Tam O'Shaughnessy, Ph.D.
Cofounder, Sally Ride Science
Executive Director, Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego

Dr. Tam O'Shaughnessy is cofounder of Sally Ride Science and executive director of Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego. Tam grew up in California and played professional tennis from 1971 to 1974. She later earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology from Georgia State University and a Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of California, Riverside.

Tam has written 13 science books for children, including six with Sally Ride. They received the American Institute of Physics Children's Science Writing Award in 1995 for The Third Planet. In 2015 Tam published Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America's Pioneering Woman in Space. It was nominated for the 2016 Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature.

As a scientist and educator, Tam became concerned about the underrepresentation of women in science and technical professions. In 2001, Sally, Tam, and three friends—Karen Flammer, Terry McEntee, and Alann Lopes—founded Sally Ride Science to try to narrow the gender gap in science. Tam served as the company's chief creative officer, guiding creation of the Cool Careers in STEM and Key Concepts in Science programs. She was also chief operating officer from 2009 to 2013, chair of the Board of Directors from 2013 to 2015, and chief executive officer from 2014 to 2015.

The University of California, San Diego, acquired Sally Ride Science in October 2015 and named Tam executive director of the resulting nonprofit organization. Tam also serves as a member of the Advisory Board for the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

Edward Abeyta, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Education and Community Outreach, UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies

Dr. Edward Abeyta is the associate dean for education and community outreach at UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies. He has a B.A. from the University of New Mexico, an M.A. from the University of San Diego, and a Ph.D. in post-secondary adult education from Capella University. Edward has been recognized by UC San Diego and the UC Office of the President for his involvement in staff diversity and development initiatives. In 2008 Edward was selected to a two-year term as staff advisor to The Regents. He has served on the UC Diversity Commission, Post-Retirement Task Force, and The Regents' UC Commission on the Future.

Edward founded the University of California STEAM Channel. He is active in the San Diego community as a trustee of the San Diego Youth Symphony and a founding board member of the San Diego Urban Discovery Academy charter school. He is deeply involved in programs serving foster youth and veterans, and other youth development programs.

Morgan Appel
Assistant Dean for Education and Community Outreach

Morgan Appel is Assistant Dean for Education and Community Outreach at UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies, serving as its chief administrator. Appel oversees a diverse array of professional development programming for programs for practitioners and clinicians. He served in the same capacity at the Division of Continuing Education UC Irvine Extension following a research appointment at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UCI. With expertise in education transformation and policy, Appel worked with a number of school districts and research institutes to explore the impacts of legislated and organically generated change agentry in PK-postsecondary.

A specialist in gifted education; arts integration; and the socio-affective domain, Appel teaches a variety of courses at both UC San Diego and UC Irvine. He is a widely published author and presenter at conferences and other venues. Appel lives in San Diego, California, with his wife Catherine and their dog Jonathan Fitzgerald.

Maysoon Dong
Associate Director for Education and Community Outreach

Maysoon Dong is the Associate Director for Education and Community Outreach. She has worked for UC San Diego in a variety of different capacities for over 7 years. Prior to working with UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies, she was the Assistant Director of the California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS) program at the Jacobs School of Engineering. She also worked in the Division of Biological Sciences as a Program Coordinator, developing and maintaining continuing education programs for professionals in the field of biotechnology. Maysoon received her B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from UC San Diego and received her M.S. in Economics from Boston University.

Megan Lancaster
Program Manager for Education and Community Outreach

Megan Lancaster is a Program Manager for Education and Community Outreach where she focuses on planning, implementing, and evaluating academic and enrichment programs to meet the individual needs of students in the preparation of collegiate and professional pursuits. Prior to working with UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies, Megan served as the Program Supervisor for the Viejas Tribal Education Center and also taught grades K-12 in the local public and private school districts. Megan received a B.A. in Social Science from San Diego State University and a Single-Subject Teaching Credential in Social Science, Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential, and M.A. in Education from Azusa Pacific University.

Nadia Ortega
Program Manager for Education and Community Outreach

Nadia Ortega is a Program Manager in UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies’ Education and Community Outreach department. She has also served as a Program Assistant for the Pre-College programs, advising and guiding students and parents on the Research Scholars and LAUNCH programs. Nadia received a B.A in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara in June 2021. Nadia has previously worked with UCSB’s Educational Opportunity Program as a Peer Mentor, providing academic advising and holistic support for first generation undergraduate students.

