|Dr. Rod Wright||A nationally recognized expert in public opinion and market research, Dr. Rod Wright joined Attitude Research Company (ARC) as its president in 1986. When ARC merged with its parent company UNICOM Group to form UNICOM•ARC, Dr. Wright became president of the combined firm. Prior to joining ARC, Dr. Wright was vice-president and director of research with Public Response, Inc., a political and business consulting firm. He also served on the faculty at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Dr. Wright has directed a wide variety of public opinion, community engagement and communications projects for hundreds of corporate and political clients and school and community college districts throughout the United States. Under Dr. Wright’s leadership, UNICOM•ARC has twice won the Magna Award from the American School Boards Journal and numerous other awards for engagement and communication programs.
Dr. Wright is a sought-after speaker at national and regional conferences including the National School Public Relations Association, the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations, the Annual Management Symposium of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, the Annual Leadership Forum of the American Bar Association and the State Education Improvement Partnership.
Dr. Wright holds a Ph.D. in political science from Washington University, where he specialized in public opinion research. He also holds a master’s degree from Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from William Jewell College.
|Dr. Pamela Gay||Dr. Pamela L. Gay is an astronomer, writer, and podcaster focused on using new media to engage people in science and technology. Her most well known project may be Astronomy Cast, a podcast she co-hosts with Fraser Cain (Producer of Universe Today). Each week, they work to take their listeners on a facts-based journey through the cosmos that explores not only what we know about the universe, but how we know it. They are know entering their sixth year of production, and thanks to the constant new discoveries coming out of the Space Science communities, they have no plans stop recording any time soon.Prior to working on Astronomy Cast, Pamela and fellow Slackers Aaron Price and Travis Searle worked on Slacker Astronomy, the first podcast devoted explicitly to astronomy. Slacker Astronomy was the reason for science becoming a distinct genre in podcast directories. Launching in February 2005, Slacker Astronomy ran for over a year. Parodying everything from the opening to ABC’s Monday Night Football [mp3] and the theme to Green Acres, Slacker Astronomy combined off-beat humor with hard-core science. Off-air, we produced the first peer-reviewed papers (1, 2) on what it takes to make a podcast and find out who is listening. (Astronomy Cast and collaborators have followed up with three more papers – 3, and two not yet online)In addition to podcasting, Pamela also works to communicate astronomy to the public through StarStryder.com, through frequent public talks, and through popular articles. Her writing has appeared in Astronomy, Sky and Telescope, and Lightspeed magazines.Pamela received a B.S. in Astrophysics from Michigan State University in 1996 and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Texas in 2002. Today, she teaches at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Although her first research love was and remains variable stars (she even serves on the council of the American Association of Variable Star Astronomers), she has committed “scientific adultery” more than once to steal moments for exploring the secrets of galaxy evolution. Today, along with her astronomy science research, she also focuses her efforts the majority of her efforts on engaging the public in doing science through CosmoQuest.
While it may seem that I either live on campus or perhaps online, Pamela lives in a historic house in southern Illinois with her husband, two dogs, and a lot of books. Whenever she can, she escapes to a horseback ride at Phancy Pharm.
|Dr. Nicole Gugliucci||Nicole Gugliucci is a new post-doc in astronomy working as part of the CosmoQuest team. Her thesis focused on radio astronomy instrumentation. She loves to teach, both in a classroom setting and informally and is happy to talk about the universe with anyone who will listen, and is skeptically curious about all things. Nicole also writes for Discovery News, Skepchick, and CosmoQuest|
|Dr. Rhett Allain||Rhett Allain is an Associate Professor of physics at Southeastern Louisiana University and the author of the Wired magazine science blog Dot Physics. He received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 2001, and works in the field of Physics Education Research.In his Wired.com blog, Dot Physics, Allain discusses physical concepts, answers questions related to physics and math, and debunks un-physical claims. Many of his posts are supported by experiments, calculations and models. Recently, he has analyzed the physics behind the Angry Birds: Space video game and behind a now-debunked video which purported to show a man flying with home-made wings. He has also criticized television shows, including Fight Science that perform poorly-controlled experiments which are presented as scientific.|
|Jason Major||Jason Major is a graphic designer by trade but has always loved astronomy. He especially enjoys the photographs of exotic locations around our solar system that robotic orbiters, rovers and satellite observatories have been able to provide. They are our modern pioneers, capturing stunning images of alien locations in unprecedented detail, showcasing the amazing variations of scenery found on the little points of light we see in our night sky.Several years ago, he came across an application called “Riding With Robots”. This was a connection to a site built by Bill Dunford, a photographer and space enthusiast. There he would post daily photos featuring the latest images from the robotic missions around our solar system, along with a brief description and links to further reading, and a comments section for the readers. I really enjoyed his site and looked forward to new posts, as they gave me an outlet for my far-reaching imagination while sitting at my desk and offered a daily perspective on our universe most people rarely get.When the RwR site suddenly had a post about Bill’s “signing off”, due to personal reasons, I was devastated (but he has since re-opened his site!) It was like a door to the outside was being shut and locked. It wasn’t an hour later that I decided to try to continue the theme myself, on a new site, and after contacting Bill and getting his blessing and some of his resource info, Lights in the Darkwas soon up and running.And the rest, as they say, is history. (Well, astronomy.)|
|Philip Gounis, Poet ExplorationDayUSA.org||Philip John Gounis is an American poet, literary journalist, archivist, filmmaker, publisher, concert, and book reviewer.
Gounis first came into public awareness in the early 1970s when he and several colleagues filmed and presented a series of experimental films. These films were the product of the informal largess of the University of Missouri – St. Louis. During this period Gounis also began to publish his poetry in several alternative press outlets and read on KDNA FM radio. Some of the participants in these readings later formed the nucleus of River Styx Magazine.
In March 1976, he initiated a weekly blues program on KCLC radio at Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Missouri. “Crackerbox” featured recorded blues music spanning five decades and sometimes hosted guests such as Grammy winner Corky Siegel, Linda LaFlamme (It’s a Beautiful Day), boogie- woogie virtuoso Rudy “Silver Cloud” Coleman, blues master Bob Case, and others. In June 1976 he began to host and produce “Verbatim”, a monthly showcase of poetry and music. Poets Donald Finkel, Jan Garden Castro, Carter Revard and Michael Castro were some of the poets featured.
In the early 1980s Gounis contributed to the work of the Soulard Culture Squad. This group of poets and musicians performed throughout the historic Soulard area and published several poetry collections.
In 1988, he co-founded a magazine of politics and popular culture, Steamshovel Press with the impetus of publishing an interview with Ram Dass. At the end of the decade and into the ’90s he took part in radio programs such as Off The Beaten Path, Poetry Beat and Literature for the Halibut on KDHX FM in St. Louis, Missouri. Some of the transcripts of his interviews done in conjunction with these programs are available at the Washington University Department of Special Collections Olin Library. In summer 2005 Intangible Studios released the CD, Form Matters on which Gounis collaborated with musician Rich Kruse. Some Of These Have Appeared, a chapbook of poetry was published spring 2007. In the summer of 2010 Gounis’ work appeared in Flood Stage: An Anthology of Saint Louis Poets. His second chapbook, Upgrading the Allusion was published by JK Publishing in April, 2011.