Meet our Instructors at UC San Diego

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 at UC San Diego!


Dr. Cathy Swindlehurst, Ph.D.

Dr. Cathy Swindlehurst

Dr. Swindlehurst is a founder and CEO of NovoMedix. She has over 25 years of experience in biotech and has a broad background in assay and biomarker development; drug discovery and development; as well as in project management, business development, and fund raising. Dr. Swindlehurst has held V.P. positions at several companies, including PanCel, MagneSensors, and NovaDx. She has led key collaborations with academic researchers and corporate partners and has been directly involved in raising over $10M in financing. Dr. Swindlehurst is an inventor on NovoMedix’s key issued patents. In her role as CEO of NovoMedix, Dr. Swindlehurst has also raised $5M in non-dilutive funding. Dr. Swindlehurst received a certificate in Business Management from UC San Diego; Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry and Postdoctoral fellowship in Immunology from University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana; and her B.S. in Chemistry from University of California, Irvine.


Dr. Craig J. Kutz, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Craig Kutz

Dr. Craig Kutz is a physician-scientist, currently working as a senior resident in the Department of Emergency Medicine at UC-San Diego Health. Dr. Kutz holds an MD and PhD from the Medical University of South Carolina with his graduate work focused in pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences. He also is a current Fellow in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine and completing technical rescue training in austere/mountain medicine including a medical expedition to Mt. Everest Base Camp. He also currently works as an operational flight physician for a San Diego helicopter EMS. In his future, he plans on sub-specialty in Undersea/Hyperbaric medicine and Aerospace medicine. He has received multiple teaching recognitions including the distinguished resident physician bedside teaching award for medical students. 

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.

Finance & Investing

Peter Mombaur, MBA

This course was designed by Peter Mombaur whose global experience ranges from being a management consultant with McKinsey & Co., an investor, and entrepreneur.  Peter managed a private equity investment firm and successfully executed and managed investments in multiple industries. With his experience as both an investor and management consultant, Peter’s main message to students interested in finance and investing is to consider both financial and non-financial aspects thoroughly.

Business & Entrepreneurship

Lauren Cazares, B.A.

Lauren Cazares

Lauren is a fundraising professional and experienced event planner with a strong history of working in the non-profit sector and political campaign industry. Currently Lauren is the National Program Manager for WIT – Whatever It Takes, the leading program in the country for teen entrepreneur education. Her passion is in teaching & leading teens entrepreneurs to success. Lauren graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University cum laude in Political Science & Women’s Studies.

Fundamentals of Engineering

Ryan Miller, B.S.

Ryan Miller (1)

Ryan is a civil engineer for one of San Diego’s leading construction management firms. He has supervised projects ranging from hospitals to schools and parking structures and specializes in LEED certification. He brings real world insight and years of experience to the classroom.

PS – If you don’t see an instructor for your preferred academic course listed, don’t worry. More information will be readily available soon. We just wanted to share a sneak peak now! 

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Summer Springboard Pre-College Summer Program