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Board of Directors

Sky Conway

Vice Chairman & Vice President

Mentored by Gene Roddenberry, 20 year Business Partner and collaborator with Nichelle Nichols, Sky is the CEO of Atomic Studios, a Producer, Screenwriter, Novelist, Futurist, Entrepreneur and an Attorney.

Victoria Johnson Campbell


Victoria “Vicki” Johnson Campbell is a CPA in California who has an acedemic background and lifelong interest in science, math and space, including volunteer work for Space Week in Los Angeles and as the creator and organizer of numerous anniversary events for the Apollo Program missions and astronauts, many of whom became her friends. She met Nichelle as part of these activities; and, at Nichelle’s request, organized the celebratory events surrounding the installation of Nichelle’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Vicki and Nichelle became longtime friends, participating in many of each other’s family and space related events. Having been the recipient of scholarships and science internships as a result of her acedemic achievements in both math and science at a time when women were not encouraged to enter those fields, she feels strongly about inspiring and supporting everyone to “aim for the stars” for their education and promoting the elimination of barriers to entry.

Joshua Cole


Joshua Cole is a licensed attorney with 20 years of experience. He has advised on numerous traditional and clean energy projects. Recently, he was a film and television producer on several independent projects.

Kyle Johnson

Member at Large

Our Advisory Board

Any good mission requires a great crew to engage the next generation. Our advisors are Star Trek fans who were inspired to boldly go and have done amazing things with their life. They are an example of why representation and inspiration are so important to young people. They will continue the legacy of Nichelle and we are excited to have Admiral Walter Koenig leading our mission.

Walter Koenig

Actor, Writer

Walter and Nichelle had been friends for over 50 years and there is no one more qualified to lead this mission than Admiral Koenig. Over the years, they attended conventions together and their friendship grew. It was a special bond and Walter is looking forward to honoring Nichelle and her legacy by being part of the Nichelle Nichols foundation.

Walter Koenig began his acting career in 1962 as an uncredited Sentry in the TV series Combat! (1962), and in the following few years had bit roles in several television shows, until he landed the role that would change his life in ways he could never have imagined, as Ensign Pavel Chekov in Star Trek’s Original Series (Star Trek (1966)). He went on to reprise that role in all 7 of the original Star Trek movies  as well as voicing the same character in several of the video games. He also had a recurring role of the quintessential scoundrel Bester on the television series Babylon 5 (1993).Koenig’s autobiography, “Warped Factors – A Neurotic’s Guide to the Universe” was released through Taylor Publishing on April 1, 1998. The audio tape reading of the book by the author has been released through Dove Video in January 1999. Koenig performed as the Shadow Guy in an episode of Diagnosis Murder (1993) and went to New York to perform in a new radio broadcast version of “War of the Worlds” in tribute to both H.G. Wells and Orson Welles. From “The Girls of Summer” to “The Boys in Autumn”, Koenig’s stage career spans thirty years and includes stops in New York with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Quince) and “Six Characters in Search of an Author” (Oldest Son).
Walter has written for the television series The Powers of Matthew Star (1982), What Really Happened to the Class of ’65? (1977), Family (1976), Land of the Lost (1974), and the animated Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973) series. This actor-writer has seen publication with the non-fiction “Chekov’s Enterprise” and the satiric fantasy novel “Buck Alice and the Actor-Robot”. He also created the three issues of the comic book story “Raver” published by Malibu Comics.

