Faculty

Research Methodology & Ethics

Amy Schmidt

Course Descriptions
Research Methodology & Ethics
Research Methodology & Ethics (4610) 1 weighted high school credit

This course is an introductory course on scientifi...

Amy Schmidt

Amy Schmidt

Research Methodology & Ethics

Course Descriptions

Research Methodology & Ethics
Research Methodology & Ethics (4610) 1 weighted high school credit

This course is an introductory course on scientific research that will emphasize empirical research, the importance of literature reviews, research design choices, data collection methods, data analysis methods (including statistical analysis), and ethics. We will explore what makes research claims strong and valid or weak and questionable.

Bio

  • Ph.D. in Mathematics from George Mason University in 2015
  • M.S. in Applied and Computational Mathematics from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2011
  • B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2009
  • Since graduating in 2015, Dr. Schmidt has taught at Hampton University, Christopher Newport University, Old Dominion University, and Thomas Nelson Community College.
  • Dr. Schmidt started at The Governor’s School for Science and Technology in 2021
  • Dr. Schmidt loves teaching. When she’s not working, she enjoys gardening, birdwatching, and powerlifting

College Modern Pre-Calculus & College Calculus

Deidre Jeter

Course Description
PreCalculus
Syllabus

PreCalculus (3162): (1 weighted high school math credit)
This course is an intensive, rigorous approach to mathematics designed to pre...

Deidre Jeter

Deidre Jeter

College Modern Pre-Calculus & College Calculus

Course Description

PreCalculus

Syllabus

PreCalculus (3162): (1 weighted high school math credit)
This course is an intensive, rigorous approach to mathematics designed to prepare students for college calculus. The first semester students will focus on the algebraic and geometric properties of polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions, and engage in discussions about how these models are represented in the real world. The second-semester students will learn the analytic properties of trigonometric functions and geometric conics, as well as learning the properties of polar coordinates, vectors, matrices, parametrics, and sequences and series. The course concludes with an introduction to calculus.

Applied Calculus

Syllabus

Applied Calculus (3175): (1 weighted high school math credit)
This course covers 1 semester of university-level applied calculus. Students will gain a foundation of calculus by studying the properties of limits and continuity, derivatives, integrals and differential equations with algebraic, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric expressions. Students will explore these topics with calculator labs, and applications to business, economics, life, and the physics of motion.

Bio

Deidre Jeter, a native of New York State, received her BA in Adolescent Mathematics Education from Keuka College (Keuka Park, NY) in 2007 and her MA in Mathematics from State University of New York, College at Brockport (Brockport, NY) in 2012. She has been living and teaching in the Hampton Roads region since 2009, and has been at the Governor’s School since 2013. Outside the classroom, she plays video games, and attends church where she also participates in the co-ed softball league in the Spring.

Calculus-based Engineering Physics I & II

Elena Kuchina

Course Description
Physics I & II
Syllabus

Physics I & II (4571): (2 weighted high school science credits)

Physics is the study of nature – it is a living discipl...

Elena Kuchina

Elena Kuchina

Calculus-based Engineering Physics I & II

Course Description

Physics I & II

Syllabus

Physics I & II (4571): (2 weighted high school science credits)

Physics is the study of nature – it is a living discipline, not a collection of facts. It is the science of daily existence and is something you know a great deal about. You have direct experience with the nature of forces, how things respond to those forces, the conservation of mass, energy, momentum, and some aspects of gravity. The formal study of physics should guide and clarify your understanding to build a consistent basis of fundamentals that allow you to build models for describing the physical behavior of unfamiliar or complex systems. Physics is about reasoning, making connections, and understanding what will happen in a situation, and why it happens.

https://sites.google.com/view/gsst-engineering-physics/about-the-course

Bio

Education:

  • PhD, Physical and Mathematical Science, Power Engineering Institute
  • MS & PhD Physics, Old Dominion University
  • BS & MS/ME Physics, Kazakh State University

Synergetic Activities:

  • Leader of the Virginia Community College System Physics Peer Group
  • Communication Liaison of the Chesapeake Section American Association of Physics Teachers
  • Faculty Liaison in Virginia-North Carolina Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation
  • Co-organizer of the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics
  • Team Leader for VCCS Physics Curriculum review; Transfer, VA

Professional Background:

  • Theoretical Research at
  • Theory Group with Jefferson Lab
  • Paul Scherrer Institute
  • Power Engineering Institute
  • Nuclear Power Institute

Experimental Research: Hall A Jefferson Lab

Teaching:

  • New Horizons GSST
  • Old Dominion University
  • Christopher Newport Institute
  • Thomas Nelson Community College
  • Medical Career Institute

STEM Innovation and Outreach Coordinator for the Governor's School

Ellen Fithian

Bio
Dr. Fithian began her professional life as a dermatologist before discovering her passion for education. Over the past twelve years, she has worked with Ms. Wismer on a range ...

