Program Director, Communication Lab
Dr. Diana Chien has worked with the MIT Communication Lab since its launch in 2013, and became program director in the spring of 2017, following the departure of founder Jaime Goldstein. Diana first joined the Biological Engineering Communication Lab (BECL) as a Fellow while a Microbiology graduate student in Martin Polz’s lab, studying the dynamics of wild microbial populations. Upon graduating with her PhD in 2016, she became BECL’s manager and instructor, mentoring the Fellow team and teaching the communication curricula for BE’s two communication-intensive undergraduate courses. In 2016, she also led the launch of the Communication Lab’s suite of online resources, the CommKit, which she co-designed with BE Communication Fellow alumnus Dr. Scott Olesen.
Diana’s dedication to teaching science communication grows out of her longtime passion for both biology and writing: as an undergraduate at Princeton University, she majored in ecology and evolutionary biology and minored in creative writing. Her poetry has received awards from and been published in major literary magazines. She is thrilled to be able to combine her two passions through her work with the Communication Lab.
Program Manager, Broad Research Communication Lab
Dr. Claudine Cohick manages two programs at the Broad: the Broad Research Communication Lab and the Scientific Frontiers workstream of Broadnext10, which provides an internal funding opportunity for catalytic seed grants. She started at the Broad as a postdoctoral fellow in the Cancer Program until jumping into scientific administration, reporting to the Project Planning and Execution office. Her academic career has been a sinuous path from Philosophy and History of Science (St. John’s College) to Molecular Biology (HMS), with some experimentation in landscape architecture and musical performance along the way. She is excited to now be designing and implementing new ways for scientists to learn how to efficiently communicate their work and ideas.
Manager, Nuclear Science and Engineering Communication Lab
Dr. Marina Dang joined MIT in 2014 to launch the Communication Lab program in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. Marina holds a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Brandeis University where she studied protein structure, function, and dynamics. Upon graduating, she taught Principles of Chemistry at Emmanuel College before becoming a science curriculum developer at Ergopedia, now part of PASCO Scientific. Marina’s passion for teaching, both in formal and informal settings, stems from her belief that each individual holds great potential. Whether Marina taught thermodynamics at Emmanuel, coached underserved students through the Posse Foundation, or tutored immigrants for a nonprofit organization, her motivation has been to instill a sense of empowerment in all her students. She is excited to continue this work in her role at the Communication Lab.
Gordon Engineering Leadership Program, UPOP, Communication Lab
Professor Schindall re-joined the MIT faculty in June of 2002 after a 35 year career in the defense, aerospace and telecommunications industries. His research includes the invention and development of a nanotube-enhanced ultracapacitor which holds the promise of being superior to electrochemical batteries as a means of efficient regenerative electrical energy storage, and he has also supervised research on dynamic simulation and reliability analysis of complex safety-critical systems.He has co-developed and taught a required senior course in communication skills, including units on conceptual thinking, giving presentations, how to be effective in industry, cross-cultural skills, and engineering ethics, and he is developing a course on engineering design. As co-director of the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program, Dr. Schindall is actively engaged in a program to enhance, expand, focus, and disseminate the teaching of engineering design and leadership within the MIT School of Engineering.
Prior to joining MIT, Dr. Schindall was VP and Chief Technology Officer of Loral Space and Communications (a manufacturer and operator of commercial satellites), Sr. VP and Chief Engineer for Globalstar (a 48 satellite LEO mobile phone system), and President of Loral Conic (a manufacturer of telemetry systems for missiles and satellites). Dr. Schindall received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1963, 1964 and 1967. During his graduate years he was lecturer and wrote the text for a 140 student introductory electronics course, he received an award for excellence in teaching, and he was chief engineer for WBCN, a commercial FM radio station.
Manager, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Communication Lab
Dr. Alison Takemura loves wading into a good science story. Her first was her MIT doctoral thesis project, unlocking the gastronomical genome of a Vibrio bacterium. For some of the Vibrio‘s meals, she collected seaweed from the rocky, Atlantic coastline at low tide. (Occasionally, its waves swept her off her feet.) During grad school, Alison was also a fellow in MIT’s Biological Engineering Communication Lab. Helping students share their science with their instructors and peers, she began to crave the ability to tell the stories of other scientists, and the marvels they discover, to a broader audience. So after graduating in 2015 with a microbiology doctorate, she trekked to the Pacific coast to study science communication at the University of California, Santa Cruz. There, she learned how to interview people, write feature stories, create podcasts, shoot videos, and finally, drive. Her stories were about pesticide residues in children, HIV in South Africa, rainforests in Australia, calorie-burning brown fat, and what hide behind Jupiter’s clouds. Alison graduated in 2016, and like a homing pigeon, has migrated back to MIT. Now the EECS Communication Lab manager, she’s thrilled to support the learning and growing of early scientists — eager to share their own stories.
Manager of Finance and Administration, Gordon Engineering Leadership Program
Eliana Marques Runyon is the Manager of Finance and Administration for the Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program. Previously, she was an Area Officer in the Management Science Area and Assistant Director at the Office of External Relations at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Eliana has served in leadership roles for 25 years: prior to coming to MIT, she worked to establish a theological institute in the Portuguese language based in Malden, MA. Eliana also served as a regional superintendent of a group of churches in Massachusetts for many years, teaching leadership development and community engagement. She is a lecturer in the Master’s program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS), and co-pastors the Lynn Foursquare Church with her husband.
Eliana earned the degrees of Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and holds a Bachelor Degree in Education from PUC-SP in Brazil. Actively involved in community organizing in Lynn and a board member in the Lynn Community Association, Eliana also enjoys playing the piano and keyboards, singing and reading.