Meet the Civic Science Fellows

  • Michelle A. Amazeen

    Title

    Boston University Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Michelle will investigate science-related misinformation in social and online media and how audiences interact with it, as well as develop and test potential interventions.

    About Michelle
    Michelle A. Amazeen is Director of the Communication Research Center and an associate professor in the Department of Mass Communication, Advertising and Public Relations at Boston University. Amazeen’s research program examines mediated persuasion and misinformation, exploring the nature and persuasive effects of misinformation and efforts to correct it. She employs a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods to yield results with practical applications for journalists, educators, policymakers, and consumers who strive to foster recognition of and resistance to persuasion and misinformation in media.

    Her work has been previously funded by the American Press Institute and the New America Foundation and has appeared in academic publications such as Communication Monographs; Digital Journalism; Journalism; Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly; Media, Culture & Society; and New Media & Society. She is among the team of 22 prominent scholars from around the globe with expertise in misinformation and its debunking who contributed to The Debunking Handbook 2020—a consensus document summarizing the science of debunking for engaged citizens, policymakers, journalists, and other practitioners. She is also a contributor to “The COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook,” a practical guide to help fight the spread of misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Elyse L. Aurbach

    Title

    APLU Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: In collaboration with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the University of Michigan, Elyse will help to address how to modernize scholarship to provide visibility, reward, and advancement to faculty and staff engaging the public in scientific projects to serve societal needs.

    About Elyse
    Elyse L. Aurbach is a public engagement professional and researcher. She creates communities, programs, and products that maximize assets and address needs to support scholars in engaging with different publics. She specializes in translating research into useful tools for practice, building effective training and capacity-building programs, and developing frameworks that synthesize scholarship and practitioner knowledge to help public engagement systems evolve. As Public Engagement Lead with the University of Michigan’s Center for Academic Innovation, Aurbach leads strategy and program development as part of a Presidential strategic area of focus for faculty public engagement. Prior to joining the Academic Innovation team, Aurbach pursued a double-life as a scientist studying the neurobiological underpinnings of major depression and leading a number of projects to improve science communication and public engagement, including developing and teaching communication courses in person and online and Co-Bossing with Nerd Nite Ann Arbor. She is also a co-founder and former director of RELATE, a science communication and public engagement organization. Aurbach was a NSF Graduate Research Fellow, a finalist for the AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science, and an ARIS Fellow.

  • Laura Bartock

    Title

    ASTC Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Laura will connect and support Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) members in building capacity for community science programs, including developing a virtual training program, building a toolkit of resources, and establishing a community of practice for exchange and learning.

    About Laura
    Laura Bartock is an experienced facilitator, science communicator, and social scientist who is passionate about advancing the practice of community-centered science. Laura comes to the Association of Science and Technology Centers with more than five years of experience managing collaborative multi-party processes and providing strategic guidance for groups working to understand complex science and address shared challenges. Her past projects have focused on implementing collaborative adaptive management on the Missouri River, exploring best practices for deep seabed mining, and investigating policy pathways to respond to climate change. Laura holds a master’s degree in Environmental Science (Environmental Communication and Participatory Processes) from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Laura also serves as a Community Science Fellow for the American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange. Laura is working with the Kiamichi River Legacy Alliance, a community group based in southeastern Oklahoma, to design and execute a scientific project to advance their goal of protecting the waters of the Kiamichi River Basin. Laura also supports the community group in its efforts to engage with public audiences, media, and decision makers.

  • Lomax Boyd

    Title

    Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Lomax will focus on ethics, science, and society, including seeking a pathway to responsible creation and use of neural organoids that accounts for and incorporates public perception, as well as the ethical and policy implications of the technology.

    About Lomax
    Lomax Boyd is a neuroscientist and creative producer serving as the Johns Hopkins Civic Science Fellow based at the Berman Institute of Bioethics and Kavli Neurodiscovery Institute. His research developing neuroscientific tools to probe the evolutionary origins of the human brain has provoked curiosity and wonder about the brain, but also raised questions about how to seek, understand, and incorporate public input back into scientific research and technological advancement. Co-trained at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, his creative practice seeks to explore how experimental and interactive technology can create new pathways for public engagement with science. He has previously held creative residencies at the National Film Board of Canada, BioInteractive and Tangled Bank Studios at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and joined the advisory board of the Telus Science World museum while serving as a Fulbright Scholar to Canada.

  • Kelsey Breseman

    Title

    EDGI Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Kelsey, in collaboration with EDGI Civic Science Fellow Mark Milton Chambers, will focus on environmental data governance and justice, exploring models for tailoring federal environmental data to the needs of communities.

