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CSO Staff


Virginia Shepherd, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Science Outreach
Ph.D., University of Iowa - Biochemistry

A research pathologist for over three decades, Dr. Shepherd has been involved as a PI in science education outreach for nearly 20 years. She uses her strong research background and passion for science education to create and implement diverse programs for K-12 students and educators.


Angela Eeds, Ph.D.
Director, School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University - Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Angela leads the endeavors of the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt. In addition to overseeing collaborative curriculum development and implementation, Angela is one of the instructors at SSMV. She incorporates her background in molecular biology and genetics into various lessons and research projects.

Lopez staff photo

Joe Lopez, Ph.D.
Administrative Officer, Center for Science Outreach
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University - Pathology
M.Ed., Vanderbilt University – Curriculum and Instructional Leadership

Joe oversees the business operations of the CSO, which include grants and contracts management, budgetary and personnel records management, and oversight of compliance with university and governmental policies.   He also provides occasional programmatic support through grant proposal preparation and assisting in preparation of classroom lessons.

Dixon Amanda Dixon

Admissions Coordinator and MNPS Liaison, School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt
M.Ed., Vanderbilt University - Organizational Leadership

Amanda 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 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

Greta collects and organizes information applicable to all CSO programs, especially data involved in the research initiatives. She is likely the first person you will see or talk to when you call or come by the office and directs inquiries of callers while assisting staff members with varied tasks.


Jordan Grigor

Jordan Grigor, Ph.D. 
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D. Université Laval - Oceanography
Jordan has a background in ocean science, with a particular interest in polar marine ecosystems. Originally from Scotland, he has spent a considerable amount of time living and working in Arctic regions of Norway and Canada. There, he primarily studied the ecology of planktonic or "drifting" animals, which play crucial roles in aquatic ecosystems. At the SSMV, he aims to develop interesting curricula which will introduce students to aquatic invertebrates of the USA and abroad. He also teaches students about the realized and potential effects of climate change on people and ecosystems worldwide.
Lesa Brown
Lesa Brown, Ph.D. 
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University - Civil Engineering
Lesa is an instructor at the School for Science and Math. She uses her background in civil and structural engineering to design hands-on activities that help students link engineering theory with real world applications.
 Lauren Tetz

Lauren Tetz, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., University of Michigan – Toxicology

Lauren works in collaboration with Metro Nashville elementary schools to development and implement problem-based learning units integrating science, literacy, and math.  Lauren is also the editor of Budding Scientist, an elementary school research journal.

 Alexia Carillo

Alexia Carillo, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University - Cancer Biology

Alexia uses her background in cancer biology and immunology to co-teach the 11th grade Interdisciplinary Science and Research students at Hillsboro High School.  She also uses her background to enhance the STEM curriculum for all students (9th-12th grade) in the ISR program at Hillsboro.  In addition, she performs research on the effectiveness of the ISR program by evaluating the development of students as they progress through the ISR program.  

Carla Thompson

Carla M. Thompson, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Cleveland State University - Biomedical Engineering

Carla develops the engineering curricula for the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) STEM Program. She uses her engineering background to integrate engineering into the science curriculum by incorporating problem-based learning activities for 10th grade students. The implementation of this integrated science curriculum will transform students into critical thinkers and problem solvers.

 Carver Lee

Carver Lee
Educational Consultant
M.S. Geosciences, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst

Carver is a consultant working at Rosebank STEM School, assisting the STEM coordinator with interactive curriculum development and lab instruction for k-4th graders. She uses her background in geosciences and non-traditional classroom experience to encourage students to step outside of their comfort zone and interact with the world around them.

 Desmond Campbell

Desmond Campbell, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University – Physics

Desmond serves as a co-instructor for the Day of Discovery program along with Dr. Clayton Coffman. He utilizes his knowledge of physics, medical imaging, and instrumentation to immerse middle school students from JT Moore, Rose Park, and West End in research-based STEM activities and demonstrations.


Gennifer D. Goode, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Meharry Medical College-Cancer Biology

Gennifer serves as a co-teacher for the Interdisciplinary Science and Research Program at Stratford High School (9th-12th grade). She utilizes her background in cancer biology and metabolism to develop curricula that generate interest in cancer biology, including signaling, basic cell biology, disease pathology, and metabolic adaptation of cancer cells.  It is her hope to inspire the next generation of scientists, and to expose them to the many possibilities that are open to them through STEM subjects and careers.

Letimicia Fears

Letimicia Fears, Ph.D. 
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Tennessee State University - Biological Sciences

Letimicia is working at Croft Middle Design Center, "The Zoo School," as a STEM Coordinator.  She uses her background in Biology and experience as a Scientist in the Classroom to encourage students to make real-world and career connections with project-based learning and hands-on experiments. She aims also to develop a tight connection between Croft's students and faculty and the Nashville Zoo, which shares a property line with the school.

 Matt Wilkins

Matt Wilkins, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., University of Colorado - Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Matt is the resident scientist at Rose Park Magnet Middle School. He leverages his experience as an evolutionary biologist and undergraduate educator to collaborate with Rose Park's talented teaching staff to develop fun, interactive STEAM activities that enrich current curricula with examples from ongoing scientific research. He hopes to get students more excited and engaged in all subject areas by making clear the connections between fields of study and how they all contribute to a richer understanding of the world around us.



Clayton Coffman, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., The University of Missouri - Plant, Insect, and Microbial Science

Clayton, 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. Clayton 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.





Dan Michel, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow