Speaker Profiles

We are so pleased to present our distinguished speakers for the 2018 Raleigh March for Science!

  JAMIE VERNON   Dr. Jamie Vernon is a North Carolina native and currently lives in Raleigh; he is the executive director and CEO at Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society, based in Research Triangle Park, and publisher of the Society’s award-winning magazine, American Scientist.  As an experienced molecular biologist, award-winning science educator, and an independent blogger, he has been a longtime advocate for issues in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. His career research has covered a range of topics including evolution, genetic engineering, and HIV vaccine development. He has served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Science and Technology Policy Fellow and an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, DC. In 2012, he was appointed co-chair of digital media for the interagency climate communications working group within the White House’s U.S. Global Change Research Program. 

JAMIE VERNON

Dr. Jamie Vernon is a North Carolina native and currently lives in Raleigh; he is the executive director and CEO at Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society, based in Research Triangle Park, and publisher of the Society’s award-winning magazine, American Scientist. 
As an experienced molecular biologist, award-winning science educator, and an independent blogger, he has been a longtime advocate for issues in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. His career research has covered a range of topics including evolution, genetic engineering, and HIV vaccine development. He has served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Science and Technology Policy Fellow and an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, DC. In 2012, he was appointed co-chair of digital media for the interagency climate communications working group within the White House’s U.S. Global Change Research Program. 

  KATIE MACK   Dr. Katherine (Katie) Mack is a theoretical astrophysicist who studies a range of questions in cosmology, the study of the universe from beginning to end. She currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Physics at North Carolina State University, where she is also a member of the Leadership in Public Science Cluster. Throughout her career she has studied dark matter, the early universe, galaxy formation, black holes, cosmic strings, and the ultimate fate of the cosmos. Alongside her academic research, she is an active science communicator and has been published in a number of popular publications such as Scientific American, Slate, Sky & Telescope, Time.com, and Cosmos Magazine, where she is a columnist. 

KATIE MACK

Dr. Katherine (Katie) Mack is a theoretical astrophysicist who studies a range of questions in cosmology, the study of the universe from beginning to end. She currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Physics at North Carolina State University, where she is also a member of the Leadership in Public Science Cluster. Throughout her career she has studied dark matter, the early universe, galaxy formation, black holes, cosmic strings, and the ultimate fate of the cosmos. Alongside her academic research, she is an active science communicator and has been published in a number of popular publications such as Scientific American, Slate, Sky & Telescope, Time.com, and Cosmos Magazine, where she is a columnist. 

  MARSHALL BRAIN   Marshall Brain is most widely known as the founder of HowStuffWorks.com, an award-winning website that offers clear, objective and easy-to-understand explanations of how the world around us actually works. The site sold to Discovery Communications for $250 million.  As a well-known public speaker with the ability to deliver complex material in a way that is easily understood by audiences of all types, Brain is a regular guest on radio and TV programs nationwide. He has been featured on everything CNN and Good Morning America to The Oprah Winfrey Show. He has hosted the National Geographic channel's Factory Floor With Marshall Brain, a series of one-hour factory tours taking the viewer on a journey into the world of product design, engineering and manufacturing.  Brain is the author of more than twenty books as well as a number of widely known web publications including "MachineThatMakesMoney.com", "Robotic Nation", "Manna" and "Imagining Elon Musk's Million-person Mars Colony".

MARSHALL BRAIN

Marshall Brain is most widely known as the founder of HowStuffWorks.com, an award-winning website that offers clear, objective and easy-to-understand explanations of how the world around us actually works. The site sold to Discovery Communications for $250 million. 
As a well-known public speaker with the ability to deliver complex material in a way that is easily understood by audiences of all types, Brain is a regular guest on radio and TV programs nationwide. He has been featured on everything CNN and Good Morning America to The Oprah Winfrey Show. He has hosted the National Geographic channel's Factory Floor With Marshall Brain, a series of one-hour factory tours taking the viewer on a journey into the world of product design, engineering and manufacturing. 
Brain is the author of more than twenty books as well as a number of widely known web publications including "MachineThatMakesMoney.com", "Robotic Nation", "Manna" and "Imagining Elon Musk's Million-person Mars Colony".

