SciAccess 2021 Speakers

Chris Boshuizen

Chris Boshuizen

Blue Origin Astronaut and Co-founder and CTO of Planet Labs
Sirisha Bandla

Sirisha Bandla

Virgin Galactic Astronaut and Vice President of Government Affairs and Research Operations
Apurva Varia

Apurva Varia

Mission Director and AstroAccess Ambassador
Joshua Miele

Joshua Miele

MacArthur Genius and Adaptive Technology Designer
Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai

Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai

Chief Accessibility Officer of the Canadian National Institute of the Blind
Ainsley Latour

Ainsley Latour

Scientist and Educator
Ufuoma Ovienmhada

Ufuoma Ovienmhada

Graduate Student, MIT
Rayan Khan

Rayan Khan

Founder of Cosmic Tribe
Exodus Chun-Long Sit

Exodus Chun-Long Sit

International Transmedia Astronomer
Diane Weinbrandt

Diane Weinbrandt

Job Developer,
University of Cincinnati 
Joann Blumenfeld

Joann Blumenfeld

Catalyst Program Director, Science House, North Carolina State University
Lynn Cominsky

Lynn Cominsky

Professor and Director at Sonoma State University
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Yuma Antoine Decaux

Machine Learning Researcher, Product Developer, TEDx Speaker
Allyson Bieryla

Allyson Bieryla

Astronomer
Ariana Riccio

Ariana Riccio

Research Psychologist
Brianna Blaser

Brianna Blaser

Associate Director, Access Computing
Harry Wood

Harry Wood

STEM Trainer - D/HH
Soley Hyman

Soley Hyman

Astronomy Graduate Student
Lisa Vogt

Lisa Vogt

Braille and Typewell Transcriber
Maria Monzani

Maria Elena Monzani

Lead Scientist
Noreen Grice

Noreen Grice

Astronomy Accessibility Consultant
Kimberly Arcand

Kimberly Arcand

Visualization Scientist
Niki Sajjad

Niki Sajjad

PhD Candidate in Space Engineering at K. N. Toosi University of Technology
Ruvimbo Samanga

Ruvimbo Samanga

CEO & Founder of AgriSpace
Dr. Mustafa Sahin Bulbul

Dr. Mustafa Sahin Bulbul

Director of Research Center on Chaotic Education
Adrienne Provenzano

Adrienne Provenzano

STEAM and Arts Integration Specialist
Sahil Bhatia

Sahil Bhatia

Multipotentialite, Asclepios I Systems Officer
Senay Daniel

Senay Daniel

Entrepreneur, Professional, and Community Advocate
Kate Meredith

Kate Meredith

President of GLAS Education
Laura Jean Checki

Laura Jean Checki

CEO of Interstellar Inspirations LLC
Michele Daly

Michelle Daly

Director of Disability Education and School District Program Coordinator, COO of Interstellar Inspirations LLC
Zuby Onwuta

Zuby Onwuta

Harvard-MIT Trained Innovator and AstroAccess Ambassador
Sheryl Burgstahler

Sheryl Burgstahler

Founder and Director of Accessible Technology Services at the University of Washington
Tiffany WIld

Tiffany Wild

Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, College of Education and Human Ecology
Maria Royle

Maria Royle

Science and ESOL Educator
Cassandra Runyon

Cassandra Runyon

Associate Professor of Geology, Director – NASA SC Space Grant Consortium & SC NASA EPSCoR
Caitlin Milera

Caitlin Milera

Director of the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium (NDSGC) and North Dakota NASA EPSCoR
Tori McIntosh

Tori McIntosh

Coordinator for the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium
Marissa Saad

Marissa Saad

Deputy Director of the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium (NDSGC) and North Dakota NASA EPSCoR
Mary Rickel

Mary Rickel

President of the Zenith Mentorship Program
Athena Wrenn

Athena Wrenn

Volunteer Coordinator at See3D Inc.
Stefania Varano

Stefania Varano

Physics and Maths Educator
Gabriel Arellano

Gabriel Arellano

Heritage Signer
Emerson Wheeler

Emerson Wheeler

Medical and Public Health student at the University of Vermont's Larner College of Medicine
Clara Brasseur

Clara Brasseur

PhD Student at St. Andrews University
Alyssa Paparella

Alyssa Paparella

Graduate Student at Baylor College of Medicine pursuing a PhD in Cancer and Cell Biology
Cheryl Fogle-Hatch

Cheryl Fogle-Hatch

Founder of MuseumSenses
Rachel Slaybaugh

Rachel Slaybaugh

Outreach Chair for the Zenith Mentorship Program
Bailey Stephens

Bailey Stephens

Operations Chair for the Zenith Mentorship Program
Lindsay Yazzolino

Lindsay Yazzolino

Tactile Design Specialist, Accessibility Technology Consultant
Amrita Suresh

Amrita Suresh

Freshman at Southeast Raleigh High School
Nelle Poehlam

Nelle Poehlam

Senior at Camelot Academy

AstroAccess Ambassadors

Sina Bahram

Sina Bahram

President and Founder of Prime Access Consulting, Inc.
Mary Cooper

Mary Cooper

Student at Stanford University pursuing a degree in Aerospace Engineering & Computer Science
Eric Ingram

Eric Ingram

Founder and CEO of SCOUT Inc.
Centra Mazyck

Centra "Ce-Ce" Mazyck

Paralympic Athlete in the event Javelin Throw
Viktoria Modesta

Viktoria Modesta

Bionic Pop Artist and Creative Director
Sawyer Rosenstein

Sawyer Rosenstein

Host of the podcast Talking Space, News Producer at WPBF 25
Eric Shear

Eric Shear

Graduate student in Chemical Engineering at the University of Florida
Sheri Wells-Jensen

Sheri Wells-Jensen

Associate Professor of Linguistics at Bowling Green State University

Chris Boshuizen

Blue Origin Astronaut and Co-Founder and CTO of Planet Labs

On October 12, 2021, Dr. Chris Boshuizen flew to space on the Blue Origin New Shepard suborbital vehicle, alongside fellow crew member William Shatner of Star Trek. Chris is the co-founder of Planet Labs, a company providing unprecedented daily, global mapping of our changing planet from space. As the company’s CTO for 5 years, he took the company from the drawing board to having launched more satellites into space than any other company in history, completely transforming the space industry along the way.

Chris was previously a Space Mission Architect at NASA Ames Research Center. After working on a number of traditional spacecraft programs at NASA, Chris co-created Phonesat, a spacecraft built solely out of a regular smartphone. While at NASA, Chris also established Singularity University, a school for studying the consequences of accelerating technological development. Initially fulfilling the role of Interim Director, Chris helped raise over $2.5 million to establish the university, assembled the faculty, and served as co-chair for the University’s Department of Space and Sciences.

