Meet Our Rally Speakers

We hope you'll join us to hear from local leaders and advocates for science, health, education, and the environment on April 22nd!

Dr. Gale Bernstein is the Commissioner of The Erie County Department of Health. The mission of the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is to promote and protect the health, safety, and well-being of Erie County residents through active prevention, education, enforcement, advocacy and partnerships. Dr. Bernstein has also worked as a Pediatrician at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, a Research Associate Professor at the UB Department of Social & Preventive Medicine, and an Assignee for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Liesl Folks is the Dean of the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Dr. Folks is an internationally recognized expert in nanotechnology and magnetism, holds 14 U.S. patents. Dr. Folks is also the 2013 recipient of the AVS Excellence in Leadership Award, a national award recognizing her mentorship of science and engineering students. She is an advocate for Women in STEM.

Dr. Joseph Gardella is a SUNY Distinguished Professor and John and Frances Larkin Professor of Chemistry. Dr. Gardella works on the Unversity at Buffalo, Buffalo Public Schools interdisciplinary research partnership for curricular change, teacher professional development, and developing mentorship with students and parents. Dr. Gardella notably works in long term relationships with local communities to address environmental concerns.

Penny Myers, a native Buffalonian, has been serving Temple Beth Zion since October 2006. Penny is a member of the Women's Cantor Network, Guild of Temple Musicians, Toronto Council of Hazzonim, NATE the National Association for Jewish Educators, and is a member of the Cantors Assembly.

Gina O’Kussick has taught in the Buffalo Public Schools for 12 years. She teaches Earth Science and Living Environment at Bennett High School. Gina is the Curriculum Lead Teacher and Coordinating Teacher for the University at Buffalo ISEP Program. Gina has been on several curriculum development committees and taught virtual learning classes for teachers for the school district.

Alexandria Trujillo is the Founding Chair of the Buffalo March for Science. She is a Pharmacology and Toxicology PhD student at the University at Buffalo researching gene therapeutics for inherited forms of Retinal Degeneration. Along with her research, Alexandria is an ASPET Washington Fellow and ARVO Advocacy and Outreach member in training working to improve science policy and scientific literacy.

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Elizabeth Schiavoni

Elizabeth Schiavoni is the PR Chair for the Buffalo March for Science. She is the owner of Life Science Writing Solutions LLC as a medical and science writer.