Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education

Staff Biographies

 

 
benyaDr. Frazier Benya (she/her/hers) is a Senior Program Officer at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and is a member of the staff supporting the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM), a standing committee of the National Academies. Currently, Dr. Benya serves as the Director of the Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education. Recently, she served as the study director for the National Academies study “Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.” Dr. Benya’s work focuses on ensuring that science, engineering, and medicine are ethical and socially responsible, both in their practice and in who gets to participate in the work. Before joining the CWSEM staff, Dr. Benya worked with the National Academy of Engineering on improving and enhancing engineering ethics education and on analyzing the pathways engineers take from education to the workforce.

Dr. Benya holds a B.A with honors in Science, Technology and Society from the University of Puget Sound, and a M.A. in Bioethics and Ph.D. in History of Science, Technology, and Medicine from the University of Minnesota. Her Ph.D. focused on the history of bioethics and discussions of scientific social responsibility during the 1960s and 1970s, which led to the creation of the first federal bioethics commission in 1974. Her M.A. examined different types of institutional methodologies for considering the social implications of science with a focus on those that integrate scientific research with ethics research in the United States and Canada. Dr. Benya was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences in 2017.

Bear PicDr. Arielle Baker (they/their/theirs) is an Associate Program Officer with the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Dr. Baker’s work aims to eliminate harmful cultures and climates in higher education. Prior to working on the Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education, Dr. Baker served as a Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academies, contributing to CWSEM’s ongoing consensus study addressing factors contributing to the underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and medicine (STEM). She is passionate about promoting equity and inclusion in science, particularly with respect to sexual and gender minority communities.
Dr. Baker holds Bachelors degrees with honors in Neuroscience and in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Dartmouth College. Her dissertation work examined the connectivity and modulation of cortical circuitry, with the goal of identifying fundamental principles dysregulated in psychiatric disease.

 

Ngun PicIrene Ngun (she/her/hers) is an Associate Program Officer with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Prior to this position she was a Research Associate for the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM), a standing committee of the National Academies. Currently, Irene coordinates the outreach efforts for the recently published study on the Integration of Arts, Humanities, and STEMM in Higher Education. She is also a staff member of the Action Collaborative to Prevent Sexual Harassment in Higher Education. In addition to her work with BHEW and CWSEM, she also coordinates an international project on Improving the Inclusion of Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Before joining the National Academies she was a congressional intern for the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (Democratic Office) and served briefly in the office of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas (D-33). Irene Ngun received her M.A. in International Relations from Yonsei Graduate School of International Studies, where she developed her interest in science policy. She received her B.A. from Goshen College in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Global Economics.

AA profile picAusten Applegate (he/him/his) is a Research Associate with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Prior to joining the National Academies he worked in a number of professional fields including international development, clinical research, and education. Austen holds a dual B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from Guilford College. There he developed his interest in social science research and policy through his coursework in behavioral medicine, clinical assessment, public health, health policy, qualitative and quantitative research methodology, race and gender disparities, and social science history. Austen plans to pursue a Master in Public Health in the future. In his free time, Austen enjoys being active outdoors, spending time with family and friends, and cooking.
 
 

John Veras (he/him/his) is a Senior Program Assistant with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce. John is originally from Rockland County, New York, and he has lived and worked in Washington, D.C. for the past five and a half years. John has worked for a variety of K-12 and higher education organizations in D.C., including the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. John graduated from Princeton University in 2011 with a degree in American History. His senior thesis focused on the history of Latinos in American baseball and how the complexity of race in Latin America has changed baseball historiography. In his free time, John spends enjoys volunteering at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art and serves as a reading volunteer with local elementary schools. Additionally, he play rugby for the Washington Men’s Rugby Football Club.


Leyla BalimtasLeyla Balimtas (she/her/hers) is a Communications and Media Associate for the Division on Earth and Life Studies (DELS) and the Policy and Global Affairs Division (PGA). Her primary responsibilities include promoting report releases, and study, committee, and roundtable activities and events through targeted outreach pitches, e-newsletters, and social media campaigns. She oversees the DELS and PGA websites and is fundamental in creating communication and derivative products (briefs, infographics, and videos) for Academies projects and publications. Prior to starting her work with the Academies in August 2017, she held positions with the Center for International Environmental Law and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Leyla graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication – Public Relations and minors in Sustainability Studies and Spanish Language and Cultures.