Science to Policy Student Cabinet


    Lindsey Pedroncelli

    Cabinet Co-Chair
    "Save our strawberries!  The fight against fungi."
    Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology
    Interests: Climate change, agriculture

    As I became more aware of the lack of sustainability within the food and agriculture industries, I began wondering what I could do to help. California is an agricultural hub and I believe it is important to educate people throughout the state where their food comes from and what they can do to live more sustainable lives. I also hope to inform policymakers and influence change at the policy level to make the food and agriculture industries safer for consumers and the environment. Through S2P I hope to learn how to influence these changes and how to effectively communicate my science knowledge.

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    Danielle Delany

    Curriculum Committee Chair
    "Staying involved, no matter the distance."
    Department of Psychology
    Interests: Children's educational and health outcomes, parent education, outreach

    I study the factors that influence children's motivation and achievement, as well as how parenting in various cultural contexts contributes to children's academic and emotional adjustment. Many policies directly impact the health and well-being of children and families, which inspired me to get involved with S2P.  I am interested in science policy because it is an avenue for sharing my work and creating change. Science policy is important to me because scientific research and development plays a crucial role in solving societies most complex problems but if we cannot share our findings effectively and inform the public then the benefits are limited. I believe that as scientists, we have a responsibility to make sure that policymakers and the public understand the value of science and have access to scientific knowledge. 


    William Ota

    Government Relations Committee Chair
    "Call of the wild:  Untaming urban rivers."
    Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology
    Interests:  Human impacts on ecosystems, conservation, science communication, outreach

    I am interested in science policy and the S2P program because I believe that scientists' work becomes most impactful when we are able to share our results. I work in ecology and if I can get others to listen to what experts in my field are doing I believe we can protect the natural wonders of our planet from climate change and other human impacts. By being involved in science policy I can help increase appreciation for primary research outside of the scientific community. I want to learn from the S2P program so I can translate science for easy consumption by policy makers and the public who can benefit from my and others work.


    Morgan Dundon

    Content Creation Committee Chair
    "Special delivery: Cancer-fighting genes"
    Materials Science and Engineering Program
    Interests:  Science communication and art, outreach, policy

    I work on a device for improving gene delivery into cells so we can lower costs and increase efficiency of cancer treatments and other applications. This intersects multiple areas of policy, and I believe that scientists should understand the impact of their research on the world and communicate it effectively so it can help shape public policy. S2P has helped me gain the skills to do so and has connected me with many of our policymakers in the Inland Empire. I hope to continue growing this skillset and make science more accessible and impactful.

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    Agnes Varghese

    External Affairs Committee Chair
    "Life without empathy:  No feeling, not appealing."
    Department of Psychology
    Interests:  Education, mental health, science communication

    Given my current scientific pursuits in developmental psychopathology, and my past experience with broadcast journalism, I have developed interests in science communication and policy. I aspire to gain the skillset to translate not only my science, but the science of those in various other fields in an accurate and understandable manner in the hopes of making research more accessible to the public, and more digestible for the policymakers that can use scientific findings to enact significant societal changes.


    Kavya Samudrala

    Content Creation Committee Member
    "Catalysts: Less is more"
    Department of Chemistry

    Oil is expensive. The catalysts used to convert crude oil too fuel are not well understood, and this has led to a brute force methodology commonly used in the industry. Kavya aims to develop efficient and effective catalysts, leading to less wasteful and more well-defined processes integrated into the chemical industry.

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    Christopher Drozd

    Content Creation Committee Member
    Department of Plant Pathology
    Interests:  Agriculture, agriculture policy, science communication

    My work focuses on understanding and demonstrating how plant microbiomes influence plant health and their ability to fight disease. I am very interested in agriculture and ag policy. I hope to leverage my knowledge of cropping systems into better understanding and positively influencing policy. I am passionate about outreach and making the world of science accessible to everyone.

    Nicole Harake

     Nicole Harake

    Curriculum and Events Committee Member
    Department of Psychology

    I study how people make sense of significant life experiences and how these experiences can promote individuals’ health and well-being. Policies play an important role in the events people experience and the subsequent circumstances those experiences bring about. Through S2P, I hope to effectively communicate science to policymakers and the public. Clear and accessible scientific information will enable both policymakers and the public to make more informed decisions, as well as improve communities and individuals’ lives.

    Gabriel Ortiz


    Gabriel Ortiz

    Content Creation Committee Member

    "Still fertilizing? Bacteria can do it better"

    Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology

     I'm a fourth year PhD candidate in the Department of Plant Pathology. I'm currently studying the interaction among crops and beneficial soil bacteria. I aim to understand the human impacts on the interaction and how this knowledge can be used to develop sustainable strategies for crop improvement. I am interested in using science policy as a tool to have a positive impact in my community as well as to improve my science communication skills.

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    My Hua

    Content Creation Committee Member
    "What's in a vape? Linking flavors to adverse health effects"
    Department of Environmental Toxicology

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    Thomas Dugger

    Curriculum and Events Committee Member
    "Your next car will be plastic"
    Materials Science and Engineering Program