    About Kelsey
    Kelsey Breseman works on environmental accountability, data ownership models, and intentional community at the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative. Her current main work there, the Environmental Enforcement Watch, bridges environmental justice-focused communities with federal environmental enforcement practices through highly accessible data science tools and reports. Kelsey has a B.S. in Neural Engineering from Olin College, experience founding and managing tech startups, and a history of activist leadership for progressive causes. She has given dozens of conference talks and workshops at technical conferences across four continents, primarily discussing and teaching open source, open project governance, and hardware protocols for internet- connected devices. On the side, she’s currently working on a M.S. in Data Science from UT Austin.

  • Mark Milton Chambers

    Title

    EDGI Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Mark, in collaboration with EDGI Civic Science Fellow Kelsey Breseman, will focus on environmental data governance and justice, exploring models for tailoring federal environmental data to the needs of communities.

    About Mark
    Mark Chambers is a historian who teaches and writes about the intersections between American society, environments and technologies at Stony Brook University, where he earned a Ph.D. in U.S. environmental history. Mark teaches diverse subjects and also reaches non-academic adult audiences through his work with local museums and public institutions that are distinctively situated to transform communities. His forthcoming book, based on his dissertation, “Gray Gold: Lead Mining and Its Impact on the Natural and Cultural Environment, 1720 to 1840” examines cross-cultural exchanges of knowledge and technology between Native American, European, African, and African American societies in North America since the early eighteenth century, and exemplifies how his training combines scientific and technological knowledge with narrative and story-telling. Recently, Mark has been collaborating on environmental justice issues with the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI) team of researchers and academics coding interview transcripts of current and recent EPA staff and EJ activists.

  • Martina G. Efeyini

    Title

    Science News Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Martina will work to help understand how to better engage with young people through science journalism, particularly those historically underrepresented in science, including people of color and those in low-income urban and rural areas.

    About Martina
    Martina G. Efeyini is a toxicologist, science communicator, and STEM education advocate. She is passionate about intersecting STEM, communication, and education to make science accessible for the next generation of scientists. She earned her master’s degree in toxicology from St. John’s University and her bachelor’s degree in toxicology from the Pennsylvania State University. Previously, Martina worked for the UMB CURE Scholars Program. There, she was a College and Career Readiness Coordinator, STEM Expo Manager, and Program Assistant. As a science writer, Martina occasionally writes for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as an alternative career columnist, and has written for various professional scientific societies including the Scientista Foundation, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society for Women Engineers, and for Mademoiselle Scientist, her STEM digital platform.

  • Angela Fenoglio

    Title

    National Academies Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Angela will co-design projects, building on work that engages the growing community of practice centering collaborative engagement with communities around science, as well as synthesizing research on timely topics in science communication for practitioner audiences.

    About Angela
    Angela Fenoglio is a neuroscientist by training and has expertise in brain development, early childhood policy, and prevention science and a longstanding interest in putting science to work to serve the most vulnerable and under-resourced members of our communities. Angela’s work in diverse disciplines and settings has drawn her attention to the gap between the advances being made in the laboratory and the myriad ways that knowledge is (and is not) put to use to address real world problems. Angela is guided by the belief that translating research into usable knowledge means making it available, accessible, and actionable for stakeholders at all levels and that effective science communication relies on bidirectional, collaborative relationships between researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and the communities they aim to serve. Angela holds a Ph.D. in child development from the University of Minnesota, an Ed.M. in human development and education from Harvard University, and a B.A. in psychology from Boston University.

  • Andrew George

    Title

    Sigma Xi Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Andrew will develop a digital platform for fostering effective, sustainable collaborations between scientists and policymakers to address the needs of communities, initially within the state of North Carolina.

    About Andrew
    Andrew George wants to advance his goal for everyone to have the opportunity to be extraordinary through innovative thinking, creative solutions, and putting people first. Across his career, he has built relationships between Federal agencies, State legislators, students, academic institutions, non-profits, and others to bring about change. As a graduate student he co-lead the development of the North Carolina STEM Policy Fellowship and worked with leadership in his department to standardize pay for graduate students. Andrew previously served as an AAAS Emerging Leaders in Science and Society Fellow where he engaged stakeholders, practitioners, and users to understand their needs for clean affordable drinking water in North Carolina. Prior to serving as a Civic Science Fellow, Andrew worked as a Senior Consultant and recently as the Executive Vice President for Strategy at Thrivner, Inc. At Thrivner, he worked with leaders looking to make a difference and develop bold initiatives to tackle a range of societal challenges. These included adapting to climate change, creating a sustainable ocean economy, and building resilient communities. Andrew holds a Ph.D. in Biology from Duke University and a B.S. in Zoology from Michigan State University.

