Careers Outside the AcademyBiography: David Sarno is the founder of Lighthaus Inc, a San Francisco-based digital storytelling company. A technology journalist at the Los Angeles Times for 8 years, David started Lighthaus in 2013 to use videogame-based technology to tell stories in media, healthcare and education. Lighthaus has worked with the Stanford Children’s Hospital, Whole Foods Market, the Dallas Morning News, the BBC and others to create interactive stories that make complex subjects engaging and accessible. David was a John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University in 2013. He has a degree in computer science from Yale University, and a degree in fiction writing from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Communication Workshop:

David McGrawBiography: David is the Head of the graduate program in Stage Management and Head of Performing Arts Entrepreneurship at the University of Iowa. He holds teaching positions in both the Division of Performing Arts and the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. A proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, David has also stage managed for the Arizona Repertory Theatre, Capital Repertory Theatre, Geva Theatre Center, Oldcastle Theatre, Perishable Theatre, StageWorks on the Hudson, Vilar Center for the Arts, White River Theatre Festival, and the Yale Repertory Theatre.

AmyRth McGrawBiography: AmyRuth is an adjunct teaching Drama in the Classroom. She is also on the faculty of the American Sign Language program at the University of Iowa. She spent 4 years as the Associate Director of Education for Geva Theatre in Rochester, NY. AmyRuth has performed and interpreted for SignRise Theatre in Maryland and for Sunshine, Too, an outreach project of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. She has worked as a professional interpreter for community agencies and universities in Phoenix, Tucson, Rochester, NY, and the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

Guest Panelists

Gabriel Baker Gabe Baker
Ph.D. History, University of Iowa
Gabriel Baker will be a Teacher (starting in the fall of 2016) at The Nueva School in Hillsborough, California. His research interests include war and violence in the ancient world and military interactions between different ancient Mediterranean cultures. Gabriel is also interested in the ways that classical history, and the broader historical experience of war, can inform contemporary debates about a range of issues—from U.S. military interventions to the militia movement
Expertise:K-12 Education
Employer: The Nueva School
Amy Chen Amy Chen
Ph.D. English, Emory University
Amy Hildreth Chen coordinates the instruction program for Special Collections at the University of Iowa, is a contributing editor at Archive Journal, and continues to pursue research opportunities in the archives field. Previously, she was a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Alabama, where she managed the instruction, outreach, and exhibitions program for the Division of Special Collections. Chen’s role in special collections is rooted in her five years of experience at Emory’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library where she worked in curation, exhibition, and arrangement and description.
Expertise: Archival Education, Digital Scholarship
Employer: University of Iowa

Catherine Cocks Catherine Cocks
Ph.D. History
Catherine Cocks is editorial director at the University of Iowa Press. She trained to be a cultural historian and earned a doctorate in history, but didn’t want to be a teacher. Through various sideways, she began work in the field of publishing. Before coming to Iowa, she had been the co-director of a small scholarly press in New Mexico. Cocks’ work at the UI Press requires that she keep up with the scholarship in several fields, a task she was well-trained to tackle as a cultural historian.

Expertise: Publishing
Employer: University of Iowa Press

Michael DahlstromCareers Outside the Academy
Ph.D., Journalism and Mass Communications and Environmental Resources
Michael Dahlstrom is an Associate Professor at Iowa State University’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. His current research focuses on exploring the use of narratives and storytelling to communicate science and ethical considerations of communicating science, as well as communicating beyond human scale and reaching underrepresented woman landowners with conservation communication.Expertise: Science Communication
Employer: Iowa State University

Steven Davis
M.S. Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Iowa
Steven G. Davis is the President of Bio::Neos, a company dedicated to providing software applications to advance clients’ genetics and bioinformatics research. Steven is the winner of the 2004 Hubert E. Storer Engineering Student Entrepreneurial Start-up Awards (University of Iowa) and has been working on bioinformatics and computational biology projects since 2000. He is a leader in the field of software development for bioinformatics applications, and has studied areas of Artificial Intelligence, Image Processing, and Multi-Agent Systems.
Expertise: Entrepreneurship
Employer: Bio::Neos
Mike Demand Mike Demand
Ph.D. Medical Sociology, University of Alabama at Birmingham
As Vice President of Health & Care Management at Wellmark, Mike has experience leading care management, health care analytics and program management teams. Prior to joining Wellmark, he served as Vice President, Care Management for Bravo Health, and on the leadership team of Pfizer Health Solutions and Veridign Health Solutions. He also served as a director in the Health Services division at Independence Blue Cross. As a graduate student, Mike believed that what he was learning could be applied in a business setting and that many organizations would be willing to employ him.
Expertise: Leadership & Healthcare Management
Employer: Wellmark
Matthew Drabek Matthew Drabek
Ph.D. Philosophy, University of Iowa
Matt is a Content Specialist at ACT and specializes in designing assessments and doing research on assessment constructs in postsecondary education and the workforce. He’s particularly interested in the role played by critical thinking and related cross-cutting capabilities as important markers for college and career readiness, and their importance throughout a person’s life. His first book, Classify and Label: The Unintended Marginalization of Social Groups, a study of how people are affected by classification, was published by Lexington Books in 2014.
Expertise: Content Development
Employer: ACT
Paul Dymerski Paul Dymerski
Ph.D. Chemistry, Case Western Reserve University
Dr. Dymerski joined the University of Iowa in 2011 focusing on IP discovery and new venture creation. This program guides university faculty and staff inventors through the commercialization, licensing, and new venture process. The program vetted and initiated 30 new ventures based on university IP in its first 3 years. Before coming to Iowa, Dr. Dymerski was a career entrepreneur, founding 10+ high tech ventures in diverse areas from environmental and pharmaceutical testing, to bioinformatics and protein research.
Expertise: Commercialization, Licensing, and New Ventures
Employer: University of Iowa
Jaimee Eckers Jaimee Eckers
Ph.D. Free Radical and Radiation Biology
Jaimee Eckers is a Forensic DNA Analyst at the State Crime Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin. Her job involves examining evidence from crimes scenes for the presence of biological material and attempting to obtain a Short Tandem Repeat (STR) DNA profile. She also has to perform statistical analysis on DNA testing results, write reports, and testify in a court of law. In this position she is able to combine her love for science and laboratory work with her desire to serve the public.Expertise: Forensic Science
Employer: Wisconsin Crime Laboratory

Deirdre Egan Deirdre Egan
Deirdre Egan is the Assistant Director of the University of Iowa Writing Center. Her job includes managing the day to day operations of the Writing Center, developing programs, training staff, and working one-on-one with students and faculty on writing projects. She collaborates with Professor Carol Severino to conduct research on various aspects of writing development, and talks with graduate students across campus on writing-related issues. She was born and raised in Ireland and has a background in the health sciences, political science and feminist theory.Expertise: University Writing Support
Employer: University of Iowa

Craig Eley Craig Eley
Ph.D., American Studies, University of Iowa
Craig Eley is an ACLS Public Fellow working at To the Best of Our Knowledge, a weekly radio program produced by Wisconsin Public Radio. He has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa, and has held research fellowships at Penn State University and the Smithsonian Institution. He’s currently piloting a podcast project and working with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision to commission new musical works based on archival sound collections.
Expertise: Communications
Employer: Wisconsin Public Radio
Andrew Epstein Andrew Epstein
Ph.D. International and Comparative Education and Cultural Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Andrew Epstein is Senior Education and Evaluation Technical Specialist for Social Impact, Inc., a consulting firm based in Washington DC. He specializes in the development, monitoring, and evaluation of policies and projects serving children and youth in humanitarian emergencies and conflict-affected communities. Dr. Epstein’s clients include UNICEF, Save the Children, Care International, Education Development Center, USAID, DFID, and the Open Society Foundations.
Expertise: Consulting
Employer: Social Impact, Inc.
Chrissy FreisingerChrissy Freisinger
Ph.D., Biological Sciences, University of Iowa
Chrissy is a Technical Service Scientist at Promega Corporation in Madison, WI. Having earned her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa and completed a Postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, she now uses her research skills and troubleshooting experience to help scientists find solutions for their specific experimental needs. Her work involves a portfolio of more than 3,000 products covering the fields of genomics, protein analysis and expression, cellular analysis, drug discovery and genetic identity.
Expertise: Biotechnology and Molecular Biology
Employer: Promega Corporation
Diana GallegosDiana Gallegos
Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Iowa
Diana Gallegos holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience and completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship and a research position in the Center on Aging at the University of Iowa. Diana now specializes in yoga for disabilities. In private practice, Diana teaches yoga to individuals with amputations, traumatic brain injuries, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, dementia, scoliosis, and arthritis. She also teaches yoga at an adult day care to individuals with developmental disabilities, and traditional yoga classes at Heartland Yoga and North Dodge Athletic Club in Iowa City.
Expertise: Therapy
Employer: Private Practice
Danielle Jannusch Danielle Jannusch
Ph.D. Geology, Paleontology, University of Iowa
After spending several years in the research field as an invertebrate paleontologist and teaching, Danielle realized that her true calling was to help mold the next generations of scientific and innovative minds. Through the Regents Alternative Pathway to Iowa Licensure (RAPIL), a pioneering Regents’ collaborative that brings professionals with a love of teaching into the classroom, Danielle received her Iowa Teaching License, with certifications in secondary sciences and mathematics.
Expertise: High School Teaching
Employer: Cedar Rapids School District
Tom KeeganTom Keegan
Ph.D. English Literature, University of Iowa
Tom Keegan is Head of the Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio in the University of Iowa Libraries. The Studio collaborates with faculty, staff, students, and community members on digital scholarly projects and provides support for a range of tools and platforms. He works on digital pedagogy, public engagement, and social innovation. He also co-founded Iowa Digital Engagement and Learning (IDEAL) with his colleague Matt Gilchrist. IDEAL collaborates with instructors to design digital and publicly-engaged assignments for use in graduate and undergraduate classrooms.
Expertise: Leadership; Digital Publishing
Employer: University of Iowa
Lisa KellyLisa Kelly
MFA, Theatre Pedagogy, Virginia Commonwealth University
Lisa creates and implements professional development in teaching and learning programming for graduate students, post-docs, and faculty at University of Iowa. She facilitates TA training and orientation, delivers departmental workshops and university-wide workshops, conducts classroom observations, and consults with faculty and graduate students about teaching. She also develops and facilitates TILE programs and pedagogy and assists with the Large Lecture Transformation project.Expertise: University Teacher Training
Employer: University of Iowa

