Athens State Welcomes New Faculty Members

Athens State University

Athens State University is pleased to welcome the following new faculty members to campus this fall.

Dr. Jing Chen – Associate Professor of Computer Science

Dr. Chen received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Louisiana at Lafayette and has 12 years of experience in her field.

Dr. Jing Chen Photo

Dr. Jing Chen

Associate Professor of Computer Science

Dr. Donna Pitts – Assistant Professor of Special Education

Dr. Pitts has 11 years of special education experience and received her Ph.D, M.Ed., and B.A. in Elementary Education from University of Florida. She has worked with P-12 students with a variety of disabilities in self-contained classrooms, resource rooms, and in inclusive classrooms, applying research-based methods of instruction and intervention to support social, emotional, and academic success for all students.  Dr. Pitts works with both undergraduate and graduate students, guiding them to mastery of special education theory and practices and providing rich opportunities for them to practice their craft, ultimately preparing them to apply demonstrated best practices in their current or future classrooms. 

Dr. Donna Pitts Photo

Dr. Donna Spencer

Assistant Professor of Special Education

Dr. Elmer Ragus – Assistant Professor of Marketing

Dr. Ragus has 21 years of experience in his field and received his Ed.D. from University of Missouri and his Ed.S., MBA, and BS from University of Central Missouri. Prior to coming to Athens State, Dr. Ragus worked as full-time faculty at the University of Central Missouri from 2014-2021, teaching various courses in graphic arts and photography. He also served as faculty liaison, collaborating with colleagues on various projects such as classroom renovations and instructional design. Lastly, he worked close with the University’s Office of Integrated Marketing & Communications to keep the university website up-to-date. Before his work in higher education, Ragus worked in the graphic communication industry in various roles: Creative Associate for a digital marketing agency, Manager for a national yearbook sales company, and Graphic Designer for a commercial printer, a marketing agency, and a newspaper.

Dr. Elmer Ragus

Dr. Elmer Ragus

Assistant Professor of Marketing

Dr. Mark Reynolds – Assistant Professor of Nursing

Dr. Reynolds received his Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from University of Alabama System; his Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – Leadership in Healthcare Systems, Post-Master Certificate in Nursing Education, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from the University of Alabama in Huntsville; and his Associate of Science in Nursing/Pre-Nursing (ASN) from Calhoun Community College.

In addition to 13 years of experience as a Nurse Educator, Dr. Reynolds concurrently has 17 years of experience as a Registered Nurse. He has served as a Nurse Manager for a Long-Term Care/Rehabilitative Facility, a Relief Charge Nurse and Registered Nurse in Pulmonary Step-Down and Geriatric-Psychiatric Units, a Clinic Nurse for Internal Medicine and Family Practices, and most recently as a Mass Immunizations Nurse.

Dr. Mark Reynolds Photo

Dr. Mark Reynolds

Chief Nurse Administrator and Assistant Professor of Nursing
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