Expert STEM Panels
Throughout the day, get informed with a series of discussions by expert STEM professionals happening April 6 at the City of STEM Science Festival at the Columbia Memorial Space Center.
Topic: Women in STEM 12:15 - 1:00pm
Moderator: Elaine Villanueva Bernal
Dr. Bernal earned her Ed.D in 2016, and is a published researcher in professional development for STEM faculty in higher education and K-12. Before entering higher education, she worked for the Aerospace Industry as a Failure Analyst. Dr. Bernal teaches general education chemistry for non-science majors, organic chemistry for pre-health professions students, and technical communications for chemistry majors. She also serves as the Internship Program Coordinator for the CSULB College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, where she developed and implemented professional development workshops, and industry and networking events in partnership with the CSULB Career Development and Student Access to Science and Math Centers servicing over 2,000 students in biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, physics, and science education.
Dieuwertje Kast is the STEM Programs Manager for the University of Southern California’s (USC) Joint Educational Project. Through her efforts, she has provided STEM instruction to over 23,000 underrepresented minority students, 600 educators, 20 school principals, and countless community members. She coordinates supplemental science lessons for K-5 across a gamut of schools through the Wonderkids and Young Scientists Programs. She teaches college-preparatory science classes to high school students through USC’s Neighborhood Academic Initiative, a college preparatory program for low-income youth. She has presented dozens of STEM and NGSS based professional development sessions to pre-service and in-service educators both in schools and at local, national and international conferences.
Dr. Susan Ip-Jewell
Dr Susan Ip-Jewell has been involved in analog astronautics, space exploration, exponential technologies healthcare, STEAM education, astropreneurship for many years. She is a space medicine physician- scientist and alumni of Singularity University, SU, International Space University, ISU and trained in molecular diagnostics and clinical therapeutics at the National Cancer Institute, at NIH and Molecular Pharmacology at UCLA. A veteran analog astronaut and has commanded over a dozen analog crew missions at austere, isolated and confined environments, notably, the recent success expedition to Nepal, Himalayas with the inaugural Mars Academy USA Mars Medics Crew 001. Susan is Founder of Mars Academy USA (MAU) and Space Surgery Institute. These organizations are focused on technological and innovative concepts, R&D in order to improve quality of life in Space and on Earth.
Jenny Cornuelle Krusoe is the founding executive director of AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles. Krusoe, a California native based in San Pedro, has a national reputation as a nonprofit executive and senior advisor on organizational and program design and fund development. Krusoe has been a member of the leadership team since the innovative ocean sustainability and marine science campus was first conceived. She is also a former motion picture executive and a longtime leader in the Los Angeles arts community.
Over the course of her career, Jenny Krusoe has raised hundreds of millions in foundation, corporate and government grants. She is skilled at stabilizing and restoring financial viability to a wide array of clients across many sectors including arts organizations, charter schools, human-service agencies and environmental organizations.
Shanit Khachi DeLuca
With over 20 years of experience in the Software and Digital Media industry, Shanit Khachi DeLuca has operated both as a Web Developer and Program Manager throughout her career. She started in the Silicon Valley working for various companies like HP and Cisco Systems as a Web Developer. She later transitioned into Project/Program Management where she worked for companies such as IBM, The National Football League, and currently Fandango. In her current role at Fandango, Shanit is the Director of Program Management overseeing various programs within technology and operations across the organization. In addition to her day-to-day responsibilities, Shanit is also very interested in helping support women in technology. In 2018 she started the Fandango TECHWomen chapter which reached over 100 active members in the first year with a focus on STEM outreach, mentorship, professional development, networking and recruiting of women in tech roles.
Topic: How to Raise a STEM Child 1:15 - 2:00pm
Mr. Blackburn is founder and CEO of Tinkers Corner LLC, a STEM education resource company in Southern California. He is on the Board of Directors for the City of Downey Columbia Memorial Space Center Foundation. He is also the Past President and Executive Advisor of the Aerospace Legacy Foundation here in California developing historical preservation and outreach projects. Gerald is an engineer and was a Project Manager with the Boeing Space and Communications Corporation. He was responsible for directing the Advanced Standards and Practices efforts in the Systems Safety and Product Assurance Department at the Huntington Beach Facility. Mr. Blackburn has been in the Aerospace Industry for over 40 years and retired in 2003. His career has spanned the entire manned space program from the X-15 at North American Aviation to the Apollo, Saturn SII, Space Shuttle and International Space Station Programs.
