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Faculty and Staff

Kimberly Raun, B.A., M.S.

Department Head, Biology

Office:Wharton campus, Science-228B
Phone: (979) 532-6405
Email: kimberlyr@wcjc.edu
Faculty Website: http://facultyweb.wcjc.edu/kraun

Mrs. Raun received her B.A. degree and teacher certification from Texas A&M University.  She taught high school for two years and then earned her M.S. degree from the University of Houston at Clear Lake.  Mrs. Raun has been a full-time instructor for Wharton County Junior College since 1997, where she has taught Anatomy & Physiology as well as General Biology.  She currently teaches Microbiology, Nutrition and Pathophysiology.  Mrs. Raun has won WCJC's Faculty of the Year Award  and received the WCJC Excellence in Teaching Award. 


Andrew Berezin, B.S., M.S.

Instructor of Biology

Office: SUGUH-230
Phone: (281) 243-8591
Email: berezina@wcjc.edu 
Faculty Website: http://facultyweb.wcjc.edu/aberezin

Mr. Berezin received his B.S. degree from Sul Ross State University in 2007. After graduation he immediately began work on his Master’s degree at Sul Ross. While a graduate student, Andrew conducted ecological research on the American black bear in Big Bend National Park, TX and participated in a Saltcedar biological control program along the Rio Grande. Mr. Berezin completed his graduate studies in 2009. Mr. Berezin began as a full time instructor for Wharton County Junior College in 2010. He is currently teaching BIOL 1406 and BIOL 1407.


Dr. Archna Bhasin, B.A., Ph.D. 

Instructor of Biology

Office: SUGUH-242
Phone: (281) 243-8556
Email: bhasina@wcjc.edu

Dr. Bhasin received her B.A. in Biochemistry at the University of Texas– Austin and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a graduate student, she studied DNA transposition. After graduate school, Dr. Bhasin joined the U.S. Peace Corps and served as an Environmental Educator in the Philippines for two years. She returned to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to complete a Postdoctoral fellowship in Bacteriology during which she studied a bacterium-nematode symbiosis. She continued this research as a Microbiology professor at Valdosta State University in Georgia for six years before returning to Houston.  Dr. Bhasin joined WCJC as a full-time instructor of Microbiology and General Biology in 2014.


Johnson Cherukara, B.S., M.S.

Instructor of Biology 

Office: SUGUH-228
Phone: (281) 243-8462
Email: cherukaraj@wcjc.edu
Faculty Website: http://facultyweb.wcjc.edu/jcherukara

Mr. Cherukara received his B.S degree in 1985 from Bangalore University, India. He then earned his M.S degree in Zoology from Kumaun University, India. He started his teaching career as a lecturer in Zoology at St. Stephen's College in Kerala, India. He also worked as an associate teacher in the Houston Independent School District. He has been working with Wharton County Junior College as an adjunct instructor of Biology since 2005. He currently teaches Anatomy & Physiology and Microbiology courses.

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Dr. Ross Couvillon, B.S., M.S., Ph.D.

Instructor of Biology

Office:  Wharton Campus, Science-126
Phone: (979) 532-6908
Email: couvillonr@wcjc.edu

Dr. Couvillon received his B.S. from Texas A&M University in 2009.  He went on to earn his M.S. from University of Texas - El Paso in 2011 for his work on amphibians and reptiles of the Trans Pecos region of Texas.  In 2017, he earned his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University - Kingsville for his research on northern bobwhite response to habitat management and Texas tortoise ecology.  Dr. Couvillon taught courses at Rose State College in Oklahoma and Texas A&M University - Kingsville.  He joined the faculty of Wharton County Junior College in 2018, and currently teaches General Biology and Anatomy & Physiology.

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Kevin Dees, B.S., M.S.

Instructor of Biology/ Division Chair, Life and Physical Sciences
Office: Wharton campus,  Science – S228A Phone: (979) 532-6460

Email: kevind@wcjc.edu

Faculty Website: http://facultyweb.wcjc.edu/kdees

Mr. Dees is an alumnus of Texas State University - San Marcos with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology ('91) and a M.S. in biology ('94). His graduate research focused on northern bobwhite reproduction and ecology. Following graduation and several years as a professional wildlife biologist, he joined the WCJC faculty in 1996. He has taught General Biology, Environmental Biology, Vertebrate Anatomy, Human Anatomy and Physiology and Wildlife Management courses during his time at WCJC.


