About us

You are here now : Activate Breadcrumb NavXT Plugin

Executive Director: Bill Brucker

Bill is the Executive Director and founder of PACE. He is originally from the Pittsburgh area and has been living in the Providence area since 2000. He graduated from Brown University in 2004 with honors in Chemistry and has since been a member of the Brown University MD/PhD program and is a Brown Football alumnus. Currently he is in his clinical years of medical school. He has taught students of many levels a variety of subjects for the last 11 years and worked as an adjunct professor of Biology for Rhode Island College for 4 years. After medical school he will pursue a career in pediatrics.  Chemistry and Biochemistry are his favorite subjects and currently he is researching methods of talking about these subjects without putting others into a state of sleep that mirrors death. His hobbies include comic books, sculpture, and action movies from the 1980’s.

Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer: Brenna Brucker

Brenna is a MD candidate at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She has published over 100 original poems, 146 newspaper articles, and currently has a patent pending. She has spearheaded the PACE website and PACE’s book publications. Although in high school Brenna was ranked by USA Today as one of the top 20 scholars in the United States, she remembers having vivid nightmares in high school about biology, chemistry, and physics. Brenna knows that the only reason she was able to finally grasp the basic science concepts was through the diligent efforts of her high school science teachers who used creativity to catapult concepts into her brain. Brenna hopes to spread the lessons she has learned from those gifted teachers to students across the nation. Her hobbies are riflery, running, and ventriloquism.

Head of Outreach and Key Editor: Christoph Schorl

Christoph came to Brown University in 2000 for a postdoc after completing his PhD molecular biology at Dundee University in Scotland. He is now an assistant professor (research) at Brown where he runs the Genomics Core Facility and where he is also an academic advisor to Brown undergrad students. Christoph is passionate about improving education and providing education opportunities to less advantaged students. After some less than exciting science classes in high school and as undergraduate he wondered if there was a more engaging way to teach science and after talking to Bill Brucker over coffee and scones he knew that PACE was the solution and that PACE would make a difference.

Director of National Operations: Savanah Harshbarger

Savanah is a senior at Brown University studying Neuroscience and pre-medicine. She has always been passionate about science, serving as a research assistant at the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies as well as investigating birdsong and crayfish motor output all in southern CA labs. Additionally, she harbors an interest in teaching, working as a sciences peer tutor at Scripps College and as a student ambassador at the Brown CareerLab. Savanah prides herself in her role as a workshop leader for Brown SAT Prep, fostering test-taking strategies and college access among Providence students, as well as her mentoring role for 6th grade girls at a chapter of Girl’s Inc. where she builds on science understanding through creativity. When not in the lab, Savanah enjoys competing on Mock Trial teams as a top-ranked witness, traveling to rural Ecuador to stage Spanish-speaking clinics, and spreading awareness for Brown’s Students for Choice. She spends her summers at MIT’s Picower Institute crafting a ‘cure’ for Fragile X Autism while also sneaking into as many Boston-area hospitals as possible prior to entering medical school. Savanah believes her best realizations come out of kickboxing, scuba diving, and vintage shopping, and she couldn’t be more excited to spread the PACE message focused on making science relevant through creativity as its new Director of National Operations.

Director and Coordinator of Educational Impact: Jill Pandiscio

Jill is a senior at Brown University, concentrating in Neuroscience. While ultimately interested in pursuing a career in pediatric medicine, she also fosters a love of teaching. As a high school student, Jill served as a program coordinator and mentor for Wilson’s Wizards, an afterschool science and engineering program for fifth grade girls geared towards developing their skills and confidence in math and science. Since coming to Brown, she has been heavily involved with education reform, serving as a moderator for the Annenberg Institute for School Reform and cofounding a college access program. She is incredibly enthusiastic about the possibilities for science education, and hopes to spread her passion for science and teaching through her work with PACE.

Director and Coordinator of National Growth: Noelle Spencer

Noelle is a Junior at Brown University, and is concentrating in Gender & Sexuality Studies. She is a member of Brown’s 8-year medical program (PLME), and intends to specialize in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her interests include, reading, writing, ballroom dancing, and traveling. She is very excited to have the opportunity to work with PACE, and loves that through PACE, science will be more accessible to students not engaged by a textbook method of learning

Treasurer: Jennifer Lee

Jennifer is a graduating senior at Brown University, studying Human Biology with a focus in Human Health and Disease. She looks forward to another four years in sunny Providence as a medical student at the Alpert Medical School. Jennifer has always enjoyed working with kids, be it through teaching basic Chinese, tutoring math and science, or even demonstrating origami. Jennifer is excited to be working with an amazing team at PACE and to be spreading the love of science to students everywhere.

