The Station1 Team

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Christine Ortiz, Ph.D.

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

I am a scientist, engineer, social entrepreneur, educator, and professor. 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 educationat 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 am an alumni of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities for Science and Engineering (GEM) which provided me with a transformative fellowship and summer internship and enabled me to continue my education and was critical to my career path. I serve on numerous boards, including 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, Station1
Lecturer and Historian of Science and Technology at 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 am currently 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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Elliot Mandel, M.Ed.

Co-Founder, Station1

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.

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Dana Munzner, B.A.

Director of Programs, 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.