Our Team

  • Alan Alda's picture

    Alan Alda

    Alan Alda, seven-time Emmy Award–winner, and Academy Award nominee, has acted in, written or directed many films and television programs, including M*A*S*H and the West Wing. He became interested in communication when a life-long interest in science led to his hosting Scientific American Frontiers for 11 years on PBS. On that show he helped hundreds of scientists around the world make their research clear to the public.

  • Laura Lindenfeld's picture

    Laura Lindenfeld, PhD

    Dr. Laura Lindenfeld is director of the Alda Center and professor in the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University. She holds a Ph.D. in cultural studies from the University of California, Davis. As a communication researcher, her work draws inspiration from the idea that we can make better, more informed decisions about how we shape our collective future. 

  • Valeri Lantz-Gefroh's picture

    Valeri Lantz-Gefroh, MFA

    Val is an Associate Professor of Practice at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. She teaches workshops and graduate courses at Stony Brook University and travels around the country teaching improvisation at other universities, medical schools, hospitals, conferences and labs. 

  • Christine O'Connell's picture

    Christine O'Connell, PhD

    Dr. Christine O’Connell is an Assistant Professor of Science Communication at the Alda Center and School of Journalism where she works on improving STEM communication to the public and engagement with the community. Christine was the Alda Center’s founding Associate Director where she worked to build the Center and its curriculum to international renown.

  • Graham Chedd's picture

    Graham Chedd

    Graham Chedd is a Visiting Professor at the Alda Center. He was a member of the team that founded NOVA in the early 1970s, and was that series’ first science editor and later producer. He co-founded the Chedd-Angier Production Company, where he produced over 100 hours of science television for PBS, including 11 seasons of Scientific American Frontiers and the miniseries The Human Spark and Brains on Trial, all hosted by Alan Alda.

  • Christina Anselmo's picture

    Christina Anselmo, MA

    Christina Kenny Anselmo became involved in the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science in 2012 when she coordinated the first Flame Challenge contest.  She became a full-time associate in 2014 and is responsible for the Center’s financial management and event planning.

  • Kate Fullam's picture

    Kate Fullam, MNA

    As Communications Manager for the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, Kate Fullam is responsible for developing online instructional and community-building activities for the Alda-Kavli Learning Center, an interactive website that will engage scientists and health professionals, serve a growing network of affiliated programs around the country and create a clearinghouse for best practices in science communication.

  • Lorien Reese Mahay's picture

    Lorien Reese Mahay, MFA

    As Workshops Supervisor for the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, Lorien Reese Mahay is responsible for booking and facilitating the Alda Center’s workshops and presentations at universities, labs, and other institutions around the globe. 

  • radha's picture

    Radha Ganesan

    Radha Ganesan has been working in the areas of Education and Training for the past 13 years. She comes with extensive experience in designing and delivering professional development learning experiences for a wide range of sectors.

  • Brooke Banfi's picture

    Brooke Banfi

    Brooke Banfi joined the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science in 2016 as an Administrative Assistant. Her role includes performing administrative and office support activities for the Alda Center, calendar management, making travel and meeting arrangements, and event planning.

  • Chris Bill's picture

    Chris Bill

    Chris Bill is a Communications Assistant who lends his creative perspective and organizational skills in the planning, implementation, and marketing of Alda Center outreach and online training events. He also curates content for the Alda Center's social media accounts. By training, Chris is a DMA candidate in Jazz Studies and Performance at Stony Brook University. He brings a unique perspective to the Alda Center, blending performance art and science communication.

  • Rachael Coccia's picture

    Rachael Coccia

    Rachael Coccia is excited to be part of the Alda Center's team as coordinator for The Flame Challenge 2017. This international competition challenges scientists to explain a scientific question (e.g., "What is a flame?") to 11-year-olds around the world in accurate, entertaining, and interactive ways. Her responsibilities include promoting the challenge to schools and scientists, compiling contest entries, organizing results, engaging the participants, and coordinating involvement in the Worldwide Assembly and World Science Festival. 

  • LizBass's picture

    Elizabeth Bass, MPH

    Elizabeth Bass, MPH, is the director emerita of the Alda Center. Starting from its earliest days in 2009, she led development of the Center’s workshops, courses, outreach activities and affiliation network.  These activities have reached more than 500 science graduate students at Stony Brook and hundreds of scientists at other institutions around the country.

  • Ljohnson's picture

    Louisa Johnson, MFA

    Louisa Johnson grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and attended LaGuardia Arts High School with a concentration in Theater Arts. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University in Theater Arts and Philosophy, and her Masters degree from NYU Tisch in Acting. Louisa now teaches Improvisation for Scientists to graduate students and works with scientists nationwide for the Alda Center. 

  • Nancee Moes's picture

    Nancee Moes

    Nancee Moes is an teacher, director, and actor working on Long Island.  She is passionate about embodied performance in all its forms, and in the power of connection and storytelling to enable young people to find their authentic voice. This passion not only drives her work in theatre, but also her work at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science where she teaches under/graduate scientists. 

