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International Faculty & Staff


Meet Our International Faculty & Staff

Dr. Augustin A. Bocco, Assistant Professor of French and Coordinator of International Student Services

Dr. Augustin Amevi Bocco is originally from Togo, West-Africa. After studying Linguistics at the University of Lomé, Togo, Dr. Bocco was forced to leave his home country because of his involvement in the students’ protest against the Togolese government for the improvement of the students’ and teachers’ working conditions as well as for democracy and freedom at the university and in the nation as a whole.

When he came to the United States, Dr. Bocco settled in Cleveland, Tenn., and started his first job at a local car wash. There, he started learning English and had the opportunity to be hired as a French translator in the World Languages Department at the Church of God of Prophecy International Offices in Cleveland, Tenn. He decided then to pursue his education by taking classes at Cleveland State Community College. After successfully completing an Associate’s Degree, Dr. Bocco was granted a scholarship to Lee University, where he graduated in the spring of 2008 with the Paul Conn Award, the highest honor given to the graduating senior who demonstrates the greatest promise for future academic and professional careers.

In the fall of 2008, he was accepted into the French and Francophone Graduate Program at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He completed the Master’s in French in the spring of 2010 and the Ph.D. in Francophone Literature with a second concentration in applied linguistics in the spring of 2013. Dr. Bocco joined the Tennessee Wesleyan College faculty in the fall of 2012 as an adjunct, before accepting a full-time position in 2013 as the Coordinator of International Student Services and Assistant Professor of French. Dr. Bocco is married to Benoite Bocco and was reunited with his wife in 2010, after 10 years of separation from each other. They have a one-year-old daughter, Joella Bocco.


Dr. Lorena Gómez, Assistant Professor of Spanish

Dr. Lorena Gómez was born in Bogotá, Colombia. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and English Teaching at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. She later earned a Master’s in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. She was awarded a Doctorate in Spanish Linguistics at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Dr. Gómez’s family lives in Bogotá, and she travels there often to visit. She would like to invite you to watch two videos so that you might get a better idea of Colombian culture. They are located here and here. She hopes you enjoy them.


Dr. Jianbing Niu, Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Dr. Jianbing Niu was born in Fujian, China. After earning his Bachelor’s in Mathematics at Fujian Normal University in Fuzhou, China, Dr. Niu pursued his studies in mathematics at East China Normal University in Shanghai, China, to complete a Master’s degree in Mathematics. He was later awarded a Doctorate in Mathematics at the West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. In addition to his training in Mathematics, Dr. Niu also holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. He is married and has a daughter.


Stephen Lyons, Head Coach

Coach Stephen Lyons enters his sixth year as head coach for the men's soccer team at Tennessee Wesleyan College. In 2010, TWC was crowned co-conference champions after going unbeaten in regular season with a 6-1 record. In 2011, TWC was ranked nationally, reaching 24th at its highest point and finished the season 14-5. In 2012, TWC was AAC Conference Tournament champion and made it to the NAIA National Tournament.

Coach Lyons is originally from Middlesbrough, England. Lyons played soccer for the TWC Bulldogs (1998-2002) and graduated from the college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. He was the captain of the team that went to the National Tournament in 2001. From 2006 to 2008, before coming to TWC to coach, he was a graduate assistant coach at the University of Saint Mary, in Kansas, Missouri where he received his MBA.

As a player, Coach Lyons has been recognized with awards for All Conference, All Region, and All-American. He played two seasons in the New Zealand National League and returned to England to coach at Middlesbrough F.C Youth Academy. He holds the UEFA "B" license, FA Level Two Coaching License, and the USSF "C" license. Coach Lyons was head coach of the Knoxville Force NPSL Team in 2012 and coaches with the Tennessee State Olympic Development Program.


Martyn Blankley, Assistant Coach- 6th Season

Coach Martyn Blankley is entering his sixth season as assistant men's soccer coach and head JV soccer coach at Tennessee Wesleyan College. Coach Blankley helped the program to the AAC co-conference championship in 2010 after going unbeaten in regular season with a 6-0-1 record. In 2011, TWC reached a national ranking of 24th at their highest point; in 2012, TWC won the AAC Conference tournament and made it to its first NAIA National tournament appearance since 2002. 

Coach Blankley is originally from Chesterfield, England. He attended TWC from 1999 to 2004 and played four years of soccer and basketball. While playing soccer at TWC, he was named to the All Conference team and was also a member of the 2002 soccer team that won the conference and regional titles and played at the NAIA National Tournament. He graduated from TWC with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Business.

After graduation from TWC, Coach Blankley returned to England to teach and coach at West Nott's College Youth Soccer Academy and at Eckington School. He also played and coached for Ashover FC at the semi-pro level. He is currently the Director of Coaching for the McMinn United Futbol Club and is working through USSF coaching licenses.


Jackie Bowers, Executive Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of the Academic Affairs

Jackie Bowers was born and raised in the Philippines, where she lived until 2007. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from the University of St. La Salle in 2005. After graduating, she accepted a job from the university to serve as the management information system officer in the Office of Community Development and Volunteer Formation.  

In September of 2007, she moved to the United States and settled in Athens, Tenn. She began her employment at Tennessee Wesleyan College in 2008 as assessment coordinator, a part-time position in the Office of Institutional Research. While working part-time, she also worked as a legal administrative assistant at the Pope Law Offices in Athens. In 2011, Bowers was promoted to Executive Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Academic Affairs.


Dr. Anca Traian, Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Dr. Anca Traian is from Galati, Romania. After she graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Dunarea de Jos University in Romania, she decided to pursue a graduate degree in the U.S. Luckily, she and her husband received a full graduate assistantship at the same university. Even though the transition was not easy, not being alone helped. After obtaining her Master's in Business Administration, Dr. Traian worked in the banking industry for four years. During that time, she attended the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, a professional, non-degree program. 

Pushed by her passion for teaching and research, Dr. Traian went back to school. She attended Middle Tennessee State University where she obtained her doctoral degree in Economics. Her teaching interests are economics and finance, and her research focuses on labor and health economics. 

Currently, she lives in Cleveland, Tenn. with her husband and two cats. When not at school, Dr. Traian enjoys outdoor activities, hanging out with friends, and reading.