Roundtable Members

The Roundtable on Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences (PILS) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was a multidisciplinary forum that met between 2013 to 2015.  Although the Roundtable is no longer active, many of the discussions initiated during its workshops have continued through other venues within and outside of the NASEM.


Cynthia M. Beall (NAS), Case Western Reserve University

Cynthia Beall is Distinguished University Professor and S. Idell Pyle Professor of Anthropology at Case Western Reserve University where she began teaching and research in 1976. She received a Ph.D. in 1976 and an M.A. in 1972 from The Pennsylvania State University where she trained with Paul Baker. Professor Beall is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  She has served on a number of NAS/NRC committees and is currently a member of the DBASSE Advisory Board.  She has been a founding co-organizer of Science Café Cleveland for nearly eight years.

Cynthia Beall is a physical anthropologist whose research focuses on human adaptation to high-altitude hypoxia, particularly the different patterns of adaptation exhibited by Andean, Tibetan and East African highlanders. Beall is currently working to integrate genomics and human biology to discover how indigenous people living at high altitude evolve and adapt to the stress of very low oxygen availability. This entails fieldwork in mountainous regions of Bolivia, Ethiopia, Nepal, Mongolia, Peru, and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China where millions of people live at altitudes of 10,000’ or more.  This avenue of research contributes to the larger question of how evolution and adaptation operate in modern human populations.

Dietram A. Scheufele, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dietram Scheufele is the John E. Ross Professor in Science Communication in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Co-PI of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University. His research focuses on shaping public attitudes toward science and technology, with a recent emphasis on the role that social media and other emerging modes of communication play in society. Dr. Scheufele has published extensively in the areas of public opinion, political communication, and public attitudes towards emerging technologies, including nanotechnology, synthetic biology, stem cell research, nuclear energy, and genetically modified organizes. He is listed by Microsoft Academic Search as one of the ten most cited researchers in the communication discipline. Dr. Scheufele has served on many committees and advisory panels, including the National Conference of Lawyers and Scientists, the Nantotechnology Technical Advisory Group to the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and the National Academy of Engineering Committee on Developing Effective Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering. He has received multiple research and teaching awards and is an elected member of American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. Dr. Scheufele received both his MA Journalism and Mass Communications and his PhD in Mass Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Joseph Arvai, University of Calgary

Joseph Arvai is a professor and the Svare Chair in Applied Decision Research in the Department of Geography, and the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment, and Economy at the University of Calgary. He is also a Senior Researcher at Decision Research in Eugene, Oregon, and an Adjunct Professor in Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. in the risk and decision sciences from the University of British Columbia and also holds degrees in ecology (BSc) and oceanography (MSc). Dr. Arvai’s research focuses on advancing the understanding of how people process information and make decisions, both as individuals and in groups. A second objective of his research is to develop and test decision support tools that can be used to improve decision quality across a wide range of environmental, social, and economic contexts. Dr. Arvai serves on the NAS Board on Environmental Change and Society, and previously served on the Committee on Human Dimensions of Global Change and the Panel on Strategies and Methods for Climate-Related Decision Support.

Rick Borchelt, Department of Energy

Rick Borchelt is Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Prior to DOE,  he served as the Special Assistant for Public Affairs to the director of the National Cancer Institute at NIH and director of NCI’s news office, providing strategic guidance and coordination of the Institute’s communications and public affairs programs. Mr. Borchelt is also the former communications director for the research, education, and economics mission area of USDA, and for the USDA Office of the Chief Scientist. Prior to the USDA, he was director of communications for the Pew‑funded Genetics and Public Policy Center at The Johns Hopkins University, where his work included message development, media relations, and strategic communications. He also is Lecturer in science policy and politics in the Hopkins Advanced Academic Programs division. He has had a varied career in science communications and science public policy, including stints as media relations director for the National Academy of Sciences; press secretary for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology under the chairmanship of the late Rep. George E. Brown, Jr.; special assistant for public affairs in the Executive Office of The President during the Clinton Administration; director of communications for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science; and director of communications and public affairs at The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT. He is an advisor to the NSF‑funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education (NISE) project, and was a committee member on the National Academy of Engineering’s study of public communication about engineering. An undergraduate biology major, he’s done graduate work in both insect systematics and science communication. Areas of particular interest include developing community based public engagement in science and adapting the Southern narrative tradition to science communication.