Nichelle and Nichole Nichols


Nicole Nichols, CEO, and Nichelle Nichols, COO, are the co-founders of The Guilty Grape. They are Nichelle‘s nieces and they were inspired by Nichelle to reach for the stars. Nichelle was a positive influence in their lives and they look forward to being on the board to continue her legacy. 
From wine lovers to sommeliers and now vintners, this duo stands at the helm of a wine-centered lifestyle brand. The Guilty Grape creates distinct and memorable experiences through wines and home essentials that tell the story of a time and place with each sip. As alumnae of the Dallas-based accelerator Impact Ventures and winners of the Target x Revolt TV show “Bet On Black” Season 2, The Guilty Grape twins have been recognized for their work progressing the wine industry forward as they champion women of color, wine newcomers, and historically underrepresented winemakers.
Prior to dedicating themselves full-time to The Guilty Grape, Nicole and Nichelle earned their bachelor’s degrees from UNCC. They went on to work as senior management executives for Gap, Inc. At Gap, they led teams to drive high performance across all initiatives and ensure consistency within their regions’ portfolio stores. Nicole and Nichelle have 15 years of experience in retail and operation. Their experience has enabled them to contribute to organizations by allowing them to effectively execute and adapt business strategies to ensure operational excellence, merchandising execution, maximum productivity, and profitable sales and earnings growth.
Nicole and Nichelle are dedicated to changing the narrative around Black wine consumers to contribute to the evolution of the wine industry, as African Americans in the United States make up less than 1% of the wine industry. The Guilty Grape is focused on cultivating an inclusive community. The Guilty Grape twins bridge the gap between consumers and the wine industry by providing greater accessibility, facilitating ease of discovery, and emphasizing wine culture. They are also contributing to diversity and inclusion within the industry by committing financial support through a scholarship to address the lack of diversity in the wine community. Their path to becoming sommeliers was riddled with challenges that confronted them with the lack of representation by other Black participants in the wine world. Wine is powerful, and The Guilty Grape twins are proving that it is time for a new multicultural wine consumer population to tap into its consumer power and provoke some change in an industry that, to date, has largely remained stagnant.

Dr. Aidyl Gonzalez-Serricchio

Scientist, Educator

A seven years old Puerto Rican living in the South Bronx, New York, woke up to a cockroach laying eggs below her bedroom window. She jumped down from the bunk bed to determine if it was feces, larvae, or something else. She couldn’t tell what it was, so she covered it with my empty shoebox. She checked on the “white things” about 3 to 4 times daily. After a few weeks, she was in awe that several small cockroaches were hatching out from one white thing (i.e., an egg case). Even more impressive was that the freshly hatched cockroaches were white, then darkened brown within minutes. Her love and fight for STEAM access began.

She asked my teachers how and why such a life development phenomenon occurred, but their responses were, “It is not for you to know, and who do you think you are going to be, a scientist?” She remembers teachers stating that a scientist is a “college-educated man” making discoveries, not individuals like you.

That little girl knew that was not true because of Lt. Nyota Uhura (aka Nichelle Nichols) in Star TrekLt. Nyota Uhura looked like her Tia Isabella, who speaks different languages, is an astronaut, a scientist, and has remarkable fighting skills. From reading Stan Lee Spiderman and Xmen comics, she knew college is critical and being different is a “superpower.” She also knew people like her could go to college because, in The Cosby Show, Tony Orlando said he went to college as a proud Puerto Rican. Finally, she remembered watching Newton’s Apple on PBS, featuring the incredible geneticist Dr. Ed Lewis and his team, including female scientists. Fun fact: Several years later, she met Nobel Prize winner Dr. Ed Lewis, and he became one of her incredible mentors as a doctoral student at CalTech.

The story above is part of my scientific and educator journey. If I had more representation of my possibilities, I wonder where I would be now. It is vital to include multiculturalism and access in STEAM education to fully prepare and equip our future world changers in STEAM careers to reach above our stars. Our students should see themselves within each subject, relate to the topic, and know their endless possibilities. Dr. Mae Jemison brilliantly states, “We see science as something very elite, which only a few people can learn. That’s not true. You have to start early and give kids a foundation. Kids live up, or down, to expectations.”

Dr. Aidyl Gonzalez-Serricchio has over 15 years of experience as a STEAM k-12 educator, training and leading k-12 educators and fellow scientists to design, promote and facilitate JEDI-related initiatives within STEAM workspaces. Her motivation is to move the needle towards an inclusive community that recognizes all voices’ power and benefits while ensuring equitable access to resources and opportunities. A community sense of belonging creates breakthrough innovations, pioneering new frontiers, and authentic learning and appreciation.

