Matt Bishop: Board of Advisors Member
Matt is a very talkative chemical physicist, and avid rock climber. He has a knack for starting conversations about science with anyone. A habit that formed from teaching physics back in university. Matt has been participated in multiple science advocacy chapters, and has helped start a few. He has conducted research in biofuels, batteries, pharmaceuticals, and is currently doing his doctoral work at Los Alamos National Laboratory. If he has a day off, you can find him a few hundred feet up on the side of a cliff or on the side of a mountain.
Ryan Need: Board of Advisors Member
Ryan finished his Bachelor’s degree in Materials Engineering from Clemson University in the winter of 2011, and will graduate with a Ph.D. in Materials from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2017. His passion for science education and outreach began during his years at Clemson with a part-time job as a STEM tutor. This work has only grown at UCSB where Ryan participates in numerous science outreach programs around the Santa Barbara area, volunteering for the Materials Research Lab, the Center for Science and Engineering Partnership, the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, and Graduate Students for Diversity in Science. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys teaching yoga and adventuring outdoors with the same enthusiasm for exploration that drives his love for science.
Callie Goetz: Co-Founder and CEO
Callie works at the intersection of physics and engineering. In college she pursued a dual degree in physics and electrical engineering. She finished her Ph.D. in May 2017 in the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Tennessee. The goal of her graduate thesis was to make nuclear reactors safer through a better understanding of the behavior of decay heat, which is the main cause of reactor melt-down. During college, Callie interned at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source building beam profile monitors, and worked during the school year as an emergency medical technician. After graduating Callie volunteered in the emergency room of a health clinic in Cusco, Peru. During this time, she befriended some local physics professors. Together they founded Callie’s first non-profit, Q’omer Q’aya, which translates from Quechua to Green Tomorrow. Q’omer Q’aya involved teaching a class about green energy production methods at a local university and then working with the class to construct a project for a pueblo in need. Projects included a windmill-water pump and a solar hot-water heater to supply warm water for washing to an elementary school. During her spare time Callie is an avid reader, gardener and tinkerer. You will often find her working on several projects at once, as she believes that having a full work schedule is a suitable life-goal.
Jessica Velez: Chief Operations Officer
Jessica earned her first B.A. from the University of Texas, Austin. Beginning in 2010 she attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and earned her B.S. in Microbiology. During her stay at UT Knoxville she worked with Dr. Todd B. Reynolds on Saccharomyces cerevisiae genomics. She joined Dr. Christopher W. Schadt’s lab at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a HERE intern immediately following graduation, and will continue on with the Plant Microbial Interfaces (PMI) group for her graduate studies. During her time as an intern and later research associate, she worked with Dr. Schadt and Dr. Cyd E. Hamilton to characterize the fungal endophyte. She is currently a graduate research associate of the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, working toward a Ph.D. in Energy Science and Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Guin Shaw: Director of Development
Guin is an Energy Science and Engineering Ph.D. candidate and is currently researching materials for future fusion reactors. She was formerly an NCAA women’s varsity rower, but currently she is training for her first Ironman! She is also a strong advocate for STEAM communication and education. She recognizes that without good teachers and mentors throughout her life she wouldn’t be where she is today. This has inspired her to become a leader in STEAM field and to guide next generation.
Karissa Cross: Outreach Coordinator
Karissa received her Bachelor of Science degree at North Carolina State University with an interest in disease progression and dynamics in human hosts. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Tennessee working in the Systems Genetics group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Her current focus is on an NIH funded grant with Dr. Mircea Podar studying novel anaerobic microorganisms in the human oral cavity and how these organisms may contribute to the progression of periodontal disease. Karissa is a first-generation college graduate and her experiences regarding her pursuit of education has made her passionate about helping and encouraging others who may be starting out from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds in their pursuit of a STEM education.