 John Dettling, B.S. M.S.

Instructor of Biology
Office: Wharton campus, Science-110 Phone: (979) 532-6314

Email: johnd@wcjc.edu

Faculty Website: http://facultyweb.wcjc.edu/JDettling

Mr. Dettling began his teaching career in 1988 at Southside High School in San Antonio, Texas after graduating from Texas A&M University. After teaching in San Antonio for two years, Mr. Dettling attended Southwest Texas State University where he worked as lab instructor and completed coursework towards a masters degree in Biology. Mr. Dettling taught 9 years at Louise High School before joining WCJC as a full-time Biology instructor in 2001.  He currently teaches Anatomy and Physiology.


Candace Doriski, B.S., M.S.

Instructor of Biology

Office: FBTC campus,TC-2401
Phone: (281) 239-1579 
Email: CandaceD@wcjc.edu
Faculty Website: http://facultyweb.wcjc.edu/cdoriski

Ms. Doriski is a native of Arkansas where she obtained a B.S. degree in Biology from ATU. She attended LSU and obtained a Master of Science degree in Microbiology. Ms. Doriski worked in a research and development lab for Exxon Mobil in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for 10 years before moving to Texas. She taught at WCJC as an adjunct instructor for three years before becoming a full-time faculty member in 2005. Her classes include General Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Microbiology.


Purti Gadkari, B.S., M.S.

Instructor of Biology

Office: SUGUH-223
Phone: (281) 243-8518
Email: purtig@wcjc.edu
Faculty Website: http://facultyweb.wcjc.edu/pgadkari

Ms. Gadkari received her M.S. in Biological Sciences from The University of Cincinnati in 1987. She then worked as a research assistant in the Department of Neonatology at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. There, her research focused on Respiratory Distress Syndrome in infants using biotechnology. She worked as an adjunct faculty at Lima Technical College and as a full-time faculty at Owens Community College in Toledo. Since her move to Texas in 1997, Ms. Gadkari has worked at Houston Community College and at Wharton County Junior College as adjunct faculty. In 2001, she began her current full-time position at Wharton County Junior College’s Sugar Land campus. She has taught Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Nutrition.


 Pramila Gurrala, B.S., M.S., M.D.

Instructor of Biology

Office: SUGUH-243
Phone: (281) 243-8552
Email: pramilag@wcjc.edu
Faculty Website: http://facultyweb.wcjc.edu/pgurrala

Ms.Gurrala received her Bachelor’s in Chemistry and Biology from Nagarjuna University and her Master’s in Chemistry from Kanpur University, India. She also completed an M.D. degree from Spartan Health Sciences University, St. Lucia and worked in a research and development lab while pursuing graduate studies at Texas Southern University. 

Ms.Gurrala’s teaching experience began at Vivekananda Junior College, India. She also worked as a Biochemistry professor for Spartan Health Sciences University, St. Lucia. She joined Wharton County Junior College and Houston Community College as an adjunct instructor in 2001. Ms. Gurrala has been at WCJC as a full-time instructor since 2003 and has taught Introductory Chemistry, Chemistry I and II,  Biology I and II, Microbiology, and Nutrition. She currently teaches Anatomy & Physiology. 


 Jennifer Jeffery, B.S., M.S.

Instructor of Biology

Office: Wharton campus, Science-117
Phone: (979) 532-6934 
Email: jenniferj@wcjc.edu
Faculty Website: http://facultyweb.wcjc.edu/JJeffery

Ms. Jeffery received her B.S. degree at Sam Houston State University with a double major in Biology and Environmental Science in 1992.  After working in a Houston-area environmental laboratory for a year, she returned to school, obtaining her Master's degree at Texas Tech University in 1997.  As a graduate student, Ms. Jeffery's research focused on the differential establishment of native grass species in a sand shinnery oak community.  In addition, she participated in an extensive survey of the plant communities at Copper Breaks State Park near Quanah, TX.  Having become a full-time faculty member at WCJC in 1999, she has taught General Biology and Environmental Biology.  Ms. Jeffery won the WCJC Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006 and the Faculty of the Year Award in 2014


Amanda Smith, B.S., M.S.

Instructor of Biology

Office: Wharton Campus, Science - 107
Phone: (979-532-6313
Email: smitha@wcjc.edu

Mrs. Smith received her B.S. degree from University of Texas at Austin. She then obtained a Master of Science degree in Biology from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. Her graduate research focused on methods of identifying sources of fecal contamination in Texas waterways. Mrs. Smith began teaching as an adjunct for the University of Alaska Southeast and joined Wharton County Junior College as a full-time faculty member in 2014. Her classes include General Biology and Anatomy and Physiology.