David E. Duncan, Freelance Journalist

David Duncan is an award-winning, best-selling author of eight books; a journalist; and a television, radio and film producer and correspondent. His most recent book is When I’m 164: The New Science of Radical Life Extension, and What Happens If It Succeeds. He also wrote Experimental Man: What One Man’s Body Reveals about His Future, Your Health, and Our Toxic World. David is a correspondent for The Atlantic and the chief correspondent for NPR Talk’s Biotech Nation, he also writes for The New York Times, Fortune, Wired, National Geographic, Discover and many other publications. He is the founding director of the Center of Life Science Policy at UC Berkeley, and has been a commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition and a contributing editor for Wired, Discover and Conde Nast Portfolio. David is a former special correspondent and producer for ABC’s Nightline and a correspondent for NOVA’s ScienceNOW! The recipient of numerous awards, including Magazine Story of the Year from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, David’s work has appeared twice in The Best American Science and Nature Writing. Duncan is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, a workspace co-operative that also includes Po Bronson, Caroline Paul and Tom Barbash, among others. Duncan is the founding director of the Center for Life Science Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the founder and former director of The BioAgenda Institute for Life Science Policy, a San Francisco-based nonprofit think-tank that held summits, panels and discussions, and sponsored white papers on important issued in the life sciences between 2003 and 2007. In 2011, he launched The Personalized Health Project, sponsored by The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. He regularly lectures at Singularity University.

David Goldston, Natural Resources Defense Council

David Goldston is Director of Government Affairs for Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C. and is responsible for its governmental strategies, bringing together NRDC’s interactions with Congress, the administration and the public. He has more than twenty years of experience on Capitol Hill, working mainly on science and environmental policy and served as chief of staff of the House Committee on Science from 2001 through 2006. He has been a visiting lecturer at Princeton and Harvard Universities and a columnist for the journal Nature. In 2008 and 2009, he was project director for the Bipartisan Policy Center report, “Improving the Use of Science in Regulatory Policy” and he has served on several panels at the National Academy of Sciences. David graduated from Cornell University in 1978 with a B.A. in history and completed the course work for a Ph.D. in American history at the University of Pennsylvania.

Fred Gould (NAS), North Carolina State University

Fred Gould is trained in ecology and evolutionary biology. His early research focused on understanding the evolution of host range of herbivorous insects. Dr. Gould assisted in the research and regulations for deploying insecticidal transgenic crops in ways that suppress the evolution of pest resistance. Dr. Gould served on two US National Academy of Sciences committees that assessed risks of transgenic crops. He is now focused on the potential for engineering insects to suppress disease and crop loss, as well as to protect endangered species. He is serving as director of an NSF-IGERT graduate training program “Genetic Engineering and Society: The case of transgenic pests”. He graduated from Queens College in New York City in 1971 with a BS in Biology. In 1977, he received his PhD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences in 2011.

David Inouye, University of Maryland

David Inouye is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biology at the University of Maryland, College Park, where has taught courses in conservation biology, ecology, and the interplay between science and the media. He does research each summer at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (in Colorado) where the National Science Foundation funds his long-term work on the phenology, pollination, and demography of wildflowers. The data he has collected there since 1973 are providing insight into the effects of global and regional climate change, particularly on the phenology and abundance of flowering. David is on the Steering Committee of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, on the Board of Directors of the National Phenology Network, the Scientific Advisory Board of the Endangered Species Coalition, and is a Lead Author for the report on pollination by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. As of August 2014 he will serve as President of the Ecological Society of America.

Molly Jahn, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Molly Jahn is a Professor in the Laboratory of Genetics and Department of Agronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Special Advisor to the Chancellor and Provost for Sustainability Sciences. She has had a distinguished research career in plant genetics, genomics and plant breeding of vegetable crops focusing on molecular genetics of disease resistance and quality traits. Her research groups at UW Madison and Cornell University have produced crop varieties now grown commercially and for subsistence on six continents under approximately 60 active commercial licenses. She has also worked extensively in developing countries to link crop breeding with improved human nutrition and welfare. Her innovative approaches to inter-sector partnerships, engagement with emerging institutions, and integrated projects focused on impact and technology transfer have been highlighted in numerous studies and books. She has consulted widely in the private sector, and has served as an advisor for philanthropic interests, venture capital and finance, First Nations, and U.S and foreign governmental agencies in agriculture, food security, life and environmental sciences. She received the BA with distinction in biology from Swarthmore College and holds graduate degrees from MIT and Cornell University.