Steve O. Michael, PhD
Dr. Steve O. Michael is currently the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Charles R. Drew University. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Michael was the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Arcadia University for 5 years, where he was instrumental in establishing the College of Health Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Global Business, and the School of Education. Prior to his time at Arcadia University, he was a full professor of higher education management at Kent State University, where he also held several administrative positions including interim Associate Dean and Vice Provost for Diversity and Academic Initiatives. Dr. Michael was an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow in 2000-2001 at Carnegie Mellon University. He also served part of his fellowship at the City University of London and the University of Bath in England.
Wendie Johnston, PhD
Wendie Johnston, Ph.D. (UCLA, 1968) designed and was the first Director of the Biological Technology Program at Pasadena City College. She is currently Lab Director at the Pasadena Bio Collaborative wetlab incubation and training facility (29 tenants) and is the California Community College liaison to colleges in LA and Orange County which are training workers for the biotech industry.
Topic: Video Games 2:15 - 3:00pm
With over 18 years of experience, Anthony serves as an Executive Producer working with various developers on a wide range of projects. Most recently he has been producing Virtual Reality games such as Jurassic World VR: Expedition which launched to over 120 Dave & Buster’s locations nationwide. With a love of gaming and coding, Anthony attended Digipen Institute of Technology with a goal of learning how to make games. In 2001, he started working as a programmer and soon thereafter released his first title, Street Hoops for Xbox, PlayStation 2 and GameCube. After several years in a technical role, Anthony moved into the world of production where he has been responsible for all aspects of development and publishing for companies such as 2K Games, Activision Blizzard and Warner Bros. Interactive. In this capacity, he has shipped 25+ games across multiple platforms and genres including 2007’s Game of the Year BioShock, Teen Titans, Batman: Arkham Origins, The Darkness and [PROTOTYPE2].
Finlay McAree has been in the games industry almost 10 years. Starting in Ireland, he moved to London and worked with PlayStation for three years, then on a mobile game for two. His then-girlfriend proposed and he moved to Los Angeles in 2015 to get married. He now works as a software engineer in the games division of Warner Bros, working on the majority of titles they release. In his free time, he enjoys games, politics, reading and hiking.
Topic: Innovation in Los Angeles 3:15 - 4:00pm
*moderated by Dr. Susan Ip-Jewell
India was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but now feels lucky to call Los Angeles her home. India currently serves as Community Director for ScaleLA, an organization that recently opened a curated innovation space for healthcare startups that share a vision for building companies in, by, and for the LA area. In addition, she takes on the role of Executive Director of The ScaleLA Foundation, which empowers underserved youth to leverage entrepreneurial thinking to tackle systemic problems in Los Angeles. India’s primary goal is to ensure that both the for-profit and non-profit ScaleLA initiatives cultivate a healthy culture rooted in supporting the growth of our community across various geographic, demographic and social sectors.
In his role as Director of Innovation for the LAEDC, Chris Rico leads the continued development of an innovation program for LA County, where he works to build broad external support and provide thought leadership and strategic direction for the mission of the Innovate LA program, as well as its goals and priorities. Chris has grown InnovateLA into an annual celebration of regional innovation in all its depth and breadth with hundreds of events attended by tens of thousands of people. Chris has extensive experience creating, producing and executing projects. He honed his creative skills during a successful career in film and television development and production in Hollywood. This experience, along with his passion for social change, led him to the political arena where he worked with Arianna Huffington as a state organizer, Moveon.org as a lead organizer, and as campaign director for a ballot initiative to promote water conservation and sustainability.
Dr. Llewellyn Cox is cofounder and General Partner at MarsBio, a Los Angeles-based venture accelerator. He is also CEO of BioBuilt, a laboratory design firm, and is founder and President of Lab Launch, Los Angeles’ leading non-profit biotechnology incubator network. Llewellyn received his PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology at Cardiff University, before moving to New York City to perform postdoc research in neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is also currently adjunct professor in translational biology and science communications at Keck Medicine of USC.