Our Mission

Rochester NY March for Science champions publicly supported and openly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity in the Rochester region and beyond.

We are a diverse, nonpartisan group that promotes science for the common good and equitable access to scientific education and opportunities. We advocate for responsible scientific practices and evidence-based policies in the public interest.


We value, celebrate, and support:

  • Evidence-driven scientific investigation and discovery -Human diversity in all of its aspects, including (but not limited to) race, gender identity, sexual orientation socioeconomic status, culture, nationality, ability, and experience.
  • Inclusiveness and accessibility of STEAM workplaces, STEAM education, and our own organization- not only equality, but equity.
  • The environment and biological diversity.
  • Objectivity and transparency in scientific practice and our own efforts.
  • Scientific expertise as embodied within scientific training and institutional practice (peer review).
  • Scientific literacy and critical thinking.
  • Ethical responsibility in scientific research and the application of scientific findings.


We envision a future in which the Rochester region and the world beyond it enjoy the benefits of

  • a thriving scientific community,
  • evidence-based public policy,
  • equal and equitable access to STEAM education and employment,
  • a scientific community that effectively and willingly engages the public,
  • an energized public that prizes scientists and advocates for science,
  • a diverse and inclusive scientific community, and
  • science that benefits underrepresented and marginalized communities.


Our Goals

  • Inform the public about the Rochester area’s scientific institutions and achievements and the positive impact science has on our community.
  • Foster healthy and well-informed discussion of science policy issues, their political implications, and the need for evidence-based policy.
  • Strengthen the role and influence of science in policymaking, especially at local and regional levels.
  • Enhance STEM education and scientific literacy in the Rochester region.
  • Enhance underrepresented communities’ awareness of and access to STEM opportunities in education, careers, and life enhancement.
  • Build a community of science advocates: create networks and partnerships of science advocates and allies.

Who We Are

We are an entirely volunteer organization. Our directors are students, educators, scientists, and community members who believe that Rochester’s vibrant scientific economy and communities are worth fighting for.

Stephanie Gallant has been a member of the Rochester NY March for Science team since its inception, serving as director and, now, President. She has worked as an educator of young children in Livingston and Monroe counties since 2005. Stephanie joined ROC-MFS excited about the chance to help the community become more comfortable with the scientific process and confident in their own scientific literacy.

Eric Koski was a founding member of Rochester NY March for Science and now serves as its Vice President. He holds a B.A. in Computer Science from the University of Rochester and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Illinois, with additional graduate work at Cornell University. In his engineering career of over 30 years with Harris Corporation, he contributed to the HF radio and wireless networking technologies of radio systems used worldwide, resulting in technical publications, patents, and contributions to communications standards. He joined ROC-MFS because of his passionate conviction that any human future worth having will depend on our achieving a far greater public understanding of and engagement with science.

Joey Lawson helped start the Rochester NY March for Science with the hopes of promoting science-driven policy making and building awareness of the positive impact science funding has on society. After earning a B.S./M.S. in mechanical engineering from RIT and a Ph.D. at U of R, Joey now works as an engineer and scientist in the optics and photonics industry. His role with ROC-MFS focuses on community outreach and serves as both Treasurer and Science Expo co-chairperson.

Emma Grygotis is one of the founding directors of the Rochester NY March for Science, and now serves as both the organization’s Secretary and co-chair of the Expo Committee. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the University of Rochester, studying the effects of ultrasound on protein structure and function. Emma joined the organizing team out of a desire to help foster opportunities for science enthusiasts of all ages to engage in meaningful conversations about the complex challenges our society faces.

Gail Seigel is a charter member of the Rochester NY March for Science, serving as co-chair of the Speaker Committee and as Diversity Officer of the organization. Gail received a B.S. degree from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. from Albany Medical College, with postdoctoral studies in Neuroscience at the University of Rochester.  She is currently a faculty member at SUNY Buffalo, running a research lab that studies retinoblastoma, an eye tumor of childhood.  Gail joined the ROC-MFS team to help promote scientific awareness in our community and highlight the importance of federal funding support for biomedical research.

Scott Franklin joined the Rochester NY March for Science shortly after its creation, helping recruit political representatives to speak at the March. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Austin and a postdoctoral fellowship in STEM Education Research from the National Science Foundation. He maintains laboratories in soft condensed matter and physics education research at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he is a Professor of Physics and Director of the Center for Advancing STEM Teaching, Learning & Evaluation. His passion within the March for Science is to advance political advocacy efforts and broaden the diversity of participation within STEM.

Carol Kellogg joined Rochester NY March for Science shortly after its inception in 2017. She has a B.S. in Physical Therapy from the University of Colorado, a M.S. in Physiology from Marquette University and a Ph.D. in Physiology-Neurobiology from the University of Rochester where she was a faculty member for 39 years and is now Professor Emeritus in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. She initiated the undergraduate major in Neuroscience and maintained a research laboratory in developmental neuroscience. Carol joined the March for Science group to help counter current negative attitudes towards science and to help promote a positive role for science such as existed when she started her career.

Nicole Raisanen is a founding member of the Rochester NY March for Science. She earned her B.S. in Sociology from Nazareth College and has been working in the non-profit sector for over 10 years. Nicole is a full-time mom, part-time community assistant, and an active volunteer in the Rochester community. She is keenly aware of the life-saving and life-improving benefits that advances in medical technology and medications can have as her mother battles multiple sclerosis. She also appreciates the wonders and value of everyday science as her children experience the world around them. Nicole supports science as a critical part of our lives and believes it should be accessible to all people.

Beckie Schultz joined Rochester NY March for Science shortly after its inception to promote an appreciation for the integral role science, technology and healthcare innovation play in the quality of life all people experience, especially those in the Rochester community. She earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Virginia Tech and a M.S.Ed. in elementary education from Nazareth College. She worked as a chemist for 11 years then switched careers to become an early childhood educator for 20 years. Science was always at the core of her teaching because of its ability to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Currently, she serves as program director for a local school boards association and on the ROC-MFS Speaker Committee.

Melinda Vander Horst became involved with the Rochester NY March for Science in its early stages. Having worked in the medical field for the last 10 years, she is passionate about advancing biomedical innovation to improve healthcare and better society. Currently, Melinda is pursuing a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Rochester, with a focus on utilizing protein conformation and ultrasound for the development of therapeutics. She sought to be part of ROC-MFS to develop scientific outreach programs and foster educational opportunities for everyone. Melinda hopes to ignite the same excitement for science that has always captivated her within the Rochester community.