Bruce V. Lewenstein, Cornell University

Bruce Lewenstein is Professor of Science Communication in the Departments of Communication and of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA. His research focuses on both historical and contemporary issues involving public understanding of science, including contemporary media coverage of emerging issues and comparisons between media coverage and public opinion. He has also explored other areas of science communication such as informal science education. For about 10 years from the mid-1990s, he was an active evaluator of informal science education projects, especially in areas of “citizen science.” Dr. Lewenstein is active in international activities that contribute to education and research on public communication of science and technology, especially in the developing world. He was co-chair of a U.S. National Research Council study, Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits (2009). From 1998 to 2003, he was editor of the journal Public Understanding of Science. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and former chair of the AAAS Section on Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering. Dr. Lewenstein received both his MS and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in History and Sociology of Science.

Michael Lohuis, Monsanto

Michael Lohuis is the Director for Global Scientific Engagement within the Corporate Engagement team at Monsanto. In this role, he is leading efforts to enhance connectivity with the scientific community particularly regarding societal concerns about agriculture. He is also coordinating a strategy to address the challenges associated with agriculture and the environment. Previously, he led the IP and Collaborations team in Global Breeding Technology. Dr. Lohuis began his Monsanto career in 1998 as Lead for Monsanto’s Animal Genomics and Breeding program. He has led teams of scientists in the fields of modeling, patent science, statistics, genomics, QTL detection, marker-assisted selection and breeding. Prior to joining Monsanto, Dr. Lohuis was an assistant professor in the Animal Breeding Department, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He obtained his Ph.D. in animal breeding and B.Sc. in animal science at the University of Guelph.

Tiffany Lohwater, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Tiffany Lohwater is Director of Meetings and Public Engagement at AAAS. A science communications and event professional, she is responsible for the AAAS Annual Meeting and the AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology. The AAAS Annual Meeting is the predominant international scientific conference for scientists, engineers, policymakers, journalists, and others interested in the intersection of science, technology, and society. The AAAS Center for Public Engagement provides a vehicle for boosting public awareness and understanding of the nature of science and the work of scientists, while at the same time increasing public input into scientific research and policy agendas. Lohwater’s work encourages scientists to take a more personal and proactive interest in public engagement. She previously worked in research communications and public events at Johns Hopkins University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

George Matsumoto, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

George Matsumoto is a Senior Educational and Research Specialist at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). At MBARI, Dr. Matsumoto oversees multiple education and outreach programs including internship, mentor, distance education, and seminar programs. He also develops and coordinates collaborations with outside organizations and the MBARI’s sister organization, the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Dr. Matsumoto’s research interests are in open ocean and deep sea communities; ecology and biogeography of open ocean and deep sea organisms; functional morphology, and natural history and behavior. Dr. Matsumoto served on the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) Steering Committee and the 2000 National Science Foundation’s Committee of Visitors for Geoscience and is currently serving as a national advisory board member for the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE), the Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction (C-MOP), the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) as well as several regional nonprofit organizations. Dr. Matsumoto is currently serving on the National Research Council’s Ocean Studies Board, and has served on several National Academies committees including as chair of Research and Discoveries: The Revolution of Science through Scuba- A Symposium, and as a member of the Committee on the Review of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Educaiton Program.  Dr. Matsumoto received in PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles.

John Ohab, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

John Ohab is a digital communications strategist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). As a member of the Technology Transfer Office, Dr. Ohab provides policy and strategic communications guidance to NRL’s senior leadership and is responsible for integrating emerging technologies into public outreach activities. Before joining NRL, Dr. Ohab was a new technology analyst at the Department of Defense (DOD), where he provided research and evaluation of web technology initiatives for the DOD Public Web Program. He also led the award-winning outreach project, “Armed with Science,” a cross-agency effort to connect military scientists and engineers with the public using social media. In 2010, he was honored at the White House “Champions of Change” ceremony for his work on the Presidential Initiative, Dr. Ohab is committed to pursuing creative endeavors that connect the scientific community and the general public. He is the Director of Community Engagement at SciStarter, a startup company that enables everyday people to participate in real scientific research projects. He wrote and acted in a teacher development video series produced by Sangari Active Science, an inquiry-based K-5 science program. Dr. Ohab was twice selected as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, serving at the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the National Institute of Mental Health. He received his B.S. in Biopsychology from UC Santa Barbara and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from UCLA.

