Founders

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Tim Barnhart: Co-founder
tim@rootstostem.org

I am an avid backpacker, musician, and lover of all things R & D. After receiving my Materials Science & Engineering degree from Virginia Tech in 2006, I’ve had the opportunity to travel the globe, patent alloys, non-stop hike all 2,184 miles of the Appalachian Trial, (on 4/1/18 I’ll start my 2,650 mile journey on the Pacific Crest Trail), and help build a R & D department from the ground up. In 2017, I received my MBA from Miami University. This stoked an entrepreneurial desire to help build something altruistic, a non-profit… Roots To STEM.

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Noah Ashbrook: Co-founder
noah@rootstostem.org

After graduating high school in Lebanon, Virginia, I obtained my Associate’s Degree from Southwest Virginia Community College in 2004 and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Science (Earth and Space Concentration) from Radford University in 2006. After graduating, I moved back to my hometown and worked at a Wastewater Treatment Plant until becoming a teacher for Bristol Virginia Public Schools in the fall of 2007. Outside of teaching Earth Science and Astronomy I offer star gazing, coach Scholastic Bowl,  sponsor a Customizable Card Game Club for beginning Magic: The Gathering players,  volunteer at a comic book convention in the tri-cities each year, and I play drums in a few local bands. My passion for science can be seen by any of my students and I’ve been lucky enough to live my dreams without having to leave home. I hope to extend some of that passion and luck to individuals through teaching and this non-profit.

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Matthew Hubbard: Co-founder
matthew@rootstostem.org

After graduating from Lebanon High School in 2002, I attended the University of Virginia where I majored in chemistry and conducted research involving new techniques for the synthesis of complex biological molecules. I graduated with high distinction in 2006 and then attended the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Continued interest in basic science, clinical outcomes, and medical education prompted my ongoing involvement in scientific research during my residency in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.  In additional to clinical training, I authored medical textbook chapters and contributed to several works published in peer reviewed journals.  In 2015, I had the opportunity to return home to Southwest Virginia where I joined Abingdon ENT Associates.  As a practicing surgeon, I’ve enjoyed being at the interface of the art and science of medicine.  I am excited to join with my friends in supporting young men and women from our region as they pursue education and training with the potential to transform their lives and enrich the area we call home.

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Nathan Witt: Co-founder
nathan@rootstostem.org

After graduating from Lebanon High School, I went on to obtain a degree in political science from Radford University. I currently live in Roanoke, VA, where I teach 8th grade civics. In addition to teaching, I also coach cross country and run our school’s Outdoor Adventure Club, which is aimed a giving inner city students the experiences of nature that I feel everyone deserves. Growing up on small family farm in Russell/Tazewell County has given me a huge appreciation for the outdoors and my personal hobbies include hiking, camping, and rock climbing. I am excited to be part of Roots to Stem and help invest in our region’s future by giving our students the tools necessary to succeed in today’s economy.