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Meet Our Team

  • Brynn Benson

    Field Instructor

    Brynn was born and raised near Scranton, PA but has found her true home among the hills after completing her undergraduate degree at West Virginia University. During her time at WVU, Brynn was a trip leader for Adventure WV First Year Trips. She's so excited to transfer her knowledge to Science Adventure School and our rising 6th graders! In her spare time, Brynn loves whitewater kayaking, traveling, hiking, watching The Great British Baking Show and reading Harry Potter! Brynn firmly believes in #vestlifebestlife!

  • David Billups

    Program Assistant, The Science Behind the Sport

    Dave Billups is working as a Program Assistant for West Virginia University’s The Science Behind The Sport (SBS) program. Dave recently obtained a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from WVU. Experiential and outdoor education have paralleled Dave’s academic journey. Beginning as a trip leader in the Adventure WV program at WVU, and culminating in developing and delivering STEM curriculum with the SBS program, Dave has accrued 6 years of experience working in experiential education. While Dave is involved in many outdoor recreation activities, he prefers anything water or backcountry related. He finds fulfillment in helping young people connect with their community and develop awareness of the world around them.

  • Emily Denton

    Environmental Educator

    Hi, my name is Emily Denton, and I am a recent graduate of Ohio University where I studied Geology. I am so excited to be working at Science Adventure School as an Environmental Educator. This is such a unique opportunity to educate children using the great outdoors and showing them just how awesome it is to be a scientist! I love rocks, reading, hiking, tennis, and relaxing in nature whenever I get the chance. Fun fact: My favorite mineral is Galena (PbS), and my favorite rock type is igneous. Volcanoes rule!

  • Andrew Hoover

    Assistant Director, Strategic Youth Development

    Andrew Hoover is the Assistant Director of the Strategic Youth Development Initiative at WVU. Andrew, a native of Bridgeport WV, is a graduate of the WVU Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. Andrew has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor is Business Administration. He has been working in the field of STEM education and adventure programming since 2012 as the Program Director of the WVU Science Behind the Sport. In his free time, Andrew enjoys cycling (both mountain and road) and hiking with his fiancé Cheyenne and their dogs Kyra and Axel.

  • Ali Jeney

    Director

    (304) 293-7190

    Ali began her journey in experiential and outdoor education in 2008 while pursuing her BA degrees at WVU in Environmental Geoscience and International Studies. Since, Ali has worked as a geologist, guide, and educator while pursuing her MA in secondary science education completed in 2018. Ali enjoys a variety of outdoor pursuits, but her favorites are backpacking and canoeing. Her passions include using the outdoors to empower and inspire inquiry in young people and teaching science through experiential learning. She firmly believes that there is a scientist in everyone, and she’s determined to help our WV children discover this within themselves.

  • Megan Kruger

    Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator

    (304) 293-7009

    Megan Kruger is the Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator for the West Virginia Water Research Institute where she works to develop and implement curriculum for outreach and educational programs. Megan attended West Virginia University where she earned her B.S. degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Resource Management. During her time at WVU, she focused on environmental education, conservation, and wildlife biology. She is currently finishing her master’s degree in environmental education. Megan is a West Virginia native and has over seven years of experience teaching science. Her passion is to promote and encourage science understanding, awareness of local ecosystems, and citizen science.

  • Haley Miller

    Environmental Educator

    I recently graduated with my B.S in ecology and will be starting my masters in conservation biology in January. This past summer I worked as a tour guide at an organic farm which is where my passion for being involved in experiential education began. I love exploring and learning about nature, with a soft spot for wetland and freshwater ecosystems. I love learning with and teaching kids about our environment even more!

  • Alice Morgan

    Graduate Assistant

    Alice has been working as an outdoor educator since her freshman year of college at Berry College. After earning a Masters degree from the University of Edinburgh, she worked for Shenandoah University directing their outdoor and sustainability program. She is currently a PhD student in WVU's Recreation Parks & Tourism program, where she loves learning about new ways to get people excited about nature. When she's not studying or working as a graduate assistant for the Science Adventure School, Alice enjoys spending time outdoors, knitting, making stain glass windows, and gardening.