Ivan Oransky, MedPage Today

Ivan Oransky is the Vice President and Global Editorial Director of MedPage Today. He teaches medical journalism at New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program, and he is the Vice President of the Association of Health Care Journalists. He also manages the blogs Retraction Watch and Embargo Watch. Dr. Oransky was once Executive Editor of Reuters Health; Managing Editor, Online, of Scientific American; Deputy Editor of The Scientist; and Editor-In-Chief of the now-defunct Praxis Post. For three years, he taught in the health and medicine track at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism. Dr. Oransky earned his bachelor’s at Harvard, where he was the Executive Editor of The Harvard Crimson, and his MD at the New York University School of Medicine, where he held an appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine.

Stephen Palacios, Added Value Cheskin

Stephen Palacios is an executive vice president with the innovation consulting firm, Added Value Cheskin. He leads the company’s Hispanic practice, directing strategy on client engagements relating to new market assessment, product innovation, and communication strategy. Clients include Pepsi, Wells Fargo, Time Warner Inc., AstraZeneca. He is a leading expert in the U.S. Hispanic market having helped guide strategy for organizations such as Blue Cross Blue Shield (various regions) Meredith Corporation and the National Council of La Raza. Palacios holds a B.A. from Saint Joseph’s University (PA), where he was Valedictorian and an M.A. from American University, where he was awarded a Fellowship. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has been featured in publications including the Los Angeles Times, Harvard Business Review and AdAge, and has been featured on ABC’s Nightline and PBS’s Latino market documentary, Brown is the New Green.

William Provine, DuPont

William Provine is the Director of Science & Technology External Affairs at DuPont. In this role, Dr. Provine is responsible for defining strategic direction for DuPont’s Science and Technology programs with external collaborators and stakeholders including federal governments, other companies, universities, and the public sector at large. External to DuPont, Dr. Provine currently serves on advisory boards for a number of science centers at Oak Ridge National Lab, UC Berkeley/Lawrence Berkeley Lab, University of Delaware, University of Wisconsin, and Michigan State University. Dr. Provine is also a founding member of the World Council on Industrial Biotechnology and the International Council on Nanotechnology. Dr. Provine was nominated, appointed and currently serves on the Department of Commerce/Bureau of Industry and Security’s Emerging Technology and Research Technical Advisory Committee, the US DOE/USDA Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee, and a temporary scientific working group of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on the convergence of biology and chemistry. He joined DuPont in 1992 and has served in a variety of research, marketing, business development, and operations leadership roles including oversight for commercialization efforts. Dr. Provine also has managed key strategic collaborations around the world for DuPont with companies, universities, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Dr. Provine received a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware.

Vincent Racaniello, Columbia University

Vincent Racaniello is a Higgins Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is one of four virologists who has recently authored Principles of Animal Virology, a respected textbook used by many teaching virology to undergraduate, medical and post-graduate students. As an esteemed member of the scientific community, Racaniello has received several awards including Irma T. Hirschl, Searle Scholars, Eli Lilly and NIH Merit. He has also been a Harvey Society Lecturer at Rockefeller University, the Hilleman Lecturer at the University of Chicago, and University Lecturer at Columbia University. Racaniello has served on the editorial boards of scientific journals, including the Journal of Virology, and is a community editor for the open access journal PLOS Pathogens. Racaniello graduated from Cornell University in 1974 (BA, biological sciences) and completed his PhD in the laboratory of Peter Palese in 1980, studying genetic reassortment of influenza virus. As a post-doctoral fellow in David Baltimore’s laboratory at MIT (1979–1982), Racaniello used recombinant DNA technology to clone and sequence the genome of the small RNA animal virus poliovirus. Using these tools he generated the first infectious clone of an animal RNA virus.