Dr. Gonzalez-Serricchio earned her Doctorate in Molecular Genetics at the California Institute of Technology, then her postdoctoral work on myotonic dystrophy at the Institute of Genetic Medicine at the University of California. She later became the co-Principal investigator and lecturer at California State Polytechnic University on sperm motility and mitochondrial defects using roundworms as the investigative tool.

Dr. Gonzalez-Serricchio is a science educator and research director (k-12th) at a private school in Southern California and the Outreach Director at the International Institute of Astronautical Sciences.

To learn more about Dr. Aidyl Gonzalez-Serricchio and her efforts to advocate for STEAM education and opportunities, please view the following links:

1)Inspiration through Representation; the A in STEAM with Dr. Aidyl Gonzalez-Serricchio

2) Latino Thought Makers: Women Who Rule

3) How To Break into STEAM Education

4) Having a Learning Difference & Persevering in a STEAM career.

5) What it’s like to be a STEAM Educator and Scientist

6) LinkedIn

7) Instagram: @real_dr._g

8) TikTok: @dr_aidyl_gonzalez


Sydney Hamilton


Space and Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) – 2021 Promise Award Winner, Sydney Hamilton, has been featured on CBS’ Mission Unstoppable, in Marie Claire Magazine, on NPR’s Wow in the World, and across The Boeing Company for her innovative contributions to the aerospace industry. Sydney is one of the first African American’s to receive the SSPI Promise Award. Sydney is an IF/THEN Ambassador for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to inspire youth to pursue STEM fields. IF/THEN’s mission is to inspire young girls, especially of color, to be exposed to all of the amazing opportunities in STEM. If she can see it, then she can be it. Sydney is an Aerospace Structures Stress Manager at Boeing in Long Beach, CA. She provides leadership for a team of incredible structural analysis engineers who support multiple programs in satellites, commercial aircrafts, airplane repairs, and aircraft modifications. Prior to that, she was Mechanical Design Engineer leading a cross-functional team developing Satellite Reflectors that redirect radio frequencies (like your GPS!) to desired areas. Throughout Sydney’s career, she has had the opportunity to design 3D-printed satellite parts, deliver structural repairs to Boeing’s fleet of 767 and 777 airplanes, as well as analyze for the 777X Folding Wing-Tip – the first commercial airplane with mechanical folding wings! Her career journey has prepared her well for her leadership role. As a passionate advocate for recognizing the power within diversity, Sydney founded Boeing Generations 2 Generations SoCal employee resource group dedicated to improving workplace culture across the company’s rich, multi-generational talent pool. Sydney brings out her passion for STEM education through her partnership with the non-profit organization, Dramatic Results. Serving as President on the Board of Directors, Sydney has championed the success of extracurricular programs designed to bring STEM through Art (STEAM) into the hands of underserved youth. Sydney received dual degrees in Mathematics and Aerospace Engineering from Spelman College and the University of Michigan, respectively. She also studied Nuclear Engineering while abroad in Xiamen, Fujian, China. Outside of work, Sydney can be found scuba diving, puzzling or cooking (and especially eating) new cuisines with friends.

Dr. Michael L. Wong

Astrobiologist, Planetary Scientist

Dr. Michael L. Wong is NASA Sagan Fellow working at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Earth & Planets Laboratory whose research focuses on understanding how to explore strange new worlds to seek out new life. Inspired by Star Trek since childhood, he majored in planetary science at UC Berkeley before earning his master’s and PhD from Caltech, also in planetary science. When it came time to defend his dissertation, there was only one logical wardrobe choice: a Starfleet science officer’s uniform. Prior to joining Carnegie, he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Astronomy and Astrobiology Program at the University of Washington. Mike is also passionate about science education and public outreach and hosts Strange New Worlds: A Science & Star Trek Podcast.

