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Business, Finance, and Consulting |
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Melanie Nelson, PhD, Independent Contractor at MRN Consulting Melanie Nelson, PhD is a consultant specializing in scientific data management and the effective management of people and projects. Prior to starting her own consultancy, she led teams and projects in the biotechnology industry for more than ten years. She is also the author of Taming the Work Week, a book on time management. She has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from The Scripps Research Institute. She can be found online at BeyondManaging.com, and on Twitter at @melanie_nelson.
Ayako Utsumi, MPH, Founding Consultant at Valon Consulting
Ayako Utsumi, is founder of Valon Consulting, an affordable homes development consulting company. In the Great Recession in 2008 Ayako took the plunge start a new business, switch industries, and develop housing. What?! With the announcement of the creation of a $4B federal program that year to help stem the tide of the foreclosure crisis and develop low income housing, Ayako seized the opportunity to meet the need. Thus was born a management consulting organization specializing in affordable housing development, both multi-family rental and homeownership as a foundation to developing healthy communities. For small, non-profit developer clients, the firm has helped secure and develop over $19 million in affordable housing development contracts (both new construction and acquisition/rehabilitation) with jurisdictions or organizations in the Inland Empire and Orange County in Southern California. Ayako is responsible for the entire spectrum of housing development spanning business development, project implementation, and asset management. Prior to breaking off on her own, Ayako spent 17 years in healthcare business development and management consulting most recently at Deloitte Consulting. She has a Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from University of California, Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Science, in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. Ayako also has a second business that is gaining national recognition designing and selling high-end, hand-loomed Uzbek textiles for home décor. Ayako enjoys working with microcredit women and Syrian/Iraqi refugee relief in SE Turkey and Northern Iraq. She encourages all entrepreneurs to take the time to champion a cause outside of their day jobs to widen their world view and enrich the lives of others.
Jenen Tan, PhD, Associate Consultant at QuintilesIMS
Jenen Jingwen Tan is currently an associate consultant at the QuintilesIMS Consulting Services based in the San Francisco office, serving clients in the life sciences industry on business development and product commercialization projects. She received her PhD in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and BS in Molecular, Cell, & Developmental Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She could speak about experience in changing fields, transitioning from academia to industry, and starting a career in consulting.
Matthew Lee, PhD, Managing Director at BlackRock
Managing Director and Global Head of Research in Beta Strategies. His team's responsibilities include developing active strategies for both global equities and commodities. These products are managed in the SF and UK offices.
Previously, Matt was a Director in the Advanced Technology Group at Charles Schwab & Co., where he was responsible for modeling financial markets and risk. He has an extensive background in quantitative finance including developing trading systems as a consultant and in academia.
Prior to Finance Matt was an end to end systems engineer at Hughes Space and Communications designing communication satellites.
Matt was also a Postdoctoral Fellow in Physics at UCLA.
Natalie Garrett, Self Employed Tech Consultant
Natalie is morally & ethically against perpetuating the status quo.
Her tech career is built on a foundation of ten years in relationship building, marketing, efficiency improvement, and strategy in higher education. Natalie challenges the status quo to increase efficiency. She initiates software solutions, builds trust, trains non-technical colleagues, and manages solutions to full implementation to ensure lasting success. Until the next new technology comes along...
May the 4th be with you.
Somjita Mitra, PhD, Senior Economist at LAEDC Dr. Mitra received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles and her Master of Arts in Politics, Economics and Business as well as her Ph.D. in Economics from Claremont Graduate University. She is now the Senior Economist managing the Institute for Applied Economics at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. Dr. Mitra enjoys volunteering in the local community and is actively involved in both women’s welfare and animal rescue organizations.
Gregor Reti, Director Sustainability and Branding at Orco Development, Ltd.
Branding executive for PolyGram (NL), Daewoo (KOR), Universal Studios (US) before joining Orco Development (FR) as their Branding and Sustainability Director, helping to grow the company into Euro 3.2 Billion.
Laura Romero, PhD, President and CEO at Brillante Strategies
Laura C. Romero, PhD, currently serves as founding President & CEO of her consulting firm, Brillante Strategies, where she has advised organizations on education, mentoring, public-private partnerships, government & community relations, and strategic planning.
Prior to Brillante Strategies, Laura C. Romero worked at Los Angeles Universal Preschool focusing on corporate relations, and she also worked at UCLA for 10 years in various capacities. Laura C. Romero received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from UCLA.
Click here for a complete list of the Business, Finance, and Consulting alumni and employer bios.
Lisa Felipe, PhD, Director, Excellence in Pedagogy and Innovative Classrooms (EPIC) Program at UCLA Humanities Division
Lisa B. Felipe received her PhD in Comparative Literature from UCLA in 2013. She has over ten years experience teaching at UCLA and Occidental College, specializing in writing and research courses on transnational and world literature, race and gender studies, and Asian Pacific Rim literature and film. In 2016, she began working as the Director for the Excellence in Pedagogy and Innovative Classrooms (EPIC) Program, an initiative from the UCLA Humanities Division that seeks to innovate pedagogy and curricula in the humanities.
