Our instructors are scientists. Each has an undergraduate degree in a technical field, and has either obtained or is pursuing an advanced degree in science, engineering or education.
Karen Allendoerfer earned her AB in Biology from Princeton University and her PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford University. She has a long-standing interest in brain development, and wrote her thesis on the role of growth factors in the developing visual system. She worked in the biotech industry and academia on models of brain diseases and potential new therapeutic strategies. Karen is also an avid amateur violinist with the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra. Her passion for teaching grows out of her interest in how different people’s brains learn and her desire to share the excitement of scientific discovery with her students. She has taught in the UMass Boston Urban Scholars program, the Girl Scouts, and Unitarian-Universalist Religious Education. She spends her spare time with her German husband and 2 school-age children traveling, geocaching, and reading science fiction.
Phillip has a BS and MS in Biology from Western Washington University, and is currently earning a PhD in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England. His research interests are in tropical rainforest ecology and animal-plant interactions. He will be doing his doctoral dissertation research on tropical seed dispersal ecology in the montane rainforests of Rwanda. Phillip is currently working as an adjunct professor at Merrimack College and Wheelock College, teaching ecology, Earth science, and scientific inquiry.
David's lifelong interest in biology and ecology was sparked by Miss Laylor, his fourth grade science teacher. He received his BA in biology from Boston University with a concentration in microbiology. He worked for many years as a software engineer. Since retiring, he has earned a MSci:Ed degree from the University of New England. Besides his educational work, which included teaching courses at the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, David is an avid kayaker and is the editor of Atlantic Coastal Kayaker magazine.
Sunny earned her B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Clark University in 2012. While at Clark, she worked with a PhD student in studying the cell division of Dictyostelium discoideum. Upon graduating from Clark University, Sunny served 10 months with AmeriCorp's City Year program, where she worked with elementary school students. Sunny is interested in pursuing a career in dentistry and is currently preparing to go to dental school.
Dr. Maureen Griffin — Chief Financial Officer, Instructor
Maureen earned a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. While at Penn, she developed a novel micro-mechanical technique called micropipette peeling to investigate the role of muscle cell adhesion in normal and diseased skeletal muscle cells. After graduating, Maureen worked full time as a post-doctoral researcher and then a staff scientist a SelectX Pharmaceuticals. She joined the teaching staff in 2008 and was excited to be made an executive staff member in 2009. Maureen also continued to consult part time for SelectX until her daughter's birth in 2009; now she is focused on Science from Scientists and, of course, her children. Maureen uses her spare time to read, blog, cook, and renovate her house.
Dr. Dan Grollman
Daniel has been interested in math and science his entire life. Doing his first professional research in high school, he received a PhD in Computer Science at Brown University. Focusing on Artifical Intelligence and Robotics, he is interested in the big question of what it is to be alive and conscious.
In addition to his academic studies, Daniel enjoys life to the fullest, finding time to study Tae Kwon Do, play the bagpipes, and find humorous situations everywhere.
Ben received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2013. Although he has an interest in multiple neurodegenerative diseases, much of his research has dealt specifically with Alzheimer's disease and its pathogenesis. Ben has volunteered at Perkins School for the Blind and Boston Children’s Hospital where he helped in physical therapy and patient entertainment. In his spare time, Ben likes to cook, attend comedy functions, and host game nights with his friends.
Dr. Holly Kohler
Holly graduated from Williams College in 2002 with a B.A. in biology and went on to earn her DVM from Cornell University. She supplemented traditional veterinary training with courses in aquatic animal medicine, time on a South African game reserve, and work at a number of zoos and hopes to incorporate a strong interest in wildlife and conservation into her professional path. Holly's love of science and nature was sparked as a young child in Colorado and she is eager to share her enthusiasm for them with a new generation. In her spare time, she is an avid reader and aspiring writer, a dabbler in the arts, and the devoted servant to one cat.
Shannon Morey — Director of Education, Instructor
Shannon completed a MS in Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013. She also received a BS in Chemistry from Michigan State University in 2010. Her graduate research focused on developing new synthetic polypeptides that will be used to form hydrogels. These biomaterials have applications in tissue engineering. Shannon enjoys traveling, hiking, and crafting.
Jerrad Pierce — Chief Program Officer, Instructor
Jerrad has degrees in Environmental Policy and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University, although he flirted with a major in chemistry and a career in software engineering. His academic interests include cartography as well as research in sustainable development and environmental policy with a focus on diffusion of technology.
Margaret received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Biology from Stony Brook University in New York. She is currently pursuing a dual Masters in Medical Science and Public Health at Boston University. She's currently doing research at MGH, focusing on biomarkers in pregnancy and early development as indicators for autism.
Having a mother who is a nurse, Margaret grew up immersed and fascinated by the human body. Much to her mother's dismay, Margaret's favorite question was, "Why?" and rarely was satisfied with the answer, "...because I told you so." She was a born scientist. Her curiosity never ceased and she was relieved to discover that there is a whole field of study focusing on asking questions and arriving at concrete answers!
Margaret has always had a passion for teaching and enjoys inspiring young minds to appreciate science the way she does.
When it comes to enjoying her time outside of science (yes, there are those moments!), Margaret willingly invests her energies into three things (all which help her appreciate other cultures!): dance, travel and food. During her free time, Margaret almost always finds herself moving and dancing. Her recent dancing endeavors have even allowed her to travel a bit. She is also known to bake a pretty mean cake.
Amanda Schutt — Director of Development, Lead Instructor
Amanda earned her M.S. in Environmental Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012. Her research focused on benthic aquatic insect taxonomy, stream health bioassessments, and sedimentation issues in aquatic ecosystems. Amanda currently works at EarthShare New England coordinating fundraising for environmental and conservation non-profits. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys gardening, baking, and volunteering with Girl Scouts.
Erin received her B.S in Biotechnology from Worcester State College in 2006. She is currently pursuing a MLA in Biotechnology at Harvard Extension School. In between her studies she spent five years putting her lab skills to use. Erin's research has focused on cell based methods as an alternative to animal testing. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, listening to music and reading. Erin also recently joined the Harvard University Cycling team and is looking forward to racing in the spring.
Dr. Catherine Sukow
Dr. Sukow's interest in science education began when she was a teenager, with an extended visit to San Francisco's Exploratorium. In college, she had summer jobs in a similar, smaller, museum. She focused her Master's research at NCSU on the structure of metal silicides on silicon, and her Ph. D. work at Brandeis on the structure of crossbridged actin bundles. While volunteering in her childrens' schools, she was reminded how much fun it is to teach science, and is happy to be teaching now with Science from Scientists. In her spare time, she also enjoys yoga, choral and solo singing, and attempting a variety of international cuisines.
Dr. Leighann Sullivan
Leighann Sullivan earned her BS in Biology from Cornell University. For a number of years she taught math, science, and language skills at a secondary school for learning disabled students. She subsequently earned her PhD in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Rice University. Her dissertation was entitled, “Molecular and Genomic Analyses in Clostridium acetobutylicum.” She has served as an adjunct professor in Microbiology and Chemistry laboratory classes at Curry College. When not pursuing academic interests she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading, and experimenting in the culinary arts.
Edward studied Neuroscience at the University of Michigan. There he led the Neurokids program, bringing interactive neuroscience lessons to local 4th and 5th grade classes. He is mainly interested in optogenetics and other molecular biology techniques that allow neuroscientists to directly control different pathways in the brain. Currently he is preparing to go to medical school where he hopes to study microvascular reconstructive surgery. His other interests include live music, yoga, and controllerism.
Cortney loves science, recycling, traveling and animals, especially bats! She recently returned to the Salem, MA area after spending a few months in India and completing her M.S. in Australia at James Cook University, researching the role of flying foxes as host reservoirs for zoonotic viruses. Before that, she spent many summers abroad gaining hands-on experience in wildlife rehabilitation in various countries around the world while getting her B.S. in Environmental Biology at Salem State University.
Aside from advocating for all animals, Cortney enjoys hiking, reading, and traveling.
Beth Zylinski — Lead Instructor
Beth has always been interested in math and science and was inspired to pursue an engineering degree by her high school physics teacher. She earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and also a Masters in Engineering Management. While working in the engineering field, she was a quality and reliability engineer focused on testing integrated circuits and electronic chips. Beth enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, traveling and reading.