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 Who's Who


Staff

 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
 jpickett@elon.edu
 

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
 Life
 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
 2108 Campus Box
 Elon, NC 27244
 (336) 278-6109
 kwicke@elon.edu
 
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
 cparsons@elon.edu

 
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 "Ethical Practice" 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 three sons, sustainable living, and
 reading.
 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
 
Lacey Huffling received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Ecology from Lee University, a Master’s of Education with an emphasis on Biology Education from Wake Forest University, and a Ph.D. in Teacher Education and Development with an emphasis on Environmental and Science Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Though her specialties are ecology/evolutionary biology and environmental education, she has also taught high school anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, earth science, and physical science. She has conducted scientific research in the Great Smoky Mountains, Kansas, the North Carolina Piedmont and Sandhills, Panama, and Russia. Before entering science education, Lacey worked for an environmental engineering company as a stormwater and erosion control consultant. While at UNCG, she served as a research assistant on The HERP Project, funded by the National Science Foundation. In the fall, she will be working at Georgia Southern University as Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the Master of Arts in Teaching program.
 Darris Means - Instructor of "Who Goes to College?" at Elon Academy

 dmeans@elon.edu

 
 Dr. Means is an assistant professor at the University of Georgia in the Department of
 Counseling and Human Development Services. He graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in
 Political Science and Sociology. He graduated from Clemson University with a M.Ed. in
 Counseling Education with an emphasis in Student Affairs, and he earned his Ph.D. in
 Educational Research and Policy Analysis from North Carolina State University. His research
 agenda focuses on equity, diversity, and inclusion in K-12 and higher education contexts.
 Specifically, he researches college access and persistence for underserved and underrepresented student populations. In his free time, he enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.
 Livni Mendez - Instructor of College Planning 301 at Elon Academy
 
 
 Sandra Reid - Instructor of "Criminal Justice: Is Justice Blind?" at Elon Academy
 and Lecturer in Human Service Studies at Elon University

 sreid@elon.edu

 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

Shelby Allen

I'm Shelby, and I am a junior at Elon University, majoring in Human Service Studies and minoring in Leadership Studies and Education. After graduating from Elon, I hope to pursue a master's degree in School Counseling. Originally from Hilton Head Island, I love to spend time on the beach! This past spring, I spent my semester in London studying abroad! Besides the beach and traveling, I enjoy hanging out with my friends, watching romcoms, singing in the shower, and eating ice-cream. I am very excited to serve as a Summer Mentor with Elon Academy!

Eric Cunningham, Jr.

Eric Cunningham is a rising sophomore at Elon University. Prior to coming to Elon, Eric graduated high school from Countryside Montessori School in Charlotte, North Carolina. Eric is the oldest among his two other siblings in his household. Eric is a first generation college student, as he is the first person in his family to attend a university. During his short time at Elon, Eric has found himself involved in the Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellow Program, The Odyssey Scholars Program, The Village Project, the LEAD Program, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. Eric currently hold leadership positions in both the Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellow Program and Alpha Phi Alpha. On campus Eric works in the Center for Leadership as the Data and Logistics Management Director for the LEAD Program. Eric is currently pursuing a degree in Political Science with a minor in Leadership Studies. Upon graduation Eric would like to go to law school where he will hopefully find himself being able to practice criminal law. Ideally Eric would like to also find himself working in this country’s political scene long term. Eric has worked various summers in Charlotte working as an intern for county commissioners and mayors. In his free time Eric enjoys playing basketball, listening to music, and writing poetry.

Scott Echols

I'm Scott and I am majoring in Communication Design. I am a part of the Watson and Odyssey scholars program here at Elon.  I enjoy meeting new people and being with friends.  I try my best to be as active as possible on campus. I go to many cultural events that take place here because I like to see the great performances that involve both students and professionals.  I am also involved in several clubs such as the Sierra Club, Elon Tonight, Campus Outreach, Asian Studies Club, and others.  If I'm not at one of these events then I'm probably watching cartoons or walking outside.

Jill Epperson

Jill is a junior at Elon and she is a member of the Elon Academy Epsilon class and is a Odyssey Scholar at Elon. She is majoring in strategic communications and political science with a minor in leadership studies. She is involved with many organizations on campus that focus on service and building a community and she is currently an RA in global. Among many other things Jill really enjoys meeting new people and spending time with her friends and family.

Seth Gerringer - Lead Mentor

Hi all. My name is Seth Gerringer, and I am a recent graduate of Wake Forest University. I majored in Religion and minored in Philosophy and Political Science, meaning I spent a lot of my time reading and thinking about real world dilemmas. In a few months, I will be headed to Elon Law with the ultimate goal of studying business mergers or writing contracts. In my free time, I enjoy taking part in intermural sports, watching documentaries, and cooking (a whole lot). Honestly, if I wasn’t going to become a lawyer, I would have chosen to become a professional chef and travel the world. As a Gamma scholar, I have a special interest in investing in new Elon Academy members and giving back to this program. Don’t worry about coming to me if you have any questions about the college process or have any interest in my major! As the lead male mentor, I will be a resource available to you any time this summer.

