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STEAM CAREER DAY

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Thursday, March 16, 2023

 

STEAM Career Day is designed to introduce students to potential career paths in fields related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.  During their 3rd period class, all students hear from three knowledgeable and engaging presenters that work in a variety of STEAM-related occupations.  Presenters share information about the content of their work, what they enjoy about it, what academic path they took and is required for their field, what kinds of skills and interdisciplinary thinking it requires, the impact of their industry in the world, and what they see as the future of their line of work.  Presenters are also encouraged to share their personal stories of growth, challenge and success.  Each speaker has 15 minutes of presentation time followed by 10 minutes of questions and answers.  By the end of 8th grade, students will have been introduced to nine different STEAM-related potential career paths.  If you want to inspire our students at the next STEAM Career Day, please do not hesitate to email our STEAM co-chairs - Cindy Hickman & Jackie Fisk - at steamchairs7@gmail.com!

Presenter Biographies

 

Patricia Bainter, MD  
Dr. Bainter attended Middle school and High school at Bishop's (but don't hold that against her). She went to Pomona College in Los Angeles, where she majored in Art History while doing her pre-med classes. She did Medical School and Ophthalmology residency at the University of Colorado in Denver. She currently works in a private practice eye clinic in La Jolla.


John Bannon, Matson Navigation, Dangerous Goods Shipping, Manager/US Coast Guard
Mr. John Bannon is a Bird Rock native, 1985 Muirlands/1988 La Jolla graduate and a retired Coast Guard officer in 2019. And like all of you, wasn’t sure in Junior High what his future would be… At the age of 27, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard; the 5th (of now 6 branches of the military). Since retirement in 1997, Mr. Bannon has worked for Matson Navigation, a Hawaii/Oakland based U.S. ocean container shipping company serving across the Pacific Ocean from China to the West Coast; Hawaii, Guam and Alaska. In this role, Mr. Bannon serves as a Hazardous Material Shipping Specialist ensuring regulations are met for cargo carriage across 15 ships.  From 1997 to 2019, Mr. Bannon served in the Coast Guard for 22 years. As an enlisted member, he rose through the ranks, graduating Officer Candidate School in 2003, and retiring as a Lieutenant Commander.  In his roles, both enlisted and officer, he served as a Port Safety and Security specialist, then manager. After the unfortunate attack on 9/11, he served as a Coast Guard Sea Marshall defending ports from future attacks and in 2011-2012 serving on a specialized tour in the Iraq and Afghanistan war zone supporting Army hazardous material shipping safety. Besides traveling across the nation, Panama Canal, Middle East, Guam, Hawaii, American Samoa, fun missions included Guard Diver, small boat driver, and training manager responsible for future Coast Guard enlisted specialties.  Besides extensive military training, Mr. Bannon’s formal education includes a 2007 Masters Degree in Education from San Diego State University and a 1993 Bachelors degree in History from the University of California at Santa Barbara.


Alicia Calhoon, Architect and Interior Designer
Alicia Calhoon is a licensed architect and interior designer. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. After graduating and taking her licensing exams to become a registered interior designer, she worked for a design-build architecture firm, specializing in the design of banks. A few years later she attended Washington University in St. Louis to receive her Masters in Architecture. Upon graduation she moved from St. Louis to sunny San Diego for her husband to attend law school, making this their permanent home. After working for 10 years at an architecture firm, specializing in hospitality projects, she opened her own architecture and interior design practice in La Jolla. Her current projects consist of residential remodels, additions and new construction while also working on a handful of commercial projects a year (restaurants, hotels, offices,etc.).


Chiara Capobianco, International Professional Harpist 
Chiara Capobianco was born in Milano (Italy) in 1980; she is a Music Graduate in Harp (10 year course) at Conservatorio “G. Verdi” of Milano (Italy). University graduate in Musicology (3 year course) at Scuola di Paleografia e Filologia Musicale di Cremona (Università degli Studi di Pavia-Italy). She started playing with many different Orchestras (Opera and Symphonic) touring all over Europe since she was fifteen years old. She has performed at many concerts and events with both classic and Irish harp as solo  harpist, alongside other musicians. She studied different types of music, which have given her a varied repertoire ranging from classical, medieval, renaissance, Irish, popular and contemporary music. In 2003 she moved to London UK where she performed in several renowned venues. Since September 2004 she has been playing on the prestigious Cunard ships Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Victoria traveling all over the world visiting all the continents. At the moment she is enjoying a free-lance career as solo harpist that takes her to perform all over the globe. She has lived and performed in Europe, Middle East, Asia, South America & around the world (on luxury cruise ships). She is now based in the USA.


Shannon Kenealy Carter, Biotech Patent Attorney 
Dr. Shannon Kenealy Carter is a registered patent attorney with expertise in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.  She most recently held the position of Vice President of Intellectual Property & Deputy General Counsel at Arena Pharmaceuticals (which was acquired by Pfizer in 2022).  Dr. Carter earned a law degree from Stanford University, a Ph.D. in Human Genetics from Vanderbilt University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Iowa.  She enjoys going to concerts, watching stand-up comedy, cheering for the Padres, and hanging out with her kids in her free time. 

 

Jackie Fisk, Industrial Engineer
Jackie Fisk is a San Diego local as she grew up in Fallbrook, California.  After high school, she attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she earned a degree in Industrial Technology.  After graduation from college, she began her working career as an Industrial Engineer with The Boeing Company in Huntington Beach, California. While at Boeing, Jackie completed her Master’s in Business Administration at Long Beach State, with an emphasis in Finance and Human Resources.  She decided to take her newly acquired skills to San Diego where she landed a position as a Finance Manager for The Northrop Grumman Company. Currently, Jackie works part time as a Finance Manager for Waypoint Management.  In her free time she enjoys triathlons, Girl Scouts and spending time at the beach. 


Christopher Franklin, Director of Engineering - Medical Technology
Christopher Franklin is a Director of Engineering at Enterprise Peak, a Chicago, Il based senior engineering consulting firm specializing in cloud, AI, Embedded and Application Software, Systems Integration, and Test Engineering, and Health Technology advisor for DoD USAMMDA HRAPS program. He additionally serves as Principal for Acadine Solutions, Inc. a San Diego based health technology advisor specializing in mobile health initiatives. In 1994, he joined the US Navy as an Anti Submarine Warfare, Sonar Technician and received his C-School education in Electronics Engineering. He then served on the USS Shiloh CG-67. After receiving a service-connected honorable discharge, he received an internship at Texas Instruments in Attleboro, Ma where he was tasked in R&D Robotics Engineering for Leadframe semiconductor manufacturing. This was his introduction to Software Engineering. After returning back to San Diego, CA, he then worked in multiple companies and industries where he eventually specialized in Health Science and Life Science technology for the past 20 years. During this time he also received a BS in Software Engineering from Phoenix University and completed multiple years of extended course work in computer science and health technology at UCSD. Mr. Franklin has since had multiple successes in areas of software, systems and project engineering including, designing and developing multiple medical devices and systems for cardiology/radiology, genomic/pathology data
management, POCT (Point of care testing), Virtual health, Hematology and laboratory science, EEG, ECG, Pulse Oximetry, Immunization Tracking, Healthcare Cybersecurity, and  Medical Cloud data  management. He has additionally served as Senior Technology Advisor to DHA and the US Navy for Health Informatics and Medical Device Technology, NIWC Gov Cloud Senior Architect, and commercial Fortune 500 companies that include, Beckman Coulter (Danaher), Medtronic, Google X, Terumo,
and Teleflex.


Bri Gallo, International Photographer
Briana Gallo is a Fine Art Photographer as well as a Photo Philanthropist. She currently lives and works in La Jolla, CA. She believes in the power of Photo Philanthropy to inspire hope and understanding, and to connect people around the world, as well as in our local communities. She visually articulates the mission of non-profit organizations in a compelling manner through Fine Art Photography. She believes in people’s interest in knowing more, in understanding better, in seeing the story, which can then lead to action and involvement.  In 2011, her travels took her to Honduras to work with Shoulder to Shoulder and the town of Guachipilincito. In 2012, she traveled to Cuba, where she captured the stories of the Cuban people and their vibrancy of life. 2013 she worked on a piece for Make It Right, a non-profit in the Lower Nine area of New Orleans focusing on housing for Katrina Victims. She has worked on a number of projects in heart of the Omo Valley, Ethiopia.  Briana has worked with ConnectMed to document and promote their mission of sustainable, multidisciplinary health care and education, through the combination of direct medical care, educational partnerships and interactive telemedicine networks with international sites through photos and video.  April, of 2016, she trekked to the Base of Everest to document the anniversary of the April 2015 earthquake in Kathmandu and the life in the Khumbu Valley.  This led her to start her own small boutique trekking company, Driftwood Adventure Treks, with local partners in Kathmandu.  She takes two treks a year to Nepal focusing on travel photography, cultural immersion and giving back to the local communities. She also leads treks to Oaxaca, Mexico, Ethiopia, and soon Japan and Kilimanjaro.  Each experience has inspired her to search for those communities where there is a story to be told. Briana forges real connections with communities when she shoots, turning her lens into a bridge rather than a wall. Briana has had juried pieces in the PhotoPlace Gallery in Vermont. She has attended two juried Fine Art shows – The Foundry in Pawtucket, RI and the Mystic Art Festival in Mystic, Connecticut. She also has pieces published in the PhotoPlace Gallery Books–Self Portrait, City Streets & Country Roads, Portraiture: Expression & Gesture, The Golden Hours Dawn and Dusk and The Art of Travel Photography and Trees. Briana was featured in Omo Magazine in 2014.  Briana is a contributing blogger with Huffington Post and Anew Traveller.  She has images with LensCulture.  She has a short documentary film, The Bee Keeper. The film has premiered in the Woodshole Film Festival and the LA Femme Festival. Briana uses her photography to help others see through a variety of lenses.  To open doors to what is surrounding us, both locally and abroad.  The emotion she captures in her photography pulls viewers out of their comfort zones, provokes questions, brings smiles to one’s face, tears to one’s eyes and makes one say, “I never knew”.


Aaron Gary, Software Engineer
Aaron has worked extensively in healthcare and life sciences providing expertise in secondary use of clinical data and systems biology.  He has contributed to many open-source projects in academic and private industry which have been used to generate significant research publications. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Math and a masters degree in Computer Science.  In addition to software development he also spends time as a volunteer web-master for a non-profit health initiative based in Haiti.


Daniel Haders II, Ph.D. CoFounder & CEO, Model Medicines / Operating Partner, Sway Ventures
Dr. Haders has 20+ years of experience in healthcare as a scientist, entrepreneur, advisor & investor. Dr. Haders is currently the Co-Founder and CEO of Model Medicines, a PIND stage AI/ML Drug Discovery company that has built a pipeline of novel acting broad-spectrum antiviral, oncology and GI assets (https://www.modelmedicines.com/pipeline), including the potential best-in-class, first-in-class MDL-001. More information about MDL-001 and the oncology program can be found here  https://www.modelmedicines.com/newsroom). Model Medicines has raised over $8M to date with backing from investors including 8VC, Friedman Bioventures, Irving Ventures and ParticleX. Prior to co-founding Model Medicines, Daniel launched the Nex Cubed Digital Health Accelerator. Here, Daniel built an early-stage investment portfolio of 25+ Digital Healthcare companies with an enterprise value of over $250M, investment results that would place the portfolio in the top decile. The accelerator has been named one of the "Top Ten Global Digital Health Accelerators" & "The Best Accelerators & Incubators for FemTech Startups". He is also an Operating Partner at Sway Ventures, leading Digital Health investing and portfolio oversight. Dr. Haders is a Board Observer at AppliedVR, a VR digital therapeutic company, backed by investors including F-Prime, Jazz, SVB, JJDC and Sway, which was granted break though device designation and cleared by the FDA in 2022. Other investments include MedCrypt, which recently closed its Series B with co-investors including Dexcom, JJDC, Intuitive Ventures, and Section 32 among others. Dr. Haders is a Faculty Member and Member of the Advisory Committee of the UCSD, Digital Health Certificate Program and a Member of the BioMedX Oversight Committee at Columbia University Technology Ventures. Prior to his current roles, Dr. Haders held positions from research fellow to senior scientist to Co-Founder/CEO in the fields of medical devices, pharmaceuticals & nano-drug delivery. At LuxBio, Daniel & Model Medicines Co-Founder Sean Russell helped develop LX214 from concept through a successful Phase I study. The LX214 program/formulation was further developed clinically by Sun Pharma & gained FDA approval under the name CEQUA in 2018. Dr. Haders holds both a BS & PhD in Biomedical Engineering and has been awarded multiple Fellowships for scientific research including a National Science Foundation IGERT Fellowship in Integratively Engineered Biointerfaces & Department of Education GAANN Fellowship in Molecular, Cellular and Nanosystems Bioengineering.


