Anna Voelker founded the SciAccess Initiative in 2018 with the support of The Ohio State University President’s Prize. The inaugural SciAccess Conference took place in June of 2019, bringing together 250 teachers, students, and disability advocates with a shared passion for accessible STEM education. In 2020, Anna organized a virtual SciAccess Conference, which had 555 attendees from all 7 continents and 46 nations, shown here in blue. In 2020, SciAccess received recognition The Ohio State University Community Engaged Program Award for “outstanding achievement for impactful programs focused on community-university partnerships.” Anna currently serves as the Coordinator of Outreach for The Ohio State University Department of Astronomy and the Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics.
Michaela Deming is a fifth year undergraduate at the Ohio State University studying Astronomy and Astrophysics. She got her start in accessible outreach as a member of the Ohio State Department of Astronomy’s 2020 Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP), working on the virtual SciAccess 2020 Conference. Michaela became the President of the SciAccess Zenith Mentorship Program in the autumn of 2020 and is an active member of the Astronomical Society at Ohio State. Her other work in astronomy outreach includes volunteering as a telescope operator at the Smith Lab Observatory, training as a presenter at the Arne Slettebak Planetarium, and giving educational talks to audiences ranging from school-age to adult. She will graduate cum laude from Ohio State in May 2021 and plans to pursue a career in astronomy outreach.
Caitlin O’Brien is a sophomore at Ohio State studying Astronomy and Astrophysics. She is the President of the Astronomical Society at Ohio State and Vice-President of the SciAccess Zenith Mentorship Program. She also serves as a telescope operator at the Smith Lab Observatory, and a planetarium presenter at the Arne Slettebak Planetarium. She is currently working with Anna Voelker on a thesis addressing the accessibility of planetarium shows.
Shravan Natarajan is a high school student who helped promote the SciAccess Conference over the summer of 2020. He is an aspiring physicist who has a passion for astronomy, a major reason for his participation in this conference. Other than physics, his interests span mathematics, cooking, and music.