On September 19, our esteemed Judges will decide the first and second place winners from our Top 12 Finalists.

Faith Dukes, Ph.D.

Faith started combining her passions for science and education as an instructor with Science from Scientists while working on her PhD thesis on waste remediation using photocatalytic semiconductors. She went on to develop educational programs as the Education Coordinator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum before transitioning to Washington, DC as an American Association for the Advancement of Science, Science Technology Policy Fellow. During her time as a Fellow, she served at the National Science Foundation in the Education and Human Resources Directorate. She is currently the K-12 STEM Education Program Manager for Berkeley National Laboratory where she focuses on developing the next generation of scientist.

Patricia Falcone, Ph.D.

Patricia Falcone is the Deputy Laboratory Director for Science and Technology at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. She leads technical initiatives and oversees the strategic development of the lab’s scientific capabilities. She is responsible for the lab’s collaborative research with academia and the private sector, as well as its internal investment portfolio. Falcone joined LLNL in 2015 after six years at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and, earlier, worked at Sandia. She received a BSE in aerospace and mechanical sciences from Princeton, and a PhD in mechanical engineering from Stanford.

Yvette Lane Newton

Yvette Lane-Newton is the Director of the Visiting Scholar and Postdoctoral Affairs Program (VSPA) at UC Berkeley where she leads campus-wide initiatives that support thousands of postdocs and researchers every year. Yvette has nearly 20 years of experience in higher education administration and is a is proud to represent one of the oldest postdoc offices in the country and the first in the University of California system. Yvette holds a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Redlands and is pursuing a PhD in Education and Human Resource Studies, specializing in Higher Education Leadership, from Colorado State University. Her research interests are mentorship for postdocs, the experiences of Black and Indigenous Postdocs of Color, and leadership training for visiting researchers.

MC O'Connor

Mary Catherine (MC) O’Connor is communications director for Activate, which is building a new generation of innovators that can redefine how science serves society and sustains the planet. Activate’s entrepreneurial fellowship model was developed at Cyclotron Road, our Berkeley, CA location, managed in partnership with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Prior to joining Activate, O'Connor spent 15 years reporting on the intersection of environment, technology, and recreation. Her work has appeared in Outside, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. She also co-founded Climate Confidential, a magazine dedicated to deepening the conversation about people, businesses, and society reckoning with climate change.

Rigel robinson

Berkeley City Councilmember Rigel Robinson was elected to represent District 7 on November 6th, 2018. Elected at 22, Robinson is the youngest person to ever serve on the Berkeley City Council. Prior to his election, Robinson was a leader in student efforts to support development of more affordable housing & student housing, divest the University of California from the Dakota Access Pipeline, oust a UC Regent accused of sexual harassment, and secure additional state funding for the UC and the first tuition decrease in 20 years. Robinson grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. You can keep up with him on Twitter: @RigelRobinson

Dee Rossiter, ph.D.

Dione (Dee) Rossiter is a Science Communication, Engagement, and Outreach Specialist who has previously worked with non-profits, universities, government offices, and for-profit businesses to improve their science engagement efforts. Her previous positions include: Adjunct Professor at San Jose State University, Climate Engagement Specialist for the County of San Mateo, Scientific Programs & Outreach Manager at the Carnegie Institution for Science, and Director of Mass Media Fellowship at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, placing scientists in news outlets across the country to work as science reporters. Dee received both her BS and PhD in Earth & Planetary Sciences.

Thank you to our panel screening Judges !

We had so many great entries (42 in total), which made the judging very difficult. Thank you to our panel judges who diligently reviewed all entries!

Ali Douraghy, Aliyah Kovner, Alan Poon, Christine Naca, Daniel Martin, Ethan Crumlin, Russell Carrington, Peter Nugent , Pouya Vahmani, Pamela Patterson, Valentine Trotter, Vassilia Zorba, Marc Fisher