The Station1 Founders, Staff, Instructors, and Former Contributors

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Christine Ortiz, Ph.D.

Founder, Station1
Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

I am a scientist, engineer, professor, former dean, and social entrepreneur. As founder of Station1, I have over 25 years experience in higher education and am the (tenured and chaired) Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and former dean for graduate education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During this time, I had the privilege of supporting over 7000 students from more than 100 countries and working with hundreds of faculty and staff on initiatives in diversity and inclusion, global education, technology-enabled learning, learning assessment, curricular and pedagogical design, new financial models, 21st century personal and professional skills development, and many more areas. As a scientist and engineer, my research expertise is in the area of multiscale design and mechanics of biological and bio-inspired materials and manufacturing and I have over 180 scholarly publications and 30 national and international honors, including the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering given to me at the White House by President George W. Bush. I received a B.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University all in the field of Materials Science and Engineering. I serve on numerous boards, including most recently as a regional accreditation commissioner for the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Here is my full CV, my LinkedIn Page, my Twitter Feed, and my Instagram.


Ellan Spero, Ph.D.

Co-Founder and Chief Curriculum Officer, Station1
Lecturer and Historian of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

I study the ways that people envision human progress, through the institutions, built environments, and narratives that they create. As a historian of technology, business, and higher education, my work is about drawing connections between the ways that people learn, produce, and maintain systems of knowledge and material culture. I am passionate about the amazing potential of connecting people across disciplines and physical geographies – this resonates throughout the work I do at Station1, the opportunities that I aim to facilitate for our students, the way I approach the serendipity of my own research and place in the world. I am interested in the ways that people create and maintain collaboration across professional sectors, a theme of my own research in the history of nascent academic-industrial partnerships at the beginning of the 20th century. I was recently a visiting scientist at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) at the Smart Living Lab in Fribourg, Switzerland, a research and development center for the built environment of the future. As a joint post-doctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) I created coursework that engaged students in analysis of technology, culture, and the city. I hold a Ph.D. from MIT in History, Anthropology, Science, Technology and Society, a B.S. and M.S. from Cornell University in Fiber Science and Apparel Design, and M.A from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in Museum Studies and Textile Conservation.

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Dana Munzner, B.A.

Director of Programs and Co-Instructor, Station1

I am a professional development advisor passionate for working with students in the STEM field. I started my career as a research analyst at John Hancock, then moved into program management at Northeastern University’s College of Engineering working with several environmental health focused multi-institutional research centers. My experience in higher education spans grants management, strategic planning, one-on-one student advising, employer relations, event planning, program evaluation, and reporting. I aim to create inclusive and diverse environments, and feel personally driven to increase participation of students from all backgrounds in the STEM field by increasing access to hands-on work experiences and professional mentorship. Previously I worked as the Global Co-op Counselor at Northeastern University’s College of Engineering advising graduate and undergraduate students on international work experiences and developing employer relationships abroad. I have also developed and managed an interdisciplinary training program aimed to increase diverse participation in the field of environmental health research. I received a B.A in Asian Studies and Philosophy from Suffolk University in Boston, MA and a graduate certificate in Business Administration from Northeastern University’s D'Amore-McKim School of Business in Boston, MA.


Keiko Tanaka, M.A.

Administrative Officer, Station1

Keiko Tanaka previously worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 16 years, most recently in the Office of Graduate Education as Administrative Officer, where she was a member of the senior leadership team. Her expertise includes financial management, human resources, student programming, and diversity and inclusion. She interfaced with approximately 40 departmental graduate administrators and officers in departments and is particularly committed to diversity initiatives and international students. Keiko has a M.S. in accounting from Bentley University, a M.S. in mass communications / media studies from Boston University, and a B.A. in liberal arts and sciences, humanities and general studies, University of Tokyo.


Station1 Co-Instructors


Francisco Martin-Martinez, PhD (LinkedInWebsite)

Co-Instructor, Station1
Research Scientist and Teaching Fellow, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

I am a Research Scientist and Teaching Fellow at the Laboratory of Atomistic & Molecular Mechanics (LAMM) of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at MIT. I am also member of the advisory board of Sweetwater Energy, president of the Association of Spanish Scientists in the US (ECUSA), and former president of the Spanish Federation of Chemical Engineers (FEIQ). I teach Chemistry at OME Interphase EDGE program, co-instructs 1.007 Big Engineering, and act as Teaching Assistant of 3.021J Introduction to Modeling and Simulation. I am also co-author of one the most recent and relevant books on Lignin and Lignans (Wiley, 2015). I earned my MS in Chemical Engineering at University of Granada (Spain) in 2005, my MS in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry in 2007, and my PhD in Chemistry from the same University in 2011. My PhD was developed at the Modeling and Molecular Design Group. Prior joining MIT in 2014, I was visiting scientist at University of Hamburg(Germany), and postdoctoral associate at Free University of Brussels (Belgium). I have a passion for innovation and extensive experience applying creativity, technical ability and leadership in research and development. I am creative, problem-solvent oriented and passionate about people. Moved by awareness and curiosity, I develop biomass nanotechnology that integrates multi-scale modeling, and machine learning, with hydrothermal processing and silk spinning, to design an manufacture more sustainable materials and technologies that help addressing one of the greatest challenges humanity has faced so far: surviving on a small planet with limited resources to support our increasing global population.


