Society for Science announces STEM Ambassadors and Fellows

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Society for Science (the Society) is pleased to announce two STEM Ambassadors and two STEM Fellows who are working to support STEM research, programming, outreach and understanding of science communications.

“As the Society for Science expands its efforts to increase access to STEM education both nationally and globally, we are thankful to partner with the Arizona Rural School Association, Defense Department, National Geographic Society, Intel Corporation and Kavli Foundation, who share this goal,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of Society for Science and Publisher of Science News. “The work being done by our Ambassadors and Fellows will provide both students and educators more opportunity to succeed in STEM.”

In partnership with the Arizona Rural School Association (ARSA) beginning in August 2021, the Society selected Kal Mannis to serve as the Society’s first Arizona Rural School STEM Contractor. As a Fellow, Mannis works in collaboration with the Science News Learning program to bring additional STEM resources, programming and strategic support for existing STEM curriculum through the Society’s Science Education programs in middle and high schools in rural Arizona. The ARSA Fellow is supported by The Burton Family Foundation. Mannis is the co-author and project director for the Rural Activation and Innovation Network (RAIN, NSF drl#1612555) a project seeking to support and understand STEM learning in rural communities. He has worked tirelessly to bring STEM opportunities that build capacity and empower learners of all ages in STEM for almost two decades.

With the mission of advancing STEM outreach through the 2022-2023 school year, DoD STEM selected United States Army Veteran Jennifer Nilvo to be a DoD STEM Ambassador. A veteran teacher of 19 years, Nilvo has taught STEM research to students in grades 4-12, written STEM grants for her school district and coordinated a Girls Who Code Club, among other achievements. As a DoD STEM Ambassador, Nilvo will work with students who are military-connected and traditionally underrepresented in STEM, create lesson plans in collaboration with Science News Learning programming and engage in professional learning opportunities with other STEM educators.

Carmen Chavez has been named the Society’s Latin American Educator Outreach Ambassador. In this role, Chavez will support Society STEM Research Grant and Advocate programming for educators in Mexico, Uruguay and Peru, assessing barriers to STEM research competition engagement for educators and students in these countries, and advising the Society on program improvements to better serve them. Funding for Chavez’s role is supported by National Geographic Society and Intel Corporation. Chavez is a tropical biologist who received her bachelor’s degree from the National University of San Antonio Abad in Cusco, Peru and holds a master’s degree in biology from Wake Forest University.

In September 2021, the Society welcomed its Society Civic Science Fellow, Martina G. Efeyini to the Science News digital team. Funded by the Kavli Foundation, Efeyini examines how young people engage with news of science, medicine and technology, and is working to develop new media products to meet the needs of these audiences. She is also working to understand how the Society can better engage with young people, particularly those historically underrepresented in STEM fields. Efeyini has a bachelor’s degree in toxicology from Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree in toxicology from St. John’s University. She also writes for several professional scientific societies, including Mademoiselle Scientist, a site she created.

About Society for Science

Society for Science is a champion for science, dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Established in 1921, Society for Science is best known for its award-winning journalism through Science News and Science News Explores, its world-class science research competitions for students, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair and the Broadcom MASTERS, and its outreach and equity programming that seeks to ensure that all students have an opportunity to pursue a career in STEM.

A 501(c)(3) membership organization, Society for Science is committed to inform, educate and inspire. Learn more at and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Snapchat (Society4Science).