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Administration

George Siopsis, Director

George Siopsis

George Siopsis is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Tennessee. He grew up in Greece and attended Sussex University in England where he got his B.Sc. degree majoring in mathematical physics. He did his graduate work at Caltech studying theoretical elementary particle physics, receiving his PhD in 1987. He then spent a few years as a research associate at Texas A&M University working on string theory before moving to Tennessee in 1991.

In recent years, his research has focused on quantum gravity and related issues (holography, entanglement, black holes and the information loss paradox), and applications to condensed matter physics. He has trained several PhD students who have embarked on promising careers, and introduced undergraduates as well as high school students to research in quantum physics and fundamental interactions. Currently, he is working on quantum computing and quantum information processing in collaboration with members of the Quantum Information Science group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.


Dr. Marisa Moazen, Director

Marisa Moazen is the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Engagement and the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research at the University of Tennessee. Reporting units to Dr. Moazen include the Office of Undergraduate Research, the Office of Community Engagement and Outreach, the Pre-college Research Excellence Programs, and Graduate Student and Postdoc Research Training; all of which have a focus on the broader impacts of the university’s research and land grant mission. She also maintains a faculty appointment in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. Prior to her appointment at the University of Tennessee, Moazen managed educational programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on behalf of Oak Ridge Associated Universities. Moazen earned her bachelor’s and master of business administration degrees from the University of Alabama and a doctoral degree from the University of Tennessee.


Audrey Sizemore, Program Coordinator

Audrey Sizemore is the Program Coordinator for Pre-College Research Excellence Programs (PREP), including the Governor’s School for the Sciences and Engineering. She graduated from Western Kentucky University with a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Geography. Originally from Eastern Kentucky, she recently moved back to this area after several years in West Texas working as an education and outreach coordinator for local environmental nonprofits. In her previous positions, she organized community events to promote environmental stewardship and coordinated educational programs for K-12 students. As PREP’s program coordinator, she works with staff to grow PREP events to be more accessible to Tennessee students in hopes to encourage the pursuit of pre-college research in STEM. Audrey has a passion for connecting students to futures in STEM degrees and careers, and is excited to be part of the Governor’s School for the Sciences and Engineering!


Jason Moody, Administrative Assistant

Jason is the Administrative Specialist for all Pre-College Research Excellence Programs at The University of Tennessee, including the Governor’s School for the Sciences & Engineering. Jason is from Lawrenceville, Georgia and attended The University of Georgia where he received his B.B.A. in Marketing in 2011. Before joining The University of Tennessee, Jason worked at the Tennessee Smokies minor league baseball team (AA Affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) located in Kodak, Tennessee. He began as an intern in the box office in 2012, then worked as an Account Executive and Group Sales Manager in the ticket sales department from 2013-2017. Starting in 2017, Jason stepped into the role of Special Events Manager with the Tennessee Smokies. In this role, he planned and implemented stadium events such as travel baseball tournaments, 5K road races, beer festivals, eSports events, business and corporate luncheons, holiday parties, and more. Jason is excited to step into a new role that will allow him to grow STEM education in the state of Tennessee!

Outside of work Jason enjoys cooking, reading, playing and watching soccer, as well as going on walks with his wife, Morgan, and two dogs, Shelby and Jenna.


Jared Smith, Resident Director

Hey everyone! I am very excited to go along for the ride with you this summer at Governor’s School. As of May, I will be/am a graduate of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. My degree is in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Microbiology and I have received a minor in Italian Language and Culture (Ciao Y’all!). I will be attending the University of Georgia as a PhD student in Microbiology this fall and hope to one day find a job in Microbiology Research. I have been a Resident Assistant at UT for 3 years for a variety of students including freshman, honors students, engineering majors, and upperclassman students. I was also a participant of GSSE in 2015. This Governor’s School program was by far the most influential pre-college experiences of my high school career! I was given the opportunity to return to GSSE as a Resident Assistant for the 2018 program and as the Associate Resident Director for the 2019 and 2020 programs! During my days at college, I spend most of my free time with my Microbiology research lab where I investigate antibiotic resistance through different growth conditions. Additionally, I love UT sports and spending time with my friends as well as playing tennis, volleyball, and badminton. I am looking forward to meeting you all and helping you reach your highest potential here at Governor’s School for the Sciences and Engineering!