Staff and Graduate Assistants

Gregory RushtonGregory Rushton, Ph.D.

TSEC Director

(615) 494-8738

Sherry SchaferSherry Schafer

Executive Aide

(615) 904-8573

Elizabeth Dyer

Elizabeth Dyer, PhD.

Assistant Director

(615) 904-8573

Robert CarltonRobert Carlton

Proposal Development

(615) 898-5411

Ginger Rowell Ph.D., Associate DirectorGinger Rowell, Ph.D.

Associate Director

(615) 898-5411

lisaLisa Strayer

Assistant Office Manager


friedliAndrienne Friedli, Ph.D. 

Associate Director


jinYing Jin, Ph.D.

Faculty Fellow


dovieDovie Kimmins, Ph.D.

Faculty Fellow


Graduate Assistants

salisburySara Salisbury, M.S.

Sara Salisbury is pursuing her Ph.D. in Math and Science Education, with a concentration in Biology Education. Sara graduated with her B.S. in Environmental Science from Allegheny College in 2012, and her M.S. in Biology from Texas State University in 2018. She has over 15 years of teaching experience in environments both inside and outside of the classroom, and has taught ages ranging from pre-school through post-secondary. Her research interests include k-12 science education in outdoor learning environments, as well as pre-service teacher identity development. Sara is an avid rock-climber and hiker, and hopes to someday either open her own nature school or be the director of research and education at an outdoor research center.

shagaShaghayegh Fateh

Shaghayegh is a first year PhD student at Middle Tennessee State University, studying Math and Science Education. Her concentration is on Chemical Education which includes the study of the teaching and learning of chemistry. Her research interests include identifying student misconceptions in chemistry, chemistry instructional strategies, and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in chemistry. Recently, she has joined The Rushton Research Group, working on a project titled “PDConnect: A Scalable Community Approach to Improving Instruction in AP Chemistry Nationwide.”

samSamuel Karanja

Samuel is a Ph.D. graduate student at MSE program In Middle Tennessee State University with a concentration in chemistry education. Before joining the program, he taught junior high integrated science for almost six years both in testing and non-testing areas. Recently, he has been working with other colleagues on using games to illicit student conceptual understanding in biochemical pathways. Other research interests include the expert vs. novice disconnect approach in multi-synthesis. He loves sports (especially soccer and basketball), exploring new adventures, and learning about other cultures.


brockBrock Couch, M.S.

Brock is a 1st year PhD student in the Mathematics and Science Education program with a focus in Biology Education. He received a Bachelor’s in Biology from Missouri Western State University and a Master’s in Ecology from the University of Maryland. Currently, his research interest is on student interactions within the classroom, particularly when discussing socio-scientific issues (e.g. climate change, cloning, extinction).

Tennessee STEM Education Center

820 Fairview Ave,
Suite 102
MTSU PO Box 82
Murfreesboro, TN 37132