Marissa DeSiena, Interim Director of the Upper School at the Westmark School
Marissa DeSiena earned her Master's degree in American history from UCLA and began to teach in independent schools in the Los Angeles area. She has worked as a classroom teacher and is currently the Upper School Director at Westmark School in Encino, CA. Westmark is a school for students with language-based learning differences.
Rebecca Epstein, PhD, Communications and Academic Programs Officer at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center
Rebecca Epstein holds an MA and PhD in film and television studies from UCLA. She worked as an arts and culture journalist, editor, and publicist before returning to campus, where since 2011 she has served as the Communications and Academic Programs Officer at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center.
Hong Chen, PhD, Librarian at UCLA
PhD in History and MILS in Library & Info Science from UCLA, as an international student from China; Starting a library in private for-profit higher-education, then working as a librarian in Chinese studies at UCLA; Interest in academic research & publishing; Activity in international academic exchange.
Samantha Matamoros-Rangel, Director of Human Capital at Green Dot Public Schools
Samantha Matamoros-Rangel became the Director of Human Capital for Green Dot Public Schools in July of 2013 after serving as Principal for one of Green Dot's founding schools, Ánimo Venice Charter High School. Prior to her work as a school leader, Samantha was a Spanish teacher for several years focusing on the language, culture and diversity of Spanish speaking countries. She is the daughter of Honduran immigrants and was the first in her family to graduate college. Mrs. Matamoros-Rangel holds a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles where she majored in Spanish Literature and minored in Public Policy. In her undergraduate studies she was afforded the opportunity to explore the inequities of public education in urban communities, and this sparked a deep passion for education reform and a desire to be a part of a movement that is impacting students across the country. She currently resides in the city of Hawthorne in Southern California with her 2 sons and husband.
Lisa Nichols, Recruiter at Green Dot Public Schools Since 2006, Lisa Nichols has been a Recruiter for Green Dot Public Schools – a non-profit, charter management organization operating college preparatory middle and high schools in the highest-need communities of Los Angeles, Memphis and Seattle-Tacoma. She is passionate about the need for education reform and equal access for all students to a high-quality public education, regardless of cultural or economic status. Lisa is primarily responsible for the sourcing and rigorous selection of teachers who share this mission, for Green Dot’s 21 Los Angeles-area schools. Prior to her tenure at Green Dot, Lisa spent over 15 years in the advertising industry, as both an agency account management professional and in the realm of freelance staffing and direct recruitment. Her years in account management saw her rise from Assistant Account Executive to Vice President, Management Supervisor at such agencies as Larsen-Colby, NW Ayer, Campbell-Ewald and Ketchum Advertising. Her accounts included well-known companies in the technology and travel/tourism industries, as well as pro-bono work for non-profits. With her move into advertising/marketing recruitment, she was initially the Director of Resource Management for Paladin, and later for Digital People. Lisa is also a wife (to another Bruin!) and mother to a 15-year-old daughter. Lisa holds a BA in English from UCLA, as well as an MA in Communications Management from USC.
Norma Mendoza-Denton, PhD, Associate Dean at UCLA Graduate Division
Susan Ettner, PhD, Associate Dean at UCLA Graduate Division
Dr. Ettner is an Associate Dean in UCLA Graduate Division and a Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research in the Geffen School of Medicine and in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Fielding UCLA School of Public Health. Dr. Ettner obtained her PhD in Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991 and was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School in the Department of Health Care Policy prior to joining UCLA in 1999. Her research focus is mental health and substance abuse services and policy.
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Adrian Tang, PhD, Strategic Researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Research Associate at UCLA
Adrian Tang has over 16 years of CMOS/SiGe IC chip design experience in both research and commercial wireless environments with projects ranging from the design of commercial LTE, Bluetooth and WLAN chipsets to mm-wave and THz chipsets for communication, radar and sensing systems. At NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Adrian currently directs the space-system-on-chip laboratory and is currently leading development of a wide range of CMOS SoC chipsets for planetary, Earth science and Astrophysics space instruments including sub-millimeter-wave fractional carrier generators and spectrometer processors for sub-mm-wave remote sensing instruments, as well as waveform generation and processing for in-situ and orbital mm-wave radar systems. Adrian is also a research associate at UCLA developing next generation ultra-low-power connectivity solutions for emerging internet-of-things (IoT) applications. Adrian's CMOS SoC design team at JPL was the first to demonstrate centimeter accurate CMOS mm-wave radar for sensing snow and precipitation, the first to demonstrate SoC-based spectrometers sensitive enough to detect trace gases, and the first to demonstrate CMOS SoC radiometers with enough sensitivity to support atmospheric humidity and temperature soundings. Adrian completed his PhD at the University of California Los Angeles in 2012, with a dissertation topic of advanced RF circuit and system design techniques for mm-wave sensing, which was selected as the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering's distinguished PhD dissertation in circuits and embedded systems for 2012. Adrian was awarded the Broadcom University Research Award in 2012, the JPL Voyager Award for planetary science research in 2014, the JPL Explorer Award for outstanding research in 2015, the NASA R&TD Research Award in 2016, and most recently the SPIE Society Rising Researcher Award in 2017. Adrian has co-authored over 80 IEEE publications in CMOS circuit and system design and is a senior member of the IEEE (solid-state circuits society and microwave theory and techniques society).
