"Contemporary Superhumanity" Dr.Adventure has been studying biotechnology since age 9. After attending school for biomedical engineering and prosthetic fabrication he began filing for patents and set up the New Flesh Workshop. He received his first patent in 2011 for an Electromagnet based Artificial Muscle Actuator. The New Flesh Workshop creates custom aftermarket modifications for prosthetics and orthotics, wearable technologies and high impact armor systems.
Carl Erik Fisher, M.D
"How neuroscience is challenging punishment." Carl is a graduate of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he was a Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellow in the Division of Brain Stimulation and Therapeutic Modulation, studying ways of modifying human brain function with both non-invasive stimulation and surgical intervention. He has received the Rappeport Fellowship from the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law and the Laughlin Fellowship from the American College of Psychiatrists, and he has been named a Henry Luce Foundation Scholar and a New York State Office of Mental Health Policy Scholar. Carl Erik Fisher, M.D. Fellow, Division of Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University. Lecturer, Masters of Bioethics Program, Columbia University.
”Let’s Make Games” Jay Boucher is a visual artist and interactive designer working in Hoboken, NJ. He specializes in illustration and game design to create entertaining experiences on-line. He teaches game design and digital literacy at schools in northern NJ.
Jay spent much of the 2000′s as Sr. Designer for MTV.com, designing sites for shows like Pimp My Ride and the Real World, as well as full site designs for MTV2 and MTV Tr3s. He has worked for Hearst Digital and Condé Nast and freelance clients include Mercer MMC and Westwood One Radio Network. He currently makes interactive childrens games for the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.
Jay holds a BFA in Illustration from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MFA in Photography & Related Media from School of Visual Arts, NYC.
"Finding your voice; The Necessity of Singing" Katie Kat is an Entrepreneurial Opera Recitalist with a Masters in Classical Voice Performance from New York University. She was a 2012 NYFA Artist as Entrepreneur Bootcamp Scholar, and can be seen producing operatic performances for nontraditional venues such as; bars, clubs and conventions, as well as performing at such venues as Lincoln Center and with the Off Broadway show Speakeasy Dollhouse. She will make an appearance on the science channel’s Oddities promoting her storytelling adaption of Dvorak’s Rusalka. Her operatic roles include; Dvorak’s Rusalka (Rusalka), Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (Marcellina, Countess) and Cosi Fan Tutte (Despina), Kurt Weil’s Street Scene (Anna Maurrant), Menotti’s The Telephone (Lucy), Purcell’s Dido and Aneas (Belinda)and The Fairy Queen (Night, The Plaint). Her graduate thesis recital; Always, and other recital performances are available for hire. Current projects include a Victorian Cabaret recital project and an album of international lullabies.
“Sixth Borough: Jersey City Rail and the Industrial Economy of New York Harbor” Tim White is a resident of downtown Jersey City, an urban historian, and a History professor at New Jersey City University. In his research, he looks at the regional economy of cities, most recently with a focus on Jersey City and the economy of New York Harbor. He is also a walking tour guide, a faculty leader for study abroad, an avid theatergoer, a community theatre actor, and a member of the Historic Paulus Hook Association.
The Guerilla Haiku Movement is a Public Art Experience that has traveled to over 40 cities across the country since April of 2011, joining communities in spontaneous interaction and dialogue through the creative, succinct and powerful use of haiku. Actor and Educator, Caley Vickerman, otherwise known as the Haiku Mistress, is the founder of Guerilla Haiku. A certified teacher in NY State, she has over 12 years of classroom experience both as a full-time classroom teacher, and as an art educator consulting and leading workshops in-and-out of schools at all grade levels. As a performer she has trained and worked in interactive performance models, engaging audiences in the act of storytelling. Her passion for experiential education and interactive performance, and deep commitment to community dialogue, keeps her seeking for the perfect tool at the intersection of these subjects. Guerilla Haiku is the ultimate manifestation of her journey thus far.
