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 Who's Who


 Terry Tomasek - Director of the Elon Academy and Assistant Professor of
 Education at Elon University
 Mooney 302E
 2108 Campus Box
 Elon, NC 27244
(336) 278-5854

Dr. Tomasek received a Master of Science degree in Biology from Marshall University and her PhD in Science Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She teaches math and science methods in Elon's Teacher Education department. Dr. Tomasek also works with High School students across the Piedmont of North Carolina on several reptile and amphibian projects. Her current herpetology-related research interests are aquatic turtle population studies and how attitude toward snakes is associated with interpretations of snake-related encounters. She is an active member of the NC Herpetological Society and the NC Partners for Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (NCPARC).

 John Pickett - Elon Academy Assistant Director of Scholar Support
 Mooney 302D
 2108 Campus Box
 Elon, NC 27244
 O: (336) 278-6110
 C: (336) 279-0980

John Pickett hails from the farming community of Silk Hope, NC. He graduated in 2003 from Elon University with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a bachelor's degree in Special Education (K-12). John joined the Elon Academy in 2011. His primary responsibility within the program is to provide comprehensive and cohesive support for scholars and their families during the academic year and during the summer residential program. John supervises Elon Academy's Academic Coaching Program, College Access Mentors, and the Elon Academy Ambassadors Program. He also teaches in the summer program and leads scholar recruitment initiatives. From 2003 until joining the Elon Academy staff, John worked in Alamance and Orange county public schools as both a teacher and co-director of an award-winning after-school tutoring program. In 2007 he was one of Alamance County's top finalists for county teacher of the year.

 Jenni Johnson - Elon Academy Assistant Director of Senior Support and Student
 Mooney 302C
 2108 Campus Box
 Elon, NC 27244
 (336) 278-6111
Jenni Johnson is originally from New Bern, NC, but has called Durham, NC home since ninth grade. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Afro-American Studies. In 2013 she graduated from North Carolina State University with a master’s degree in Counselor Education with an emphasis in college counseling and student development. Jenni brings college advising and residence life experience to Elon Academy, having worked as a college adviser with the Carolina College Advising Corps and a Residence Director at NCSU during her education. Jenni assists with the coordination of the Transitions to College Program, the College Success Program, and the Alumni Program by providing summer and year-round support senior scholars and some first-year college students. She is responsible for recruiting and supervising Summer Mentors. In her spare time, Jenni enjoys spending time with family and watching sports, especially football and basketball. 
 Princess King - Assistant Director of College Success
 Mooney 302F
 2108 Campus Box
 Elon, NC 27244
 (336) 278-6285

Princess King, native of Fayetteville, NC, is a graduate from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she earned her bachelors degree in Psychology in 2008. In 2011 she completed a Masters of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland College Park where her concentration was urban school counseling. Princess brings her passion for mentoring and college access, having previously served as the Assistant Director for Minority Student Support at UNC Charlotte.  As the new Assistant Director for College Success, Princess will work primarily with College Scholars to aid in their successful transition from High school to college. In her free time, Princess enjoys attending church, spending time with family, watching Netflix, and shopping.

Kim Pyne - Assistant Director of Academic Programs at Elon Academy and Assistant Professor of English and Education at Elon University
Alamance 305 B
2338 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
(336) 278-5732

Kim Pyne received a bachelor's degree in English education from Elon College, a master's degree in English from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Education (Curriculum, Culture, and Change) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A former teacher in the Alamance-Burlington Schools, she now serves as an Assistant Professor of English and Education at Elon, preparing the next generation of English teachers, as well as teaching courses in composition and literature. After wearing many different hats for Elon Academy (from teacher to academic coach supervisor), she now oversees the academic side of the program and works closely with faculty during summers and year-round class and projects. Outside of Elon, she is a wildlife educator and volunteer staff member at the Conservators' Center, specializing in wolves and working with many other species including small and great cats. 

Katie LaPlante - Assistant Director of Counseling and Family Programs at Elon Academy
Mooney 302B
2105 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
(336) 278-6109

Katie LaPlante is a graduate of Elon University, with a degree in Psychology. She earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University in Maryland. Additionally, she is a Licensed Psychologist in the state of North Carolina at the Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA) level. Katie coordinates family programs for both current and alumni families, and oversees the family council. She also provides counseling support and referrals to community resources to scholars and their families.

 Catherine Parsons - Program Coordinator at Elon Academy
 Mooney 302
 2108 Campus Box
 Elon, NC 27244
 (336) 278-6109

Catherine Parsons is a graduate of Elon University, with a degree in Psychology. Though she grew up in Kansas and Asia, she moved to North Carolina her ninth grade year and graduated from Western Alamance High School. She loves North Carolina weather so much she decided to stay in the area after graduation. In her free time she is a youth leader at her church, enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, and thinks naps are wonderful.

