New Jersey

Santford Overton

My interest in the biological sciences and ultimately in photography was spawned during my tenure at both East Carolina University and Virginia Tech where I received my M.S. and Ph.D., respectively. While at East Carolina I met Professor Charles Bland who had a profound influence on my career. His provocative yet practical approach to teaching courses in Non-Vascular Plants, Mycology and Electron Microscopy fascinated me and piqued my curiosity to investigate structure-function relationships at the sub-cellular level. My interest in microscopy continued at Virginia tech where I studied the physiological and ultrastructural effects of sterol-inhibiting fungicides on apple leaves and the apple scab fungus.

While a Ph.D. student I served as an assistant to the Dean of Resident Instruction at the College of Agriculture and was an advisor for incoming freshmen, guiding them into disciplines which best suited their interests and capabilities. Following receipt of my doctoral degree I entered the industrial arena whereby I worked in several different capacities including as an Electron Microscopist at a biotech Company in Cambridge, MA that was researching how to make a generic living skin equivalent for burn victims and blood vessels for transplantation into diabetic patients. Although my jobs in industry were satisfying I missed the intrigue of the student interactions that I had previously experienced.

My first full time teaching position was at Bergen Academies, a magnet school for students who excelled in math and science. For the last sixteen years I have taught courses in Biology, Forensic Science both at the middle and high school levels.

I have been recognized for my contributions to the field of education as an award recipient from the College of New Jersey for Outstanding Educators in 2009, and in 2011 I was rewarded with Teacher of the Year at Robbinsville High School in Robbinsville, New Jersey. Photography is not so unlike microscopy although it has open the door to the surrounding world rather than on a sub-cellular level. I believe that through my travels and prior education and industry experiences have enable me to gain valuable practical experiences and a deeper appreciation for the natural world that are translatable in wonderful pictorial representations.