John Pickett - Elon Academy Assistant Director of Scholar Support
Powell House 207
2108 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
O: (336) 278-6110
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.
Kim Pyne - Assistant Director of Academic Programs at Elon Academy and Assistant Professor of English and Education at Elon University
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.
Jenni Johnson - Elon Academy Assistant Director of Senior Support and Student
Powell House 205
2108 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
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.
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 AcademyPowell 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.
Crystal Black - Instructor of "How Does Your Pizza Grow?" at Elon Academy and
Senior Consultant at Urban Roots
Crystal studied Elementary Education at North Carolina A&T State University. Having over 10 years of master gardening experience, she began studying sustainability and permaculture in 2007 and began to develop garden-based curricullum and outdoor classroom integration.
Using her gardening knowledge and her experience in education, Crystal developed the first elementary school, Seed to Table, gardening program. The passion, from the community, on growing your own food, led to her establishment of Urban Roots in 2012. Urban Roots is a local company designed to partner with schools, businesses, and the community to encourage others to think about their food.
Stephen Bloch-Schulman - Instructor of "Critical Thinking" 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.
Mark Clapp - Instructor of "Fundamentals of Financial Management" at Elon
Academy and Teaching at Ray Street Academy
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 Teacher for
Math and Physics at Penn-Griffin School for the Arts
Stu currently teaches high school math and physics at Penn-Griffin School for the Arts (Guilford County Schools) in High Point, NC. He serves as math department chair and sponsors Key Club and Sports Club at PGSA. 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 served for six years as a middle school science teacher (Booker T. Washington Middle School), high school math and physics teacher (New Era Academy), and high school assistant principal (New Era Academy). While in Baltimore, Stu earned a Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Science from Johns Hopkins University and a post-graduate certificate in Administration and Supervision of Schools, also from Johns Hopkins. He and his wife, Carrie, moved to Greensboro, NC in 2009.
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.
Vernee Rogers - Instructor of "Creative Writing: Graphic Novel and Poetry" and
Teacher at Cummings High School
Vernee Rogers is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. She has taught English/Language Arts for fourteen years in Alamance and Durham Counties. Ms. Rogers has always wanted to be a teacher and loves to teach literature and writing. Ms. Rogers resides in Burlington with her daughter, Venus.
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 "Ancient 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.
Terry Tomasek - Instructor of "Herpetology in the Piedmont" at Elon Academy and
Assistant Professor of Education at Elon University
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).
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.
Kevin Amaya - Summer Mentor; Management and International Business majors at Elon University (Class of 2015)
Kevin Amaya is a rising junior at Elon University double majoring in management and
international business with a minor in political science. In addition to working at the multicultural center and the admissions office, he is also on the mock trial team, a part of the Latin American Student Organization, and plays club tennis. With a Spanish, Colombian, and Italian heritage, Kevin is culturally diverse. Kevin has a very outgoing personality and loves to meet new people, and try new things such as food, traveling, and activities! He can also speak three languages: English, Spanish, and French. After graduation, he plans to attend graduate school and become a lawyer. In his spare time he likes to relax and hang out with friends and go to the movies.
Katherine Appelbaum- Student Office Support; Psychology Major at Elon University (Class of 2014)
Katherine is a Psychology major at Elon and hopes to go on to graduate school to get her Master’s in Social Work. Originally from Long Island, New York, Katherine has been involved in many service orientated trips throughout the United States and abroad that have lead her to being involved in programs such as Elon Academy. She enjoys traveling and has been abroad several times including a semester in Ireland that took place during Fall 2012. When she’s not traveling the world or planning her next trip, Katherine enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, and playing with puppies.
Brittney Burnette - Summer Mentor; Criminal Justice Major at East Carolina University (Class of 2014)
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.
Kelly Coble - Lead Summer Mentor; High School Math and Middle Grades Education Major at Elon University (Class of 2013)
Kelly is a native of Alamance County and a former graduate of Southern Alamance High School and Elon University. She was a North Carolina Teaching Fellow and plans to teach high school math. Kelly is actively involved in the community through tutoring experiences and work at the American Red Cross. She has had the opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica spring semester of 2011 and looks forward to continue learning Spanish when she returns. Kelly enjoys the beach, reading, singing, dancing, and spending time with family and friends.
Stacey Crutchfield - Summer Mentor; Political Science Major at Elon University (Class of 2014)
Stacey graduated from Williams High School and is a sophomore at Elon University. At Elon, she is 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.
Desmond Harrell - Summer Mentor; Art Major at Elon University (Class of 2014)
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.
Kyle Keith - Summer Mentor; Middle Grades Education Major with a focus in English at Elon University (Class of 2014)
Kyle is a rising senior at Elon University and hopes to teach Middle School Language Arts or possibly French depending on if he can get certified. Kyle enjoys theater, watching old movies, the food network, attempting to read great literature, and hiking in the outdoors. Kyle has worked for Elon's Admissions office as a records clerk and learned a lot about the college admissions process. Kyle will be studying abroad next semester in Montpellier, France teaching English to French students. Kyle doesn't like birds.
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.
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)
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.
Manuela Mbouma - Summer Mentor; Psychology major at Elon University (Class of 2014)
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
Jaron Torain - Summer Mentor; Computer Information Systems Major at Saint Augustine’s University (Class of 2014)
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.
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
Stacey Frazier, School Counselor
Graham High School
903 Trollinger Road
Graham, NC 27253