STS Staff

Our Team

  • Penn Perry

    Trinity Center Executive Director

    Penn Perry been Executive Director of Trinity Center since 2007. In 1991, Penn earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Wake Forest University with a major in English and a minor in Religion. He then obtained a Master of Theological Studies from Duke University in 1993 and went on to study British Literature in the English graduate program of the University of Georgia. Meanwhile, Penn was spending his summers at Camp Trinity, the residential summer camping program of the Diocese of East Carolina and Trinity Center. He served on the Camp Trinity staff from 1988-2000. In 2001, while working on his dissertation on W.B. Yeats, Penn made the difficult decision to leave the doctoral program of the University of Georgia to become the fulltime Director of Camp Trinity and Episcopal Youth Coordinator at Trinity Center. He served in that capacity from 2001-2006 before accepting the position of Trinity Center Executive Director in 2007. Penn is a firm believer in the many benefits of residential community-based programming, and he advocates for all children to have access to the various programs of Trinity Center. He also believes deeply in the many retreating experiences that Trinity Center can provide all people. Penn feels that Trinity Center’s emphasis on community and interpersonal connection makes its retreat experiences unique and powerful. Penn anticipates the challenges of maintaining and eventually expanding the many ministries of Trinity Center, and he is dedicated to protecting this fragile environment of natural beauty and spiritual access for all who come to partake of it. Penn’s passions are movies, music, literature, and poetry, as well as spending quality time with his family. Penn is married to Heather; he met her while working at Camp Trinity. They have identical twin boys, Win and Holt.

  • Mindy Furrer

    Education Director (Road Scholar, Sound to Sea, STS Day Camp)

    After graduating with a BS in Elementary Education from the University of WI Milwaukee Mindy wasn't sure she was quite ready to teach in the classroom. Instead, she joined the Peace Corps where for two years she lived on an island roughly the size of Bogue Banks, except that she was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, rather than 1 ½ miles from the coast. As a Peace Corps Volunteer to the island nation of Kiribati, Mindy spent her time teaching Junior High School level ESL and Social Science classes. One afternoon while swinging in her hammock in her stick house Mindy came across an announcement for the Sound to Sea Environmental Education Program; she somehow knew this would be her next adventure. She didn't know at the time that it would also become her home. Mindy has worked at Trinity Center since 2002, first as an instructor and then as the Sound to Sea Program Coordinator. As an instructor with the Sound to Sea Program and Road Scholar, Mindy enjoyed the unique atmosphere of teaching hands-on in an outdoor setting. As program coordinator, she also found herself drawn to curriculum design and program development. She now enjoys doing both in her position as Trinity Center Program Director.


  • Meghan Dinneen

    Sound to Sea Program Coordinator

    Meghan grew up in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. She chose to travel south for college to the University of Maryland. After graduating with a degree in zoology, Meghan went on a study abroad near Mt. Kilimanjaro in Kenya, studying wildlife management and ecology. She discovered her love of learning in nature amongst the elephants, wildebeest, and hyenas. She came to Sound to Sea in 2005 and taught as an instructor for 2 years. Meghan then moved to Washington State to be closer to family. There she worked as a naturalist at a wildlife park, teaching people about native northwestern animals like moose, wolves, and banana slugs. The sun, sand, and waves lured Meghan back to North Carolina and Sound to Sea in 2011, when she returned as the Program Coordinator. Meghan loves sharing her love of the natural world, especially mollusks, with anyone who would like to know. In her free time, you can find her collecting shells, playing outside, or sleeping.

    ext. 16

  • Jane Baker

    Once upon a time (2005), in a land far, far away (Greensboro, North Carolina), young Jane graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Drama and a minor in History. Sufficiently armed to move to New York or L.A. and join the food-service industry...she promptly joined the Peace Corps and moved to a remote village in Burkina Faso for two years. Working mainly with the local primary school girls and their families as a Girls' Education and Empowerment volunteer, she also dabbled in teaching Geography to young learners, English to high school students, and volunteered at the local clinic's weekly infant and maternal health checks. After Burkina, Jane explored the field of education for the next 6 years teaching English in South Korea and Morocco. While in Casablanca, Jane had her first opportunity to teach environmental stewardship and, she knew this was the next step. To prepare herself for the mid-career transition, Jane earned a Master's in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Finding herself in a position where "think globally, act locally" was no longer just a catchy phrase, older and wiser Jane returned to the great state of North Carolina for the next adventure: teaching environmental and conservation education at Sound to Sea.



  • Becca Knudson

    Becca was born and raised in Ellicott City, Maryland, smack between D.C. and Baltimore. She loved the easy access to museums and historical sites; and ever year looked forward to a trip to her great-grandmas beach house in Delaware. As much as she treasured her east coast home, the mountains called her west and she attended college at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. While there, she found a degree in Geography to be the perfect fit for her love of and curiosity towards the natural world. After her sophomore year she taught at a nature day camp for the Audubon Naturalist Society. She loved the opportunity to see students grow in knowledge and confidence and decided she had found her ideal career in the environmental education field. After graduating from BYU, Becca worked for a season as a community and school programs facilitator for the American Youth Foundation in Shelby, Michigan. The following year found her at Haw River State Park (Browns Summit, NC) working as an instructor for their residential EE program. But, the mountains weren't through with her yet and she answered the call again, this time to Idaho to complete her M.S. Natural Resources degree. For the first 9 months of the program, she lived in a 10 ft yurt in the small mountain town of McCall, ID at the University of Idaho Outdoor Science School where she was a field instructor for students from all over the state. She snowshoed with her students in several feet of snow and drilled holes in the frozen lake surface for water sampling. While Becca treasures her true winter experience, she was more than a little willing to trade it in for life on the coast. She is excited to be a part of the Sound to Sea staff as the lead instructor and Road Scholar Coordinator. She is excited to help students, young and old, obtain the tools and confidence to explore and understand our wonderful area.



