The STEAM Journal Group

The majority of the team consists of members from Claremont Graduate University (CGU). The team work is organized around spheres of expertise, interest and experience. While there are leadership roles in the team at any time projects can involve any member who is interested in that work. By opening up the projects to all STEAM members, individuals self-select what work they will do. In this way the STEAM members are engaged and motivated and the work is meaningful. This also causes for progress and a lack of stagnation. The aim of the STEAM Journal is to produce a stellar publication but it also exists to foster an effective work dynamic for the STEAM team, which in turn we believe provides a positive experience of STEAM. STEAM Team Members. 

Executive STEAM team

Founder & Editor - Sara Kapadia

PhD Education student - Transdisciplinary approaches & STEAM focus

Sara Kapadia is the founder of The STEAM Journal. As an academic and educator and currently a Ph.D. Education student at Claremont Graduate University (CGU), Sara has formed a transdisciplinary approach to her study and work. Sara’s doctoral research focuses on the intersections of science and art from early childhood through to adulthood. Prior to embarking on a doctoral degree, Sara worked at Caltech (California Institute of Technology) as an early childhood educator for several years, where she specialized in integrating science and art curriculum for young learners. With Bachelors of Education in Science from Cambridge University; a Masters of Arts in Social Justice, Social Policy and Education from University of London and graduate study at Oxford University Sara has had a wide range of academic experiences. Sara has been the recipient of several awards and fellowships. Currently Sara is a research assistant at CGU focused on STEM education. As an evaluator Sara was the qualitative lead for a multi-year evaluation project for an early childhood family center that serves underserved communities. Sara has also been a teaching assistant for an Art, Science and Technology course at Harvey Mudd College. As a writer, dancer and artist, Sara has shown her work in the U.K and U.S., and her artwork has been published in magazines and a book. Currently Sara is working on her dissertation work for her doctoral degree and is looking forward to being a STEAM advocate.

Artist - Melanie Moore

MFA alumnus - Art-Science focus

Melanie received her Masters in Fine Art from Claremont Graduate University in 2011 and her Bachelors in Studio Art from University of California, Irvine in 2003. In 2010 Melanie was awarded the Armory For the Arts Fellowship, a 9 month intense arts education. She has continued to work with the Armory For the Arts in Pasadena, teaching and developing curriculum in the Department of Education Math and Art Program. Other programs Melanie is involved with at the Armory include, Children Investigate the Environment, a science and art integrated program, Fun with Literature and Art, and a Professional Development program in the Glendale School District. Melanie also teaches in the Kids and High School programs at Art Center for the Arts in Pasadena. In addition, Melanie has an independent studio practice and has recently had a two person show at Autonomie in Downtown Los Angeles. Melanie works and lives in Los Angeles.

Creativity Lead - Shamini Dias

PhD Education student - Creativity focus

Shamini Dias: I believe in stories as a foundational learning medium across all disciplines; the human brain is wired to seek patterns, and what are stories but information woven into a pattern (I agree with Brene Brown that “stories are data with a soul”). I trained as a public school teacher and as a storyteller, and have explored using drama, art, and story making with learners from age 4 through adults, in schools and business settings. The arts, especially performance through narrative and visual story making, are powerful modes for teaching, learning, and communicating ideas in multiple subjects and contexts. My interest in STEAM emerges naturally out of my practice as an educator and researcher in seeking organic and synergistic interactions between the skills and mindsets that both scientists and artists use when they reach for excellence in their work. Putting the “A” into STEM education adds the missing link that makes STEM disciplines relevant, accessible, intriguing, awe-inspiring, and a natural part of our lives.

Education Lead - Lorelei Coddington

PhD Education student - Mathematics & Technology focus

Lorelei Coddington is a Senior Research Associate with the Making Algebra Accessible Project (MAAP), and a Teacher Leader in Pitzer College’s Teaching American History grant. After teaching elementary school and working as a Teacher On Special Assignment for the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District, she has worked extensively for Claremont Graduate University’s Teacher Education Program holding positions as a Faculty Associate, Instructor, and TPA Coordinator. Currently, Lorelei is a Ph.D. student in the School of Educational Studies at CGU with an emphasis in Teaching, Learning, and Culture. Her research interests include using professional development to enhance elementary teachers’ instruction of early algebraic reasoning through the use of pictorial representations and creative problem solving and using reflection on video taped lessons to enhance teachers’ mathematical noticing. 

