Faculty Information

Principal Investigator (PI)

Dr. Stephen Bismarck, Department of Education Chair, Associate Professor of Middle/Secondary Mathematics Education,  (sbismarck@uscupstate.edu)

Dr. Stephen Bismarck holds a B.S. in applied mathematics and a M.A.T with emphasis in mathematics education from Coastal Carolina University and a Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Georgia. Before entering higher education, Dr. Bismarck taught high school mathematics at Clarke Central High School (Athens, GA) and middle school mathematics at Silver Sands Middle School (Port Orange, FL). His primary responsibility at USC Upstate is in the preparation of middle and high school mathematics teachers. Dr. Bismarck’s research interests center on the development of conceptual understanding in pre-service and in-service teachers and the integration of technology in the 6 – 12 mathematics classroom. His research has been published in leading mathematics education journals (Mathematics Teacher, Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, and the Journal for Research on Technology in Education), the MathMate (South Carolina Math Teacher Journal), and in two book chapters.

Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PIs)

Dr. Christopher Bender, Associate Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Chris Bender is a graduate of Cornell University, where he received a Master of Science and Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry, and the University of Central Florida, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. Dr. Bender teaches general chemistry lectures and labs as well as inorganic chemistry. His professional interests include inorganic chemistry, materials science and chemical education with research focused on creating nanoparticles of various morphologies.

Dr. Kimberly Shorter, Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Kim Shorter graduated from Converse College with Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and chemistry. Dr. Shorter attended the University of South Carolina where she earned a Ph.D. in biological sciences and did postdoctoral research at the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Shorter teaches several courses at USC Upstate, including Introductory Biology I, Introductory Biology I Lab, Cell and Molecular Biology Lab, Histology, and Neurobiology. Her research interests center around the effects of dietary components on the epigenetic status of human neuronal cell lines.

Mr. Ryan Harper, Instructor, Division of Mathematics and Computer Science

Mr. Ryan Harper joined the University of South Carolina Upstate faculty in 2016 as a mathematics instructor and director of tutoring for mathematics and computer science. Mr. Harper graduated from Presbyterian College with a Bachelor of Science in physics, having completed an honors research project in electroacoustics. He later studied acoustics at Pennsylvania State University before changing tracks and earning a Master of Science in statistics from Clemson University. While at Clemson, he was the data analyst for the Academic Success Center and presented posters about the efficacy of the ASC’s services at two institutional research conferences. After graduating from Clemson, he taught statistics courses at Spartanburg Community College and worked as a business analyst for American Credit Acceptance in Spartanburg. In 2013, he joined the faculty at Spartanburg Community College full-time, working as a mathematics instructor and later as academic director of technology and training for mathematics.

Mrs. Nancy Addison, Adjunct Professor for the Department of Education (Science Education)

Nancy Addison began her education career as a secondary science teacher specifically teaching chemistry and physics from introduction level through Advanced Placement. She transitioned to Science Specialist for two large school districts in North Carolina with the focus on teacher preparedness through professional development and mentoring. After receiving a post-Master Graduate Certificate in Curriculum and Supervision from University of North Carolina at Charlotte she became Director of Secondary Education and later, Director of STEM Education for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. A few of her job responsibilities included coordinating and conducting professional development for teachers, evaluating and implementing new curriculum materials and monitoring and assessing ongoing educational grants in the district. In 2018, she retired from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and relocated to Lyman, SC and began teaching at USC Upstate. In addition to teaching clinical and science methods courses at Upstate, she has turned her hobby of making pottery into a small business. Her functional pottery can be found in several retail locations throughout the state.

Mr. Kelly Crow, Administrative Assistant for Field Experiences, (kcrow2@uscupstate.edu)

Mr. Kelly Crow is the Administrative Assistant for Field Experiences for the College of Education, Human Performance and Health. He also serves USC Upstate as a Title IX Investigator. Kelly graduated from UNC Chapel Hill where he obtained a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. As a student he worked in the UNC Sekelsky Fly Lab, where he researched genetic factors of meiotic division in fruit flies. Afterwards he worked at the Syngenta Advanced Crop Lab located in Durham, NC where he researched genetic resistance to fungal pathogens in soybeans.

Spartanburg Community College Partners

Mrs. Sarah Kitts, Academic Director of Teacher Education, Instructor

Mrs. Sarah Kitts holds a BS in Mathematics Education from Appalachian State University and a Masters in Mathematics Education from Western Carolina University. She began her education career as a secondary mathematics teacher at Owen High School (Black Mtn, NC). After moving to SC, she taught mathematics at Lexington Middle School (Lexington, SC) and Byrnes High School (Duncan, SC) as well as becoming an adjunct professor for Spartanburg Community College. In 2013, she joined Spartanburg Community College full-time becoming Director of Teacher Education in 2015. She teaches mathematics, education and elementary math education courses at SCC.

Mrs. Linda Schmidt, SCC Mathematics Department Chair

Dr. Brandon Kinley, SCC Science Department Chair