Scientific Thinkers is comprised of a diverse and passionate group of volunteers, led by the executive board.
2021-2022 Executive Board:
President: Audrey Zinn
Vice President: Manali Nayak
Treasurer: Anagh Kulkarni
Innis Chair(s): Anagh Kulkarni
Mansion Day Chair(s): Brad Goff
Events Chair(s): Simon Filbert, Sydney Collins
Parkmoor Chair(s): Shreyasi Mukherjee, Dagny Sacksteder
- Advisors: Dr. Nandini Trivedi and Michelle Richard
Meet Our Executive Board!
Audrey Zinn – President
Major: Physics, Astronomy & Astrophysics
“I am from Orange County, California. I fell in love with physics when I took AP Physics C in my senior year of high school. I added the Astronomy major after going to the Green Bank Radio Telescope with the Astronomy Club at OSU. I love how welcomed I felt coming to Ohio State, even though I had no previous affiliation with the school. Stepping onto campus fall of my freshman year, I knew I could not have made a better choice for college.
I stopped by the table for Scientific Thinkers on a whim during the student involvement fair freshman year. I had also loved teaching children and being around them, so I really loved what the club did. I have volunteered at Mansion Day for 2 semesters, and I look forward to the next year being able to work even closer with the kids.”
Manali Nayak – Vice President
“I’m from Pune, India and just moved to Ohio last year. I’m a Physics major with a keen interest in biology (science in general, really!). Physics, according to me, forms the fundamental basis of many phenomena around us, and I believe it will help me have a good understanding of any field I choose to delve into further!
I am extremely motivated about education – I enjoy getting school students excited about learning! I run an outreach program for students in Pune and am glad to be reaching out to students in Columbus through Scientific Thinkers. I’ve had a great time so far – and I look forward to more!”
Anagh, Kulkarni – Treasurer and Innis Committee Chair
Major: Biomedical Science
“My name is Anagh Kulkarni, and I’m from Mason, Ohio. I’ve always been interested in the medical field (as such, I’m majoring in Biomedical Science), but after I joined Ohio State, I’ve also started looking into the business side of things (hence my business minor). I love science and I love making a difference in peoples’ lives, which is why I’ve chosen medicine as my primary career path. Anything that I can do to make someone’s life better is something that I try to go out of my way to do, and Ohio State has given me an amazing opportunity to do that in many different ways. There is so much diversity in the activities that I can be involved in, and anything that I may be interested in already exists as a possible extracurricular. That’s one reason that I truly appreciate this university and all that it offers. Because I understand the immense number of doors that this kind of university education opens for me, I want to share that opportunity with my peers, particularly those younger than me that are on their way to making that crucial choice between going to college or not.
I’ve been to a couple of Innis visits and one Mansion day visit so far, and I was blown away by the new experience that teaching at inner-city schools gave me. I was exposed to a totally new side of the community from the educational side, and I really loved being able to bring a little bit of extra excitement into these kids’ days whilst simultaneously giving them a glimpse into the world of science that they might not have considered before. It’s very gratifying to be able to make even a slight difference in these kids’ lives, and I hope that they are motivated to pursue science and eventually go to Ohio State!”
Sydney Collins – Events Committee Chair
Majors: Biology and Art History
“My name is Sydney Collins and I’m from Lancaster, Ohio. I’m a biology major with plans to go to pharmacy school after graduation. I’ve always been interested in the medical field and drug management and development. On top of this, I am majoring in art history because of my love for art. While this doesn’t exactly match my plans and career goals, art history is a passion of mine that I’ve had for a long time, and am glad I have a chance to further nurture. I joined Scientific Thinkers in my sophomore year because of my love for science and for the great opportunity that this group gave me to interact with the community and help teach topics I love to kids who are excited to learn about them. Also, I am part of the Law and Society Scholars, which focuses on societal, legal, and political issues in the Columbus, Ohio, and US communities. My interests vary a lot, so I am active in a lot of different communities that don’t always relate to each other. ”
Simon Filbert – Events Committee Chair
Major: Physics and Astronomy and Astrophysics
“My name is Simon Filbert. I am from Evansville, Indiana, about 5 hours from Columbus. The reason that I chose physics as my area of study is because of the wonder that I get from solving problems and learning about the universe that we live in. I really enjoy teaching people, in hopes of instilling the same sense of awe in others. I know how fulfilling solving problems and learning about how the world works is for me, and I hope that everyone can find that fulfillment in some way. I feel that Scientific Thinkers is a great opportunity for me to share my passion. I especially think that Scientific Thinkers helps children to understand that STEM careers are achievable for them. Everyone has the right to do what makes them happy in life, so I think that it is crucial to show institutionally underrepresented groups how amazing STEM is. I really feel that my involvement in SciT helps to make a difference in the life of children, and I help that our passion acts as a conduit to theirs. What I most like about OSU is that I feel accepted almost anywhere I go. I also like all of the opportunities that the university provides for me.
