MEET OUR FACULTY
John is the manager of on-campus instruction and joined GIA with more than 14 years of diverse jewelry industry experience, including diamond buying trips to Antwerp, jewelry sales, and jewelry manufacturing. After more than ten years in the trade, John received his GIA Graduate Gemologist® diploma. He also has education credentials in multi-media technologies and jewelry manufacturing and design. In his spare time, John received his Instructor Certification from the United States Power Squadron in Oceanside, California and he enjoys teaching safety and sailing skills.
Martin’s career in the jewelry industry began with an art class in high school and continued in college. In 1982 he attended GIA in Santa Monica, completing the Graduate Jeweler and Graduate Diamond diploma programs. He also earned the Colored Stones and Gem Identification diplomas through Distance Education while working full time. Martin’s trade experience includes 16 years in the retail industry and 12 years in management, with stints working as a bench jeweler, production manager and buyer in the wholesale industry. Martin started as an instructor for the on-campus Graduate Gemologist® program at the Carlsbad campus in May 2000, and then worked in the GIA Laboratory as a staff gemologist, diamond grader and quality assurance grader. For Martin, the most rewarding part of being an instructor is helping students achieve their goal of becoming a Graduate Gemologist®.
As senior manager of on-campus instruction at the Carlsbad campus, Brenda's experience is a product of her more than 10 years of demonstrated knowledge of the theory and practice of diamond grading, colored stone grading, and gem identification. Brenda’s expertise comes from extensive retail and formal gemological training. Her passion for gems and jewelry, her keenness to absorb product knowledge, and her flair for customer relations propelled her to a successful career in retail that included positions in sales, buying, and preparation work for custom jewelry design and manufacturing. Her love of gems and jewelry brought her to GIA, where she earned her Graduate Gemologist® diploma. Brenda was hired as an on-campus instructor at GIA Carlsbad in 1999. She has also taught at several GIA campuses around the world.
Jessica’s interest in gemology started late in high school, which led her to attend GIA and earn her Graduate Gemologist® and Applied Jewelry Professional™ diplomas in 2005. She spent ten years in retail jewelry sales, selling engagement rings and fine jewelry, and worked closely with jewelers creating custom pieces for their clients. Jessica joined the GIA laboratory in 2015 as a staff gemologist, with diamond grading as her chief responsibility. She later helped train new diamond graders and gave lab tours to students and clients. Since joining the education team as a gemology instructor, Jessica has been able to merge her passions for diamonds and gemstones, while helping and teaching her students.
Carson started in the jewelry industry as a goldsmith. His more than 10 years of work experience also includes: sales of fine watches and jewelry, sales training, and jewelry design. Carson enjoyed working closely with his customers in providing service excellence in repairs, sales, and custom designing jewelry. Prior to his work in the trade, Carson spent two years in Brazil; as a result, he is fluent in the Portuguese language.
Tim started in the jewelry industry at the age of 15, learning basic repair and polishing in his family’s jewelry business. At age 17 he started working in sales, gaining experience in engagement jewelry, fashion, appraisals and custom design. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Music Liberal arts in 2012, Tim took on the role of store manager. During this time, he enhanced his sales experience, attended trade shows and earned his Applied Jewelry Professional™ credential. Upon graduating from GIA in Carlsbad in 2014 with a Graduate Gemologist® diploma, Tim began working as a staff gemologist/diamond grader in GIA’s diamond grading laboratory. He joined the Education team as an instructor of gemology in 2015.
Nina had been working in the jewelry trade for four years when she realized that earning her GG credential would significantly advance her career. After graduating from GIA, she worked for 11 years at Bergmann’s Fine Jewelry as manager and appraiser. She joined GIA as an instructor in 2007, bringing her experience and in-depth knowledge of selling, designing, and buying jewelry to the classroom.
Teresa’s passion for gems and jewelry led her to GIA’s Graduate Gemology program in Carlsbad. After graduating with the GIA Graduate Gemologist® and Applied Jewelry Professional™ diplomas in 2005, she began working in the GIA laboratory as a diamond grader, color grading diamonds in the D-Z range as well as Fancy colored diamonds. For a significant part of her 14-year tenure in the lab, she helped train new diamond graders in Carlsbad, New York, India, Israel and Botswana. She also took on a number of other roles, such as quality assurance. One of the most rewarding aspects of her work was watching the advancement of the graders she trained. Her desire to help the next generation of gemologists led her to become a Gemology Instructor at GIA.