  SARAHN WHEELER   Dr. Sarahn M. Wheeler is a practicing maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Duke University Hospital. Dr. Wheeler currently serves as Assistant Professor in the Duke University School of Medicine. In this role, Dr. Wheeler is both a practicing clinician and research faculty. Dr. Wheeler’s research focuses on eliminating race disparities in preterm birth; her current research focuses on examining barriers to preterm birth prevention treatments in African American women. She has published several peer-reviewed articles on topics ranging from fetal brain injury to the impact of psychosocial stress on race disparities in preterm birth. 

SARAHN WHEELER

Dr. Sarahn M. Wheeler is a practicing maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Duke University Hospital. Dr. Wheeler currently serves as Assistant Professor in the Duke University School of Medicine. In this role, Dr. Wheeler is both a practicing clinician and research faculty. Dr. Wheeler’s research focuses on eliminating race disparities in preterm birth; her current research focuses on examining barriers to preterm birth prevention treatments in African American women. She has published several peer-reviewed articles on topics ranging from fetal brain injury to the impact of psychosocial stress on race disparities in preterm birth. 

  HONGBIN GU   Dr. Hongbin Gu is a Chapel Hill town council member and a current faculty member at the Department of Psychiatry, UNC-Chapel Hill. Her current research focuses on developing and applying new quantitative methods to behavioral and biological data in neuroscience. Dr. Gu served on the Town of Chapel Hill Environmental Stewardship Advisory Board before being elected to the Town Council. She has volunteered for Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools in its PTA, School Improvement Teams, and advisory boards. She is the former principal and current board chair of the Chinese School at Chapel Hill. She is also the organizer of the community culture event LIGHTUP. 

HONGBIN GU

Dr. Hongbin Gu is a Chapel Hill town council member and a current faculty member at the Department of Psychiatry, UNC-Chapel Hill. Her current research focuses on developing and applying new quantitative methods to behavioral and biological data in neuroscience. Dr. Gu served on the Town of Chapel Hill Environmental Stewardship Advisory Board before being elected to the Town Council. She has volunteered for Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools in its PTA, School Improvement Teams, and advisory boards. She is the former principal and current board chair of the Chinese School at Chapel Hill. She is also the organizer of the community culture event LIGHTUP. 

  BRONWYN LUCAS   Bronwyn Lucas, MPH, is a NC Mom’s Rising Volunteer, she works as a Strategic Integration Advisor with FoodCorps and is also the co-founder and former Executive Director of the intergenerational empowerment and advocacy non-profit Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!). _ An avid leader in her community, Lucas has organized coalitions to advocate for policy change at the local, state, federal, and international levels. She has a deep passion for adolescent health issues, health equity and systemic change. Bronwyn has been personally affected by gun violence and advocates for solid research which leads to effective public health policies to reduce deaths.

BRONWYN LUCAS

Bronwyn Lucas, MPH, is a NC Mom’s Rising Volunteer, she works as a Strategic Integration Advisor with FoodCorps and is also the co-founder and former Executive Director of the intergenerational empowerment and advocacy non-profit Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!). _
An avid leader in her community, Lucas has organized coalitions to advocate for policy change at the local, state, federal, and international levels. She has a deep passion for adolescent health issues, health equity and systemic change. Bronwyn has been personally affected by gun violence and advocates for solid research which leads to effective public health policies to reduce deaths.