  • Donna Peduto

    Science Adventure School Project Advisor

    Donna Peduto currently serves as Executive Director of the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative. The WVPEC is a non-partisan collaborative of diverse state and national leaders championing awareness and support of public schools through outreach, innovation, and convening of stakeholders.Under Peduto’s leadership, the WVPEC has convened three Legislators’ Forums on Education and the Economy and the inaugural Focus Forward: Preparing Today for the West Virginia of Tomorrow summit. Peduto brings a vast background and extensive expertise in education to the Science Adventure School team. Please click on her name above to see her Full Bio.

  • Braxton Rhodes

    Field Instructor

    My name is Braxton Rhodes, and I love to provide youth with the opportunity to develop their character into good moral standards through outdoor adventure programs! My passion of the outdoors started with the Boy Scouts of America where I learned the importance of our Scout Oath & Law, citizenship, and leadership. Now at the age of 22, I have worked 4 summers at one of the BSA's national High Adventures Bases, the Summit Bechtel Reserve. Being the youngest in a family with 6 children, I had the blessing to live in the Middle East and also travel to over 25 different countries. Living overseas allowed me to further my abilities in violin and piano, and even taught myself to beat box. Furthermore, I had the pleasure to train with the Qatar Olympic Swim Team and with their dressage team at the royal horse stables. When I'm not in West Virginia, I live at home in Virginia with my wonderful mother and oldest brother; there, I work part time at a golf course while taking online classes for Business Management. Currently my vision is to one day work full time in High Adventure programs within the BSA and continue to sustain great partnerships like the Science Adventure School; where experiential education, youth leadership, and paragon role-models are abundantly available and help train future upstanding citizens.

  • Chris Sherman

    Field Instructor

    From Greenbelt, MD. I've worked at the summit for 5 years, doings things from program guiding, base camp operations, and a program manager. I've also worked in media and video. Every year I come back to WV to enjoy the people and area and could have never imagined seeing myself here 5 years ago.

  • Katie Smith

    Field Instructor

    I joined the Science Adventure School program following my third season leading for Adventure West Virginia, where I took great pride in leading incoming WVU freshmen on weeklong expeditions around our beautiful state. I studied Psychology at West Virginia University, and am now adoring the experience facilitating education and adventure for our middle schoolers. In my spare time I enjoy backpacking, whitewater kayaking, cooking, and spending time with my dog, Frank. I love to travel and experience different cultures and have lived all over the country but I currently reside in Pittsburgh, PA. I love working for this program and am excited to see where this experience will take me next in life!

  • Dan Sweeney

    Communications and Multimedia Specialist

    Dan has been telling the stories of many departments at West Virginia University since becoming a Mountaineer himself in the fall of 2010. He earned his bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism in 2013. From the excitement operating a live camera on football and basketball game days, to producing content for student programs like the Carruth Center for student counseling, Campus Recreation, the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, and Adventure WV, Dan has been a video and content producer for nearly a decade. After freelancing in the world of combat sports journalism, Dan returned to WVU to work with aspiring undergraduate communicators, and now to assist the efforts of the Science Adventure School.

  • Austin Tank

    Field Instructor

    Austin graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management. During his studies, he participated in the student chapter of The Wildlife Society and the National Wild Turkey Federation. At yearly 4-H Environmental Field Days, Austin taught mammal identification, trapping, and bird banding techniques. He researched ruffed grouse drumming surveys as a senior and took a brief position sampling wetland amphibians. Other workplace experience includes caretaking a greenhouse, maintaining a vivarium, and most recently as an outdoor skills merit badge counselor for the Summit Bechtel Reserve. His favorite activities include camping, hiking, snowboarding, skateboarding, fishing, and stargazing. Austin is excited about working with Science Adventure School to share his passion and knowledge of the outdoors with others.

  • Molly Wong

    STEM Instructor

    Molly is a WVU Science Adventure School STEM Instructor who has been fortunate enough to travel the world far and wide picking up knowledge about the Earth and its inhabitants as she goes. Molly has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina Charlotte and has spent her career in fields such as running Sailboat Charters as a "live aboard", in Training & Development, as a Professional Ski Instructor, a Mountain Guide and as a Business Consultant across the country. Molly spends her time snorkeling reefs, x country mountain biking, backpacking and volunteering. Her current passion is sharing her time and expertise with Students and their Teachers while taking them on a journey of high adventure learning!

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