Dr. Danielle R. Wood


Professor Danielle Wood serves as an Assistant Professor in the Program in Media Arts & Sciences and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Wood serves at MIT as the Faculty Lead for African and African Diaspora Studies. Within the Media Lab, Prof. Wood leads the Space Enabled Research Group which seeks to advance justice in Earth’s complex systems using designs enabled by space. The research of Space Enabled designs systems that use tools from space to promote sustainability on Earth and designs approaches to support sustainability in Space.

Prof. Wood’s background includes satellite design, earth science applications, systems engineering, and technology policy. In her research, Prof. Wood applies these skills to design innovative systems that harness space technology to address development challenges around the world. Prior to serving as faculty at MIT, Professor Wood held positions at NASA Headquarters, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Aerospace Corporation, Johns Hopkins University, and the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs. Prof. Wood studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she earned a PhD in engineering systems, SM in aeronautics and astronautics, SM in technology policy, and SB in aerospace engineering.

Yvette Gonzalez

Scientist, Human Resilience Expert

Yvette is a space suit technician, space industry strategist, humanitarian, and Atmospheric | Climate Researcher. As a child of the 70s and 80s, she was raised in a Trekkie home (her brother is even named after Captain Picard!).  Her parents sprinkled evenings in stargazing on the Franklin Mountains, dreaming up what new inventions and technologies humans would need to live in space. At home, her creativity was encouraged and watching Nichelle Nichols meant that anyone, even women of color, had a rightful place in space exploration and scientific discovery. Of Aztec and Mexica heritage, it was important that Yvette saw women of color in roles and careers that had a larger impact on the future of humanity.

While she had lofty aspirations of going to space, Yvette had a calling to work as a humanitarian. She spent over two decades responding to disasters, fragile contexts, and forced migrant communities across the planet. Often living in tents in the desert of Mauritania, or in the midst of active war in Afghanistan, or immediately after the earthquake in Haiti, or across the most remote of communities in Somalia supporting women’s programs. This experience rebuilding communities in active war, conflict, natural disasters, and epidemiological outbreaks is where she cultivated her human resilience expertise. Observing the behaviors and coping mechanisms of families as they overcame adverse and often traumatizing events offered a library of insights for how humans are able to survive with scarce resources, in small and crowded shelters, and maintain their dignity as they recover and build their lives anew.

Over time, she knew that this lived experience could contribute to more. When she crossed over to the space industry, she asked herself, how can I apply my human resilience and international development experience to space? She is doing that in several ways. As a consultant for private and public sector actors, she focuses on space technologies that are solving some of Earth’s challenges. As well, she offers strategic guidance to host governments on building space organizations, agencies, and human spaceflight programs.  She continues to train commercial Scientist-Astronaut candidates on safely putting on, working in, testing, evaluating, and thriving in the space suit environment. Students of all ages, genders, and disciplines hail from over 64 countries. So her Trekkie dream of a diverse and equitable space future is literally unfolding!

She founded Native Sky Inc., a nonprofit providing access to space science & STEM for Indigenous youth and communities. The team, including Yvette, is comprised of 100% Indigenous women. They count amongst them a geneticist, an anthropologist, and an Afro Indigenous coder, and together they bring a multitude of fascinating pathways to space and STEM. Their first funded research supports their Sky Indicators x Climate research project focused on monitoring upper atmospheric phenomena and how it might be one indicator of climate change. She also co-founded the Legacy Series Inc., a nonprofit focused on supporting a series of suborbital and orbital all-female spaceflights that build community and contribute to Impact Projects focused on such critical areas such as women’s health, education, art, and space research.