Michael Halloran,  Radio Personality, Disc Jockey & Purveyor of Other People's Music Since 1977
Michael Halloran is a radio personality and disc jockey based in southern California. Halloran has programmed many radio stations in southern California, including 91X, 92/5, 92/1, and KUPR. He’s also worked as a music director and on-air personality on such legendary radio stations as KROQ-FM and Y107 in Los Angeles, and KROCK in New York.  Halloran was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to an American father and an English mother. When the family relocated to Detroit, Michigan, it was there in the Motor City that Halloran first felt the powerful influence of music in his life – a force that would guide his every future career move. Motown and The Beatles were always on the various HiFi systems in the Halloran domicile. Halloran’s parents agreed to let him go to school in his mother’s native England at the age of 11. He spent 6 years overseas getting an e
ducation not only in school but on the streets, as the punk-rock scene was just starting to flourish. He formed several bands with his fellow schoolmates, but eventually left England and moved back to Detroit. Halloran started working for various film  companies in Detroit, slaving as a runner and soundman. To finance his musical career, he continued to work in the film business while taking broadcasting classes and playing bass in the legendary Detroit power-punk band The Plugs. When drugs tore the band apart, he managed to scrape together enough money to record the only 7-inch the band released. “I Like My Dad,” penned by Halloran, had a limited pressing of only 1,000 copies, and has since been bootlegged many times. Ben Blackwell, one of the members of The Dirtbombs and cohort of Jack White (White Stripes) and White’s Third Man Records, has been quoted as saying that one 7-inch record from the original pressing is worth well over a thousand dollars. Weird, considering the original pressing only cost the band 500 dollars for all 1,000 copies. While driving the “rushes” all over Detroit, Halloran was constantly listening to the city’s radio stations, and was annoyed at the fact that not one of them would acknowledge the true Detroit origins of punk rock: The MC5 and Iggy and The Stooges. In 1979 Halloran changed all that by launching his own show, “Radios in Motion,” on Detroit’s public radio station WDET-FM. “Radios in Motion” ran until 1986 on various stations in Detroit, launching the careers of such artists as U2, REM, The Police, The Beastie Boys, Run-DMC, and a plethora of others. Kid Rock claims to have heard hip hop for the first time while listening to Halloran’s program, wearing headphones under his covers in the bunk bed he shared with his older brother. In 1986 Halloran was fired from WDTX in Detroit for setting off a fire extinguisher in the studio, a charge he vehemently denies. He relocated to San Diego, California, and worked on a Mexican “border blaster” called 91X. Halloran had to drive into Tijuana every evening to work. It was in San Diego that Halloran really found his stride. He started as the evening disc jockey and worked his way up to music director and eventually program director within a few years. While at 91X, Halloran discovered a young singer-songwriter who was living in her car, and gave the young woman her first airplay before she had recorded even one song. Jewel went on to sell more than 15 million copies of her debut CD after Halloran told Atlantic Records about her talent and the label offered her a record deal. Halloran’s noteworthy career milestones are too many to list here, but as a start: He launched a pirate radio station in London for the band The Cure. He’s played onstage with Buzzcocks, The DAMNED and Mike Watt, and has interviewed countless artists, including Robert Plant, U2, and Trent Reznor. He owned the coffee shop in La Jolla, California, where Jeff Buckley played his first California show. He was the first to hire the struggling artist Shepard Fairey to design album covers for The Specials, and logos for almost every radio station he has worked at. He’s been thanked on many albums released in the last 30 years, and still considered an iconoclast in the world of radio. Halloran also launched the careers of Blink-182 and Jason Mraz. Tom DeLonge of Blink182 says that Halloran is “the glue that attaches unknown artists to the first part of success.” Halloran launched many “alternative” (what a horrible word) radio stations, including but not limited to: KNDD Seattle, 89X Detroit, X-fm London UK (original name Cure Pirate Radio) Indie 103/1 Los Angeles. His latest venture was two hybrid Spanglish radio stations in Tijuana/San Diego and Mexicali/Calexico.
 