Christina Baker, PhD, Global Materials Manager at PPG
Christina received her PhD in Inorganic Chemistry with a Materials focus in 2008 and went straight from graduate school to co-founding a start-up company to commercialize functional nanomaterials. When the company started winding down in 2011, she started interviewing with traditional corporations, non-profits and small businesses and ended up at PPG in part with the help of connections she kept from graduate school. Currently, she is the Global Materials Manager for the PPG's aircraft transparencies (windows) business. She has 8 direct reports reporting to her from three facilities spread across the country with different education and experience ranges. She has helped several peers and employees find the right job by providing advice on careers, interviewing and resumes.
David Lee, PhD, Program Manager and Systems Engineer at Northrop Grumman
David E. Lee is a program manager and space vehicle systems engineer at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, California. Currently, he is the manager for the Integrated Concept Development Facility and is program manager for multiple contracts.
He is the area lead for both thermal power development as well as space tether technologies and systems within NG-NEXT in Aerospace Systems. He has focused on next generation systems modeling, multi-int data fusion, autonomous systems operations, scalable space architectures, solar thermal energy production, integrated power and water generation.
As an educator, Dr. Lee is currently the lead instructor for the Spacecraft Systems Design and Analysis as well as the Space Mission Systems Engineering courses offered through UCLA Extension’s Astronautical Engineering Certificate Program.
Dr. Lee completed his dissertation in Mechanical Engineering through the Integrated Manufacturing Engineering Program for Advanced Transportation Systems at UCLA. He received his B.A. in Mathematics and M.S. in Manufacturing Engineering all from UCLA. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. In addition he is a member of ACM, IEEE, INCOSE and NDIA.
Digvijay (Sunny) Singh, PhD, President at CMIT Solutions of West LA
Digvijay (Sunny) Singh has over a decade of experience in research, development, service, and consultation in technology for both ubiquitous enterprises like Intel, Qualcomm, Lockheed Martin, HP Enterprise and local businesses like GI Logic and UtopiaCompression. Some of these collaborations have resulted in multiple US patents both during and after his PhD in Electrical Engineering at UCLA. Though based in Southern California, he frequently travels to engage with businesses that have a critical dependence on technology. He is fond of the robotics, information technology, and video-games industries along with loud music, swimming, and powerlifting.
Kevin Geary, PhD, Department Manager - Applied Electromagnetics at HRL Laboratories
Dr. Kevin Geary is a Senior Research Scientist and Department Manager in the Applied Electromagnetics Laboratory of HRL Laboratories, where he leads a diverse team of research scientists developing next-generation radio frequency communications, millimeter wave radar, integrated photonics, and electro-optical/infrared imaging systems and components. He received a PhD and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from UCLA in 2006 and 2002, respectively, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the UC Berkeley in 2000. Dr. Geary spent 3 years as a part-time Lecturer in the UCLA Electrical Engineering Department teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in solid state electronics and quantum mechanics. He has authored/co-authored over 30 publications and is a member of IEEE and Eta Kappa Nu.
Sean Reily, PhD, Thermal Engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Sean Reily completed a PhD focused on electronics cooling from UCLA in 2013 before going to JPL. As a thermal engineer at JPL he works on designing, analyzing, and building thermal flight hardware for future missions.
Louis Tse, PhD Thermal Engineer at the Jet Propulsion LaboratoryLouis Tse is a Thermal Engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He received a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at UCLA in 2016.
Vladan Jankovic, PhD, Research Scientist at Northrop Grumman
Ronald Chan, PhD, Microwave Engineer at Northrop Grumman
Ronald Chan is working in the field of antennas and also has worked digital.
Jeffrey Wright, PhD, Engineering Department Manager at HRL Laboratories
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Yalda Tehranian-Uhls, PhD, MBA, Adjunct Professor, Author at UCLA
Yalda Tehranian-Uhls spent over 15 years as a content developer and a senior film executive at studios such as MGM and Sony, and then earned a PhD in psychology from UCLA where she researched the impact of media on children. This unique background informs her perspective.
Dallas King. MFA, Director, Producer, and Writer at Red Rabbit PicturesSince 2008, Dallas has led his production company, Red Rabbit Pictures, in directing, producing, and writing numerous projects, which have earned Dallas the (MPAA) Motion Picture Association of America Award, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Award, The Caucus Foundation Award for Directing, a 3-time award recipient of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, also a recipient of the National Hispanic Fund McNamara Grant, and 1st place recipient for the (DGA) Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing. His films have been selected and won countless Film Festivals throughout the nation and world. For 2017, Dallas is in post-production on two feature films KISS KISS, INK & RAIN, and in pre-production of the TV pilot, PLUR. Dallas gained his M.F.A. in Directing / Production from UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television and for the past two years has been teaching how to make genre films at UCLA while being a Associate Professor at Loyola Marymount University.
