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Staff Spotlight: Adrienne Umali 

This series provides an opportunity to get up close and personal with the people who power The New York Academy of Sciences.

Tell us what you do for The Academy?

In my role, I manage K-12 School & Community Programs in New York City aimed at sharing the joys, relevance and importance of STEM with students.  

What has so far been your proudest accomplishment working for The Academy?

This past May we had our first in-person Science Student Showcase since the start of the pandemic. We invited students from 25 schools to share what they learned throughout the year and show off their science communication skills. I was so impressed with all the students, and their excitement was contagious. It felt great to be able to be in-person again and seeing the product of a year of work. 

You’re a scientist. How did you first become interested in science, and what has been the STEM journey that has brought you to where you are today?

In 5th grade I did a project on Thomas Edison where I built a model of a telegraph machine. It was so cool to learn about his life and all his inventions. I loved the idea of problem solving to make life easier, and it got me interested in how science and technology can do just that. 

One of Adrienne’s recent crochet creations

Why do you think science is so important to society?

Science is about asking questions and discovering knowledge, and I think that’s necessary for society to keep moving in a positive direction. 

Which scientist (or scientists) would you most like to have dinner with and why?

Marie Curie, because I’m sure she could tell amazing stories about the work the led her to TWO Nobel Prizes, and also stories about what it was like to live life in the 19th century. 

What hobbies or interest do you have outside of work?

I like crocheting, watching true-crime TV, and planning my next vacation! 


Academy Staff
This article was written by a member of the Academy staff.

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