Alan Hargens, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor, UCSD 

Alan Hargens is Emeritus Professor at the University of California, San Diego. He was previously employed as Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at UC-San Diego and Chief of the Space. Physiology Branch at NASA Ames Research Center. Alan has edited 12 books and published more than 340 peer-reviewed articles, 64 book chapters, 40 NASA Reports, and 620 abstracts. Alan is the recipient of a NIH Research Career Development Award, Elizabeth Winston Lanier Award from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and Orthopaedic Research Society. He has trained over 250 students, two of whom became NASA astronauts. Alan’s recent awards include the Nello Pace Award for Outstanding Leadership and Contributions to the Field of Gravitational Physiology. a Citation Award from the American College of Sports Medicine, the Distinguished Public Service Metal, NASA’s highest award, the Nicolas Andry Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons and the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research Founders Award, the highest honor given to a member of the Society for distinguished scientific contributions to and leadership in the field of gravitational research. 

 

Adam Hsieh, Engineer, Scientist & Entrepreneur
Adam grew up on the East Coast, received his college degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, and his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from UCSD.  After 4 years of postdoctoral research in Orthopaedic Surgery at UCSF, Adam took a faculty 
position at the University of Maryland, College Park in the Department of Bioengineering and spent 14 years performing research, teaching, and university administration duties.  When the opportunity presented itself to move back to La Jolla, Adam resigned his tenured Associate Chair position and decided to make a career change.  He started a company called Aesclepius Corporation in 2018 to develop novel orthopaedic implants and instruments; they are preparing to launch their first product in late 2023.  Adam has continued his interest in education by previously serving as a volunteer for robotics at Muirlands and La Jolla Elementary.


MaeLin Levine, Graphic Designer and Partner in Visual Asylum (a design firm based in San Diego) 
MaeLin founded Visual Asylum in 1987, and is partners with her sister, Amy Levine, their work together spans three decades. MaeLin holds a Bachelor's of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Denver. The firm has roots in graphic communications design working with educational publishing companies in addition to 20+ years working with hospitality clients creating unique brand experiences for hotels, casinos properties. The two silos of work, education print work and built environment work merged into their first school design project for Urban Discovery Academy, a successful charter school founded by MaeLin. Currently MaeLin and Amy’s work is focused on design for schools, they are currently working on approximately 20 projects including Logan Memorial Educational Campus, Nipaquay Elementary, John Muir Language Academy. MaeLin is very involved in leadership in the community, she is president of the board of directors of AIGA SanDiego Tijuana | The Professional Association for Design, and Urban Discovery Academy, and sits on the board of directors of the San Diego Downtown Partnership. She lead the design Community in designing a bid for the World Design Capital San Diego Tijuana 2024, and is a professional member of SEGD | Society for Experiential Graphic Design.  MaeLin has taught design for a number of colleges and universities including; UCSD Extended Studies, San Diego City College, Point Loma Nazarene University. She has received hundreds of awards over her 30+ years in design including the prestigious; 2004 Paula Sullivan Lifetime Achievement Award, 2008 AIGA Fellow Award.


Jonathan Lipsher,  Principal Electrical Engineer, Element Biosciences 
Jonathan has worked as an electrical engineer for just over 30 years at several companies of varying sizes and markets.  His career has focused mostly on instrumentation and camera design for medical imaging and biotechnology.  After earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree from UCSD, Jonathan went on to receive a Master’s of Science degree from UC Davis before exiting academia and entering the workforce.  Jonathan began programming and dismantling computers when he was 9 years old, and he hasn’t ever stopped.  He has designed many cool things, including modems for laptop computers, motorized systems for patient positioning, and DNA sequencers!  Jonathan currently lives in La Jolla, CA with his gracious wife, two awesome kids, and a small, fluffy dog. 