Chris received his Ph.D. in Physics (with honors) and BSc. in Physics and Mathematics, both from the University of Sydney.

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Sirisha Bandla

Virgin Galactic Astronaut and Vice President of Government Affairs and Research Operations

On July 11, 2021, Sirisha Bandla flew to space aboard the Virgin Galactic Unity 22 test flight, alongside fellow crew member Sir Richard Branson, becoming the second woman born in India to travel to space. Sirisha currently works as the Vice President of Government Affairs and Research Operations for Virgin Galactic. In this role, she oversees legislative, regulatory, and government business priorities for the company, as well as work with research customers to fly science and technology experiments on VG’s SpaceShip class of vehicles.

She previously served as the Associate Director for the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, an industry association of commercial spaceflight companies. At CSF, Sirisha worked on various policies with the aim to promote and enable the then emerging commercial space industry. Before CSF, she worked as an aerospace engineer designing components for advanced aircraft at L-3 Communications in Greenville, Texas.

Sirisha has a B.S. Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering from Purdue and holds a MBA from George Washington University. She serves on the Board of American Society for Gravitational and Space Research, American Astronautical Society, and the Future Space Leaders Foundation. She also helps to organize the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship Program, an internship and mentorship program that provides summer opportunities to current college juniors, seniors, and graduate students passionate about commercial spaceflight.

Apurva Varia

Apurva Varia

Mission Director and AstroAccess Ambassador

Apurva Varia was inspired to become an aerospace engineer after seeing the space shuttle launch on TV while he was in the ninth grade. After that launch, he wrote a letter to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas asking if the space program would ever accept deaf astronauts. They responded saying that they would take that into consideration for the future.

He proceeded to receive a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology and a Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering at Syracuse University.

He has served as Mission Director for Parker Solar Probe, Mission Director for the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), and Deputy Mission Director for the Lunar Reconnaissance Mission (LRO).

joshua

Joshua Miele

MacArthur Genius Grant Award Winner
and Adaptive Technology Designer

In 2021, Joshua Miele was selected as a MacArthur Fellow. The MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as the "Genius Grant", is a prize awarded annually to individuals who have shown "extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction." Miele is blind adaptive technology designer developing devices to enable blind and visually impaired (BVI) people to use technologies that pervade our lives. Miele’s graduate work focused on psychoacoustics and directional aspects of hearing. More recently, he is creating effective and affordable solutions to everyday problems blind people face, particularly access to digital information.

For example, tactile maps are difficult to find, often expensive, and available for only a limited number of locations. Miele developed Tactile Maps Automated Production (TMAP), a web-based software that generates tactile street maps of any location that can be printed with at-home Braille embossers. He designed a set of tactile maps for every station of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system—including platforms and street-level features—that is compatible with an audio smart pen, making it possible for blind travelers to virtually explore and plan their route through the BART system. Miele has also worked to make features on smart phones and portable devices more accessible to blind individuals. WearaBraille has sensors attached to users’ fingers to allow them to type Braille text without a special keyboard. Much of his recent work has focused on visual digital technologies, such as access to graphics and streaming video, that are often inaccessible to the BVI community. His YouDescribe platform combines crowd-sourced audio descriptions of YouTube videos with an interface to synchronize the descriptive audio with the video source.

Currently, Miele is an accessibility researcher at Amazon, where he has contributed to projects such as Braille compatibility with Fire tablets and a “Show and Tell” feature on camera-enabled Echo devices that can identify pantry and food items. Miele’s expertise in information accessibility and commitment to making solutions available for mass use will be increasingly important as we move into an ever more digitized world.

Mahadeo

Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai

Director of Research and Chief Inclusion and Accessibility Officer for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind

Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai is the world’s first congenitally blind biomedical research scientist. Mahadeo is Director of Research and Chief Inclusion and Accessibility Officer for the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind), having previously served as a researcher at the University Health Network in Toronto. Dr. Sukhai also holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, Queens University (Kingston, ON, Canada).

In his role at CNIB, Mahadeo leads a significant research program focused on social determinants of health and inclusion for people living with sight loss in Canada. Dr. Sukhai is the Principal Investigator for and co-author of "Creating a Culture of Accessibility in the Sciences," a book based on his groundbreaking work on access to science within higher education, and serves as the principal investigator for national projects to understand the student experience for persons with disabilities, and to examine accessibility and inclusion within science education and healthcare. Dr. Sukhai co-founded IDEA-STEM, an organization dedicated to accessibility in science education, and INOVA, the international Network of researchers with Visual impairments and their Allies, a new professional society with the mission to improve accessibility and inclusion in the biomedical sciences for researchers with vision loss.

ainsley

Ainsley Latour

Scientist and Educator

Ainsley Latour is a scientist, educator and researcher with lived experience with hearing loss, and an expert in accessible science education. Ainsley currently serves on the Government of Ontario’s Post-Secondary [Accessibility] Standards Development Committee. Ainsley served as a member of the National Taskforce on the Experience of Graduate Students with Disabilities, and is a published author, having written on the student-supervisor relationship for graduate students with disabilities, and on inclusive education in STEM learning environments. Ainsley's work has been presented at national and international conferences on science and disability, including SciAccess 2019 and 2020, the ISLAND 2020 conference, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2018, 2019 and 2021). She is currently conducting research on accessible workplaces for people with disabilities, with a focus on work integrated learning for students and trainees with disabilities. Ainsley is a practicing cyto and molecular genetic technologist (MLT) and is preparing to graduate in spring 2021 with a masters from Memorial University of Newfoundland, focused on marine biology and population genetics.

Ufuoma

Ufuoma Ovienmhada

MIT Graduate Student

Ufuoma Ovienmhada is a Master's student in the Space Enabled Research Group at the MIT Media Lab. In her research, Ufuoma creates low-cost data tools to enable the management of an invasive plant species that grows on Lake Nokoue in coastal West Africa. To design this tool, she combines co-design methods, satellite data analysis, in-situ water quality measurements and drone data for validation. Prior to arriving at MIT, she graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Her work experiences have trained her in engineering in low-resource environments and community-centered design. Outside of research, Ufuoma works on community building and campus activism with the MIT Black Graduate Student Association, working on topics such as underrepresented minority recruitment, mental health support, and over-policing of Black students.

rayan

Rayan Khan

IAU Dark Skies Ambassador and Founder of Cosmic Tribe ​

Rayan Khan is the Founder of Cosmic Tribe. He was born and raised in “The City of Lights” Karachi, Pakistan. His passion for the field of astronomy and space developed during his study period. During the early nurturing period of his career, he learned and developed the quality of being proactive which proved to be profound when he started outreach and public awareness campaigns on light pollution known by the name of Light Pollution Fighter.

