THE EXECUTIVE TEAM
E. Rick Copeland is Founder and CEO/President of Global Health Connections International, a 501c3 public charity, headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina. GHCI’s vision is to build a pipeline of global STEM professionals and students who collaborate with communities to improve basic living conditions.
Copeland believes, "The GHCI Summer STEAM Camp provides both fun and challenging activities for students." Looking Forward with STEM programs expose and promote integrative learning that will prepare the next generation of traditionally underserved and underrepresented students with skills to become the next generation of STEM professionals.
"With the financial support from our generous sponsors, we have expanded our STEM outreach to Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Guilford, Halifax, Martin, Nash, Robeson, Vance, Warren and Wilson and Counties. We will have a great camp and will prepare young North Carolinians with the foundational skills to become better students and the next STEAM professionals."
Executive Camp Director
DeVetta Holman Copeland, PhD is the Executive Camp Director. She is a professionally trained health educator at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; where she earned both her undergraduate and Masters degrees in Public Health from the Gillings School of Global Public Health. DeVetta earned her Ph.D. degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. It is her dissertation, “Perception Analytics of an In-depth Observational Analysis of 6th Grade African American Male Students' Personal Agency, emphasizing self-concept and its relevance to personal agency in the classroom, which propels her to educate, mentor and affirm the lived experiences of historically marginalized students. Her work supports the premise that academic achievement, critical thinking and high expectations converge to shift the paradigm in developing and molding future 21st century STEM leaders. Dr. Holman’s expertise in coaching, mentoring, and advising students in their academic success at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will be an asset to campers and counselors at the Exxon Mobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp..
Willis R. Foster, Camp Program Director has more than 21 years of science and technology experience under his belt. After graduating from North Carolina Central University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Foster has nurtured his STEM experience in the Research Triangle Park. After years of mentoring and teaching young adults math and science, he created curriculum guides and lesson plans for students ranging from middle school to college. Foster as a Kennan Fellow, has also cultivated his STEM skills outside of the classroom by working with Integrated Laboratory Systems, where he created, audited and inspected laboratory facilities. Foster continues to instruct middle and high school students in math and science education programs. He aids students with SAT preparations and was an advisor for the Team America Rocketry Competition—exhibiting how he goes the extra mile to mentor youth. When Foster is not in the classroom, you can usually find him on the soccer field coaching Kestrel Heights School students where he is currently a science teacher.