Michael Littleton, Mechanical Engineer and Software Developer

Michael Littleton is a Mechanical Engineer and Software Developer and has had several STEAM based careers.  As a Mechanical Engineer, Michael worked on the testing and repair of jet engines.  Working with jet engines brings in many of the core engineering fields like thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, material science and structural dynamics.  As a large and complicated system, it also offers career opportunities for both engineering specialists and generalists.  Michael prefers being a generalist, taking positions working with the entire engine as a complete system.  As a Software Developer, Michael also prefers to be a generalist, taking on smaller projects where he can be responsible for designing and building an entire software system, from the user interface to the back end systems, to the infrastructure and network systems. In his free time, Michael enjoys sailing, golfing, board games, video games, and volunteering at local schools.


Ray Merewether, Scientist 
Ray Merewether was born in Dallas, TX and attended public schools grades 2-12 in Oklahoma City, graduated from MIT with a BSEE in computer science, and has since worked extensively in the field of electrical engineering. He is currently chief scientist at SeeScan, which designs and produces products such as pipe cameras and buried utility locators used for finding buried pipes, cables, wires, and FO. He often brings these devices home to test on the family’s aging plumbing system, which is how he got the nickname Mr. Fix-it.  Before SeeScan, Ray worked for DeepSea Power & Light, which produced the lights for the submersible that captured the iMAX footage in the film Titanic. He also consulted independently for British Petroleum during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and is co-inventor on 190 patents and have 3 'sole inventor’ patents related to his work. For seven years, he led an annual model rocket-building day at his children’s elementary school, and had an impressive safety record of zero eyes or fingers lost. Outside of work, he likes to spend his time photographing insects and training dogs.  His hobby is molecular biology.


Thuy Nguyen, PharmD
Dr Nguyen attended Hoover High School and graduated from Serra High School. She studied  Biochemistry at University of San Diego. She received a pharmacy doctorate from University of  California, San Francisco. She got a pharmacy residency at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX. She currently works at Sharp Specialty Pharmacy under Grossmont Hospital.


Ben O’Neil, Food Scientist 
Ben O'Neil is a Food Scientist, specifically Food Microbiologist, with 10+ years in the food manufacturing industry. His roles in the industry have ranged from food processing & operations, process design, food safety, research, U.S. FDA regulation expert, AND MORE. His education starts with a bachelor degree in Food Science from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University is a top tier food science program in the country for aseptic processing and packaging for the food industry. He also holds a masters degree in Food Science & Technology (National Center for Electron Beam Research) from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. His thesis is electron beam sterilization for yeast and mold decontamination of freeze dried berries for the purpose of long duration space flight missions. Upon graduation from Purdue University, Ben started working in the Purdue Pilot Plant, a way for food companies to scale up their operations from a bench top formulation to a full commercial production. After his time with Purdue, he went to work for a frozen food company in Austin, Tx, Michael Angelo's Italian Meals. There he worked as a commercialization coordinator, basically scaling up food production concepts from the R&D kitchen to full scale production. This job had him figuring out how to use different types of food processing equipment and how they affect food processing. Ben then went on to work for NASA making the thermostabilized foods for the International Space Station. Thermostabilized foods (also called MRE's or canned food) are foods that receive a heat treatment to render the food product shelf stable which requires no refrigeration. While working full time for NASA, Ben was also working on his masters thesis at Texas A&M, quite the challenge to handle food production for NASA while writing a thesis and defending it in front of his expert professors. His Thesis was electron beam sterilization of freeze dried berries for yeast and molds. The research dove into how much of an ebeam dose is required to inactivate yeast and molds and then how that ebeam dose effects the chemical structures of the berries. Ben used a couple of scientific tools at his disposal including collecting normal flora background Y&M flora, DNA extraction & PCR for Y&M identification and then Gas-Chromatography -Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) to observe any chemical changes comparing fresh berries to irradiated berries. Ben then left NASA and started a job at Tetra Pak about 1 month before he graduated from Texas A&M. He currently still works for Tetra Pak as a Food Safety & Regulatory Officer and Process Authority. His main roles and responsibilities are aseptic filling machine validations, calibration, and mass insterility investigations. Personal - he likes to travel and be active (swimming, surfing, biking, ice/roller hockey, running, rock climbing, wood working, scrapbooking, socializing, and more). 

