Dr. Bonnie Bertolaet, Executive Director (she/her)
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."
Kelley Borer-Miller, Director of Development (she/her)
Kelley (she/her) found her calling as a fundraiser while participating in a multi-day fundraising walk in high school with her mom. Over the last twenty years, she's gained meaningful experience as a fundraiser, relationship-builder, strategic leader, and communicator. In 2020, Kelley became a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), which required demonstrated success in fundraising, as well as passing a rigorous exam. Prior to joining Science Club for Girls, Kelley spent nearly eight years as the Director of Development of Crossroads Continuum. She led the founding of Crossroads Continuum's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee to operationalize anti-racism and equity. Prior to Crossroads Continuum, she served as the Senior Director of Field Development at Autism Speaks. Her consistent leadership resulted in many successes, including more than $5.5 million in revenue. She has enjoyed being a Girl Scout Troop Leader since 2018 and spent nearly ten years as a Big Sister.
Fun Fact: "As the result of a successful volunteer fundraising challenge, I once dyed my hair pink and jumped out of a plane! I’ve since repeated the pink hair, but not skydiving (though it was a totally awesome experience)."
Kaelyn Brown, Curriculum & Evaluation Manager (she/her)
Kaelyn has been involved with Science Club for Girls since she was only six years old! As she graduated through SCFG's elementary and middle school clubs, Kaelyn's love for science continued to burgeon and in high school she became a Junior Mentor to give back to the organization that gave her so much as a young girl. During her undergrad years, Kaelyn served as both a Mentor and the Co-Director of the Harvard Chapter of SCFG, recruiting Mentors from the Harvard community. In May 2021, Kaelyn graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Neuroscience and then, in 2022, completed her Master’s Degree in Clinical Neuroscience at Oxford University. When not at work or school, Kaelyn enjoys spending time with her siblings, walking her dog, and watching true crime documentaries.
Fun fact: "My dog Buster is named after the character on the TV show Arthur!"
Hannah Buchsbaum, Sr. Program Manager (she/her)
Hannah is a content creator and producer for SCFG's online/TV show, SCFGLive! and helps manage our many programs. Prior to joining SCFG, she worked as a middle school STEM educator in Chelsea, MA where she created and taught classes in Computer Science, Technology/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. She is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Social Work from Boston College.
Fun fact: "I have a big fear of oranges (although clementines are fine)."
Nadine Budbill, Grants & Communications Manager (she/her)
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, 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!"
Martine François, Deputy Director (she/her)
Martine has over 10 years of experience in youth development in various settings. Prior to joining SCFG, Martine worked for the TRIO Student Support Services program at Salem State University, first as the Science Coordinator and later as their Director. During her time at SSU, Martine implemented new and innovative programming that has enhanced college access for first-generation, low-income students. Martine also volunteered for Girls Incorporated of Lynn, MA specifically for their middle school after-school and summer programs, where she created programs that focused on STEM and social justice. While at Girls Inc., she also served as a middle school and college mentor and as a member of their Board of Directors. Martine is passionate about efforts that lead to the betterment of underrepresented and marginalized individuals. Martine received a B.S. in Chemistry from Salem State College and an M.Ed in Higher Education in Student Affairs from Salem State University.
Fun Fact: “I have kayaked in Antarctica and I have been chased by llamas at Machu Picchu.”
Katie LaBarge, Program Manager (she/her)
Before joining SCFG, Katie worked for five years as a high school environmental science teacher in Chelsea, MA, where she developed an inquiry-based curriculum rooted in topics and issues relevant to students’ lived experiences. She is passionate about providing engaging, hands-on STEM programming that allows students to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy (as Miss Frizzle would say), and about fostering confidence and enthusiasm for STEM in the next generation of leaders. Katie received a B.A. in Biological Sciences from Wellesley College.
Fun fact: “I was a contestant on Jeopardy!, in the 2020 Teachers Tournament!”
Anicia Miller, Communications Intern (she/her)
Anicia is Science Club for Girls' Communications Intern. She is currently a first-year at Harvard University pursuing a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a Language Citation in American Sign Language. 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."
Michelle Mini, Finance Manager (she/her)
Michelle joined SCFG in 2020 and brings nearly 30 years of experience in finance and
accounting to her role as Finance Manager. In addition to her work for SCFG she founded MM Nonprofit Finance LLC with a goal of providing nonprofit leaders with the data and information needed to focus on their missions. Prior to joining SCFG, she was Senior Financial Analyst for Greater Boston Urology and has worked as a bookkeeper for multiple small companies and start-ups. Michelle has a BA in Economics and Finance from Simmons University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. When she isn’t crunching data, she enjoys hiking, gardening, cooking and spending time with her family.
Fun Fact: Michelle is also a certified yoga instructor.
Yumna Samie, SCFGLive! Intern (she/her)
Yumna is a graduate student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, studying Learning, Media, and Technology with a particular interest in educational video. She has worked for SAGE Publishing and Crash Course: Study Hall, and she hopes to expand her work in this field with SCFGLive!. Outside of work, she loves running, reading and learning new skills. She's recently learned how to sew and has loved being able to design and create custom clothing!
Fun Fact: I love running long distance races and have run 5 half-marathons! I once ran a 10k in South Africa, and it's my goal to run a marathon on each of the continents.
Francesca Sotomayor, Program Manager (she/they)
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!"