Ellen Fithian

Ellen Fithian

STEM Innovation and Outreach Coordinator for the Governor's School

Bio

Dr. Fithian began her professional life as a dermatologist before discovering her passion for education. Over the past twelve years, she has worked with Ms. Wismer on a range of initiatives focused on expanding the representation of students from underrepresented communities at the school, promoting success for all students at GSST and beyond, and helping to forge collaborations with universities to enrich GSST curricula with content and skills from emerging STEM fields.

Education

Ph.D.: Educational Policy, Planning, and Leadership, College of William and Mary
NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellowship: Columbia University
M.D.: Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons
B.A.: Wellesley College

Computational Science Senior Faculty

Gaelan Venturi

Bio
Mr. Venturi is currently working on his M.S. in Computer Science at Old Dominion University after receiving his B.S. in Mathematics with a concentration in Applied Mathematics...

Gaelan Venturi

Gaelan Venturi

Computational Science Senior Faculty

Bio

Mr. Venturi is currently working on his M.S. in Computer Science at Old Dominion University after receiving his B.S. in Mathematics with a concentration in Applied Mathematics, and B.S. in Mathematics with a concentration in Statistics/Biostatistics. Mr. Venturi has worked in various positions as a tutor to both high school and college students, and as an adjunct professor at Tidewater Community College before joining the Governor School in 2021.

Office Location: A71

PE Calculus-based Engineering Physics III & IV

Ibrahim Albayrak

Course Descriptions
Calculus-based Engineering Physics III and IV
Syllabus-Modern Physics

Syllabus-Engineering III & IV

Modern Physics and Applied Physics and Engineeri...

Ibrahim Albayrak

Ibrahim Albayrak

PE Calculus-based Engineering Physics III & IV

Course Descriptions

Calculus-based Engineering Physics III and IV

Syllabus-Modern Physics

Syllabus-Engineering III & IV

Modern Physics and Applied Physics and Engineering Design Principles (4580)(2 weighted high school science credits)

Learning fundamental knowledge of engineering and physics disciplines and the requisite skills to perform research, problem-solve, innovate, and create opportunities in the real world are the overarching goals of this course. Extending the first year physics material, the course includes investigations in modern physics topics such as relativity, quantum mechanics, and nuclear physics, including, for example, conceptual understanding and practical applications of the wave function, Schrodinger’s Equation, and radiation and radioactivity. The course includes also a series of project-based engineering learning experiences to help the student acquire and apply the skills, tools, and best practices of the engineering profession. Learning tools include, for example, industry-standard engineering and research modeling and simulation software, hands-on design and troubleshooting of solid-state electronics and digital systems, and industry-standard computer-aided-design software, and additive manufacturing fabrication systems. In challenging keystone projects, students are tasked to identify real-world engineering problems or opportunities, to propose and seek client approval for their unique solutions or innovations, then to design, build, and demonstrate their final products. The keystone experiences include professional engagement with research and engineering leaders invited from community organizations such as NASA, SNAME, and Jefferson Labs. Prerequisites: Engineering Physics I & II, College Calculus

Bio

BS: Physics, Yildiz Technical University
PhD: Experimental Nuclear Physics, Hampton University, Jefferson Lab

Dr. Albayrak worked with experimental nuclear research at the Jefferson Lab, Catholic University of America, Hampton University, Akdeniz University and at TUBITAK. He has served as an assistant professor in the electronics department at International Antalya University. Currently, as the GSST engineering/physics instructor, Dr. Albayrak, together with his mentees, is involved in experimental nuclear research for the Jefferson Lab.

Computational Physics

Islam Bedir

Course Description
Syllabus

Computational Physics: (4525): (2 weighted high school science credits)

Computational physics uses advanced computing capabilities to understand ...