He received his Master’s degree in Space Science with a specialization in Astrophysics from the Institute of Space Science and Technology, University of Karachi. He has also completed an “Aerospace Apprenticeship” from the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) Training Center in Karachi in 2010. He has almost 9 years of Aircraft Maintenance Engineering experience and holds an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer’s License (AMEL).

He is the International Astronomical Union Dark Skies Ambassador from Pakistan, the National Node of International Day of Light, and The Young Person’s Representative of the Royal Aeronautical Society Pakistan Division.

exodus

Exodus Chun-Long Sit

International Transmedia Astronomer​

Exodus CL Sit is an international transmedia astronomer, popular science author, astro-musician, astrophotographer, and columnist from Hong Kong, China. He is the National Astronomy Education Coordinator (Chair of Hong Kong) of the International Astronomical Union and International Committee of the International Dark-Sky Association. He actively promotes dark-sky protection and popular science through international delegation, as the national coordinator and committee of United Nations Youth Climate Change Conference of Youth (COY16), UNESCO International Day of Light, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Astronomers Without Borders, Aurora Association, Moon Village Association, TEDx educational motivational conferences and Space Generation Advisory Council respectively.

Currently as the External Vice-President of Starrix, Exodus has also been invited as the guest speaker of Hong Kong Space Museum and Hong Kong Science Museum to organize public lectures, astro-music performance, outreach programs, and stargazing carnivals on multiple disciplines, such as sustainability, dark-sky protection, space exploration, astronomy innovation, astropreneurship, and STEAM education.

diane

Diane Weinbrandt

Job Developer, University of Cincinnati

Diane Weinbrandt is the Director of Community Relations and Job Development for the Advancement and Transition Services at the University of Cincinnati whose programs serve over 100 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). She earned her doctorate at the University of Cincinnati in Special Education. She was an Assistant Professor at Wilmington College in the Special Education Program. She has classroom experience as an Interventionist in various K-12 settings teaching students with disabilities and began her professional career as an Industrial Engineer. Her research interests involve supporting individuals with IDD in postsecondary education and improving employment outcomes including access to STEM pathways.

joann blumenfeld

Joann Blumenfeld

Catalyst Program Director, Science House, North Carolina State University

Joann Blumenfeld has BA and MS degrees in Science and Engineering and taught 21 years as a Science and Special Education Teacher in grades Pre-K- high school in Wake County Public Schools, Raleigh, NC. She is Founder and Director of Catalyst: Creating Opportunities in STEM for students with disabilities at Science House, North Carolina State University.
Catalyst is designed to create STEM opportunities for students with disabilities.

Students learn STEM content and skills through hands-on labs and research, participate in STEM field trips, mentoring opportunities, and paid STEM internships, improve workforce readiness and soft skills, and explore STEM educational pathways and careers.
Catalyst Received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant for Connecting Students with Autism to Geographic Information Science & Technology, 2021, Program of Excellence Award, 2021, International Technology and Engineering Educators Association, Winners of National 2017 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Competition which the students invented a mat that screens for lameness in cows and an App that notifies farmers, won the technical award and were the only team in the country with all students with disabilities, Winners of National Energy Education Development Project: Special Project Award, 2020, Invited to the US Patent Office, June 2018 for a special program, Received a Letter of Commendation from President Obama, and all graduating Catalyst Seniors have gone on to STEM Educational Pathways in College.

lynn

Lynn Cominsky

Professor and Director

Lynn Cominsky is an award-winning Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department at Sonoma State University (SSU), where she has been on the faculty for over 35 years. She is an author on over 200 research papers in refereed journals, and the Principal or Co-Investigator on over $33 million of grants to SSU. Prof. Cominsky is the founder and director of SSU’s EdEon STEM Learning group, which excels at K-12 teacher training, curriculum development, and the development of interactive web activities for students that teach math and science.

She is a Fellow of the California Council on Science and Technology, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Legacy Fellow of the American Astronomical Society. Recent awards include the 2016 Education Prize from the American Astronomical Society, the 2016 Wang Family Excellence Award from the California State University and the 2017 Frank J. Malina Education Medal from the International Astronautical Federation. Cominsky’s most recent project is: NASA’s Neurodiversity Network (N3): Creating Inclusive Informal Learning Opportunities Across the Spectrum. N3’s goal is to provide a pathway to NASA participation and STEM employment for neurodiverse learners, with a focus on those on the autism spectrum.

yuma

Yuma Antoine Decaux

Machine Learning Engineer

Yuma Decaux is a blind computer science student graduating this semester with a B.S. in Computer Science, majoring in Machine Learning from the University of Queensland, Australia.

With no sight, he has challenged himself to one of the most exciting fields where intuition in mathematics and statistics is essential: artificial intelligence.
He has written tools in multiple languages to sonify visually oriented content, and has applied the often overlooked criteria for learning: implementation in a viable use case.

He won the Brisbane NASA Space App Challenge in 2018, and embarked on an audio based literature review of fields in astronomy across the world as part of the Holman Prize 2019, physically interviewing experts across the globe, posing the same question each time: How to make this particular data accessible? The result of this is an augmented reality app part of a research project at the faculty of Astrophysics at his university to sonify the dark energy survey in 3D spatial audio. The app and its companion for Mac OS has appeared at two consecutive Apple summits for education and accessibility. His work will appear in Nature Astronomy as part of the audible universe workshop, recently organised by the Lorenz Institute.

allyson

Allyson Bieryla

Astronomer

Allyson Bieryla is the manger of the astronomy lab and telescope used for undergraduate teaching at Harvard University. Allyson is also an Astronomer at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian. She is an observational astronomer with a specific interest in the detection, follow-up, and characterization of exoplanets. She has worked on the development of two sonification devices (LightSound and Orchestar) that were designed for solar eclipses and teaching the phenomena of light and color.

ariana

Ariana Riccio

Research Psychologist

Dr. Ariana Riccio’s work focuses on curriculum development, maker education, and transitions to employment and higher education for adolescents and young adults. Her research relates to improving resources and programming for autistic youth and those with other developmental disabilities.

Riccio is particularly committed to participatory research design. She conducted her doctoral work alongside autistic researchers and community members, and she strives to include autistic voices and expertise in all her work.

She holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology from the Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY) and a BS in Biology and Community Health from Tufts University.

brianna

Brianna Blaser

Associate Director, AccessComputing

Through her work at the DO-IT Center at the University of Washington, Brianna Blaser works to increase the participation of people with disabilities in science and engineering careers. She is the associate director for AccessComputing and AccessADVANCE. Her work includes direct interventions for individuals with disabilities and working with faculty, employers, and other stakeholders to create institutional change.