  • Daren Ginete

    Title

    Science Philanthropy Alliance Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Daren will explore how philanthropy can help build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive research enterprise, and what opportunities lie ahead for philanthropists as a growing number recognize the influence of systemic racism and discrimination on their work.

    About Daren
    Daren R. Ginete is a trained microbiologist with background in infectious diseases, educational content development, and science advising.

    Over the years, Daren performed fundamental science research on mechanisms that drive infectious diseases, including how natural toxin reservoirs impact animal biodiversity and evolution.  Before that, he worked in healthcare where he learned how human interactions and cultural attitudes influence prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.

    Daren also created diverse educational programs for science communication.  For example, he evaluated written materials for scientific content, including a set of stories that highlighted the impact of basic science in the COVID-19 pandemic response (covid19prequels.com/).  He also produced video tutorials on bioinformatic tools that have generated high viewership and positive responses among researchers and educators.

    Recently, as the Infectious Disease Fellow at the Science Philanthropy Alliance, Daren worked on advising projects to increase philanthropic support for basic science research.  He also currently serves as the Alliance lead on a shared interest group addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion within science philanthropy.

    Daren is excited to be the 2021-2023 Civic Science Fellow at the Alliance. Daren received his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. in biology from the University of San Diego.

  • Eric A. Jensen

    Title

    The Brinson Foundation Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: At the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), Eric will codify effective approaches to scientific visualization and gain a more thorough understanding of which design choices most significantly impact audience perception and interest in science topics.

    About Eric
    Eric A. Jensen is a Civic Science Fellow at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), University of Illinois. Specializing in evidence-based science communication (
    sciencecomm.science), Jensen has 20 years’ experience in science communication research, evaluation and practice. He has worked as a consultant and trainer for many research institutions, including the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, London Zoo, Science Museum Group, European Space Agency, CERN, Science Foundation Ireland, Australian Research Data Commons, National Research Foundation (SAASTA) and UNESCO. His recent research has focused on socially responsible science, science festival and public engagement event evaluation, diversity of science communication audiences and the long-term impact of public engagement and informal learning activities. Jensen’s most recently published books are Science Communication: An Introduction (World Scientific) and Doing Real Research: A Practical Guide to Social Research (SAGE). His training courses are featured at methodsforchange.org. His PhD in sociology is from the University of Cambridge.

  • Lia Kelinsky-Jones

    Title

    Agora Institute Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Lia will co-lead and co-design a research initiative to map policy engagement activities based at colleges and universities across the United States. This mapping will provide a unique lens into what’s happening on the ground across the country, thus informing understanding and recommendations about what’s working and what’s not.

    About Lia
    Lia
    Kelinsky-Jones is an interdisciplinary social scientist active in building university-community policy projects and partnerships. Her research focuses on how policy influences the praxis of university actors with regard to participation and sustainable agriculture within international agricultural research and policy projects. This work directly feeds into her leadership of a university-community policy project to develop a more climate-resilient food system in the Appalachian region of Virginia. She has over a decade of experience in project and program management at Virginia Tech working to extend the expertise of the university to the benefit of communities both locally and globally. Personally, she grew up in five different countries and speaks both Spanish and French. She is an avid gardener of both food and flowers and enjoys road and mountain biking in her spare time.

  • Nicole M. Krause

    Title

    John Templeton Foundation Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Based at Science, Media, and the Public Research Group at the University of Wisconsin­–Madison, Nicole will work to understand interactions between scientific information and human values in polarized cultures and examine how the science of science communication can help develop more effective strategies for communities of practice to connect with conservative and/or religious audiences.

    About Nicole
    Nicole Krause is a social scientist in the Life Sciences Communication department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where her Civic Science Fellowship project asks: How can we use the “science of science communication” to develop more effective strategies to meaningfully connect with conservative, religious, and rural audiences? Nicky’s work focuses on communication dynamics surrounding emerging science and technology, especially topics that have complex ethical, legal, and societal implications, such as human gene editing or artificial intelligence. Her research examines ways to minimize forms of biased information processing that can inhibit deliberation of such topics among people with different value systems and identities. Nicky also researches misinformation as an aspect of science communication environments, including the related topic of trust in science. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Communication, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, New Media & Society, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Journal of Risk Research, among other outlets. Outside of academia, Nicky has worked as a researcher, designer, and project manager in the healthcare communication and software industries, as well as on civic technology initiatives at 18F, a technology consultancy within the federal government.

