2018 Instructors

Ms. Kris Amatuli 

(B.S., UNC Wilmington; M.S., Univ. of North Florida) joined the faculty of the University of North Florida in 2012. She teaches biology, zoology, anatomy and physiology, ecology and plant biology. She has been a Crossfit trainer for the past two years and loves spending time with her dog. Her primary research interests are herpetology and endocrine physiology.

Dr. Jeremiah Bartz

(B.S.,B.S.M.E., M.S., Univ. of North Dakota; Ph.D., Univ. of Oregon) has been an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Francis Marion University since 2013. His research area is in discrete geometry, specifically hyperplane arrangements. In his free time, he enjoys running, traveling, exploring South Carolina, and getting together with friends and family.

Dr. Patrick Briggs

(B.A., Cal. State Univ. at Sacramento; PhD, Univ. of Kansas) joined the faculty of The Citadel in 1981. He teaches astronomy, calculus-based introductory physics and advanced mechanics.  He has been extensively involved with both teachers and students in improving science education in South Carolina. He has coached Little League baseball and wishes he could spend more time working in his backyard. His primary research interest is solar and interplanetary ions.

Dr. Zachary Davis

(B.S., Erskine College, Ph.D., Purdue University) joined the Newberry College faculty in August of 2013, and teaches analytical and physical chemistry courses, as well as the general chemistry sequence. He is the faculty advisor for the Newberry College chapter of the American Chemical Society, and also serves as secretary for the Western Carolinas Local Section. Dr. Davis’s research interests lie in the intersection of food chemistry and instrumental analysis. Within the realm of food chemistry, of particular interest to Mr. Davis are antioxidants and flavor compounds, especially those due to the Malliard reactions.

Dr. Paul Dostert

(B.S., James Madison University; M.S., Texas A&M University; Ph.D., Texas A&M University) is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Coker College.  He has directed a large number of undergraduate research projects, involving a wide range of subjects, such as computational linear algebra, parallel programming, 3D printing, and VR programming.

Dr. Dave Eslinger 

Dr. Eslinger is, by training, an Oceanographer.  He has a PhD in Biological Oceanography from Florida State University and did post-doctoral work at NASA, both efforts specializing in using satellite remote sensing to study the surface ocean and in writing computer models to simulate the plankton and physical dynamics in the upper ocean.  However, he loves robots and robotics!  He has been a coach for four LEGO teams over three years (all of whom competed at State), and co-coach of 4 VEX robotics teams over 2 years, three who have made it to the National competitions so far (one is still competing).  He enjoys learning new things and taking broken (usually) stuff apart to try to figure out how it works and to fix it or scavenge parts for other uses. After having to keep his hands off all the kid's robots for so long, he gave up and designed his own simple robot platform.  That platform is designed to be as flexible as possible to allow testing of different aspects of sensors and robotics.

Ms. Charlotte Evans

(B.S. University of Wisconsin-Superior; J.D. Georgia State University) is currently an advocate attorney at the Cobb County Juvenile Court located in Marietta, Georgia. She has represented juveniles in delinquency matters and parents and children in dependency actions. Additionally she works as the defense attorney for both the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court and the Family Dependency Treatment Court. She is a 1992 graduate of the Governor's School.

Mr. Gregory Fry

(B.F.A., Indiana University at South Bend; M.F. A., University of South Dakota) is a Professor of Visual Art and has been teaching at Francis Marion University since 2002. He has worked in the graphic design industry as a printer, production artist, designer and art director. His current research includes traditional letterpress, lithograph and serigraph processes. His free time is spent with his family and creating both artwork and graphic work for both clients and personal discovery.

Dr. Anders Gårdestig

(M.Sc., Ph.D., both Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden) is a physics instructor at the NC School of Science and Mathematics. Previously he taught physics and pre-engineering at GSSM Accelerate and a variety of institutions of higher education. He has done research in theoretical nuclear physics. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, exploring and learning about the world around him through hiking, camping, reading, or just hanging out with good friends. He also enjoys playing Legos with his 8-year-old son, cooking, baking, and wood working.

Dr. Barbara Gordon

(BS Ashland University; MD, MS Medical College of Ohio at Toledo) is a physician who is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and medical genetics. She practiced obstetrics and gynecology for ten years and medical genetics for 5 years.  She has taught many medical students and residents during her career and enjoys interacting with students. She has two children and enjoys running, painting, and hanging out with her family in her free time. 

Dr. Stuart Gordon

(BA, College of Wooster; PhD, Ohio State Univ.) joined the faculty at Presbyterian College in 2009 after having spent two years teaching at Hiram College.  His specialty is plant-microbe interactions, and he currently researches the effects of environmental stress on the composition of plant microbiomes and the effects of diet on the microbiome of fishes.

Dr. Lauren Grabowski

(B.S. Saint Francis University, Ph.D. University of South Carolina) joined the faculty of Newberry College in August 2017 as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry, where she teaches analytical, physical, and general chemistry courses. Her graduate work in chemistry focused on minimizing noise in analytical instrumentation along with increasing safety guidelines in chemical journals. In her free time, she enjoys reading nonfiction, outdoor activities, baking, and spending time with family and friends.

Dr. Giuseppe Gumina

(B.S., Ph.D., University of Catania, Italy) is an Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical and Administrative Sciences at Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy. In the past he held academic positions at South University, the Medical University of South Carolina and Georgia Southern University. His postgraduate research was conducted at the University of Georgia. He is a synthetic medicinal chemist and his research focuses on the design and synthesis of novel antimicrobial agents. Aside from work he enjoys running, weight training and, most importantly, keeping up with his young son!