In 2021 she was inducted into the Explorers Club as one of 16 women paving an exploration path in the new millennium to honor the original 16 women who joined the club in 1981.  That same year she received the ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ award from the STEM Success Summit, an organization supporting black, Indigenous, people of color in STEM.  In 2022 she was honored as one of 60 women by the World Woman’ Hour who are building a network of women actively providing opportunities and opening doors young girls around the world while contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Yvette is a trained opera singer, black-out poet, avid explorer, and enjoys capturing photos of the night sky. She loves spending time with family and has heard completely biased reports that she’s a pretty fun Auntie!

Dr. Ronald S. Gamble

PHD, Astrophysicist

Dr. Ronald S. Gamble, Jr is an award-winning Afro-Latino Theoretical Astrophysicist, STEM Educator, and Visual Artist. His research is focused on the physics of relativistic jet emission from high-energy active galactic nuclei and their connection to Supermassive Black Holes using General Relativity. He is currently a CRESST-II Visiting Assistant Research Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland—College Park and also a NASA Cosmic Origins Research Scientist. Accompanying this, Dr. Gamble also has seven years experience in academia teaching and designing physics, mathematics, biomedical engineering, and computational science courses/curricula. His experiences span across multiple industries including higher-education, space, and defense. As a former Postdoctoral Scholar of Theoretical & Mathematical Physics for the National Strategic Research Institute; Dr. Gamble worked within the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s RD-NTE division. He is a DEIA lead for the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA Goddard. He is a recipient of the Royal Astronomical Society’s 2023 Annie Maunder Medal for outreach & public engagement, a NASA ASD Peer Award, and A New Day Foundation’s Heart of Gold award.
He received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Astrophysics (2017); M.S. in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics (2014) and B.S. in Physics (2012) all from the North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. While there he held a HBGI Doctoral Fellowship, completing the first physics-related dissertation at North Carolina A&T State University entitled: On Gravitational Radiation: Nonlinear Wave Theory In A Viscoelastic Kerr-Lambda Spacetime. Dr. Gamble holds professional memberships in the American Astronomical Society, National Society of Black Physicists, National Society of Hispanic Physicists (2009-2012), and the American Physical Society. He is frequently sought after for academic and career motivation and mentoring. Dr. Gamble is also an established oil/acrylic painter, graphic designer, and illustrator with 15 years of experience.

Dr. Cat Roberts


Dr. Cat Roberts is a practicing physician. She was raised by her father, who raised her right by watching Star Trek together! She credits Star Trek for never making her feel like she was limited by gender and Nichelle Nichols was a big part of that. Dr. Roberts does acting as a hobby and has played several classic Star Trek characters in fan films (Lt. Palmer, Yeoman Janice Rand, and Seven of Nine).

Catherine ”Cat” Roberts, M.D. is a board-certified radiologist sub specializing in musculoskeletal imaging. She is additionally board certified in Clinical Informatics by the American Board of Preventative Medicine (ABPM). Dr. Roberts is a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt by the American Society of Quality. She is a Certified Physician Executive by the Certifying Commission in Medical Management. She holds Health Information Technology Leadership Certification from the American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL).

Dr. Roberts has extensive experience establishing and monitoring national healthcare quality performance metrics. She has co-authored over 50 American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriateness Criteria topics on musculoskeletal imaging. She has instituted national quality metrics with the National Quality Forum (NQF) since 2010.

Dr. Roberts has both formal training and practical experience in quality improvement and clinical informatics. Six of her 73 abstracts and six of her 88 peer-reviewed publications are on quality improvement. Fifteen of her 97 national and international presentations have been on safety and quality improvement. She has authored 75 book chapters and co-authored 2 radiology textbooks. She has over 285 total publications.

Dr. Roberts joined vRad in January 2018 after over 15 years on staff at Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Sian Proctor


Dr. Sian Proctor is a geoscientist, explorer, space artist, and astronaut. She is the CEO of Space2inspire and founder of The JEDI Space Foundation. She was the mission pilot for SpaceX Inspiration4, the first all-civilian orbital mission. She is the first African American woman to pilot a spacecraft, the first African American commercial astronaut, and the first African American to paint in space. She is also one of The Explorer’s Club 50: Fifty People Changing the World. Her motto is called Space2inspire where she encourages people to use their unique, one-of-a-kind strengths, and passion to inspire those within their reach and beyond. She believes that we need to actively strive for a JEDI Space: a just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive space as we advance human spaceflight.