  AMES SIMMONS   Ames Simmons is Equality NC’s Director of Transgender Policy.  Ames is Equality NC’s lobbyist at the North Carolina General Assembly and advocates for public policy on priority issues affecting the transgender community. Ames serves as a resource to connect trans and gender non-conforming people in North Carolina with resources via community engagement and public education and outreach. He previously served for almost two decades as in-house counsel at a healthcare consulting company based in Atlanta.  Ames serves on the Board of Directors of Human Rights Campaign, where his priorities included service on the Healthcare Equality Index National Advisory Council. His policy activism emphasizes diversity and inclusion with focus on transgender justice. 

AMES SIMMONS

Ames Simmons is Equality NC’s Director of Transgender Policy. 
Ames is Equality NC’s lobbyist at the North Carolina General Assembly and advocates for public policy on priority issues affecting the transgender community. Ames serves as a resource to connect trans and gender non-conforming people in North Carolina with resources via community engagement and public education and outreach. He previously served for almost two decades as in-house counsel at a healthcare consulting company based in Atlanta. 
Ames serves on the Board of Directors of Human Rights Campaign, where his priorities included service on the Healthcare Equality Index National Advisory Council. His policy activism emphasizes diversity and inclusion with focus on transgender justice. 

  BRIAN MALOW   Meet our emcee for the Raleigh March for Science, comedian Brian Malow!  In addition to performing and producing videos, Brian gives talks and workshops to help scientists communicate better with the public. He has worked with NASA, NSF, Time Magazine, Scientific American, Neil deGrasse Tyson's StarTalk Radio, and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. 

BRIAN MALOW

Meet our emcee for the Raleigh March for Science, comedian Brian Malow! 
In addition to performing and producing videos, Brian gives talks and workshops to help scientists communicate better with the public. He has worked with NASA, NSF, Time Magazine, Scientific American, Neil deGrasse Tyson's StarTalk Radio, and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. 

  LUKE DOLLAR   Luke Dollar is a National Geographic Explorer and a wildlife biologist with more than two decades’ experience coordinating conservation, research, and development programs, logging more than nine of the past 25 years in the field. Dollar’s scientific research focuses on carnivores ranging from big cats to Madagascar’s largest carniovore, the fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox), and satellite analyses of their habitat.  More than 50 percent of his overall efforts are concentrated on grassroots education and sustainable employment programs for local people sharing space with Africa’s predators. Dollar’s efforts have not only yielded a trove of data on carnivore biology and behavior, but his programs have led to the development of scholastic and sustainable business programs benefiting thousands of local subsistence farmers and their children.  He served as program director of National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative from 2009 to 2017 and is currently Bashore Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Environment and Sustainability at Catawba College and Adjunct Professor of the Environment at Duke University.

LUKE DOLLAR

Luke Dollar is a National Geographic Explorer and a wildlife biologist with more than two decades’ experience coordinating conservation, research, and development programs, logging more than nine of the past 25 years in the field. Dollar’s scientific research focuses on carnivores ranging from big cats to Madagascar’s largest carniovore, the fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox), and satellite analyses of their habitat.

More than 50 percent of his overall efforts are concentrated on grassroots education and sustainable employment programs for local people sharing space with Africa’s predators. Dollar’s efforts have not only yielded a trove of data on carnivore biology and behavior, but his programs have led to the development of scholastic and sustainable business programs benefiting thousands of local subsistence farmers and their children.

He served as program director of National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative from 2009 to 2017 and is currently Bashore Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Environment and Sustainability at Catawba College and Adjunct Professor of the Environment at Duke University.

   ACE ACTION FELLOWS   Alliance for Climate Education's mission is to  educate young people on the science of climate change and empower them to take action . By empowering youth to take action within a frame of justice and optimism, we are growing and strengthening the climate movement, and shifting the national discourse on climate in ways that are proven to affect public opinion and policy.    The  ACE Action Fellowship    is a yearlong training program that gives young people the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be powerful climate leaders. This year, in North Carolina, we are working with local partners to connect Action Fellows to climate campaigns where they can have immediate, real world impact. Our Action Fellows strengthen these efforts with their unique skills, and deepen their own commitment to be lifelong leaders.    ACE programs have won numerous awards including the 2015 White House Champion of Change Award for Climate Literacy.  Through our work, we are helping to transform the climate movement into one that is just, inclusive, and equitable. We are training the leaders of tomorrow to have impact today.    