Mrs. Paige Lewter Brown

(B.S., NC A&T State University; M.Ed., Liberty University) is an electrical engineer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where she performes the regulatory review of obstetrics and gynecology medical devices. She specializes in the review of electrical safety, electromagnetic compatibility, and software in medical devices. She has been accepted to the Engineering Education Ph.D. program at Purdue University, which she is very excited to begin in the fall of 2018. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Mr. Keith McElveen

(B.S., M.S., Clemson Univ.) began working for the federal government and now works in the commercial industry, where he helps develop tools and techniques used by federal, state and local law enforcement to investigate crimes and prosecute cases. He spends most of his spare time sharing the interests and activities of his  four children, who range in age up to 18. His personal hobbies and interests include fencing, hiking, reading and writing about general and forensic science.

Mrs. Julie Mixon

(B.F.A., Barton College; M.F.A., East Carolina University) has taught as an Assistant Professor of Photography at Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina, since 2012. Prior to teaching at FMU, Julie taught as an Art Instructor at Lenoir Community College in Kinston, North Carolina, for eight years. Julie specializes in alternative photographic processes and explores the combination of analog and digital photographic processes. She has exhibited her work regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Mr. Jim Near

(B.S. The Citadel; M.S. NC State University) is an adjunct professor at The Citadel teaching physics and electronics. Prior to teaching at The Citadel, he spent 20 years in the USAF working on advanced weather and space weather projects, including chasing and flying into typhoons across the Pacific.  Besides tropical meteorology, Mr. Near is interested in how weather affects our daily life and building electronic sensors to measure our environment.

Dr. Roger Newman-Norlund

(B.A., SUNY Geneseo; Ph.D., Dartmouth College) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Exercise Science at the University of South Carolina. His degree is in cognitive neuroscience, a branch of psychology that studies the brain basis or mental phenomenon. He uses surveys, behavioral experiments, and 3-D brain imaging and brain stimulation technology to study brain structure and function. He is a father of three wonderful children and his outside hobbies and interests include collectible card games, LEGOs, tennis and video games/computer programming.

Dr. Bhuvana Parameswaran

(B.S., Bombay University; M.S., University of Pittsburgh; Ph.D., University of Delaware; postdoctoral fellowship, University of South Carolina) joined the SC Governor's School for Science & Mathematics as a Biology instructor in 1998 and has been teaching for the last 19 years. She generally teaches AP Biology along with electives such as Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, and Neuroscience. During the summer breaks, she travels around the world either for leisure or to teach Cell/Molecular Biology in other countries.

Dr. Gary Salazar

(B.S., Baylor University; PhD, Louisiana State Univ.) joined the GSSM faculty in January of 2008. Prior to that, he served as a visiting assistant professor at Trinity University in San Antonio for six years. At GSSM, Dr. Salazar serves as the sponsor for many of the academic teams including the Math Team, Mock Trial and Quiz Bowl. His research interests include coding theory and polynomials over finite fields.

Dr. Luke Sollitt

(B.S. Univ. of  Maryland; M.S., Ph.D. Calif. Institute of Tech.) is an Assistant Professor of Physics at The Citadel and an Associate Research Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona. He was a co-Investigator on NASA's LCROSS mission to the Moon. LCROSS impacted the Moon in 2009, and discovered a reservoir of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater at the lunar South Pole.  Luke's research interests include properties of lunar and Martian dust (including dust properties experiments at low pressures), the search for materials of astrobiological significance on planetary bodies, the development of novel instrumentation including laser desorption and LIDAR technology, and planetary astronomy from suborbital platforms.

Dr. Jennifer Taylor 

(B. A. Washington Univ.; PhD, Washington Univ.) is an instructor at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics.  Before joining the Governor’s school, she taught at Crossroads College Preparatory School (St. Louis, MO) as well as Washington University.  Dr. Taylor has twelve years of research experience in genetics and molecular biology laboratories.  Her graduate work studied how cells were instructed to form neurons in developing embryos based on which portions of DNA were turned on or turned off, and her post-doctoral studies examined the genetic basis of growth and regeneration.

Dr. Kimberly Titus

(B.A., B.S., Stetson University, Ph.D. North Carolina State University) is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at High Point University where she teaches Calculus I, II, & III, Computer Programming, and Web Development. Her graduate work in physics focused on the development of materials for blue lasers and her research interests still lie in the area of applied math and physics. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, traveling, directing drama at her church, training refugees in job skills, and spending time with her husband and 4 daughters.

Dr. Jim Wetzel

(BS, Point Park College; MA, California State Univ. at Rohnert Park; PhD, Clemson Univ.) joined the faculty at Presbyterian College in 1990 after having spent two years teaching in Japan.  He currently chairs the Biology Department at Presbyterian College. Among his hobbies is SCUBA diving, in which he is an instructor. An ichthyologist and developmental biologist, his specialty is seahorse reproduction.

Dr. Shayna A. Wrighten

(B.S., Furman University; Ph.D., University of South Carolina School of Medicine) joined the faculty of Francis Marion University in January 2012 as an Assistant Professor of Biology.  Her research interest is in understanding the behavioral and nervous system processes that underlie social interactions.  In her free time she enjoys playing tennis, running, travelling, visiting beaches and spending time with family and friends.