Meet the Team
Meet the Mass STEM Hub team.
We are thrilled to partner with you.
Heather Haines joined the Mass STEM Hub team in 2022 as the Teaching & Learning Associate. Heather strives to help all students find joy in discovery and problem solving. She loves to bring the spirit of scientific thinking and engineering design to discussions of teaching practice: observing, analyzing data, iterating, communicating, and celebrating the successes and mistakes of the learning process.
Prior to working at Mass STEM Hub, Heather worked as a teacher & administrator in traditional public, charter, and private school education for thirteen years. She has taught Chemistry and Physics, served as Science & Tech/Engineering Department Chair, and recently worked in data analytics for a school district. Heather earned a B.A. in Chemistry from Wellesley College and an M.Ed from Boston College in Secondary Education. She is also a Senior Fellow with the Knowles Teacher Initiative.
“I am passionate about empowering students to discover processes for thinking about and solving problems in their communities. Promoting high quality STEM programming is a great way to provide that framework for all students.”
Jacob Barry joined the Mass STEM Hub team in March 2022 as Partnerships and Communications Director. In this role, Jacob brings together industry partners, volunteers, students, and educators to create authentic experiences that make STEM coursework and careers relevant and inspiring. Additionally, he leads Mass STEM Hub’s communications strategy to grow our audience and amplify our impact. Previously, Jacob worked at the Museum of Science, Boston on the corporate relations team. Jacob earned a B.A. in History from Skidmore College and an M.A. in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, State University of New York.
“I believe project-based learning programs, like the ones we support at Mass STEM Hub, have a special ability to make STEM engaging and accessible to diverse learners. You can feel the energy and excitement in a classroom when an industry professional can help students answer the question ‘why are we learning this?'”
Leslie joined Mass STEM Hub in August 2021 as the Teaching and Learning Manager. Leslie leads the Teaching and Learning team to support educators and school leaders in implementing high quality, engaging, and relevant STEM curriculum. Prior to joining One8 Leslie worked in public schools for 17 years. She served as a high school science teacher, a science coach, a curriculum director and an assistant principal in various districts in Massachusetts. Leslie has focused her career on making STEM education relevant and engaging for students, with an emphasis on high quality professional learning for educators. Leslie earned her B.S. in Psychology with minors in Environmental Studies and English Composition from Washington University in St. Louis, an M.S. in Secondary Science Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana University Bloomington, and is a graduate of EDCO’s Educator Leadership Institute.
“STEM is about so much more than learning facts and formulas; it’s a way of understanding the world and learning how to ask questions and solve problems. It’s about learning how to think, not what to think.”
Erica joined Mass STEM Hub in July 2021. Erica provides administrative and operations support to the Mass STEM Hub Director and staff to maximize our impact for students and schools. Prior to joining Mass STEM Hub, Erica was an Impact Manager for City Year Boston, managing teams of AmeriCorps members serving in BPS elementary and middle schools. She also completed a 2-year AmeriCorps teaching program at a middle school in Dorchester, MA.
Erica received a BA in International Affairs from Northeastern University.
“Working with the Jumpstart at Northeastern early education program opened my eyes to the importance of fostering a love of learning with students from an early age. With Jumpstart, I was able to see students as young as three years old light up at the opportunity to explore STEM through planting seeds, constructing paper airplanes, and more. This experience showed me it’s never too soon to engage children with hands-on learning experiences in STEM!”
Claire joined Mass STEM Hub in July 2020. Claire manages strategic planning and operations so that Mass STEM Hub can fulfill its mission of preparing students to succeed in a high-tech world. Prior to joining Mass STEM Hub, Claire was an English Language Arts teacher and assistant volleyball coach at Booker T. Washington Senior High School in Miami, FL. Claire previously worked for the District Management Group, supporting public school districts across the U.S. with strategic planning initiatives. Claire earned a BA in Asian Languages and Civilizations from Amherst College and a Masters of Education from the University of Miami.