Louis Licht Louis Lict
Ph.D. Civil/Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa
Ecolotree® was founded in 1990 by Company President Dr. Louis (Lou) Licht, one of the nation’s leading experts on using plants to clean up toxins. Dr. Licht holds the original patents for the technology and methods behind the pollutant removal systems used by Ecolotree® and other phytoremediation companies. He is continually working to develop innovative plant-based technologies to provide high-quality and cost-effective alternatives to expensive mechanized systems. Dr. Licht continues to personally oversee all of Ecolotree’s projects, and is passionate about ensuring quality results.
Expertise: Entrepreneurship
Employer: Ecolotree
Elizabeth Lundberg Elizabeth Lundberg
Ph.D. English, University of Iowa
Elizabeth Lundberg earned her Ph.D. in English in 2015, one week after becoming an Academic Advisor for the University of Iowa. Her research interests include science fiction and queer theory, and she has published work in GLQ, Deletion, and in media res. According to Facebook, her hobbies are “being cold” and “human reproduction.”Expertise: Student Advising
Employer: University of Iowa

Elizabeth Lyddon Elizabeth Lyddon
Ph.D. Pharmacology, University of Iowa
Elizabeth Lyddon earned her Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 2012 studying the regulation of critical enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase at the molecular level. In 2013 Elizabeth began a post doc at the University of Minnesota studying the cellular effects of HIV-associated neurodegeneration. With a desire to better understand complete physiological systems and the patient as a whole, Elizabeth moved into industry and is currently working as a Senior Vigilance and Quality Specialist for the Cardiac Rhythm and Heart Failure business unit at Medtronic.
Expertise: Scientific Writing
Employer: Medtronic

Brian MaderBrian Mader
Ph.D. Environmental Engineering Science, Oregon Health and Science University
Brian is a Laboratory Manager at the 3M Environmental Laboratory in St. Paul, MN. Brian manages scientists and engineers who develop new analytical methods to support manufacturing and product environmental health and safety activities, as well as evaluate the design and performance of air and water treatment processes. Prior to working at 3M he completed a Post-Doctoral appointment at the California Institute of Technology. He designed and built remote-controlled aerosol sampling equipment to better understand the role that ambient aerosols play in climate change.
Expertise: Management of Research Teams
Employer: 3M
Tara Maga Tara Maga
Ph.D. Genetics, University of Iowa
Tara is currently working as a certified genetic counselor at the University of Illinois–Chicago in the UI Health Hereditary Cancer Clinic. She counsels patients, who are at high risk for cancer due to their personal or family history, regarding genetic testing options that can clarify their risk. This leads to more personalized screening recommendations and/or prophylactic surgeries in hopes of preventing these cancers. She is also involved in several research projects from precision tumor therapy to better understanding hereditary cancer risk in non-Caucasian populations.
Expertise: Genetic Counseling
Employer: University of Illinois Hereditary Cancer Clinic
Jennifer Masada Jennifer Masada
Ph.D. Music Composition and Theory, University of Iowa
Jennifer Masada earned her Ph.D. in Music Composition and Theory. She is a Strategic Communication Manager at the University of Iowa, where she collaborates with UI Library staff to tell stories of discoveries made through library research (learning, research, creative work, clinical care). In her work, she fosters constituent relations with a diverse audience and works to build and enhance a brand identity that reflects the institution’s mission to educate, serve, and innovate.Expertise: Strategic Communications
Employer: University of Iowa

Matt McNeil Matt McNeil
Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Iowa
Matt McNeil is a Bioinformatics Scientist at Integrated DNA Technologies in Coralville, IA. Matt previously held a Postdoctoral Research position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At Integrated DNA Technologies, he writes software and runs analyses to help the company develop products. These products are designed to be purchased mostly by researchers who want to ask biological questions. His work often involves developing the assay itself and testing that it works for the desired purpose.Expertise: Bioinformatics
Employer: Integrated DNA Technologies

