About Us


Thi Nguyen, PhD

Thi Nguyen serves as InterSECT project director, and was co-PI on the Burroughs Wellcome Fund grant that provided pilot funding for InterSECT. Thi develops job sims and provides tips for job sim collaborators. Thi also designs lesson plans for educators to use InterSECT in the classroom, hosts alumni and employers for flipped classrooms with job sims, and evaluates the impact of this resource. Thi is associate dean of graduate career and professional development at the Graduate School at Washington University in St. Louis, where she develops and implements programs and resources that promote career readiness. Thi has a PhD in Neuroscience from UT Southwestern Medical Center and completed postdoctoral research at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco.


Kelly Albus, PhD

Kelly Albus is an environmental scientist and educator, and provides instructional design and graphic design expertise to InterSECT. Her interdisciplinary research involving citizen science, water, geography and higher learning is blended with her love for teaching at all age levels. She has worked as an educator and scientist at several universities, museums, zoos, and research agencies, and has a passion for sharing her love of nature with students of all ages. She loves getting outside with her husband and two girls, to birdwatch and canoe, and has written and illustrated field guides as a hobby. She has a BA from Texas Tech University, a MS in Biology from Tarleton State University, and a PhD in Environmental Science at the University of North Texas.

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Linet Mera, PhD

Linet was project manager, job sim developer, co-evaluator, and job sim beta-test manager for InterSECT—and loved every minute of it! She is a freelance PhD consultant and co-founder/co-leader of the Unconscious Bias Project nonprofit that uses research-backed approaches to bring awareness of and tools to reduce unconscious bias in STEM fields. She received her PhD from UCSF in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and enjoys applying her artistic creativity, scientific problem solving, and international background to supporting STEM communities.


Sarah Peterson, PhD

Sarah Peterson serves as a job sim developer for InterSECT.  She has worked with graduate students in a range of fields to support their professional development and career readiness. She is also a Project Lead for Imagine PhD, an online career planning and exploration tool for Humanities and Social science PhDs. She currently serves as the Director of New Initiatives for the Atlanta Science Festival where she develops and produces programming and resources that present the wonders of science in surprising and engaging ways. She has a PhD in English from Emory University.


Elizabeth Silva, PhD

Liz Silva served primarily in a consulting role in the execution of the project, and is co-PI on the grant. Liz is associate dean of graduate programs at the University of California San Francisco, and previously was the founding director of UCSF’s Motivating INformed Decisions Program, a career exploration program funded by an NIH Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training award. She is a former biomedical research scientist with interests and experience in science policy, particularly relating to publication and research ethics, reproducibility of research, and training of biomedical graduate students and postdocs.


Serena Solin, MFA

Serena serves as a copyeditor, job sim developer, and website specialist for InterSECT.  She currently works in editorial production at The New Yorker. Serena earned her BA in English Literature from Columbia University and her MFA in Writing from Washington University in St. Louis.


Collin McCabe

Collin serves as backend editor for InterSECT. He earned his BS in Music Industry Studies from Loyola University New Orleans in 2014. Post-graduation, he spent a number of years working as a booking agent and touring the country with various musical projects. Currently, Collin works in graphic design and communications in the Harvey Media Center at Washington University in St. Louis with plans to pursue a dual JD/MBA with a concentration in Intellectual Property beginning in Fall 2019.