Science to Policy Program Alumni
Dr. Holly Mayton
Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Virginia
UCR Program of Study: Chemical and Environmental Engineering (Ph.D. 2018)
Science policy interests: Food safety, water, sustainable agriculture, science diplomacy
Holly has served as a UC Global Food Initiative Fellow, represented students on the board of the California Agriculture and Food Enterprise (CAFE) at UCR, contributed to several California Natural Resources Agency committees on environmental science and public outreach, and worked part-time for the California Council on Science and Technology. Currently, she is serving as a national co-chair of the National Science Policy Network (NSPN). Holly is passionate about connecting food and water science to policy and advocacy outcomes, from the local to the international level.
Email: email@example.com Twitter: @hollindaze LinkedIn
Dr. Drew Story
AAAS Congressional Fellow (sponsored by American Chemical Society)
Working for US Senator Chris Coons on the energy & environment portfolio
UCR Program of Study: Chemical and Environmental Engineering (Ph.D. 2018), D.E. in Public Policy
Science policy interests: Energy, environment, education
While at UCR, Drew spearheaded the creation of the Designated Emphasis in Public Policy, served as an advisor to the California Natural Resources Agency, and was selected as a “science translator” by the California Council on Science & Technology. He was appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of Science Policy & Governance and joined the Government Affairs Committee of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors. Drew hopes to use his scientific, communications, and policy training and experiences to improve stakeholder collaboration on energy, environmental, and education policy.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @Sdrewstory LinkedIn
Dr. Benjamin Sommerkorn
Past Vice Chair and Past Cabinet Member
"Brain aneurysms: They don't have to be a headache."
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Interests: Energy systems, sustainability, organizing, social justice
I am interested in the intersection of science, policy and social issues. My passion for policy comes from a desire to seek justice and to improve the lives of all people. I hope to work in the state and federal legislature making sure good data and science are at the fore of new policy. My dissertation work involves blood mechanics, brain aneurysms, and biomedical microdevices.
Dr. Lorena Villanueva-Almanza
AAAS Mass Media Fellow at Indianapolis Star
UCR Program of Study: Botany and Plant Sciences (Ph.D. 2019)
Science policy interests: Conservation in US and Mexico, STEM accessibility
Lorena was a graduate of our inaugural science policy certificate program! She is a bilingual scientist that produces data and writes stories to build stewardship, help protect wildlife, and natural places in Mexico and the US. As a first-generation college and graduate student, she is also interested in increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM. She believes that by communicating science—in English and Spanish—she can help build empowerment. Read one of her articles here!
Dr. Parisa Parsafar
AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow
UCR Program of Study: Developmental Psychology (Ph.D. 2019)
Science policy interests: Health policy, emotions & cognition, emotion regulation, environmental health
Parisa was the mastermind behind our first science to policy certificate program curriculum! She is now a AAAS Congressional Science Policy Fellow in the office of Senator Christopher Coons where she focuses on health and education policy. She primarily focuses on policy that affects maternal and child health, early childhood and K-12 education, and legislation that captures their intersection (e.g., childcare, nutrition, socioemotional programming, the social determinants of health, and telehealth expansion). Since Senator Coons is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, this past year she also had the privilege of supporting the office’s global health portfolio, where she worked together with international stakeholder organizations to advance legislation that promotes early childhood development programming in nations with limited resources to support such programs.
Dr. Jonathan Nye
Postdoctoral Fellow, EDGE Institute, UC Riverside
UCR Program of Study: Earth Sciences (Ph.D. 2019)
Science policy interests: environmental restoration
Jonathan W. Nye, Ph.D. was a graduate from our inaugural science policy certificate program in 2019! He is now a Postdoctoral Scholar in the EDGE Institute and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences advised by Marilyn Fogel. He earned his B.S in Earth Sciences and B.A. in Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his PhD in Geological Sciences at the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Nye’s research focuses on ecology and biogeochemistry of ancient and modern food webs. He uses carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen stable isotope systematics to identify changes in marine and aquatic ecosystems. Dr. Nye is an associate member of the Salton Sea Task Force, a collaboration between EDGE, S2P, and other researchers, an effort to engage public officials on environmental restoration of California’s largest lake, the Salton Sea.
Dr. Karin Johnson
Administrator, Texas Research Data Center
UCR Program of Study: Sociology (Ph.D. 2020)
Science policy interests: international migration, higher education
Karin was a graduate from our science policy certificate program. She completed her Ph.D. in May 2020 in Sociology from UCR. She researches international migration, specifically looking at how national higher education policies shape global international student trends to the US, as well as to other countries. Karin previously worked in international development and higher education. She also worked with the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) in the Financial Markets and Community Investments team.