Staisey Divorski, PhD, VP Marketing at SRAX
Max Dawson, PhD, Vice President, Movie & Entertainment Group at Penn Schoen Berland
Max Dawson is the Vice President of the Media & Entertainment Group at PSB, a global market research firm. He formerly held a faculty position at Northwestern University, where he served as an assistant professor in the Department of Radio, TV & Film.
Carolyn Marie Wright, MFA, Manager of Education & Community Engagement at Geffen Playhouse Currently lives in Los Angeles where she serves as Manager of Education & Community Engagement at Geffen Playhouse. Performs with: The Second City; Humanity Play Project; and various Shakespeare companies. Clients have included: MCC Theatre; New Victory Theater; UCLA ArtsBridge; and Theatricum Botanicum. Education: Yale (BA); NYU (MA); UCLA (MFA).
Cole Quirk, MFA, Assistant to Writer/Producer at Sony Cole Quirk grew up in Blue Bell, a small town outside of Philadelphia. Intent on becoming a prosecutor, she received her BS in Crime, Law and Justice from Penn State and attended New England School of Law in Boston. She then worked in private Criminal Defense in Philadelphia and Intellectual Property Law on Wall Street. Her passion for writing led to an MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA. She also trained in sketch and improv comedy at Upright Citizen’s Brigade NY & LA, Second City Chicago, and The People’s Improv Theater NY. She has assisted writers on shows including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS), The 100 (CW), Resurrection (ABC), Scream (MTV) and currently works for writer Aaron Zelman under his development term deal at Sony. She is a 2015 Warner Brother's Workshop finalist and most recently appeared in the December 2016 Women in Entertainment issue of The Hollywood Reporter.
Beth Greene, PhD, Research Communications and Projects Manager at University of California Humanities Research Institute Beth Greene is responsible for scholarly communications at the University of California Humanities Research Institute, overseeing UCHRI’s social media, web presence, and related programming initiatives. Beth holds a PhD in History from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research focused on consumerism and popular culture in state socialist Hungary during the long 1960s.
Debra Disman, PhD, Visual Artist and Teaching Artist at ArtiFactory Studio
Debra Disman is a visual artist based in Los Angeles currently working primarily in the form of the book. She is also a teaching artist specializing in book arts conducting classes, programs and workshops across LA County for people of all ages in a variety of settings including museums, libraries, schools and affordable housing.
Mark Kapczynski, CEO at Kontrol Media Corp
Mark Kapczynski has a successful track record as a product and business strategist, at the intersection of technology, data and mobile devices across industries. He currently works with companies to develop new business offerings and enter new markets. These companies are focused on consumer healthcare, fintech, retail and data & analytics.
Click here for a complete list of the Marketing and Creative alumni and employer bios.
Tepring Piquado, PhD, Neuroscientist and Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation
Tepring Piquado is a researcher at the RAND Corporation. She is interested in a variety of areas including traumatic brain injury, human-machine systems, work transitions, and rising out of poverty. Her graduate and postdoc research focused on language comprehension and retention. Dr. Piquado is a former CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the California State Capitol. She earned her PhD. in neuroscience from Brandeis University and her B.S. in computer science from Georgetown University.
Les Koepplin, PhD, Director Federal Relations (retired)
Les Koepplin’s career has been in university administration, focusing on campus relations with foundations, business, and the federal government. He worked in Washington for 25 years on policy formulation and advocacy, primarily in the areas of scientific research and development. He believes he could be of most help to students interested in university administration and/or working in Washington.
Jennifer Li, PhD, Management Scientist at the RAND Corporation
Jennifer Li is a Management Scientist and Applied Linguist at the RAND Corporation, where she conducts research on organization development, training, and workforce issues, as well as education and language policy. She holds a B.A. in Linguistics from Cornell University, along with an M.A. in Teaching English as Second Language, Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics, and an M.B.A. in Management and Organizational Behavior, all from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to RAND, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Foreign Language Center at the Johns Hopkins University and worked in educational assessment.
Antonio Sanchez, Political Director at IBEW Local 11
Click here for a complete list of the Policy alumni and employer bios.
Suzanne Markoe Hayes, PhD, Director of Evaluation and Research at Volunteers of America, Los Angeles
Since 2010, Dr. Markoe Hayes dedicates her work to Volunteers of America, Los Angeles where she built the Evaluation and Research department. In addition, as Director of Evaluation and Research, she empowers community programs through facilitating capacity building, collaborative efforts, and implementing continuous quality improvement. In addition, Suzanne's 20 years of experience working with youth informs her as a mentor to others for youth programming, especially in the after-school setting. Suzanne also teaches at Mount Saint Mary’s University in the Psychology department where she provides mentoring and internship opportunities.
Anthony Gonzales, MBA, Director of Membership at BiocomFormer start-up founder, alumnus of 3 accelerators, MBA supply chain, life science advocate, public policy, and LA native.