She uses her afrofuturism space art to encourage conversations about women of color in the space industry. She believes that when we solve for space, we also solve issues on Earth and she promotes the adoption of space technology for issues such as food waste and climate change.

Dr. Proctor is a geoscience professor at South Mountain Community College, in Phoenix, Arizona. She is a global leader and ambassador for the Maricopa Community College District.

Dr. Kara Brugman

 Experimental Petrologist

Dr. Kara Brugman is a research scientist at Arizona State University’s new high pressure large volume press laboratory, the Facility for Open Research in a Compressed Environment (FORCE). By creating molten rock—a.k.a. magma—in the lab under extreme temperatures and pressures, she studies the chemical composition of early planets. Ultimately, she hopes to build our understanding of how those early compositions could lead to a habitable world, and improve our understanding of exoplanet data that comes from instruments such as the James Webb Space Telescope.

Dr. Brugman is a lifelong Star Trek fan. Her favorite series is “Deep Space Nine” and she was strongly influenced by the characters Lt. Cmdr. Jadzia Dax and Col. Kira Nerys. In her spare time, she enjoys bouldering, hiking, puzzle hunts, eating, and snuggling with her foster fail cat, Kinzi.

Dr. Kayla Iacovino

Volcano Scientist

Dr. Kayla Iacovino is a volcano scientist with Jacobs at NASA Johnson Space Center. Having been a Star Trek fan practically from birth, the legacy of Nichelle Nichols and countless other women involved in Trek both in front of and behind the camera have shaped her life and career.

As Star Trek teaches us, humanity must explore. This drive for discovery and betterment has taken Dr. Iacovino to volcanoes around the world in such exotic places as Antarctica, DR Congo, North Korea, Chile, Costa Rica, and more. There she takes samples and measurements to understand how volcanoes work, why they erupt, and how volcanic processes shape the Earth and other planets. In her lab at Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, she simulates the conditions inside of magma chambers to map out and understand how molten rock at high pressures and temperatures drives volcanic eruptions and shapes planets. Since 2019, Dr. Iacovino has worked with NASA to study not only our planet but volcanoes and magmas in outer space. Her work looks at how planets form and evolve over time to answer such questions as: how might we look for life on other worlds? Why is the Earth so different from the other planets in our solar system? How do planets become planets?

Dr. Iacovino is passionate about passing on her love of science and exploration to future generations and in supporting those with fewer opportunities. As Nichelle showed us with her unparalleled outreach and advisory efforts, one person can make a big difference in many lives.

Amy Ulen

Computer Science Educator 

Amy Ulen is a National Board Certified Teacher who currently works for the Clover Park School District integrating computer science in kindergarten through twelfth grades. During her 32-year public education career, Amy has taught courses as varied as Shakespeare, Science Fiction, Video Game Design, and Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles. She helps her students realize that they have the power to make their dreams a reality and to create a positive impact on the world. 

Ulen is a long-time Star Trek fan, and her students helped make one of her dreams a reality when they voted for her to win a walk-on role to Star Trek Enterprise through a local radio contest in 2004. That experience led to opportunities for Amy to write articles for the former version of, run celebrity at a variety of conventions, and appear in Star Trek: Of Gods and Men.  Ulen is honored to continue her Star Trek journey with the Nichelle Nichols Foundation in support of diversity in STEAM. 

Follow Amy on Instagram (@amyulen) for Star Trek photos and memories.

LaShana M. Lewis

Business Leader

LaShana Lewis is Founder & CEO of L. M. Lewis Consulting, a DEI, technology and nonprofit management consulting firm. She started watching Star Trek from a young age and has been a dedicated Trekker since her childhood in East St. Louis, influencing her to pursue a passion in computer engineering. When she’s not working or watching Star Trek, you can find her on the board of nonprofits dedicated to providing access to women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, immigrants, and people of color.

Naia Butler-Craig

Ph.D. student in Aerospace Engineering

Naia Butler-Craig, a native of Orlando, is working toward her Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering and is a NASA Space Technology Graduate Research fellow and GEM fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research involves characterizing the electron energy distribution function at the inner front pole cover of a magnetically shielded Hall-Effect Thruster with a centrally mounted cathode using Laser Thomson Scattering. 

In between her pressing academic schedule, Butler-Craig also works to advocate for diversity in STEAM disciplines. She engages in public speaking events, volunteers with STEAM organizations, and virtually mentors students. 

Butler-Craig has also built a large following online through her social media profiles and website. These outlets bring her advocacy work to life by offering a window into the life of a doctoral student in a laboratory, testimony and Q&A videos from her living room, and quick demonstration videos on a variety of aerospace engineering topics.  

Naia Butler-Craig is also the recipient of the 2020 Modern-Day Technology Leader Award and 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 award for her outstanding performance in STEM

Larry Nemecek

Star Trek Host, Speaker

Author of the classic Star Trek: Next Generation Companion and Stellar Cartography maps/book set, Larry “Dr. Trek” Nemecek now takes global Trek fans backstage every month under his Trekland banner with the pioneering PORTAL 47 deep-dive live/online insider package, plus over 200 weekly visits as host of THE TREK FILES from Roddenberry Podcasts. Larry also hosts his Trekland Tuesdays LIVE each week since 2017 on his YouTube channel and—outside of pandemics— leads customized day tours of LA Trek’s on-location film sites for fans as TREKLAND TREKS. A global commentator on Star Trek most recently featured throughout the 10-part Center Seat documentary series on History Channel, his column “A Fistful of Data” just hit 23 years in the Star Trek Explorer official magazine. Larry’s own documentary The Con of Wrath is in post-production, and his Trekland: On Speaker remastered archival interview CDs is into five volumes. It’s all why the non-profit Future Society of Central Oklahoma named the ex-pat Okie a Nucleon Award winner in 2022 as the most recent inductee to the Oklahoma Speculative Fiction Hall of Fame.

Jeff Gelder

Professional Voice over Talent

Jeff is a big believer in the power and influence of the human voice, he’s been working in the professional voiceover industry for over 20 years, and with his sure-footed, powerful voiceover work, he’s helped countless clients achieve their project goals, and bring a sense of control and depth to their projects.

A client once said “Jeff could tame a wild animal with his strong, heart centered voice.” Jeff met Nichelle while emceeing a charity show that she was performing at in San Diego and they became instant friends both wanting the make the world a better place.

Jeff is also the President & Founder of Children’s Holiday Magic Project, a successful non-profit that began as a class project and benefits children who spend their holidays in the hospital. With a passion for music, story telling and children, the project is his way to give back to the community each year. Nichelle and her sister Marian generously agreed to perform at the charity fundraiser in 2012 and gleefully read the story of Elmo’s Christmas! Nichelle also surprised the entire audience when she offered to sing acappella. She captivated everyone there.

Kett Kettering

Nichelle Nichols former assistant

Kett has more than 40 years of experience behind the scenes running SciFi Media conventions. While she has been involved with being on staff for several different conventions most of her years have been spent with Shore Leave which after 45 years is still keeping the traditions of the fan-run SciFi Media convention alive. Shore Leave is named after a Classic Star Trek episode and it continues to maintain its roots by always making sure that Star Trek guests are featured prominently each year. Kett was responsible for booking the celebrity guests for close to twenty years and for nine of those years she was also the Co-Con Chair.

Kett was just 17 years old when she first met Nichelle in Washington DC as Nichelle was frequently visiting her hometown promoting NASA. Their friendship remained close over the decades with Kett even taking on responsibilities as her personal assistant and social media director for many years. They traveled the world together meeting many fans who credited Nichelle with inspiring them to go after their dreams which often led them into STEM careers that they otherwise would not have been able to envision themselves having.

