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Kinston, NC - New Frontiers

  • Red Room 220 North Herritage Street Kinston, NC, 28501 United States (map)

Join us on April 18 at our first show in North Carolina, for five true, personal stories about blazing new trails and exploring new territory in science.

This free show is produced in partnership with the NC State Leadership in Public Science Cluster, with support from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the NC Science Festival, the NC State College of Sciences and the NC State College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Reserve your FREE spot at this show, below:

Stories by: 

Marcelo Ardón Sayao is really into swamps. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at NCSU. He obtained his BA in Biology and Environmental Science from Gettysburg College, his PhD from the University of Georgia, and did a postdoc at Duke University. His research focuses on how wetlands and streams transport and transform water and nutrients. He spends most of his time outside work with his wife and two kids. They enjoy dancing, building sandcastles, and spending time outside, though he hasn’t fully convinced his kids of the beauty of swamps.


Jeff Braden is dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and professor of Psychology at NC State University. Prior to becoming dean, he was a professor and director of school psychology programs at NC State, University of Wisconsin—Madison, San Jose State University and the University of Florida. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a member of the National Association of School Psychologists, and an elected member of the Society for the Study of School Psychology. He has presented more than 300 papers at state, national, and international meetings and published more than 175 articles, books, book chapters, and other products on assessment, school psychology, intelligence, and deafness. He recently completed a grant to evaluate adaptive courseware from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Other recent research includes an evaluation of Response to Intervention/Problem-Solving efforts in Baltimore City Public Schools. Recent international collaborations include work to improve inclusion of students with disabilities in Australia; providing keynote addresses at the Irish National Educational Psychology Services annual meeting and the 26-nation European Consortium on Special Education (in Lemosos, Crete); and an appointment as a Fulbright Scholar in 2002 to study high stakes testing in Greece at the University of Athens.


Robin E. Kitson loves taking an audience along with her. Her trips of the mind are much like those she heard as a child in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans where stories roll down the river clothed in fog. Robin’s motivational tales come from first hand experience, having to take welfare to get by, on up to being topped out in her job at the power company. Robin often has folks rolling in the aisle while learning about life in the land of the Cajuns or her days living in a tin house overseas.She has a BS in Environmental Science and an AAS in Electronics, which is a story in itself.


Jessica Phillips is originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.  After college, Jessica enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served 5 years’ active duty as an Ejection Seat Mechanic for AV8B Harriers and deployed twice in support of the conflicts in Iraq.  Jessica served an additional 2 years in the reserves of the USMC.  After the Marine Corps Jessica was hired as a Park Ranger for North Carolina State Parks, at Kerr Lake State Recreation Area.  During her time as a park ranger at Kerr Lake SRA, she attended graduate school at North Carolina State University in the Parks, Recreation, Sport, and Tourism Management program.  From NCSU she graduated with a Master’s Degree in Parks, Recreation, Sport, and Tourism Management.  After 6 years at Kerr Lake State Recreation Area, Jessica transferred to William B. Umstead State Park, where she still currently works.  During her time in the division Jessica has created local radio, newspaper articles, and web articles called “Ask a Ranger”.  This forum allows the public to ask park rangers questions about many aspects of our job, the environment, and the parks in general. Additionally, Jessica created two museum exhibits called “Eye Spy with my Park Ranger Eye” that displayed the amazing photography talents of many of the staff in the North Carolina State Parks Division.  Jessica is currently putting together a series for a podcast “Ask a Ranger” that will be an extension of the Ask a Ranger articles currently found on the NC State Parks website. 


Nadia Singh is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at North Carolina State University and an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Oregon. She earned her BA in Biology from Harvard University, her PhD in Biological Sciences at Stanford University, and did a postdoc at Cornell University. Her research focuses on the genetics of evolution, and she relies primarily on fruit flies as a model system. Outside of work, she enjoys running (ok, jogging), cooking (ok, eating), drinking IPAs (no caveat here, it’s a true story), and playing board games with her two daughters (but not Monopoly because that game is awful and she doesn’t want to raise a pair of mercenary capitalists).

Earlier Event: March 21
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Later Event: May 2
St. Louis - Eclipse