 Rosella Tucker, B.S., M.S. 

Instructor of Biology

Office: SUGUH-214 A
Phone: (281) 243-8559
Email: tuckerr@wcjc.edu

Mrs. Tucker received her B.S. degree from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone in 1978. She earned her M.S. degree in Forest Resource Management in 1989 from University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She started her teaching career as a high school science teacher in Sierra Leone and later taught at the University of Sierra Leone. Mrs. Tucker has also worked as a high school science teacher and administrator in Wisconsin. She has been teaching at Lone Star College since 2012 and joined WCJC in 2014 as an instructor of General Biology.


 Sean Valdez, B.S., M.S.

Instructor of Biology

Office:  SUGUH-249
Phone:  281-243-8506
Email:  valdezs@wcjc.edu

Mr. Valdez received his B.S. and M.S. in Biology from Stephen F. Austin State University.  He obtained his teacher certification in 2008 and has taught high school science.  Mr. Valdez joined Wharton County Junior College as an instructor of Biology in 2015.  His classes include General Biology and Anatomy and Physiology.


Dr. Wendy Waters, M.S., PhD

Instructor of Biology 

Office: Wharton campus, Science-112
Phone: (979) 532-6406
Email: watersw@wcjc.edu
Faculty Website: http://facultyweb.wcjc.edu/wwaters

Dr. Waters received her B.S. in Animal Science, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Reproductive Physiology from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.  While pursuing her advanced degrees, she was a teaching assistant and assistant lecturer for a senior level reproductive physiology course. 

Dr. Waters has extensive work experience in the biological field with Krug Life Sciences, Inc., as a Scientist, with Baylor College of Medicine as a Research Associate and as an Assistant Professor, and with Wyle Laboratories, Inc., as a Senior Scientist. All were government-contracted positions assigned to support the Cardiovascular Laboratory at NASA Johnson Space Center. She pursued research interests focusing on the effect of spaceflight on the regulation of blood pressure in astronauts as well as gender differences on the regulation of blood pressure. Dr. Waters became a full-time faculty member at WCJC in 2006. She currently teaches Anatomy & Physiology


Part-Time Instructors

 Keri Jones, B.S., M.S.

Email:  jonesk@wcjc.edu

Mrs. Jones received her B.S. in Biology from St. Mary's University in San Antonio.  She received her M.S. in Biology from Texas A&M-Commerce.  Mrs. Jones has been a full-time science teacher at Louise High School since 2011 and began teaching General Biology part time at WCJC in the fall of 2017.


Catherine Kellner, B.S., M.S.

Email:  kellnerc@wcjc.edu

Catherine Kellner received her B.S. degree and teacher certification from the University of Houston and a Diploma in Nursing from Memorial Hospital in Houston.  She worked as a school nurse for twenty-five years.  In 2003, she earned a Masters in Nutrition from Mississippi State.  Ms. Kellner has been a part-time instructor for Wharton County Junior College since 2005, currently teaching Nutrition.

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Renee Moore, B.S., M.S.

Instructor of Biology

Email:  moorer@wcjc.edu

Mrs. Moore received her B.S. and M.S. degrees from UHV.  A native of Texas, Mrs. Moore first started her college education at Wharton County Junior College in 2008.  She then went on to UHV, focusing on Genetics, and completed her thesis on the subject of the rare inherited disorder PKU.  Mrs. Moore joined Wharton County Junior College as an instructor of Anatomy and Physiology in 2018.

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Dr. Julie Ponthier, B.S., M.S., PhD

Instructor of Biology

Email:  ponthierj@wcjc.edu

Julie Ponthier received her B.S. degree in biology from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.  She received her M.S. degree in physiology from Louisiana State University where she studied steroid synthesis in channel catfish.  She received her doctorate in physiology from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center where she studied the role of nitric oxide in oxidative stress.  During her graduate years, Dr. Ponthier taught numerous physiology lab courses.  She did post-doctorate research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on alternative RNA splicing in red blood cells.  She then taught anatomy/physiology for one year at WCJC before moving overseas and raising her young family.  She currently teaches biology and anatomy/physiology at another college and began teaching anatomy/physiology at WCJC in the Spring of 2019.

 

 

 

 

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