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Elon Explorers is staffed by a group of individuals who share a passion for making science real, relevant, and meaningful. We include university professors and researchers, classroom teachers, and Elon University undergraduates. We all share a commitment to the belief that anyone can be a scientific thinker, wonderer, creator, and explainer.


Associate Professor of Education

Dr. Mark Enfield initially studied physics, but after college became interested in informal science education. Mark earned his doctorate at Michigan State University. His research focuses on how people learn to explain phenomena. Mark has experience teaching Preschool through College and holds North Carolina licenses in Elementary Education and Middle Grades Science. 

Associate Professor of Biology and Japheth E. Rawls Professor

Dr. Jen Hamel studies insect behavior, ecology, and evolution, as well as what students learn and gain when they do scientific research. Jen started working with students in bug camps during the summer before she started grad school. She earned her doctorate in biology at the University of Missouri, and she has co-authored a book on insects and science for middle-school students.


Lead Teacher

Melaine Rickard has always loved to learn–about everything. She has been a teacher for 29 years, all of which teaching grades 6-8. She is certified to teach language arts, social studies, science, and AIG. She also teaches exercise classes at the local YMCA! Melaine has worked with students in classrooms and in summer camps, beginning the summer before she started college at Elon. She has a master’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and holds National Board Certification in Early Adolescent Science. 

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