Observatory Alignment Thread Lead, James Webb Space Telescope
As Observatory Alignment Thread Lead on the James Webb Space Telescope, Dr. Amy Lo is a member of the System Engineering directorate of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. Dr. Lo earned her Bachelor’s in Physics at Brown University and her Ph. D. in Astrophysics from UCLA. One of her on-going projects is the development of the New Worlds Observer mission concept, which uses a “Starshade” to occult nearby stars and enable the detection of Earth-like planets. She has also served as technical lead and proposal manager for several NASA Discovery and Explorer-class mission proposals.
Amy was named Asian American Engineer of the Year in 2011, and selected as one of National Academy of Engineering’s 2018 Gilbreth Lecturers. She has more than 20 technical publications in the subjects of Astrophysics and Exoplanet Detection Technology.
Andy is currently the President of Cubic Motion, whose technology enabled the creation of Siren — the world’s first high-fidelity digital human!
Andy Wood has a long history in computer animation and digital imaging. He founded USD — the company who marketed and sold over fifty No.1 video games such as The Hobbit, Mortal Kombat, and FIFA Soccer, as well as U-Vibe Records. As chairman and co-founder of Mirage, Andy developed and published HR Giger’s Darkseed, Humans and Rise of the Robots. He was also a founding committee member of the video games trade body UKIE; Board Advisor to Europress; and was appointed to the board of Real World and WOMAD. Andy even co-invented the text to animation language Gabble and produced the animated video for Peter Gabriel’s Book of Love.
Andy also co-founded the interactive music and video app WholeWorldBand, the distribution company The Producers; video game marketing agency Barrington Harvey, and occasionally plays double bass in a gypsy jazz trio.
Cooper Roth is a working actor, filmmaker, poet and senior at Mira Costa High school who works to create stories that leave a lasting impression.
He plans to attend film school next fall, and is doing his best to keep up with the pace of college applications. Cooper’s parents think he’s a real swell guy…hopefully the universities will too.
Elizabeth Bjork is a Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she has chaired UCLA’s prestigious Academic Senate. One focus of her research is how principles of learning discovered in the laboratory can be applied to enhance instructional practices and self-directed learning.
Elizabeth is a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Psychologists and a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. She has also served on Editorial Boards and Review Panels for National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation.
Elizabeth has received UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and most recently, along with Dr. Robert A. Bjork, she is a joint recipient of the James McKeen Cattell Award from the Association for Psychological Science.
Co-Director, Golden Bridge Community Choir
Maggie Wheeler and Emile Hassan Dyer have been working together for 14 years as co-directors of the Golden Bridge Community Choir in Los Angeles, a non-auditioned, inter-generational choir. They are members of The Ubuntu Choirs Network — a growing community of choirs who believe that the joy of singing is a universal birthright, and that together, regardless of musical background, we can help improve the world by joining voices in song.
Emile Hassen Dyer is a vocalist, percussionist, vocal improvisor and storyteller. Raised in France and Senegal, he was influenced at an early age by the rhythms of West Africa. Emile tours internationally as a percussionist and vocalist, is a member of the LA based vocal improv ensemble Fish To Birds.
As a leader in the blockchain community, Heidi cofounded the Los Angeles/Blockchain Lab — a partnership of academia (UCLA/USC/UCI), government (City of LA), businesses, nonprofits, and the community, focused on developing the Southern California Blockchain ecosystem.
In addition, Heidi is CEO of Proof Of Art – a social publicity network used to promote and fund artists using blockchain; and Co-Founder of HomeSidekick – a peer-to-peer mortgage-lending platform. She is also an advisor for numerous startups including Spire — mobile crypto wallets for emerging markets and DApperNetwork — which focuses on developing blockchain technical talent. She is a guest lecturer at UCLA and USC, and hand-selected for Richard Branson’s Blockchain Summit where 40 global thought-leaders were invited to address blockchain’s potential for social impact.
Prior to blockchain, Heidi focused on turning around distressed assets, growing small businesses, and sales for financial services companies.
Jeff Greenspan is a native New Yorker whose career has spanned over 20 years in advertising, working his way up from copywriter to becoming a creative director at BBDO NY. Along the way, his work has been recognized by some of the industry’s top awards shows.
Jeff went on to work closely with Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook’s headquarters on the launch of Timeline, eventually moving on to become BuzzFeed’s first Chief Creative Officer. His professional time is now split between freelancing and running his own creative consulting company.
His personal projects, which have explored issues as diverse as government surveillance, corporate crime, internet fame, and the rise of hipsters, have been shared by millions online.
Humor has played a major role throughout his advertising, art and activism work, leading him to pursue a career as a standup comedian. He performs regularly across NYC, appeared at the 2017 New York City French Comedy Festival, and placed 3rd at the 2017 Manhattan Comedy Festival.
Jeff is currently focusing on being happy more than on being right. It’s making him miserable.
Kathryn (Casey) Bouskill is an anthropologist at the RAND Corporation and consultant for technology companies in the healthcare. Casey draws on qualitative and quantitative methods to study a range of sociocultural and health-related issues.
Her research interests include issues in cancer prevention and survivorship, cultural perceptions of health and wellness, telemedicine, and the impact of social and technological changes on health and well-being.
A Fulbright scholar, Casey has worked and taught in Austria. She has performed multiple collaborative and interdisciplinary projects in the United States, the European Union, Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. She has a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Notre Dame, a Ph.D. in anthropology and an M.P.H. in epidemiology from Emory University.
Co-Director, Golden Bridge Community Choir
Maggie Wheeler and Emile Hassan Dyer have been working together for 14 years as co-directors of the Golden Bridge Community Choir in Los Angeles, a non-auditioned, inter-generational choir. They are members of The Ubuntu Choirs Network — a growing community of choirs who believe that the joy of singing is a universal birthright, and that together, regardless of musical background, we can improve the world by joining voices in song.
