Board of Directors

Dr. Jose D'Arruda is Professor and past Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics at UNC Pembroke where he has been a faculty member for 36 years. He received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics in 1971 from the University of Delaware and his B.S. from Lowell Technical Institute in 1965. Dr. D'Arruda's work has been in the area of Quantum Statistical Mechanics, and he has had several publications in this area. As a Science Educator, Dr. D'Arruda is Director and Founder of the UNCP Region IV Science Fair, started in 1982. Each year the fair draws an average of 400 projects. He has been awarded several teaching awards; the UNC-BOG award in 2007, the SMT college teacher award in 2008 and the "College Science Teacher of the Year" award from the North Carolina Science Teachers Association in recognition of his work with educators in 2001. He has had over 35 publications and presentations in Physics and on Teaching Physics. Dr. D’Arruda is also the director of the UNCP College Observatory.

Dr. Rebecca Hale is a faculty member at the University of North Carolina Asheville. She currently studies the coevolution of parental behavior and developmental traits in fishes and salamanders. She teaches courses in Ecology and Evolution, Zoology, Animal Behavior, and Vertebrate Zoology. She is a member of the Society for the Study of Evolution and the Animal Behavior Society. Dr. Hale received her B.A. in Biology from Oberlin College and her M.S. and Ph. D. from the University of Florida. Before coming to North Carolina, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Florida State University.

Caroline Kennedy is a faculty member in the biology department at UNC Asheville. She teaches non-majors' Introductory Biology lecture and lab as well as Ecology and Evolution, Zoology, and Cell and Molecular labs. She is currently collaborating with her departmental colleagues on research investigating the community structure within pitcher plants and the consequences of pitcher plant hybridization. She has a BS in Environmental Studies from UNC Asheville and a MS in Biology from Southeastern Louisiana University where she studied herpetology and conservation biology.

Dr. Sunny Liu is a faculty member in the Animal Science Department of North Carolina State University. She received her M.S. in Animal Genetics from Iowa State University and her Ph.D. in Genetics from Michigan State University. She is a member of the Genomics Science, Biotechnology, Comparative Medicine and Translational Research and Physiology Programs at NCSU. She is a member of AAAS, the Poultry Science Association (PSA), the International Society for Animal Genetics (ISAG), the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), Sigma Xi and Gamma Sigma Delta. While her position is devoted primarily to research, she teaches a course each year in Genomic and Proteomic Applications in Animal Science. She also serves regularly as an elementary school science fair judge and as a reviewer everything from journal articles to middle school science curriculum materials.

Ms. Sue Purser has been a science teacher at Avery County High School since 2011. Prior to this, she taught at D.H. Conley High School in Pitt County for 11 years, following a 19 year career working in various research labs at the Brody School of Medicine and NCSU. She teaches Biology and AP Environmental Science. She has mentored high school students in yearlong science research programs at both high schools for which she has taught. She received a B.A. degree in Biology from UNC-Greensboro, with secondary teacher certification, and her MAEd at East Carolina University in Science Education with a concentration in Ecology. She received her National Board Teacher Certification in 2009, and has served as a clinical teacher for education students at both East Carolina University and Appalachian State University.

The Reverend Barrington Bernard Ross is a native of Winnsboro, S.C. where he attended Fairfield County Schools. Later he matriculated at the following universities: North Carolina A&T State University (B.S. in Biology Education-1982), University of South Carolina, Winthrop University, Arizona State University, University of Phoenix, NC Central University and Duke Divinity School. As an educator, he is certified in Secondary Middle School Science, High School Biology and Earth and Space Science in Arizona and North Carolina. He began teaching middle schoolers in 1999 at Shepard Magnet International Baccalaureate School. Science students were exposed to various dissections, activities, field trips, science fairs, and events during his career at Shepard. He helped to create and field test lessons with the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) middle school lesson supplements on "Chemical, the Environment, and You" developed by the Biological Curriculum Study Center (BSCS) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. During the Summer of 2000, he coordinated and directed Enviro-camp for elementary and middle school students at North Carolina Central University. He teaches Earth Science at Hillside High School, Durham, NC. He is an ordained pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Ravi Sharma has taught physics and mathematics at Craven Community College, New Bern, NC since 2006. Previously, he taught high school mathematics for two years in Lenoir County Schools before joining the staff at Craven. Prior to his emigrating to the United States in 2001, he taught physics and mathematics for six years in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and physics and mathematics in various locations in India for the past thirty years. He was selected as the principal of M.M. Higher Secondary School, Rajkot, in India in 1988, where he served for 12 years. He received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Meerut University in 1968, followed by a bachelor of education in science and mathematics from Delhi University in 1973, with master’s degrees in Physics and Education from Meerut University and Saurashta University in 1971 and 189 respectively. After emigrating to the U.S., he did graduate in mathematics education at East Carolina University in 2005. While at Craven Community College, he has participated in workshops on digital video analysis, and has performed research studies in applications to physics and mathematics instruction.

