Meet Our Student Leadership


Margaret DiRuggiero, Editor and Founder

Margaret DiRuggiero is a high school Junior at the Stony Brook School on Long Island. She started to discover her love for STEM by exploring outside with her family and from her grandfather who was a scientist that created one of the first electronic, peer-reviewed scientific journals in the world. During high school, Margaret's interest in STEM grew due to classes and professors who all inspired her to further innovate and pursue science and research. She realized that the key to advancement is experience and recognition, and nothing spreads information and cultivates scientific endeavors better than legitimate scientific publishing. Combining the need for more women to pursue STEM fields, the vision to captivate and inspire female STEM research publishing in middle school and high school, and with her family legacy of an open access, online journal has started a desire to create the journal, “Emerging Female Scientist.” She wants this to be the first scientific journal for emerging female scientist, launched and produced by emerging female scientist, and peer reviewed by upcoming and established female scientists.


Jingtong (Rosemary) Wu

Rosemary is a Senior at the Stony Brook School who excels in math and science. She considers all aspects of science to be foundational to life and a way to understand the world. She is specifically interested in Biology and continues to pursue courses that challenge her. She joined the student leadership team of "Emerging Female Scientists" as a way to raise female awareness about the many wonderful aspects of science and a chance to further explore STEM herself. She looks forward to continue employing her writing and editing skills through this process and gain various perspectives from other amazing female scientists.


Ella Liu

Ella Liu is a Sophomore at the Stony Brook School who is interested in STEM, especially Biology and Mathematics. She considers joining Emerging Female Scientists as a good way to further recognize and develop STEM. The idea of creating the first scientific journal by high school female students attracts her. She believes that she can learn many editing and writing skills as well as extracurricular knowledge in different science areas. She is looking forward to working with other amazing females who are talented in science.


Anya Caraiani

Anya is a Junior at the Stony Brook School who first discovered STEM by attending classes taught by Russian physicists at Stony Brook University. Through these classes, she was able to discover her love of applied math especially in the area of mechanics and physics as a whole. She later went on to complete an applied math program at the I-STEM Institute at Stony Brook University, and looks forward to sharing the knowledge she has gained in this exciting realm through the journal.


Ning Guan

Originally born and raised in Ningbo, China, Ning is currently a Junior at The Stony Brook School in New York. All through her childhood, she was interested in STEM related activities. By working on a wide range of engineering projects such as legos, aeromodelling, radio direction finding, remotely controlled helicopters, delta winged aircrafts, and drones, she was gradually led into the field of robotics and technology, which has held her utmost interest ever since. Now in high school, she has been involved in FTC Robotics since 9th grade and has been enjoying it since. In the summer of her freshman year, she was accepted into the Computer Simulations and Interactive Media program of Stanford University’s Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute where she designed a game on Pico-8. This past summer, she was accepted into Yale Young Global Scholars Program, where she participated in the Applied Science & Engineering Session. Also this past summer, she was one of the 36 people accepted into the robotics program of Engineering Summer Academy at Penn. These programs never failed to deeply amaze her, where she not only was able to learn about the complex world of STEM, but was also inspired by a lot of other passionate peers to share its brilliance and would like to continue this with Emerging Female Scientists.

Meet Our Editorial Board


Allison Felix, EdD

Allison Felix is currently a middle school science and STEM teacher at The Stony Brook School and coach of the middle school robotics team. She received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, an M.S. in Biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a Doctor of Education degree in Integrative STEM Education from Virginia Tech. Her area of research interest in biological studies was the field of environmental toxicology. In the field of integrative STEM education her dissertation research was on the topic of utilizing design-based pedagogical methods to facilitate students' higher order thinking about science concepts. She was previously an educator at a community college and public school as well as the founding Director of the Saint Francis University Science Outreach Center where she was awarded multiple local, state, and federal grants to support programs that promoted STEM education for students, teachers, and the state.


Catherine Borer, PhD

Dr. Borer holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and an M.S. in Forestry from the University of Vermont, as well as a B.A. in Biology from Grinnell College. She currently is an Associate Professor of Biology and Coordinator of the Environmental Science Program at Berry College, where she has worked since 2006. Dr. Borer’s research interests encompass physiological plant ecology and conservation biology, with an emphasis on calcium nutrition and ecological calcium cycling. Many of her research collaborators and coauthors are undergraduate students who are members of Dr. Borer’s research team. Dr. Borer teaches a range of college courses, including “Plant Physiology”, “Biological Diversity”, “Principles of Microbiology, Botany and Ecology”, and an immersive summer travel course in “Cave Ecology”.