STEM Lead - Iliana Perez

PhD Education & MA Economics student - Educational economics focus

Iliana Perez was born in Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico and was brought to the United States at the age of eight. With the support and encouragement from her parents, family and friends, she graduated with academic and university honors from California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mathematics and minors in Economics and Business. Iliana is the author of "Life After College: A Guide for Undocumented Students" published by Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC). The 73-page guide contains valuable information, tips, and resources to help undocumented students navigate life after graduation. The guide received positive reviews from around the country and was featured in various local and national media outlets including CNN, Univision, The Huffington Post and Radio Bilingue. Iliana believes that every student deserves the right to an education regardless of legal status. Because of her personal and educational history, she feels committed to bringing change to immigrant communities. Iliana is now a doctoral student in the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University. Her research interests include the link between education and economic development, the underrepresentation of minority groups and women in STEM, and access to higher education for undocumented students.

Outreach Lead - Alfredo Christiansen

MA in Administration alumnus - Outreach                                                                 

Alfie Christiansen has an MA with an emphasis in Non-Profit Management from Claremont Graduate University, and a Bachelors of Arts in Graphic Design from California State University, San Bernardino. Alfie is a graphic designer and arts advocate who focuses on higher education and is currently Assistant Director of Creative Services at Claremont Graduate University. With sharp organizational skills, problem-solving approach and a good attitude, Alfie has developed several creative solutions to his projects and appreciates the learning opportunities that come from new challenges. Alfie is fluent in Spanish and has a wide range of experiences as a graphic designer, conference lead, and champion for arts access for underserved communities. Alfie is a STEAM advocate and enjoys working with a diverse team to bring new ideas to realization while fostering transdisciplinary dialogue. In his spare time he enjoys making mix-tapes and collages and playing with his dog "Lola."


Media Ethics Lead - Steve O’Sullivan

PhD Education student – Media ethics

Steve O’Sullivan is director of media and education for Civic Publications, a Los Angeles County-based firm that assists public agencies with public outreach strategies for transportation and environmental issues. His publishing background includes reporting, editing and general management of newspapers. Steve is a communication and business educator on the adjunct faculty of several universities and is completing doctoral coursework at the Claremont Graduate University School of Educational Studies. He is an honors graduate of the Drucker School of Management. His teaching includes communication ethics, media law, public affairs reporting and organizational communication theory. His teaching includes MBA exchange students from China and India at the Buddhist-affiliated University of the West, where Steve teaches Drucker-related concepts emphasizing the importance of management in advancing the public interest. His experience includes developing public-private partnerships with universities, including a television news initiative with California State University. He is experienced in non-profit governance and fundraising and is a former president of Mt. San Antonio College Foundation and an appointee to the Mt. SAC Citizens Bond Oversight Committee.

Performance Lead - Kenneth Walker

MBA Art Administration alumnus - Performance

Kenneth Walker is Artistic Director of Kenneth Walker Dance Project (KWDP), a contemporary ballet company based in Southern California and a 2007 Lester Horton Dance Awards Nominee for Outstanding Performance by a Company for its program, Sheer Force of Will. Mr. Walker is currently on the teaching staff at Lauridsen Ballet Center, the official school of South Bay Ballet where he has taught and coached everyone from professional ballet dancers to young students and even Latin Ballroom dancers and holds a B.A. from UCLA in World Arts and Cultures. He has served on the board of directors for the Dance Resource Center of Los Angeles as Secretary and as Chair of its Horton Viewing Committee. He attends Claremont Graduate University where he will be graduating with an MBA and MA in Arts Management in 2012. Kenneth has studied in intensive workshops with William Forsythe, director of The Forsythe Company, Alonzo King, director of Lines Contemporary Ballet as well as Donald Byrd and Bella Lewitzky. Kenneth has also worked with Los Angeles choreographers Francisco Martinez, Patrick Franz and Laurence Blake. His early training was with Diane Lauridsen of South Bay Ballet and later Pasadena Dance Theatre. Kenneth has created dances for the Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Sacramento Ballet, Chico Community Ballet, Southern California Dance Theatre, San Pedro City Ballet, South Bay Ballet, Petaluma City Ballet, Dance Peninsula, DanceCorps, Dance Peninsula Dance Theatre, and Pasadena Dance Theater. His work has also been performed at festivals throughout the United States. Kenneth is the recipient of the young choreographer's award from the Southern CA Dance Theatre, and is the youngest finalist ever to compete in the Sarasota Ballet of Florida International Choreography Competition. He has collaborated with musicians Michael Roberts, Mario Salvucci, DJ Just Honey, and Wes Hambright on new works.

