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CSEO Staff

Jennifer Ufnar, Ph.D.
Executive Director, CSEO
Research Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Southern Mississippi – Biology
Dr. Ufnar is the Executive Director of the Collaborative for STEM Education and Outreach and Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning. She holds a Ph.D. in Biology, and has over a decade of experience in teaching at the K-16 level and implementing and directing programs in the science education and outreach arenas. In the CSEO, Dr. Ufnar leads a team of scientists and educators to design and implement innovative programs in science research for for K-12 students and teachers. Her research includes collaborative apprenticeship models in science education, efficacy of phenomenon-based learning in middle school science, and learning science in peripheral spaces.
Twitter: @jennifer_ufnar
Angela Eeds, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, CSEO
Director of High School Initiatives
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University – Molecular Biology; Biomedical Research and Genetics
Dr. Eeds leads the endeavors of the CSEO for high school students including the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt, the Research Experience for High School Students, and the Interdisciplinary Science and Research program. At the SSMV, in addition to overseeing collaborative curriculum development and implementation, Dr. Eeds is one of the instructors. She incorporates her background in molecular biology and genetics into various lessons and research projects.
Joe Lopez, Ph.D.
Administrative Officer, CSEO
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University – Pathology
M.Ed., Vanderbilt University – Curriculum and Instructional Leadership
Dr. Lopez manages the business operations of the CSEO, which includes grants and contracts management, budgetary and personnel records management, and oversight of compliance with university and governmental policies. He also manages the Journal of STEM Outreach. In his previous “work-life” in biomedical science, he studied macrophages and myobacteria in the lab of Dr. Virginia Shepherd.
Amanda Dixon, M.Ed.
Assistant Director of High School Initiatives
Admissions Director and MNPS Liaison, SSMV
M.Ed., Vanderbilt University – Organizational Leadership
Mrs. Dixon recruits students and manages the admissions process for the School for Science and Math. She provides support for students enrolled in the SSMV, and facilitates communication between the SSMV and Metro Nashville Public Schools. She also provides instructional and administrative support, manages the SSMV online and social media presence, and coordinates internal evaluation and data collection.
Greta Clinton-Selin
Data Management Specialist
Instructor, Day of Discovery Program
Ms. Clinton-Selin can often be found instructing the 7th and 8th graders of the Overton cluster in the Day of Discovery outdoor classroom, leading the herd of young humans to roam and discover all there is to learn about the many species at the Nashville Zoo. She also supports the rest of the CSEO instructional and administrative staff, collecting and organizing information applicable to all CSEO programs.
Menton M. Deweese, Ph.D.
Instructor, School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt
Ph.D., University of Florida – Psychology, Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience
M.S., University of Florida – Psychology
Dr. Deweese is an Instructor at the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt (SSMV) where she is passionate about teaching, training, and mentoring the next generation of STEM leaders. She remains an active neuroimaging (EEG, fMRI) researcher interested in the neural mechanisms underlying compulsive cue-induced behaviors (e.g., nicotine addiction and obesity), and often weaves this content into her classroom lessons and research projects. Additionally, Dr. Deweese coordinates the Professional Development efforts for CSEO Postdoctoral Fellows and manages the SSMV Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Twitter: @mentondeweese
Nathan Haag, Ph.D.
Instructor, School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt
Ph.D., Université Laval – Marine Biology
M.S., Villanova University – Biology
Dr. Haag is an instructor for the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt (SSMV), where he works with his colleagues to provide high school students with the tools to ask strong scientific questions and conduct rigorous experiments in fields ranging from astrophysics to zoology. He primarily teach lessons on ecology, the environment, and statistical analysis, with a focus on marine and freshwater ecosystems. Dr. Haag’s students have studied aquatic organisms like jellyfish, sea urchins, and crayfish in the lab, and have examined water quality and microplastics in local streams. While his goal is to leave students with a broader view of how the natural world functions and how we impact it, it is often the students who educate me – with unique perspectives, thoughtful discussions, and intense curiosity.
Twitter: @NHaagMarEcoPhys
Nathaniel Freymeyer, Ph.D

Instructor, Interdisciplinary Science and Research Program
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University – Chemistry
Dr. Freymeyer is a co-teacher for the Interdisciplinary Science and Research Program at John Overton High School. He uses his background in chemistry and nanoscience to help students develop critical thinking skills to solve challenging problems.  He hopes to inspire students to pursue a career in the sciences and to help develop a new generation of scientists.
Ann Ouyang, Ph.D.
Instructor, Interdisciplinary Science and Research Program
Associate Program Director, Research Experience for High School Students
Ph.D., UC Berkeley – UCSF Graduate Program in Bioengineering
Dr. Ouyang is a co-teacher for the Interdisciplinary Science and Research Program (ISR) at Hillsboro High School, a four-year program in which students explore many scientific fields while developing the skills to conduct independent research. She uses her background in bioengineering and stem cells to help students improve their critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills while maintaining sterile technique.
Kiara T. Vann, Ph.D.
Instructor, Interdisciplinary Science and Research Program
Ph.D., Morehouse School of Medicine-Biomedical Sciences (Specialization in Neuroscience)
Dr. Vann is a co-teacher for the Interdisciplinary Science and Research Program (ISR) at Stratford STEM Magnet High School. Dr. Vann’s research background is in determining whether Acid-Sensing Ion Channels (ASICs) play a role in normal olfactory function. Dr. Vann is driven by playing a pivotal role in mentoring and training the next generation of STEM leaders.
Desmond Campbell, Ph.D.
