Our team

Aaron M. Ellison Founding Principal Manisha V. Patel Founding Principal
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Aaron M. Ellison (BA: Yale  University, 1982; PhD, Brown  University, 1986) has been a staff scientist and faculty member at liberal-arts colleges and R-1 universities, a curriculum developer, department chair, senior academic administrator, and creator and director of award-winning undergraduate research programs. In 1992, Aaron was in the first class of the US National Science Foundation’s Presidential Faculty Fellows, and was recognized for his “demonstrated excellence and continued promise both in scientific and engineering research and in teaching future generations of students to extend and apply human knowledge.” Throughout his career, he has kept to this promise, crafting and collaboratively implementing a vision for inclusive and far-reaching education in STEAM: science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. Manisha V. Patel (BS: Rutgers University, 2002; MS: University of Vermont, 2007) has been working in the academic and non-profit sector throughout her professional career. She started out as a lab technician and quickly proved herself capable of managing projects and labs. Manisha has built a reputation for defining “the role of a newly founded position” and setting a standard of excellence. She brings her talents of organizational skills, collaborative techniques, communication, networking, and logistics coordination to support science globally. She has led and participated in initiatives seeking to enhance diversity and equity in STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  Manisha is committed to building and supporting inclusive and diverse communities in science and education.
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When we were co-directors of the Harvard Forest Summer Research Program in Ecology, we were awarded the 2014 Human Diversity Award by the Organization of Biological Field Stations.

We were recognized for providing a strong platform to attract and foster a diversity of summer program participants and mentors by targeting partnerships and outreach methods to diversify the summer research applicant pool, creating an inclusive and nurturing environment for program participants, and a commitment to track program outcomes with the aim to improve program diversity, sensitivity, and effectiveness.

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