Chris Avery, PhD Analytical Chemistry
Dr. Chris Avery serves as the Senior Global Climate Assessments Manager for the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). In this role, Chris manages the development, writing, and publication process of the National Climate Assessment (NCA) and other ongoing assessments. Prior to joining USGCRP, Chris served as a Senior Advisor for the National Council for Science and the Environment, leading all communications and public facing work for the organization. Chris also worked in the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office, focusing on stakeholder engagement. Prior to DOE, he served as a AAAS Congressional Fellow working for Senator Chris Coons. He was a member of Senator Coons’ energy and environment legislative team, with additional involvement in federal procurement and scientific integrity issues. Before his work as a AAAS Congressional Fellow, he served as a Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academies, working on economic policy. Chris earned a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry, a Graduate Certificate in Science, Technology, and Public Policy, and M.S. in Chemistry at the University of Michigan. He also received a B.S. in Chemistry from Hope College.
Jakub Czyz, PhD Computer Networking and Security
As a researcher and programmer for the non-profit Merit Network, Jakub Czyz develops software for network research and management and collects large-scale data sets about network usage. He also stays on top of federal, state, and local policy developments involving topics like cybersecurity and net neutrality.
Combined with his master’s degree in computer science and engineering, Czyz says that the STPP certificate has given him immense personal satisfaction: “My specific skills and tool sets, the overall cognizance of the various actors at play in research and funding, their various agendas, and how they work together to shape the final outcome—that kind of high level understanding has been very valuable. Being aware of how my own personal values and beliefs might impact my work as a scientist and engineer has been very, very important. You hear a lot on the news today about the politicization of science, but the reality is that each one of us has values. There is no such thing as pure, objective science. The key is to be aware of your biases and try to do the best you can.”
As a member of a talented and intelligent team of computer scientists and engineers, Czyz says that his STPP background has helped give him a unique perspective. His coworkers are interested in and aware of the policy issues, gained through years of experience. He says STPP gave him an awareness of issues that he otherwise would have had to take years on the job to learn.
Molly Maguire received her undergraduate degree at St Andrews University in Scotland, where she studied the history of science, focusing on the framing wars and politics of the 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial. Before beginning graduate school and the STPP program at the University of Michigan, she worked on the Clinton presidential campaign and spent some time in Washington, D.C. working for a non-profit. In graduate school she focused on biotechnology, Intellectual Property, and genetics policy, focusing in particular on values in policymaking. Following graduate school, Molly did a short internship at Research!America, a non-profit advocacy group in Washington, DC and before Lewis-Burke Associates, a science and higher education-focused lobbying firm. At Lewis-Burke, Molly worked with universities, including Tufts and USC, and biomedical research institutes, including Salk and Scripps, on their research and funding priorities. In August 2012, Molly moved to New York City to work for the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget as an Intergovernmental Relations Analyst. In her current position, Molly acts as a liaison between the city and state on transportation, the CUNY system, and criminal justice legislation.
Esha Mathew, PhD
Esha Mathew obtained her BS and MEng in Bioengineering with a minor in Engineering Project Management from Cornell University. She then obtained her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology and a graduate certificate in Science, Technology, and Public Policy from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. After her PhD, Esha served as a California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) policy fellow in the office of Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), who then retained her as a Legislative Aide and Communications Director. In that capacity, she briefs the Assemblymember on a range of policy issues, including Health, Human Services, and Education. In addition to being lead staffer for several bills, she also handles communications including press releases, op-eds, interviews, and outreach.
Esha credits the STPP program for her success in transitioning to a policy career. “The STPP certificate is an invaluable complement to a graduate degree at Michigan. Even for those who want to remain in academia, learning how political and cultural factors play into science and technology is an important perspective to have.”
Leah Nichols is a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow assigned to Office of the Assistant Director in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation. As a Fellow, Leah is working on a variety of cross-directorate and interagency teams to foster the interdisciplinary integration of the social sciences into research agendas that focus on environmental sustainability, helping to conceptualize new ways to increase the broader impacts and public use of social science knowledge, and developing new methods for mapping the intellectual terrain of research funding portfolios.