Previously, Brianna was Project Director of Outreach for AAAS & Science Careers where she promoted Science Careers resources through career and professional development workshops to undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and early-career scientists. Brianna earned her PhD in Women’s Studies at the University of Washington in 2008. Her dissertation focused on broadening participation in STEM education and careers.

 

harry

Harry Wood

STEM Trainer-D/HH

Harry is a STEM Trainer with a science background. He started out as the math/science specialist and now specializes in High School Robotics for STEM education. He tries to combine his experience as a teacher of the D/HH with the best practices of STEM education into a cohesive model. Prior to his current position, Harry taught students in high school at the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind from 2003-2016, specializing in science education.

Originally hailing from Maryland, he provides support & enthusiasm in robotics and computer science/coding among many other things. He has a love for gardening, hiking, kayaking, and anything to do with nature.

soley

Sóley Hyman

Astronomy Graduate Student
Sóley is a doctoral student in the Astronomy and Astrophysics program at the University of Arizona. She attended Harvard University, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in Astrophysics and Physics, with a minor in Music. Her experience in astronomy has ranged from projects on instrumentation for high-energy particles to a multiwavelength study of a distant galaxy system. She is excited to contribute to growing multiwavelength and multimessenger astronomy communities in the search for unusual objects, systems, and phenomena, as well as possibly collaborating on small-scale instrumentation projects. In addition, Sóley is committed to making astronomy more accessible for blind and visually impaired people through sound. She is also an accomplished trumpet player and enjoys spending her free time hiking, swimming, reading, and writing poetry.
kimberly

Kimberly Arcand

Visualization Scientist

Dr. Kimberly Arcand is the visualization scientist for NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. She led the production of the first-ever 3D print of an exploded star using NASA observational data, and launched the first-ever data-driven virtual reality application of a supernova remnant using NASA data. Arcand also led a team to improve NASA 3D-printed data sets by working with students and professionals who are blind or low vision. Her current research involves sonification of spatial data, screen-based holograms and other intersections of emerging technology and astrophysics. Arcand has also co-written seven popular science books.

maria

Maria Elena Monzani

IAU Dark Skies Ambassador and Founder of Cosmic Tribe ​

Maria Elena Monzani received her PhD from University of Milano and University of Paris 7. Her research field is astroparticle physics, which focuses on topics at the intersection between particle physics and astrophysics/cosmology; her PhD research was on the Borexino experiment that measured neutrinos produced by the sun. She held a postdoctoral position at Columbia University before joining SLAC in 2007 to work on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

Today, Monzani is a lead scientist at SLAC. She leads the software computing effort for the LZ Dark Matter Experiment and the Science Operations Team for the Fermi satellite. When she is not looking for dark matter, Monzani enjoys playing the piano, arguing about philosophy and scouting the Bay Area for new cuisines.

noreen

Noreen Grice

Astronomy Accessibility Consultant
Noreen Grice holds Masters degrees in both Astronomy and Business Administration. She is an astronomy educator with over 30 years of experience in the planetarium field presenting programs, courses and events. Through her consulting company, You Can Do Astronomy LLC, she makes astronomy more accessible to students with disabilities and different learning styles and especially for people who are blind or visually impaired. Noreen has authored accessible astronomy books with tactile images that allow readers to explore celestial objects with their fingertips. Her most recent books are Everyone's Universe: A Guide to Accessible Astronomy Places and Touch the Stars, 5th edition.
lisa

Lisa Vogt

Braille and Typewell Transcriber
Lisa Vogt is a Braille and Typewell transcriber at The Ohio State University. She holds a master's degree in English from Kent State University and is a certified literary Braille transcriber, currently working on her Nemeth code certification.
Niki Sajjad

Niki Sajjad

PhD Candidate in Space Engineering at K. N. Toosi University of Technology, NPoC for Iran at Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC)
Niki is a PhD candidate in space engineering. She works on the Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem for miniaturized satellites and has experienced working on three different student satellites as an ADCS engineer. She did her undergrad in electrical engineering and entered her space pathway by starting her master’s in 2017. These days, she leads the SRLsat 6U CubeSat at Space Research Laboratory at K. N. Toosi University of Technology. She is obsessed with the topic of space sustainability and tries to move all her activities toward this goal to take a small step for protecting the Earth and the orbit in a large-scale international collaboration. Niki is the National Point of Contact (NPoC) for Iran at SGAC. She aims to Inform the public about the importance of space and reduce the gap between society and the space industry. She researches Space for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Middle East, and her ultimate dream is to see worldwide collaboration among people with diverse backgrounds working toward the same goal: saving humanity and giving a better life to humankind.
Ruvimbo Samanga

Ruvimbo Samanga

CEO & Founder of AgriSpace
Ruvimbo Samanga is the CEO & Founder of AgriSpace, and a Space Policy Analyst specialising in the African traditional and Newspace industry, working with national, regional and global organisations to build space law capacity. She is a social entrepreneur and space educator, and deeply passionate about creating opportunities for the youth. Her interests are multidisciplinary, and she describes herself as a keen space enthusiast and advocate.
Dr. Mustafa Sahin Bulbul

Dr. Mustafa Sahin Bulbul

Director of Research Center on Chaotic Education
Mustafa Sahin Bulbul completed his B.S. from the Department of Physics at Kafkas University and his Master’s degree in the Institute of Science of the same university. His thesis is named “Energy Resolution and Linearity of Hf Detectors Used in the CMS Experiment.” He worked as a classroom and physics teacher during his graduate education. He completed his doctoral dissertation on the ability of visually impaired students to learn physics in inclusive classes, received his Ph.D. in Physics Education and his Associate Professor degree in the same field at Middle East Technical University (METU). He continues his studies in philosophy and sociology research with an interest in different subjects such as Chaos theory, Accessible Education, Drama, Futurism, Connectivity, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Nature of Science, Contextual Learning, and Creativity. He is currently a lecturer in the Department of Primary Education at the Dede Korkut Faculty of Education at Kafkas University in Turkey and the director of the www.chaotic.blue web site where the theoretical background of chaotic learning is shared. He has written nearly twenty books and book chapters.
Adrienne Provenzano