Nimisha Thakkar, Program Manager (she/her)
Nimisha has a B.S. in Information Technology from UMass Boston. Nimisha’s passion for STEM has been a constant ever since she represented women in STEM by being the only girl in many of her STEM classes. Thus, her goal has always been to encourage and inspire other young girls to believe in and pursue their passions, despite what anyone tells them. During college, Nimisha served as a Program Intern at SCFG where she appeared on SCFGLive!, mentored students in virtual Science Clubs, and helped develop SCFG's April Vacation Week Coding Club. After graduation, Nimisha’s professional and personal goals and values led her back to SCFG. She could not be more thrilled to be a part of such a mission-driven team with equal dedication to expanding the face of STEM! As a Program Manager, she promises to provide participants with a safe and exciting space to explore their interests and peak their curiosities through SCFG’s various programs!
Fun Fact: “I was a backup dancer for numerous Indian actors/actresses during a Bollywood Dance tour!”
Cristina Ullmann, Sr. Program Director (she/her)
Cristina has worked for both environmental non profits and science education organizations and is passionate about getting young girls and gender-expansive youth interested in STEM. As the Program Director, Cristina is responsible for coordinating SCFG's programs and managing the 120+ volunteers who teach our curriculum to participants. 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."
Sarah Weiner, Program Manager (she/her)
Sarah has been a science ambassador all around the Boston area for nearly a decade. She grew up stargazing and storytelling in the Rocky Mountains before moving to New England to pursue dual BAs in Astronomy and Physics at Boston University. After graduating in 2014, Sarah ran after-school STEM programming for pre-K through sixth-grade students at the Advent School for two years, and she spent six years as a presenter and educator at the Museum of Science, where she got to engage in topics ranging from lightning to breaking headlines to live animals. Sarah is forever curious about the real human stories behind everything we achieve, especially those of POC and LGBTQ+ scientists whose accomplishments are often overlooked. She looks forward to making STEM topics fun, relevant, and accessible to every member of our community.
Fun fact: Sarah loves untangling knots, so please bring her your snarled model-rocket parachutes or three-strand necklaces.
Leadership and Staff
Board of Directors
Abe brings expertise in investments, finance, project management, and operations to Science Club for Girls. 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.
Stephanie is an Assistant General Counsel in Litigation at Fresenius Medical Care North America, the world’s largest fully integrated renal healthcare company, and serves on the Legal Department’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Pro Bono Committees. Before FMCNA, she was a Senior Associate with the law firm Goodwin Procter LLP, representing clients from the technology, software, pharmaceutical, and financial industries in litigations and government investigations. Throughout her career, Stephanie has engaged with the community through her volunteer and pro bono work. Stephanie received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, a Master of Laws in Intellectual Property & Information Law from King’s College London, and a B.S. in Biology from Boston College.
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.
Jessica Ho is a Trust Solutions Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and focuses on serving life sciences companies as they manage through accounting, business, and operational challenges. She started her career with PwC in Boston and spent time in New York and London. Jessica’s client experiences include working with large, multinational public biotechnology, medical device, and pharmaceutical companies. She is passionate about advancing women in STEM and underrepresented communities. Jessica graduated from Providence College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in Massachusetts and New York and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Donna is a global marketing leader with more than 20 years in the medical device industry. She is currently Director of Global Marketing at Haemonetics where she leads a global marketing team focused on driving growth of a novel technology platform. Over the course of her career, Donna has held positions of increasing responsibility across marketing and product management as well as in research and development. She has experience creating market entry strategies for expansion into complementary market segments, managing a portfolio lifecycle, and building sustainable relationships with KOLs to support assessment of adjacent markets. Prior to joining Haemonetics in 2019, Donna held global marketing leadership roles at PAREXEL, Smith & Nephew and Covidien (now Medtronic). Throughout her career she has committed to mentoring colleagues both inside and outside of these organizations. She’s an active volunteer for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and currently serving as HBA New England Regional Chair.
Donna earned an MBA in Marketing from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan.
Ruby Opara Collings is Vice President, Global Internal Audit (CAE) at Haemonetics, responsible for the strategic vision and transformation of the function; she also leads Enterprise Risk Management for the company. Prior to HAE, she held multiple global positions in the 12+ years at Covidien (Medtronic), with extensive experience in audit, accounting, and controls. Ruby is a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Ambassador, and fuels her passion via positive influence, advocacy, effective leadership, and dynamic engagement. She has been involved in numerous women’s leadership initiatives and global inclusion networks, and is currently an Advisory Board member for the Women’s Network of Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Ruby is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), and holds an MBA from University of Louisiana, Lafayette as well as a BSc. in Accounting from the University of Nigeria.
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.
Since earning her PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Brown University, Jennifer has been involved in the founding, launch, and successful exit of numerous startups in the life science industry for over 20 years. She has also spent time with the acquiring corporations, leading integration processes while building marketing teams and commercial strategies for success. She recently launched Operation-All, a company that supports early stage companies. Jennifer enjoys spending time with her daughter, husband, and pets. Her volunteer engagements currently include: member of the Board of Trustees of the USS Constitution Museum, member of the Board of Directors of Charlestown Youth Hockey, and serving as a mentor for several organizations.
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.
Kaitlyn was drawn to SCFG because of her strong personal connection to the experiences of SCFG's participants. As a first-generation, low-income student from East Cambridge, Kaitlyn’s potential as a scientist was discovered and nurtured by mentors in free, hands-on molecular biology programs offered by local outreach organizations and the Biogen Community Lab. Today, Kaitlyn is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Genetics department at Harvard Medical School, where she focuses on reproductive biology through the lens of development and evolution. She received a PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Organismal Biology from UMass Boston, and a BA in Biology from Smith College. She has been involved with SCFG as a mentor and member of the Development committee since 2021, and seeks to provide her community with the same opportunities and mentorship that opened her pathway to STEM.