Charlotte Baker, DrPH

Charlotte Baker, DrPH, MPH, CPH is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Population Health Sciences at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech. She conducts public health research in sports injury epidemiology, physical activity, blood disorders including sickle cell disease, and health equity in order to improve health over the lifespan. Dr. Baker is an expert in data analytics and works to translate research to practice in order to serve and enhance the lives of the underserved. She aims to use epidemiology and data to influence prevention and policy.


Lt Col Traci Sarmiento, PhD

Lt Col Traci A. Sarmiento is the Deputy Department Head of the Department of Computer and Cyber Sciences at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado. She teaches foundational and advanced Computer Science courses, advises the department Curriculum Committee on matters of pedagogy and degree development, mentors cadets on academics and officership, and oversees department administrative processes and daily operations. Lt Col Sarmiento was commissioned in 2000 upon graduation from Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in the field of Computer Science from Texas A&M University with research conducted in robotics and autonomy, and a Master of Science degree in Computer Engineering with concentrations in Artificial Intelligence and High Performance, Parallel Computing from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio. Her main area of research interest is in autonomy and artificial intelligence for unmanned systems.


Cristina Marco, PhD.

Dr. Marco received her PhD from the University of Malaga in Spain in 2004, where she studied the genetic variability of RNA viruses affecting crops in southern Europe. She continued her research work as a postdoctoral fellow in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, studying genes that affect leaf development. Combining her research work is now adjunct professor at Adelphi University where she teaches genetics for nursing students. She moved to the DNA Learning center (DNALC) as an educator and staff scientist in 2015. Since then it is part of two projects aimed at bringing the scientific research to students: Barcode Long Island, which investigates the diversity of species in that region of New York and the MaizeCODE project, which aims to facilitate and involve students in manual curation of corn genes and related species using bioinformatic tools.


Deanna Matthews, PhD

Dr. Deanna H. Matthews is Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Affairs and Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Matthews oversees the undergraduate programs in EPP, including curriculum development and undergraduate student advising, and teaches courses on introductory engineering and public policy and interdisciplinary project-based courses. Her research has focused on environmental life cycle assessment, energy and climate, and engineering education and policy. She received her B.S.E. in Civil Engineering from Duke University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.   

Meet Our Advisory Board


Joe McDade, PhD

Dr. Joseph McDade, Phd began his career as an army officer assigned to the U.S Army Biological Labs at Ft. Detrick MD. A microbiologist by training, he later worked as a Research Associate for the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he was seconded to the Naval Medical Research Units in Egypt and Ethiopia to study epidemic and murine typhus. In 1975 he joined CDC as a Research Microbiologist, later becoming the Chief of the Viral and Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, then Associate Director for Laboratory Science and Deputy Director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases. In 1995 he founded and served as Editor-in-Chief of the CDC journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases. Dr. McDade retired from CDC in 2001 but remained a consultant for a number of years. He is currently a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity.


Sarah Fay, MEd

Sarah Fay is the Science Department Chair and teaches AP Physics 1, 2, and C at the Stony Brook School. She has a B.S. in Physics from Calvin College and an M.Ed. in Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University. In addition to 20 years of teaching experience, she has published an article for The Physics Teacher magazine and is a reader for the College Board AP Physics test.


Douglas DiRuggiero, MHS

Douglas completed a Master’s degree in Health Science, with a focus on Clinical Research, from Duke University and graduated with honors from Duke University’s Physician Assistant Program. He will complete a Doctorate degree in Medical Sciences in May 2019. Douglas enjoys medical and surgical dermatology, clinical research, publishing, and mentoring. He is a nationally-recognized medical lecturer, accomplished conference developer, and a passionate teacher. He has been awarded a National Clinical Science Award for published research, multiple Clinical Preceptor awards, the Humanitarian PA of the year for the state of Georgia, and is a recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement award. He has done mission work in Haiti, St. Lucia, Russia, Mexico, and Israel.


Owen Kinney, MS

Owen Kinney is the Chairman of the Science Department at Darlington School, an international day/boarding school in Rome, Georgia. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Berry College and an M.S. in Ecology from the University of Georgia. He has taught Advanced Placement Environmental Science, Biology, and Zoology at Darlington since 1999. Ten years ago, Kinney started a Team Robotics and Makerspace program at the school, and he continues to coach two FIRST Robotics teams. Kinney has been named a Toyota International Teacher and received a Fulbright Award to study Education for Sustainable Development in Japanese schools. He has been actively involved in ecological research at the University of Michigan for nearly two decades, and has co-authored over a dozen peer-reviewed articles on topics ranging from ecotoxicology to aging in turtles.


Emerging Female Scientists

1 Chapman Parkway Stony Brook, NY 11790
Tel: 631-601-6358