 

Peter Park, MD
Peter Park was born in Seattle Washington to first-generation immigrants from Korea. He was raised in Minnesota. As a child he enjoyed winter sports such as hockey and learned to appreciate the outdoors through Boy Scouts. He attained the rank of Eagle. Dr. Park went to college at the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts where he earned his bachelors of arts with a double major in computer science and history. Afterwards, he went on to earn his Medical Doctorate at the University’s Medical School. Along the way he has worked a variety of odd jobs including paperboy, convenience store stock boy, corporate records room clerk, horse race track groundskeeper, seasonal construction worker, training manual writer, bartender, hospital station secretary, and autopsy assistant. Dr. Park graduated from the University of Minnesota medical school in 1994 and went on to complete a surgical categorical internship at the Naval Medical Center San Diego in 1995 and Naval Flight Surgeon training in 1996. He served two tours as a Flight Surgeon before returning to training to complete a residency in Emergency Medicine (EM). He has been a board-certified EM physician since 2002. During that time, he has worked across abroad range of settings abroad in here at home in America. His most challenging and rewarding tour as a military physician was the 6 months he was deployed with the First Marine Expeditionary Force in Al Anbar, Iraq in 2006 fighting Al-Qaeda. In addition to being an active EM doctor, Dr. Park just had the fortune of being able to blend his passion for healthcare with his love of technology and is also board certified in Clinical Informatics. As such he was selected to serve as the Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO) for Navy Medicine.  Dr. Park retired from the Navy in 2016 and now practices medicine here in San Diego with Sharp Rees-Stealy and travels once a month to Eureka, California where he provides care to the under-resourced rural community there.


Erik Reikes, Computer Engineer
Erik Reikes grew up near San Jose, CA.  He had an interest in engineering in high school and competed in several engineering competitions such as Martian Motion. Martian Motion was a competition for High School students to design and build a simulated Mars rover that had to escape a Mars canyon.  His blimp design came in second place.  He went to UCSD and completed a major in Computer Engineering.  Computer Engineering is a combination of Computer Science (programming) and Electrical Engineering (hardware design).  After college his first job was at Qualcomm writing software for very early cell phone towers.  After 3 years at Qualcomm he left to found an Industrial Process Monitoring company called Xsilogy that designed hardware and software to hook up industrial equipment to the internet for monitoring and optimization.  After 3 years at Xsilogy, Mr. Reikes went on to found EEmbed, a small Engineering Services company which he has owned and operated for the last 24 years.  Embed specializes in embedded computer system design.  Embedded computers are computers that are built into devices.  Over the course of 24 years he has managed a small team that designed hundreds of projects for customers ranging from biomedical to advanced military hardware, aerospace components and 3-d metal printers.


Aleksey Rozhkov, Pilot/Captain – United Airlines
Aleksey Rozhkov originally from overseas (Russia). He came to the US when he was 17 years old in 2005 without speaking the language but with strong aspirations of becoming a pilot. It was his childhood dream to be one - Aleksey was fascinated with airplanes. He started flight training in San Jose, CA then moved to San Diego in 2006. He got through the pilot ratings and received a Bachelor's Degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a specialty of Professional Aeronautics. He received his flight instructor license at the end of 2007 and started teaching others how to fly the airplanes which he did until the end of 2010. Aleksey then moved up and became a pilot for SkyWest Airlines - a regional carrier flying smaller 50 to 80 seater jets. He upgraded to a Captain and became an instructor/safety inspector check pilot there as well. Aleksey got hired by the carrier of his choice United Airlines in November of 2019, where he currently flies as a Captain on Boeing 737 based in Los Angeles. 

 

Paul Scurio, Chief Pilot – Sunbird Aviation
Captain Scurio has been a pilot for over 30 years.  He began his flying career in the US Navy in 1987 where he served as a Tactical Aircraft Commander and an Instructor Pilot.  He was a pilot for Delta Air Lines and flew the Boeing 727 and 737.  He then became a corporate pilot flying for companies including Qualcomm and Netflix. He is currently the Chief Pilot for Sunbird Aviation. He manages the flight department and as a Captain his primary responsibility is the safety of the aircraft, passengers, and crew as they fly all over the world. Captain Scurio grew up in Illinois and remembers always being fascinated by airplanes and flying.  He graduated from the University of Notre Dame and then joined the US Navy.  After completing flight training he became a Naval Aviator. After many more years of training Captain Scurio earned several qualifications including Airline Transport Pilot and Flight Instructor.  During his career he has flown many different types of aircraft, including the Gulfstream 650, Gulfstream 550, Gulfstream 450, Gulfstream V, Citation X, DC-9, Sabreliner, and Navy P-3. 

