Dr. Bonnie Bertolaet, Executive Director
Prior to her role as Executive Director, Dr. Bertolaet served on the Board of Science Club for Girls from 2017 and served as its Chair in 2018. In that role, she was the major force behind the current strategic plan, the operational restructuring of SCFG, and a reinvigorated focus on development. Dr. Bertolaet has worked in biotech and with educational organizations in public and private schools in a variety of roles, including working in STEM education and supporting an equity-based educational program focused on raising awareness of physical and intellectual disabilities for children in K-6th grade. Dr. Bertolaet received her B.A. from Amherst College and her Ph.D. from Harvard University and trained as an NIH post-doctoral fellow at the University of California San Diego and The Scripps Research Institute.
Fun fact: "I used to see dolphins swimming and whales spouting on my commute to work."
Nadine Budbill, Grants & Communications Manager
Nadine has worked in girl-serving organizations for over 20 years, from The Girls Project in New York City, to Girls Inc. in Oakland, CA, to Vermont Works for Women, home to Rosie’s Girls (named after Rosie the Riveter), a STEM and trades program for middle schoolers. In 2001, Nadine co-founded a girls’ outdoor education program called Dirt Divas, which empowered thousands of girls through mountain biking (one of her favorite activities) over 18 years. Nadine has a B.A. in Race and Gender Studies from Hampshire College and a M.A. in Education from Prescott College, with a concentration in Girls’ Studies. With two decades of experience in the fields of gender equity, experiential education, positive youth development, fundraising, grant writing, and copywriting, she loves any opportunity that allows her to merge her passion for writing, community-building, and social and economic justice.
Fun fact: "I live with 1 cat, 1 dog, 3 goats, 10 chickens, and 2 amazing humans!"
Neika Christalin, Program Manager
Neika graduated from UMass Amherst in 2021 with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health, with a minor in Psychology. During her years at UMass, Neika was involved in the NAACP chapter, serving as the chair of Youth Engagement and Public Relations. She also served on the Social Justice and Empowerment Committee for Student Government. Prior to joining SCFG, Neika worked as an instructor for the Boston Public Health Committee’s Summer Enrichment Program. Neika says: “I am excited to continue working with youth and making a difference in my community. As a first-generation college student, and having grown up in a lower-income household, I understand the importance of providing opportunities to young women and being mentored by someone with a similar background.” Outside of SCFG, Neika loves to paint, cook, and and go on weekend getaways!
Fun fact: "I recently began my hair loc journey!"
Evelyn Gonzalez, Program Recruitment Manager
Before joining Science Club for Girls, Evelyn worked as the Special Projects & Volunteer Coordinator for the Office of Community at Engagement at Bunker Hill Community College. Originally from Mendota, California, Evelyn graduated from California State University, Fresno with a B.A. in Sociology and Minors in Spanish and Urban Civic Education and will complete her Masters in Education Policy from Boston University this fall. Evelyn has won several awards for her dedication to making a difference in the community—including the Newman's Own Foundation Fellowship, Newman Civic Fellow award through Campus Compact, and the John D. Welty award for completing more than 1,000 hours of service at CSU, Fresno. She is excited to now be dedicated to making a difference in the lives of young girls of Science Club for Girls, who need to see the change in STEM. As a first-generation Latina, Evelyn understands what it means to be mentored by someone with a similar background.
Fun fact: "I can dance all genres of music quite well but dance awful when being choreographed."
Birkley Lim, WFB Programs Intern
Birkley is the Science Club for Girls WFB Program Intern, a position funded by the Women’s Foundation of Boston for the 2021 calendar year. Beginning this fall, she is a second-semester SCFG Mentor and a senior at Amherst College pursuing a B.A. in Biochemistry and Art History. Birkley is currently working on her Biochemistry thesis investigating vital components of the Notch cellular communication pathway via genetic modification. As Co-President of Amherst’s Association for Women in Science, Birkley dedicates her time to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for STEM students on-campus and is excited to work further on this goal of demystifying and diversifying STEM through closer involvement in SCFG. Outside of science, Birkley enjoys acrylic painting and exploring art museums.
Fun fact: “Being born and raised in SoCal, the first time I saw snow was in freshman year of college!”
