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Our Team

The Citizen Science Lab is a true community collaboration. The collective hard work and involvement of all our staff, interns, partners, advisors, instructors, collaborators, and visitors will help our organization and our community flourish.

Meet our Citizen Scientists

Dr. Andre Samuel

Dr. Andre Samuel

Founder, President & CEO

Andre Samuel, a long-time resident of Washington, DC, graduated from the University of the District of Columbia with a degree in Biology. Following graduate study at the George Washington University in Genomics and Bioinformatics, he received his PhD in Biology from Duquesne University. At Duquesne, his research focused on studying the structure and function of the cold shock related proteins in E. coli.

As a Ph.D. candidate, Dr. Samuel founded the S.I.G.M.A Science Mentorship Initiative, a summer study program designed to introduce diverse ninth graders to the University’s lab with the long-term goal of encouraging the pursuit of careers in scientific research. Dr. Samuel’s research experience includes studying toxicology and carcinogenicity effects of novel drugs, hookworm vaccine development and tuberculosis reactivation in non-human primates.

Dr. Samuel has a passion for STEM education and life science research. He believes that creating fun engaging and hands on lab experiences for people is the best pathway to an interest in STEM.

Dr. Samuel also has a passion for community service. He is Lead for the Remake Learning STE(A)M Working Group and sits on the boards of the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, the Environmental Charter School, Duquesne University School Of Medicine Advisory Board, and Omicelo Cares.
Chris Wandell MAED

Chris Wandell MAED

Operations Manager

Chris Wandell is originally from Central New York State, where he began studying for a career in field research. After a surprise summer teaching at his local nature center, he fell in love with the idea of teaching in a non-traditional environment.

He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Conservation Biology before beginning his career by roaming the United States, teaching youth everywhere from Minnesota, to Washington, to Tennessee. During that process, Chris attended graduate school to acquire his Master’s in Education focusing on the natural sciences and teacher education.

Chris spends both his personal and professional time working to help students not only access STEM education, but fall in love with learning.
Nikki Feagin

Nikki Feagin

Grants and Communication Manager

Nikki N’kenge Feagin is the Grants and Communications Manager at The Citizen Science Lab.  Nikki has committed her professional career to reducing inequities for underserved communities.

Nikki holds a BA in English from the University of the District of Columbia, and a MFA from Rutgers University.  A proud graduate of an HBCU, Nikki embraces Malcolm X’s philosophy of education being the passport to the future.

When not at TCSL, Nikki enjoys reading, traveling, and going to museums and galleries.

Selena Ragland BS

Selena Ragland BS

Instructor

Selena Ragland (they/them) heils from Rochester, NY as an educator, activist, and creative. They relocated to Pittsburgh in 2021 continuing a 9 year career in sexual health education, after receiving their Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences.

Selena loves sharing new knowledge with others that may lead to that wide-eyed “aha!” moment, and hopes to both inspire & empower the next generation through exciting educational experiences.

Nyabingi Michie BS

Nyabingi Michie BS

Executive Assistant

Nyabingi Michie is a proud graduate of the prestigious Lincoln University, the very first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. Born with a deep-rooted passion for the natural world, “Iya” has always been captivated by the mysteries of our environment, from the towering mountains to the tiniest organisms.

Avery Miklos BS

Avery Miklos BS

Laboratory Instructional Support Technician
Avery is a Laboratory Instructional Support Technician at the Citizen Science Lab (TCSL). Avery has a passion for science and aims to enlighten and excite students about the various fields of STEM. She supports the staff by doing whatever is needed to prepare for TCSL’s various programs and initiatives as well as taking care of our friends in the Animal Room!
Avery graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh with a minor in chemistry and a certificate in sustainability. In her spare time, Avery likes to read, hike, and go second-hand shopping.
Nicole Saltzman BS

Nicole Saltzman BS

Lead Instructor

Nicole is a Lead Instructor here at The Citizen Science Lab. She is passionate about inclusive, project-based, and student-centered learning. Nicole creates fun and enriching experiences for young scientists, by developing and teaching fun and hands-on curriculum. She is always looking for new and creative ways to inspire youth in STEM.

Nicole graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with a minor in education. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, baking, and painting.

Part-Time Employees

Jensynia Baynes, Washington and Jefferson ’24

Niklas Firestone, Carnegie Mellon ’25

Aashna Banerjee, Upper Saint Clair ’23

Nicholas Detwiler, Electrical Engineer, Educator

Srinidhi Rajaganapathy, Upper St Clair ’24

Claire Kist; Architect, LEED Consultant, Educator

Carmelo Obringer, Central Catholic ’24

Board of Directors

Ms. Lisa Elliott (Chair)
Dr. Phillip Palmer (Vice-Chair)
Mr. Damen Taylor (Treasurer)
Mr. David DuMont (Secretary)
Ms. Amber Farr
Ms. Samantha Black
Mr. Dennis Henderson
Dr. Clyde Pickett
Mr. Michael Quigley

Donors + Sponsors

Awards + Recognition

Locations

Hill District Lab
The Hill District location is currently under a relocated plan.

South Hills Lab
1699 Washington Rd.
Suite 200
Pittsburgh PA 15228
(814) 830-3100

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