Our Team

Alda Center Faculty

  • Alan Alda's picture

    Alan Alda

    Visiting Professor

    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

    Executive Director

    Dr. Laura Lindenfeld is Executive Director of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science 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 the Alda Center Director, she oversees a dynamic organization that has trained over 15,000 scientists worldwide and introduced over 50,000 to the Alda Method®.

  • Radha Ganesan's picture

    Radha Ganesan, PhD

    Assistant Professor of Practice

    Radha is an Alda-certified instructor. She co-leads curriculum design efforts at the Center and leads the Alda-Kavli online learning initiative. Her interest in science communication stems from her desire to make the wonders of science accessible to all, and to inspire future generations, especially girls, to pursue scientific pursuits. With the Alda Center’s multidisciplinary team, she finds joy helping scientists share their work and tell their stories to the world. A lifelong learner and educator by training, Radha has worked in different capacities in higher education, adult learning, and in the international development space for more than a decade.

  • Lydia Franco-Hodges's picture

    Lydia Franco-Hodges, MFA

    Assistant Professor of Practice

    Lydia leads workshops for scientists throughout the country and world, helping them to build their communication skills through improvisation and other theater practices. As a member of the Alda Center’s creative team, Lydia designs new curricula and teaches graduate courses at Stony Brook University. She previously taught acting, movement, and performance at Stony Brook, and her wealth of experience as an actor and theater-maker informs her work as an Alda-certified instructor and assistant professor of practice at the Alda Center. Communication has always been central to Lydia's career, and the importance of forging connections between STEM and medical professionals and others inspires her every day.

  • Elizabeth Bojsza's picture

    Elizabeth Bojsza, MFA

    Assistant Professor of Practice

    Elizabeth is an assistant professor of practice and the improvisation lead at the Alda Center. In addition to teaching on campus, she oversees curriculum development and instructor training, and serves as the advisor for Stony Brook University’s Advanced Graduate Certificate in Communicating Science. She finds it incredibly rewarding to apply the skills of analysis and feedback that she honed as a theater artist to designing curriculum and facilitating experiential learning for scientists and medical professionals. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in theater and has trained instructors and teachers in various contexts including non-profit theater and higher education.

  • Brenda MacArthur's picture

    Brenda MacArthur, PhD

    Assistant Professor of Practice

    Dr. Brenda MacArthur is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. She serves as the Director for the Advanced Graduate Certificate in Health Communication, and is affiliated faculty in the Graduate Program in Public Health. With a background in communication research, curriculum design, and assessment, Dr. MacArthur brings a unique perspective to designing and delivering evidence-based communication training for scientists and medical professionals. Much of Dr. MacArthur’s work is translational and centered on the intersection of health and instructional communication to improve the quality and continuity of health care and improve health outcomes for patients and communities. She has designed and delivered continuing medical education programs to thousands of health care professionals nationwide. As a communication researcher, her work explores topics such as health literacy, organizational socialization, interdisciplinary teams, patient adherence, and communication motives. Dr. MacArthur holds a PhD in Health Communication from George Mason University, an MA in Communication Studies from Texas State University, and a BA in Communication from Bryant University.

  • Nicole Leavey's picture

    Nicole Leavey, PhD

    Assistant Professor of Practice

    Nicole is an assistant professor of practice and an Alda-certified instructor at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. She loves to connect research to practice while facilitating Alda Center experiential workshops. Nicole leads evaluation efforts for the different Alda Center curricula, and her research interests focus on scientists’ public engagement activities, science communication, and gender roles. She contributes to the Center’s evidence-based curriculum design process, and delivers communication workshops for scientists at academic and professional institutions. She holds a PhD in technology, policy and innovation from Stony Brook University’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

  • Louisa Johnson's picture

    Louisa Johnson, MFA

    Improvisation Lecturer

    Louisa Johnson is a lecturer at Stony Brook University.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts and Philosophy from Stony Brook University, where was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  She earned her master's degree from NYU Tisch in Acting. She worked as a professional actor in New York appearing both on stage and screen, but she always felt that theater ought to serve a broader purpose. Louisa now works with the Alda Center's improv team to develop curriculum, and also teaches improv courses to scientists at Stony Brook University and leads workshops for scientists all over the country.

  • Nancee Moes's picture

    Nancee Moes, MFA

    Improvisation Lecturer

    Flowing from her work as an Alda-certified instructor, Nancee’s special focus is on building online curricula for the Alda-Kavli Learning Center that explore new ways to create authentic engagement. Few things excite her more than fully embodied communication and she is thrilled to be able to help scientists connect to their passion, their bodies, and their audiences. Nancee graduated magna cum laude from Grand Valley State University with degrees in communication and writing. She completed her graduate work in dramaturgy at Stony Brook University.

  • Gregory Carbonetti's picture

    Gregory Carbonetti, PhD

    Rita Allen Civic Science Fellow in Chronic Pain

    Gregory Carbonetti will join the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science as the Rita Allen Civic Science Fellow in Chronic Pain. Greg recently completed his Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from Stony Brook University, where he conducted research on the role of the endocannabinoid system in both pain alleviation and prostate cancer metastasis. His additional research projects include collaborations in New York at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

  • Peter Felsman's picture

    Peter Felsman, PhD

    Postdoctoral Associate

    Peter is a postdoctoral associate in the Alda Center, with a joint appointment to the Social Competence and Treatment Lab in Stony Brook’s Department of Psychology. In addition to his science communication research, Peter studies mental health and social development in youth and adults with and without autism spectrum disorder. Before joining the Alda team, Peter earned his doctorate from the University of Michigan in social work and psychology, where he researched improvisation as an indirect mental health intervention.