So far, I have been on several (5-6) visits with Scientific Thinkers. This organization has been by far the most fulfilling for me on campus. I have been to the Mansion Day Committee meetings and helped to rewrite an experiment. I also worked on a demo this semester for the electromagnetism experiment (didn’t work out, but it will work for next year). I have gotten 3 of my friends signed up, one of which is rather involved, with a chair position now. The reason that I started is for much of the same reason that I wrote about in the last section which I won’t make you read again. What I enjoy about volunteering most is the look of amazement on the children’s faces when something cool happens during an experiment, because it reminds me of my own amazement with science (especially physics). The most memorable moment this year was when I was leading the electromagnetism experiment. When we got to the end of the experiment, all of the students seemed very excited and interested and seemed to have retained a lot. I am looking forward to event planning, and more lesson making, and I have several ideas for the future. I will also be the Vice Pres of the OSU Astronomical Society, and I think that there is a lot of potential for collaboration, if that is an interest. ”
Shreyasi Mukherjee – Parkmoor Committee Chair
Major: Chemical Engineering
“My name is Shreyasi and I am from Raleigh, North Carolina! I am majoring in chemical engineering because I wanted to combine my passion for chemistry, teamwork, and problem-solving. My favorite part of OSU so far would be all the amazing people I have met. I also have truly enjoyed exploring and getting to know Columbus!
I first started volunteering with Scientific Thinkers because I love working with younger students and sharing my interest in science with them. My favorite part about volunteering with Scientific Thinkers is seeing how excited the students are to do various science experiments. Their excitement is very contagious and it is awesome that even I can learn something new from each meeting!”
Dagny Sacksteder – Parkmoor Committee Chair
Major: Materials Science and Engineering
“I first volunteered with Scientific Thinkers in the Spring of 2020. I was inspired by the curiosity of the students, and find great joy in sharing lessons that encourage them to create, imagine, and build crucial scientific literacy.”
Brad Goff – Mansion Day Committee Chair
Graduate Student, Condensed Matter Physics
“I’m from Dublin, Ohio. I went to Otterbein for my undergrad where I got both a physics and math degree. If I’m being honest, I choose physics because of the show Big Bang Theory. My favorite thing about OSU, other than the awesome physics department, is the pool and fitness classes.
I’ve been going to Mansion Day for a semester and a half. I didn’t have any grand ambitions when I started, it just seemed like a fun thing to do. I enjoy most of the projects that the students do, and I enjoy helping them do it.”
Michelle Richard – Advisor
Director of Outreach and Inclusion for the Center for Emergent Materials
“I’m from Vine Grove, Kentucky. Growing up I always wanted to be a doctor, so I began school as a chemistry major. As I continued in school, I realized that I really enjoyed outreach and teaching chemistry, so I pursued education instead. Since finishing my Master’s, I’ve had the opportunity to work with two National Science Foundation (NSF) funded interdisciplinary science centers working with their education program. As my career has evolved, I’ve developed an interest in undergraduate and graduate students’ sense of belonging in their programs, and how that impacts their retention in their major, and have recently begun a Ph.D. program in Educational Psychology at OSU to further study this phenomenon. What I like most about OSU is the community and support that you receive across multiple departments and the opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration. Scientific Thinkers is a great example of this interdisciplinary community.
This program began my first year working at OSU. It has been amazing watching it grow and evolve over the past 10 years! Science Day at Innis has always been one of my favorite events. It’s so much fun to see an entire school devote the day to science and also the many volunteers that come out for the event. It is a huge team effort, but well worth it each year. As the advisor, I often don’t get the opportunity to interact with the students, but on Science Day, I am often at one of the stations and it’s so rewarding to see the kids’ enthusiasm about science.”
Executive Board Applications
Applications for executive positions are available each Spring semester and are sent to all current members. Expectations and requirements for all executive positions are updated and sent out with the application.