Dr. Jo Handelsman, Molecular Biologist
Jo Emily Handelsman (born 1959 in New York, NY) is the Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at UW-Madison. Dr. Handelsman was appointed by President Barack Obama as the Associate Director for Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she served for three years until January 2017. She has been editor-in-chief of the academic journal DNA and Cell Biology and author of books on scientific education, most notably Scientific Teaching.
Diana Trujillo, NASA Engineer
Since her days as a high-school student in Cali, Colombia, Diana Trujillo dreamt of becoming an Aerospace Engineer. According to Trujillo, it was he math teacher who encouraged her to follow her dreams in the U.S.
After finishing her studies at Cañaverales International School, she obtained her student Visa and travelled to Florida, where she studied Space Science at the Miami Dade Community College. She later attended the University of Maryland, where she graduated as an Aerospace Engineer in 2007. Trujillo’s effort and dedication took her to where she is now, leading operations for “Curiosity” next to a team of 45 professionals, 3 of them Latinos. NASA's rover Curiosity landed on Mars on August 2012, it has now been trundling across the Red Planet for three very productive and eventful years.
Dr. Knatokie Ford, Biomedical Scientist
Dr. Knatokie Ford is Founder and CEO of Fly Sci Enterprise, LLC. Established in 2014, Fly Sci Enterprise is an education and media consulting organization focused on leveraging the power of storytelling to promote social change, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. She previously served as a Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) from 2015 through the end of the Obama Administration in January 2017. Prior to working at OSTP, Dr. Ford was a postdoctoral research fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. She also spent time in Los Angeles where she had the opportunity to work as an actress in television and film and serve as a middle school teacher in an underserved community in South Central Los Angeles. Dr. Ford completed her PhD in Experimental Pathology at Harvard University where she studied age-related macular degeneration and received a BS/MS in Chemistry/Biological Chemistry from Clark Atlanta University.