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 Summer Faculty

 Stephen Bloch-Schulman - Instructor of "Bring the Noise: Race, Gender, Hip Hop &  
 Philosophy" and Associate Professor of Philsophy at Elon University
 Lynda Butler-Storsved - Coordinator of Evening Curriculum at Elon Academy and
 Lecturer in Health and Human Performance at Elon University
 Lynda received a Master of Arts degree from Ball State University, Indiana and her undergraduate
 degree from Adrian College, Michigan. Lynda teaches in the Health and Human Performance
 Department at Elon University. Her other experiences include teaching health and physical education in the high school setting and coaching basketball. Lynda now resides in Burlington with her husband Eric, son J.J. and dog Divot.
 Beth Coker - Team Project Lead for "Foodology" Inquiry Project
 Beth Coker received degrees in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry from North Carolina State  
 University. She has worked in university research settings and in the pharmaceutical and
 manufacturing industries. After deciding that she wanted encourage the next generation of
 scientists, Beth obtained her N.C. teaching certification and taught science at Western Alamance
 Middle School. She has also taught vocational skills to disabled youth and summer science
 camps. Beth enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, sustainable living, and
 Mat Gendle - Instructor of "The Brain: A User's Guide" at Elon Academy and
 Associate Professor of Psychology at Elon University
 Mathew H. Gendle received a Bachelor of Schience in Biology and Psychology from Hobart College  
 and a Ph.D. in Biopsychology from Cornell University. Dr. Gendle is an Assistant Professor of
 Psychology at Elon University where he teaches classes on biopsychology, neuropharmacology
 and consciousness. Dr. Gendle conducts research on issues related to nutrition and the brain, neuropharmacology, neurotoxicology, alterations in executive functions, human consciousness and neuropsychological assessment. Dr. Gendle’s interests include getting students excited about science and medicine, spending time with his family, reading, hiking, running, working out, and listening to many kinds of music.
 Michael Groce - Instructor of "Writing the College Application Essay & Present  
 Yourself" at Elon Academy and Teacher 
 Michael Groce teaches at the Yadkin Early College.  He received a B.S. in education from N.C.
 State University and a M.A. in middle grades education from Appalachian State University.    He
 was the Yadkin County teacher of the year in 2008¬-2009.  He teaches English I, Earth Science,
 and business classes.  Prior to becoming a teacher in 2003, Michael worked for more than 20 years in the private and nonprofit sectors in Washington, DC and southern California.  He enjoys spending time with his family and watching college football and basketball.  
Greg Hlavaty - Instructor at Elon Academy
Lacey Huffling - Instructor of the HERP project at Elon Academy
 Darris Means - Instructor of "Twenty-First Century Leaders Addressing 21st Century  
 Challenges" at Elon Academy


 Dr. Darris Means is originally from Spartanburg, South Carolina. He graduated from Elon University   
 in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Sociology. He graduated from  
 Clemson University in May 2007 with a master's degree in Education with an emphasis in higher education and student affairs, and he completed his Ph.D. in Educational Research and Policy Analysis at North Carolina State University. He has been on staff since February 2007, and he oversees the Elon Academy’s transition to college program, college success program, and alumni program. He also works very closely with the high school seniors on the college application process. Darris is a recipient of the Diversity Leadership Award from the Richard Riley Institute in South Carolina. Darris was also selected as one of the Triad's Top Young Leaders by the Triad Business Journal in 2008.
 Sandra Reid - Instructor of "Criminal Justice: Is Justice Blind?" at Elon Academy
 and Lecturer in Human Service Studies at Elon University


 Sandra Reid received a bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Eon College, and a master’s  
 degree in Agency Counseling form North Carolina Central University. Upon graduation, Sandra
 worked for the Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention for more than 20 years. While working for the Department, Sandra had the opportunity to work directly with children and families who were experiencing many different challenges. Currently, Sandra serves as a lecturer in the Human Services Department at Eon where she teaches criminal justice, juvenile justice and a course on the African American family. Sandra is passionate about juvenile justice policies and is currently working on disproportionate minority contact issues.
 Staci Saltz - Instructor of "Presentation Skills" at Elon Academy and Lecturer in the
 School of Communications at Elon University
 Staci Saltz received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Elon College and a Masters from the
 University of Akron. She has been teaching at Elon University for the past six years in the School
 of Communications. Her background is in broadcast news, but she now primarily teaches a course focusing on visual storytelling and how we use technology to send our messages. She spends a great deal of time challenging her students to see the visual messages that surround us daily and how to communicate these messages through photography, video, and web publishing. Staci has a strong passion for traveling and for the past two years has taken students to England, Germany, and the Czech Republic. She spent fall semester 2007 in Costa Rica, where she taught a course on media and culture. 
Edgar Alejandro Zamora - Instructor of "Trigonometry: A Universal Language" at Elon Academy and Teacher for Mathematics and Spanish at Yadkin Early College
Edgar Zamora is a Mathematics and Spanish teacher at the Yadkin Early College. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from Appalachian State University. While at Appalachian, he fulfilled his student teaching requirements at the Instituto Pedagogico EUPI in Nicoya, Costa Rica. He is an assistant coach for the varsity soccer program at Starmount High School. Edgar also enjoys traveling, singing, and anything related to soccer.