  • Eli Teague

    Eli grew up in a rural county in central NC where he was nurtured by Zaboomafoo and a subscription to Zoobooks. He eventually moved out of the country into suburbia as he continued his education at Davidson College. Though subjected to a wide variety of classes at the small, liberal arts school, his passions never strayed too far from animals and Biology. Eli volunteered at his school’s Herpetology Lab, and he found that though research was not really his thing, he loved bringing animals to people and educating them about conservation and ecology. Thrilled that he had found a potential career option that didn’t involve constantly writing research papers, he spent two summers working at the Greensboro Science Center assisting with and teaching science summer camps. Finally, the time came to look for a more long-term job, which brought him to Sound to Sea. Eli is extremely excited about living in and learning about this novel coastal environment and sharing his excitement with his students.



  • Caitlin Smith

    Born and raised in Spartanburg, SC, Caitlin has always had a love for the environment, animals and soccer. With this in mind, she attended Lees-McRae College in the mountain town of Banner Elk, NC where she played collegiate soccer, skied and earned a BS in Biology. She spent a semester abroad living on a 90 ft sailboat, exploring the Caribbean island chain, visiting 13 different island nations. Following college, she received her Masters of Marine Biology from Bangor University in Bangor, Gwynedd, Wales. She spent 4 months in the Cayman Islands completing research for her thesis on giant barrel sponges. After finishing her thesis, she moved to Sanibel Island, Florida where she worked for Sanibel Sea School, a non profit that teaches kids about the ocean. She then took a job at the Audubon Aquarium of Americas in New Orleans, Louisiana where she was the Guest Experience Coordinator and worked with the penguins, otters and sea turtle. Caitlin is also a dive master and enjoys exploring the ocean depths whenever possible. In her spare time, Caitlin can be found reading, fishing or playing or watching soccer.



  • Joe Makowitz

    Joe Makowitz, is from the small town of Andover, New Jersey. He played soccer since he was four and has been a band geek since starting high school. Bassoon is the most fun instrument to play, and if you don’t know what it is, you should look it up. He went to college at Elon University in North Carolina and graduated with a degree in science education. While there Joe devoted most of his time to the service organization Tau Beta Sigma, of which he served as President for two years. After graduation Joe spent a summer as a Park Naturalist at the Eno River State Park in Durham, NC before finding his way to Sound to Sea. Joe likes movies and long walks on the beach.



  • Gareth Perkins

    While Gareth came to North Carolina from Massachusetts, he's originally from Wales in the United Kingdom. His first brush with nature came when he was exploring in his back garden and flushed a blackbird that had been feeding on the ground. From that point on, Gareth would be avidly interested in the natural world, especially when it related to birds. As an avid birder and nature lover, it wasn't a surprise when he made his way to Unity College in Unity, ME and earned a bachelors degree in Wildlife. Afterward Gareth began his journey into the world of environmental education and over the past five years has worked in six states on the East Coast. His most recent adventures brought him to spend a spring season with Camp Don Lee in Arapahoe, NC before migrating to Albion, ME to work at Hart-to-Hart Farm Camp for the summer. Unable to be drawn away from the warm climate for too long, Gareth eventually returned to North Carolina to work at Sound to Sea as an instructor. In his spare time, Gareth enjoys birding, nature photography, wood carving, and writing.



  • Rachel Schmidt

    Rachel grew up in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. A self-certified animal lover, Rachel grew up with many pets, including a dog, turtles, frogs, newts, fish and butterflies. While attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she studied abroad in Turks & Caicos and discovered her ultimate passion: the ocean. She then spent a summer on the other side of the world, on a very small island in the Maldives. Here she was a marine conservation volunteer, helping with projects focusing on sea turtle rehabilitation and coral reef restoration. Both of these trips gave her loads of experience with marine life and the world they live in. She graduated in May 2017 with bachelors degrees in Zoology, Psychology, & Conservation Biology, and is excited to be living and educating on the Outer Banks.



  • JaNey Carrothers

    JaNey is a cool chick from the beautiful city of Charlotte, North Carolina and a recent graduate of North Carolina State University with a bachelor's of Science in Environmental Sciences. A world traveler, she has visited a plethora of beautiful countries such as St Thomas, St Maarten, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, England, Germany, Aruba Switzerland and many more! She has had a love for tennis for over 10 years and was a member of her Club tennis team at NC State for her entire collegiate career. She was able to attend the Tennis on Campus National Championships three out of four years and was the president of her team during her senior year. She has a twin sister named Jasmine who is currently working on her PhD in chemistry at NYU-Abu Dhabi. JaNey is an avid Kpop fanatic and she has traveled to both New York and Los Angeles for the annual KCON convention! JaNey hopes to travel and teach abroad in the Middle East and Asia in the future as well as continue her studies to gain a PhD in Environmental Epidemiology.



  • Maggie Stein

    Maggie was born and raised in the great city of Athens, Georgia. Growing up, Maggie spent most of her time outside and developed a love for the natural world. In 2010, her family moved to Texas where she remained to attend Texas State University in San Marcos. She graduated with a B.S in Geography and specialized in Resource and Environmental Studies. Maggie is an avid equestrian and has been riding and showing Hunter Jumpers since she was ten. She discovered her love of teaching through teaching riding lessons and working at the Austin Children’s Museum. She loves her dog and is excited to be part of such an awesome program like Sound to Sea!