Maggie Wheeler is best known for her work as an actress in film, television and voice-over, and most notably for her character Janice on NBC’s hit series Friends. She has been teaching her vocal workshop “Singing In The Stream” for over 20 years.
Co-Founder Slingshot Aerospace
Retired Major Melanie Stricklan, a native of Eldorado, Texas, was an officer in the United States Air Force for 21 years where she developed capabilities related to experimental spacecraft, satellite payloads, electronic warfare, and cyber technology. Melanie flew combat missions in Operation Allied Force and Operation Iraqi Freedom. She also served as an Experimental Spacecraft Crew Commander and was selected to an elite task force to protect and defend our nation’s highest value assets in space.
Melanie holds a B.S. in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a M.S. in Space Systems Operations Management from Webster University.
She is now the Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Slingshot Aerospace, an artificial intelligence company that extracts insights from ultra high-volume satellite imagery to optimize decision making for national security, disaster relief, and industries such as insurance, financial services, and oil/gas.
Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., aka The Sleep Doctor™, is a double board certified Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Sleep Specialist, making him one of only 168 professionals in the world with both credentials.
Michael is the author of three books. His newest book (2017), The Power of When, is a ground breaking bio-hacking book proving that there is a perfect time to do everything, based on your biological chronotype (early bird or night owl), including when to have sex, run a mile, eat a cheeseburger, buy, sell, ask the boss for a raise, to name a few.
Michael has been in private practice for 18 years and recently relocated to Los Angeles.
Participatory Public Art Artist
Otis Kriegel co-founded the New York based public art collective called Illegal Art with Michael McDevitt in 2001. Their interactive public art pieces have been installed throughout the United States, South America, Europe and The Middle East. Public art pieces include "Last Word," "TO ME," and "TO DO," and "Suggestion Box." The results "Suggestion Box" were published by Chronicle Books.
Illegal Art’s project, “What Color Are You?” was a featured part of Passport, on the South Lawn of The White House at the SXSL Festival, and was most recently as the featured installation at the pop-up museum Wonderspaces in San Diego.
Kriegel received an Artist’s Grant to attend the Vermont Studio Center, was a Visiting Artist at Webb School , a resident at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, an artist-in-residence at the SXSW Festival and was accepted as the summer artist-in-residence at the Wild Acres Retreat in North Carolina.
Rahul is co-founder and CEO of Tesloop, which offers a tokenized mobility platform for electric semi-autonomous vehicles and is revolutionizing the personal transportation system using a combination of blockchain, crypto-privacy and electric cars.
Rahul was previously an engineer at Adobe, prior to leading R&D for Asian versions of Microsoft Office. He founded his first startup, thePlatform in Seattle, which offered a backend video publishing system for large online services such as Hulu, Verizon and CBS. Comcast acquired the company for over $100m in 2006. Rahul’s next startup, Geodelic, offered a location based content service that was adopted by T-Mobile, Verizon, and Universal Studios Theme Parks.
He attended Harvard Business School’s MBA program, received a Masters in Computer Science and Japanese from the University of Washington, and studied anthropology at UPenn. In his spare time, Rahul plays comedic songs on the only ukulele ever autographed by Elon Musk.
Dr. Raphael Rose is a clinical psychologist, and serves as the Associate Director of the UCLA Anxiety and Depression Research Center (ADRC). He is a Researcher in the UCLA Department of Psychology, and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA.
For over the past 10 years Rose has been principal investigator on several NASA-funded studies involving the development and evaluation of a self-guided computer-based stress management and resilience training program called SMART-OP, and related investigations examining novel ways to implement technology in the delivery of behavioral health interventions.
Prior to UCLA, Raphael completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Dartmouth Medical School in Anxiety Disorders and Behavioral Medicine, and received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Hofstra University.
Robert A. Bjork is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at UCLA. His research focuses on human learning and memory, and on the implications of the science of learning for instruction and training.
Bjork is past president or chair of multiple associations, societies, and committees.
He has also served as Editor of Memory & Cognition and Psychological Review and Co-editor of Psychological Science in the Public Interest. In addition, he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Robert is the recipient of a multitude of distinguished teaching, lecturer and service awards, as well as the Norman Anderson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Experimental Psychologists. Together alongside Elizabeth Bjork, he is also a joint recipient of the James McKeen Cattell Award from the Association for Psychological Science.
Stephanie Sala is a senior at Mira Costa High School and co-manager of the school’s award-winning Comedy Sportz High School League (CSZ HSL) team. Her childhood dream career as a professional recorder player/astronaut never got its footing, so Stephanie decided to pursue comedy. She has been doing improv with the CSZ HSL team since her freshman year and was in a long-form narrative improvised play, called Tonight’s Play. She has also been involved in her school’s drama department for all four years of high school, including most recently acting in its production of Twelve Angry Jurors.
Susan J. Harkema, PhD, Professor, holds the Owsley B. Frazier Rehabilitation Chair in Neurological Surgery and is Associate Director of the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at the University of Louisville. Over the last 20 years, her research has focused on neural plasticity of spinal networks and recovery of function after spinal cord injury. Her recent studies show that people with chronic paralysis can regain the ability to voluntarily move their legs and stand independently with epidural stimulation.
Dr. Harkema has maintained an NIH funded research program since 1998 in neuroplasticity after human spinal cord injury. Dr. Harkema is widely published, lectures worldwide, is on numerous advisory boards and review panels, has co-authored seven United States patents, and received several honors and awards throughout her career.
Dr. Harkema earned her BS and PhD from Michigan State University and conducted her postdoctoral fellowship in neurophysiology at UCLA.