Board of Trustees

This is the governing body of the Summer Science Program, the only enrichment program governed and largely funded by its own alumni and former faculty.

Dr. Minosca Alcántara
Dr. Edmund Bertschinger
Lauren Blum
Yoonjeong (YJ) Cha
Michelle Chang
Dr. Clint Chapple
GiHun Choi
Dr. Ronald Irving
Henry Lichstein
Trustee, Chair emeritus
Quinton McArthur
Michael McKay
Vice Chair
Philip Nolan
Dr. Martha Oakley
Helen Shin
Karl Sun
Dr. Michael Weiss

Executive Director: Richard Bowdon
Chief Academic Officer: Dr. Amy Barr Mlinar

Dr. Minosca Alcántara is Executive Director of the New York State Bridge Authority. Her past positions have included Chief of Project Scheduling at MTA Construction & Development, and Commissioner for the Equal Employment Practices Commission for the City of New York. She is an experienced civil engineer with expertise in large, urban project and construction management. Dr. Alcantara has worked as a lead cost/schedule engineer in a variety of projects involving Architectural, Infrastructure and Wastewater management locally and internationally. She is also committed to the field of education.  At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign she designed, implemented and expanded programs that engage K-16 students with STEM, particularly women and other students from groups underrepresented in STEM.  She holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Ureña, an M.A. in Construction Management from George Washington University, and Ed.M. and Ed.D. from Columbia University.  She is the mother of three, who all followed in her engineering footsteps.  Her daughter attended SSP in 2016.

Dr. Edmund Bertschinger ’75 is Professor of Physics and affiliated faculty member in the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies at MIT. A faculty member since 1986, Ed served as MIT Physics Department Head for almost six years and as MIT’s senior equity and community officer for five years. He is a theoretical astrophysicist and nascent social scientist who is equally passionate about cosmology and black holes, education, mentoring, and diversity and inclusion in all their aspects.

Lauren Blum ’76 is the Chief Investment Officer of Capital Counsel LLC, a New York-based registered investment advisory firm that invests in 12 to 20 profitable, growing, well-managed mid- and large-cap publicly-traded U.S. companies. She joined the firm at its founding in 1999. Before joining Capital Counsel, Lauren was a Senior Scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund where she performed the first lifecycle assessment of pulp and paper manufacturing as part of a large cooperative project with Duke University, Johnson & Johnson, McDonalds, Prudential and Time-Life to define environmentally preferable paper purchasing practices. She was also an Associate in the Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals and Energy practice of Booz, Allen & Hamilton. She has an A.B. in Chemistry from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from MIT and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

Yoonjeong Cha ‘09 (TA ’13) is Senior Director of Computational Biology at Immuneering. Her work focuses on using computational approaches for drug discovery and development. She utilizes transcriptomic and genomic data to identify novel targets and drug candidates for central nervous system diseases. She has authored nine publications including papers on data analysis best practices in drug discovery. She earned a B.S. in Computer Science and Molecular Biology from MIT in 2015. As an undergraduate, she directed two high school programs through the MIT Educational Studies.

Michelle Chang ’06 (TA ’11) is an engineer specializing in manufacturing and operations. She has worked across a range of industries including consumer electronics at Samsung Electronics and automotive at electric vehicle company Tesla. Currently, she works at Carbon, launching additive manufacturing factories to produce 3D printed consumer products. She holds a BS in mechanical engineering and a MEng in Manufacturing from MIT. She is an avid reader of fiction and enjoys everything from Jane Austen to detective novels.
Dr. Clint Chapple‘s research on the biosynthesis of the plant cell wall polymer lignin has contributed to our understanding of how lignin content and composition can be manipulated in plants, a topic that has implications for the use of lignocellulosic feedstocks in industry and agriculture. Dr. Chapple attended the University of Guelph from which he received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in botany and his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1989, after which he did post-doctoral research at Michigan State University in the Department of Energy Plant Research Lab. In 1993 he joined the Department of Biochemistry and served as head from 2008 to 2015. From 2015-2020 her served as Director of the Purdue Center for Plant Biology. Chapple was recognized with Purdue’s Herbert Newby McCoy Award in 2011, and was recently inducted into the Book of Great Teachers. In 2002, he was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in 2020 a Fellow of the American Association of Plant Biologists, and in 2022, a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has served on the editorial boards of The Plant Journal, Plant Physiology, The Plant Cell, and Annual Reviews of Plant Biology.