Senthilkumar Perumal Kuppusamy Senthilkumar
Ph.D. in Human Toxicology, University of Iowa
Dr. Senthilkumar Perumal Kuppusamy is a Toxicologist at Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)/Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Cincinnati, OH. He conducts critical review of toxicology data and develop integrated human health risk assessments for occupational hazards. He started his professional career at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) where he was involved in developing human health risk assessments for environmental chemicals. He is also certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology (DABT) and European Registered Toxicologist (ERT).
Expertise: Human Health Risk Assessment
Employer: NIOSH/CDC
Kirk T. Phillips Kirk T. Phillips
Ph.D. Health Informatics and Epidemiology, University of Iowa
Kirk is a senior health research scientist, responsible for improving patient care through the design and implementation of research for population health, quality and outcomes of service with this large health system of hospitals, clinics, and home health providers. As a faculty member with the Graduate College and the department of Epidemiology (College of Public Health), he teaches coursework in Public Health Informatics.Expertise: Health Informatics
Employer: University of Iowa

Catherine RadzewichCatherine Radzewich
Ph.D. Inorganic Chemistry, University of Washington
Catherine has more than 10 years of project management experience in the chemical, electrical engineering and healthcare fields. At UI Health Care she has managed projects for Hospital Administration in the areas of health insurance enrollment, coordination of patient care in new units/clinics, and safety and quality projects to prevent infections. Previously, Catherine worked for DuPont Central Research and Development in Delaware, DuPont Electronic Technologies in California and Skyworks Solutions in Cedar Rapids.
Expertise: Healthcare
Employer: UI Health Care
Kelly K. RichardsonKelly K. Richardson
Ph.D. Sociology, University of Iowa
Kelly specialized in statistics and research methods as well as criminology. She currently works as a research scientist at the VA where she analyzes patient medical records in an effort to improve health care practices and outcomes. Kelly also teaches criminology in the department of sociology on an adjunct basis.Expertise: Healthcare Research Scientist
Employer: Veteran’s Affairs

Caitlin Runne-JanczyCaitlin Runne-Janczy
Ph.D. Pharmacology, University of Iowa
Knowing early in her career that she wanted to pursue a career outside of academia, Caitlin Runne-Janczy simultaneously began a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Biochemistry at UI and a freelance editing career at Cactus Global. She has since combined her passion for writing and education in her career at eScience Labs, where she is a subject matter expert. Her work involves developing digital curriculum and hands-on labs for students taking online Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, and Forensics courses, as well as working with faculty across the country to develop custom course curriculum.
Expertise: Content Development
Employer: eScience Labs, Inc.
Eliza Sanders Eliza Sanders
Ph.D. English, University of Iowa
As the Writer for Corporate and Foundation Giving at The Field Museum in Chicago, Eliza writes grants and reports to corporate and foundation funders, interviews scientists and educators, and creates content for her whole team to use in their fundraising work. She is currently working on turning her dissertation, Enchanting Belief: Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Religion in Nineteenth-Century Britain, into a book manuscript, which will be published by McFarland & Company in 2017.Expertise: Writing
Employer: The Field Museum

Dana Van Abbema Sam Van Horne
Ph.D. Developmental Psychology, University of Minnesota
After studying psychology at Iowa, Dana earned a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology with a minor in Teaching and Learning. After attending two major research universities, she opted for a career in the teaching-focused, small college environment and worked for seven years as a faculty member at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She then directed their career center and internship program, and later took a position as a corporate recruiter. In 2015 she returned to Iowa to direct the training and development functions of the University of Iowa Foundation.
Expertise: Human Development, Career Development, Talent Development
Employer: University of Iowa Foundation

Sam Van Horne Sam Van Horne
Ph.D. Language, Literacy, and Culture, University of Iowa; M.F.A. Creative Writing (Poetry), Purdue University
Sam Van Horne is an educational researcher with an interest in the systems of student learning, access to higher education, and degree attainment. He holds a dual appointment in the University of Iowa’s Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology and the Office of Assessment, where he conducts research about students to inform the University of Iowa community about how to best promote the success of their students.Expertise: Assessment
Employer: University of Iowa

Katherine Vrieze Eliza Sanders
Ph.D. Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Iowa
Katherine Berquam-Vrieze is a 2011 graduate of the University of Iowa Molecular and Cellular Biology PhD program. After a 3 year postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Immunology at the University of Minnesota, and a 1-year stint as a visiting professor in the biology department at Gustavus Adolphus College, she is now a medical science liaison for a small pharmaceutical company that specializes in small molecule inhibitors and antibody therapies.Expertise: Medical Science Communication
Employer: Incyte