Summer Springboard courses are taught by accomplished and passionate faculty recruited from many area colleges, universities and professional forums. Each faculty member is selected for their subject area expertise and proven ability to both challenge and captivate students.

See below for more information on the Summer Springboard instructors in UC San Diego!


Vicki Nienaber-Meadows, Ph.D.

Dr. Nienaber has over 30 years’ experience at large companies, mid-sized biotech, and her own biotech, Zenobia Therapeutics. Throughout Dr. Nienaber’s career she has been both an early adopter as well as an inventor of instrumentation and technology directed towards early-stage drug discovery. She is best known as lead inventor of the crystallographic fragment-based lead discovery method that is still used worldwide to identify clinical candidates and marketed products. She was also the technical lead for invention of the first crystal mounting and alignment robot, ACTOR™, which was recognized with an R & D top 100 innovations award. The robot is now sold commercially by Rigaku. Dr. Nienaber has overseen large multinational drug discovery programs, early-stage drug discovery pipelines and build platforms consisting of robotics, procedures, and relational databases and two companies. She has been awarded grants from the Michael J Fox Foundation, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.

Emergency Medicine

Dr. Benjamin Supat

SSB - Benjamin Supat

Born on the Central Coast of California, Benjamin Supat completed his undergraduate degree at Stanford University and a Master of Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis. He completed medical school at UC San Diego and is now a senior resident in the UCSD Emergency Medicine Residency Program. One of the consistent joys of his career has been the opportunity to give back through teaching and mentorship. He has regularly engaged learners across the spectrum, from middle school students to junior residents in the emergency department. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wonderful daughters and amazing wife.

Drone Cinematography

Brandon Murphy, MBA

instructor - brandon murphy

This course was designed by Brandon Murphy. Brandon has worked with small businesses and Fortune 8 companies for over 13 years, bringing a wide range of expertise to RJ Films. He is responsible for setting the company-wide strategies and building our business, while overseeing the sales & marketing.

Psychology & Neuroscience

Karen Markowtiz, MA

Karen Markowitz

Karen Markowitz has been a psychology instructor for over 20 years at various colleges and universities in the coastal San Diego area. She received both her Bachelor of Arts degree and her Master of Arts degree in psychology with an emphasis in the area of clinical psychology. She also has several years of experimental research conducted within the area of chemosensory perception (taste and smell) through the University of California San Diego. She takes great pleasure in working with adolescents and young adults as they begin the path to understanding the scientific study of human behavior and thought.

Fundamentals of Engineering

George Mansfield, MSME

ssb george mansfield

George Mansfield loves both the practice and the teaching of engineering in equal measure. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from University of Detroit in 1956, he worked for 1 2 years designing engine control systems at three different companies, advancing from new-hire to Senior Staff Specialist at Solar Turbines in San Diego. In 1968, upon earning his MSME from San Diego State University, he accepted a full-time position there, ultimately retiring as a full professor in 1994. After returning to industry, Professor Mansfield returned to teach part time at SDSU in mostly project-based courses from 2002 to 2013. For the past 50+ years he has also maintained an active engineering consulting practice in diverse disciplines for many local companies.