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. 

  • Gail McCulloch's picture

    Gail McCulloch

    Gail McCulloch, the Alda Center's Director of Development, is an experienced professional in higher education fundraising; and non-profit and corporate executive management. 

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • Nancee Moes's picture

    Nancee Moes

    Nancee Moes is an Improvisation Instructor for the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science.  She teaches primarily undergraduate science students, pushing them to develop skills in presence, audience connection, and personal investment.  She is also the coordinator for The Flame Challenge 2018, an international competition that 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. 

  • 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.

Alda Center Faculty

  • Lydia Franco-Hodges's picture

    Lydia Franco-Hodges, MFA

    Improvisation Lecturer

    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.

  • Elizabeth Bojsza's picture

    Elizabeth Bojsza, MFA

    Improvisation Lecturer

    As a member of the creative team of Alda center improvisation instructors, Elizabeth is working to innovate and build on the already strong foundational curricula here.  She also teaches graduate and undergraduate classes and leads workshops on campus and around the country for the Alda Center.  She finds the skills of analysis and feedback she honed as a theatre artist directly applicable to facilitating experiential learning for scientists and medical professionals.  She brings her passion for community engagement to this position, and remains a partner of the University’s Center for Prevention and Outreach as the co-teacher for Prevention Through the Arts, an over 20-year-old program that creates original theatre from stories about health risks facing college students.

Alda Center Staff

  • Dina Brennan's picture

    Dina Brennan

    Workshops Coordinator

    As part of the Stony Brook Undergraduate Admissions Office, Dina directed the Accelerated College Education (ACE) Program.  She coordinated the AP Summer Institutes, a College Board teacher training event at Stony Brook and Stony Brook Southampton.  She also coordinated a wide range of Admissions events from personal guidance counselor workshops to the annual campus-wide Open House. Now that she has joined the Alda Center, Dina is excited to bring her event planning experience to the Workshops Office.  

  • Brenda MacArthur's picture

    Brenda MacArthur, PhD

    Post-Doctoral Researcher, Health Communications

    Dr. Brenda MacArthur is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Alda Center. Her research is centered on the intersection of health and instructional communication to improve the quality and continuity of healthcare for patients and improve health outcomes for patients and communities. 

  • Todd Newman's picture

    Todd Newman

    Post-Doctoral Researcher, Climate Change Communications

    Dr. Todd P. Newman is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Alda Center. He holds a PhD in Communication from American University. Todd’s research focuses on the intersection of science, the media, and society. Specifically, he looks at the relationship between individual values and beliefs, information exposure, and opinion formation within the context of contested science and environmental issues, as well as the role of scientists as public communicators. ​

  • Nicole Leavey's picture

    Nicole Leavey, PhD

    Post-Doctoral Researcher, Gender in STEM

    Dr. Nicole J. Leavey is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science.  She holds a Ph.D. in Technology, Policy and Innovation from Stony Brook University, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.  Her research is interdisciplinary and focuses on the intersectionality of STEM, gender roles and social impact.  More specifically, Nicole’s research explores the impact of mentoring on female representation (within STEM disciplines) and program design in higher education environments.

  • Amanda Ng's picture

    Amanda Ng

    Curriculum Design Assistant

    Amanda graduated from Stony Brook University in May 2017 with a BS in Psychology and a minor in English. As an undergraduate, she served as the Editor-In-Chief of Stony Brook Young Investigators Review (SBYIR), the undergraduate research journal, which sparked her interest in science communication. As Editor-In-Chief, Amanda worked closely with the Alda Center Team to publish undergraduate research and bring renowned scientists to campus, such as Dr. Mildred Dresselhaus, Dr. Sylvia Earle, and Dr. Arthur Horwich. As of August 2017, Amanda officially joined the Alda Center team as a Curriculum Design Assistant while working toward her Masters in Public Health.