Kenneth S. Ramos, University of Arizona

Ken Ramos is Associate Vice President for Precision Health Sciences at the Arizona Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona. Dr. Ramos is responsible for developing precision-health strategies and approaches to health outcomes and health-care delivery. He also leads thr development of personal diagnostics and therapeutics for complex diseases, including cancer, cardiopulmonary disorders and diabetes. Previously he was a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Director of the Ceneter for Genetics and Molecular Medicine in the School of Medicine at the University of Louisville. Dr. Ramos also holds appointments at the School of Public Health and Information Sciences in the Department of Environmetnal and Occupational Healht Sciences, the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, and the Gheens Center for Engineering. Dr. Ramos is a leading expert in the study of the molecular mechanisms of environmental injury and genetic and epigenetic determinants of environmental disease and has long stranding interests in transcriptional control, genomic basis of environmetnal vascular and renal disease and inference of biological regulatory networks. A major focus of his reseach is the study of mammalian retroelements and endogenous retroviral-like sequences.  Dr. Ramos a the former president of the Society of Toxicology (2008-2009), and continues to engage in Society activities including   He has also served on numerous National Research Council committees including the Committee on Application of Toxicogenomics Technologies to Predictive Toxicology, Committee on Emerging Issues and Data on Environmental Contaminants, and Committee on Application of Genomic Signatures:A Workshop. Dr. Ramos completed his undergraduate degree in pharmacy at the University of Puerto Rico and received a PhD in biochemical pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Brooke Smith, Compass

Brooke Smith is the Executive Director of COMPASS, a nonprofit helping scientists find their voice and their science find its audience. Originally founded in 1999 to support ocean scientists, COMPAS now supports a broader scope of scientists working at the interface of the human and natural environment. Ms. Smith’s career focuses on being a practitioner of science communications, a sustainability leader, and a nonprofit executive. Her experiences are in ocean and environmental science, state and federal environmental policy, environmental consulting, connecting science to policy and management and nonprofit management. Ms. Smith leads COMPASS in vision, strategy, fundraising and administration. She received her MS from Oregon State University’s College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, and her bachelor’s degree from Duke University. She holds a courtesy faculty appointment at Oregon State University, serves on the National Board of Directors of the Surfrider Foundation and the Board of Directors of Portland’s locally based Forest Park Conservancy, and she was recently a Donella Meadows Leadership Fellow.

Mary Woolley (IOM), Research!America

Mary Woolley is the president of Research!America, the nation’s largest not-for-profit, membership supported grassroots public education and advocacy alliance committed to making research for health a higher national priority. Woolley is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and serves on its Governing Council. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and serves on the National Academy of Sciences Board on Life Sciences. She is a Founding Member of the Board of Associates of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and is a member of the visiting committee of the University of Chicago Medical Center, the National Council for Johns Hopkins Nursing, and serves on the External Advisory Board for Rice University’s Professional Science Master’s Degree program. Woolley has also served as president of the Association of Independent Research Institutes, as editor of the Journal of the Society of Research Administrators, as a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, and as a consultant to several research organizations. She has a 30-year publication history on science advocacy and research related topics, and is a sought-after speaker, often interviewed by science, news, and policy journalists. She holds an honorary doctoral degree from the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED).

Roundtable Director

Keegan Sawyer, Board on Life Sciences, National Academy of Sciences

Keegan Sawyer is a program officer with the Board on Life Sciences of the Division of Earth and Life Studies at the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences. She works on studies that address a wide range of issues related to environmental science, public health, and science communication. She is the director of the Public Interfaces of the Life Science Initiative, which explores needs and mechanisms of the life sciences community to communicate with the public about their research. Dr. Sawyer also co-leads the Standing Committee on Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions, which fosters discussion about the impact of new scientific findings and approaches in such fields as epigenetics, computational toxicology, and exposure science, on public health policy, community, and research decisions. Prior to BLS, Dr. Sawyer was the director for the Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGLS) in the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology. She also worked on studies leading to several NRC reports  including the Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use (2009);  Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 9 (2010) and Volume 10 (2011); and Review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Draft IRIS Assessment of Tetrachloroethylene (2010).  Dr. Sawyer hold an MS (2002) and a PhD (2008) in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from the University of North Carolina, Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Collaborative Project Officer

Michael Feder, Board on Science Education, National Academy of Sciences

Michael Feder is a senior program officer for the Board on Science Education (BOSE). Michael’s area of expertise include applications of cognitive and social development theories to student learning, teacher development, research methods in education, and implications of educational research for education policy and practice. He works on consensus studies on broad range of issues including informal science education, K-12 science education standards, federal science education programs, and K-12 engineering education. Michael recently returned to BOSE after a temporary position as a policy analyst to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). As a policy analyst at OSTP, he managed the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (CoSTEM), which developed a 5-year federal STEM education strategic plan. In addition, Michael provided the President and his senior staff accurate, relevant, and timely advice on all matters related to STEM education. Michael earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in applied developmental psychology at George Mason University.