The Institute for Scientist & Engineer Educators (ISEE) is a pioneering team of science- and engineer-educators with interdisciplinary training that incorporates science, engineering, education, professional development, curriculum development, workforce development, evaluation, and educational program management.
The core group of ISEE leaders – the staff and instructors – work together for to conceptualize, develop, implement and evaluate innovative ISEE programs. In addition, ISEE utilizes a pool of visiting instructors, which are hired year-to-year, and are essential to the ISEE’s educational model which relies on continual improvement and innovation through the active engagement of the whole community. ISEE has a faculty advisory committee, and committees that advise related projects and grants, as well as a thriving alumni community.

Staff & Instructors


  • Lisa Hunter, Director

    Lisa Hunter portraitAs the Director of ISEE, Lisa oversees and actively participates in the development and implementation of ISEE programs, projects, and partnerships. She also leads ISEE’s major initiatives, such as the Akamai Workforce Initiative. Lisa has been ISEE’s Director since its inception, and prior to that directed the Center for Adaptive Optics education program, where ISEE originated. Lisa provides the vision and leadership for ISEE’s growth and sustained programs. She leads fundraising, partnership development, and serves as Principal Investigator on ISEE grants.


  • Cynthia Nelly Carrión

    5-2-cynthia-carrion_250_square_bw.jpegCynthia is an ISEE Program Manager and works on the team that runs the Akamai Internship Program. She was an instructor in the Akamai PREP course in 2017, as part of ISEE’s Professional Development Program (PDP), and continues to build on that experience as a part of the Akamai instructional team. Cynthia is involved in managing Akamai in a range of ways, including application and selection, communication, and evaluation of program outcomes. In addition to Akamai, Cynthia is also the program manager for the AstroTech Summer School, as well as being a supporting member of other ISEE programs and initiatives.

  • Nicole Mattacola, Program & Event Coordinator

    Nicole Mattacola portraitNicole coordinates all events big and small that support the programmatic goals of ISEE. She implements and synchronizes the logistics of the many program workshops, symposia, retreats, conferences, presentations, faculty meetings, and partnership activities both on and off campus, and provides event support. Nicole facilitates ISEE program application and selection processes, and serves as the point of contact with participants from registration through wrap-up. She provides the main administrative support for ISEE with scheduling meetings, processing travel reimbursements and assisting with procurement functions. Nicole works full-time for ISEE as a UCSC staff member.



  • Cindy Giebink

    Cindy Giebink portraitCindy Giebink works on ISEE’s information management systems, including websites, databases, and online applications. She is also involved in Akamai as a mentor, and has mentored a number of interns in software projects. Cindy works part-time as a contractor for ISEE. She lives on Maui where she works for the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy where she writes software for instrument control and database development.




  • Barry Kluger-Bell, Core Developer/Instructor

    A photo of BarryBarry is a core member of the ISEE instructional team, and has been since the inception of the PDP in 2001. He develops, implements, and leads ISEE workshops, drawing from his extensive experience in training educators about inquiry. Barry is an independent contractor with ISEE.



  • Scott Seagroves, Core Developer/Instructor

    seagroves-pic.jpegScott is a core member of ISEE’s instructional team, developing, implementing, and often leading ISEE workshops. He has been a leader in a number of ISEE’s programs, including WEST and the Akamai Workforce Initiative, and was a developer and instructor for communication courses that were the precursor to ISEE’s PREP program. Scott has been a key member of ISEE’s workforce development and R&D strands, and is a significant contributor to ISEE publications. He works part-time for ISEE as a UCSC staff member, and is a physics instructor at The College of St. Scholastica.


  • Jerome Shaw, R&D/Instructor/Advisor

    Jerome Shaw portraitJerome is Associate Director of ISEE’s Akamai Workforce Initiative and leads research and development within this major project directed by ISEE. He has led the development of ISEE’s new mentoring program and the development of new tools for supporting and assessing student projects in the STEM workplace. He serves as an instructor in the PDP, Akamai’s communication course, and is on ISEE’s faculty advisory committee. Jerome is an Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Education at UCSC.


  • Tiffani Quan, Core Developer/Instructor

    quan-pic.jpegTiffani is a core member of the ISEE instructional team. Tiffani works with other members of the team to develop, implement, and lead ISEE workshops. Tiffani is an independent contractor with ISEE and is a Curriculum & Professional Development Specialist at the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley. As part of the Science Education for Public Understanding Program (SEPUP), she develops NGSS-aligned curriculum for middle school, co-manages the SF/Bay Area Amgen Biotech Experience center, and develops outreach curriculum in collaboration with the Joint BioEnergy Institute.


    Previous ISEE Staff 

  • Nicholas McConnell, STEM Workforce Development and Program Manager

    Nicholas McConnell portraitNicholas was a Program Manager with ISEE in 2017-2020. He supported ISEE's Professional Development Program (PDP) and was a core member of ISEE's instructional team.  He was also a Program Manager and instructor for the AstroTech summer school and Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Early-Career Initiative (TECI).  Nicholas’ role spans several of ISEE’s ongoing efforts to help early-career members of the astronomy and telescope communities develop skills and connections that advance their careers, and to promote more equitable participation in astrophysics nationally and globally.  Nicholas draws from several years' experience in astrophysics research to connect ISEE's workforce development goals with national and international astronomy communities. 


  • Austin Barnes

    austin_1_bw.jpgAustin Barnes has a long history with Akamai, beginning in 2009 when he was an Akamai intern, and continuing in many leadership roles including serving as Akamai’s program manager from 2015-2019. In his role as an ISEE program manager he has been a key member of the teams that developed and taught ISEE’s Mentor Workshop, Professional Development Program, and other training activities aimed at early career scientists and engineers. Currently, he is working toward his PhD at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, San Diego, studying the coastal impacts of sea level rise, and is in the pool of instructors that Akamai draws from for the Mentor Workshop, PREP course, and communication course.
  • Rafael Palomino, STEM Workforce Development and Program Manager

    Rafael Palomino portraitRafael was a Program Manager with ISEE in 2017-2020. He supported the Akamai Internship program, overseeing program announcement, recruiting, evaluation, and providing support for the mentors, in addition to instructing the communications course. Rafael is also a core member of ISEE’s Professional Development Program instructional team as a developer, instructor, and consultant. In addition to supporting programs, he is involved in other ISEE projects and initiatives, particularly those aimed at educational development for graduate students and postdocs at UC Santa Cruz.
  • Tamara Ball

    Tamara Ball portraitTamara Ball is a Research Associate at ISEE, and uses her doctoral degree in science education to ground ISEE’s programs and projects in the learning sciences. She plays an active role in disseminating ISEE’s work through publications and contributes to grant writing. Tamara works part-time for ISEE and also works on the Sustainable Engineering and Ecological Design (SEED) collaborative in the Baskin School of Engineering at UCSC.