ETSI UNIT LEADERS

ARRI EISEN

Arri Eisen is the Nat Robertson Distinguished Teaching Professor in Science & Society at Emory University.  He received his BS in biology with honors from UNC-Chapel Hill and his PhD in biochemistry from the UW-Seattle. His scholarship during his 30 years at Emory has engaged basic science, science and religion, science education, and bioethics; and he teaches undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs, and professionals across disciplines. Dr. Eisen is one of the founders of the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative and is the leader of the ETSI Biology group.

GILLIAN HUE, Ph.D.  

Gillian Hue is a lecturer in the Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology program at Emory College. Dr. Hue is also Senior Faculty Fellow in the Center for Ethics at Emory University where she serves as Program Associate in the Neuroethics program. Dr. Hue serves as Executive Managing Editor at the American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience (AJOB Neuroscience), one of the leading international academic journals devoted to the field of Neuroethics. She is dedicated to enhancing the academic experience of scientists and scholars from diverse backgrounds through research, professional development, mentoring, ethics and communication. Subsequent to her doctoral research in Neuroscience at Emory University, which focused on sleep, circadian rhythms and spinal dopamine, she pursued a postdoctoral fellowship in Science Education and Ethics, in the Program in Science and Society at Emory. Her dedication to outreach in neuroscience and ethics is focused through her development of curricula promoting science literacy and ethical engagement at a range of educational levels. Since 2009, Dr. Hue has worked with the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI) Neuroscience team to develop the curriculum and distance learning content; and as a teaching faculty member in the ETSI summer programs in India.  She is currently leading the Neuroscience track of the sustainability phase of ETSI.

JANE C. O'CONNOR

Jane O’Connor is the Director of the English Language Learning Program (ELLP) for Emory College of Arts and Sciences. During the course of her career she has lived and taught in England, Spain and the U.S., and it has been her pleasure to teach (and learn from!) students from all over the world. Working with the Tenzin Gyatso Science Scholars at Emory has been one of her greatest joys. Dr. Connor holds a B. A (Hons) in Sociology and English from Leicester University in England, a M.Ed TESOL  (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from The College of New Jersey, and an Ed.D in Learning, Leadership and Organizational Development from the University of Georgia.  In addition, she holds several national and international teaching certificates. Dr. Connor is also the author of the popular series of ESL books: English the American Way, Celebrate the American Way and College the American Way.

MEENA BALGOPAL

Meena Balgopal is professor of biology at Colorado State University, where she focuses on discipline-based educational research. Her training is diverse and spans agro-ecology, insect ecology, and science education. For the past 15 years she has been studying the role that instructional strategies have on learners’ scientific (especially, environmental) literacy. Dr. Balgopal's research interests center on “writing to learn,” group work, and place-based curricula. Her research is conducted in both formal (school and university science classrooms) and informal (citizen science, community gardens, NGO) settings.

NICOLE ACKERMAN

Nicole Ackerman is an Associate Professor of Physics at Agnes Scott College. She received her B.S. in Physics from MIT, where she engaged in particle physics research at CERN (in Switzerland) and SLAC (in California, USA). She completed her PhD in Physics in 2013 at Stanford University, where she performed research within Radiation Oncology.  Her research uses computational simulations to understand and improve new techniques in radiation-based cancer treatment and imaging.  Recently she has participated in an international collaboration led by Oxford University to design a targeted treatment to prevent metastatic brain cancer.  Her teaching ranges from Introductory Physics to Quantum Mechanics, though she cherishes teaching experimental skills and currently serves on the board of the Advanced Laboratory Physics Association (ALPhA).  She has taught in Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI) at Drepung Loseling since 2015, teaching the 2nd and 3rd year physics curriculum to monks and 1s to 3rd year physics curriculum to the nuns. Dr. Ackerman leads the ETSI Physics track for the Sustainability Phase.

NICOLE GERARDO

Nicole Gerardo is a professor in the Department of Biology at Emory University. Her laboratory’s research focuses on the ecology and evolution of host-microbe interactions. At Emory, she teaches undergraduate evolutionary biology and runs the undergraduate research for credit program. As part of ETSI, she has taught introductory biology and an introduction to research course. In her teaching, she is particularly interested in integrating authentic research experiences into classroom instruction. Dr. Gerardo co-leads the Research Training program of ETSI's Sustainability phase with Dr. Nusslock.

ROBIN NUSSLOCK

Robin Nusslock is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University where he serves as Director of the Affective & Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory. His research uses neuroscientific methods to investigate brain systems underlying human thought and emotion, and the involvement of these systems in mental and physical health. As part of ETSI, he has taught on the neuroscience of emotion and memory and he has a lifelong interest in the science of meditation. Dr. Nusslock co-leads the Research Training program of ETSI's Sustainability phase with Dr. Gerardo. 

TSONDUE SAMPHEL

Tsondue Samphel received his B.S. in physics from Emory College in 2006. Prior to that, he studied at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, India where he obtained his M.A. and B.A. equivalents in Buddhist studies. Tsondue joined Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI) as a translator-cum-research assistant in 2006. He has ever since been part of the ETSI and translated, reviewed and edited the ETSI primers. Tsondue is also involved in an ongoing effort to create and build up scientific lexicon in Tibetan. He is currently working as the international program coordinator for Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning (SEE Learning), a K-12 education program at Emory University to teach social, emotional and ethical intelligence to the students. He leads the Buddhism and Science Integration Unit of the ETSI Sustainability Phase.