Organizing Committee

 

Taylor Contreras

Contreras is a third year Ph.D. Candidate in the Harvard Physics Department and a NSF Graduate Research Fellow. She is working on the NEXT experiment, which searches for Majorana neutrinos. The neutrino is a fundamental particle yet there is much we do not know about this elusive particle. The discovery of Majorana neutrinos would tell us the neutrino is its own antiparticle, making the neutrino even more unique compared to other fundamental particles. Contreras believes it is important to dedicate part of her time to improving the culture of physics and STEM to become more diverse and equitable. Current and previous projects Contreras has dedicated this time to include co-chairing the Harvard Women in Physics group, being a representative for the Harvard Physics Equity and Inclusion committee, volunteering for the Science Club for Girls, and organizing ComSciCon workshops. 

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Dr. Gabriela Fernandez

Dr. Fernandez is an Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Geography and Principal Investigator at the Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA) at San Diego State University (SDSU). She is the Graduate Advisor of the Big Data Analytics Master of Science Program (BDA) at SDSU. She received a Ph.D. in Urban Planning, Design, and Policy from the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies at the Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI) in Milan, Italy (2018). She was a Ph.D. Visiting Student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Architecture, Building Technology, Urban Metabolism Group. She received a B.S. in Public Administration with an emphasis in City Planning (2010) and a Master of City Planning (2012) from the School of Public Affairs at San Diego State University. Her research interests include urban metabolism ideologies and material flow analysis of metropolitan cities. Identifying urban typologies and socioeconomic indicators in the urban context while promoting public policy, smart cities, circular economy methods, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and under representative populations. Dr. Fernandez serves as the UNEP delegate for the Major Group for Children & Youth, Marine Litter and Micro-plastics Working Group which serves as the formal engagement mechanism for young people to engage in the processes of UNEP. She is Co-Founder and Researcher at the Metabolism of Cities, a non-profit organization registered in Brussels, Belgium with data, tools, and publications related to urban metabolism studies. As part of the SDSU Big Ideas Challenge, Dr. Fernandez is the Director of the Metabolism of Cities Living Lab under the HDMA at SDSU (2019) working to localize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in southern California and the Baja California Mexico region.

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Jordan Chapman

Jordan Chapman is a Geoarchaeologist studying for a Ph.D. in Anthropology with a focus on Geosciences at the University of Georgia. His research uses archaeological and geological methods to determine the past human-environmental impacts of Native American and Colonial/Enslaved communities on Georgia’s Ossabaw Island. In addition, he is a Co-Founder and President of the Black Science Coalition and Institute (B-SCI). He also Co-host a podcast called B-Scientists by B-SCI, which talks about new developments in science and interviews a diverse group of scientists from diverse backgrounds. In his off time he enjoys listening to podcasts, watching TV, playing video games, boxing/MMA, and weird stuff like that. 

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Chad Singleton

Chad Singleton is from Atlanta, GA . Conducted his undergraduate studies in Biological Sciences at Atlanta Metropolitan State College. He is currently in the Public Health Master's program at Southern New Hampshire University, working towards a Masters in Public Health with a focus in Environmental Health Sciences .Professionally he is an Environmental Scientist with a background in virus prevention and inorganic chemical analysis. Singleton is also the host of an Educational Podcast called The Square Round Table and a Science Communication Officer for a non profit organization called The Black Science Coalition and Institute (B-Sci). 

 

TiAir Riggins

Riggins is a current Biomedical Engineering PhD candidate at Michigan State University. She received her bachelors in Biomedical Engineering from The Ohio State University in 2011 as the first black undergraduate BME student, and proceeded to earn a master’s from the University of Cincinnati in 2013. Beginning her PhD at Purdue, she transferred to Michigan State in January 2019. Her research focus is integrating tissue engineering with implantable electrodes to tune immune response in the brain, in the REIL lab under the direction of Dr. Erin Purcell. She is a Co-founder for Black In Neuro, the Academia Chair for the Health Innovations special interest group of the National Society of Black Engineers,  and is in the speaker’s bureau for the Rape And Incest National Network. She has also served in the community under her platforms of sexual assault awareness and exposing underrepresented students to STEM as Miss Indiana United States 2015 and has received awards for her Social Justice in 2016 and Humanitarianism in 2018. She was named a fellow in the Society for Neuroscience from 2016 – 2018 and is also a NIH F99/K00 fellowship awardee. Her future goals include managing her own lab and being a successful entrepreneur and mentor for students who are underrepresented students in neuroscience and engineering. 

TRiggins Headshot

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