Anicia Miller, WFB Communications and Outreach Intern
Anicia is the Science Club for Girls WFB Communications and Outreach Intern, a position funded by the Women’s Foundation of Boston for the 2021 calendar year. She is currently a first-year at Harvard University pursuing a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a Language Citation in American Sign Language, and is a second-semester Mentor this spring. Anicia is passionate about combating inequalities in education. Her ultimate philanthropic goal is to provide widespread access to science and technology for underrepresented populations. When she isn’t researching ways to innovate prosthetic devices or mentoring students, she is most likely tapping into her creative side. Anicia loves writing poetry that details her perspective on society as a young black woman. She is in the process of writing and publishing a poetry memoir, which she hopes will inspire young women to be bold, outspoken, and ambitious.
Fun fact: "I have a very rambunctious pet mouse named Harvey Reese."
Francesca Sotomayor, Program Manager
Francesca is our Program Manager for SCFG. Originally from New Jersey, Francesca moved to Boston to attend Boston University and graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. During their years at BU, she worked with the Community Service Center to work on volunteer programming focused on youth development. She also previously worked as an Assistant Teacher with youth who needed behavioral and emotional support in the classroom. When they are not working on SCFG, Francesca also volunteers with LGBTQ+ youth to foster connections amongst peers and provide educational resources usually not available in mainstream classrooms. They hope to create an environment for all youth to feel empowered in who they are and feel confident in themselves to work towards their goals, especially in STEM!
Fun Fact: "One time, I performed a competition dance for Beyoncé’s choreographer!"
Ellen Sturgis, Finance Director
Ellen has over 30 years of nonprofit experience in finance and operations for small to medium sized organizations in a variety of sectors. She is a principal of Night Heron Consulting which offers interim CEO & CFO services as well as expertise in redesigning financial and operational systems. Ellen, a lifelong resident of Massachusetts, has an MBA in Finance from Boston College, and serves as a Trustee of Hampshire College (B.A. History/Political Science), a Corporator for Middlesex Savings Bank, and is on the Leadership Council for MassCreative.
Fun fact: "With the exception of a one year leave in college, I have lived in Massachusetts my whole life."
Lucy Sweeney, Director of Development
Lucy joined Science Club for Girls as the Director of Development in January 2020. With over a decade of experience in Boston's non-profit sector, Lucy brings expertise in individual fundraising and events. Previously, Lucy worked at The Food Project in a variety of roles, including Associate and Interim Director of Development, and at Brigham and Women's Hospital as the Project & Events Manager for the Department of Medicine. She received a B.A. in Spanish and Studio Art from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Lucy is passionate about youth development and equity, and is a lifelong student of science.
Fun fact: "My favorite meals are my mom’s homemade pesto and my grandmother’s meatballs."
Cristina Ullmann, Program Director
Cristina has worked for both environmental non profits and science education organizations and is passionate about getting young girls interested in STEM. As the Program Director, Cristina is responsible for coordinating the clubs and managing the 35+ volunteers who teach our curriculum to the girls. Cristina has an M.S. in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Fun fact: "I do a lot of odd things in my current position at SCFG like buying beef hearts at the butcher shop for dissection or experimenting with bubble recipes, but my previous strange jobs have included: parking cars, simultaneous translator, and selling composting toilets."
Hannah Buchsbaum (Weinstock), Program Manager
Hannah manages our program expansion to Boston and Somerville.
She has worked as a middle school STEM educator in Chelsea, MA where she created and taught classes in Computer Science, Technology and Engineering, 8th grade Physical Science, 5th grade General Science, and 6th grade Earth Science. Hannah received her B.A. in Psychology from Columbia University where she worked in a Social Psychology laboratory focused on identifying and mitigating stereotype threats among students of color.
Fun fact: "I have a big fear of oranges (although clementines are fine)."
Leadership and Staff
Board of Directors
Tracy has held executive positions with Johnson and Johnson, Covidien, GE, Philips, Hologic, and Medtronic. She is presently on the board of Maxim Integrated (MXIM), volunteers at the Pine Street Inn for people experiencing homelessness in Boston and has served on the board of Newton Wellesley Hospital (Partners Healthcare). Tracy earned her dual BS in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie-Mellon University and a MS in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Abe is proud to join SCFG as Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair and brings expertise in investments, finance, project management, and operations. A first-generation college graduate, Abe is passionate about increasing access to STEM education and opportunities for underrepresented communities. At John Hancock Financial, Abe co-founded an Impact Investment startup COIN which helped investors align with their values in areas such as Gender Equality and Diversity. Abe received a BA in Economics from Harvard College and a Master’s Degree in Management from Harvard Extension.
