Board of Directors
Elysse Grossi-Soyster, Founder
I obtained my Masters of Science degree in Cell and Molecular Biology and Infectious Disease from California State University, East Bay (CSUEB) in 2012. Currently, I am a researcher at Stanford University’s School of Medicine with the Pediatrics Infectious Disease Division. Prior to that, I worked at NASA Ames Research Center developing sustainable technologies to keep astronauts alive during the mission to Mars. I have a diverse research background that includes immunology, virology, parasitology, synthetic biology, microbiology, biological waste processing during space exploration, water treatment, resource recovery and sustainable bioengineering technologies. I am also a freelance science blogger.
I have organized and participated in outreach programs for middle school and high school students for many years, including programs with larger organizations, such as Girls Incorporated of Alameda County (Girls Inc.), and the Girl Scouts of Northern California.
With over 30 years of global experience in development, application, commercialization and promotion of advanced technology, I currently provide vision and leadership to Hitachi’s quest for Social Innovation. Now in my 17th year at Hitachi High Technologies America, my background includes progressive roles at Fairchild Semiconductor, Advanced Micro Devices, Zilog, and RCA. I have had the privilege to work closely with industry leaders such as Apple, Motorola, NTT , Ericsson, and MLB.com, as well as wide range of start-ups. I hold an MBA from California State University East Bay, with undergraduate studies in architecture, engineering and management and continuing education at the University of Texas. I am the proud father of two children whose professional careers are based on a strong STEM background.
My focus as a high school science teacher is to inspire students to find their passion and purpose in life. To do this, students need experiences beyond the typical classroom setting and that’s why I am thrilled to be a part of this board.
In 1993 I graduated from Principia College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. Since that time, I have conducted marine research work in a number of locations. I worked with sea turtles and stingrays in the Cayman Islands, queen conch in the Bahamas, and sharks in Baja. In 1996, I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and founded the teacher education and workshop program at RAFT (Resource Area For Teachers). This position led me to rethink how materials can be used in the classroom to engage students. In 2000, I was motivated to return to school and obtain a Secondary Teaching Credential in Biology as well as a Master’s in Science Education at San Jose State University (2003). From 2003-2014, I lived in the Netherlands and taught science at International Schools. It was at the American School of The Hague when I developed, Build your own Science Museum for my students. This program inspired the education directors at the NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam to develop a Dutch version called Science Center op School and was implemented in other European countries and Israel. In 2015, I returned to the San Francisco Bay Area and am currently teaching biology and marine science at South San Francisco High School.
James Yuanxin Li, Legal Counsel
I was graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. After working several years in the Information Technology field, I completed law school at Golden Gate University School of Law. I then worked for 20 years at Sedgwick LLP, a large international law firm, where I specialized in intellectual property, business litigation, and product liability.
My pro bono legal work is concentrated in the areas of non-profit law, contract drafting and negotiations, intellectual property, and litigation. I am a registered patent attorney and a former Solicitor (Supreme Court of England and Wales). My current STEM interests include genomics, microscopy as art, and histology.