Peter Mikulecky grew up in Milwaukee, an area of Wisconsin unique for its high humanto-cow ratio. After a breezy four-year tour in the Army, Peter earned a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and a PhD in biological chemistry from Indiana University. With science seething in his DNA, he sought to infect others with a sense of molecular wonderment. Having taught, tutored, and mentored in classroom and laboratory environments, Peter was happy to find a home at Fusion Learning Center and Fusion Academy. There, he enjoys convincing students that biology and chemistry are, in fact, fascinating journeys, not entirely designed to inflict pain on hapless teenagers. His military training occasionally aids him in this effort.
Katherine (Kate) Brutlag has been a full-fledged science dork since she picked up her first book on dinosaurs as a child. A native of Minnesota, Kate enjoys typical regional activities such as snow sports and cheese eating. Kate left Minnesota as a teen to study at Middlebury College in Vermont and graduated with a double major in physics and Japanese. Seeking to unite these two highly unrelated passions, she spent a year in Kyoto, Japan, on a Fulbright scholarship researching Japanese constellation lore. Kate was quickly drawn back to the pure sciences, however, and she discovered her love for education through her work at Fusion Academy, where she currently teaches upper-level sciences and Japanese.
Michelle Rose Gilman is most proud to be known as Noah’s mom. A graduate of the University of South Florida, Michelle found her niche early, and at 19, she was working with emotionally disturbed and learning-disabled students in hospital settings. At 21, she made the trek to California, where she found her passion for helping teenagers become more successful in school and life. What started as a small tutoring business in the garage of her California home quickly expanded and grew to the point where traffic control was necessary on her residential street.
Today, Michelle is the founder and CEO of Fusion Learning Center and Fusion Academy, a private school and tutoring/test prep facility in Solana Beach, California, serving more than 2,000 students per year. She is the author of ACT For Dummies, Pre-Calculus For Dummies, AP Biology For Dummies, AP Chemistry For Dummies, GRE For Dummies, and other books on self-esteem, writing, and motivational topics. Michelle has overseen dozens of programs over the last 20 years, focusing on helping kids become healthy adults. She currently specializes in motivating the unmotivated adolescent, comforting their shell-shocked parents, and assisting her staff of 35 teachers.
Michelle lives by the following motto: There are people content with longing; I am not one of them.
Brian Peterson remembers a love for science going back to his own AP Biology class. At the University of San Diego, Brian majored in biology and minored in chemistry, with a pre-med emphasis. Before embarking to medical school, Brian took a young adult–professional detour and found himself at Fusion Learning Center and Fusion Academy, where he quickly discovered a love of teaching. Years later, he finds himself the science department head at Fusion and oversees a staff of 11 science teachers. Brian, also known as “Beeps” by his favorite students, encourages the love of science in his students by offering unique and innovative science curricula.