Michelle Christie, EdD, Founder, Executive Director at No Limits for Deaf Children
Michelle Christie, Ed.D, is the Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit, No Limits for deaf children (www.nolimitsfordeafchildren.org), that teaches low income children with hearing loss the skills to succeed in school and in life through its Educational Centers and national theatre group. Dr. Christie is the author of the book, Silent NO MORE, as well as the writer and director of over 100 productions nationwide, including a recent performance at Carnegie Hall this past December. Dr. Christie has received countless honors and awards for her work, including the Humanitarian Award by the Starkey Foundation alongside President George W. Bush. She has changed the landscape of deafness by her endless passion to change the status quo in education for children with disabilities.
Kim Richter, PhD, Senior Research Specialist at Getty Research Institute Dr. Kim N. Richter is senior research specialist in the Director’s Office at Getty Research Institute. She received her Ph.D. in art history at UCLA in 2010, specializing in Pre-Columbian art and archaeology. She was assistant curator of the Arts of the Americas at the Fowler Museum at UCLA and has taught courses on Pre-Columbian and Latin
Deena Williams, MBA, Co-Founder at Mind Hatchery
Click here for a complete list of the Advocacy, Museums, and Non-Profits alumni and employer bios.
Norma Sosa, PhD, Manager and Scientist at IBM Research Dr. Sosa is a leading technologist at IBM Research. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Chemistry/Materials Science at UCLA, and her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University and joined IBM as a scientist in 2009. She manages the newly formed group focused on Technology and Systems for Cognitive Internet of Things, which integrates a “full stack” from novel sensors, network, analytics, cognitive attributes, cloud computing, and services. Her interests include the human-data interface and making tech accessible and consumable.
Ajay Gopal, PhD, VP Data Science at SelfScore
Daniel D. Gutierrez, Data Scientist at AMULET Analytics
Click here for a complete list of the Data Science and Analytics alumni and employer bios.
Tariq Arif, MBA, JD, Technology Transfer Officer at UCLA TDG
Tariq Arif joined UCLA Technology Development Group (TDG) in 2016 as a Life Sciences Technology Transfer Officer. His responsibilities include evaluating new inventions, securing intellectual property protection where appropriate, and licensing the university’s rights to both established companies and startups. Most recently Tariq served as Associate Director at the Center for Innovation, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Before working at Children’s, Tariq handled licensing and technology transfer at Partners HealthCare Innovation in Boston on behalf of Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He also has prior technology transfer experience with the National Cancer Institute in Maryland and the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. He holds a B.S., M.B.A, J.D./L.L.M., and a Master’s of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Tariq is a registered patent attorney with the USPTO.
Anthony Aldick, Director at BATTS Incubator Labs
Llewellyn Cox. PhD, CEO at Lab Launch
Llewellyn Cox is Founder and CEO of Lab Launch Inc, a non-profit biotechnology incubator company. Llewellyn received his PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology at Cardiff University, before moving to New York City to study neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College. More recently, he has worked in research development and program management at LA area institutions including City of Hope and USC, and has cofounded numerous startups in the area.
Click here for a complete list of the Entrepreneurship alumni and employer bios.
Olga Lazin, PhD, Director Research and Development at PROFMEX
Olga Lazin earned her PhD in History at UCLA in 2001. The title of her dissertation is “Decentralized Globalization And Governance: Civic Attitude and Civil Society in Rockefeller's Latin America And Soros' Eastern Europe.” Her dissertation has been published and can be downloaded here; http://www.decentralizedglobalization.com.
Peter Szabo, CRO, Head of Partnerships at Mammoth Media Always at the intersection of technology, music, and new revenue creation, Peter loves working with fantastic products to build revenue or partnership teams. Currently CRO of Mammoth Media, a new Science-Inc company in Santa Monica, creating entertainment alternatives to TV for teen and millennial audiences using social video and apps. Previously, Peter ran both the US Ad Sales and Global Partnerships teams at Shazam. Before that, he was at Pandora and going back to his native Boston had roles in web content, marketing, and sales.
Laura DeFrancesco, PhD, Senior Editor at Nature Publishing Group
Laura DeFrancesco has been feature editor for Nature Biotechnology for a dozen years. Before that she wrote for various publications, both on staff and as a freelancer. She received a PhD from UCSD and did a post-doc at Cal Tech in molecular biology, and after doing science at various places she made a career change to science communication.
Amber Dance, PhD, Science Writer
Amber Dance is an award-winning freelance science writer based in Southern California. She contributes to publications including PNAS Front Matter, The Scientist, and Nature.
After earning a doctorate in biology, Amber Dance re-trained in journalism as a way to engage her broad interest in science and share her enthusiasm with readers. She mainly writes about life sciences, with particular expertise in microbiology, cell biology, neuroscience and lab techniques.
Click here for a complete list of the Writing and Publishing alumni and employer bios.
James Polarek, PhD, Vice President, Protein Therapeutics Development at FibroGen Inc.
