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We are thrilled to work with a highly talented set of professionals who lead Graduate School courses (GRAD courses) through the CareerWell program!

Melissa GeilMelissa Geil

Melissa Geil teaches GRAD 715- Business Communication, and she holds the position of Clinical Assistant Professor of Management & Corporate Communication at the Kenan-Flagler Business School. Before she joined UNC Kenan-Flagler, she taught business communication, writing and literature in UNC’s Department of English and Comparative Literature, where received the Joseph Flora award for teaching excellence. Dr. Geil’s research engages professional communication topics including professional communication and disability inclusion/neurodiversity as well as entrepreneurial communication. She also consults with graduate students about careers off the tenure-track. Geil received her PhD in English from Vanderbilt University and earned a BA in economics and English from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Beth High

Beth High, M.Ed., is a senior consultant with Loeb Leadership Development Group, and she teaches GRAD 712 – Leadership in the Workplace. As a leadership development specialist Beth works from a core belief that demonstrating exemplary leadership: is possible for anyone, starts with a personal choice, and takes practice. Beth is a Certified Master Facilitator of The Leadership Challenge® and has worked around the globe introducing the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership model. She has developed several online programs including The Leadership Challenge® Online Workshop and L.I.V.E. Leading in the Virtual Environment®. These programs tap into the potential of online learning communities for follow-through, practice and professional development.  She and her partners created FollowThruOnline(TM) is a turnkey service that provides an Online Mentoring Hub for Professional Development Training. She worked closely with the authors on the 2nd edition of The Student Leadership Challenge®, and co-authored The Student Leadership Challenge Student WorkbookThe Student Leadership Challenge: Facilitation and Activity Guide, and The Student Leadership Challenge Activities Book newly released in 2014.

Beth is committed to the concept that leadership development is a process, not an event. Her consulting work specializes in the development and implementation of customized programs focused on continuing practice and commitment for leaders. Beth has worked with the School of Government at UNC to develop and deliver programs for local government employees, elected officials and judges. She has also worked with organizations in many different sectors including SAS (software development), the University of North Carolina (education), UBS (banking), and the NC Department of Transportation (state government) This work has taken her to Canada, The Middle East (Saudi and UAE), Asia, and South America. Beth has a compulsion to help maximize the leadership potential in everyone and finds equal opportunity in these arenas to identify and encourage leadership potential.

Her educational background includes a B.A. from Connecticut College and an M.Ed. in Instructional Design from University of North Carolina. Beth lives in Chapel Hill with her family. Free time is spent with family, friends, and on the yoga mat.

Michael Levy

Michael Levy, MBA, teaches GRAD 770 – Introduction to Digital Transformation. He is a healthcare executive turned entrepreneur, with a purpose-driven mindset. Earning his BS in Neurobiology from Tulane University and his MBA from Elon University, coupled with high technology literacy from his experience at Apple at the turn of the century, he is on a path to unite culture, process, people, and technology to create a new operating system for the 21st century.

Michael previously held leadership roles as Vice Chair of Administration for the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami Health System, the Director of Clinical Operations for UNC Health Care’s specialty ambulatory clinics and several other leadership roles at UCLA Health within various clinical departments. Michael also served as the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Center for Health Innovation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he has designed and developed their Digital Health Program in support of UNC’s Digital Transformation strategy.

As an entrepreneur, Michael was COO of Digital Therapy, a cognitive computing platform powered by IBM Watson in the behavioral health space, as well as, most recently co-founded Bluedoor Group, a digital transformation consultancy. He now spends his time leading the Digital Health Institute for Transformation (DHIT) a 501(C-3) that supports communities through the process of digital transformation.

Mireya McKee

Dr. McKee is Director of Kick Start Venture Services within Innovate Carolina. She holds a BSc in chemistry from Monterrey Tech, Mexico and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from UT Austin. Dr. McKee completed a certificate in commercialization of scientific research at Oxford’s Saïd Business School. She has a variety of experiences in. developing training in commercialization of innovative technologies and specializes in industry-academia collaborations.


James Melton in red tie

Jimmy Melton

Jimmy Melton is Managing Director of Carolina Research Ventures(CRV). He holds Bachelors degrees in English and Biophysics and a Masters in Health Administration, all from Duke. For the first part of his career, Mr. Melton was instrumental in developing the Duke Clinical Research Institute. In February 2020, he was recruited to UNC to manage CRV, a venture capital fund supporting the commercialization of University assets and companies spinning out of the University. In that capacity, Mr. Melton oversees the internal operations of CRV, identifying and managing investments, and connecting Carolina inventors to potential investors, partners and other sources of support.

Chris Morrison

Chris Morrison is the Founder and CEO of ViaVerus, LLC, a local sales and marketing firm specializing in launching disruptive technologies, that has provided UNC Chapel Hill’s KickStart Venture Services with over 100 hours of consulting expertise. To date, Chris has supported a total of 12 UNC ventures by teaching founders his Agile Market Entry curriculum. Most of this instruction was provided via online Zoom-based modules dating back to 2018 and earlier. His tailored content has established him as one of KickStart Venture Services’ preferred sources for entrepreneurial faculty in need of guidance for primary market research. Chris has a B.S. in Engineering and over 25 years of sales and business development experience. Chris has held a variety of roles in healthcare and medtech companies and helped found and headed sales and marketing for Expression Analysis, a genomics service company, that was acquired by IQVIA (formerly Quintiles) in 2012. In 2004, Chris founded his management consulting practice, which focuses on helping nascent life science and healthcare companies to enter the marketplace.

Judy Prasad headshot wearing a suit and green earrings

Judy Prasad

Dr. Judy Prasad is the Operations and Programs Manager for Kick Start Venture Services, which provides venture support for startups based on intellectual property from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Prior to this role, she led the investor engagement, business development and operations for AVnovum Therapeutics, one of the University of Chicago’s founding biotech companies. Judy earned her doctorate in behavioral neuroscience from McGill University in 2014, and has more than a decade of experience creating  commercialization and research partnerships. In addition to her current position, she leads the campus’ Venture Catalyst Program, which supports the business development training of entrepreneurial trainees through experiential learning and start-up focused curriculum. In 2019, Dr. Prasad was recognized as one of the Global Biotechnology Revolution’s Top 100 Leaders of Tomorrow.

Don Rose wearing glasses and a button-down shirt

Don Rose

Don Rose, Ph.D., teaches GRAD 755 – Technology Commercialization Fundamentals. He is a Special Advisor to Hatteras Venture Partners, and has extensive experience in launching and building life science startups, most recently as Director of the University of North Carolina’s KickStart program. At Carolina, he helped spin out 80 companies which have gone on to raise over $500M. While at UNC, he published Research to Revenue: A Practical Guide to University Start-ups (UNC Press, 2016). He is also a Professor of the Practice for Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, where he teaches entrepreneurship. Prior to joining Carolina, he held senior leadership roles at a number of life science startups: Metabolon (metabolomics), Deerac Fluidics (nanoliter dispensing), and DataCentric Automation (high-throughput crystallography). Before those experiences, he was a partner with Catalysta Partners (now Hatteras Venture Partners), where he co-founded Phase Bioscience (NASDAQ: PHAS). Prior to Catalysta, he served as co-founder and VP of Research and Development at Cartesian Technologies, a leader in instrumentation for DNA microarrays and nanoliter dispensing. Earlier, Dr. Rose was a research scientist at Glaxo Wellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline [GSK]) where he developed and promoted a number of technologies in bioanalytical chemistry, combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput screening. Dr. Rose also developed various aspects of capillary electrophoreses instrumentation at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories. He earned a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry and a B.S. in nutrition from Carolina, he holds 6 US patents, and has published eight papers and two book chapters.

Brian Rybarczyk wearing a suit and glasses

Brian Rybarczyk

Brian Rybarczyk, Ph.D., is the Graduate School Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Academic & Professional Development, and he teaches GRAD 725 Personal Branding. For the Graduate School, he also develops and implements academic and professional development training for graduate students across disciplines; manages the Graduate Student Center; teaches courses and directs the Preparing International Teaching Assistants Program (PITAP); is program coordinator for the SPIRE Postdoctoral Fellowship program and is co-administrative director at UNC for the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL). Dr. Rybarczyk earned a doctorate in pathology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

IIona Sher headshot wearing red earrings and necklace

Ilona Sher

Ilona Sher, MBA, PMP, teaches GRAD 713 Applied Project Management: Frameworks, Principles and Techniques for the Graduate School, and she has been teaching courses in Applied Project Management for the University since the fall semester of 2015.

In addition to her teaching, Ms. Sher advises a Triangle-based software company and provides coaching services to senior executives at Triangle-based nonprofits. Ms. Sher is a PMP (Project Management Professional) certified project manager and uses her 25 years of experience to work with client contacts to understand their needs, priorities and timelines. Ms. Sher graduated with a B.A. in Math and Science from McGill University and received her MBA from The Wharton School.

Tanja Snively

Tanja Snively, M.Ac., teaches GRAD 714 – Introduction to Financial Accounting as well as courses online and in the classroom across many programs at UNC Kenan-Flagler, including the Undergraduate Business, Master of Accounting, and MBA@UNC. She serves as an MBA@UNC section faculty and a MAC online coordinating and section faculty. She also teaches financial accounting in UNC’s master of public health program.

Professor Snively won a team teaching award for an MBA@UNC course and the Weatherspoon Award for Teaching Excellence in the MAC Program in 2017. Before she joined the UNC Kenan-Flagler faculty, she worked in public and private accounting. She served as an auditor for BKD LLP, a controller for Monroe Bank, and as legal entity controller for Credit Suisse. She is a CPA and received her Master of Accounting with honors from UNC Kenan-Flagler and her BS in accounting from Indiana University.

Leah Townsend

Leah Townsend, Ph.D., is CEO of Pulvinar Neuro and a CareerWell Executive in Residence and teaches the GRAD 726 – Selected Topics course. Read Leah Townsend’s biographical sketch.