"The Love of Science: Mission Youth" In Robert O’Donnell Jr.’s Jersey City classroom, sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders get hands-on science experience as they work to transform an abandoned local reservoir into an urban oasis and environmental learning center, educating the wider community in the process. Through O’Donnell’s commitment to increasing scientific literacy, Project Reservoir has become a nationally recognized program that has helped boost achievement at Christa McAuliffe School–PS 28, where about 75% of students are Hispanic and about 83% are considered economically disadvantaged. Before and after school, students can be found feeding mosquito-eating fathead minnows, culturing paramecia, maintaining 20 breeding tanks, analyzing data and modifying team prototypes. The aquaculture room, in fact, has become a field-trip destination for other schools, and Project Reservoir has partnerships with many organizations, including the Reservoir Preservation Alliance, St. Joseph’s School for the Blind, the Concordia Learning Center, St. Peter’s University, numerous public schools (P.S. #8, P.S. #25, Academy 1, P.S. #30) within Jersey City, and the Newark Museum—which O’Donnell persuaded to donate three 500-gallon fish tanks.
O’Donnell’s classroom is a respectful, caring, collaborative place where he conveys high expectations of all. With the door always open to students and parents, he maintains a classroom website that has had more than 19,000 hits and a YouTube channel of past projects with more than 23,500 views. Former students return often to benefit from O’Donnell’s continued mentoring. He is known for his sensitivity to students at risk, who go on to become successful college students.
His dedication to science education has resulted in improved test scores: More than 83% of O’Donnell’s eighth-graders pass the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge science exam each year, outperforming the state average. During the 2012-13 school year his students won more than $56,000 in savings bonds from science competitions. O’Donnell, who has taught for 11 years and holds an M.A. in the teaching of physics, also coaches volleyball, basketball and track, and his teams have won numerous district championships.
O’Donnell is also a generous mentor to student teachers and to peers throughout the district who want to make Project Reservoir part of their science programs. He collaborates with other district educators and conducts presentations to colleagues on educational technology and hands-on science instruction. He is coordinator of PS 28’s science fair and has represented PS 28 for events at the national level, including in 2013 when Project Reservoir were finalists in the U.S. Army’s CYBERMISSION, Siemens We Can Change the World, and the Lexus Eco Challenge, in 2012 when Project Reservoir won a Grand Prize in the Disney Planet Challenge and in 2010 when the school was named a finalist for an Intel Schools of Distinction Award for its STEM activities. As one administrator put it, Robert O’Donnell Jr. “serves as a model of excellence for the teaching profession.”
"Step Your Art Up: Creating Honest Art for Today’s Youth" Benedicto “Broken English” Figueroa is a self-taught writer, actor, poet, and stage performer. In 2012 Figueroa was named Poet Laureate of Union City, NJ. He is also the Host and Slam-master of Jersey City Slam which he founded in 2009. He’s headlined shows at The Howl Festival, Bowery Poetry Club, The Carlos Williams Carlos Foundation, and led workshops and classes at Pace University, Montclair University, Rutgers, William Patterson University, Saint Peters University, and numerous grade schools and high schools across New York and New Jersey. “Broken English” was most recently published in Instigatorzine, Lamplighter Magazine, the Jersey City Independent, and the anthology Solo Para Locos.
Michelle Anne Luebke
"We the People: Using the Power of Citizen Science to Promote Education,
Advocacy, and Sustainability” Michelle has over ten years of experience leading adults and high-school students through creeks and natural areas, teaching about science and the environment, and managing aquatic ecology monitoring programs. She earned her Honors undergraduate degree in Zoology and Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin in 2000 and advanced degrees from the University of Georgia in Geography (emphasis in fluvial geomorphology) and Conservation Ecology & Sustainable Development in 2006 and from New York University in Environmental Conservation Education in 2013. Michelle was first inspired by the power individuals possess to promote change while serving as an Environmental Education Volunteer with the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic and became passionate about Citizen Science while running a watershed monitoring program in California. She currently teaches “The Nature of New York” at CUNY’s School of Professional Studies and manages a Citizen Science program at NYU studying local estuaries with urban youth. Michelle Anne Luebke - Adjunct Instructor at CUNY and Program Consultant with NYU Steinhardt and the Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education
"Making Friends with Your Microbes" Kevin Spyker is a Certified Healing Foods Specialist based in downtown Jersey City. His focus is to help us unlock the powerful potential of the human body to regenerate and thrive by incorporating nutrient-dense meals and ancestral methods of preparation. Having studied the diets of indigenous cultures from around the world, Kevin now shares this intrinsic wisdom to broaden our perspectives about what we eat.