  • Álvaro Laiz

    Title

    National Geographic Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Álvaro will explore narrative, traditional culture, nature, and tech to identify ways to illuminate and protect the wonders of the world.

    About Álvaro
    Álvaro Laiz is a multidisciplinary artist working with photography, text, video, and sound. His research-based work deals with narratives where traditional culture, nature, and technology converge. Álvaro’s work has been recognized and funded by a number of institutions including National Geographic, Sony World Photography Awards, World Press Photo, and Magnum Foundation.

  • Andrea Isabel López

    Title

    Ciencia Puerto Rico Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Andrea will help to evaluate the impact of CienciaPR’s culturally relevant strategies across programs, understand how CienciaPR’s work can be a model to advance civic science, and strategize to increase the organization’s capacity to train more scientists in culturally relevant strategies and foster civic participation.

    About Andrea
    Andrea Isabel López serves as the Civic Science Fellow for CienciaPR. Andrea holds an MPH in Community Health from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. She completed the Margaret E. Mahoney Fellowship with the New York Academic of Medicine where she explored barriers to care in the Latino community and the role of community health workers. Andrea has also worked as a Research Project Coordinator and Associate Researcher for multiple NIH-funded projects based at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Andrea has over 5 years of experience in different areas of the research and public health field including: community based participatory research, clinical research, and project management.
    She is the recipient of an NIH research supplement to promote diversity in health-related research programs and the Gilman Scholar Scholarship. Andrea was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and is committed to advancing health equity for the Latino community and improving representation in the research field. Andrea proudly carries her cultural background and believes that engaging the public, specially underserved communities, in a meaningful way through the research process is an essential component in advancing all research. Some of her research interests include: social determinants of health, civic science, and community based participatory research.

  • Eunice Mercado-Lara

    Title

    ORFG Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: In collaboration with the Health Research Alliance, Eunice will work toward increasing both openness and equity within funding programs by helping to develop, launch, and oversee an Open and Equitable Model Funding Program to address inequities in the research community.

    About Eunice
    Eunice Mercado-Lara, born and raised in a small city in Mexico, strongly believes open and collaborative environments are the most effective way to solve complex problems. Over the last decade, she has been a passionate advocate about openness regarding government, data, and science. The questions that keep her awake at night are: What are the variables for openness success? What leads institutions and individuals into openness and collaboration? Eunice is the Civic Science Fellow at the Open Research Funders Group. She is the project lead for the Open & Equitable Model Funding Program that advises philanthropies to optimize their funding models to increase openness and equity in research making. She has more than eight years of experience in the public sector in science and technology policymaking. More recently, she has served as an advisor for startups on the responsible use and implementation of new technologies and their regulations. She is former Project Manager for the AI Training Programs at Montreal NewTech, and Deputy Director for Science and Technology Policy at the National Council of Science and Technology in Mexico. She has collaborated as a researcher within the Center for Technology in Government at SUNY Albany, the AidData Research Lab at William & Mary, and the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics in Mexico. Eunice served as a board and committee member in several international organizations and initiatives advocating for openness, such as CERN’s SCOAP3 initiative, the Open Access Week, and OpenCon LATAM. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from McGill University and a B.A. from El Colegio de San Luis.

  • Julia Minson

    Title

    Shorenstein Center Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Julia will focus on understanding the conditions that make people willing to listen and be receptive to views and opinions they strongly oppose on political and social topics related to science.

    About Julia
    Julia Minson is an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of government. She is a decision scientist with research interests in conflict, negotiations and judgment and decision making. Her primary line of research addresses the “psychology of disagreement”—How do people engage with opinions, judgments and decisions that are different from their own?

    She explores this theme in the context of group decision making to uncover the psychological biases that prevent managers, consumers, and policymakers from maximizing the benefits of collaboration. She also studies the conditions that make people willing to listen and be receptive to views and opinions they strongly oppose on political and social topics.

    Much of Julia’s research is conducted in collaboration with the graduate and post-doctoral members of MC²—the Minson Conflict and Collaboration Lab. At the Kennedy School Julia is affiliated with the Taubman Center for State and Local Government and the Center for Public Leadership. Julia teaches courses on negotiations and decision-making as part of the Management, Leadership and Decision Science area, as well as through HKS Executive Education.

    Julia is the organizer of the Leadership Influence and Decision Making speaker series, sponsored by the Center for Public Leadership and the Management Leadership and Decision Sciences Area.

