Advancing the Art of Science Communication

Communications Mentors

MENTORS

Communications professional engaged in journalism, public relations, and/or education, with experience in science, health care, and/or research communications.

  • Communications Mentors work with writers and editors to develop clear, compelling stories accessible to a general audience
  • Graphics Mentor works with Creative Team of designers to develop or source graphical representations appropriate to each story
  • Social Media Mentor works with Social Media Team of student coordinators to promote the cSw program and each story via traditional and trending media outlets

Interested in being mentor? Please contact us for consideration.


2019 SUMMER BOOTCAMP MENTORS

Manasi Apte

Dr. Manasi Apte is a post-doctoral research fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is a part of National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is currently trying to understand how some cancer cells evade all the pre-existing therapies by maintaining their DNA ends using an exciting but yet unexplored, alternate pathway in yeast cells named HAATI. She received her Ph.D from the Wayne State University, Detroit, studying how fruit flies determine their sex using a non-conventional mechanism. Prior to her Graduate work, Manasi received her B.S and M.S in Microbiology from India. She has published several research articles and has won awards and recognition for presenting her work. All throughout her academic career, Manasi has been passionate advocate for better science communication. For past five years at the NIH, she has served as an editor in-chief for NCI Fellows newsletter where she introduced informational interview reports as an ongoing feature. She is also involved in various science outreach programs at the NCI working closely with students and administrators for curriculum development and execution. Manasi also works as a course instructor for ASBMB’s Art of Science communications Online course. She strongly believes that telling your story effectively is the key for effective communication and plans to use her expertise in science as well as communications to increase science literacy in the general public.

Sybil Walker Barnes

Working at the intersection of nonprofit communications, marketing, and technology, Sybil Walker Barnes, CAE, is a strategist. Her passion is helping organizations anticipate how they can make the best use of their communications channels to support their business goals and reach their targeted audiences. She is currently Assistant Director of Digital Communications at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Bethesda, MD. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C., with a major in Journalism, and earned the Certified Association Executive designation from the American Society of Association Executives. A returning student, she is currently pursuing an MBA at University of Maryland University College alongside her two college-age sons. When Sybil isn’t working or studying, you’ll find her reading a book, watching a classic movie, browsing interior design websites, or taking a long walk.

Todd Bentsen

Todd Bentsen is the Marketing & Communications Director at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Specializing in science and health, he’s held leadership positions at Georgetown University Medical Center, Society for Neuroscience, and American Society for Clinical Oncology. He has a bachelors in communications from the University of Maryland and is passionate about communicating the wonders of science to a variety of audiences.

Liz Doughman

For the last 13 years, Elizabeth Doughman has covered biomedical, veterinary and pharmaceutical research for ALN Magazine. She has written about everything from vivarium design to methods of improving laboratory animal welfare. Elizabeth has a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Kentucky and an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University. She loves her horse, Cherokee, and specializes in sharing weird science facts at cocktail parties.

Dani Gordon

Dani Gordon is a science writer at UT Health San Antonio. After 10 years as a pet groomer, she graduated with her Master’s in Public Health focusing on epidemiology. She has studied a variety of health research areas including HIV and epidemiological paradoxes. This sparked a hunger for learning more about the large and eclectic body of research and scientific knowledge making science communication a perfect fit. Her favorite topics are understanding health disparities, translational science and how social networks and communication can inform health interventions. Currently, her work entails facilitating outreach for clinical trial recruitment, promoting awareness for the ethical use of animals in research and developing strategic content for social media, mostly Twitter. She is also the science outreach coordinator for taste of science San Antonio where the goal is to bring research into the community and bridge the divide between scientists and members of the public. In her spare time, she likes to read, spend time with her family, travel and play with her pets, 2 cats and a dog. She is also a huge fan of pet rats, but, sadly, does not have any at this time!

Brandon Levy

Brandon Levy is a Science Communications Editor for the Intramural Research Program (IRP) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he works to increase the IRP’s public profile, inform the public about IRP research, and attract scientists and students to work in IRP labs. He particularly enjoys writing about the cutting-edge research performed at NIH, but he also produces videos and content for social media. Before joining the IRP, Brandon worked as a science writer in the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and as a postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) fellow in the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), spending his days putting people inside giant magnets and sending magnetic waves into their brains to shed light on the mysteries of learning and memory. He has a Master’s degree in Science Writing from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. degree in neuroscience from Duke University. He is also a member of the National Association of Science Writing and the D.C. Science Writers Association.

Alisa Zapp Machalek

Alisa Zapp Machalek is a science communicator at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. She creates a variety of products—feature articles, profiles, social media posts, videos, quizzes, posters, and crossword puzzles—to explain cutting-edge biomedical research. She aims to make the science understandable and interesting to the public (which, after all, is paying for it). Occasionally, she gets juicy projects such as creating an exhibit of stunning microscopy photos for display in an art gallery inside Washington Dulles International Airport. Alisa earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in biochemistry and conducted research in 10 different laboratories before she realized she liked explaining science more than actually doing it. She received formal training through the science writing program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Katherine Moldave

Katherine (Cathy) Moldave has been a freelance science and technology writer; held several management positions at Merck AgVet and Merial Ltd.; cofounded the animal health consultancy and clinical CRO AlcheraBio LLC; and cofounded Turnstone Animal Health, a strategic communications and business-development support organization. She’s mentored Rutgers animal science grad students, serves as a coach for companies presenting at the KC Animal Health Investment Forum, and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs. She’s also involved in creating new opera. She has an undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis, an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson, and, like cSw participants, a great deal of curiosity.

