Dr. Raquell Holmes is a pioneer in the use of improvisation and performance to advance scientific research communities. Trained formally as a cell biologist at Tufts Biomedical and Harvard Medical schools, Holmes works in the fields of computational sciences and high performance computing. As the founder of improvscience, she uses her training in human development and performance from the East Side Institute to help scientists build collaborative learning and research environments.

Marian Rich is a recruiter, actress, comic educator and trainer. Through her company, Career Play Inc., she uses social therapeutics to help people grow through playful workshops and individual coaching. She has performed improv comedy for over 20 years and has been teaching improv for a decade. Marian leads improv workshops and trainings in a variety of settings, from the non-profit All Stars Project to NYU Stern School of Business.

Mia is a native New Yorker who is an actor/ writer/ director. Cast in several award winning films including "Production," "If I Leap," and "Sleep," she recently wrapped a feature film, "The Widowers," for Charred Oak Films. She is a member of the Off-Broadway Rising Sun Performance Company, where she was a contributing writer to the collaborative play in development, "Henry's Wives," in addition to directing several pieces. Since returning to New York in 2006, Mia has directed five staged readings and five one-act productions. 

Nicholas Gross earned his Ph.D. in physics from Boston University and has been working on a variety of education projects for over a decade. Dr. Gross is recognized as an expert in the development and delivery of interactive and engaging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education programs for a wide range of people, including: public audiences, undergraduates and graduate students in specialized workshops, and in teacher professional development.

Neil has a Ph.D. in Brain & Cognitive Sciences from the University of Rochester, where his research focused on adult word learning and speech processing. He was later on the research staff at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. During that time, he also taught at the University of Tuebingen, in Tuebingen, Germany. Neil lives in Philadelphia.

Carrie Sackett is a co-leader of Uncomfortable Independent Conversations. Drawing on 25 years of experience as an independent political organizer, Carrie has led groundbreaking efforts in bringing people together—across race, class, ideology and ethnicity—to create new political, social and emotional cultures of community-building. She is nationally recognized for her leadership in creating sustainable and innovative social justice initiatives.

Jacqueline Grace Hayward, MA, trained in her native England as an actor, earned degrees in Communications and Drama Therapy, and trained in multiple forms of improvisation, including Playback Theater, Interplay and Theatre of the Oppressed. She directed a Playback company for 18 years and has been teaching acting and improvisational performance to students of all ages for over 30 years. 

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