Jingjie Yeo, PhD. (LinkedIn)

Co-Instructor, Station1
Postdoctoral Scholar (Tufts University, Department of Biomedical Engineering), Research Affiliate (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering), Scientist (Institute of High Performance Computing)

Jingjie Yeo is a postdoctoral scholar at Tufts University in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and a Research Affiliate a the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering). Prior Yeo was an A*STAR-funded Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT since March 2016. Prior to this appointment, he was a research scientist in the Institute of High Performance Computing, A*STAR, Singapore, working on Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Biological and NanoMaterials. He received his B.Eng in 2010 from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, majoring in Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Business. He received his Ph.D in 2014 from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, NTU, after obtaining the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Graduate Scholarship, under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Ng Teng Yong (NTU) and Dr. Liu Zishun (ICAM XJTU). His Ph.D. research focused on the Modeling and Simulation of the Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Ultralight Materials.


Guest Instructors


Sunand Bhattacharya, Ph.D. (LinkedIn)

Guest Instructor, Station1
Associate Vice Provost, Design and Innovation Strategies at Boston College

Having a positive impact on the future of making and learning via design based education is my area of interest and expertise. As a learning architect, I catalyze the integration of creative mental tools, critical design processes and digital technology skills to better prepare current and future learners for jobs that have yet to exist. With 30 years in the public and private sectors related to design and engineering education, I managed Autodesk's Learning Futures team by interweaving its emerging cloud based design technologies to academia through applied research, thought leadership and faculty fellowship programs. Prior to Autodesk, I was the principal and co-founding partner of Arjuna Learning Designs LLC., a firm specializing in the creation of interactive learning objects to enhance quality of teaching and learning for name brand publishing houses. I have also been a tenured professor and department head of industrial design at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.


Corentin Fivet (LinkedIn, Website)

Guest Instructor, Station1
Assistant Professor of Architecture and Structural Design in the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland

Corentin heads the Structural Xploration Lab (SXL) since its inception in July 2016. Prior to 2016, Corentin worked for two years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, first as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Architecture and then as a lecturer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Corentin holds a master in Architectural Engineering and a PhD in Engineering Sciences from the UCLouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. Corentin's research and teaching are driven by the need for more environmentally responsible building systems. Bridging the gap between architecture and structural engineering, his work explores more sustainable implementations of load-bearing materials, new design methods for resource-efficient structural typologies, and historical exemplary practices of structural design.


Kathleen Flynn

Guest Instructor, Station1
Head Researcher, Lawrence History Center

Kathleen Flynn was an early supporter of the Immigrant City Archives (now the LHC) during the 1980s and 1990s, volunteering and serving in several board capacities, including president. A graduate of Regis College, she received advanced degrees from Northeastern University in counseling and Fitchburg State College in educational administration. Kathy was a founding member of the Bridge Over Troubled Waters Program in Boston, MA. After 33 years of service she retired as an administrator from Whittier Regional Vocational Tech High School in Haverhill, MA. Currently she supports LHC as a volunteer and researcher and also authored Sacred Spaces, a history of St. Mary and Immaculate Conception Cemeteries. She is a board member and annual walker for the Just’Cause 60-mile Walk for Breast Cancer.


Amita Kiley, B.A.

Guest Instructor, Station1
Collections Manager and Research Coordinator, Lawrence History Center

Amita Kiley was raised in Lawrence, Massachusetts and graduated from Northeastern University with a B.A. in American History in 2004. Her experience growing up in Lawrence fostered a love of the city and a strong sense of wanting to preserve its history. In 2001, as part of Northeastern’s Co-operative Education program, she began working at the Lawrence History Center (LHC) as a preservation assistant. She continued her professional career after graduation at the archive. In 2014, she moved into her current role as collections manager and research coordinator. She works closely with LHC’s director and local historians, coordinates and supervises volunteers, handles walk in visitors and school groups and manages membership correspondence from the LHC office. She is a member of the New England Archivists and has presented at some of their recent meetings.