GiHun Choi ’12 (TA ’17) is a PhD candidate in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program at Harvard University. Currently, he is investigating how different neuronal activity-dependent gene programs have evolved in the human neurons in the Greenberg Lab at Harvard Medical School. He holds a BS degree in biological engineering from MIT.

Dr. Ronald Irving ’68 is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Washington. After an early childhood passion for astronomy, nurtured through visits to New York’s Hayden Planetarium, he drifted toward mathematics, not looking back after receiving the Giant Golden Book of Mathematics at the age of 8. He received an AB in mathematics and philosophy from Harvard in 1973 and a PhD in mathematics from MIT in 1977, joining the UW faculty in 1981 after holding postdoctoral positions at Brandeis, the University of Chicago, and UC San Diego. At UW, he has served as department chair twice, Divisional Dean of Natural Sciences, and Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2002, he established the Summer Institute for Mathematics at UW, a six-week residential program for talented high school students in the greater northwest that he continues to run. He is the secretary-treasurer of the Astrophysical Research Consortium, which owns and manages the Apache Point Observatory in the Sacramento Mountains of southern New Mexico, and he has served as board member and president of the Burke Museum Association, which supports the work of the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle.

Henry Lichstein ’60 is a venture capitalist and consultant to startups. He spent 30 years at Citibank, most recently as assistant to the chairman for internet activities, responsible for technology strategy and advanced development efforts. Mr. Lichstein has served on the Boards of Santa Fe Institute and Teradata (sold to AT&T in 1992). He was treasurer and governor of the New York Academy of Sciences for ten years, and served on the Higher Education Issues Panel of the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities, and on the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee to Study the Impact of Information Technology on performance of Service Activities. He holds BS degrees in electrical engineering and economics, and an MS in management, all from MIT. He lives with his wife in the Los Angeles area. His son Daniel attended SSP in 1988.

Quinton McArthur HeadshotQuinton McArthur has been the Senior Associate Director for Diversity in the MBA Admissions Office at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania since 2020. Previously, Quinton was the Director of Multicultural Recruitment and Associate Director of Admissions at MIT where he worked for nine years. He held prior positions at Rowan University, University of Maryland at College Park, The Education Trust, College Summit, and Menlo School. In total, Quinton has over 17 years of experience working in college admissions, counseling, and college access work. He holds a Master’s degree in Education Policy & Higher Education from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College in psychology. Quinton is a longtime advocate for diversity and inclusion in higher education, particularly for underrepresented students in STEM. As Director of Multicultural Recruitment at MIT, he increased the pool of Black and Latinx SAT high scorers, increasing the quality of enrolled students, and enrolling the largest class of Black and Latinx students in MIT’s history. He led the design, development, and execution of a 14-day summer program called √mathroots@MIT for high achieving Black and Latinx high school students. This program continues.

Michael McKay ’78 is an Advisory Partner at Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm, where he helps organizations develop strategies for growth.  He previously served on SSP’s Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2018, including service as Treasurer and President.  He currently serves on three corporate boards, is the Chair of SSP’s Investment Committee and Reorganization Committee.

Philip Nolan ’76 is a Managing Director at Blue Delta Capital Partners. He was previously CEO of Camber Corp. acquired by Huntington Ingalls Industries in 2016. He spent 20 years at Stanley, Inc. rising to Chair, President, and CEO. He took the company public in 2006; it was subsequently bought by CGI Group in 2010. In 2007, Mr. Nolan was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young. He is past Chair of the Professional Services Council, the national trade association of the U.S. Federal Government’s professional and technical services industry.