Leah’s primary academic research focuses on characterizing the role of academic science in the innovation ecosystem. She is particularly interested in non-commercial mechanisms of technology transfer as a means of distributing knowledge and technology to benefit the public. Prior to coming to the NSF, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy where she taught courses on innovation policy and environmental governance.
Leah received her BS in environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her PhD in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley. She was also a 2009 Christine Mirzayan Science Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences, where she worked with the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy.
Mitaire I. Ojaruega, AAAS-EEA Fellow, DOE, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy
Prior to starting his fellowship at the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy, Mitaire was a National Science Foundation-AGEP Research Fellow in both the Physics and Nuclear Engineering Departments at the University of Michigan. There he performed research on nuclear reactions using short-lived radioactive nuclear beams and developed new techniques and technology for the detection and characterization of special nuclear materials.
Mitaire obtained his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of Michigan (UM). Mitaire completed a graduate certificate in Science and Technology Public Policy at the Ford School of Public Policy at UM. He received his bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of the District of Columbia, where he was Vice President of the undergraduate student government and President of his graduating class.
Kevin Reed, PhD
Kevin Reed is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University. His scientific research focuses on investigating how extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, may change in the coming decades due to climate change. Kevin’s research also aids in the development and validation of next-generation climate models to help improve our understanding of regional climate change and its potential impacts. His current research, with its clear societal implications, is directly motived by his STPP experiences. Interactions with the STPP community during his time in the program, and with STPP alumni since, helps to continue broaden Kevin’s research interests into policy relevant fields through interdisciplinary approaches. This research also builds upon his work as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Advanced Study Program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Prior to these academic positions, Kevin’s time in the STPP program help to motive his interest in the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Congressional Science Fellow program where he worked in the U.S. Senate (2012-2013). During this time, Kevin worked for Senator Mark Udall (CO) on energy efficiency, renewable energy, climate and environmental policy, motivated by STPP coursework and projects. Though currently focused on his academic career, Kevin routinely uses his STPP skills to help advocate for and advance the field of Earth science through advisory and leadership roles. This includes public lectures where he utilizes scientific communication skills developed as a STPP student.
Katie Reeves, MPP
Katie Reeves serves as the Engagement and Communications Lead for the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), a consortium of 13 Federal agencies with a Congressional mandate to “assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.” In her role, she is responsible for developing and implementing the engagement and communications strategies for the Program’s National Coordination Office, including activities supporting the upcoming Fourth National Climate Assessment. She also leads communications and outreach efforts to supplement USGCRP activities and assessment products, and serves as the liaison to USGCRP’s Social Sciences Coordinating Committee, which helps facilitate the integration of social, behavioral, and economic sciences into Program activities.
Katie completed her STPP certificate in 2014, along with a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Ford School. “Reports like the National Climate Assessment are meant to provide relevant, actionable information for policymakers while remaining policy neutral. To do this effectively, it’s essential to engage a variety of stakeholders across science and policy. My STPP coursework helped shape my thinking and has enabled me to approach this challenge in a critical, creative manner.”
Andrew Schroeder is the co-founder of WeRobotics, an international NGO creating robotics capacity for social good in the global South. He is also the Director of Research and Analysis for Direct Relief, a global health NGO based in Santa Barbara, CA which improves access to essential medicines for local healthcare programs in 80 countries and all parts of the United States. Through WeRobotics he is building robotics-focused innovation labs in several different countries, from Nepal to the Maldives to Tanzania, Panama and Peru. He collaborates with the World Food Program, UNDP, USAID, the Rockefeller Foundation and others to create bottom-up uses of automated systems for emergent challenges in health, ecology and disaster resilience. In his work for Direct Relief he leads efforts to use geographic information systems (GIS) for public health and humanitarian analytics to benefit community health and respond to epidemiological emergencies in collaboration with leading healthcare companies, foundations and governments throughout the world.
“STPP played a key role in helping me to understand information technology and other sciences as social and political processes which can both improve and harm human well-being depending on how they’re structured,” says Schroeder. “If we want sciences like robotics, GIS and pharmaceutical chemistry to play positive, democratic roles in global society we have to treat them not as neutral tools but as the results of and contributors to contests over power, wealth and knowledge.”