Adrienne Provenzano

STEAM and Arts Integration Specialist
Adrienne Provenzano is an innovative and accomplished STEAM and Arts Integration specialist. An informal educator and professional musician, her independent scholarship includes expertise in women's history and issues of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. Volunteer education and outreach affiliations include the NASA JPL-CalTech Solar System Ambassadors program and the ISS National Lab Space Station Explorers Ambassadors program. Affiliated with the National Association for Interpretation as a Certified Interpretive Guide, she has experience as an Earth and Space Science educator and communicator. Ms. Provenzano has sung and spoken at national and international events regarding the important role of the arts and humanities in STEAM education, as well as on accessibility, including appearances at the inaugural 2019 SciAccess Conference, IAUS358 Symposium, the Space Exploration Educators Conference, Kennedy Space Center's SPACE Educator Conference, UNOOSA/UN Women "Space for Women" Experts Meeting, the OSU/ADA Multiple Perspectives Conference, and at the Ad Astra Vita Space Health Symposium. She was a participant in the 2021 Audible Universe Workshop on Sonification and is an active member of the SciAccess Working Group as well as the Sonification World Chat network.
Sahil Bhatia

Sahil Bhatia

Multipotentialite, Asclepios I Systems Officer
Sahil Bhatia is a multipotentialite who believes in building a future that is sustainable and inclusive for all. During his time as an undergraduate student at the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, he has been an active part of several student projects and has led teams in international competitions, such as the AIAA Design/Build/Fly challenge and the Singapore Space Challenge. As part of the Infinity Space Club, Sahil has worked to encourage school and university students to take part in STEAM through various space and astronomy activities. As part of the club, he volunteered as the coverage head, organizing stargazing events and was part of the team which conducted the first two editions of the National Space Convention held in Dehradun, India. Over the past year, he has worked with the Small Satellite Project Group of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), and has been the systems officer for the first student-led analogue astronaut mission, “Asclepios I”. He is also a part of the Climate Clock Website, an internationally led project intended to inform the public about climate change mitigation.
Senay Daniel

Senay Daniel

Entrepreneur, Professional, and Community Advocate
Senay Daniel is an entrepreneur, professional, and community advocate with a focus on disability, race, and the intersection of the two. Senay is a fellow at Venture for America, a two-year fellowship program for recent grads who want to work at a startup and create jobs in American cities. Born and raised in the greater Columbus area, Senay graduated with honors from Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business in 2018 with a concentration in Management Information Systems. Senay is currently involved with several volunteering initiatives, including with Junior Achievement as a classroom volunteer guiding Columbus City Schools students through courses related to financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and career planning. Shortly before graduating college, Senay was inspired to begin work towards creating a support association for people of color with autism. In collaboration with his mentor, Karen Krainz Edison, Senay has worked to develop programming for the group, which has launched under the name Autism In Color.
Kate Meredith

Kate Meredith

President of GLAS Education
Kate Meredith is the former Director of Yerkes Education Outreach (YEO) at Yerkes Observatory. She is passionate about making astronomy and STEAM accessible to everyone, regardless of ability or background, and keeping the Geneva Lakes community engaged in former YEO programs. She brings two key former YEO programs with her to GLAS Education: Innovators Developing Accessible Tools for Astronomy (IDATA) and Sloan Digital Sky Survey outreach. Kate is the lead educator for the IDATA project, a software development grant to develop accessible astronomy image processing software. Recently recognized by the Geneva Lake branch of the American Association of University Women for her leadership in astronomy education, she is very excited to share her passion and experience with others through the future efforts of GLAS.
Laura Jean Checki

Laura Jean Checki

CEO of Interstellar Inspirations LLC
Laura Jean Checki is a Science Education and Public Outreach Specialist who has over 15 years of experience in the field of accessibility accommodations and is a noted expert on the public understanding of science and on accessible programming. She has advised various schools, institutions, and organizations on understanding the principles of universal design and inclusive environments. Laura is currently employed as the Environmental Specialist of Educational Programs for the Department of Health for the County of Bergen where she develops STEAM programs for schools and community outreach events and Universal Instructional Design (UID) focused professional development workshops to educators. She also provides COVID-19 and Long COVID updates and public service announcements for the County. She was presented with the 2013 Challenger Center for Space Science Education Award for her “No Star out of Reach” program which she designed for the Buehler Challenger & Science Center. She serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Interstellar Inspirations, LLC, which provides STEAM focused accessibility consulting solutions for formal and informal education projects as well as accommodation and accessibility techniques and strategies for appropriately, and respectfully, interacting with the disabled population in general. Laura is a staunch advocate for people with disabilities especially those with hidden disabilities such as herself. Laura graduated from Bergen Community College with an Associate in Science degree in General Science in 2001. She then went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in 2006 from Columbia University in Environmental Biology, Ecology, and Evolution with a focus on invasive species. At present, she is pursuing a Master's degree in Biology, Ecology, and Evolution from Montclair State University.
Michelle Daly

Michelle Daly

Director of Disability Education and School District Program Coordinator at the Meadowlands Environment Center, COO of Interstellar Inspirations LLC
Michele Daly has over 25 years of experience in the field of accessibility. When Ramapo College was awarded an $875,000 National Science Foundation grant in 2007 to create informal education programming and products for individuals of all ability levels that subscribe to the Universal Instructional Design (UID) paradigm, Michele became the project manager. Along with her partner Laura, Michele designed and implemented accessible programming for adults with disabilities in the field of informal science education. Michele is currently the Director of Disability Education and the School District Program Coordinator at the Meadowlands Environment Center operated by Ramapo College. She is also the Chief Operating Officer of Interstellar Inspirations, LLC, providing consultation regarding the design of inclusive environments as well as the intricacies of the 13 categories of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, (IDEA). Michele focuses on providing equal access, under the law, to individuals with disabilities and illuminates the benefits of technology as an accommodation to those in need. Michele holds a Bachelor Degree in Social Work from Ramapo College, a Master Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Direct Practice with Children and Families from Rutgers State University, and a Master Degree of Science in Educational Technology from Ramapo College.
Zuby Onwuta

Sir Zuby Onwuta

Harvard-MIT Trained Innovator and AstroAccess Ambassador

Sir Zuby Onwuta is a Harvard-MIT trained innovator, US Presidential Service Award recipient,
US Army Veteran, patented inventor of "Brain control for Blind Assistive Tech" and founder of the startup "Think and Zoom," to help "[create] a world where visual impairment no longer steals dreams or kills careers," and the publication "Future of Disability," which celebrates the achievements of Disabled Tech Innovators from around the world.

Hardships from losing his medical studies, US Army and engineering careers to legal blindness disability, inspired him to invent and patent a solution that reads and responds to human brain waves, to provide hands-free vision augmentation and reading assistance.

As a Disability Advocate, he has spoken across 6 countries, TEDx, US Congress, United Nations, SXSW and more. As a global mentor impacting over 1,000 STEM students, he was awarded the US Presidential Service Award by President Barack Obama.

