Foundation Staff

Sunny Schwartz, Executive Director

sunnySunny joined MassBioEd as the Executive Director in 2019. In her previous positions, Sunny served as President & CEO of the MassHire Metro North Workforce Board in charge of workforce development policy and partnership building for a 20-city region, Chief Operating Officer of the Asian American Civic Association, a direct service education and training provider, and Program Development Manager at Commonwealth Corporation, a quasi-public state agency under the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Sunny has been a leader in the education and workforce development fields in Massachusetts since 2000, building partnerships to provide employers with a highly skilled workforce and expanding access to great careers for low-income residents. Sunny also has previous experience in community organizing and social work. Sunny holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan.

 

 

Michelle Mischke, Director of Biotechnology Education Programs

mm

Michelle joined the MassBioEd team in March of 2014 as the Director of Biotechnology Education Programs. She came to the organization with extensive research, teaching, and administrative experience. She taught a range of undergraduate biology courses at MIT and was a course coordinator and content developer for 7.00x, the first large online biology course offered by edX. While at MIT, she was involved in K-12 science outreach and education programs. Michelle holds a B.A. in both Biology and Chemistry from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Prior to joining the Department of Biology at MIT, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.  Michelle joined MassBioEd to refocus on life sciences education and to work with teachers to improve science literacy and encourage student interest in the life sciences and biotechnology. 

 

 Whitney Hagins, BioTeach Instructor and Curriculum Specialist

wh

Whitney joined MassBioEd in 2013 as BioTeach Mentor and Program Coordinator. She serves as a mentor to BioTeach schools and supports MassBioEd teacher professional development and curriculum design programs. Whitney holds a B.A. and M.S. in Biological Sciences from Mount Holyoke College and a M.A.T. from Duke University. Before joining MassBioEd, Whitney taught for 33 years, most recently at Lexington High School, where she taught all levels of biology and served as the department head. She has co-authored two high school biology textbooks as well as developed curriculum for several scientific supply companies. Whitney has presented over 200 workshops on all aspects of biology and teaching at local, national and international venues. 

 

 Maggie Keeler, Assistant Director of Biotechnology Education Programs

mkMaggie joined MassBioEd in 2016.  As the Assistant Director of Biotechnology Education Programs, she supports the planning and execution of educational programs and initiatives and seeks to strengthen community partnerships to increase the efficiency and impact of MassBioEd.  Maggie comes to the foundation with a diverse career in science and education, which encompasses research in behavioral ecology and conservation biology, instruction at the middle school and high school levels, and teacher mentoring in technology integration and life sciences. She has presented numerous workshops on biology and technology integration both locally and nationally. Maggie holds a B.S. in Biology from Davidson College and an M.S. in Biological Sciences from Tufts University. 

  

kmKretsy joined MassBioEd in June of 2018. She is dedicated to working with teachers and students to drive forth education in science. In her role, Kretsy works directly with the Director of Biotechnology Education Programs  and the BioTeach Curriculum Specialists to help coordinate all aspects of the BioTeach Program. Prior to coming on board, Kretsy worked at Science Club for Girls, helping to increase STEM engagements for girls in grades K-12 in the Greater Boston Area. Kretsy graduated cum laude from Fitchburg State University in 2015 with a degree in Middle School Education with a focus in the General Sciences.

 

 

 

ms

Megan joined MassBioEd in May of 2016. She is dedicated to building MassBioEd's corporate partnerships within the life sciences industry. In this role, Megan supports fundraising efforts and manages corporate  programs. Megan came from Lemelson-MIT where she supported the InvenTeams program for high school students. Prior to coming on board, she also served as the liaison for international students and host families at Kaplan International College. She graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Resource Economics from the University of New Hampshire in 2010 and is currently working towards her M.B.A in Social Impact from Boston University's Questrom School of Business.

 

 

Karla Talanian, Director of Talent & Workforce Development

kty

Karla joined the MassBioEd team in October 2018 as the Manager of Labor Market Research. She is focused on building bridges and facilitating dialogue between employers and educators in the life sciences with the goal of expanding the life sciences workforce. She analyzes data on hiring trends and uses this information to enhance career awareness for high school and undergraduate students through pre- and post-doctoral scientists. Prior to joining MassBioEd, Karla managed a program which trained adults for careers in the life sciences, and she has worked both in the biotechnology industry and in academia. Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Smith College, a Master’s Degree in Biotechnology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and an M.B.A., also from W.P.I. She is passionate about increasing scientific literacy among children and adults.

 

 

Andre Williams, BioTeach Instructor & Volunteer Coordinator

aAndre earned his Bachelors in Biology from Hiram College and Masters in Cell & Molecular Biology from the University of Texas at Austin. He taught high school for two years in Dallas, Texas and Swampscott, Massachusetts, where he taught biology and chemistry, and implemented biotechnology lab activities into the curriculum whenever possible. Andre supports the development and implementation of the BioTeach program. He serves as a mentor to BioTeach schools and supports teacher professional development and curriculum design programs. He works with the BioTeach team to expand current volunteer programs and create new volunteer opportunities. Andre enjoys getting students excited about science, helping them find their passion, and engaging them in discovery-based labs.