Dr. James W. Polarek is Vice President of Protein Therapeutics and Collagen Development at FibroGen Inc. in San Francisco, CA. Dr. Polarek is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the development of the company’s collagen products, as well as the production technologies for FG-3019, a human monoclonal antibody intended for the treatment of fibrosis. Dr. Polarek was involved in the establishment of the company’s subsidiary in Finland, FibroGen Europe Ltd., and served as its first Managing Director. Dr. Polarek’s PhD was received from The University of Chicago in 1986 (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), where his research focused on the study of the regulation of gene expression, and followed his undergraduate training at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has been product manager at Biogenex, Inc., a developer and marketer of in vitro diagnostic products; Director of Tissue Engineering and Process Development at Telios Inc. in San Diego, CA; and General Manager of Telios Pharma GmbH in Norderstedt (Hamburg) Germany.
Janice Ahn, PhD, Medical Writing Manager at AMGEN
Janice Ahn, PhD, is a Medical Writing Manager at Amgen with 8+ years of medical writing and scientific editing experience. She received both her PhD and AM from Harvard University in Molecular and Cellular Biology and her BS from UCLA. Dr. Ahn was recruited as an editor to review manuscripts for Nature Publishing Group and Elsevier and then transitioned into industry as a regulatory writer, authoring FDA clinical protocols and study reports for emerging new therapies. In her current position at Amgen, she works with leading physician experts to develop publications in hematology/oncology for rare and difficult-to-treat blood cancers.
Ingeborg Feil, PhD, Senior Manager at Janssen R&D
Ingeborg has been a Senior Manager for Janssen BioTherapeutics at Janssen R&D for more than 9 years. Her responsibilities include Discovery Project Management and Research Operations, such as budgeting, alliance management, and contracting, to name a few. Trained as a Biologist, Ingeborg completed her PhD studies in structural biology in Braunschweig, Germany, before starting her post-doctoral education at the University of Washington, School of Medicine, in Professor Wim Hol's lab. She then briefly joined the Faculty of Biological Structures before returning to Germany as a staff scientist at the EMBL Outstation Hamburg. While in Hamburg, she received an offer to join Structural Genomix (later SGX Pharmaceuticals) in San Diego, CA as a leader of protein purification. After a productive 5 years at SGX, she moved to Johnson & Johnson's Pharmaceutical sector and has been working there in a couple of roles since then.
Catherine Nguyen, PhD, Senior DNA Specialist at the Verdugo Regional Crime Laboratory - Glendale Police Department
Dr. Catherine Nguyen, PhD '09 has worked in regional and state forensic DNA testing laboratories across the country. Dr. Nguyen's alternative career choice has lead to experiencing forensic DNA testing at different levels from an entry level forensic technician to a founding member of a local DNA testing laboratory and, now, to a supervising DNA analyst training future casework analysts.
Sahar Salehi, PhD, Immunology Medical Science Liaison at UCB
Che Hutson, PhD, Scientist at Dako-Agilent Technologies Che Hutson received a B.S. in Marine Biology and a PhD in Neuroscience from UCLA. After graduate school, he started a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School studying biomaterials. In 2011, he accepted a scientist position at Roche Diagnostics developing tissue based diagnostic instruments. Currently, Che is at Agilent Technologies developing tissue based companion diagnostic assays.
Lan Hoang, Clinical Research Study Manager at AMGEN
Lan Hoang, MS, is a Clinical Research Study Manager at Amgen with 5+ years of experience in both early and late phase drug development. She received her MS from the University of Arizona in Neuroscience and her BS in Chemistry from the University of Utah. Lan was a Program Manager for 1 of 4 privately-funded academic research institutions of the McKnight Brain Research Foundation before being recruited into industry. She was an early phase Study Manager at a CRO and later transitioned to the oncology group at the Mayo Clinic, where she worked in both early and late stage cancer trials. In her current position at Amgen, Lan works in Early Development where she interfaces with scientists and medical directors to design, develop, and execute clinical trials addressing unmet medical needs across multiple therapeutic areas.
Marissa Daniele, PharmD, RPh, Medical Science Liaison at Eli Lilly
Marissa Daniele is a neuroscience medical science liaison in Southern California with Eli Lilly, with prior experience in retail and hospital pharmacy. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy from Rutgers University in 2012, and completed a post-doctoral pharmaceutical industry fellowship in medical information.
Steven Kim, PhD, Associate at Kleinberg & Lerner, LLP
Steve is an associate attorney at Kleinberg & Lerner, LLP. His practice involves all areas of intellectual property: patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Steve's patent experience ranges in a variety of technologies which include biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Steve received his JD from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, and his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UCLA.
Kristen Slawinski, PhD, Marketing Specialist
Kristen Slawinski transitioned from a research scientist in cancer biology and virology into a marketing specialist. Her path to marketing included positions as a recruiter and as a public relations executive. She is now working as a freelance writer.
Richard Swank, PhD, Executive Director at AMGEN
PhD, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UC Davis, 1994
Richard Swank leads the US Regional Medical Liaison Department at Amgen, encompassing five therapeutic area RML teams and a Health Outcome Pharmacoeconomic Specialist team. He has 20 years of Biotech and Industry experience ranging from discovery research to late stage product support and launches. Richard completed both his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of California Davis where he completed his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He completed an NIH post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Washington in Medical Genetics and was a senior fellow in the division of Medical Genetics.
John Lawrence, PhD, RML Field Director at AMGEN
John received his Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University and his PhD in Physiology & Pharmacological Sciences from Emory University. John served 5 years on the Biomedical Engineering faculty at the University of Kentucky before joining Amgen as an Oncology Medical Liaison. John Is currently the West Region Field Director for Amgen's Hematology-Oncology Medical Liaisons and is based in the LA area.
Hsiang-I Liao, PhD, Medical Science Liaison at Boston Biomedical
Quyen Doan, Talent Acquisition Partner at Illumina
17+ years in recruiting and 6 years with Illumina. I love what I do as it give me an opportunity to learn and engage with so many different people and mindset.
Jorg Hendle, PhD, Research Advisor at Eli Lilly
B.S. (Vordiplom) in Biochemistry & Organic Chemistry at the University of Tuebingen, Germany
M.S. (Diplom) in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Enzymology at the Free University of Berlin, Germany
PhD (Dr. rer.nat.) in Structural Biology & X-ray Protein Crystallography at the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany
Postdoc at the School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Scientist at the EMBL Outstation Hamburg at the DESY, Hamburg, Germany
Senior Scientist at SGX Pharmaceuticals, San Diego, CA
Research Advisor & Group Leader at Lilly Biotechnology Center, San Diego, CA
Joanna Gonsalves, PhD, Neuroscience Field Director, Regional Medical Liaison at AMGEN
Joanna joined Amgen in April 2010 as a Nephrology Senior Regional Medical Liaison covering Northern California. In August of 2013, Joanna joined the Cardiovascular Medical Communications team and supported activities preparing for the launch of two cardiovascular products. In May 2016 she became the West Field Director for the Neuroscience RML team. Prior to joining Amgen, Joanna was with Ferring Pharmaceuticals as a Medical Liaison in the Reproductive Endocrinology field. She also has experience in market research and consulting in the biotech and pharmaceutical arena during her time spent at WWMR, Inc. Joanna received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from University of California, San Francisco.
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Ana Martinez, MPH, Project Director and Senior Analyst at UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Ms. Martinez manages multiple research projects for the UCLA Center for Health Policy (CHPR) Health Economics and Evaluation Research Program, including evaluating the LA County Parks After Dark program and the First5LA funded UCLA Oral Health Program. Evaluations include analyses of cost, quality, access, and additional measures relevant to the goals of the program.
Catherine Idema, MSPH, Health Promotion Consultant at Anthem Blue Cross
Catherine Idema graduated from FPSH in 2016 with her MSPH in Community Health Sciences. While at UCLA, Catherine worked in Research and Evaluation for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, designing evaluations of nutrition and physical activity interventions. Currently, Catherine is the Health Promotion Consultant for Anthem Blue Cross’ Medi-Cal division. In her current role, Catherine is responsible for the design, implementation, and evaluation of health education interventions focusing on Anthem’s diverse Medi-Cal population in Los Angeles County.
Gloria Chi, Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Kaiser Permanente Southern California
Gloria C. Chi, PhD, MPH, is an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on assignment to Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s Department of Research & Evaluation. She completed her undergraduate training at the University of California, Los Angeles and her master's and doctoral education at the University of Washington School of Public Health. She has experience in an array of public health topics including chronic disease, environmental, social, and epigenetic epidemiology. At Kaiser Permanente, she is studying blood testing in children, hospitalized myocardial infarction rates by race/ethnicity, and childhood diabetes surveillance with electronic health records. She is also among the CDC’s disease detectives who investigate outbreaks and conduct epidemiologic investigations and surveillance to provide rapid, creative, and effective solutions to public health problems.
Mike Moradian, PhD, Director of Operations at Kaiser Permanente
Mike Mkhitar Moradian has received his BS degree in Microbiology and Medical Technology with honors from CSULA, and his MS degree in Bioinformatics and PhD in Molecular Genetics from UCLA. Dr. Moradian is a board certified Clinical Laboratory Bioanalyst with the State of California, a Molecular Genetics Scientist from American Board of Bioanalysis and a High Complexity Laboratory Director and Clinical Consultant from ABB. He has worked as research scientist and laboratory Director for over a decade developing genetics assays and setting up laboratories, he is currently the Director of Operations at Kaiser Permanente Regional Molecular Genetic Pathology Laboratory. He also serves as a senior scientist and consultant for Morava Inc. scientific and technology services leading a research on Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF). His latest works on FMF were published in Nature’s Journal of Human Genetics in 2010 and in Nature’s Genetics in Medicine in 2013.
Matt Beymer, PhD, Epidemiologist at the Los Angeles LGBT Center
Matt holds a PhD in public health and an MPH in epidemiology from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He is currently a post-doctoral scholar in the UCLA School of Medicine and also works with the Los Angeles LGBT Center. He has six years of experience working in the non-profit sector, and his research interests include STD and HIV morbidity, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and nicotine use among LGBT persons in the United States.
Tracy Becerra-Culqui, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Kaiser Permanente Southern California
Dr. Becerra-Culqui’s research interests are in maternal and early childhood health, health equality, and neurodevelopmental disorders. She has clinical and research expertise in pediatrics, once an occupational therapist working with children with developmental delays, and managing early childhood health outcomes in underserved communities. Dr. Becerra-Culqui has done epidemiologic research on the environmental effects during pregnancy and autism and health services research in cancer, autism, as well as in transgender care. Her research focus at Kaiser Permanente is in vaccine research, specifically assessing the safety of vaccines administered during pregnancy and early childhood.
Carlos Bello, MPH, Member Health Educator at the Kern Health Systems
Carlos Bello is a health educator at Kern Health Systems, Kern County's local Medi-Cal managed care health plan. He is passionate about community health, school wellness, transportation planning, neighborhood revitalization, and programs that prepare young people in Kern County for public health careers. He is actively involved as a member of community boards, such as the Board of Directors of an East Bakersfield nonprofit organization called Children First Campaign and the Board of Directors of the GET Bus District. He is also the Chairman of the Asthma Coalition of Kern County.
Gina Knowles, Recruiting Supervisor at Kern Health Systems
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Gil Hurwitz, PhD, Lead Scientist at Water Planet, Inc.
Dr. Gil Hurwitz is currently a Lead Scientist at Water Planet, Inc., an environmental technology provider focusing on difficult-to-treat water technology solutions. Gil received his PhD in Environmental Engineering
from UCLA with a background in membrane treatment and pollution remediation. Gil currently focuses on the development of Water Planet's filtration control platform and advanced membrane material.
Tyler Do, Mechanical Engineer at Local Roots Farms
Cassie Rauser, PhD, Director, Sustainable LA Grand Challenge at UCLA
Dr. Rauser is the Director of UCLA’s Sustainable LA Grand Challenge. She has extensive experience strategically developing and funding major research and training programs across campus, and formerly worked abroad building partnerships among private companies, local and national government and the community to create a public-private nature preserve in the tropics. In her current position, Dr. Rauser is working to advance a campus-led Grand Challenge project at UCLA to transform Los Angeles into the first fully sustainable megacity in the areas of energy, water, and ecosystem health. She is using her demonstrated ability to build relationships and forge collaborations among diverse groups to identify challenges specific to the LA region, and implement solutions with the goal of creating a more equitable and livable world.
Bart Sokolow, PhD, President at Environmental Advisors, Inc.
Over his 30-plus-year career, Dr. Bart Sokolow has concentrated on the analysis of industrial and commercial environmental issues. He focuses principally on resolving the synergistic, interdisciplinary environmental matters posed by the discovery and remediation of toxic and hazardous chemicals with expertise in soil, groundwater and airborne contaminants. Through this varied and diverse background, Dr. Sokolow possesses the technical expertise to navigate the complex regulatory environment. As importantly, he has a unique ability to translate and make understandable sophisticated technical issues for clients. He is a former professor of environmental science and engineering at UCLA, where he also proudly earned his bachelor’s and graduate degrees.
Yue Rong, PhD, Environmental Program Manager at California Environmental Protection Agency
PhD, Environmental Health Science, UCLA
Dr. Yue Rong (aka, YR) is currently the Environmental Program Manager at the California Environmental Protection Agency, Water Quality Control Board, specializing in groundwater quality protection. Dr. Rong, a life member of the UCLA Alumni Association, served as chairman for the UCLA Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate Student Nominating Committee in 2004.
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Mark Williams, PhD, Professor at Middlebury College
Mark Williams is Professor of Political Science at Middlebury College. A past President of the New England Council on Latin American Studies, his research centers on U.S.-Latin American Relations, Venezuelan Foreign Policy, international drug trafficking, and Mexican Politics. He is the author of two books and a range of articles and book chapters published by Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica, Latin American Politics and Society, Political Science Quarterly, Studies in Comparative International Development, World Development, and the Oxford, Harvard, Lynne Rienner, and Routledge presses.
Mehrnoosh Ghiam, PhD, Assistant Professor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Ananya Das Christman, PhD, Assistant Professor at Middlebury College
Ananya Das Christman is an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Middlebury College. She completed her PhD at UC-Davis and her Bachelor's degree at Columbia University, both in Computer Science. Her research interests are in algorithm design and analysis, with a focus on graphs and network-related problems. In particular, she is interested in developing online, approximation, and randomized algorithms. She is also interested in modeling and simulating stochastic networks for routing and traveling problems.
Eilene Powell, PhD, Professor at UCLA Extension and the Faculty at Archer School
Joseph Watson, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry/Neuroscience and Associate Dean at UCLA Graduate Division Joseph Watson is a basic scientist with many years of experience in NIH and private funded research in neurodegenerative disorders. He also has years of academic administrative experience as an Associate Dean.
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