Ceasar L. McDowell, Ed.D. (LinkedIn)

Guest Instructor, Station1
Professor of the Practice of Community Development and Civic Design, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ceasar L. McDowell is Professor of the Practice of Community Development and Civic Design at MIT. He holds an Ed.D. (88) and M.Ed. (84) from Harvard. Ceasar's current work is on the development of community knowledge systems and civic engagement. He is also expanding his critical moments reflection methodology to identify, share and maintaining grassroots knowledge. His research and teaching interests also include the use of mass media and technology in promoting democracy and community-building, the education of urban students, the development and use of empathy in community work, civil rights history, peacemaking and conflict resolution. He is Director of the global civic engagement organization dropping knowledge international Dropping Knowledge International, MIT's former Center for Reflective Community Practice (renamed Co-Lab) and co-founder of The Civil Rights Forum on Telecommunications Policy and founding Board member of The Algebra Project Algebra.


Fanuel Muindi, Ph.D. (LinkedIn)

Guest Instructor, Station1 
Assistant Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University

Dr. Fanuel Muindi is a Principal Investigator, Metascientist, Author, Curator Editor-in-Chief and the Assistant Director of Graduate Studies at Harvard University in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.  Muindi is co-founder (with Moytrayee Guha) and Principal Investigator of the Stem Advocacy Institute, an organization that "envision(s) a future where equitable access and exposure to quality science education is possible for all." Building on his scientific training from Stanford University as a graduate student, MIT as a postdoctoral fellow, he brings breadth and depth of experience to provide deep insight in science development and communications to engage broader audiences.


Christine M. Ortiz, Ed.L.D. (LinkedIn

Guest Instructor, Station1
Co-Founder at Equity Meets Design

Dr. Christine M. Ortiz is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for innovation through equity-centered design.  She has launched k-12 microschools, consulted for schools in the US and internationally, designed and coached entrepreneurs, coordinated a national competition for innovative school models, and designed and taught graduate-level courses on redesigning schools at the Stanford d.School and Harvard University.  Her current venture is Equity Meets Design, a think/do tank merging the consciousness of equity work with the power of design methodologies. Christine spent her teenage years creating the national Truth tobacco prevention campaign and consulting with states and other countries interested in implementing the model. The first in her family to have a college degree, Christine has a BS from MIT, Masters in Education and Non-Profit Management and a Doctorate in Education Leadership from Harvard University. In all her endeavors, she has been motivated to address the barriers innovators face when tackling complex equity-based social issues.


Padmanabhan (Padhu) Seshaiyer, Ph.D. (LinkedInWebsite)
Guest Instructor, Station1

Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Director, STEM Accelerator Program
Associate Dean For Academic Affairs, George Mason University

Dr. Padmanabhan Seshaiyer is a tenured Professor of Mathematical Sciences at George Mason University and serves as the Director of the STEM Accelerator Program in the College of Science as well as the Director of COMPLETE (Center for Outreach in Mathematics Professional Learning and Educational Technology) at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. His research interests are in the broad areas of computational mathematics, scientific computing, computational biomechanics and STEM education. During the last decade, Dr. Seshaiyer initiated and directed a variety of educational programs including graduate and undergraduate research, K-12 outreach, teacher professional development, and enrichment programs to foster the interest of students and teachers in STEM at all levels. He is also actively involved in multiple global STEM collaborative projects and training programs that engage students and faculty from various countries including Tanzania, Suriname, Philippines, Myanmar, Tunisia, India, Colombia, Ecuador, South Korea and a more recently formed Latin-American Consortium that brings together researchers from multiple countries.


Michael Wilson, M.S.

Guest Instructor, Station1
Director of Entrepreneurship Programs and Senior Lecturer, University of Miami and Assistant Professor of the Practice at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Michael’s passion has been in the area of creative thinking in entrepreneurship and engineering education. As a Ph.D. student in the College of Engineering at Purdue University, Michael’s interest is connecting university-industry relations through entrepreneurship. Having founded two successful start-up entities, Michael enjoys exploring the scholarship and sociometrics of business and academics. Accordingly, his research focuses on methods to detect innovation. Michael is Director of Entrepreneurship Programs and Senior Lecturer at the University of Miami and an Assistant Professor of the Practice at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department. He holds a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and M.S., from the University of Chicago.


Prior Contributors

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Elliot Mandel, M.Ed.

Co-Founder, Station1
Currently: Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton

I am an entrepreneur and knowledge strategy consultant at the NYC Department of Education with extensive experience at  startups ( and South Mountain Economics) and EdTech incubators (LearnLaunch and the Harvard Innovation Lab), and the e-commerce company, NextJump. I have experience in the areas of strategy, knowledge management, user design, partnerships, project and program development, and fundraising. At LearnLaunch, I created programs to connect educational technology ventures with educators worldwide, consulted for startups within the accelerator, including connecting educational pedagogy with product development. I received a B.A. from Cornell University in Economics and English and an M.Ed. from Harvard University in Technology, Innovation, and Education.


Deborah Walden, M.A.

Vice President of Development, Station1 (2017-2018)
Currently: Development Officer at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (a subsidiary of the Mass General Hospital family), a nationally recognized, not-for-profit charitable health care organization located in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire.