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Scientists in Action

Meet the amazing scientists from PCC and the community who teach the girls' workshops.

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Dr. Jessica Edwards, microbiology instructor, loves learning about how very small organisms like bacteria and viruses impact our environment and our bodies.  Her workshop showed how microbes can pass from one person to another.
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Valerie Foster is a biology professor who studied bird behavior.  In her workshop girls learned how collections of genetic alleles create a phenotype, then used this knowledge to design their own paper dragons.
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Dr. Terry Pavlovitch, professor of human anatomy and physiology, showed the girls how to load dye into an electrophoresis chamber so they could see how current separates molecules by charge and size.
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Dr. Dave Douglass, Dean of Natural Sciences, says science is the best way to find reliable answers to questions about the world we live in. He 1st visited PCC Geology department in 6th grade, and still thinks it's the most exciting field of science!
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Dr. Par Mohammadian, human physiology instructor, is fascinated with how the human body functions. In her workshop, students learn to record the electrical activity of their heart (EKG)
and their brain (EEG).
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Miguel Martinez is a member of the engineering club at PCC.  He and others from the club helped the girls build mini-rockets out of film canisters that were launched using water and alka-seltzer tablets.
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Dr. Khuloud Sweimeh is a professor of chemistry. In her workshop, girls experimented with reaction rates using balloons and gases of various temperatures.


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Dr. Bryan Wilbur is a professor of geology. His workshop taught the girls about the effects of the earth's rotation, scientifically known as the Coriolis effect.


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Abbie Bernstein, PCC alumnus, works for Amgen as a Laboratory Support Technician, preparing media for drugs in development.  She comes back annually because she never gets tired of looking at pond critters through a microscope.
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Dr. Terri Borman became an anatomy professor because she was always fascinated by the structure and funtion of the human body. Her workshop taught the girls about the cardiovascular system by dissecting sheep hearts.
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Sonya Valentine is both an alumnus of PCC's Natural Science Division and a staff member. In her workshop the girls mixed common chemicals to create new substances....multiple colors of some kind of slime.
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Orenda Tuason teaches in PCC's biotechnology program and at Crescenta Valley High School. In her workshop girls extracted DNA from their own cheek cells and placed it into necklaces.
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Marilyn Johnson is the Computer Technician for the Natural Sciences.  In her workshops girls learn how to surf the world wide web safely and evaluate the resources they find on it.
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Professor John Sepikas specializes in astrophysics & applied mathematics. As PCC planetarium director he shows the girls the splendor of the sky and cool equipment used in research by NASA and Cal Tech.
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Erika Catanese teaches a variety of biology classes at PCC including one that involves a fieldtrip to Baja, Mexico. In her workshop girls learned about the importance of sanitation in the prevention of disease transmission.
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Dr. Susan Bower teaches multiple biology classes at PCC. In her workshop on marine biology, the girls dissect and compare various aquatic organisms such as squid and crayfish.