Assistant Executive Director: Zoe Weiss

Zoe is a medical student at Alpert Medical School. She completed her undergraduate at Brown University in 2012 with a degree in Human Biology and Anthropology. She did archaeological fieldwork in Alaska, digging for prehistoric bones and dodging black bears. She is working on a research project addressing ethical issues related to aging, is developing innovative ways to teach difficult concepts in anatomy, and is a summer science instructor for high-school students. She writes poetry, edits for a literary magazine, and is a student ambassador to the medical school. She joined PACE to make science more accessible, less scary, and more fun. She also wishes some of these stories were around back when she was taking physics.

Chief Business Officer: Johnny Luo

Johnny graduated Brown University with a degree in Commerce, Organization, and Entrepreneurship.  He received his MD in 2013 at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University.  In the past, Johnny spent time as a fellow at the Slater Technology Fund, a venture capital fund focused on technology and the life sciences.  Being an Asian, Johnny was heavily persuaded to memorize countless facts about science in high school.  He had always wondered if there was a better way to teach science.  Through his passion in entrepreneurship, Johnny hopes to help PACE reach new heights as the leader in making science not only bearable but also entertaining.

Consultant of Outreach: Carolina Veltri

Joao Paulo
– is an Instructor at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. His current research interests involve using mass spectrometry-based proteomics to investigate pancreatic disease. He will earn an MMSc from Harvard Medical School in 2012, which he will add to his a  PhD in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Brown University in 2008.  He had previously earned an MS degree in Physics from the University of Rhode Island and has a BS in Biology and Physics from Providence College.  His publications have appeared in several top proteomics and pancreas journals.

Vice President of Design: Grayson W. Armstrong

Grayson is an MD candidate at Brown University and a member of the Medical Education scholarly concentration program. He received his undergraduate degree in music with a minor in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009 and has interests in music, medical artwork, health care policy, education, and medical ethics. He is currently the Vice-Speaker of the American Medical Association – Medical Student Section Governing Council.

Jeffrey Hofman
– grew up in Barrington, Rhode Island, and graduated from Brown University in 2008 with an ScB in computational biology. As an undergraduate, he rowed on the men’s crew team and spent several years researching mitochondrial evolution and aging. Jeff is currently in his fourth year of Brown’s MD/PhD program, where he has served as a student representative on the curriculum committee and as a co-president of the medical school’s Aging Interest Group. For his PhD, he is studying the role of cellular signaling pathways in aging, for which he is funded by the NIH. Jeff also enjoys hiking, skiing, cycling, and playing the guitar.

Vice President of Product Development

Kate Schapira-
teaches writing and literature to college students at Brown University and the University of Rhode Island, and to elementary and middle school students through the Providence Writers-in-the-Schools and Read and Rap programs. She is the author of four books of poetry.

Stacy Croteau- (MD, MMS)
 is currently a fellow in pediatric hematology/oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She graduated from Brown University in 2003 with a B.S. in Neuroscience and from Brown University Medical School in 2007. She did her pediatric residency training at Children’s Hospital Boston where she was also served as chief resident. She is an expert in the field of vascular anomalies and researches Kaposiform Hemangiotheliomas. When she is not in the hospital she enjoys sewing and making quilts.


Mira K. Shah– a 2010 Teach for America Alum, and is a Geometry teacher at Sharpstown High School in Houston, Texas. She has a Masters of Education from the University St. Thomas and a Bachelors of Science from Northeastern University in Finance and Entrepreneurship. In the classroom, she is inspired to work with students and teach them the value of education and learning. She is inspired by the P.A.C.E. mission and believes that it shows great potential for turning kids onto learning through the use of various mediums.

Victoria Chen– a Biology teacher at Sharpstown High School in Houston, Texas. She graduated from Brown University with a Neuroscience concentration in 2011 and joined Teach For America in order to gain a better understanding of urban education. One of her primary focuses is the development of academic ownership and motivation within students, especially in regards to learning science. She is excited to be working with P.A.C.E. to make stories more accessible in the classroom.