Jim Newman

Jim Newman serves as director of strategic communications for Americans for Medical Progress, where he leads AMP’s media and communications. In the past, Jim was the director of external communications for The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the director of media relations for Oregon Health & Science University and OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center. Jim has also worked as an account supervisor at KGBTexas Communications, a highly-regarded PR and marketing firm in Texas, with offices in San Antonio and Houston. Jim’s other professional experience includes nearly a decade of work as a television news producer in the following media markets: Portland, Oregon; Nashville, Tennessee; South Bend, Indiana; and Lansing, Michigan.

Donald Schwartz

Donald Schwartz joined Merck & Co., Inc. as a manager of global marketing communications, rising to his current role as an executive director of Merial’s US Business Operations with responsibilities for business development, market research, regulatory, customer care, veterinary technical solutions, public affairs, communications and business analytical functions. Don has also been the head of a successful advertising and communications agency specializing in pharmaceutical and technical products. He has several books to his credit, including Genus Bos: Cattle Breeds of the World, the standard reference on the subject. He earned an undergraduate degree in biology from Union College in Schenectady, New York, did graduate work in biochemistry at Columbia University and CUNY, and has an MS in management from CUNY. Under duress, he will admit he also went to law school.

Scott Sleek

Scott Sleek is the Director of News & Information at the Association for Psychological Science in Washington, D.C., where he oversees media outreach aimed at educating the public about behavioral research. His fundamental role is to translate the science into language that the public can understand. His department has helped the public understand the effects of stress on immune function, emotional factors that lead to obesity, and the use of animal models to learn about human behavior. Prior to joining APS, Scott held various editorial roles in a variety of organizations, and began his career as a newspaper reporter after graduating with a BS in journalism from Bowling Green State University. In his spare time, he is an avid traveler and photographer.


2018/2019 MENTORS

Carol Feinberg

Carol Feinberg is account director for Vitiello Communications Group, providing communications support to the pharmaceutical, manufacturing and financial services industries. Prior to joining VTLA, she managed clinical programs at Unilever Research and Development. She holds a patent for the invention of a novel skin-sampling device. She earned her BS in Chemistry from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is a member of the National Association of Science Writers where she has won several awards for her communications work.

Alisa Zapp Machalek

Alisa Zapp Machalek is a science communicator at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. She creates a variety of products—feature articles, profiles, social media posts, videos, quizzes, posters, and crossword puzzles—to explain cutting-edge biomedical research. She aims to make the science understandable and interesting to the public (which, after all, is paying for it). Occasionally, she gets juicy projects such as creating an exhibit of stunning microscopy photos for display in an art gallery inside Washington Dulles International Airport. Alisa earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in biochemistry and conducted research in 10 different laboratories before she realized she liked explaining science more than actually doing it. She received formal training through the science writing program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Katherine Moldave

Katherine (Cathy) Moldave has been a freelance science and technology writer; held several management positions at Merck AgVet and Merial Ltd.; cofounded the animal health consultancy and clinical CRO AlcheraBio LLC; and cofounded Turnstone Animal Health, a strategic communications and business-development support organization. She’s mentored Rutgers animal science grad students, serves as a coach for companies presenting at the KC Animal Health Investment Forum, and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs. She’s also involved in creating new opera. She has an undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis, an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson, and, like cSw participants, a great deal of curiosity.

Ina Nikolaeva

Ina Nikolaeva is a senior medical writer for ClinicalThinking, a subsidiary of Nucleus-Global. She has also helped found/run multiple blogs, including one for a ballet school and another for the Rutgers Interdisciplinary Job Opportunities for Biomedical Scientists (iJOBS) program. Ina earned her BSc from University of Toronto, and her PhD from Rutgers University, studying traumatic brain injury and intractable pediatric epilepsy in mice. Through her current position, she has also gained extensive knowledge of the oncology field.

Donald Schwartz

Donald Schwartz joined Merck & Co., Inc. as a manager of global marketing communications, rising to his current role as an executive director of Merial’s US Business Operations with responsibilities for business development, market research, regulatory, customer care, veterinary technical solutions, public affairs, communications and business analytical functions. Don has also been the head of a successful advertising and communications agency specializing in pharmaceutical and technical products. He has several books to his credit, including Genus Bos: Cattle Breeds of the World, the standard reference on the subject. He earned an undergraduate degree in biology from Union College in Schenectady, New York, did graduate work in biochemistry at Columbia University and CUNY, and has an MS in management from CUNY. Under duress, he will admit he also went to law school.

Janet Torsney

Currently assistant director of the Montclair Public Library, Janet Torsney had an extensive communications career before she became a librarian. She was director of public affairs for Save the Children, director of information at the United Negro College Fund, and director of publications at the United Nations Association. As a consultant, her clients included UN agencies andnonprofits dedicated to children and families. Her specialties include speechwriting, annual reports, strategic plans, articles and online content. Early in her career when she was an assistant editor of Rolling Stone’s College Papers, she was part of a five-person team that created a new magazine for college students.