Research Lead - Benjamin Uel Marsh

PhD Cognitive Psychology student - Diversity & leadership focus

I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. I graduated from Birmingham-Southern College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Before I came to Claremont Graduate University (CGU), I was a Fulbright fellow for 11 months in Hong Kong, China where I informally taught English to college and elementary students. Currently, I am a 5th year Ph.D. student studying Cognitive Psychology at CGU, focusing on Culture, Knowledge Activation, and Memory. Broadly speaking, my research focuses on cultural differences in cognition. More specifically, I’m interested in how being self-aware of one’s ethnic identity primes cultural schemas and concepts that influence how we process information. In addition to my academic endeavors, I am a research assistant at Cobblestone Applied Research and Evaluation, and an adjunct faculty member at Azusa Pacific University. My interest in STEAM concerns investigating ways to stitch meaningfully these disciplines together such that one discipline is enhanced by theories or perspectives that another discipline has to offer.


Julia Baumgaetner

MBA Art Administration alumnus 

Julia holds a dual M.B.A/M.A. Arts Management from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University and is currently a graduate research assistant in the Department of Economics and Strategy. Her research focuses on the growth of the global creative economy and its capacity to drive innovation through technology, arts, and design. Over the past three years, Julia worked with numerous NGO’s/nonprofits and conducted advanced sector research via analysis of economic redevelopment initiatives, institutional giving trends, capital investment, and grants in the arts and cultural sector. In 2010, she served as president of CGU's Net Impact chapter, organizing campus events on topics spanning sustainability, public-private partnerships, impact investing, and CSR. In addition to her research, Julia provides pro bono business services for nonprofit arts organizations in Los Angeles and Orange County. Julia’s interest in STEAM education is a natural extension of her professional work, supported by the firm belief that societies have the ability to positively affect economic and social conditions through robust investments in science, engineering, the arts, and community development programs. Julia holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley (History of Art and Architecture, Environmental Science) and a certificate from the London School of Economics.

Patricia Burns

MFA student

Patricia Burns is a second year MFA student at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA. She attended Chapman University and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with an emphasis in Sculpture and Drawing in May 2009. While in undergrad Burns did semesters at both New York University, New York and University of Glasgow in Glasgow, Scotland studying art and art history. She has also interned for various artists in Los Angeles, LA furthering her interest in becoming a contemporary practicing artist. Post undergraduate Burns went on to intern at The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC working under the division of The Smithsonian Associates. Burns practice in art primarily focuses on issues of the body and the way in which we navigate our own self image, worth, and the way we investigate space through our body. She primarily works in sculpture and photography as well as collaborating with various artists. She is very interested in promoting arts education and educating people on the importance of art in education.

Mark Dust

PhD Student Community & Global Health

Mark is a combat veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) currently working on a PhD in neurocognitive sciences from the School of Community and Global Health at Claremont Graduate University. He has worked with the Trauma Resource Institute for the past three years adapting and presenting TRI’s Trauma Resiliency and Community Resiliency Models for the veteran and active duty military population. He has appeared on national television with the John Stossel show and featured or quoted in magazine and newspaper articles as a subject matter expert on combat induced PTSD. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Missouri at St. Louis and an Executive MBA from the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.

Daniel Firpo

PhD Information Systems student

I am a PhD student and a research assistant at Claremont Graduate University in the Social Learning Software Lab [SL] 2 at the School of Information Systems and Technology (SISAT). I received my Master’s Degree in Software Engineering from the University of Southern California in 2005, and a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from Cal State University of Los Angeles in 2003.My research interests are online communities, and the role they play in higher education – I am interested in seeing how social networks can be used to enhance the sense of community here at CGU, to facilitate learning and academic networking, and to foster online collaboration. Chief amongst the projects I’ve worked on in [SL]2 is SISATSpace, an online community I had helped develop for the SISAT Department, where SISAT students could share their thoughts and research ideas. Student advocacy and developing a strong sense of community here at CGU has long been an interest of mine (previously, I had served as the Secretary of the Graduate Student Council). Too often, the various schools that make up CGU seem like remote islands. James Blaisdell, the first president of CGU, once said: “The center of a college is in great conversation and out of the talk of the college life springs everything else.” That’s why I’ve always been a strong supporter of Transdisciplinary work in general, and The STEAM Journal in particular: It provides a much-needed forum for students from these different departments to come together to engage in such conversation.

Ireesh Lal

MBA Art Administration alumnus

I am a recording artist with Six Degrees Records and have been playing the trumpet for over 20 years. While receiving my M.A. in Arts Management at Claremont Graduate University, I have been working with the Los Angeles County Arts Commission as an independent contractor producing digital media content for numerous different arts organizations. Furthermore, I work as a Social Media consultant for the LACAC, advising organizations on best practices and strategy regarding online and mobile marketing tactics. In addition to school and working full time, I am in the process of finishing my first solo album that I hope to release after graduation.

