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 Who's Who


 Terry Tomasek - Instructor of "Herpetology in the Piedmont" at Elon Academy and 
 Assistant Professor of Education at Elon University
 Powell House 202
 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
 Powell House 207
 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
 Powell House 205
 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
 Powell House 206
 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
Powell House 205
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
 Powell House 201
 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. In her free time she works with the Alamance County Youth Advisory Council to promote a healthy lifestyle, reads, spends time with family and friends, and plays "keep the toy away from the human" with her mischievous dog.
 Nathan Thomas - College Success Advisor at Elon Academy
 Powell House 206
 2108 Campus Box
 Elon, NC 27244
Nathan is from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and was a member of the class of 2012 at Elon. He spent two summers during his undergraduate career as a mentor for the Elon Academy, his second summer as lead male mentor. In addition, Nathan served as a Student Program Coordinator for the Academy, recruiting and hiring new mentors. He obtained a bachelor's degree in Music Education and still enjoys performing in local community ensembles, but is looking forward to a career in higher education while teaching private lessons from his home in Mebane. His new role as College Success Advisor will allow him to work with the local college scholars, helping ensure their success in the collegiate phase of the Elon Academy program.

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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
Bio coming soon!
 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
 Mark Clapp - Instructor of "Fundamentals of Financial Management" at Elon
 Academy and Teaching at Ray Street Academy
Mark was born and raised in Burlington and graduated from Cummings High School in 1975. He graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Relations and with a double major in Psychology. He worked 22 years for Baby Needs, Inc in sales and sales management. He began his teaching career in 2003 at Williams High School where he taught classes in investing, personal finance and accounting. He was instrumental in establishing the Finance Academy at Williams and was the head boys’ basketball coach and girls’ golf coach. He currently teaches at Ray Street Academy. Mark enjoys playing golf and doing yard work in his spare time. 
 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
 Stu Johnston - Instructor of "Engineering 101" at Elon Academy and North
 Carolina Principal Fellow at UNC-Greensboro

Stu is currently on educational leave from Guilford County Schools, where he taught high school math and physics at Penn-Griffin School for the Arts, pursuing his master’s degree in school administration at UNC-Greensboro through the North Carolina Principal Fellows Program.  After earning a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Rhodes College (Memphis, TN), Stu began his career in education in the Baltimore City Public Schools as a Teach For America corps member, where he worked for six years as a middle and high school math and science teacher and as an assistant principal. While in Baltimore, Stu earned his MA in Teaching (Secondary Science) from Johns Hopkins University, as well as a post-graduate certificate in school administration and supervision. He and his wife, Carrie, live in Greensboro.

 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. 

 Rebecca Scott - Instructor of "Bring the Noise: Race, Gender, Hip Hop &  
 Philosophy" at Elon Academy and Ph.D.student at Loyola-Chicago

Rebecca Scott graduated from Swarthmore College in 2005 with a major in Religion and a minor in Philosophy. After graduation she taught piano lessons with Meridee Winters School of Music in Ardmore, PA. Currently she is beginning her fourth year of graduate school at Loyola-Chicago and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Philosophy. Rebecca also sings and plays keyboard and guitar in Chicago based band, Panda Riot. 
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

Brittney Burnette - Summer Mentor; Criminal Justice Major at East Carolina University (Class of 2014)
Burlington, NC
Brittney is a rising senior at East Carolina University majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in Communications. During her time at East Carolina, she has enjoyed mentoring students at Building Hope which is a program specialized to help at-risk students in the Greenville Community and staying involved in various university organizations. Her interests include shopping, spending time with friends and family, and listening to music. She hopes to obtain a Law Degree or Master’s Degree in Business or Psychology upon graduation in May 2014.
Stacey Crutchfield - Lead Summer Mentor; Political Science Major at Elon University (Class of 2014)

Burlington, NC

Stacey graduated from Williams High School and graduated from Elon University in May. At Elon, she was an Odyssey Scholar and active in Greek Life. She enjoys volunteering when she has free time and graduated in the first cohort of the Elon Academy.

