The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Governor's Schools

Resident Assistants

Donald Black

Donald Black Hi! My name is Don Black and I am a Senior here at the University of Tennessee in Business Analytics. I attended GSSE in 2013 and had a really great experience, and I look forward to helping to make sure you have a good one as well! A lot of my time these past few years have been taken up by hiking, reading, basketball, policy and advocacy: for sustainability, diversity and food. I have a passion for inspirational rhetoric and for figuring out how things work, and then using ideas and analytics to figuring out how we can do them better. Writing this bio has been weird for me, I remember reading the different RA's bios when I went to GSSE. This will be my second year as an RA.

Annastashia Blesi

Annastashia Blesi My name is Annastashia Blesi. I come from a small town called Atoka, TN. I am a Physics major with a concentration in Astronomy. I am also a Resident Assistant for University of Tennessee Housing. I am excited to be a Governor's School RA, especially because my RA from Governor's School for Prospective Teaching was so awesome, and I want to help high school students really achieve something with their experiences this summer.

Cheyanne Croft

Cheyanne Croft Hi! My name is Cheyanne Croft, and I am a Junior at Maryville College. I am double majoring in Biochemistry and Business Management. I never had the opportunity of attending GSSE in high school, but I had a similar opportunity with Maryville College as a Scots Science Scholar in 2014. Since starting college in 2014, I have been actively involved with different clubs on campus, including being Treasurer of both MC’s Chapter of American Chemical Society and the Tri Beta Biology Honors Society. When I’m not studying, or involved with club activities, you can find me working as a certified pharmacy technician at Walgreens. I have a strong passion for anything related to the medical world, especially pharmacy, and hope to get my Pharm.D/MBA after graduating from MC! Outside of school and work, I like to spend time with my family/friends, curl up with a good book, involved with different faith-based activities, or most likely, you’ll find me shopping.

William Hogue

William Hogue I am a Junior Chemistry major from Kingsport, TN. Although I started at UT as a business major I found science to be a far more interesting and useful field. Following graduation, I plan on attending optometry school pending acceptance. I enjoy doing anything in nature and always try to spend as much time as I can in the mountains. If I’m not in nature I’m probably hanging out a local coffee shop running, or spending way too much time in the library. While at UT I have furthered my interest in volunteer service with the Alternative Break Program. I have lead three Alternative Break Trips and will lead my fourth this May to Texas to focus on the relocation of the critically endangered Black Rhinos from South Africa. I also love to travel, and after Governors School I will be studying abroad at Cambridge for the remainder of the summer.

Alex Lempin

Alex Lempin This is my third year as a GSSE Resident Assistant. I started as a way to give back to the Governor's School program after attending in GSPT in 2012. A genuine love for the program has kept me coming back. In addition to GSSE, I have also served as a Resident Assistant for MTSU for three years.

Shcorey Shephard

Shcorey Shephard My government name is Shcorey Shepard, but you all can call me Tez. I am a rising sophomore here at UTK. I am currently majoring in Biology with a concentration in Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology. I am on a premed track and also a Spanish minor. I hope to go to medical school after UTK and eventually become an Obstetrician. In my free time, I enjoy playing volleyball and badminton, and if I am not doing one of those, you can catch me at Chick-fil-A or Jumba Juice or just watching some Netflix. I attended Governor's School for the Sciences in 2015, and I just could not resist returning. It is truly an honor and great opportunity to serve as a GSSE RA this year! God is such a gentleman. He is always opening doors for me. I can't wait to see everyone this Summer, but until then I'll leave you with my favorite quote: I don't like to gamble, but if there is one thing I am willing to bet on it's myself. -Yonce

Madeline Standbridge

Madeline Standbridge Hello! My name is Madeline Standbridge and I am a senior here at the University of Tennessee, majoring in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Microbiology and a minor in Public Health. I attended Governor's School for Emerging Technologies in 2013 and am so excited to be able to return as a Resident Assistant for GSSE this year! I spend most of my time attending UT sporting events, hiking, quoting movies, volunteering, and going to concerts. On campus, I am involved in Leadership and Service, SGA, my sorority, Gamma Sigma Sigma, and I just spent the last semester studying abroad in India, South Africa, and Brazil. I had a phenomenal time at Governor's School and cannot wait to experience it again this summer!

Jay Patel

Jay Patel Hello everyone! My name is Jay Patel, and I'm a junior double majoring in BCMB and Psychology. I'm so excited to be your RA for the Governors' School! I was born in Edison, New Jersey, and after moving around a bit, I finally moved to Crossville, TN and choose to come UT for college because of the amazing emphasis on research and volunteering here! On campus, I'm involved in things such as the Leadership & Service Ambassador and the Student Success Center. Off campus, I love volunteering in my community, running, and video editing. I look forward to spending time with all of you this summer!

Taylor Payne

Taylor Payne I am a sophomore at the University of Tennessee here in Knoxville. I grew up not too far away in Johnson City, TN. I am double majoring in Chemistry and Spanish and am part of the Chancellor’s Honors Program. My plan is to go to medical school once I graduate from UT. For the past year I have been pursuing my passion for science by doing chemical research in the Sharma group. We use a spectroscopic technique to detect physiological levels of neurotransmitters. Also, I am an undergraduate teaching assistant in an introductory biology lab. Each week I help international students practice English during Conversation Club, and I volunteer with various organizations in Knoxville. I spend my free time riding my bike, working out, playing guitar, and listening to music. I am very excited to get to know you and experience Governor’s School with you this summer!

Sarah Primm

Sarah Primm Hello, everyone! My name is Sarah Primm, and I am a senior here at the University of Tennessee. By the time we meet, I will have received my BA in English with a minor in Elementary Education. I am thrilled to be returning to UTK this fall to earn my Masters in Teacher Education while interning as a student teacher. I have been a Resident Assistant here on campus for three years now, and I could not pass up the opportunity to be an RA for such an amazing program at the school I love so much. Some of my great loves in life include reading British literature, drinking lots of green tea, working with children, and shopping.

Zachary Vitale

Zachary Vitale I'm currently a sophomore Business Management major with a Statistics minor at Maryville College; however, I went to MC on a STEM scholarship and held an interest for Computer Science. I held some student leadership positions in Student Government Association, Residence Hall Association, and was a national member of American Chemical Society and a member of Association for Computing Machinery. I went to a programming competition at Mercer University and helped with organizing and working numerous campus events through each club. I worked as a Resident Assistant for my sophomore year and I currently work as an SQA Tech at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Jerrica Wilson

Jerrica Wilson Hey guys! This will be my first year working with GSSE, so I'm very excited to get started and meet all of you. As a high school student, I enjoyed getting to discover the University of Tennessee through Riser math camp and hope to assist the students of GSSE in making their own unique and meaningful experiences. Currently, I am a junior Academic Physics major, considering a minor in Computer Science. I am involved in organizations such as Volunteer Team Athletic recruiting, National Society of Black Engineers, and College Democrats, as well as being employed by John C. Hodges Library. I'm from Nashville,TN and enjoy living here in Knoxville. I look forward to helping GSSE students learn and grow, as well as discover the benefits of a full collegiate career at UT.


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

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