, Amit, and their two daughters, Anjika and Ragnea.

Bernice Mayfield teaches early childhood education courses. She earned a master’s degree in early childhood education at Old Dominion University where she received the Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Her bachelor’s degree in human services counseling is also from Old Dominion. She brings several years of teaching experience and two decades of childcare-related knowledge gained at public and private organizations. Mayfield and her husband, Michael G. Brown, have five children, including one who attends NOVA.

Sami Nefissi is an associate professor of mathematics. He has been an adjunct at the Manassas Campus since 2011 and has also taught at George Mason University and the Governor’s School @ Innovation Park where he was one of the original faculty members.  Originally from Tunis, Tunisia, Nefissi earned a bachelor’s degree in pure mathematics from Faculte De Science Tunis/Tunisia. He also holds a master’s degree in applied mathematics from George Mason University where he has nearly completed a doctorate in computational mathematics. Nefissi’s wife, Laura, teaches math and science to English language learners at Stonewall Jackson High School. They have a daughter, Lilia, at Stonewall Middle School and a son, Farris, at Bennett Elementary.

Shakil Shrestha is an assistant professor of mathematics. He has several years of teaching experience gained at NOVA, Trinity Washington University and the University of Nevada at Reno. He holds master’s degrees in mathematics and statistics. When not teaching, he enjoys photography, playing guitar, and watching soccer and tennis. Shrestha and his wife, Lisa, have a 7-month-old daughter, Aniya, who has “the most beautiful smile.”

Matthew Westerhoff is an assistant professor of mathematics and a faculty mentor for the Math Center. He has several years of teaching experience gained at NOVA and other colleges. He holds master’s degrees in mathematics and computational mathematics and is working on a doctorate in computational mathematics.

Assistant Professor Jaidee Zavala teaches biology, anatomy and physiology courses. She holds a doctorate degree in pathobiology from the University of Texas at El Paso and a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M University. Before coming to the Manassas Campus, she taught at NOVA’s Woodbridge Campus for one year. She also has teaching experience obtained at Biohealth College in San Jose, California, and at the University of Texas at El Paso. She lives in Woodbridge

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.

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