Meet the Honors College Staff 

Dr. Minh Nguyen

Dr. Minh Nguyen, Interim Dean
Reed Hall, 153 
239-745-4569 | 

Born and raised in Vietnam, I began my teaching career as a part-time lecturer in philosophy in 1993 at Columbia University, where, as a first-generation college student, I earned a BA in mathematics, an MA in philosophy, and a PhD in philosophy. Joining the Florida Gulf Coast University faculty in 2019, I am currently serving as Interim Dean of the Honors College, Professor of Philosophy, and Faculty Affiliate of the Center for the Study of Race, Gender, Ethnicity, and Culture. In 2021, I was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Collegiate Honors Council, an association of undergraduate honors programs, colleges, directors, deans, faculty, staff, and students. A specialist in the philosophy of mind and theory of knowledge, I also work in aesthetics while maintaining an abiding interest in ethics, political philosophy, and creative writing. My work has appeared in a number of philosophical, literary, and interdisciplinary journals, including Comparative PhilosophyThe Journal of Philosophical ResearchThe Journal of Value InquiryThe Kenyon ReviewEvolution and CognitionDialogue, and Think, as well as newspapers in the Gannett | USA TODAY Network. I am the editor of New Essays in Japanese Aesthetics (Lexington Books, 2017) and, with Yarran Hominh, an editor of Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives on Japanese Aesthetics (Lexington Books, 2024). With Hominh, I have been editing APA Studies on Asian and Asian American Philosophers and Philosophies, a journal published by the American Philosophical Association, since 2019. In 2002, I received a Rockefeller Essay Prize from the APA for my journal article “Davidson on First-Person Authority.” Two decades later, the APA awarded me a 2022 Public Philosophy Op-Ed Prize for my opinion piece “When Your Daughter Is Told ‘Your Face Is Not American.’” In 2023, the APA Board of Officers selected me as one of first two recipients of the Chair’s Volunteer Service Award in recognition of my “outstanding service to our profession and the APA,” especially my “leadership on behalf of diversity in philosophy.” I was twice selected to participate in a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute: one on self-knowledge in Eastern and Western philosophies in 2018 and the other on the Vietnam War and its legacy in 2023. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching and playing tennis and soccer, and visiting the beach.

Dr. Jamie MacDonald

Dr. Jamie MacDonald, Interim Associate Dean
Whitaker Hall, 208
239-590-7429 | 

Hello!  I am a Professor of Geology and Interim Associate Dean of the Honors College.  I have worked at Florida Gulf Coast University since 2007.  I teach upper division classes in the Environmental Geology B.S. program, as well as general education geology.  I am a native of Hyde Park, New York.  I began my college experience at the Community College level earning an A.A. in Social Sciences.  I then graduated from SUNY New Paltz in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Geology.  I finally went on to the University at Albany and earned a Ph.D. in Geology in 2006. I have had a number of externally funded projects that have engaged a large number of under graduate students in meaningful research experiences.  These have included course-based undergraduate research experiences (CURES), as well as independent and group research for undergraduates.  I am very excited to help Honors students achieve their goals and help continue the excellence of the FGCU Honors College while I function in the role of Interim Associate Dean.     

Anneliese Bayer

Dr. Hilal Peker, Interim Director of the Office of Competitive Fellowships
Reed Hall, 153B
239-745-4570 |

Dr. Hilal Peker (Ph.D., University of Central Florida, 2016) is a Fulbright alumna (2011-2013), and also an alumna of Erasmus (2009 & 2010) and Comenius (2008-2009) Fellowships. She completed her M.A. degree in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Education as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Texas at Austin after obtaining her B.A. degree in English Language Teaching (ELT) field from Middle East Technical University (METU) Turkiye. She worked as a Federal Projects Coordinator and as an Educational Policy Consultant at Florida Department of Education (2021-2023), and as an Assistant Professor at Florida State University (2016-2018) and Bilkent University (Turkiye) (2018-2021). Her research interests include inclusive dual-language immersion programs, reconceptualized L2 motivational self-system (R-L2MSS; Peker, 2016), bullying-victimization of L2 learners, L2 identity, simulation technology, and pre-service teacher training. She has taught in ESOL and EFL contexts, conducted workshops and research, given keynote speeches in Europe, Colombia, Ecuador, and the U.S., and published extensively on topics related to ESOL/EFL teacher education and DEIA issues regarding Pre-K students. Her work has appeared in Wiley and in prestigious academic journals such as Foreign Language Annals, TESOL Journal, TESL-EJ, Topics in Language Disorders, Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, and Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitive Research. She has recently has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for her dedication, achievements, and leadership in academia. She has multiple awards in TESOL field such as 2019 & 2021 TESOL International Association Professional Development Scholarship Award, 2019 ACTFL Early Career Award by the Teaching and Learning of Culture & Research SIG, 2015 The National Network for Early Language Learning Santillana Scholar Award, 2015 Sunshine State TESOL Dissertation Award, and 2015 UCF College of Education and Human Performance Graduate Teaching Assistantship Excellence Award.

Janice Nevarez

Janice Nevarez, Business Operations Specialist 
Reed Hall, 163
239-745-4267 |

I began my career as an Administrative Assistant working for the Department of Defense and later worked as a Financial Aid Specialist in the Financial Aid Office at the Community College of Baltimore County in Maryland. I moved to Florida in 2010 with my family and in 2011 began working at FGCU in the Graduate Studies Office, followed by eight years working in the Office of Adaptive Services as an Administrative Specialist. In 2020, I was excited to join the Honors College as the Business Operations Specialist. In this role, my responsibilities include budget management, managing Honors Development Funds and providing administrative support. When I’m not working, I enjoy drawing and painting, yoga, reading, travel, tennis and spending time with family and friends.

Ruxy Apostol

Ruxy Apostol, Administrative Assistant 
Reed Hall, 155
239-745-4263 |

My FGCU professional journey began in April 2019 as an Administrative Specialist for the Office of Research & Graduate Studies. I am honored to join the Honors College team and to bring a different perspective as a former high school French language & literature teacher. I live in the present moment and I am grateful for all the beautiful things that surround us. My life purpose is to connect people and help them see the brighter side of life. I adore traveling and spending quality time with the people I love. 

Experience FGCU