With his community project known as Culture Den, Kevin and his partners connect consumers to local, sustainable food sources, and teach them how to prepare meals for optional nutrition. Beyond personal counseling and workshops, Culture Den is a resource for do-it-yourself strategies that reduce household toxins and wasteful packaging. They demystify our microbiome, the web of symbiotic life-forms within us. Discover how traditional fermentation creates “living foods” that bolster our immune system. By understanding the role of these microbes in our bodies, sourcing high quality foods, and detoxifying our homes, we can learn to achieve and maintain health.
"We Dig Jersey City" Laura Skolar is a lifelong resident of Jersey City. Raised in the Jersey City Heights she graduated from Dickinson High School and then earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the School of Visual Arts with a major in graphic design. She was in her own hand silk screening business, Orphalese Designs, until life took her on a different course and she began a career in Real Estate. Working with people; concentrating in the community that she knew and loved was a truly gratifying experience. She continues in this profession today as a Real Estate Broker and owner of Century 21 Plaza Realty Corp.
Laura began her community service in 1984 as a board member of the non-profit Heights Neighborhood Housing Services, consisting of residents, municipal government representatives and local business people. The positive experience of this public private partnership and the constructive work they accomplished in the Jersey City Heights was the impetus for her continued community service.
In March 2003, Laura became one of the founding members of Pershing Field Garden Friends (PFGF), a community based organization whose mission is to contribute to the well being of their community through gardening. Although gardening was the means to beautifying Pershing Field, their mission is just as much about people as it is about plants. Engaging the community & local children has been a fundamental part of this process and has contributed to the safety and well being of their neighborhood. She currently serves as president of the organization.
The following year PFGF became one of the founding members of the Jersey City Parks Coalition which has become a significant park and open space advocacy organization. Today they are twenty four members strong, representing every ward in Jersey City. Laura was elected president in 2012 and has worked to forge a durable relationship between the community and the City. Her proudest accomplishments to date are the organization’s Memorandum of Understanding that was recently signed with the City of Jersey City codifying the role of the Parks Coalition and the City regarding the development, use and maintenance of all City parks and public spaces and her role in the National
Award Winning BIGDIG project.
"We Dig Jersey City" Marc Wesson is the president of Friends of Van Vorst Park Inc, a non-profit established in 1993 for the purpose of improving and maintaining the historic Van Vorst Park in downtown Jersey City. Friends of Van Vorst has raised and donated over $200,000, for trees, plants, water systems, and a new dog run and sponsors a season-long farmers’ market, Shakespeare in the Park, Egg hunt, fundraising flea markets. They also host Movies-in-the-Park and a Halloween event jointly with the Van Vorst Park Association. Marc personally volunteers 25-35 hours a week in maintaining the gardens and lawns of the park.
Marc also serves as the treasurer of the Jersey City Parks Coalition, Inc. The Jersey City Parks Coalition is an umbrella group established for public parks in Jersey City for the purpose of giving the public a voice in the development, renovation, maintenance, and expansion of public parks and open spaces. This coalition has fundraised over $500,000 for Jersey City parks and historic spaces.
Prior to operating on behalf of Jersey Cities public parks Marc owned Photographic Concepts, Inc, NYC/Jersey City for over 30 years. Photographic Concepts became one of the largest still-life studios in the U.S. The original building is still owned by Marc today and the space is used host the Jersey City Studio Tour.