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Our Educators

Some of our academic leads and advisors.

Our team of professors, instructors, and researchers fully engage and immerses students in their chosen topic. They are driven by solving today’s global challenges while educating tomorrow’s leaders. Among them, you’ll discover accomplished primatologists, marine biologists, environmental scientists, social workers, journalists and outdoor professionals. What is more, they all have a passion for study abroad and guiding applied learning, both in and beyond the classroom.

Check out our accomplished professors’ bios and CVs below.


Carson Phillips

Ph.D. Candidate - University of Florida

Carson has previously taught our Primate Behavior and Conservation program in Costa Rica. She is currently a Ph.D candidate at UF and part of a multi-million dollar National Science Foundation grant called PCP PIRE. Aside from doing her research, she is developing a broader impact project that aims to get grade school and high school students involved in science. She also currently teaches Biology and Primate Behavior and Conservation at the University of Florida. She has spent time researching and working on primates and parasite collection in Nicaragua, Suriname & Guyana in South America, as well as in Alto Chagres, Panama.

  • Education
  • University of Florida, FL - Biological Anthropology/Primatology - MA
  • University of Arizona, AZ - Major Athropology, Minor Psychology - BA
  • Research Interests
  • Carsons research interest focuses on the ecology and evolution of parasites and infectious diseases. More specifically, she is driven by questions surrounding how disturbance to the ecosystem (e.g., dams, urbanization, hurricanes) affects parasites and infectious diseases on a landscape scale. This information will help assess risk of infection for human and wildlife populations, as well as apply preventative measures to control deadly outbreaks.
  • Publications
  • Phillips CR (2011) Biodiversity Conservation: A new approach to prevent deadly zoonotic disease transmission (Presentation). Biodiversity Seminar Workshop - Ancient and Modern Biodiversity of Panama 13-15 October 2011. University of Chiriqui, Panama.
  • Phillips CR and Boinski S (2008) Preliminary hypothesis of mechanisms and functions in squirrel monkey and brown capuchin mixed-species associations in a Guianan Plateau Forest. The Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation 9-13 June 2008. Paramaribo, Suriname.
  • Phillips CR and Boinski S (In Prep Summer 2011) Changes in foraging behaviors as an indicator to presence of foraging benefits within a New World primate mixed-species association.
  • Frechette J, Phillips CR, Dalton E, Robichaux E, and Townsend J (In Prep Summer 2011) Survey of the gastrointestinal parasites of semi-urban vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus pygerythrus).

James McConnell

Lecturer of Spanish - North Carolina State University

James branched out from working as an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona to join us for 4 years teaching several programs all over the globe. He has since progressed to his current position as a lecturer of Spanish at North Carolina State University. He spends his summers in Segovia, Spain leading the NCSU summer study abroad program that he developed. He has just been awarded 'Outstanding Lecturer of the Year' by NCSU, and has been nominated for it again!

  • Education
  • University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - Hispanic Literature - MA
  • University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - Spanish language with minor in Business Administration - BA
  • Research Interests
  • Current interests include curriculum and technology development for the foreign language classroom as well as second language acquisition
  • Program developer and coordinator for a month long study abroad program in Segovia, Spain since 2007

Michelle Cornejo

Professor of Photography - The Art Institute Raleigh-Durham

  • Education
  • Savannah College of Art and Design - Photography - MFA
  • Loyola University, LA - Communications with a concentration in Photojournalism - BA
  • Research Interests
  • Social issues & indigenous culture.
  • Publications
  •, NYU, documentary photography December 2011
  • Old Savannah City Mission 2011 Calendar, Savannah, GA October 2010
  • Skirt! Magazine, Savannah, GA, editorial photography September 2009
  • La Voz Latina latin newspaper, Savannah, GA, photographic essay November 2008 on the Amazonian town of Sarayaku
  • Desotorow Gallery, Savannah, GA, "One for the Row" April 2009, April 2010
  • TruSpace Gallery, Savannah, GA, “Important Works” exhibition November‐December 2007
  • Red Gallery, Savannah, GA, “Small Works” Exhibition November‐December 2006

Michelle Gravatt

Works for the Department of Romance Languages & Literature - University of North Carolina

