Public Interest Technology Community Innovation Fellowship

Program Areas – Science and Technology Policy, Education and Engagement

Meet the Fellows

Ann Arbor, MI

Jade Marks, University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

Jade Marks is the Science Communication Manager for the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. Through courses, workshops, and programming, Jade helps researchers use their stories to build scientific literacy and cultivate lifelong learning among public audiences. Trained as a biogeochemist, Jade has previously worked as an environmental consultant: specializing in restoration planning, natural resource management, and environmental monitoring. This experience working at the intersection of science and society drives her passion for improving the accessibility of scientific research and environmental data.


Justin Schell, Shapiro Design Lab, University of Michigan

Justin Schell is the Director of the Shapiro Design Lab, a peer and engaged learning community in the University of Michigan Library. He facilitates a number of community and citizen science projects, including the use of open source hardware with environmental justice community advocates, online crowdsourcing projects through the Zooniverse platform, and projects that increase the availability and accessibility of environmental data. He holds a PhD from the University of Minnesota’s Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society program, where he completed a multimodal dissertation on immigrant hip-hop in Minnesota. He is also a filmmaker, visual artist, and producer of two podcasts: Warm Regards and Citizen Science.


Los Angeles, CA

Sacha Van Voorhis, Discovery Cube Los Angeles

Sacha Van Voorhis is the Director of Discovery Cube Los Angeles, one of the centers for the Discovery Science Foundation, which strives to inspire and educate young minds through engaging science-based programs and exhibits to create a meaningful impact on the communities they serve. The foundation achieves this goal through four core initiatives: STEM proficiency, early childhood education, healthy living, and environmental stewardship.



Rebecca Ferdman, Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office

Rebecca is a sustainability analyst for the Chief Sustainability Office of Los Angeles County where she works with County departments, community organizations, local jurisdictions, and other stakeholders to help implement the OurCounty regional sustainability plan. Before joining LA County, Rebecca worked as a green building consultant in Los Angeles and as Scheduler to the Chair at the White House Council on Environmental Quality in Washington, DC. Rebecca holds Master’s degrees in Urban Planning and Public Health from UCLA and undergraduate degrees in Environmental Studies and Neuroscience from USC.


San Jose, CA

Anja Scholze, The Tech Interactive

Anja is the Program Director for Biology + Design at The Tech Interactive where she leads a team that imagines and develops new experiences to empower anyone to explore biology as a creative, problem solving medium. Anja was co-creator of the award-winning BioDesign Studio permanent exhibition and is principal investigator on a NIH grant to create an experimental museum space at the intersection of technology, design, biology, and making. This space was awarded the 2019 ASTC Leading Edge Award for Visitor Experience for its pioneering work. She holds a B.A in Neuroscience from Pomona College and a Ph.D. in Developmental Biology from Stanford University.


Corinne Okada Takara, Xinampa

Corinne Okada Takara is a Board Member of Xinampa, a Salinas nonprofit organization aiming to develop an equitable bioeconomy on the Central Coast of California. She is a San Francisco Bay Area artist/STEAM educator who works with museums, libraries and after school programs to create art/technology workshops that celebrate culture and creativity to empower community voices in conversations centered on civic spaces, identity, and the future of technology. With Xinampa, she is developing programming that leverages art as a tool to engage people in science from the lens of their own culture and community knowledge. Takara is also co-founder of BioJam, a Stanford University pilot summer program that engages teens in bioengineering and biomaterial design.


Waco, TX

Cindee Millard, Mayborn Museum Complex, Baylor University

Cindee Millard, a native Wacoan and Baylor University graduate, works as the Public Engagement Manager at Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum Complex. Cindee worked with numerous non-profits and enjoyed a variety of volunteer community leadership positions before she joined the museum. She received her M.A. from Baylor University with a concentration in organizational communication, combining her years of non-profit expertise with academic knowledge to collaborate with community partners.


Melissa Mullins, Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research, Baylor University

Melissa Mullins is an aquatic scientist and environmental educator who coordinates water education and outreach at Baylor University’s Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research. She has a B.S. in Biology from the University of KY and an M.S. in Environmental Biology from Baylor University. She directs activities ranging from after-school girls science clubs to teacher professional development to citizen science programs. Ms. Mullins is interested in the intersection of water issues with broader societal issues at local to global scales, and in promoting public involvement in both science and policy aspects of community water sustainability.


Worcester, MA

Rachel Quimby, EcoTarium

Rachel Quimby is the Public Programs Coordinator and a Museum Educator at EcoTarium. She has taught zoology to preschoolers, French to foreign exchange students, museum studies to high school first-years, and a lot of other stuff to a lot of other folks. Quimby holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Columbia University and she recently got her Master of Arts in Teaching from George Washington University’s Museum Education Program.


Stefanie Covino, City of Worcester

Stefanie is the Conservation Planner for the City of Worcester and has a Masters of Environmental Science and Policy from Clark University. She is trained as a Keystone Cooperator and a Certified Provider for the Commonwealth’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program to help communities identify actions to improve climate resilience. She is particularly interested in nature based solutions and smart growth.