Shanna Livermoore

PhD Community & Global Health student

I graduated from Slippery Rock University with a B.S. in Health Science, obtained a Certificate of Advanced Evaluation Studies from Claremont Graduate University (CGU), and am currently pursuing a Masters in Public Health, with an emphasis in global health program evaluation, at CGU as well. I have worked in HIV/AIDS prevention research and evaluation for over 8 years starting at the California Department of Public Health, Office of AIDS. Currently, I serve as a Program Manager at the Center for Health Justice for the Men in Life Environments (MILE) Project, an innovative and culturally congruent intervention designed to reduce HIV risk-related behaviors and improve psychosocial outcomes in recently incarcerated African American men who have sex with men and women (MSMW). My specialties include HIV prevention program evaluation; research with secondary needle exchanges; and mental health. In addition, I am completing an internship with the Riverside Department of Mental Health, Research and Evaluation Section. Previously, I was a consultant for Los Angeles schools on childhood obesity. Additionally, I serve as the Mentoring Committee Co-Chair for the Student Assembly of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the CGU APHA campus liaison. I hold memberships with the American Public Health Association (APHA), APHA Student Assembly, Southern California Public Health Association, and Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), Southern California Chapter of SOPHE, and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. I am a transdisciplinary-focused professional who strives to invoke the Zen Buddhist concept of Shoshi in my life. Shoshi, otherwise known as "beginner's mind" refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.

Kelsey Picken

PhD Cultural Studies student

Kelsey Picken is currently a doctoral student at Claremont Graduate University in the Cultural Studies Department. She received her B.A. in Psychology and History from Grinnell College in 2010 and her M.A. in Museum Studies from Western Illinois University in 2012. Kelsey’s research focuses on comparative representations of Latino/a and Islamic cultures in museums around the globe. She also currently works at the California Science Center as a Discovery Room Facilitator. Outside of the work place and academia, Kelsey serves as a reviewer for the Visitor Studies Association (VSA) journal.

Nuch Pimpaka

PhD Information Systems student

Nuch Pimpaka Prasertsilp is a PhD student in Information Systems and Technology. Her research interests are mobile learning, online collaboration, persuasive technology, knowledge management, and knowledge discovery. She was coauthor of two research publications in DESRIST 2010 and MWAIS 2011. The first paper is “Meta-analysis of Design Science Research within the IS Community: Trends, Patterns, and Outcomes” in DESRIST 2010. Another paper is “Facework, Gender, and Online Discussion” in MWAIS 2011. Recently, she also received grant from Trandisciplinary Studies Program for her reading group in topic “Crisis Management: Transdisciplinary Perspectives” for Spring 2012.

Dominique Ovalle

MFA student

Born in the Bay Area, teen years sweltering in Fresno, college surfed through in Malibu. Master of Fine Arts student and lifelong student of the Master. I love color; color sets me free, free. Light and color, which is all I can get and give. I work really hard and love to create experiences in which someone might be moved by looking at my art. I incorporate a physicality of objects into my work, which stems from an intimate understanding and awareness of my body in space and how it relates to surrounding objects. I travel the world gathering information that serves my practice, and try to give back to this beautiful planet in a meaningful way. Painting for the STEAM journal was a nice, relaxing activity.

Collaboration with others on the same canvas is exhilarating and risky. It’s exciting to know that I am setting the example, and that my artistic contribution to the blank canvas is going to shape someone else’s free expression or thought process. It is a matter of faith to believe that the final contributions of others will improve upon, complete, and compliment my contribution to the canvas. I am excited to see how this project will come together.

Lara Steele

PhD Politics & Economics + Community & Global Health student

Lara Elise Steele is a doctoral student at Claremont Graduate University. She received her BA from Boston College in 2007, and a Masters in International Studies in 2011. She is now working on her doctoral dissertation in the fields of world politics and global health. Lara's research looks at the effects of civil conflict on population health, with an emphasis on women's health, and refugee/IDP health. Besides schoolwork, Lara has worked for four years as the main reviewer of IRB applications in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at Claremont Graduate University.

Gail Taylor

PhD Cultural Studies student

Gail is a digital content producer, writing instructor, academic mentor, and researcher. Her research interests include fashion and technology, post-structuralism, and the Arab Spring and women’s empowerment. Gail is a recipient of fellowships and grants from the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and Claremont Graduate University, where she is pursuing the PhD. in Cultural Studies.


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