Lorenzo Davis -- Summer Mentor; Business Administration at University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Class of 2015)
Burlington, NC
Lorenzo Davis is a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro studying 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.
Desmond Harrell - Summer Mentor; Art Major at Elon University (Class of 2014)
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. Currently, he is on the alumni board of Elon Academy. Desmond is now a Elon Commitment scholar here at Elon University and has declared his major to be 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.
Anna Lewis - Summer Mentor; Physics Major at Elon University (Class of 2016)
Holly Springs, NC
Anna is a rising sophomore 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 junior Teaching Fellow at Elon University. 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 junior at Elon University studying Early Childhood Education and Spanish. She is the Vice President of the Omicron Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority on Elon’s Campus and is a student worker at the Curriculum Resources Center! After graduation, 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!
Brian Magna - Summer Mentor; Music Performance with a focus in Jazz Studies (Class of 2014)
Canton, CT
Brian will be a senior at Elon University in the fall where he is studying Music Performance and Jazz Studies.  Brian competed on the Elon University men’s cross country team and also ran track and field his freshman year before joining the club baseball team as a sophomore. On top of loving music and playing any pickup sport, Brian loves outdoor activities such as mountain biking, hiking, and rock climbing. After graduation, Brian plans to attend graduate school for Music to hopefully become a college professor one day. 
Oscar Miranda - Summer Mentor;  Business Management Major at Elon University (Class of 2017)
My name is Oscar Miranda and I’m a first-year student here are Elon!  I am technically a Business Management Major, but I am certain my major will change because I’m not into business that much.  I am the Treasurer of the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), Watson & Odyssey Scholar and am a winner of the Golden Door Scholarship.  I am an Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity Brother and apart of S.M.A.R.T. Mentors, where I hope to become a Mentor my sophomore year!
            I can be a pretty fun wild guy, but I can also be calm and when it gets time to get serious, it happens.  I love music! Some of my favorite bands include Three Days Grace, Linkin Park and Green Day and I listen to a lot of Rap and Hip-Hop.  I like to be outside especially if it is in a very forest-y type place.  My favorite colors are yellow and green.  I love all types of food as long as it includes lots of meat! I also love desserts too, ice cream, cake, cupcakes you name it! I love to hang out with my friends and am in in huge favor of trying new things! I hope to travel the world some day! :)
            I am soo excited to be apart of Elon Academy because I want to help encourage high school students that they too can get into college.  I can relate so much with the high school students that we will be working with and I hope I can help them and be that Mentor figure, I would have wanted someone to be for me throughout high school.  I’ve heard great things about Elon Academy and I just can’t wait to work with this program this summer. I want to see students succeed and help them have better lives with the help of a college education.
Manuela Mbouma - Summer Mentor; Psychology major at Elon University (Class of 2014)
Gaithersburg, MD
Manuela is from Gaithersburg, MD. Currently a rising senior at Elon University, she is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Leadership. During her time at Elon, she has worked with the students in local high schools and middle schools with tutoring and after school activities through service learning and volunteering. Her favorite ministries include Sunday school teaching at her home church, and directing the Gospel Choir at Elon. Her hobbies include watching and attending basketball games, listening to music, singing and art & crafts. 
Yashvi Patel - Summer Mentor; Psychology and International Studies majors at Elon University (Class of 2015)

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Yashvi is a rising junior at Elon University where she plans to double major in International Studies and Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice. Yashvi works at the Truitt Center for religious and spiritual life. She is involved in the Isabella Cannon Leadership Program. She is part of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority where she has the position of Warden. Yashvi is involved with Club soccer and the SMART program at Elon. Yashvi enjoys playing soccer, going hiking/camping, swimming, loves to travel, and hopes to see the world one day. 
Jaron Torain - Lead Summer Mentor; Computer Information Systems Major at Saint Augustine’s University (Class of 2014)
Burlington, NC
Jaron Torain is a rising senior at Saint Augustine's University pursuing a degree in Business Administration and Real Estate Management. He is a Alamance County native and a former graduate of Eastern Alamance High School. Jaron also serves as a Residential Assistant and President of his university's real estate club. Jaron enjoys playing sports, spending time with friends, and watching the Oklahoma City Thunder play.

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Alamance-Burlington School System

Julia Johns, Assistant Principal
Hugh H. Cummings High School
2200 N. Mebane Street
Burlington, NC 27217
Aeron Sizemore, History Teacher
Hugh H. Cummings High School
12200 N. Mebane Street
Burlington, NC 27217
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
Stacey Frazier, 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
Kelly Coble, Math Teacher
Southern Alamance High School
631 Southern High School Road
Graham, NC 27253
Robyn Hadley, Executive Director
What's After High School Initiative
1712 Vaughn Rd.
Burlington, NC 27217
336.570.6644 Ext. 683

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