Dr. Amy Sheck is the Dean of Science at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, where she has been teaching since 2001. She teaches courses in evolution and research in biology. She grew up in New York and received a B.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Amy went on to get a M.S in Zoology from the University of Maryland, College Park, studying pollinator feraging behavior and a Ph.D. in Entomology from North Carolina State University, studying the genetics of agricultural pest insects. She worked previously as a genetics researcher at NCSU, as a biology lecturer at the University of Asmara, Eritrea, and held various jobs in forestry, fisheries, and environmental education.

Mika Hunter Twietmeyer is a science teacher at Riverside High School for the past nine years, primarily teaching Biology and AP Biology. Before entering the education profession, she worked at the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs in Washington, DC. Mika earned her B.S. in Biology and Entomology from the University of Maryland in 2003 and a Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in 2008. She received her National Board Certification in Secondary Science Education in 2012. Mika is an instructor for Duke's MAT Program and serves as a mentor for student teachers and initially licensed teachers. She recently was selected as a North Carolina Teacher Voice Fellow. Mika is an active member of the Durham Association of Eductors, where she advocates for public schools.

Dr. Steve Warshaw has been at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics since 1985. In 1986 he received the Science Teaching Achievement Recognition Award from the National Science Teachers Association. He retired in June, 2015 from his position of Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs, having served in that capacity since 1992. Previously he was a biology instructor, teaching courses in genetics, ecology, and research in biology, as well as being Head of the Science Department. In addition to his administrative duties, he teaches two courses called “Medical Ethics and Leadership” and “Environmental Ethics and Leadership.” He grew up in Texas. He received his B.A. in Biology from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, and his Ph.D. in Biology from Yale University. He worked previously for the U.S. Navy while on active duty, Texas Water Quality Board, Texas Water Development Board, and Hardin [Texas] Independent School District.

Alisa B. Wickliff is the Assistant Director of the Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology at UNC Charlotte. She has been involved in designing and implementing K-12 science teacher professional development for over 12 years. Alisa has taught elementary science methods at UNC Charlotte in the College of Education. Her work has included the design of 10-day science institutes including, groundwater, geographic information system, water quality, and field botany. She is a facilitator for GLOBE (Global Learning Observations to Benefit the Environment), Project WET, The Leopold Project, It’s Our Water, and other environmental education curricular programs. She has organized Advanced Placement Science Alliances for high school teachers and a Middle School Alliance for middle grade teachers to discuss science content and instructional strategies. She received her B.A. from Depauw University and her Masters of Science at Purdue University. Prior to her work in science education, she provided environmental regulatory and technical assistance educational outreach at Purdue University, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and as director of the Environmental Assistance Office for Small Business at UNC Charlotte.

Jennifer Williams received her B.S. in Science Education from North Carolina State University and her M.S. in Marine Science from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where she studied natural products from Marine Microorganisms. Williams has been teaching science and math for sixteen years in Transylvania County. She currently serves as a science instructional leader and teaches chemistry, physics and the TIME science research course at Brevard High School. Students in the TIME program are supported as they conduct authentic science research into questions of their own choosing and present their work to the community. In 2007, Williams co-founded the TIME program and continues to serve as a co-director, mentor and facilitator.

Mr. Brian Wood has taught at William G. Enloe in Wake County for the past 28 years. Prior to that he taught in Elizabeth City, NC. His BS degree is in biology secondary education from Asbury College in Kentucky. He received a MS from NCSU in Zoology. His current assignment is teaching biology, AP/IB biology, research, genetics, and microbiology. He has received AP and IB training and is nationally board certified.