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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, CSEO
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
Rebekah Stanton, Ph.D.
Instructor, School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt
Ph.D, Brigham Young University – Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation
Dr. Stanton is an Instructor at the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt (SSMV) where she has the opportunity to share her passion for ecology and earth science with the rising generation. Coming from a marine biology and desert ecology background, Dr. Stanton has a great love for the ocean and all things relating to plants, as well as a passion for education and helping others understand the super cool processes in nature through effective research and learning methods.
Taurean Brown, Ph.D.
Instructor, School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt & Interdisciplinary Science and Research Program
Ph.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences – Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences (Specialization in Neuroscience)
Dr. Brown is an instructor and co-teacher for the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt (SSMV) and Interdisciplinary Science and Research (ISR) program at Hillsboro High School, respectively. Dr. Brown research background is in investigating the impact of breast cancer chemotherapy on cognitive functioning within the brain. Dr. Brown is driven by his passion for mentorship and advancing science education for young people.
Nathaniel Freymeyer, Ph.D
Instructor, Interdisciplinary Science and Research Program
Co-Director, Research Experience for High School Students
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.
Kiara T. Vann, Ph.D.
Instructor, Interdisciplinary Science and Research Program
Co-Director, Research Experience for High School Students
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 of Middle School Initiatives
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
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.
Yelena Janumyan, Ph.D.
Instructor, Day of Discovery Program
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University – Cancer Biology
Dr. Janumyan has spent her research career studying the cell cycle function of the anti-apoptotic protein, Bcl-2. For the last 14 years, Dr. Janumyan has worked in a middle school classroom to engage students in interdisciplinary STEM projects that help them to grow into independent thinkers, lifelong learners, and compassionate people. She is passionate about making STEM literacy accessible and creates curriculum for Day of Discovery that allows students to learn topics and master skills beyond those that they would access in middle school.
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 Isaac 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.
Program Evaluator, CSEO
Ph.D., Tennessee State University – Biological Sciences, Microbiology and Neuropharmacology
M.S., Tennessee State University – Biological Sciences, Industrial Microbiology
Dr. Fears is the Program Evaluator, focusing on accessing the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network implementation in schools across the state. Her years in the Scientist in the Classroom (SCP), Day of Discovery (DoD) and Resident Scientist program has afforded her classroom teaching experience with students from different backgrounds and level of interest in STEM. Dr. Fears learned to develop STEM lessons that are inclusive and reflective of the classrooms she’s working in. She loves to collaborate with educators in their classrooms or through professional development to help them develop culturally relevant, engaging content that is standards based and affirming. She is inspired by creative educators make the effort to make STEM accessible to students from different backgrounds, in the hopes of increasing science participation by underrepresented groups.
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