Previous work experience include software engineering roles at Lucent, Goldman Sachs & Co and IBM. He holds a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from UIC and Innovation certificates from MIT, Harvard and NSF.

More info at ZubyOnwuta.com and thinkandzoom.com.

Sheryl Burgstahler

Sheryl Burgstahler

Founder and Director of Accessible Technology Services at the University of Washington
Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler founded and directs Accessible Technology Services—which includes the Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT) and the IT Accessibility Technology (ITAT) Teams—at the University of Washington. These dynamic groups promote (1) the development of self determination skills, use of mainstream and assistive technology, and other interventions to support the success of students with disabilities in postsecondary education and careers and (2) the universal design (UD) of learning opportunities; facilities; websites, media, documents and other IT; and services to ensure that they are accessible to, usable by, and inclusive of individuals with disabilities.
Tiffany Wild

Tiffany Wild

Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, College of Education and Human Ecology
Dr. Tiffany Wild began her education career as a middle school science and math teacher. Her interest in visual impairment began when students with visual impairments were placed in her classroom without any support. Those students inspired her to become a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI). As a TVI, she worked as a teacher’s aide for students with visual impairments in an early learning center and as an itinerant teacher for Project PAVE. She was awarded a prestigious doctoral fellowship with the National Center for Leadership in Visual Impairments to pursue her doctoral degree. Currently, Dr. Wild is an associate professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education and Human Ecology. Her research focuses on science education for students with visual impairments. She has published and presented both nationally and internationally. It is through her research endeavors that she has been asked to collaborate on numerous research projects and to present at national, state, and local conventions. She was awarded the Warren C. Bledsoe award by the Association for Education of the Blind and Visually Impaired for noteworthy literature in the field of visual impairment and blindness.
Maria Royle

Maria Royle

Science and ESOL Educator
Maria Royle is a native of Puerto Rico. She is dual-certified in Science and ESOL, and has taught for over 15 years from grades 1st through 12th. As a hearing impaired, Latina woman, she has endured many challenges, but has risen to overcome them and support her students to enjoy a passion for learning and being involved in STEM activities. Maria has worked on numerous projects and presentations for the NASA Space Grant Program, including having participated in the Great Solar Eclipse Project where she guided students in building payloads that carried sensors and cameras, and attached to high-altitude weather balloons to stream live for NASA. She has also participated in guiding her all female team of students to build CubeSats for Virginia Space Grant and North Carolina Space Grant, and launch those CubeSats into orbit carrying specialized sensors.
Cassandra Runyon

Cassandra Runyon

Associate Professor of Geology at the College of Charleston, Director – NASA SC Space Grant Consortium & SC NASA EPSCoR

Dr. Cassandra Runyon graduated from the University of Hawai’i in 1988 with her Ph.D. in Geology and Geophysics. Following graduation, she was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at NASA Johnson Space Center. Her research focused on understanding the nature and origin of volcanic features on the terrestrial planets. Later, as an employee of POD Associates, she used laboratory and remote sensing data to interpret and model near-Earth space debris for the National Space Council and the Department of Defense. This research helped to better understand the effects of space debris on various spacecraft materials. As a Faculty Fellow working with her colleagues at NASA Johnson Space Center, Cass helped to explore and define the initial field requirements for future human-robotic missions to the Moon and Mars. Later, after joining the College of Charleston faculty, her research used hyperspectral and multispectral data and imagery to model stressed terrestrial environments including coastal wetlands, precision farming and disturbed ground to assess urban/suburban change to South Carolina’s coastal wetlands through field reconnaissance, remote sensing, and GIS. She continues to work with NASA and as a science team member and education & public engagement (E/PE) lead for the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) spectrometer that flew onboard Chandrayaan-1, which discovered water on the Moon!

She is currently an Associate Professor of Geology at the College of Charleston, Director of the NASA SC Space Grant Consortium and SC NASA EPSCoR program and the education/public engagement lead for the Center for Lunar and Asteroid Surface Science (CLASS), a NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) team. Her passion is helping to provide access to STEM for all audiences, including those with visible and invisible disabilities.

Caitlin Milera

Caitlin Milera

Director of the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium (NDSGC) and North Dakota NASA EPSCoR
Caitlin Milera is a faculty member at the University of North Dakota (UND). She is the Director of the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium (NDSGC) and North Dakota NASA EPSCoR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research). Both of these programs have statewide impacts, housed under wider national initiatives, and are funded by NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement. Milera is also a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Space Studies at UND. Milera’s educational background includes a B.S. in Astrophysics and an M.S. in Space Studies. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Teaching and Learning, with an emphasis in Higher Education. Her research interests include STEM education with a focus on engagement of learners who identify as belonging to underserved and underrepresented populations, LGBTQIA initiatives in higher education, educator professional development in STEM fields and space sciences, and STEM and NASA-relevant historiography and historical analysis.
Tori McIntosh

Tori McIntosh

Coordinator for the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium

Tori McIntosh graduated from the University of North Dakota (UND) with a Bachelor's degree in 2009, double majoring in Communications and Visual Arts. Her love for communications led her to becoming an English as a second or foreign language teacher in Taiwan for six years where she was a two-time Teacher of the Year awardee, developed training curriculum for educators, and taught within both the private and public-school systems. Since returning to America, she has focused on a career in STEM education and STEM communications. She is currently enrolled in the Comprehensive Sciences Education program at UND.

Tori is the Coordinator for the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium. Since starting with the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium, she has developed and hosted Virtual STEM Escape Rooms for the North Dakota School for the Blind, helped design and host an atmospheric sciences workshops for educators, register Purple Air sensors across the state of North Dakota, and has been a part of the Innovative Differentiated Exploration Activities in Space Science (IDEAS) team. She is passionate about public education programs, furthering STEM & STEAM initiatives, promoting inclusion, and community well-being. She believes all students deserve support as they make space for themselves in their communities.