President & Board Chair
Alejandra is SVP & Chief Legal Officer at Mersana Therapeutics, Inc., a public biotech company focused on discovering and developing life-changing antibody-drug-conjugates for patients fighting cancer. Before Mersana, Alejandra was Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel & Secretary for Momenta Pharmaceuticals, where she was a member of executive management, led the company's legal operations, and advised the Board of Directors on key strategic matters. Prior to Momenta, she was Vice President & General Counsel of Cerulean Pharma Inc. and before that, she worked at Millennium the Takeda Oncology Company in several positions of increasing seniority. Alejandra received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and her A.B. from Harvard University and is a member of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Bar.
Gretchen is passionate about energizing students to explore the awesome potential of the STEM/STEAM disciplines to transform their lives. She was senior leader at Engineering is Elementary at the Museum of Science and a K-12 educator. Gretchen was Associate Dean, College of Engineering, Boston University and founded three STEM educational programs, annually training and deploying 60 engineers to 3,400 secondary students nationwide. Prior experience includes roles at Duracell, Motorola and Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. She received a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from Northwestern University.
Chayla is a Director in Global Regulatory Affairs at Vertex Pharmaceuticals with over 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry. As a STEM professional, she is often the only woman of color in the room. Her commitment to engage and encourage young women to pursue STEM careers and increase representation in this space is what brings her to Science Club for Girls. Chayla is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and has served on the Board of Directors for The Boston Pearl Foundation and Junior League of Boston. Chayla is a chemist by training and holds a B.S from Southern University, a historically black college/ university (HBCU) in her hometown, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; an M.S. from Louisiana State University; and a J.D. from New England Law| Boston. Chayla enjoys musical theater, travel, great food and has recently taken up mixology.
Kate first became involved in Science Club for Girls in 2017 when she ran the Boston Marathon and raised over $1,000 for the organization. She then began mentoring at the King Open school in Cambridge and joined the Development Committee. Kate's career is in the environmental sector, where she works as a Project Geologist at Roux Associates to consult in environmental risk management. Ms. Hardock received a B.A. cum laude in Geology and Geography from Colgate University.
Camille A. Martin Ph.D. is the Co-Founder and CEO of Seaspire Skincare. Seaspire is a
technology-based beauty company that develops innovative products using ingredients inspired by nature to make the world healthier, safer, and more sustainable. Her research journey began as an enthusiastic college freshman at Andrews University, fascinated with cosmetic chemistry and fueled by her desire to blend the worlds of beauty and science. After completing her undergraduate studies, Camille went on to continue her education at Northeastern University where she pursued a doctoral degree in Analytical Chemistry and Biomaterials Science. Her research focused on structural and adaptive color in nature as a source of inspiration for designing bio-inspired materials that can be applied to the next-generation of innovative skincare products. Her research efforts resulted in 2 PCT applications and 3 peer-reviewed publications.
In September 2017, Camille participated in the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps) Site Program at Northeastern University, which resulted in the formation of Seaspire! The core technology of the company is based on a class of biological pigments, Xanthochromeâ a transformative skincare ingredient that can absorb UV light AND mitigate cellular damage induced by environmental triggers.
Throughout her years in graduate school, Camille was engaged with the entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout the Greater Boston Area, partnering with the business and law schools at Northeastern University as well as the IDEA venture accelerator and most recently The Engine, a venture fund built by MIT. Camille’s dedication to entrepreneurship was recognized by the Northeastern University resulting in her induction into the Huntington 100, one of the university’s most prestigious student awards.
Karen is Senior Director of Clinical Biomarker Sciences at Pfizer where she has worked for over 25 years. Her parallel volunteer career demonstrates a passion for programs that promote the positive development of women and girls. Karen has served as President and Chairman of the Board for both the Massachusetts Chapter of the Association for Women in Science (2012-13) and the Junior League of Boston (2017-18). She is the recipient of JL Boston’s 2005 Active Volunteer Award, the 2006 Outstanding Manager Award, and the 2015 Sarah Lawrence Award for community service beyond the Junior League. Karen earned her PhD in Pharmacology at Boston University School of Medicine.
Karen Whitney is President of The Sonder Group and builds teams for life science companies developing breakthrough technologies such as Next Generation Sequencing and Synthetic Biology. Previously, she was VP, Business Development at the NewcoGen Group a Flagship Pioneering Fund and was part of the founding business development team at Celera Genomics, the first company to sequence the human genome. For over a decade, she held commercial leadership roles at PE Applied Biosystems (Now Thermo) and Pharmacia (Danaher). She earned a BA in Biology from Colby College.