Alda Center Faculty

  • Lydia Franco-Hodges's picture

    Lydia Franco-Hodges, MFA

    Improvisation Instructor

    Lydia Franco-Hodges, MFA, works with scientists throughout the country enhancing their communication skills through improvisation and theater techniques. Lydia is an associate of the Alan Alda Center, a lecturer in the School of Journalism, and an actor and theater-maker. She teaches graduate courses for the Alda Center at Stony Brook University. Lydia has taught acting, movement and performance at the university for many years and applauds the work created by her students.

Alda Center Instructors

  • Elizabeth Bojsza's picture

    Elizabeth Bojsza


    Elizabeth Bojsza is a community-based dramaturg and director hailing from Long Island, where she is a member of the faculty in Stony Brook University’s Department of Theatre Arts.  She frequently works with ensembles to create work that has a strong connection to the past and/or antecedent material.  As the Graduate Teaching Mentor of the Department of Theatre Arts, Ms. Bojsza mentors and supervises graduate students in their teaching practice. She also teaches play analysis, Western Theater History, American Theatre, public speaking, and Prevention Through the Arts—an over 20-year-old community performance partnership with the University’s Center for Prevention and Outreach.  Recent projects include a major revision to her introduction to theatre textbook, developing curricula for a special topics course in “acts of race and justice”, and being a mom.  Elizabeth is happily married to a physicist.

  • Dcalvitto's picture

    David Calvitto


    David Calvitto is an improvisation instructor for the Alda Center Workshops on the Road. He is primarily an actor and theater director.

  • RFirstman's picture

    Richard Firstman


    Rick Firstman is a journalist, author and adjunct professor who teaches in the Stony Brook University graduate program in science journalism. He also teaches the Communicating Science: Introduction to News Media Concepts and Institutions class for the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. In addition, he leads workshops in Distilling Your Message for the Alda Center.

  • Carolyn Hall's picture

    Carolyn Hall

    Workshop Instructor

    Carolyn Hall, based in New York City, is a marine ecologist and a professional contemporary dancer. She earned her M.S. in Marine Science from the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University, NY, and works as an independent researcher and consultant on various projects.

  • RKhamsi's picture

    Roxanne Khamsi


    Roxanne Khamsi is a science journalist and editor who teaches the Distilling Your Message course for the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. Her writing has appeared in publications such as The Economist, Popular Science, Scientific American, Slate and The New York Times Magazine.

  • Holly Kerby's picture

    Holly Kerby


    Holly Walter Kerby is the founder and Executive Director of Fusion Science Theater (FST), a cross-disciplinary organization that uses the elements of story to create methods and forms that communicate and teach science to public audiences. 

  • klucenko's picture

    Kristina Lucenko, PhD


    Kristina Lucenko, PhD, is Director of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at Stony Brook University. She regularly teaches Communicating Science: Writing to be Understood, the graduate-level writing course for the Alda Center, and Graduate-Level Writing Across the Disciplines for the Program in Writing and Rhetoric.

  • SMarsh's picture

    Steve Marsh, MFA

    Improvisation Instructor

    Steve Marsh is an actor and dramaturg who teaches both subjects at Stony Brook University’s department of Theatre Arts. He received a BFA in Acting at NYU in 1981 and an MFA at the State University of New York in Dramaturgy in 1999. He helped co-founded the Asylum Theatre Company, an Equity company on Long Island, and teaches various theatre arts disciplines at Stony Brook University. 

  • DMayo's picture

    Deborah Mayo, MFA

    Improvisation Instructor

    Deborah Mayo, MFA, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre Arts at Stony Brook University. She has taught all levels of acting, voice, improvisation and public speaking. She has directed a dozen main stage plays and more than 10 original productions of Performance Workshop, the department’s educational outreach program. 

  • Rory O'Connor's picture

    Rory O'Connor


    Rory O’Connor is an Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science workshop instructor. He’s also an award-winning author, journalist and filmmaker whose programming has aired in more than one hundred countries on networks including ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and FOX in the U.S., and BBC, RAI, NHK, National Geographic and other international outlets.

  • Sreiner's picture

    Steven Reiner

    Workshop Instructor

    Steven Reiner, an associate professor of broadcast journalism at Stony Brook University, spent two decades as a senior producer, producer and director at CBS News, covering many of the major news events of the last two decades. Working with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, he has led workshops in Distilling Your Message and Dealing with the Media for scientists, health professionals and science students.

  • Jtimmer's picture

    John Timmer, PhD


    John is the science editor of Ars Technica, a leading online publication in science and technology news and innovation. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. He has done over a decade’s worth of research in genetics and developmental biology at places like Cornell Medical College and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. 

  • Terry Greiss's picture

    Terry Greiss

    Improvisation Instuctor, Actor

    Terry is a co-founder of Brooklyn’s Irondale Ensemble Project where he is also an actor and the Executive Director. He has performed in more than 60 roles with the company, and is a creator of most of Irondale’s original plays and education programs. Away from Irondale he has performed at the Manhattan Theatre Club and the Cincinnati Playhouse, in Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation of Three Sisters, directed by John Doyle.

  • Celia Schaefer's picture

    Celia Schaefer

    Improvisation Instructor

    Celia Schaefer is an Alda Center Improvisation Instructor. She is also a New York-based actor, working on stage and in film and television, and a teacher at the independent professional actor training center, the McCaskill Studio.