Program Manager, Middle School Programs
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University – Physics
M.A., Fisk University – Physics
Dr. Campbell serves as the program manager for several of the CSEO’s middle and elementary school efforts, including the Day of Discovery, Scientist in the Classroom Partnership program, and summer camp STEM Exploration Experiences for Kids (SEEK). What inspires Dr. Campbell is how the language and art of mathematics dictates so much about how nature operates. Assisting students in understanding that art and its connections to nature drives him.
Twitter: @DC_Palbino
Bryson Reynolds, Ph.D.
Instructor, Day of Discovery Program
Ph.D., University of Virginia – Neuroscience
Dr. Reynolds is a Nashville native and enjoys giving back to his hometown through his teaching fellowship with the Day of Discovery program at Vanderbilt. His research is in the biomechanics and physiology of the brain during concussion. Dr. Reynolds uses his broad science background to show students how STEM topics relate to everyday life, and how we can harness their power to improve our lives and society. He is also working on a program to increase the reach of the Collaborative for STEM Education and Outreach by disseminating the knowledge gained at the CSEO to teachers nationwide.
Twitter: @BrysonBReynolds
Clayton Coffman, Ph.D.
Instructor, Day of Discovery Program
Ph.D., University of Missouri – Plant, Insect, and Microbial Science
Dr. Coffman, an instructor with the Day of Discovery program, has spent his entire career as a research biologist, with particular focus on the ecology of plants and insects. Growing up on a small farm in rural Arkansas gave him many opportunities to observe nature, a lifelong curiosity about the natural world, and, later, a passion is for sharing the joy of knowledge with others. Dr. Coffman wants to leverage his experience as an academic scientist to teach students science in an authentic way, using the same tools and methods scientists use.
Sarah Huneycutt, Ph.D.
Instructor, Day of Discovery Program
Ph.D., Emory University – Psychology, Cognition & Development
Dr. Huneycutt is the instructor for Croft Middle School at the Day of Discovery Program located at the Nashville Zoo. Sarah utilizes her background in comparative research into the cognitive abilities of apes and human children to introduce students to the exciting aspects of animal behavior research. Utilizing the varied species of the Nashville Zoo, Dr. Huneycutt is passionate about introducing students to science through an engaging and hands on process that allows them to learn through conducting their own experiments and forming their own research questions.
Jennifer Gentry, Ph.D.
Instructor, Day of Discovery Program
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University – Neuroscience
Dr. Gentry is the instructor for Stratford and Issac Litton Middle School Day of Discovery Programs. As a research scientist in the fields of immunology and neuroscience she has expertise in molecular biology and biochemistry. Using this background, she is creating curriculum that challenges students beyond their regular classroom experiences, as well as guiding them through the process of developing and executing their own research projects. Dr. Gentry wants to build confidence in the students through learning, so that they can can experience the joy of discovery through science in the world around them.
Letimicia Fears, Ph.D.
Resident Scientist, Isaac Litton Middle School
Program Manager, Day of Discovery Program
Ph.D., Tennessee State University – Biological Sciences, Microbiology and Neuropharmacology
M.S., Tennessee State University – Biological Sciences, Industrial Microbiology
Dr. Fears is the Resident Scientist at Isaac Litton Middle School, where she works closely with teachers to create and execute hands-on activities to engage students and make science more relatable. She also co-leads the Day of Discovery Program with our 7th and 8th grade science teachers. Day of Discovery is an immersive, research-based STEM program for motivated 7th and 8th graders that encourages students to ask questions and empowers them to discover the answers. She is inspired by the opportunity to make STEM accessible to students from different backgrounds to increase science participation by underrepresented groups.
Matthew Wilkins, Ph.D.
Resident Scientist, Head Magnet Middle School
Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Dr. Wilkins works as the Resident Scientist at Head Magnet Middle School, where he collaborates with teachers to build lessons that connect classwork to real world problems, real data, and a big picture understanding of systems. He also co-runs the EcoTeam with Art Teacher, Kayla Turner. The EcoTeam is a sustainability enrichment class for advanced 5th and 6th graders that empowers students with greater understanding of the environmental and health challenges modern life causes and mechanisms to address them through action. Dr. Wilkins is inspired by the energy, curiosity, and dauntless sense of humor of young people everywhere trying to leave the world a better place than they found it.
Twitter: @mattwilkinsbio
Taneisha Gillyard, Ph.D.
Instructor, Interdisciplinary Science and Research
Ph.D., Meharry Medical College – Biomedical Sciences (Emphasis: Neuroscience and Pharmacology)
Dr. Gillyard’s research background is in understanding how the brain and genetics play a role in the development of obesity. She currently works as a co-teacher in the Interdisciplinary Science and Research class at Stratford STEM Magnet High School. Dr. Gillyard is passionate about inspiring the next generation of STEAM professionals, especially those of underrepresented backgrounds. Her favorite moment is when she sees it all “click” for students and that spark of joy can be seen in their eyes.
Zachary Conley, Ph.D.
Resident Scientist, Madison Middle School
Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine – Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Dr. Conley is the Resident Scientist at Madison Middle School where he works with teachers to develop cross-curriculum lessons and incorporate STEAM into the classroom setting. He is amateur escape event designer, which he tries to incorporate when helping students review material. Dr. Conley feels that students do best when they see the knowledge that can be found in their own interests.
Twitter: @zconley42
Carla Thompson, D. Eng.
Resident Scientist, McKissack Middle School
Ph.D., Cleveland State University – Biomedical Engineering
Dr. Thompson previously developed the engineering curricula for the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) STEM Program. Currently, she uses her engineering background to integrate engineering into the science curriculum as a Resident Scientist at McKissack Middle School. The implementation of this integrated science curriculum will transform students into critical thinkers and problem solvers.