Meet Our Team
Ryan Van-Dusen, Ph. D
Ryan Van Dusen has worked in higher education since 2002. He has held positions in student activities, residential life, and student conduct at Independence (KS) Community College, New Mexico State University, and Texas Tech. Prior to working in higher education, Ryan served in the U.S. Army from 1998-2002 as a 19K (Armor Crewman) and achieved the rank of Sergeant (E5). He was stationed at Ft. Riley, KS and Camp Casey, South Korea.
Ryan earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Arts in Communications Studies from Edinboro University of PA. In 2011, Ryan earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Texas Tech University. The title of his dissertation was "A Quantitative Study of Student Veterans' Intent to Persist." Ryan is married and has two daughters.
Assistant Director & VA Certifying Official
Debra provides leadership and oversight to the MVP department. Debra is the liaison between the US Department of Veteran Affairs, the state's approving agency-the Texas Veterans Commission, and Texas Tech University.
Debra has served over 25 years of experience in the collegiate setting, most of which are in veterans' education. She has served on the boards of the Texas Association of Collegiate Veteran Program Officials (TACVPO) and the Western Association of Veteran Education Specialists (WAVES). Her educational background includes an Associate of Arts from South Plains College and a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University. She is currently working towards a Masters of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies here at Tech.
Debra enjoys spending time with her daughter and their bird and cat. She loves to watch movies and Texas Tech football. She is honored to serve those who keep America safe and free!
Coordinator & VA Vertifying Official
John R. Zachery (ZAK) retired from United States Marine Corps and achieved the rank of Master Sergeant (E8). John served as a 0193 (Administrative Chief), with over 25 years of active military service. John held positions as Deputy Inspector General, Adjutant Chief, Personnel Chief, Equal Opportunity Advisor, Inspector, Investigator, Recruiter, and Operations Chief. John also served in the United States Navy (USN) for five years as a Radio Operator.
John previously worked for two Texas State Agencies: The Department of Family and Protective Services as a Child Protective Services Investigator and The Health and Human Services Commission as a Texas Works Advisor
John earned a Bachelor of Science, in Management from the University of Maryland in 2004. In 2009, John earned a Masters of Arts in Human Resource Development from Webster University. John has two children John III and Rosie.
Coordinator & Hazelwood Representative
Bernice Flett serves as the Hazlewood Representative and Administrative Business Assistant in the Military and Veterans Programs Office. Bernice has been a dedicated TTU employee since 1994, appointed as a Student Records Specialist, Secretary III to the Associate Registrar and Administrative Business Assistant to the Registrar in the Office of the Registrar until August 2010. Ms. Flett can assist with federal, state and university educational benefits.
Ms. Flett has been a registered licensed massage therapist since 2003 specializing in Swedish Massage, Hot Stone Therapy, and Deep Tissue Massage. She has obtained over 300 hours of massage instruction and is currently pursuing training in additional massage modalities. Bernice plans to pursue a degree in Human Development and Family Studies at Texas Tech in the future.
Patricia "Pat" Gilliam
Patricia "Pat" Gilliam recently joined the office and is a Recruiting/Outreach Specialist. She brings her experience from Student Business Services as the Third Party Advisor and worked with Chapter 31 and Chapter 33/Post 9-11 students, Army & Air Force ROTC, and various agencies in Texas and other states that provide payment for students' tuition and fees.
Pat is the wife of a retired Air Force TSgt and was born and raised in Lubbock. She graduated from Idalou High School and much later in life she received her Associate of Arts in Business from Bossier Parish Community College. Being a military spouse, she has lived in Colorado, Missouri, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. She is currently attending Texas Tech University majoring in Organizational Business Management.
Pat is the proud mother of 2 daughters and is the grandmother of 5 - 3 girls and 2 boys. She enjoys visiting with her grandchildren, playing with her dog and reading mystery novels.
She looks forward to serving the Veterans and their Family Members in a way to honor and thank them for their sacrifice and service to our nation.