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CSO Staff

Jennifer Ufnar, Ph.D.

Jennifer Ufnar, Ph.D.
Executive Director and Research Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of Southern Mississippi - Biology

Dr. Ufnar is the Executive Director of the Center for Science Outreach at Vanderbilt University. She holds a Ph.D. in Biology, and has over a decade of experience in science outreach, teaching at the K-16 level, and implementing and directing programs in the science education arena. She is passionate about working with students and teachers to enhance the learning of science and STEAM across the K-12 continuum.


Angela Eeds, Ph.D.
Director, School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt
Assistant Director, Center for Science Outreach

Molecular Biology: Biomedical Research and Genetics 
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

Assistant Director, School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt
Admissions Coordinator and MNPS Liaison
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
Instructor, Day of Discovery Program

Greta can often be found instructing the 7th and 8th graders of the Overton cluster in the Day of Discovery tent 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 CSO instructional and administrative staff, collecting and organizing information applicable to all CSO programs.

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.

 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 Head Magnet Middle School. He leverages his experience as an evolutionary biologist and undergraduate educator to collaborate with Head'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.






Jennifer Gentry, Ph.D.
Day of Discovery Educator 
Ph.D., Vanderbilt - Neuroscience 

Jennifer 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.  Jennifer 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.
Nathan Haag 

Nathan Haag
Instructor, School for Science and Math
ABD, Université Laval, Canada, Biology

Nathan is a marine and freshwater biologist interested in invasive species ecology and phenotypic plasticity, or the ability of some species to rapidly alter their physiology in the face of environmental changes. As an instructor at the SSMV, his goal is to get students thinking about how the world is impacted by, and responds to, changes driven by human activity, and that climate change requires scientists and engineers of every field to work together.



Menton Deweese, Ph.D.

Menton Deweese, Ph.D.
Instructor, School for Science and Math
Ph.D., University of Florida, Psychology

Menton is a cognitive and behavioral neuroscientist who uses neuroimaging (EEG, fMRI) and behavioral measures to study the neural mechanisms underlying compulsive cue-induced behaviors, such as nicotine addiction and obesity. Whether students are interested in biology, chemistry, computer science, physics, psychology, or all of the above, Menton hopes to convey the interdisciplinary nature of neuroscience through engaging and fun learning experiences.

Bryson Reynolds

Bryson Reynolds, Ph.D.
Instructor, Day of Discovery Program
Ph.D., University of Virginia - Neuroscience

Bryson 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. Bryson 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 Center for Science Outreach by disseminating the knowledge gained at the CSO to teachers nationwide.

Greg Smith

Gregory Smith, Ph.D. 
Postdoctoral Fellow, Instructor, ISR Program
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University – Earth and Environmental Sciences

Greg is the resident scientist at John Overton High School, where he co-teaches the Interdisciplinary Science and Research Program (9th – 12th grade). He leverages his background in geology and paleontology to engage students with the world around them, teaching them to create models for the future using lessons learned from the past. He hopes to help his students develop their critical thinking skills and to prepare them to be more responsible, well-rounded global citizens.

 Ann Ouyang

Ann Ouyang, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Instructor, ISR Program
Ph.D., UC Berkeley-UCSF Graduate Program in Bioengineering

Ann is a co-teacher for the Interdisciplinary Science and Research Program 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.


Virignia Shepherd, Ph.D.

Virginia Shepherd, Ph.D.
Director Emerita, 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.