  • Education
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC - Romance Languages (Spanish) - PhD
  • Auburn University, AL - Master of Hispanic Studies - MA
  • Auburn University, AL - International Trade/ Spanish - BA
  • Colegio de España, Salamanca, Spain - Certificate of Studies
  • Research Interests
  • Medieval Spanish Literature/Colonial Literature, Spanish for the Professions (Business, Health, Law, Journalism, Education), CIBERs (Center for International Business Education and Research)
  • Dissertation: “The Arenga in the Literature of Medieval Spain,” April 2007 Abroad trips led: Costa Rica (2009), Mexico (2008, 2009), Ecuador(2010) Adviser for campus chapter of Sigma Delta Pi , Spanish National Honor Society
  • Publications
  • Conference presentations:
  • "Integrating Business Skills with Language Skills in the L2 Classroom: A Case Study for Negotiations." CIBER Conference, University of Florida, 2008
  • Session Chair: “Pilgrims and Saints in Castile.” Carolina Conference on Romance Literatures, 2006
  • “The Sword as Symbol and Nexus in Amadís de Gaula.” Carolina Conference on Romance Literatures, 2005
  • Reviewer of Conference Proposals:
  • 2012 CIBER Conference, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 2006 Carolina Conference on Romance Literatures (re: Spanish Medieval, Golden Age, and Colonial Literature)

Mike Hoover

Assistant Professor of Recreation - Henderson State University

  • Education
  • University of Arkansas, AR - Recreation and Sport Management - Ed.D.
  • University of Montana, MT - Wilderness Management - Graduate Certificate
  • University of Arkansas, AR - Recreation Management - M.Ed.
  • Texas Tech University, TX - B.G.S.
  • Research Interests
  • Outdoor recreation visitor experiences utilizing qualitative methods
  • Leadership development and peer evaluation, particularly in outdoor recreation programming
  • Natural resource recreational impacts and management techniques
  • Community and economic contributions of municipal trail systems
  • Publications
  • Papers
  • Hoover, M.D. & Langsner, S. (2010). Natural Setting as a Third Dimension of Flow. Submitted for publication.
  • Conference Presentations
  • Hoover, M.D. (2010, November). Understanding National Park Visitor Experiences Through Backcountry Register Analysis. Paper presented at the conference of Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, Keystone, CO.
  • Dirksen, S., & Hoover, M.D. (2010, February). Fayetteville Trails: An Economic Impact Analysis. Paper presented at the conference of Arkansas Recreation and Parks Association, Fort Smith, AR.
  • Hoover, M.D., & Vogler, J.W. (2009, January). How are we using peer evaluations? An assessment of the tool in outdoor program and leadership development evaluation. Paper presented at the Texas Outdoor Leadership Conference, Huntsville, TX.
  • Hoover, M.D., & Hazelrigs, J. (2008, April). Sessions of Success. Presentation at the conference of the National Intramural - Recreational Sports Association, Austin, TX.

Phillip Gravinese

Ph.D. Candidate - Florida Institute of Technology

Phillip taught our Sea Turtle Ecology and Conservation program in Costa Rica. He is currently a Ph.D candidate at Florida Institute of Technology focusing on crustacean larval biology. He has worked as an adjunct professor in Oceanography for Brevard College, and was also the Environmental Science Academy Director for Heritage High School, Brevard. He recently won the John Beakley Educator of the Year Award, and has also been nominated for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

  • Education
  • Florida Institute of Technology, FL - Marine Biology - MA
  • Florida Institute of Technology, FL - Marine Biology - BSc
  • Publications
  • Gravinese, P.M. and R.A. Tankersley.2011.Marine Biology. Behavioral basis for depth regulation in the Florida stone crab, Menippe Mercenaria. (in prep).
  • Gravinese, P.M. and R.A. Tankersley.2011.Journal of Crustacean Biology.The cost of delayed metamorphosis in the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus.(in prep).
  • Krimsky, L., Gravinese, P.M., Epifanio, C. and R.A. Tankersley.2009. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. The timing of larval release from different tidal regimes in the Florida Stone crab, Menippe Mercenaria.
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