Marissa Saad

Marissa Saad

Deputy Director of the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium (NDSGC) and ND NASA EPSCoR
Marissa Saad graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor's degree in Astronomy and two minors in Education and Latin. After she earned her Space Studies MS degree from the University of North Dakota, she taught 12th and 11th grade Earth Science in Boston, MA. Now, serving as the Deputy Director of the NDSGC (North Dakota Space Grant Consortium) and ND NASA EPSCoR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) programs, she enjoys being an advocate for rural, Tribal, and underserved ND communities, assisting students through unique pathways to NASA. Saad is also a PhD candidate in Teaching and Learning and holds a College Teaching Certificate. Her research areas include teacher education, experiential STEM pedagogy, team-based learning (TBL), high altitude balloon mission design, and promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in STEM.
Mary Rickel

Mary Rickel

President of the Zenith Mentorship Program
Mary Rickel is a second-year Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics major minoring in Mathematics. Mary is involved with a few SciAccess programs, namely the Zenith Mentorship Program where she is the president, and the Working Group as a coordinator and note taker. In addition to her love for STEM, Mary is passionate about making science more accessible and diverse. Inspired by her mentoring experiences, she is applying this passion in other diversity and inclusion programs at OSU including Polaris Mentorship and SPOK, a space science outreach program to K-12 schools in the Columbus area.
Athena Wrenn

Athena Wrenn

Undergraduate Student at the Ohio State University, Volunteer Coordinator at See3D Inc.
Athena Wrenn is a senior mechanical engineering student at The Ohio State University. She joined See3D Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which organizes the printing and distribution of 3D printed models for the blind, last year as volunteer coordinator. A 3D printing enthusiast herself, Athena hopes to bring makers together to make the world a better place.
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Stefania Varano

Physics and Maths Educator
Stephania Varano holds Master's degrees in Astronomy and in Science Communication and Qualification for Teaching Physics and Maths in high schools. She studies the use of innovative methods for designing inclusive outreach and educational activities and design new activities accordingly. She also studies Game based learning and the use of games in astronomy outreach and education.
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Gabriel Arellano

Heritage Signer
Gabriel Arellano is a Heritage Signer with the ancestry of Mayan/Olmec who has lived and worked in the US, Denmark, Italy, and the UK, and uses American, Danish, Italian, and British Sign Languages. Arellano has studied signed language linguistics and anthropology (Univ. of New Mexico ‘01), ASL and Deaf Studies (Gallaudet MA ‘07), and was a PhD candidate on language documentation at University College London in UK. Between 2010-2014 in Sign Language Research Lab (Georgetown University), he researched and developed a translation of Heritage Sign Language by 15 Master Signers (Gallaudet, Fay, Veditz, and others) and consulted on heritage sign language and sign language linguistics. Arellano is employed for ASLPI (ASL Proficiency Interview) at Gallaudet University, and as Deaf STEM Camp Director for Camp Mark 7 in New York. Arellano's experiences led him to develop a desire to help the Sign Language community achieve its goals of improving the quality of education of the Deaf in the United States and worldwide as well as raise its literacy level through STEMS.
Emerson Wheeler

Emerson Wheeler

Medical and Public Health student at the Larner College of Medicine, University of Vermont

Emerson Wheeler (they/them or he/him) is a Medical and Public Health student at the University of Vermont's Larner College of Medicine. Emerson is on the Board of Directors for All Brains Belong VT, a nonprofit primary care and community center for people of all neurotypes. Emerson recently made the difficult decision to step away from medical school in order to pursue specialist medical care and recover from autistic burnout. In part due to their recent lived experience with the topics, Emerson is particularly passionate about educating other health professionals about autistic burnout, the impacts of masking/camouflaging on suicidal ideation, and improving healthcare access for autistic adults and those with unreliable or minimal speech. Emerson loves to write and talk about the autistic experience of gender, the double empathy problem, and ways to make medicine accessible for both disabled/chronically ill health professionals and their patients. After school, Emerson plans to be a child and adolescent psychiatrist, specializing in neurodiversity-affirming care.

Clara Brasseur

Clara Brasseur

PhD Student at St. Andrews University
Clara Brasseur (they/them) is a PhD Student at St Andrews university studying the magnetic fields of cool stars with Dr. Moira Jardine. They were previously a software engineer in the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) where they focused on programmatic access to MAST data using Python, including leading the development of Astronify, a software library for sonifying astronomical data.
Alyssa Paparella

Alyssa Paparella

Graduate Student at Baylor College of Medicine
Alyssa Paparella (pronouns: she/her) is starting her second year of graduate school at Baylor College of medicine and is pursuing her PhD in Cancer and Cell Biology. Alyssa graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2019, before pursuing a National Institute of Health Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (NIH-PREP) at the University of California. In 2020, Alyssa was a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. During the start of the pandemic, Alyssa created a platform called DisabledInSTEM which is hosted across a website, Twitter, and Instagram to start to encourage conversations of increasing representation of disabled scientists. Through this initiative, Alyssa has created a mentorship program and conducted interviews with people at various stages of their careers to highlight the diversity within the DisabledInSTEM community. Using her platform, Alyssa hopes to make STEM more inclusive for all. Additionally, Alyssa serves on Disability:IN's Advisory Council.
Cheryl Fogle-Hatch

Cheryl Fogle-Hatch

Founder of MuseumSenses

Dr. Cheryl Fogle-Hatch, Ph.D. founded MuseumSenses (https://museumsenses.org/) and consults with museums on improving accessibility for people who are blind or have low vision. She earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico where she taught 100 and 200-level college courses in archaeology. Dr. Fogle-Hatch designed and led hands-on science activities for high school students in programs run by the National Federation of the Blind.

Rachel Slaybaugh

Rachel Slaybaugh

Outreach Chair for the Zenith Mentorship Program
Rachel Slaybaugh is currently a second year undergraduate student at the Ohio State University studying Physics and Astronomy/Astrophysics. She joined the Zenith Mentorship Program in December 2020 as Outreach Chair. Rachel is involved in several efforts focused on making astronomy and physics more equitable for underrepresented groups, including the Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Alliance. Rachel also serves on the Undergraduate Majors in Astronomy and Astrophysics Committee and the Department of Physics Climate and Diversity Committee. Currently, she is conducting research in cosmology.
Bailey Stephens

Bailey Stephens

Operations Chair for the Zenith Mentorship Program
Bailey Stephens is a Junior at The Ohio State University studying Physics and Astronomy. Before he moved to Ohio, he was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bailey spends much of his time learning new coding languages and making simulations for physics problems. In his free time he likes to engage in activities that are different from his major such as solving puzzles, playing the piano, and cooking.
Lindsay Yazzolino

Lindsay Yazzolino

Tactile Design Specialist, Accessibility Technology Consultant
Lindsay Yazzolino is an audio/tactile design consultant and air travel enthusiast who has worked in diverse fields ranging from brains to trains. Lindsay leverages both her professional background in cognitive neuroscience research and personal experience as a totally blind scientist to collaboratively develop products, such as exhibits and educational materials, which incorporate “hand-catching” tactile design and rich audio. She is enthusiastic about modern technologies, such as 3D printing and interactive touch screens, which are revolutionizing the design of multisensory interfaces. With these tools, Lindsay helps create interactive tangible experiences that are intuitive and fun. She also coordinates research studies of how diverse types of life experience shape brain and cognitive processes. A firm believer that outreach makes for better science, she constantly strives to connect scientists with individuals whose experiences they are interested in studying so that they can mutually benefit from each other's expertise.
Amrita Suresh

Amrita Suresh

Freshman at Southeast Raleigh High School

Amrita Suresh is a freshman at Southeast Raleigh High School in Raleigh, NC. She is thinking about majoring in Electrical and Electronics Engineering when she enters college. She hopes to become an astronaut.