Islam Bedir

Islam Bedir

Computational Physics

Course Description

Syllabus

Computational Physics: (4525): (2 weighted high school science credits)

Computational physics uses advanced computing capabilities to understand and solve complex problems. It is about the application of computers to advance science, largely the modeling and simulating of the physical world. The computational physics course focuses on the computational aspects of physical problems. It takes advantage of improvements in computer hardware and robust mathematical techniques. The scope of this course is the presentation of improved techniques for the numerical solution of problems in areas of college physics. It covers mechanics, thermodynamics, oscillations, sound, electricity and selected topics in modern physics. Students in this course utilize computational tools such as a high-level programming language (Python) or Mathematica. The course begins by introducing the fundamental concepts in Newtonian mechanics on one side, and computational tools on the other. Later in the course students learn how to combine these two disciplines and acquire the skills needed to solve complex problems in Physics. Concepts are reinforced through hands-on demonstrations and physics labs. Prerequisites: Algebra II/Trig, Biology, Chemistry, Physics (2/3 Sciences)

Bio

BS. Theoretical Physics, Bosphorus University
MS., Theoretical Physics, Old Dominion University
PhD. Theoretical Physics, Old Dominion University

He was adjunct faculty and taught college physics at Thomas Nelson Community College for two years.

Advanced Chemical Analysis

Jennifer Clarke

Course Descriptions
College Chemistry I
Syllabus

Advanced Chemical Analysis (4471): (2 weighted high school science credits)

This course focuses on the fundamental principl...

Jennifer Clarke

Jennifer Clarke

Advanced Chemical Analysis

Course Descriptions

College Chemistry I

Syllabus

Advanced Chemical Analysis (4471): (2 weighted high school science credits)

This course focuses on the fundamental principles and laws of chemistry. Extensive laboratory work will serve as the basic tool for students to explore chemistry topics. The course will provide insights into inorganic and organic chemistry. The students will explore advanced concepts such as kinetics, acid/base chemistry, equilibrium, thermochemistry, and electrochemistry. The course will emphasize problem-solving through chemical calculations. Advanced Chemical Analysis is a college-level course with a strong focus on laboratory work. It examines topics typically studied during the first year of college by science majors.

Bio

Jennifer Clarke is the Advanced Chemical Analysis Instructor. She earned a B.S. in chemistry from Radford University and two degrees from the University of South Carolina, a M.S. and M.A.T. in chemistry. Ms. Clarke is in her 27th year of teaching chemistry. She started at the Governor’s School in 1996.

Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra

Jiashi Hou

Course Description
College Calculus
Syllabus

College Calculus (3177): (1 weighted high school math credit)

This course covers 2 semesters of university-level calculus for s...

Jiashi Hou

Jiashi Hou

Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra

Course Description

College Calculus

Syllabus

College Calculus (3177): (1 weighted high school math credit)

This course covers 2 semesters of university-level calculus for scientists and engineers, emphasizing understanding and application. The first semester covers limits and continuity of functions, techniques and applications of differentiation, and introduces integration. The second semester covers applications and advanced techniques of integration, differential equations, sequences and series, and analytical geometry. Upon completion of this course, students will understand both the geometric and rate of change analyses of differential and integral calculus. Students will apply their understanding of calculus to modeling real-world situations mathematically and be able to solve those mathematical models. Successful completion of this course will prepare students to enroll in multivariable calculus / linear algebra.

Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra (TNCC MTH265 & MTH266)

Syllabus

Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra (3178): (1 weighted high school math credit)

This course focuses on extending the concepts of geometry, algebraic operations, function,
limit, continuity, derivative, integral and vector from the plane to the three dimensional
space. Features instruction for mathematical, physical and engineering science programs. It will prepare students for further study in mathematics, engineering and science programs by providing the necessary competencies in calculus concepts in the three dimensional space.

Bio

B.S., Shanghai University of Science and Technology
M.S. in Applied Mathematics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
Ph.D. in Mathematics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York

Dr. Hou taught mathematics at regional universities prior to joining the Governor’s School. He has a background in biomechanics research and business applications. Dr. Hou has advised many college undergraduates with student research. He enjoys instructing and challenging the Governor’s School students.

Program Support Specialist

Mara Flath

Bio

B.A. in Biology from Hollins University in 2019
Mara Flath started at The Governor's School in 2021
Previously Mara Flath worked as a Research Technician at Hampton ...

Mara Flath

Mara Flath

Program Support Specialist

Bio

  • B.A. in Biology from Hollins University in 2019
  • Mara Flath started at The Governor's School in 2021
  • Previously Mara Flath worked as a Research Technician at Hampton University

Advanced Biological Analysis

Mary Patterson

Course Descriptions
Advanced Biological Analysis (4371) (2 weighted high school science credits)
Syllabus

Advanced Biological Analysis is a college-level course that examines ...

