S T A F F

richard

Richard L. Watkins, Ph.D. 

ceo/Founder

Richard earned his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) in Microbiology and Immunology with a speciality in Virology. Richard's research focused on the factors that influence disease progression in HIV infected patients. Prior to attending UNC-CH, Richard earned a bachelor degree in science in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Fayetteville State University, making him an extremely well rounded and dynamic scientist.

With a deep passion for service, Richard has extensive experience bridging the gap between the scientific enterprise and stake holders. 

Professional, Community and Honor Society Affiliations

Member, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society Board of Directors

Vice President, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society UNC-CH Chapter

Member, Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology

Member, Beta Kappa Chi National Scientific Honor Society

Member, Frank Porter Graham Graduate and Professional Student Honor Society

Laura Tollini, Ph.D.
 

SECRETARY

Laura is the current Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fellow in the Eshelman Institute for Innovation at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. In this role, she combines her background in biomedical research, initiative as a leader, and strength as a communicator to support students, post-docs, and faculty interested in commercializing their research. Prior to joining UNC as a fellow, Laura earned her doctorate in Genetics and Molecular Biology from UNC. Beyond the laboratory, Laura gained invaluable experience in policy and entrepreneurship through serving as an intern in the Business Technology Development group at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, and as a Research Associate at the North Carolina Office of Science, Technology & Innovation. Laura is also an active member of the RTP chapter of Women in Bio.

Tia Mareé Morgan

Staff

Tia Maree’ Morgan has a desire and determination to obtain her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology with a specialty of infectious disease. She obtained her Masters of Science of Biology with a concentration in Microbiology from North Carolina Central University in August 2014. There she studied the mechanism of antibiotic resistance in Neisseria Gonorrhoeae; specifically in regard to characterizing cell wall degrading enzymes. During her graduate studies, she also served as a graduate teaching assistant and taught microbiology lab.  Prior to NC Central, Tia earned her Bachelors of Science-Biology from Shaw University in Raleigh, NC May 2011; the first historically black college in the South. During undergrad she was given the opportunity to do bench work, and that is where she fell in love with the research side of science. Over a course of two summers, Tia was an intern at the National Institutes of Health. She was also a summer intern (2011) at North Carolina State University for the Department of Environmental & Molecular Toxicology.

Accomplishment, experience, affiliations include:

-Adjunct Professor at NC Central for General Biology-Non Science Majors

-Coordinator for six undergraduate Shepard scholar teaching assistants at NC Central University.

-Golden Key International Honor Society.

Calandra B. Jones


Website Designer

Calandra recently graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Urban Geography, and will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Urban Planning in the near future. Her past research includes using E.Coli mutants to assist in the development of a more sensitive receptor-based biosensor using Single Molecule Fluorescence Spectroscopy, as well as studying the circadian rhythms of plant species with potential agricultural applications. This past research positions her uniquely for the design of SPAN's website.

While her interests ultimately lie in urban planning and policy, Calandra has designed various websites in her spare time. Concentrating mostly on public and non-profit needs, Calandra takes on clients as time allows. For business inquiries, please email her at calandra.jones@live.com.

Natasha Wilson

treasurer

Natasha Wilson has been helping people succeed financially with Wells Fargo since 2012, where she currently works as a personal banker and loan officer. She has made people the focus of her work, relying on customer service skills and open dialogue to create unique action plans in order to reach business and personal financial goals. Prior to her time with Wells Fargo, Natasha studied Communications at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, serving as treasurer for Delta Psi Xi Fraternity and President of Cadence a Capella group. She currently attends Durham Technical Community College and will join the Wolf Pack of NC State in the fall to finish her bachelor’s in Psychology before applying to Graduate School upon completion. Her interests in mental health, the biological components of mental health, and mental health as it pertains to public health, have roots in social, medical, and biological science. Natasha hopes to further cultivate those interests as well as gain new insight and perspective into the progressive world of science with her participation in Science Policy Action Network.