Prior to Stanley, Mr. Nolan served on active duty as a submarine officer in the U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Power Program. He retired as a Captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve after 24 years of service. He holds a B.S. in physics from the U.S. Naval Academy, an M.S.E. in engineering management from the Catholic University of America, and a J.D. from George Washington University’s National Law Center. He is a member of the Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. bars.

Martha Oakley HeadshotDr. Martha Oakley (AAD ’18, AD ’19-’21) is a Professor of Chemistry at Indiana University, where I have been since 1996. I have twice served as Associate Chair for Teaching and Curriculum in Chemistry, where I led the first overhaul of our undergraduate curriculum in over forty years, and I have also served as Director of Graduate Studies and Interim Director of the Interdepartmental Graduate Biochemistry Program. Since 2021, I have served as Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at IU. My research interests are in protein structure and function. I have taught graduate and undergraduate courses, and have received faculty- and student-nominated teaching awards, including the President’s Distinguished Teaching Award (2020), the highest teaching award the university offers. I am deeply involved in efforts to improve equity and effectiveness in undergraduate education in STEM, both through my role at in the Vice Provost’s office and through participation in multi-university initiatives such as the Sloan Equity and Inclusion in STEM Introductory Courses (SEISMIC) Initiative and the Bayview Alliance. I credit SSP with changing my philosophy on grading; I have implemented a mastery-based grading approach in a section of our general chemistry course.  

Helen Shin ’82 is General Counsel at QP Global Family Offices in New York City. She earned an AB (joint concentration in both History & Science and Physics) at Harvard University, and a JD at the University of California, Berkeley. She was previously an Associate General Counsel at The Jones Group/Nine West Holdings, specializing in corporate finance and international projects, and trained at the law firms Debevoise & Plimpton and Howard Smith & Levin. She has sung for over 25 years with MasterVoices, an acclaimed performing-arts group led by Tony Award-winning musical director Ted Sperling.

Karl Sun is the first SSP parent to join the Board; his son attended in 2017. Karl is co-founder and CEO of Lucid Software, creators of Lucidchart and Lucidpress. Previously, he joined Google as an early employee and led various projects such as starting Google’s patent department and setting patent and IP strategy, starting the company’s China office and leading business development, and leading Google’s investments in renewable energy technologies. Karl holds a B.S. and M.S. in EECS and an M.S. in Technology and Policy from MIT, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He was honored as a Utah Business CEO of the Year and EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017.

Dr. Michael Weiss ’74 is the Robert A. Harris Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Indiana University, School of Medicine. Holding 17 issued or pending patents in insulin technologies, he is a founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Thermalin, Inc. Elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (1991) and American Association of Physicians (2000), Dr. Weiss is a Trustee of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and oversees its Health Advisory Committee. A former member of the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, he is a current Trustee of the Presidential Scholars Foundation. Dr. Weiss is past Chair of the NIDDK Board of Scientific Counselors at the National Institutes of Health.

Richard Bowdon ’74 studied Applied & Engineering Physics at Cornell, then returned to Texas as an engineer for Schlumberger Well Services. Subsequently he founded Energy Software, Inc., designing and marketing a leading application for petroleum geology and subsurface mapping. In 1999, Mr. Bowdon pivoted from oil & gas exploration to the nonprofit sector. One of five original Trustees when SSP incorporated as an independent nonprofit that same year, he has served as SSP’s Executive Director since 2001, and on several other nonprofit boards.

Dr. Amy Barr Mlinar ’94 (TA ’99-’00, ’02) is a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona.  Amy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Planetary Science from Caltech and PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Colorado.  Her research focuses on the origin and evolution of planetary moons, both in our Solar System and extrasolar planetary systems.  She has previously held research and academic posts at Washington University in St. Louis, the Southwest Research Institute, and Brown University. Dr. Barr is the member of two instrument teams on NASA’s forthcoming mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa, and is a member of the National Academies’ Intelligence Science and Technology Experts Group.