Hi I’m Tracy Barnhart.
I was born and raised in Princeton, West Virginia where I graduated from Princeton Senior High school in 1987. A swimmer through most of my childhood, I left to attend college at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, and join the varsity swim team. (Go Paladins!) Four years later, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geology and headed to Columbia to attend the University of South Carolina as a graduate student. (Go Gamecocks!) At USC, I studied hydrogeology, focusing on groundwater modeling. Between my first and second years, Mobil Oil Corporation offered me the opportunity to work in New Orleans, Louisiana for the summer. So, being a respectable graduate student, I jumped at the chance to live in New Orleans for three months! Then, in 1993, I graduated from USC with a Master of Science in Geology.
When my son, Noah, was in kindergarten, his teacher asked that the parents come speak to the class during career week. I took a bunch of rock samples and the kids loved them! Later I went to the store to trying to find some rock kits for Noah, and there wasn’t anything on the market that I really liked and thought would not only teach him about geology but also make him interested in science. That’s when the idea for Mini Me Geology was born. My goal with the business is to develop products that will help children learn to love science. Even if they don’t become a scientist in the future, I want kids to enjoy science because it affects every aspect of their lives.
When I was at Furman, I took some fascinating English classes. One that I loved in particular was Poetry, Plays and Short Stories. The professor introduced me to the works of John Malkovich. Okay, he isn’t a writer but an actor who I just LOVE! Anyway, because of this class, I got interested in writing. While I’ve written several geology eBooks that go along with the kits for Mini Me Geology, I’ve also branched out and written a non-fiction book, Launch It Quick, about how I started Mini Me Geology and how you can quickly launch a business too, and my first fiction book titled Blue John’s Cavern. This book is the first book in the tween series the Crystal Cave Adventures. Books #2, #3 and #4 are due out in 2016!
I reside in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina with my husband Michael, our son Noah and daughter Piper, and our spoiled 108-pound Great Pyrenees, named Brutus. We got Brutus from a rescue group. This picture was from the ride home. He was only 92 pounds at the time. At about 108, he is much happier and healthier. But, his food bill is crazy!
Both of my kids run track and field and cross country. Noah is a great hurdler, 400m runner, and long jumper. Piper is a distance girl and she throws discus. She loves the 800m, 1500m, 3000m, and cross country. Since they liked to run so much, I thought I would start running so that we could go on runs together when they are in the offseason. Plus, the cross country coach here allows parents to go on runs with the team. I was a swimmer growing up and learned quickly that just because you can swim, it doesn’t mean that you can run. Both of my kids are so much faster than me I just lag behind as they zoom down the road. Maybe someday, I’ll catch up.