ACE ACTION FELLOWS

Alliance for Climate Education's mission is to
educate young people on the science of climate change and empower them to take action. By empowering youth to take action within a frame of justice and optimism, we are growing and strengthening the climate movement, and shifting the national discourse on climate in ways that are proven to affect public opinion and policy.

The ACE Action Fellowship is a yearlong training program that gives young people the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be powerful climate leaders. This year, in North Carolina, we are working with local partners to connect Action Fellows to climate campaigns where they can have immediate, real world impact. Our Action Fellows strengthen these efforts with their unique skills, and deepen their own commitment to be lifelong leaders.

ACE programs have won numerous awards including the 2015 White House Champion of Change Award for Climate Literacy.  Through our work, we are helping to transform the climate movement into one that is just, inclusive, and equitable. We are training the leaders of tomorrow to have impact today.

 

  MARTY & KEVIN LONG   Kevin and Marty Long have been a duo since 2006 when they said "I will" and promised to share the stage and always let Kevin make the set lists until death do they part. Together they have a combined 80 plus years of musical experience which makes them sound old, but really they both started learning to play before they learned to read and write.  Marty is a classically trained pianist and composer. She has a piano studio with students of all ages and works as a preschool rockstar at The Raleigh School. She has arranged for and performed with the North Carolina Symphony and the Tar River Symphony as a member of Lorica, the Celtic New Age band featuring Bill Leslie.   Kevin spends his weekdays creating resources for big data users, speaking on pharmacogenomics across the world, and building solutions for researchers and the IT people who support them. Music has always been a major part of Kevin's life, and he has studied with some of the greats in jazz guitar. He has performed jazz, blues, and rock, and spends his free time building his own gear.  The Longs have three children, Mallory, Christopher, and Colin. Their home doubles as an urban farm where they struggle with Marty's need to take in all the animals and Kevin's need to stop her. She has successfully adopted three dogs, a flock of chickens, four ducks, a volunteer quail, some fish, and is scheming with Colin to add a gecko to their crew over the summer.

MARTY & KEVIN LONG

Kevin and Marty Long have been a duo since 2006 when they said "I will" and promised to share the stage and always let Kevin make the set lists until death do they part. Together they have a combined 80 plus years of musical experience which makes them sound old, but really they both started learning to play before they learned to read and write.

Marty is a classically trained pianist and composer. She has a piano studio with students of all ages and works as a preschool rockstar at The Raleigh School. She has arranged for and performed with the North Carolina Symphony and the Tar River Symphony as a member of Lorica, the Celtic New Age band featuring Bill Leslie. 

Kevin spends his weekdays creating resources for big data users, speaking on pharmacogenomics across the world, and building solutions for researchers and the IT people who support them. Music has always been a major part of Kevin's life, and he has studied with some of the greats in jazz guitar. He has performed jazz, blues, and rock, and spends his free time building his own gear.

The Longs have three children, Mallory, Christopher, and Colin. Their home doubles as an urban farm where they struggle with Marty's need to take in all the animals and Kevin's need to stop her. She has successfully adopted three dogs, a flock of chickens, four ducks, a volunteer quail, some fish, and is scheming with Colin to add a gecko to their crew over the summer.

  NANCY PETTY   Reverend Nancy Petty is the pastor at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.          LACY WILDER   Lacy will be performing for us during the march.  She is a musician and a student at Enloe High School. 

NANCY PETTY

Reverend Nancy Petty is the pastor at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. 

 

 

LACY WILDER

Lacy will be performing for us during the march.  She is a musician and a student at Enloe High School.