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Organizers

Dhruv Arora, PhD

Program Development

Dhruv is a biochemist by training, writer and science communicator for passion and organizer by accident. With a PhD in Chemistry from SUNY Stony Brook he has been a researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York) and Northwestern University (Chicago) where his work focused on sociomicrobiology – how bacteria  are sensitive and communicative and live and thrive in community with each other. Through his research career, Dhruv became a proponent of basic science and an advocate for increased funding for fundamental research. As a communicator he has participated with the New York Academy of Sciences and The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. As a queer, POC immigrant he is excited to organize with the March for Science as a platform to raise visibility and representation in science.

Bailey Bruce

Fundraising, Internal Organization, Post-March Strategy

Bailey Bruce is a clinical nurse in Duke University Hospital’s Heart Center. They were born and raised in Louisiana and got their BSN at University of Louisiana at Monroe. Formerly a Montessori school class leader, they have a deep love and respect for education-- in science and the arts alike. Social justice has always been a passion, particularly with their background as a queer person from the Deep South. They have also done both rescue and veterinary technician work and have three dogs (children) at home! 

John Cooper

Public Relations (Messaging/Branding)
John grew up in rural western North Carolina, and has a lifelong love for preserving the beauty of our environment. He values curiosity, adventure, contemplation, and precision, which is why he entered scientific endeavors. He is a Wofford College alum who is currently a third-year medical student at UNC School of Medicine, will be entering the US Navy as a physician in 2018, and plans a career in public health and research. He believes strongly in the ability of science to transform lives, and is also acutely aware of the challenges that come with emerging innovation. He cares deeply about public health, scientific freedom without outside intervention, open access to scientific results, and maintenance of public funding for the grueling and unprofitable work of basic research. John has a wonderful wife, and marches because he wants to enhance the future for their adorable 2-year-old son, as well as the rest of the state, the country, and the world.

Amanda E. Day Van Swearingen, PhD

Internal Organization (Technology), For-Profit Partnership Recruitment, PR (Media/Press)
Amanda is a Senior Research Scientist at UNC-Chapel Hill and general science enthusiast.  As the daughter of two PhD chemists, she has been steeped in the joy of discovery and the art in science since birth.  As an alumna of Wake Forest, Duke, NC State, and UNC, Amanda loves how steeped NC is in science.  Through her involvement with the non-profit Triangle Biotech Tuesday, Amanda has worked to connect local scientists and scientific professionals from academia, industry, and government.  Amanda marches so that science remains a priority in America, both in terms of ongoing support and in driving evidence-based decisions made from the personal to the international level.  Her participation in the March is a personal endeavor and does not reflect the views of UNC.

Chase Debnam

Finances, Post-March Strategy

Chase Debnam is an accountant at UNC - Chapel Hill where he sees daily the impact federal and state support for scientific research has on the lives of North Carolinians and beyond. He brings to the march experience fundraising for non-profit organizations and a conviction that the government and scientific community can work in tandem to improve the public good. His other interests include piano, fiction writing, LGBTQ politics, and dogs.  He lives in Carrboro.

Ginnie Hench, PhD

Recruitment, Internal Organization, Diversity

Ginnie Hench is a proud graduate from UNC's Department of Microbiology and Immunology. She's done research in immunology, genomics, and fungal genetics and now works in sales in the life science industry. Before leaving academia, she had numerous leadership roles in undergraduate science education, including the development of a biomedical research fellowship program and a seminar on biotechnology & society that she taught. She is passionate about science and justice. Outside of science and organizing, she is a visual artist and writer.

Matt Murchison

Event Planning

Matt Murchison is an English teacher at Southern School of Energy and Sustainability in Durham, NC, as well as a freelance writer and social media representative. He is active in causes including environmentalism, minority rights, women's issues, LGBTQ equality, and more. He enjoys teaching students to think logically and write with purpose, and he likes incorporating real-world scientific principles into creative fiction.

Stephanie Principe

Event Planning, Diversity
Stephanie is a medical student at UNC-Chapel Hill, a Davidson College alum, and a Triangle local, who grew up in Durham. She comes from a family of healthcare professionals and grew up with an understanding of how science has a deep impact on people’s lives. She is passionate about the history of science and the relationships between science, health, society, and culture. She marches because she believes in protecting the body, mind, heart, and soul and in the ideal that, as a future doctor, she has an obligation to not be silent or stand aside.

Kriti Sharma

Pre-March Strategy
Kriti Sharma is a microbiologist at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a community organizer dedicated to social, economic, and environmental justice.  She lives in Hillsborough, NC, and has been proud to call Hillsborough home for over 15 years.  Kriti is author of the book Interdependence: Biology and Beyond (Fordham University Press, New York, 2015).  She loves experiments, writing, and working in groups to do what none could accomplish alone.

Chris Smith

PR (Branding, Social Media, Press)
Chris Smith is the curator for the Daily Planet Theater and host of the Science Cafe at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Chris holds a Masters in Environmental Management from Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment. He's passionate about conserving wildlife and wild places, and on April 22 Chris will raise his voice to protect the role of science in biodiversity conservation.

Former Organizers

The RM4S Core Organizers acknowledge the efforts of Andy Blum and Molly Paul, who helped us plan and organize the Raleigh March for Science on April 22, 2017.