Legal Studies Faculty
Purdue Global Leadership
Sara Sander began her career with Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 1997. She has served in a variety of positions including professor of communications and languages and program coordinator for the School of Arts and Sciences, now known as the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her experience includes over 15 years of teaching adult learners, with a focus in the last 10 years in online education and administration.
Education: PhD, Capella University; MA and BA, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
Research Interests: Emotional intelligence, faculty performance and behaviors, communication in the online classroomSara Sander Link
Education: EdD, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Honors and Achievements: 2013 NISOD Leadership Award
Tessa Holst currently serves as the assistant dean of students within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences where she oversees and generates initiatives to develop student engagement and improve student retention. She is also responsible for problem identification and resolution for second-level student complaints and conflicts. Prior to her current role, Holst served as the graduation director and event planner within the Provost Office. She was responsible for bi-annual graduation event ceremonies, celebrations, and faculty retreats. She has worked in higher education for over 25 years and recently completed her second term as school board member for her local school district, having served for 4 years as president.
Education: MS, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global)
Honors and Achievements: 2017 Social and Behavioral Sciences Outstanding Non-Academic Support Team Award (Kaplan University), 2005 Hero Award (Kaplan University), 2003 Extra Mile Award (Kaplan Higher Education)Tessa Holst Link
At Purdue University Global, Betsy Tomei has served as adjunct instructor, Assistant Chair of the Department of Professional Studies, scheduling manager, and assistant dean for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. In her role as assistant dean, Tomei oversees the scheduling team responsible for the College of Social Behavioral Sciences, School of Nursing, and Concord Law School. She also manages special projects and provides data management and operational support to the department chairs, associate deans, and dean of the College. Tomei is an active member of the Purdue University Global Learning and Leadership Advisory Committee and a PG Ambassador.
Tomei has been in the education field both as an educator and administrator since 1995. She started her career with Johnson & Wales University as a financial planning counselor and financial aid officer. After receiving her MA in education, Tomei joined the Chicago Public School Department where she served as a teacher and technology coordinator. She returned to the field of higher education when she joined Purdue University Global (formerly Kaplan University) as an adjunct instructor teaching Academic Strategies for the Business Professional.
Education: MBA, Johnson & Wales University; MA, Saint Xavier University
Certifications: Project Management Certificate, Kaplan University, School of Professional and Continuing Education
Honors and Achievements: 2020 Organization Builders—Honorable Mention, Purdue University Global; 2016 College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Kaplan Way Award nominee; 2016 College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Outstanding University Service nominee; 2014 School of Social and Behavioral Science Kaplan Way Award winner
Memberships: University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA)Betsy Tomei Link
Gurmit Kaur joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) as an adjunct faculty member in 2004. She has served as an academic department chair since 2007, overseeing several of Purdue Global’s legal studies programs. She also works on numerous innovations in curriculum, including modularized curriculum, course revisions, and competency-based programs. As the academic dean at Kaplan Higher Education, Singapore, from 2009 to 2011, Kaur worked to internationalize and globalize the syllabus in the Asia Pacific region. Prior to joining Purdue Global, she practiced law for 10 years and also taught law courses for the University of London External Law Program and at the Malaysia Bar Final examinations.
Education: LLB, University of London; BA, University of Malaya; AA, University of Malaya
Publications: Civil ProcedureGurmit Kaur Link
Purdue Global Full-Time Faculty and Full-Time Adjuncts
Ramona Atkins teaches a variety of legal courses at Purdue Global, with an emphasis in business law and ethics, and serves as advisor to the Purdue Global Law Society and course lead for the business law and ethics courses. She has worked with the county of Santa Barbara, county of San Luis Obispo, and the Department of Labor. Atkins taught business law at Allan Hancock College for 11 years and received a grant to implement critical thinking in the classroom. Additionally, she has authored study guides, tests banks, and courses on business Law.
Education: JD, Western State College of Law; BS, Michigan Technological University
Publications: Pittsburgh Paralegal Association Parascope Newsletter
Honors and Achievements: Excellence in Teaching Award
Memberships: Pittsburgh Paralegal Association, National Federation of Paralegal AssociationsRamona Atkins Link
John Berube began working for Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 1999. He has played a variety of roles and has been a full-time faculty member since 2005. Berube teaches various undergraduate courses in legal studies at the University, such as business law, legal research, and interviewing and investigation, and is involved in a number of University committees. Prior to joining the Purdue Global faculty, he worked for law firms in Manhattan and Maine.
Education: JD, University of Maine School of Law; BA, Bowdoin College
Honors and Achievements: 2015 Best Veteran Presenter (KU Village Conference), presentation at Florida Political Science Association, additional teaching and research honorsJohn Berube Link
Timothy Carlin teaches various undergraduate courses in legal studies, continually seeking ways to innovate in the classroom. He became an adjunct faculty member with Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2010, joining full time in 2015. He is also the course lead for the civil litigation course. Prior to joining the Purdue Global faculty, Carlin litigated both criminal and civil cases for the Department of Veterans Affairs. He then entered private practice and focused on veterans’ needs. In 2010, Carlin worked closely with his local courts and state Supreme Court, seeking the creation of the first local Veterans Court.