  • Julia Hathaway's picture

    Julia Hathaway

    Postdoctoral Associate

    Julia Hathaway is a postdoctoral associate with the Alda Center. In addition to her climate change science communication research, Julia is passionate about advancing collective action on a range of sustainability issues in order to advance societal wellbeing. Her dedication to helping people communicate their science derives from years in the environmental arena. She served as personal staff to Representative Harry Johnston and then Senator Bob Graham, as a Congressional liaison for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and as a lobbyist for the Ocean Conservancy.

  • Susmita Pati's picture

    Susmita Pati, MD, MPH

    Chief Medical Program Advisor

    Susmita Pati, MD MPH, serves as the Alda Center’s Chief Medical Program Advisor to provide consultation about development and evaluation of the Center’s medical workshops. Dr. Pati is a nationally recognized physician-scientist with expertise in population health analytics, innovation, and system transformation. Her leadership and management experience includes roles and responsibilities to develop and advance the clinical, educational and research missions at the departmental, school, university, and health-system levels in large academic medical centers. She is currently a tenured professor of pediatrics, the Division Chief of Primary Care Pediatrics, and Chair of the Professionalism Committee at Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. She officially joined the Alda Center in 2018 because her more than 20 years of experience has strengthened her belief that communication is fundamental to success in building strong health care delivery teams that, in turn, lead to joy and fulfillment at work.

  • Josh Rice's picture

    Josh Rice, MFA

    Improvisation Lecturer

    Josh is a lecturer in improvisation and an Alda-certified facilitator. Though he began working with the Alda Center in March 2019, he has been a professional theater and teaching artist since 2003. Josh is a staunch advocate for finding “play in everyday” and using this tool in applied improvisation techniques in conjunction with empathetic listening. Josh holds an MFA in theater from Sarah Lawrence College, is a performer with the Actors’ Equity Association, a puppeteer, and a beer nerd.

Alda Center Staff

  • Gail McCulloch's picture

    Gail McCulloch

    Director of Development

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

  • Christina Anselmo's picture

    Christina Anselmo, MA

    Business and Finance Manager

    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.

  • Lorien Reese Mahay's picture

    Lorien Reese Mahay, MFA

    Workshops Supervisor

    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. 

  • Brooke Banfi's picture

    Brooke Banfi

    Administrative Coordinator

    Brooke Banfi joined the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science in 2016. She supports the Executive Director and the Budget & Finance Manager, with roles that include office and administrative support, course scheduling, calendar management, making travel and meeting arrangements, and event planning. She is also a member of the Alda Center's communications team, assisting with website maintenance, AKLC event promotion, and the quarterly newsletter.

  • Dina Brennan's picture

    Dina Brennan

    Senior Workshops Coordinator

    Dina started her career at Stony Brook University in 2002 as an Admissions Counselor in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. In 2017, Dina was delighted to join the Alda Center and bring her event planning experience to the Workshops Office. Her favorite part of the job is talking to scientists, engineers, and other researchers who are hoping to share the story of their work with the world. Making that first connection between STEM researchers and the Alda team, Dina enjoys introducing new people to the Alda Method® so they can tell us all what they do and why it matters. 

  • Chris Bill's picture

    Chris Bill

    Graduate Assistant

    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.

  • Stefanie Ambrosio-Mullady's picture

    Stefanie Ambrosio-Mullady, MA

    Workshops & Curriculum Coordinator

    Stefanie Ambrosio-Mullady is the Alda Center's Workshops and Curriculum Coordinator. Having spent the bulk of her career in nonprofit management and event coordination, Stefanie has overseen the execution of numerous events, workshops and conferences, as well as help grow a young professionals program and fundraise. Stefanie is passionate about professional enrichment, group dynamics, and organizational development.

  • claire.holesovsky@stonybrook.edu's picture

    Claire Holesovsky

    Science Communication Specialist

    Claire is the Alda Center’s science communication specialist, responsible for assisting the Center’s efforts to link research with practice to support the community of those interested in science communication. Claire is passionate about the Alda Center’s work to deliver science communication findings in accessible, useful, and engaging ways through an online platform. Claire holds a master’s degree in life sciences communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she conducted research on public attitudes and policy surrounding controversial science and public engagement with science.

  • lkie's picture

    Lori Kie, MA

    Communications Manager

    Lori is the Alda Center’s communications manager, responsible for helping to tell the Center’s story in print and online, and marketing its workshops and other programs. A lifelong lover of language, Lori is passionate about sharing the Alda Center’s work, and about empowering others to communicate clearly and vividly. A journalist by training, Lori has worked in higher-education communications for a decade.


  • Jamie Night's picture

    Jamie Night

    Graduate Assistant

    Jamie Night is a graduate assistant at the Alda Center. She is responsible for helping to plan and implement the Center's online learning activities through the Alda-Kavli Learning Center. She also assists with evaluations, surveys, and communication with workshop participants and instructors. Jamie is pursuing a master's in social work at Stony Brook's School of Social Welfare, where she is studying community, policy, and political social action.