Northwest welcomes new faculty at DeSoto Center

    Northwest Mississippi Community College welcomes new faculty at the DeSoto Center in Southaven and Olive Branch.

    Piyatilake Adris of Collierville, Tenn., is joining the staff full-time to teach biology. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology from Indiana University. He earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in biology from The University of Memphis.

    Prior to Northwest, Adris worked as a lecturer at Mara Community College, teaching assistant at The University of Memphis and adjunct instructor at Southwest Tennessee Community College.

    Rebecca Allen of Sardis replaces George Hertl who retired as psychology instructor at DeSoto Center. Allen received her bachelor’s degree from The University of Mississippi and her master’s degree from The University of Memphis.

    Allen taught science at South Panola Alternative School and South Panola High School. She worked as an assistant administrator for the South Panola School District and an adjunct psychology instructor at DeSoto Center. Allen also served as a part-time band instructor for the South Panola School District.

    Another new face at Northwest this fall will be computer information systems instructor Sakondra Moore of Hernando. She graduated from Mississippi Valley State University with a Bachelor of Science degree. She has a master’s degree in computer information systems from Florida Institute of Technology and a master’s degree from Belhaven College.

    Before coming to Northwest, Moore worked for the Indianola School District as a vocational instructor. She also worked as a county technician for Diebold IT Election Systems in Jackson. Moore worked as dorm director and office manager at Mississippi Valley.

    Daniel Scherer of Memphis will act as a full-time computer information systems instructor at the DeSoto Center. He has an associate degree in computer information systems from Southwestern Oregon Community College, a bachelor’s degree in economics/management from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and a master’s degree in computing technology from Nova Southeastern University. Scherer earned his naval flight training helicopter pilot designation from the Naval Air Station and airline transport pilot certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.

    Scherer worked as an adjunct instructor for Broward College, Jackson State Community College and Marshall Community and Technical College. He served in a faculty development and student development role at Jackson State Community College. Scherer was elected city councilman for the North Bend City Council in North Bend, Ore.

    Derek Tambe of Memphis is joining the staff full-time as a mathematics instructor. He graduated from North Georgia College and State University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He obtained his master’s degree in mathematics from The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

    Tambe worked as a mathematics instructor for Mid-South Community College from July 2000-August 2003 and assistant mathematics professor for Southwest Tennessee Community College from August 2003-May 2011.

    Aaron Wilbanks of Olive Branch joins the DeSoto Center-Olive Branch campus as commercial truck driving instructor. He graduated from Alcorn Central High School and Tennessee Technical Center in commercial truck driving. He worked for Averitt Express in Memphis for three years. He also worked as a shuttle driver for 10 years. Wilbanks served as recruitment coordinator for Southeast Region for four years. He has also driven for Crum Trucking Company and United Parcel Services (UPS). He is a certified driver trainer and safety department road test examiner through Averitt Express.

    For more information on attending Northwest, please call the admissions office at (662) 562-3219 or visit

    Pictured:  Northwest Mississippi Community College-DeSoto Center welcomes new full-time faculty members including (l-r) Piyatilake Adris of Collierville, Tenn., Derek Tambe of Memphis, Sakondra Moore of Hernando, Daniel Scherer of Memphis, Rebecca Allen of Sardis and Keith Wilbanks of Olive Branch. Not pictured is Aaron Wilbanks of Olive Branch. (Photo by Julie Bauer)