 

Evan Snyder, M.D. and Ph.D.
Evan Snyder earned his M.D. and Ph.D. jointly at the University of Pennsylvania and studied psychology, philosophy, and linguistics at the University of Oxford (Balliol College). He completed residencies in pediatrics and neurology and a clinical fellowship in Neonatology at Children's Hospital-Boston, Harvard Medical School, where he also served as Chief Resident in Medicine and then in Neurology.  Concurrently, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Genetics. In addition to going onto the clinical faculty there in both Neonatology and Neurology (becoming the country’s first to be dual-boarded in those specialties), he also started his independent lab where he helped define the basic and translational properties of stem cells (particularly neural). He was recruited to the Sanford Burnham Prebys Institute (SBP) in La Jolla to found a Center for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine and help build the stem cell program in California. Regarded as one of the “Fathers” of the stem cell field, he’s been elected to the Association of American Physicians and to the American Institute of Medical & Biological Engineering. He served two terms as Chairman of the FDA’s Cell, Tissue, & Gene Therapy Advisory Committee (after helping found the FDA/NIH Stem Cell Working Group) and presently chairs the SAB of NIH’s Genetic Disease Biobank. He’s a Diplomate of the Health Leadership Academy. His biography is included in Ashwal’s Child Neurology: Its Origins, Founders, Growth & Evolution.
 
Ray Vizcaino, Head Cake Decorator
Ray Miranda Vizcaino is the head cake decorator for Sugar and Scribe Bakery. Ray served 5 years with the United States Marine Corps before following his dream in the pastry world. Ray has been on numerous Food Network Shows such as Halloween Baking Championship, CANDYLAND, Food Network Challenge and Big Time Bake, and other numerous shows. Ray has also won Food Network Challenge Pokemon and FoodNetwork Candyland. Ray is also a manager for Sugar and Scribe Bakery and oversees event/coordinating details for the bakery as well.  He is always finding new and innovative ways to create beautiful cakes and desserts that everyone will enjoy. 


Katherine Wong, DDS / MS, Orthodontist
Dr. Wong was born and raised in San Diego.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. From there, she earned her Doctorate of Dental Surgery at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco. She completed her  Orthodontic residency and earned a Masters of Science in Craniofacial Biology at the University of Southern California. In her free time, Dr. Wong loves being with her family, friends, and French bulldog. Health and fitness are a big part of Dr. Wong’s life. She loves to stay active with hiking, running, and lifting weights. As a self-proclaimed foodie, Dr. Wong loves to cook new recipes and try new restaurants around the world. She also loves to travel and explore different cultures, and of course, different cuisines.”


Peter Worland, Ph.D. 
Peter is Senior Vice President, Integrative Sciences at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Since 2010, Peter has been actively identifying and creating collaborations (academic and corporate) that extend the reach of the company’s internal Research & Development Programs, expanding into new therapeutic areas and accessing new technologies. He has been integral to creating a large portfolio of collaborations with biotechnology companies in that period, both within the US and abroad. He leads a group of senior and experienced scientists focused on continually working to maximize the value of existing partnerships and identify new potential that complements the company’s strategic plan. Prior to this, Peter held leadership positions at both large and small companies. Peter worked as a Visiting Scientist at the NCI in Bethesda for several years before entering Industry. He has been a major contributor for both small molecules and biologics entering clinical development.


Yusuf Yazici, MD
Yusuf Yazici is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the New York University School of Medicine. He earned his medical degree from Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty of Istanbul University in Istanbul, Turkey (1994). He completed his internship and residency at Creighton University in Nebraska (1994-1997) and his fellowship in rheumatology at the Hospital for Special Surgery of Weill Medical College of Cornell University (1997-2000). His areas of interest are Behcet syndrome, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, early arthritis, patient reported outcomes, database and registry management and monitoring of arthritis patients in regard to clinical response and adverse events related to treatment. He has published over 250 articles and presented at various national and international meetings over 200 times. He has also been the Chief Medical Officer of Biosplice, Inc. since 2013, leading the development of new therapies for osteoarthritis, various oncologic conditions and Alzheimer’s disease, among others.

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