“I always thought of myself as a ‘humanities person’ and felt intimidated by STEM subjects. My college advisor pushed me to take at least one science or math class per semester and opened my eyes to the interconnectedness of scientific and humanities disciplines. His name, Art Zajonc (pronounced “science” with a “Z”), perfectly represents this relationship!”
Ashwin joined the One8 Foundation in March 2017 as a Portfolio Manager focusing on the foundation’s education work. Prior to joining One8, Ashwin was a consultant in McKinsey & Company’s San Francisco office, where he served primarily financial services and nonprofit clients. Prior to McKinsey, Ashwin spent 6 years as a crude oil options trader for Deutsche Bank in both London and New York.
Ashwin received an AB in Economics and a certificate in Finance from Princeton University. He also received an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Palmer Scholar.
“A STEM professional who inspires me is Katie Bouman, an Assistant Professor at Caltech. Previously, Katie was a postdoctoral fellow with the Event Horizon Telescope and helped develop the computer code which was instrumental in developing the first picture of a black hole in 2019.”
Vanessa joined the One8 Foundation in September 2014 as a Portfolio Manager for the foundation’s education work and moved to the role of Director in 2017. In this role, she is responsible for identifying potential grantees as well as providing strategic planning and advisory support to current grantees. Her responsibilities also include overseeing the work of Mass STEM Hub. Prior to joining One8, Vanessa was a Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group where she worked with both for-profit and nonprofit clients on projects primarily focused on strategy development. Vanessa also spent three years at TDC, a management consulting firm, working with nonprofit organizations on strategic planning, new business planning, and organization redesign. Vanessa began her career at Rhode Island Kids Count, where she assisted with research and data analysis as well as state-level advocacy efforts on public policy issues affecting children and families.
Vanessa received a BA in Economics and Public Policy from Brown University. She also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School.
“When I was in middle school I met a family friend who worked for SETI and spent one dinner talking us through how the organization was searching for life beyond earth. To this day, I still think about how unbelievably cool that man’s job was.”
Joanna Jacobson is the President of the One8 Foundation. She is also the co-founder and Managing Partner of Strategic Grant Partners, a venture philanthropy organization that is both a foundation and pro-bono consulting firm. Previous to this, Ms. Jacobson’s career was in private industry where she held senior management and marketing positions in turnaround businesses including the President of the Keds Corporation and SVP Marketing and Product Development at Converse Corporation. Earlier in her career, she worked at Colgate-Palmolive in product management and worldwide new product development. She has also taught at the Harvard Business School and was a partner in Core Strategy Group, a marketing strategy consultancy.
Joanna earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University. She serves on the boards of Youth Villages MA, HBS Social Enterprise Initiative and UP Charter Network.
“I worked in global new products at Colgate-Palmolive which required I work two days a week in the CP laboratories with scientists to develop next generation products. It was super interesting to brainstorm new product ideas and then collaborate with scientists to bring them to life.”
Katherine joined Mass STEM Hub in September 2016 to lead our efforts to provide high quality STEM and applied learning options that authentically engage students so they gain critical thinking, complex problem solving and collaboration skills, critical to their success in a rapidly changing world. Mass STEM Hub helps school leaders and teachers navigate the increasing demands of ensuring college and career readiness by offering up relevant curriculum, resources, ongoing training, and connection to industry. Prior to joining Mass STEM Hub, Katherine taught high school math and coached varsity basketball at Boston Prep in Hyde Park. Previous to teaching, Katherine was a consultant at Bain & Company and the District Management Group a local firm focused exclusively on consulting in the K-12 education sector. Katherine received a BA in American Studies from Amherst College and her Masters of Education from Boston University.
“Mrs. Felps – my high school math teacher – was the educator who had the biggest impact on me. Not only did she convince me of the beauty and power of math, but she constantly pushed me to dream bigger and do more. Mrs. Felps is one of the smartest and humblest people I know and the reason I work in education today.”