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Student Mentors

Kellcee Batchelor
Lorenzo Davis - Lead Summer Mentor; Business Administration at University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Class of 2015)
Burlington, NC
Lorenzo Davis is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and majored in Business Administration. He plans on getting his Masters of Education and becoming an education administrator. Lorenzo was a Beta class member of the Elon Academy. He enjoys helping others, bowling, movies, spending time with friends and family, and meeting new people.
Keyhonah Graves
Alexis Goslen
Desmond Harrell - Summer Mentor; Art Major at Elon University (Class of 2015)
Ahoskie, NC
Desmond Harrell is originally from Ahoskie, North Carolina, and now resides in Burlington, North Carolina. He attended Hugh M. Cummings High School and is a proud alum of the Beta class of Elon Academy. Desmond recently graduated from Elon and was a Elon Commitment scholar. His  major was Art with a minor in Strategic Communications. Desmond has been a residence assistant since his second semester of college and enjoys making a change within his community.
Katie Hugus 
Anna Lewis - Lead Summer Mentor; Physics Major at Elon University (Class of 2016)
Holly Springs, NC
Anna is from Holly Springs, North Carolina. She is majoring in Physics with minors in Astronomy and Religious Studies. While at Elon, Anna has been a part of the Gospel Choir, SMART program, and is an ambassador for the Alumni Association. In her free time, Anna enjoys reading, watching Downton Abbey and spending time with family and friends.
Dominique Martin - Student Assistant; Early Childhood Education Major at Elon University (Class of 2015)
Burlington, NC

Dominique is a recent graduate of Elon University. She was a Teaching Fellow at Elon University and is excited to begin working in the school system. Dominique's favorite ice cream flavor is mint oreo and she's tried them all! Dominique enjoys doing intermural sports, including flag football and soccer. During her spare time, she enjoys reading, being with her family, and disc golfing. Dominique asks that if you buy her a gift, it is not purple.

Ciera Martinez - Summer Mentor; Early Childhood Education and Spanish (Class of 2015)
Ciera is a recent graduate of Elon University who studied Early Childhood Education and Spanish. She was the Vice President of the Omicron Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority on Elon’s Campus and was a student worker at the Curriculum Resources Center! Now that she's graduated, she wants to study sociology and politics of education, in hopes of making Early Childhood Education more accessible for low-income students. After graduate school, she plans to own a preschool! Outside of academics, Ciera enjoys running, watching movies, volunteering, reading, learning, spending time with her family, and baking!
Oscar Miranda - Summer Mentor;  Business Management Major at Elon University (Class of 2017)
Oscar is a Business Management Major at Elon University. He is the Treasurer of the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), a Watson & Odyssey Scholar and a recipient of the Golden Door Scholarship. He is an Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity brother and a part of S.M.A.R.T. Mentors. Oscar love music! Some of his favorite bands include, Three Days Grace, Linkin Park and Green Day He loves all types of food as long as it includes lots of meat and desserts! I enjoy encouraging high school students and I want to see students succeed and help them have better lives with the help of a college education.
Winna Pumhirun
Jeremy Revelise
Gabriel Salvador

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Alamance-Burlington School System

Julia Johns, Assistant Principal
Hugh H. Cummings High School
2200 N. Mebane Street
Burlington, NC 27217
Kelly Coble, Math Teacher
Southern Alamance High School
631 Southern High School Road
Graham, NC 27253
Ako Barnes, Assistant Principal
Eastern Alamance High School
4040 Mebane Rogers Road
Mebane, NC 27302
Carole Workman, Academic Coach
Walter M. Williams High School
1307 S Church Street
Burlington, NC 27215
Holly Shepherd, School Counselor
River Mill Academy
1242 S. Main St
Graham, NC 27253
Dave Nebrig, Assistant Principal
Western Alamance High School
1731 North Hwy 87
Elon, North Carolina 27244
Beth Taylor, School Counselor
Graham High School
903 Trollinger Road
Graham, NC 27253

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