Before joining GIA in 2005, Kate did bench work and design for a glass artisan for six years. She also worked for several years as a jewelry parts supplier. Kate’s experience in jewelry retail, wholesale, and design gives her a unique understanding of the art of creating jewelry from start to finish. Kate shares her feelings about working at GIA: "I like being a part of the joy and pride that students have for themselves once they accomplish their goals."
A 14-year veteran of the jewelry industry, Shelly’s experience includes retail management, sales, jewelry design, and purchasing for a leading jewelry company in the United States. Shelly now works as a GIA Lab class instructor, and thoroughly enjoys teaching the fundamentals of gemology. Before becoming a gemologist, Shelly was an accomplished musician and music teacher. She operated her own entertainment company and worked in several European and Asian markets. While in Asia, Shelly worked for a Hong Kong-based jewelry company, where she specialized in international sales and marketing.
Kate has worked in the gem and jewelry industry since 2000 and joined GIA in 2011. Her passion for Mother Nature’s awe-inspiring creations inspired her to work in many areas of the trade, including: sales, management, operations, apprenticeship, goldsmithing, jewelry design, diamond grading, diamond research analytics, and she has now found her calling as an instructor of gemology. Kate earned her Applied Jewelry Professional™ certificate, and Graduate Jeweler, and Graduate Gemologist® diplomas from GIA and thrives in an educational environment. As she puts it: “Sharing my love of gemstones with students and watching them learn inspires me on a daily basis.”
Darla spent the first two years of her career in jewelry sales, earning her Applied Jewelry Professional™ diploma, but was quickly drawn into the world of jewelry creation. After completing the Graduate Jeweler program, she worked in a trade shop for two years before being recruited by a custom design jewelry studio. She spent the next seven years absorbing everything there is to know about being a custom jeweler, learning all phases of repair, casting, fabrication, setting, and especially CAD/CAM. Darla joined the GIA team to share all of those real-world experiences with students to best facilitate their future growth.
Manuel’s passion for creating jewelry started in his youth, when he apprenticed at a manufacturing company that produced hand-crafted tennis bracelets. At the age of 16, he started working for a firm that specialized in CNC-machined wedding bands. He then worked in retail shops as a bench jeweler and retail sales. In 2002, he became the factory manager and CAD/CAM designer for a manufacturing company that specialized in the production of diamond and colored stone jewelry. In 2009, Manuel became the director of design for a company that created award-style military rings. He also created custom-model designs for leading jewelers. Joining GIA in 2016 as a new CAD instructor, Manuel brings more than 23 years of experience in the industry and a love for helping others.
Paula Carter Andrews
Paula joined GIA in 2015, instructing at the London campus before coming to Carlsbad in early 2019. After studying jewelry design and manufacturing at London Guildhall University, she began her professional career as an apprentice silversmith and goldsmith, which has evolved into an 18-year passion. Within the last nine years, her role has progressed to working on bespoke and CAD designs using the latest cutting-edge technology. Paula has gained a wealth of knowledge from her years in the jewelry industry, which she is keen to bring to GIA.
David began his career at his family’s jewelry business where he quickly developed a love for working with jewelry on the bench. He soon went on to earn his GIA Graduate Gemologist and GIA Graduate Jeweler diplomas from GIA in Carlsbad. Through his experience in aspects of the jewelry industry ranging from sales to design and repair, he believes that every piece of jewelry has a unique story to tell. David is eager to share his passion for jewelry manufacturing with his students in the Graduate Jeweler program.
Doug first began making jewelry in 1973. With experience in everything from blacksmithing to diamond setting, he brings an impressive set of artistic, technical, and academic skills to GIA. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in metalsmithing from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and has studied diamond grading and colored stone grading at GIA. Doug has conducted technical training at GIA’s laboratories around the world, and brings a wealth of experience to his students.
Carrie’s passion for creating jewelry began in 2007 while attending Texas Tech University studying under Robly Glover. After graduating with a Bachelors in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design she was selected for a jewelry production internship at Artemas Quibble, a leather accessory company, in Brooklyn, New York. After having completed and experienced high fashion jewelry in New York, Carrie wanted to learn the art of fine jewelry. She enrolled at New Approach School for Jewelers located in Franklin, Tennessee to study under Blaine Lewis where she learned fabrication, simple repair, working in platinum, and a variety of stone setting techniques. Shortly after completion of the Graduate Bench Jeweler Program Carrie obtained her first full-time bench jeweler job at Van Craeynest San Francisco. At Van Craeynest she learned old-world techniques, such as Carving, Chasing, and Die Striking. Carrie grew with the company and was the head stone setter, and managed the production factory to ensure the quality of the work. As an instructor at GIA, Carrie is eager to engage, share, and have students learn from her experiences.