Christine Morales
Christine Morales
Sally Ride Science Jr. Academy Program Supervisor, Education and Community Outreach, UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies

Christine Morales has been in the educational field for 28 years working in a variety of capacities from an Assistant Principal, a middle school teacher, an elementary school teacher and as a Special Education Classroom Assistant. Most recently, she has expanded her experience to include working in the role of Program Supervisor for Sally Ride Science Academy through the department of Education and Community Outreach at UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies. In 2019, Christine won the Teacher of the Year and has received the same honor at different school locations throughout her career. She has sat on numerous district-wide and school committees which include LCAP, School Site Council and the PTA.

Margaret King

 Margaret King was senior science editor and writer at Sally Ride Science from 2009 to 2015, when Sally Ride Science became part of UC San Diego. Margaret helped create books and teacher guides that presented science concepts and profiled notable scientists with the goal of awakening students’ interest in science careers. Before joining Sally Ride Science, she worked at The San Diego Union-Tribune in a variety of editing positions, including as politics editor and editor of the “Quest” science section. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, with a double major in English and history and her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Chris Leong
Chief Technical Adviser

Chris Leong is chief technical advisor for Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego. He began working as a student intern on NASA's Sally Ride EarthKAM program, created by Dr. Sally Ride to allow students around the world to capture images of Earth from space. Chris received a B.S. in computer engineering from UC San Diego in 2001. After graduation, he served as project advisor and programmer analyst for Sally Ride EarthKAM's mission control at UC San Diego until 2006. Chris then joined Sally Ride Science as vice president of technology, overseeing information technology and web development until the company's acquisition by UC San Diego in October 2015. He also served as technical lead for Sally Ride EarthKAM and another NASA educational outreach program, GRAIL MoonKAM. Chris is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and a Microsoft Certified Professional.

Jennifer Matthews
Graphic Designer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego

Jennifer Matthews is a graphic designer at the Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. There she has been helping to illustrate and promote the efforts of geologists, glaciologists, seismologists, and other Earth science researchers for the past 15 years.  Her tenure at IGPP has also given her the ability to work with other departments and programs at Scripps and UC San Diego, notably Birch Aquarium, Scripps Director's Office, PRAGMA, and now Sally Ride Science.  Prior to joining the staff at IGPP, Jennifer served in a similar capacity at UC San Diego's San Diego Supercomputer Center for five years.

Namphuong Pullman
Program Support

Namphuong Pullman is a Program Assistant for UC San Diego Pre-College and Career Preparation Programs. She serves as the central point-of-contact for students, parents and pre-college partners. Additionally, she advises and provides guidance on UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies pre-college courses and programs and manages the LAUNCH program, which enables qualified UC San Diego undergraduate students to take a certificate at no cost to them. Prior to joining the team, Namphuong worked at UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies’ Student Services office as a Student Affairs Advisor. She advised students on academic programs, registration procedures and policies, and financial assistance. She also served as a School Certifying Official by providing assistance in the certification of VA educational benefits. Namphuong received her B.A. in Human Development from UC San Diego.

Melissa Realegeno
Program Support

Melissa Realegeno received a B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Northridge in 2015 and a Master’s in Postsecondary Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Student Affairs from San Diego State University in May 2019. Melissa has worked in Student Affairs since 2015 and enjoys working in a college setting. She is happy to be part of the ECO team in supporting K-12 students eager to continue their education. Melissa has worked in areas that serve students with disabilities, worked with over 300 student organizations, coordinated peer programs and countless events throughout the years as well as supervised undergraduate interns.

Jennifer Rowe
Program Support

Jennifer Rowe is a program manager in UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies’ Education and Community Outreach department. She has worked at UC San Diego in various roles over the past ten years. Her background also includes a ten-year stint at Tower Records in the UK, as well as experience in venture capital, biotech, and education. Jennifer has a BA in Linguistics from SDSU.

Cynthia Cortez
Program Assistant

Cynthia Cortez received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a Minor in Climate Change Studies from University of California, San Diego in 2021 and is currently working towards her Master’s in Environmental Engineering from San Diego State University. Cynthia has been a part of the ECO team since 2017. As a high school student, Cynthia participated in the Academic Connections program as part of the first cohort of students from the Imperial Valley. She was ecstatic to join the team as an undergraduate student at UC San Diego and work “behind the scenes”. She enjoys working to provide an academically enriching experience for students of all backgrounds.