I am infinitely grateful to my grandfather, Frank Brand, who introduced me to angling and the marine ecosystem at the age of 8. At that time, I was elated to be catching small snapper bluefish in the Navesink River in Red Bank. Growing up and living near the shore I was mesmerized by the dynamics of the bays, rivers, and ocean. Simply observing how the environment influenced the species living in it, and how they affected each other was enough to hook me. I was also fortunate to have other family and friends that partook in the art of angling for more challenging species such as striped bass. Not only an art, but a science, striper fishing added another dimension to my love of the water. Problem solving, pattern-recognition, and behavioral understanding of the targeted fish species is an ongoing learning experience. Later, the fishing culture provided me with multiple role models and mentors. Some of these people, like Ray Nebus, were integral in my proper development of life skills such as work ethic and tenacity. Others, like Dante Soriente, owner of Magictail Bucktails, taught me an extreme amount of angling skill and behavioral understanding of various NJ recreational species. Renowned fishing authors, like Frank Daignault, provided my side-studying material during my high-school through graduate school years. The rest of my knowledge on the art was acquired from experiential trial and error in the field. The number of adventures and stories I have accumulated from my passion, specifically for striped bass, seems infinite. The prospect of having the resources and time to fish as an adult was the motivational fuel I used to obtain all my education. To best express the depth of this passion it can be said that striped bass fishing specifically molded not only the schools and jobs I have chosen, but my life trajectory in general.
Being born and raised on the Jersey Shore, I didn’t go far for college or graduate school. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2006. Directly afterwards, I began working toward my Ph.D. dissertation research on Prostate Cancer Progression and Metastasis at University of Delaware. In late 2011 I received my Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Genetics, but sought to find more of a teaching career. Stockton University was a perfect fit for me in many ways and it being an institution that stressed teaching excellence and a well-rounded education were just icing on the cake. Its NJ location and proximity to the water were more added benefits. This wonderful institution has blessed me with the opportunity to teach courses including Genetics, Cells and Molecules, Biodiversity and Evolution, and my own self-constructed general studies course on salt water fishing! If this was not all amazing enough, now with Stockton’s Atlantic City expansion, I can have the students literally apply the knowledge I am teaching them.
GorDan Reeves, Ph.D.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a scientist. I started out growing mold on bread and adding food coloring to water to change the colors of flower petals. My love of chemistry first came during a 6th grade science fair when I watched a demonstration of the explosive reaction of alkali metals with water. As time went on, I was drawn to the study of metals and inorganic chemistry. My current research deals with the luminescent properties of metal complexes for industrial and biological use.
The first thing that anyone notices about me is that…I love Math! As a Mathematics professor at Stockton University, Mathematics is a big part of my life. I love teaching Math, I love doing Math, and I love thinking about Math as it relates to my life and the lives of my students. My personal research is in the field of Numerical Linear Algebra. This is a field that blends rich mathematical theory with real-world applications. Over the last 5 years, I have become deeply involved in Math Education. I spent a great deal of time working with K-12 teachers and helping to create a seamless transition from high school to college level mathematics for our students.