Education: JD, University of Dayton School of Law; BS, Troy UniversityTimothy Carlin Link
Brian Craig teaches various undergraduate legal courses about topics such as legal research, legal writing, and civil litigation. He started teaching at Purdue Global (now Kaplan University) in 2007 and became a full-time adjunct instructor in 2015. Craig previously taught at the University of Minnesota Law School and served as an attorney for Thomson-Reuters, a judicial law clerk in Idaho, and a full-time legislative aide in the California Legislature.
Education: JD, University of Idaho; BA, Brigham Young University
Publications: Cyberlaw: The Law of the Internet and Information Technology, Real Estate Law Journal, North Dakota Law ReviewBrian Craig Link
John Gray is a faculty member for Purdue Global’s undergraduate legal studies program and has also taught various graduate legal studies courses. He began his academic career teaching at Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky. Prior to first being licensed to practice law almost 20 years ago, he worked for various nonprofit organizations for several years. Gray also conducted a live radio program for 7 years and a taped television program for 2 years.
Education: JD, Jones School of Law; LLM, Samford University; MA, Lipscomb University; BA, Heritage Christian University; BBA, University of North AlabamaJohn Gray Link
Jeffrey Gulley joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) as an adjunct faculty member in 2007. He now serves as a full-time adjunct faculty member teaching undergraduate legal studies courses and as a course lead. Gulley has been a licensed attorney for 30 years, with practice experience in civil litigation, employment law, and criminal law. He also has more than 12 years of public service as a Superior Court judge and magistrate judge. In addition, Gulley established a business that has provided specialized training and consulting services in the area of domestic violence prevention and intervention.
Education: JD, Maurer School of Law at Indiana University Bloomington; Judicial Studies Program, National Judicial College
Honors and Achievements: 2016 Outstanding Professor of Legal Studies (Kaplan University)
Research Interests: Advocacy work on domestic violence issuesJeffrey Gulley Link
Jane McElligott is a full-time faculty member in Purdue Global’s legal studies and legal support and services programs, where she serves as a course lead and teaches courses on legal philosophy, law and society, constitutional law, and business law. Before joining Purdue Global, McElligott practiced family law and Social Security disability law and served as an adjunct faculty member for University of Massachusetts Lowell, Massachusetts School of Law, and Northern Essex Community College in Massachusetts.
Education: JD, Suffolk University Law School; MS, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global); BA, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Honors and Achievements: Presentations on topics relating to criminal justice, education, and animal law at the Southern Criminal Justice Association and Western Criminal Justice Association conferences
Memberships: Purdue Global Library Committee, Faculty Curriculum Committee, and Institutional Review BoardJane McElligott Link
Cristina Nolan joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) as an adjunct faculty member, becoming a full-time adjunct faculty member after teaching for 10 years. She has taught a wide spectrum of courses, specializing in the legal support and services curriculum. Before joining Purdue Global, Nolan worked as an attorney for several years. She has presented on a variety of topics related to distance learning, and written several articles on finance and investing.
Education: JD, Saint Louis University School of Law; BA, DePaul University
Honors and Achievements: 2016 Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Adjunct Award (Kaplan University)
Memberships: Purdue Global Faculty Curriculum Committee and Communications GEL CommitteeCristina Nolan Link
Sait Tarhan joined Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2009 and is a full-time adjunct faculty member in the paralegal studies program. Before joining Purdue Global, Tarhan had a private law practice for 10 years, primarily in the areas of family law and bankruptcy, before going into higher education full time. He started his academic career at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, where he created the school's first online business law course as well as other Internet/distance learning courses. He later moved on to full-time distance teaching with various universities including the University of Phoenix, Texas A&M University, the University of Louisville, and Cincinnati State.
Education: JD, University of Kentucky; BA, University of Kentucky
Honors and Achievements: 2017 College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Legal Studies Outstanding Teacher of the Year (Kaplan University), KU Village and other presentations
Memberships: Purdue Global Academic Administrative CouncilSait Tarhan Link
Heather Valdes began teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Purdue Global (formerly Kaplan University) in 2004 and joined the legal studies full-time faculty team in 2015. She teaches various undergraduate courses in legal studies including legal research and writing, family law, and business law. Valdes has worked in immigration practice and child advocacy, and currently has a private practice centered on smaller issues such as contract construction, real estate leases, small business issues, immigration, divorce, and child custody.
Education: JD, St. Thomas University School of Law; MS, Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global)
Honors and Achievements: 2016 Outstanding Course Lead for the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences (KU Village), Best Delivery and Presentation (KU Village)Heather Valdes Link