Dr. Jasmin Brown


Dr. Jasmin Brown is a California lifer. She graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a Bachelors of Science in Biology in 2012. She received her degree as a Doctor of Medicine from the University of California, Davis and went on to complete a residency in Pediatrics at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital in 2019. She is now a Board Certified Pediatrician and serves the children of farmworkers and immigrant families in the Coachella Valley.  
Growing up in the presence of Nichelle, whom she refers to as Auntie Shelly Mom, she knew very early on that black women were strong, influential, and meant for incredible things. She knew she was meant to do incredible things. Spending time with Nichelle, listening intently as she told her stories of struggle and resilience, she was inspired by the endless possibilities of what any amount of courage can do. To the world, she was Lt. Uhura, but to Jasmin, she was Auntie Shelly Mom, and her Aunty Shelly Mom changed the world as we know it today. She did that, and she felt she must be able to as well. So, she believed in herself and followed her passion to improve the health of children.
She married her college sweetheart, Eric, who is a dentist and her favorite one at that. They have a beautiful 2.5 year old daughter, Zoey, who is already showing signs of greatness – a surprise to no one, it’s in her blood after all. 

Rashieda J. Hatcher, Ph.D.


Lead Manager Cancer Research Training; Education Core Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

Dr. Hatcher is from Los Angeles, CA and the niece of Nichelle Nichols. She attended and graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a Bachelor of Science and Chemistry Minor and Baylor College of Medicine with a Ph.D. in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, specializing in breast cancer studies. She currently resides in Houston where she is making an impact in STEM. In her current position, Rashieda heavily develops trainees in cancer education and prepares them for continued cancer-related careers. She is the liaison to multiple sectors in the Houston catchment area which is primarily Hispanic and African American. She organizes and develops instructional programs for local K- 12 schools, churches, and undergraduate institutions to participate in STEM driven programs such as the Genes in Space competition hosted through NASA.

Scientific Interests: Cancer Biology, Cell Cycle Regulation, Epidemiology, Statistics
and Epigenetics

Dream Job(s): Paleontologist, NASA scientist and Dean of Education

Hobbies: Avid volleyball player, puzzles, baking and needlework

Phillip Tanzilo, CPTD, MHRM

Business and Learning Strategist   I   Executive Facilitator   I   Performance Consultant

Professional Experience
Phillip is on the innovative edge of workplace behavior and performance improvement. He has strategized, designed, facilitated, and project-managed domestic and international transformational performance interventions for over 2500 organizations across multiple industries which have included strategic planning, hiring/retention strategies, cultural transformation, communication, customer care, social generations, emotional intelligence, team building, diversity-equity-inclusion (DEI), and employee engagement.

He helped author the credentialing standard for the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) and outline the international standards for competency-based learning. Phillip’s case study was published in ATD Competency Study on cutting edge talent development strategies.

Consulting and Facilitation Experience
He has supported strategizing approaches from change management approaches to support strategic plan implementation with high level senior military. His supportive efforts have elevated leadership approaches with United Airlines and build cross functional team support within NASA. Other clients include the Executive Office of the President, Pfizer, Space Force, Lidl, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Academy of Science, etc.

Education and Certifications
Phillip holds the highest-level industry credential for workplace learning and performance called the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD).  He earned his Bachelor of Computer Information Systems and Bachelor of Business Administration from Campbell University.  He also earned his Master’s in Business Administration and Master’s in Human Resources Management from Keller Graduate School.  

He is a fan of science fiction; and for him it helps inspire innovation and fresh perspectives.  As a boy he grew up watching Star Trek and reading graphic novels.   These inspired him (and still do) to think to stars. 

He crafted several pieces of jewelry for his friend, Nichelle Nichols over the years.  One art piece was named the “Divershelle,” symbolizing the stand for diversity that Nichelle represented.