Nelle Poehlam

Nelle Poehlam

Senior at Camelot Academy
Nelle Poehlam is a Senior at Camelot Academy, Durham N.C. She aspires to become an astrophysicist.
Sina Bahram

Sina Bahram

President and Founder of Prime Access Consulting, Inc.
Sina Bahram is the President and founder of Prime Access Consulting, Inc. (PAC) and also serves as an invited expert on working groups and standards bodies, including the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) working group. He also mentors colleagues across multiple fields, and is a board member and project advisor on several initiatives. In 2012, Sina was recognized as a White House Champion of Change by President Barack Obama for his doctoral research work enabling users with disabilities to succeed in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. Sina believes that accessibility is sustainable when it is adopted as a culture, not just a tactic, and he is dedicated to shaping the next generation of digital accessibility standards and best practices.
Mary Cooper

Mary Cooper

Student at Stanford University pursuing a degree in Aerospace Engineering & Computer Science
Mary Cooper is a student at Stanford University pursuing a degree in Aerospace Engineering & Computer Science. She is a champion athlete and a below-the-knee amputee. Her interest in aerospace stems from her father’s career as a Helicopter Rescue Pilot in the United States Coast guard. At Stanford, Mary is a member of Pi Beta Phi, an official Stanford tour guide, and a member of the D1 reigning National Champion Rowing team. She is also a 2020 Brooke Owens Fellow, 2020 Lime Connect Fellow, and most recently a 2021 Matthew Isakowtiz Fellow. She is currently a proud owner of several high-performance, light-weight carbon fiber legs and has developed quite a unique life perspective, a curiosity for engineering, and phenomenal problem-solving skills from her experience with disability.
Eric Ingram

Eric Ingram

Founder and CEO of SCOUT Inc.
Eric Ingram is the Founder and CEO of SCOUT Inc., a company that is de-risking space operations with sensor suites that enable spacecraft to see and understand the area around them. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Old Dominion University, a sport pilot certificate, and is working towards SCUBA certification and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Houston. He was previously an Aerospace Engineer for the Licensing and Evaluation Division of the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, where he gained expertise in the regulatory environment. Prior to this, Eric was an engineer for Deep Space Industries, where he designed cubesat subsystems for testbed missions. Eric is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Space Frontier Foundation, plays wheelchair rugby, and was the first person in a wheelchair to earn a Gracie Jiu Jitsu blue belt.
Centra Mazyck

Centra "Ce-Ce" Mazyck

Paralympic Athlete in the event Javelin Throw

Centra "Ce-Ce" Mazyck, a born athlete, fell in love with the game of basketball and became a high school basketball star. In 1995, she enlisted in the US Army to pursue her dreams in education and she quickly fell in love with serving her country.
On November 26th, 2003, as a First Sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, Ce-Ce suffered a life-changing injury that damaged her spinal cord. Doctors told her that she would never walk again, but this didn’t slow her down.
Being a single mother to her son, Tristen, challenged her to push the limits. After vigorous rehabilitation, she went back to school and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at the University of South Carolina.
She returned to sports as a paralympic athlete, placing first in javelin at the paralympic trials in 2012. She went on to win bronze at the IPC Athletics World Championships in 2013, and continues to be dedicated to inspiring audiences both young and old all around the world.

Viktoria Modesta

Viktoria Modesta

Bionic Pop Artist and Creative Director
Viktoria Modesta is a bionic pop artist and creative director. Her work bridges music, body art, sculptural tech-fashion and an otherworldly narrative. Dedicated to changing the world’s perspective on post-disability, Viktoria brings a multidisciplinary approach to her work, connecting the art community and innovation to pop culture. Wearing a diamond-encrusted prosthetic, she performed as the Snow Queen during the 2012 Summer Paralympics closing ceremony and has racked up millions of views online for her viral music video “Prototype” with Channel4. She was also a member of the 2015 Cohort of Director’s Fellows at MIT Media Lab, and she has headlined a run of sold-out shows at the Crazy Horse cabaret in Paris, represented global brands Rolls Royce and Snap, and toured the world as a performing artist and keynote speaker.
Sawyer Rosenstein

Sawyer Rosenstein

Host of the podcast Talking Space, News Producer at WPBF 25
Sawyer Rosenstein is an avid space enthusiast and news producer at WPBF 25 in West Palm Beach, Florida. He previously hosted a weekly on-air segment called "Science with Sawyer", where he helped simplify some of the largest scientific news of the week, and he is currently host of the popular Talking Space podcast. Through the podcast, he became the youngest member of the NASA press corps at 17, covering the final space shuttle launch as media in 2011. He has covered dozens of launches since then, including every flight during the Commercial Crew Program and most recently Inspiration 4. He was formerly a flight director with the Challenger Centers for Space Science Education for 12 years, directing simulated space missions to the moon, Mars, and to rendezvous with a comet along with teaching other STEM concepts such as Lego Robotics and 3D printing. Sawyer has also interned with the communications office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
Eric Shear

Eric Shear

Graduate student in Chemical Engineering at the University of Florida
Eric Shear is currently a graduate student in chemical engineering at the University of Florida and his studies have taken him all over North America. Before Florida, Shear obtained degrees in physics and planetary science from York University in Toronto, Canada. As a student of Tacoma Community College in Washington State, Eric led an experiment on the Weightless Wonder aircraft in 2011 as part of NASA’s Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program. In 2018, Eric served as part of Crew 194 at the Mars Desert Research Station in the Utah desert. He also interned at Tethers Unlimited on a water electrolysis thruster that is now being tested in orbit. His previous work at York University led to two peer-reviewed academic publications in space mission design, with him as the first author. He is currently serving as a patent research intern at UFInnovate Tech Licensing.
Sheri Wells-Jensen

Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen

Associate Professor of Linguistics at Bowling Green State University
Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at Bowling Green State University, where she researches social aspects of human colonization, disability, the relationship between language, embodiment and thought, language evolution, and ways that alternative sensory inputs can influence the evolution of scientific thought. Sheri previously served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador educating on pesticide safety. While in Ecuador, she learned how to speak Spanish, the banjo, and the card game bridge. In addition to being a professor, Sheri serves on the boards of the SciAccess, SSoCIA (Social and Conceptual issues in Astrobiology), and METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) International and is currently writing a book on disability and space.