Mary Patterson

Mary Patterson

Advanced Biological Analysis

Course Descriptions

Advanced Biological Analysis (4371) (2 weighted high school science credits)

Syllabus

Advanced Biological Analysis is a college-level course that examines the topics typically studied during the first year of college by biology majors. In the fall semester, topics in the field of cell and molecular biology will be addressed, some of which include the roles of biological macromolecules, cellular organization and metabolism, and cellular processes such as communication, reproduction, respiration, and photosynthesis. In addition, mechanisms of inheritance and control of gene expression, including epigenetic influences, will be examined. In the Spring, evolution, phylogeny, and the diversity of living things will be discussed, with a special focus on the anatomy and physiology of plants and animals. The laboratory experience is a major component of the course, allowing students the opportunity to use contemporary technologies applied in research as well as medical and forensic laboratories, while designing their own experiments and analyzing and interpreting their results. Lab experiences include microscopy, PCR, gel electrophoresis, study of bacteria and phage, and various biochemical analyses. The anatomy and physiology of various vertebrate organ systems will be compared while dissecting animals in the laboratory.

Bio

Dr. Mary Patterson’s journey to teaching gifted high school students at the Governor’s School for Science and Technology began with her innate curiosity and was influenced by a love of teaching and the enthusiasm of youth.

She graduated with distinction from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, having earned her B.S. degree in Genetics and Development. Her Ph.D. was earned at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus, where her thesis addressed interactions between malignant melanoma cells and extracellular matrix. Her post-doctoral fellowship was at the University of Minnesota, in the Departments of Biochemistry and Orthopedic Surgery. Prior to dedicating her energies to teaching, she had published research in the journals Cancer Research, J. Cell Biology, Biochemistry, and J. Anatomy.

She has taught for 20 years, at both the college and high school levels. Teaching Advanced Biological Analysis since 2014 at the Governor’s School, she previously spent three years as the instructor for Research Methodology and Ethics.

Differential Equations

Rimma Feygelson

Course Descriptions
College Calculus
Syllabus

College Calculus (3177): (1 weighted high school math credit)

This course covers 2 semesters of university-level calculus for ...

Rimma Feygelson

Rimma Feygelson

Differential Equations

Course Descriptions

College Calculus

Syllabus

College Calculus (3177): (1 weighted high school math credit)

This course covers 2 semesters of university-level calculus for scientists and engineers, emphasizing understanding and application. The first semester covers limits and continuity of functions, techniques and applications of differentiation, and introduces integration. The second semester covers applications and advanced techniques of integration, differential equations, sequences and series, and analytical geometry. Upon completion of this course, students will understand both the geometric and rate of change analyses of differential and integral calculus. Students will apply their understanding of calculus to modeling real-world situations mathematically and be able to solve those mathematical models. Successful completion of this course will prepare students to enroll in multivariable calculus / linear algebra.

Differential Equations

Syllabus

Differential Equations (3179): (1 weighted high school math credit)

The first semester the emphasis will be on Ordinary Differential Equations (ODE). Partial Differential Equations (PDE) at the end of the first semester and conclude the second semester by looking at modeling the four fundamental forces and other applied topics. The construction of mathematical models to address real-world problems has been one of the most important aspects of each of the branches of science.
Prerequisites: Calculus I and Calculus II

Bio

Education:

M.S., St. Petersburg Institute of Economics, 1992

Teaching:

New Horizons GSST
Thomas Nelson Community College STEM
William & Mary SEP

Director of Governor's School

Vikki Wismer

Bio
Educational Background

M.S. Elementary Education specializing in Montessori Studies: Loyola College
B.A. Public Affairs/Administrative Justice: American University
...

Vikki Wismer

Vikki Wismer

Director of Governor's School

Bio

Educational Background

  • M.S. Elementary Education specializing in Montessori Studies: Loyola College
  • B.A. Public Affairs/Administrative Justice: American University
  • Advance Professional Certificate Administration/Supervision: Trinity College

Professional Background

  • 2008- 2020 Director New Horizons Governor’s School for Science & Technology (GSST)
  • 30 years of experience in the field of education with a diverse background in business
  • Principal/Change Agent for two magnet secondary/elementary public schools in Maryland Professional Background (cont’d.)
  • Governor’s Citation: Recognized for impressive dedication to instructional leadership in Maryland Public Schools (2 years)
  • Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s Teacher Advisory Committee
  • Collaborated with the History Channel to publish Save Our History – The Star-Spangled Banner Project: distributed to 80,000 elementary school teachers nationwide
  • Currently, Ms. Wismer serves as Vice/Past President of the Virginia Consortium of Gifted Education Administrators, Student Recruitment
  • Chair for ODU Computer Science Advisory Board, founding partner of the Hampton Roads Innovation Collaborative and member of National
  • Consortium of Specialized STEM Schools (NCSSS)