Blog Reader Bios

The Impact of Google Earth

Nancy White

Founder of Full Circle Associates, Nancy helps organizations connect through online and offline strategies.  Nancy is an online interaction designer, facilitator and coach for distributed communities of practice, online learning, distributed teams and online communities. She has a special interest in the NGO/NPO sector. Nancy blogs at> as well as teaches, presents and writes on online facilitation and interaction, social architecture and social media (> She is co-author with Etienne Wenger and John Smith of “Digital Habitats: stewarding technology for communities.” ( Nancy confesses to online interaction, learning and chocolate addictions. She lives in Seattle with her husband and has two grown sons and granddaughter.

Caroline Swartz

Dr. Swartz is Clinical Professor of Economics in the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte.  She earned her undergraduate degree in Math at SUNY Fredonia and she earned the MA and PhD at Duke, She has taught at Notre Dame, Emory University in Atlanta, and Aurora University and Roosevelt University in the Chicago area.

In addition to her academic credentials, Dr. Swartz has over 20 years of industry experience.  At BellSouth, she was one of the original members of the international subsidiary.   At Motorola, Dr. Swartz created a major accounts team to increase market share with the largest customers worldwide.  In addition to working at two Fortune 100 companies, Dr. Swartz has worked for a start-up, at Chicago Public Radio, and as an independent consultant.

Cynthia Gerst

Public Policy 1990. Cynthia Gerst grew up in New York City and graduated from Stuyvesant High School, a public math & science magnet school. Her professional experience includes consumer finance and underwriting in Baltimore, Maryland, as well as commercial equipment leasing and corporate financial analysis in Columbus, Ohio. Currently she’s a project manager with Ohio’s Department of Transportation, working in their Office of Innovation, Partnerships, & Energy.
Outside of work:
– her daughter and son are in kindergarten and she manages the web site for the city’s mothers of twins club with over 500 members
– she is a member of Toastmasters
– she is on the board of National Church Residences, a national non-profit providing affordable senior housing and innovative health care solutions.

Lee Miller

Lee Miller graduated from Southern Methodist University and went on to earn a Masters degree in Forestry from Yale and a Ph.D. in Physiological Plant Ecology from Duke.  He’s been a professor at Cornell University and an Editor for journals published by the Ecological Society of America.

Kirk Thompson

Kirk majored in Political Science & French at Duke, and went on to get his MBA in Marketing at Emory/Goizueta Business School – and has worked on both the advertising agency side of the world as well as the corporate and brand side of the world.   He’s been fortunate enough to work directly with or projects with some of the biggest brands in the world:  Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Hilton Hotels.  From advertising to public relations to promotional programs with the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, the Grammys and Tonys and Disney, Sony and Universal films.  All in all:  a career where form AND substance, visuals and words…  all matter.  Born and raised on the east coast, from DC to Florida, he now lives with his family in California.

The Billion Dollar Problem of Aquatic Invasive Species

Richard Merritt

I have been a medical or science writer at Duke University for the last 21 years: the first 18 in the News Office of Duke University Medical Center, and currently in the Communications Office at the Pratt School of Engineering. Prior to that, I was a writer and editor for the North Carolina Public Television network. I have also served as editor of the Garner News, and science reporter for the Oak Ridger Newspaper in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Earned BA degree in English from Earlham College, Richmond, Ind