    Prior to coming to the Kennedy School, Julia served as a Lecturer at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where she taught Negotiations at both the MBA and the undergraduate levels. She received her PhD in Social Psychology from Stanford University and her BA in Psychology from Harvard University.

  • Michelle Race

    Title

    ScienceCounts Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Michelle will help design, implement, and evaluate a novel engagement program involving an underrepresented or marginalized community.

    About Michelle
    Michelle Race is the Civic Science Fellow for Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Public Engagement at ScienceCounts. Michelle is a science communicator with over five years of experience creating and facilitating educational programs for K-12 and adult audiences. She is passionate about working with her community and is the co-founder of the outdoor recreation group Black Girls Trekkin’. Michelle received a B.S. in Marine Biology from San Diego State University and also holds an M.A. in Biology from Miami University, OH with a focus on connecting underrepresented communities to environmental science and the outdoors. Outside of work, Michelle enjoys listening to podcasts, reading, and learning to sew her own clothes.

  • Jylana L. Sheats

    Title

    Aspen Institute Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Jylana will co-design and co-manage the “Our Future is Science” initiative in close partnership with the Aspen Institute and Coda Societies to spark passion, confidence, and curiosity about science for high-school-aged Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

    About Jylana
    Jylana L. Sheats is an applied behavior scientist and serves as the Aspen Institute’s Civic Science Fellow. Leveraging her education and experience, she has successfully designed and balanced a simultaneous career in academia and industry— enabling her to lead, shape, and innovate in public, private and non-profit sectors. Across these landscapes, she works collaboratively to address the complex interplay between individual, interpersonal, community, and societal factors that impact health behaviors and health outcomes. Her civic/citizen science research has: led to greater understanding of neighborhood-level barriers and facilitators of health among racial/ethnic and underserved populations; and led to environmental changes (built, social). The impact of these efforts are documented in peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of the American Medical Association and Preventive Medicine. Jylana is also a 2016 NIH Building Innovative Research Careers in Women’s Health awardee and 2017 NIH Obesity and Health Disparities PRIDE (Programs to Increase Diversity among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research) scholar. Vested in service, she holds leadership positions with national and international charitable organizations. A graduate of Spelman College (BA, Psychology), Jylana received her MPH (Nutrition) from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, PhD in Health Behavior from Indiana University-Bloomington, and post-doctoral training certificate in Behavioral Medicine from Stanford School of Medicine.

  • Claire Weichselbaum

    Title

    Dana Foundation Barbara Gill Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Claire will focus on public engagement in the ethics of emerging research and development in neuroscience at the National Informal STEM Education (NISE) Network, working with collaborators to develop pilot engagement, directions for the future, and pathways to policymaker engagement.

    About Claire
    Claire Weichselbaum serves as the Dana Foundation Barbara Gill Civic Science Fellow at the National Informal STEM Education Network, based at Arizona State University. She is a scientist and science educator with over 10 years of experience creating, implementing, and evaluating STEM programs and learning materials. Claire was a postbaccalaureate fellow at the National Institutes of Health and holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Washington University in St. Louis. Her academic research focused on the neural basis of social development in young children and animal models. During graduate school, she co-founded a science outreach program called Brain Discovery, bringing inquiry-based neuroscience experiences to more than 1500 young students. Claire has developed curricula for preschoolers through graduate students and served organizations including Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development, the St. Louis Science Center, and Encyclopedia Britannica. She is committed to educating, inspiring, and empowering people of all ages and backgrounds to be active participants in the scientific enterprise.

  • Emelia Williams

    Title

    Open Environmental Data Project Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2021

    Project focus: Emelia will focus on the open data and governance ecosystem, working collaboratively to identify and articulate new strategies for data usability, governance, and inclusiveness in practice.

    About Emelia
    Emelia Williams (she/they) is a public policy researcher with expertise in how citizens and government respond to environmental, energy, and climate crises. Currently, she is the Policy and Research Associate at the Open Environmental Data Project (OEDP), where she is working to translate policy and research on environmental data to inform civic pilots and prototypes. She is particularly interested in learning how to design more inclusive systems for community use of environmental data and using futures-thinking to imagine a better environment (physically, socially, politically). She has held research roles spanning the gamut of environmental topics including deep decarbonization, clean energy access, and proforestation at MIT, the Woodwell Climate Research Center, and Sustainable Energy for All. Emelia completed a Master’s degree in environmental and climate policy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a B.A. in environmental science and international studies from Centre College.

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