The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Governor's Schools


Dr. George Siopsis, Director

Dr. George SiopsisGeorge 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.

Jessica Brannon, Program Coordinator

Jessica BrannonJessica Brannon is the program coordinator for the Governor’s Schools for the Sciences and Engineering. She grew up right here in East Tennessee just up the road in Powell, Tennessee. She graduated from UT Chattanooga in 2006 where she received her BS majoring in both Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Before coming to work at UT Knoxville, she worked in both advertising sales and insurance. In May 2008 she began working at the University Center where she was the reservationist for the UC event services. In February 2013 she began her current position working for GSSE.

Carmel Cordero, Resident Director

Carmel CorderoCarmel Cordero is a native of Knoxville. Since earning her B.S in Elementary Education at David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University) in 1982, her professional career has included K-12 assignments in public, private and independent schools in Tennessee. Her current position is at The Webb School, an independent boarding and day school, in Bell Buckle, Tennessee. Her career focus is training students with mild to moderate learning differences to excel to their highest potential. Her position at Webb also includes being a residential life staff member and the dorm head one of the girls' dormitories.

Keaton Stamps, Associate Resident Director

Keaton StampsKeaton Stamps is a University of Tennessee alumnus, having graduated in 2016 with a B.S. in Mathematics and a Tennessee Teacher License. His current position is as an eighth grade mathematics teacher at Lewisburg Middle School. His pedagogical focus is on making mathematics relevant and, when possible, enjoyable to his students. To this end, he continually experiments with different educational strategies from classroom gamification to mathematics riddles. Outside the classroom, he organizes twice-weekly meetings of his school's Dungeons & Dragons Club, which he founded to help students with non-traditional hobby interests come to view school as a place in which they all belong.


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System