Who We Are
The Santa Fe Alliance for Science was formed by Bob Eisenstein and Susan McIntosh in the fall of 2004 and began operation in 2005. Its goal was to improve science education in Santa Fe by "making a marriage" between students and teachers in our local schools (public and private) and our scientific, technical, engineering, and mathematical community.
SFAFS Board of Directors
Kathy Brechner, President
Kathy Brechner is a relative newcomer to Santa Fe and has been volunteering with the Alliance for Science for two years now. She has a BA in Geology and an MBA in industrial marketing. After a career with the government and then the corporate world, she served for 16 years in New York as an elected Board of Education Trustee for both her local school district and then the regional PNW Board of Cooperative Education. During this time, she became a Horticultural Therapist, registered through the American Horticultural Therapy Association, and now works with the elderly here in Santa Fe.
Locally, Kathy serves on the board of the Santa Fe Master Gardeners Association. Other board service has included serving with the Mid Atlantic Horticultural Therapy Network, the Putnam Northern Westchester School Boards Association, Temple Israel of Norther Westchester, and she is especially proud to have been the first NY state school board trustee to be invited to earn her Fellowship in the Educational Policy Fellowship Program under the Institute for Educational Leadership.
She looks forward to getting more involved with the SF Alliance for Science.
Bruce Abell, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer
Bruce Abell was a co-founder of Santa Fe Center for Emergent Strategies (now Santa Fe Associates International), vice president of Santa Fe Institute, senior fellow at Hudson Institute, business strategy consultant, assistant director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, official of the National Science Foundation, and science magazine writer and editor. He's a graduate of the California Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania and has lived in Santa Fe for 25 years.
Jim Amann is a retired physicist with a more than 30 year research career at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and other accelerator facilities in the U.S., Japan and Europe. Born in Buffalo, NY, he received his bachelors degree from Fordham University and PhD from SUNY Stony Brook. While a staff member at LANL he participated in the TOPS Mentor program for middle school math and science teachers. Within SFAFS he has been active both as a tutor with and as a judge at local and regional science fairs.
Barbara Bianchi began her career in public education as an elementary school teacher. She taught Kindergarten through grade 4 for nearly 20 years in Wisconsin, Arizona, and Santa Fe, and was a district-level mentor teacher for Santa Fe Public Schools. She earned a Master’s degree in Education Administration and Supervision and was a state administrator and manager for ten years at the New Mexico Public Education Department, working on district/school accreditation, strategic planning, elementary arts education, state-funded PreK, parent/community involvement, afterschool programming, rural education, and student assessment. She also worked for the Center for Research and Educational Policy for several years as a science education researcher. She has been a volunteer with the Alliance for eight years. During that time she has been a Science/STEM Fair judge and has worked on curriculum design for classroom experiment presentations, been a classroom presenter, and student project mentor.
John Dressman is a retired teacher and businessman. John received his Bachelors in Education and Speech from UNM and his Masters in Mass Communication from the University of Denver. He taught high school speech and debate through the 1970s.
John grew up in Santa Fe and, for some reason, never left.
John and his wife Linda worked together in the retail and wholesale flower industry and later in Native American Arts. John currently volunteers in the Adopt-A-School program at Nina Otero Community School as a classroom tutor.
Bill Earl is a retired physical chemist who worked for Los Alamos for almost 30 years. His background is in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and materials structure. His undergraduate degree is from Beloit College an PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He grew up in Latin America and lived in Switzerland for several years. While a staff member at Los Alamos he frequently hosted undergraduate and graduate summer students. He has been an active judge in STEM Fairs and mentor with SFAFS for about 5 years. His hobbies are mainly outdoor activities like camping and even sailing at times. He is also on the Board of the Santa Fe Farmers Market.
Robert Eisenstein (board member emeritus) is a retired physicist now living in Boston, MA. He was educated at Oberlin College, Yale University (PhD) and the Weizmann Institute. He spent many years on the faculties of Carnegie Mellon University and University of Illinois, where he often taught physics to freshmen and sophomore engineering students. He also spent more than a decade at the National Science Foundation, and for a brief time was president of the Santa Fe Institute. From 2007 to 2009 he chaired the New Mexico Math and Science Advisory Council. He co-founded SFAFS in 2005 (with Susan McIntosh) and was its director until 2014. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dean Gerber is a former executive director of SFAFS. He's a mathematical scientist who has been a volunteer with SFAFS since 2011. He grew up in Santa Fe and attended Wood Gormley, Harrington, and Santa Fe High. He's a graduate of Caltech and has a PhD from NYU. After a long career with IBM's Thomas Watson Research Center he retired back to Santa Fe. Having benefited from attention from Santa Fe teachers who helped him blossom as a student, he has particular concern for helping identify and encourage students who may have limited opportunities. He is co-chair of SFAFS's science fair program.
Hubert van Hecke is a particle physicist at Los Alamos, having worked on a series of experiments at CERN and Brookhaven Lab over the past 30 years. He has lived in Santa Fe since the mid-80's. He has done a weekly 'science hour' at Wood Gormley Elementary for over 20 years. He grew up in the Netherlands, and is a graduate of LSU and Syracuse University.
Tobey King is in his second term on the Board, serving mostly “remotely” from his current home in Bellingham, WA. He moved there in mid-2015 after 15 years in Santa Fe but less than a year on the Board. The Kings return to Santa Fe at least once a year, almost always during Science Fair season, as Tobey relishes mentoring students on projects and providing constructive criticism on their outcome.
Tobey discovered the Alliance while tutoring at Santa Fe High School soon after retiring, and later tutored through SFAFS at Capital H/S and SFCC (he now tutors at a very similar community college in WA). He helped Dean Gerber familiarize Santa Fe Indian School with the resources available through SFAFS.
With a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Tobey retired from the chemical business after 41 years, the last 24 of which were in marketing. He considers himself very fortunate to have represented his employers in 15 countries all over the world (though having lived in none), and to have been able to travel with Barbara since retiring to many more.
Judy Reinhartz (New Director as of September 2018. Judy Reinhartz is Professor Emeritus from The University of Texas at El Paso where she also was an administrator. She has a Bachelors from Rutgers University, Masters from Seton Hall University, and Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico. Her career has spanned over five decades that have been filled with great diversity and creative experiences. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Chancellor’s Outstanding University Teacher Award. She has been an elementary and secondary science teacher, staff developer, researcher, grant writer, and presenter. These roles have propelled her enthusiasm for meeting new challenges and with them solving problems. Fostering a research agenda in the schools promoted a culture of inquiry that deepened teachers’ and administrators’ knowledge about pedagogy and science instruction in diverse settings. She is the author of many books and articles, most recently Growing Language Through Science: Strategies That Work. Since retiring, she enjoys volunteering and working side-by-side with students and teachers to expand the presence of science in elementary classrooms and serves as the Co-Leader of the Adopt-A-School program.)
Andres Villa is a business development engineer for BrightVolt, a lithium-ion battery start-up. He has a Masters in Energy Engineering from Tec de Monterrey, and PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Purdue University. He has been volunteering with the Santa Fe Alliance for Science for over two years now, for events both in person and remote. Born in Monterrey, Mexico, he has had the privilege of growing up in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Venezuela.
For the last 10 years, he has passionately advocated for increased science engagement for underrepresented communities, volunteering for many programs in rural Mexico, Indiana, and New Mexico. Most recently, at Purdue University’s Women in Engineering Program, he taught hands-on afterschool programs. Within SFAFS Andres has been active as a STEM Fair judge, online tutor, and developing programs and videos for Santa Fe students during remote schooling in 2020 and 2021.
Former Board Members