TEAM

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.

Karen Flammer, Ph.D.
Cofounder, Sally Ride Science
Director, Center for Digital Learning

Dr. Karen Flammer is the Director of the Digital Learning Center at UC San Diego Teaching Commons.

Karen is a third-generation physicist. She earned her B.S. in applied physics and Ph.D. in space physics at UC San Diego. While doing research in space and planetary physics, Karen became passionate about educational outreach and increasing girls' and minorities' participation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. In 2001, she co-founded Sally Ride Science with the goal of narrowing the gender gap in STEM.

Karen has more than 20 years of experience directing large-scale STEM outreach and professional development programs, most notably Sally Ride EarthKAM and the Sally Ride Science Academy. Sally Ride EarthKAM engaged more than 600,000 K-12 students from 80 countries in STEM by allowing them to photograph Earth with a digital camera on board the International Space Station. The Sally Ride Science Academy, a robust train-the-trainer professional development program, has reached more than 30,000 educators, giving them strategies and resources to encourage students' interest in STEM.

Edward Abeyta, Ph.D.
Director of Pre-Collegiate and Career Preparation Programs
Associate Dean for Community Engagement, UC San Diego Extension

Dr. Edward Abeyta is director of Pre-Collegiate and Career Preparation Programs and associate dean for community engagement at UC San Diego Extension. 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
Director of the Department of Education and Behavioral Sciences, UC San Diego Extension

Morgan Appel serves as the Director of the Department of Education and Behavioral Sciences at UC San Diego Extension, 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 socioaffective 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.

Roxann Bedia
Operations Manager for the Department of Education and Behavioral Sciences, UC San Diego Extension

Roxann Bedia is the Operations Manager for the Department of Education and Behavioral Sciences at UC San Diego Extension, charged with budgetary oversight and supervision of instructional staff. Bedia has 20 years of experience in postsecondary education including service in teacher education, as a credential analyst, in financial aid, and student services.  She serves on the Board of Institutional Review for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing as well as a variety of committee assignments at Extension and on the San Diego campus. 

Shannon Bradley
Executive Producer of UCTV

Shannon Bradley is the executive producer of UCTV, the broadcast and online television network of the University of California. She has been with the university for many years, starting as the public affairs producer for UCSD-TV in San Diego. Prior to that, she covered national politics for Roll Call newspaper on Capitol Hill and later, for The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour on PBS. She has a B.A. in communications/sociology from UC San Diego and a master's degree in broadcast journalism and public affairs from American University in Washington, D.C.

Maysoon Dong
Pre-College Programs Manager, UC San Diego Extension

Maysoon Dong is a Program Manager of UC San Diego Pre-College and Career Preparation Programs. She has worked for UC San Diego in a variety of different capacities for over 7 years. Prior to working with UC San Diego Extension, 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.

Debi Kilb, Ph.D.
Seismologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego

Dr. Debi Kilb is a seismologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). She also is the director of the SIO Games Group, which develops educational video games to promote Scripps science. Debi's primary research interest is in mainshock/aftershock sequences, with a focus on earthquake source physics and earthquake triggering processes. Debi plays an active role in education and outreach at Scripps, participating in more than 20 events each year. She cofounded the annual Scripps Graduate Student Visualization contest and founded the annual Teacher Earthquake Education workshop (now in its 12th year). When media outlets request information about noteworthy earthquakes locally or globally, Debi is often the responding Scripps scientist.

Born in Schenectady, New York, Debi received a B.A. in mathematics and computer science, with a minor in music, from UC San Diego. She received a master's degree in applied mathematics from UCLA and a Ph.D. from the University of Memphis, studying at the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI) and specializing in seismology. She served as a graduate intern at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University before joining Scripps, initially as a postdoctoral fellow.

Before attending graduate school, Debi worked as a software engineer at corporations such as Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Mission Research Corporation, and Santa Barbara Research Center. Throughout her career she has tutored mathematics students from grade school through graduate school.

Margaret King
Writer/Editor

 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.

Megan Lancaster
Program Manager for UC San Diego Pre-College and Career Preparation Programs

Megan Lancaster is a Program Manager for UC San Diego Pre-College and Career Preparation Programs where she focuses on planning, implementing, and evaluating academic and enrichment programs to meet the individual needs of students in preparation of collegiate and professional pursuits. Prior to working with UC San Diego Extension, 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.

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.

Daniel Velazquez
Pre-College Programs Representative, UC San Diego Extension

Dan Velazquez is the Pre-College Programs representative at UC San Diego Extension. Dan graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in psychology from Sixth College. Prior to joining Extension, Dan worked as a program assistant in the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs and as an interim housing coordinator in the Sixth College Residential Life Office.  

Robin Wittman
Sr. Pre-College Programs Manager, UC San Diego Extension

Robin Wittman is the Sr. Pre-College Programs manager at UC San Diego Extension. She has more than 25 years of experience at UC San Diego providing project management, strategic planning, and operational support in department areas including Anesthesiology, Epidemiology, Extension Office of the Dean, UC San Diego Global CONNECT, and UC San Diego Pre-College and Career Preparation Programs. Robin is highly involved in community outreach in the San Diego region and in organizations such as the Viejas and Barona Bands of the Kumeyaay Nation, Reality Changers, Promises2Kids, and the San Diego County Office of Education.

BOOKS BY SALLY & TAM