Paloma Vargas

Paloma Vargas is an Assistant Professor of Biology and the Hispanic-Serving Institute Coordinator at California Lutheran University. As an expert in the study of microbiology and host-parasite relationships, her research interests include infectious diseases and cell culture.

Before joining California Lutheran’s faculty, Vargas taught at both the high school and community college-levels. She led a number of outreach efforts at Northeastern Illinois University’s Student Center for Science Engagement, where she was a STEM specialist. When she is not teaching, Vargas mentors and recruits underrepresented minority students, particularly those of Latino/a heritage. She is an alumna and active member of the Linton-Poodry Leadership Institute of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Latinos and Native Americans in Science.

Assistant Professor of Biology, California Lutheran University

Areas of Expertise: Microbiology, Cell Activity, Higher Education, Diversity, STEM

Location: Thousand Oaks, CA

Contact Information:
Phone: (805) 493-3069

Listen to Paloma Vargas here:

Patricia Valoy

Patricia Valoy is a STEM advocate and feminist writer. She is an expert on feminism,gender stereotypes and workplace sexism. Valoy is also an engineer and writes on a variety of issues facing women of color in male-dominated, STEM careers. She currently serves as the STEM chairperson for the Women’s Information Network in New York. She is a writer and speaker for Soapbox Inc. and Everyday Feminism.


STEM advocate and Feminist writer 
Areas of Expertiese: Feminism, Gender Stereotypes and Workplace Sexism.
Location: Queens, NY
Contact Information: 
Twitter: @Besito86
Heard as a presenter for Women’s Funding Alliance on Seattle Channel’s Town Hall: “Breaking stereotypes in work, gender, and race” 

Ron Hira

Ron Hira teaches in the Department of Political Science at Howard University. He is also a research associate with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC. He specializes in policy issues on offshoring businesses, high-skill immigration, and the American engineering workforce.

Hira has written widely on offshoring, high-skilled immigration, innovation, and the decline of the middle class. He is co-author of the book, Outsourcing America, which was a finalist for best business book in the PMA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards. The Boston Globe called Outsourcing America an “honest, disturbing look at outsourcing.” The Washington Postdescribed the book as a “thorough and easy to grasp primer on the wrenching outsourcing debate.” In addition, he has testified seven times before Congress on high-skilled immigration and outsourcing.

Ron Hira
Associate Professor in Political Science, Howard University

Areas of Expertise: High-Skilled Immigration, STEM Labor Markets, Offshoring and Outsourcing, Innovation Policy

Location: Washington, DC

Contact Information:
Phone: 703-786-4472

Heard on NPR All Things Considered: Who’s Hiring H1-B Visa Workers? It’s Not Who You Might Think

Added June 2015

Freeman Hrabowski

Freeman Hrabowski has been President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) since 1992. In 2012 President Obama named him to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans, and his leadership has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report, Time magazine, and the Washington Post.

Hrabowski’s research and publications focus primarily on science and math education, with an emphasis on minority participation and performance. He has been a guest on NPR’s Tell Me More to discuss the challenges blacks face in the tech world.

President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

Areas of Expertise: Science and Math Education, Minority Participation and Performance in STEM Fields, Blacks in Tech

Location: Baltimore, MD

Contact Info:


Please also email UMBC’s director of communications Dinah Winnick and cc Hrabowki’s chief of staff Elyse Ashburn when you contact him.

Winnick email:

Winnick office: (410) 455-8117

Winnick mobile: (443) 823-0639

Ashburn email:

Heard on NPR: For a full list, click here.

Tell Me More: U.S. Is Becoming More Diverse, But Is The Online Population?

Victor McCrary

Victor McCrary is vice president for research and economic development at Baltimore’s Morgan State University. He is responsible for developing the school’s research strategy and expanding its base of current research programs.

McCrary’s background is in physical chemistry and technology and he has more than two decades of experience working in STEM research. Ever the innovator, he organized the world’s first conference on electronic books in 1998, and was part of the research group that developed the prototype for the electronic book reader and a low-cost Braille reader for electronic books.

McCrary was honored for lifetime achievement in research in science and engineering by the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers

Vice President for Research and Economic Development at Morgan State University

Areas of Expertise: STEM, Storing Digital Content, Electronic Books, Physical Chemistry

Location: Baltimore, MD

Contact Information:

Phone: (443) 885-4631


McCrary Speaks to OpenGovTV:

Amir Abo-Shaeer

In Arab American Stories, a series by Detroit Public Television, Amir Abo-Shaeer (ah-MEER AH-boo-sha-EER) says, “My dad’s a landscaper but he has a Ph.D. in Physics. He grew up in Iraq, and he was groomed to go be a physicist. He graduated number one in his country in math, was a brilliant theoretical physicist but did not enjoy physics. And he embraced the American dream, which was the freedom to actually think for himself and do what he wanted to do.

“You can do whatever you want. People told me I had to be this or I had to be that, and I said, I don’t want to do engineering. I want to do this other thing—education. And it’s been wildly successful.”

After graduating in 1998 with a master’s from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Abo-Shaeer worked as a mechanical engineer in aerospace and telecommunications. In 2001, he went back to the University of California to get a master’s in Secondary Education. He then returned to his alma mater, Dos Pueblos High School, to teach and create the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy.

In 2010, Abo-Shaeer was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for “inspiring and preparing public high school students for careers in science and mathematics through an innovative curriculum that integrates applied physics, engineering, and robotics.”

Director of the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy, High School Physics and Engineering Teacher

Location: Goleta, Santa Barbara, CA

Contact Information:

Steve Green: (Communications Coordinator)

Featured on Detroit Public Television: Arab American Stories, Episode 5

Danielle Lee

Danielle Lee is a postdoctoral research associate at Cornell University and self-described hip-hop maven and outreach scientist who blogs about urban ecology and biology that you can see right in your own backyard. She uses hip-hop to connect the dots between culture and science in order to reach underrepresented communities like inner-city youth and open up the doors for them to pursue a career in science. In an interview with science reporter Véronique LaCapra at KWMU, Lee said, “There aren’t a lot of role models, so that’s why I do my outreach, to let folks see, one, a different face of science, and to see different avenues into science.”

Check out one of her blog posts about a presentation she gave on Nov. 29, 2012 at Denison University in Ohio: “The Intersection of Culture and Science — Hip-Hop, Feminism, Sex, & Sexual Selection” and “Sexual Politics of Hip-Hop Reexamined as Lessons in Sexual Selection” 

Science Blogger for Scientific American, Postdoctoral Research Associate at Cornell University

Areas of Expertise: Biology, Urban Ecology, Evolution, Animal Behavior, STEM,  Diversity, Science Outreach, Hip-Hop

Location: Edwardsville, Illinois

Contact Info:

Mobile: (314) 283-2959
Work: (405) 334-5674
Twitter: @DNLee5

Heard on St. Louis Public Radio:

St. Louis blogger helps inner-city youth find “on ramp” to science

Last updated June 2017