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Jonna Faith Sutherland


Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics, Physics Program Coordinator


College of Arts and Sciences

Office Location:

Bristol Campus: 28 White Hall, Physics

Office Phone:



"The night is calm and cloudless, And still as still can be, And the stars come forth to listen, To the music of the sea.

They gather, and gather, and gather, Until they crowd the sky, And listen, in breathless silence, To the solemn litany."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


It was the space program that first captured my imagination, inspiring me to explore the scientific world of physics and mathematics. Captivated by the movements of the planets and stars, I embarked upon a journey to gain an understanding of motion, both terrestrial and celestial.

After earning a B.S. degree in physics and mathematics (double-major) from East Tennessee State University in 1986, where I received the Outstanding Achievement in Physics faculty award, I spent a semester at Vanderbilt University studying astrophysics, working with the telescopes, and teaching astronomy labs.

In 1987, I transferred to the University of Tennessee’s Physics and Astronomy Department in Knoxville and successfully completed over five years of coursework in the physics doctoral program, while teaching undergraduate physics and optics labs. My research focused primarily on the study of stellar spectral emission lines with a specialization in molecular spectroscopy.

In 1992, I was hired to work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on several environmental engineering projects designed to develop management and clean-up strategies for the nation’s nuclear superfund sites. While there, I studied new and emerging technologies that could be utilized for protecting the public health and the surrounding environment, groundwater, and wildlife. Following my four years at ORNL, I accepted a position in the IT department at the University of Tennessee as a senior computer systems administrator, where I networked and maintained the university’s faculty and student computer lab systems for twelve years.

Desiring to enhance my teaching skills and to learn advanced methods for instruction in higher education, I completed a Master’s degree in Education (M. Ed.) from Emory and Henry College in 2012, where I earned the Excellence in Graduate Educational Research award.

Since relocating back to the Tri-cities area in 2009, I have had the opportunity to teach physics, mathematics, electronics, and astronomy classes at several colleges and universities throughout the region. Along the way, I have had the opportunity to enhance my skills as a STEM faculty through:

  • participating in space-related workshops (Wallops Flight Facility and other NASA-related programs),
  • exploring the drone facilities at Virginia Tech,
  • expanding my teaching repertoire to include renewable energy technologies (solar, wind), and
  • continuing my education through additional graduate mathematics classes.

I enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for physics with the students of King University. My goal is to provide a firm foundation for their journey into the STEM fields of study and to inspire them to reach higher for success in their chosen academic pursuits.

In my spare time, I have spent over 25 years practicing athletic training and conditioning, while studying and teaching various systems of self-defense for which I have received advanced degrees. Throughout the years, I have enjoyed sharing my knowledge of healthy lifestyle practices, athleticism, and empowerment-through-fitness with students of all ages.

Recent Publications and Presentations


Multimedia Benchmarking Analysis for Three Risk Assessment Models: RESRAD, MMSOILS, and MEPAS, Risk Analysis, Volume 17, Issue 2, pages 187–201, April 1997, Mills, W.B., Cheng, J.J, Droppo Jr., J.G., Faillace, E.R., Gnanapragasam, E.K., Johns, R.A., Laniak, G.F., Lew, C.S., Strenge, D.L., Sutherland, J.F., Whelan, G., and Yu, C., April 1997.

Methodology for Assessing Worker Risks During Remediation at the United States Department of Energy's Hazardous Waste Sites, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Tennessee, Datskou, I.C., and Sutherland, J.F., 1995.

Environmental Restoration Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) Methodology for Estimating Human Health Risks, ORNL-6865, Center for Risk Management, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Tennessee, Office of Compliance and Documentation, Blaylock, B.P., Campbell, A.C., Datskou, I C., Hutchison, J.F., Morris, J., Scofield, P.A., Sutherland, J.F., Travis, C.C., April, 1995.

Deactivation Program Life Cycle Scheduling, Facilities Disposition Model (FDDM): White Paper, Environmental Restoration Risk Assessment Program for the Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management, Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, Inc., Boston, H.L., Cheney. C,. Legg, L., and Sutherland, J.F., 1995.

Risk Analysis of Potential Volatile Organic Compound Emissions at Kelly Air Force Base, Morris, J.M., Bertrand, C.M., Guha, S., Harstin, J., Sutherland, J.F., Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, September 27, 1994.

U.S. Department of Energy Worker Health Risk Evaluation Methodology for Assessing Risks Associated with Environmental Restoration and Waste Management, Blaylock, B.P., Legg, J., Simek, M.A., Scofield, P.A., Sutherland, J.F., and Travis, C.C., ORNL-6833, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, June 1995.

Worker Risk Assessment for the SWSA 5 North Trenches Area, Sutherland, J.F. and Polly, D.R., Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, June 1996.


Methodology for Assessing Worker Risks During Remediation at the United States Department of Energy's Hazardous Waste Sites, Datskou, I.C., Sutherland, J.F., American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Summer National Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, July 30-August 2, 1995. Presented by Datskou.

Risk Assessment Overview for the Industrial Hygienist, Miller, D., Shirley, A., Sutherland, J.F., American Industrial Hygiene Association, Tennessee Valley Section, Fall Conference, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, October 13, 1993.

Worker Risk Assessment, Sutherland, J.F., Health Sciences Research Division, Center for Risk Management, Risk Analysis Section, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, June 22, 1995.

Courses recently taught

PHYS 2210 LAB General Physics I Lab
PHYS 2210 LECT General Physics I
PHYS 3401 LECT Medical Physics
PHYS 4080 LECT Introductory Quantum Mechanics