Kehyonah Graves - Lead Mentor

My name is Kehyonah Graves and I am a rising senior at Appalachian State University! I am majoring in Criminal Justice and hope to attend law school after graduation! Here at App I am involved in Student Ambassadors and Multicultural Student Development! I love reading and listening to music in my spare time! I spent a semester abroad in England, and that awakened my passion for traveling! I love talking and getting to know people and am genuinely excited to not only be a returning mentor, but serving as Lead Female!

Will Hemminger

Will is a Environmental Science and Biology Education double major from Des Moines, Iowa. While at Elon, he is the Vice President of Kappa Alpha Omicron, a dedicated member of Club Tennis, and a TA for introductory environmental science and biology courses. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, playing tennis, and writing songs. He is the biggest country music and Iowa State fan you will find!

Annie Kang

My name is Annie and I am an Exercise Science major here at Elon University with a Minor in Psychology. I really love being outside and enjoying nature either by myself or with a bunch of my friends. I am an Odyssey Scholar who loves service and giving back to the community. During high school I held leadership positions in Band all 4 years. Needless to say I love music, both creating and playing, I enjoy discovering new music so please introduce me to your music taste. I also love reading, cross-stitching, archery and cooking delicious foods. I am a vegetarian so I enjoy a well made pasta dish over anything else.

Toni Lewis

Toni is a rising junior at Georgetown University and a member of the Epsilon class of Elon Academy. She majors in Linguistics with minors in Philosophy and Spanish. On campus she tutors youth for the GED, does marketing for the Secular Student Alliance, and makes sure to catch every Georgetown basketball game. In her free time, she makes the most of living in DC- watching House of Cards, keeping up with political drama, and heading to museums.

Jordon McRae

I'm Jordon McRae, a second-year Teaching Fellow from Ambler, Pennsylvania. I am currently majoring in Elementary Education, but would love to eventually be able to teach K-12 in the future. My favorite subjects in high school were English and History. I also serve as Resident Assistant in Smith Dormitory at Elon. I'm a huge soccer and basketball fan, and love to play both, as well as workout daily. I'm also a huge fan of the soccer club Arsenal, and follow them passionately. I love to listen to almost all types of music, although Rap&Hip-hop are my favorites. I love almost all types of foods although candy is my weakness. I enjoy reading, hanging with friends, and movie watching in my free time. I'm extremely excited to begin work as a CAT Mentor in the fall!

Destiny Reid

Destiny is currently a junior at East Carolina University, where she is studying Business Management. Destiny enjoys reading, shopping, going on hikes, trying new foods and spending time with friends and family. Destiny is currently a member of the Delta Cohort of the Elon Academy and is active in many organizations on East Carolina University’s campus. She works at the Chancellor’s office, is a member of the Black Student Union as well as an Ambassador. After she graduates in 2017 Destiny hopes to go to Law school to study Family and Children’s law or attend Grad school.

Gabe Salvador

Originally from Texas, I lived in Durham, NC for half of my life. I will be a sophomore by next year. My major is Cinema & Television with a minor in Music Technology. I work as a Operations Assistant in Elon Television, Treasurer of the Latin Student American Organization (LASO), apart of S.M.A.R.T. Mentor program, and a member of Cinelon. Next year I hope to become a Peer Mentor for the Collegiate Mentor Program and a mentor for the S.M.A.R.T. program as well. I love enjoying listening to electronic dance music and rock. I love watching horror movies and thrillers. When I'm not doing anything inside or work, I love driving in my Jeep and listening to the music. I'm a calm guy but I also have fun with family and friends.

Emma Wolf

Emma is a recent graduate from Elon with a degree in Human Service Studies and a minor in Spanish. She studied abroad in Seville, Spain, and loved it so much that she went back to work as an au pair for 3 months after graduating a semester early. During her time at Elon, she held 5 jobs, was involved in various organizations, and volunteered as a YoungLife leader. In her rare free time, Emma loves to hang out with friends, read, go for runs, and nap. Emma has worked as both a Coach and a CAT Mentor for Elon Academy, and she is excited to be a Summer Mentor for the first time this year!

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Advocates

Alamance-Burlington School System

Julia Johns, Assistant Principal
Hugh H. Cummings High School
2200 N. Mebane Street
Burlington, NC 27217
336.570.6100
Kelly Coble, Math Teacher
Southern Alamance High School
631 Southern High School Road
Graham, NC 27253
336.570.6400
kelly_coble@abss.k12.nc.us
Ako Barnes, Assistant Principal
Eastern Alamance High School
4040 Mebane Rogers Road
Mebane, NC 27302
919.563.5991
Carole Workman, Academic Coach
Walter M. Williams High School
1307 S Church Street
Burlington, NC 27215
336.570.6161
Carole_Workman@abss.k12.nc.us
Holly Shepherd, School Counselor
River Mill Academy
1242 S. Main St
Graham, NC 27253
336.229.0909
Dave Nebrig, Assistant Principal
Western Alamance High School
1731 North Hwy 87
Elon, North Carolina 27244
336.438.4634
David_nebrig@abss.k12.nc.us
Beth Taylor, School Counselor
Graham High School
903 Trollinger Road
Graham, NC 27253
 

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