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.
Dr. Rosalyn LaPier, Ethnobotanist
Rosalyn is an award winning Indigenous writer and ethnobotanist with a BA in physics and PhD in environmental history. Dr. LaPier studies the intersection of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) learned from elders and the academic study of environmental and religious history.
As an activist, her longtime passions include environmental justice on Indigenous lands and the revitalization of Indigenous languages. This year, as a National Steering Committee member, she was one of the organizers of the March for Science, the largest day of science advocacy in history, with over one million participants in 600 cities worldwide.
Dr. LaPier is working on her third book "Plants That Purify: The Natural and Supernatural History of Smudging." She is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana and Métis.
Olivia Hallisey is a student at Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Connecticut. While a junior in high school, she won first prize in the 2015 Google Science Fair for inventing a low-cost, rapid test for Ebola. The prize also came with $50,000. According to Hallisey, her test can be completed in as little as 30 minutes at a cost of $25, and, unlike existing ebola detection methods, does not require refrigeration.She became interested in fighting Ebola while watching the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak in which thousands of people died.
Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, Data Scientist
Rumman Chowdhury comes to data science from a quantitative social science background. Prior to joining Metis, she was a data scientist at Quotient Technology, where she used retailer transaction data to build an award-winning media targeting model. Her industry experience ranges from public policy, to economics, and consulting. Her prior clients include the World Bank, the Vera Institute of Justice, and the Los Angeles County Museum of the Arts. She holds two undergraduate degrees from MIT and a master’s in quantitative methods of the social sciences from Columbia and is currently finishing a political science PhD at the University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation uses machine-learning techniques to determine whether single-industry towns have a broken political process. Rumman’s passion lies in teaching and learning from teaching. In her spare time, she teaches and practices yoga, reads comic books, and works on her podcast.
Born in New York City in 1906, Grace Hopper joined the U.S. Navy during World War II and was assigned to program the Mark I computer. She continued to work in computing after the war, leading the team that created the first computer language compiler, which led to the popular COBOL language. She resumed active naval service at the age of 60, becoming a rear admiral before retiring in 1986. Hopper died in Virginia in 1992.
Erica Baker, Engineer
Erica is a Senior Engineering Manager at Patreon and advocate for diversity and inclusion in tech, and expanding access to tech education. Erica's career in tech began fifteen years ago doing domain administration for the University of Alaska Statewide System, before becoming a Googler in 2006. Erica's role grew and shifted within Google, growing from Support Technician to Site Reliability Engineer. At Slack, she built the Native Client Build and Release infrastructure. She joined Patreon in 2017 where she manages the Infrastructure Engineering team.
Erica is on the Board of Directors for Girl Develop It, the advisory Boards for Atipica and Hack the Hood, and is a Tech Mentor for Black Girls Code. Erica is a founding member of Project Include, was the 2015 Level Playing Field Institute Lux Award winner, a nominee for the 2016 Crunchies Include Diversity Award, and was included in WIRED Magazine's 2016 Next List.
Amy Osborn, Bioengineer
Amy is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Neural Science at New York University. Her work focuses on on brain-machine interfaces. She is interested in systems neuroscience and rehabilitation engineering, with a focus on the motor system and learning.She applies engineering techniques to neural systems to better understand how they work, and to improve therapies for neurological disorders.
Before going to NYU, she completed her Ph.D. in the UC Berkeley – UCSF Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering working with Jose M. Carmena. Her dissertation explored adaptation in BMI systems. She completed her bachelors at Case Western Reserve University in Engineering Physics with a concentration in Biomedical Engineering.
In 2018, Amy will be joining the University of Washington as an assistant professor in Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering.