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March for Science – Milwaukee announces speaker list and event details

MILWAUKEE (April 19, 2017)March for Science – Milwaukee announced Wednesday their list of speakers and supporting businesses for the march and rally to be held on Earth Day, April 22, 2017. Milwaukee area supporters will be gathering in conjunction with over 500 satellite marches happening simultaneously world-wide to stand up for science-based policy decisions in government. 

A program of speakers is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at Red Arrow Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The speakers include:

Nabeel Quryshi is 17 years old and a junior at the University School of Milwaukee. He is the winner of this year’s all-state Badger State Science and Engineering Fair, receiving the prestigious First Place, Best of Fair Grand Award. He will represent the state of Wisconsin as a two-time Finalist at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, California. Aside from his passion for science, he is captain of the varsity tennis team, concertmaster of the school orchestra and founder and president of Harmonies for Health, a community orchestral performance ensemble. He is an advocate of STEM education for all and hopes to lead by example as an ambassador for the next generation of science enthusiasts.


Dr. Janis Eells joined the faculty of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Medical College of Wisconsin where she initiated her research in the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in retinal injury and disease. In 2003, Dr. Eells was recruited to the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee where she is actively involved in the Biomedical Sciences department. She has established an internationally recognized research program investigating the role of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in retinal and neurodegenerative disease processes. Her research has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the International Retinal Research Foundation and Fight for Sight.


Joey Zocher has over fifteen years of urban science teaching experience and worked with a team to open a new Milwaukee public charter school, Escuela Verde. Grounded in research and collective voice, Escuela Verde utilizes project-based learning to integrate sustainability and restorative justice into a school-wide curriculum. As an advisor at Escuela Verde, Joey shares both teaching and administrative duties with a team. Joey has also worked with the Urban Ecology Center, taught courses at UW-Milwaukee, and has been an active board member for numerous local, state and national boards including Milwaukee Urban Gardens, Brewcity Bruisers, Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education and the North American Association for Environmental Education’s Environmental Justice Special Interest Group.


Violet is a junior at Escuela Verde where she advocates for cultural competency. Violet aims to achieve a bachelor’s degree in public health in order to pursue a medical career as a healthcare administrator. Her career vision is to one day develop a sustainable community in which multicultural patients can be active participants in their own healthcare services. Violet has started a research study that analyzes an array of communication barriers in healthcare settings. She has developed a cultural competency training program in her school, intended to improve healthcare services for multicultural patients. Escuela Verde’s Cultural Competence Association is an innovative, teen-delivered educational program targeting barriers that prevent healthcare providers and teens from engaging in open, honest communication.


Mike Ballo is a senior electrical engineering student at UW – Milwaukee graduating this December. He conducts undergraduate research for the university on a hand-held bacteria detector in which he is responsible for the hardware & prototype design and testing. He will be joining Johnson Controls this summer as a Battery Engineer Intern. Mike is also the President and Project Lead for the RE-volv Solar Ambassador Project at UW – Milwaukee. They are affiliates of the non-profit, RE-volv, based out of San Francisco. Their mission is to deploy solar systems through a community driven effort by crowdfunding money to cover the up-front costs for solar systems at local community-serving organizations. Mike is passionate about sustainability and clean energy, and his dream job would be to work at Tesla.


Dayana Alaniz is a Cientificas de Milwaukee alumnae that currently attends Carmen High School. She joined Cientificas when she was a third-grader at Hayes Bilingual School and has since remained an active member, providing mentorship to younger program participants. Through her leadership she has spearheaded efforts to establish our city-wide Científicas alumnae group. She will be the first to go to college in her family and hopes to become a doctor.



Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL) translators will be available at the rally.

The official march is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. on the corner of State and Water Streets, taking a 2 mile route to the Milwaukee Public Museum and back. The march will begin by heading West on State Street, before turning South on James Lovell Street towards the Milwaukee Public Museum. The march will then circle past the Central Library via Wells Street, 8th Street and Wisconsin Avenue before heading back to Red Arrow Park via 6th Street and Kilbourn Avenue.

The program of speakers will resume in Red Arrow Park following the march with opportunities to speak with volunteers and sign up to get involved with the Milwaukee Area Science Advocates (MASA). The event ends at 5 p.m. with Marcher Meetups scheduled to run from 5-8 p.m. at various local establishments where a portion of the proceeds will be donated to either Kompost Kids Inc., Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers (WSST), or the Milwaukee Area Science Advocates (MASA).


Supporting businesses hosting Marcher Meetups include: Company Brewing, Explorium Brewpub, PalominoHoney Pie, Goodkind, and Bar West with more location announcements expected in the days leading up to the march.

For details pertaining to the march, facilities, accessibility, safety, public transportation options and more can be found on their website at

Representatives of the March for Science – Milwaukee are available for interviews with members of the media. To schedule an interview, contact Jason Kern, (262) 229-9077,

  1. Jocelyn Schroeder April 19, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Hello!?! There are TONS of brilliant WORKING scientists in Milwaukee. I know because I work alongside many of them. I appreciate the perspectives of students, and I absolutely in no way mean to imply that the students chosen to speak are less than brilliant or have little to contribute, but I don’t understand why 4 of 6 speaking slots are filled by younger people who have a limited body of work. I see this as a missed opportunity to hear from people who have dedicated their ENTIRE LIVES to science in their specific fields, people who are impacting not only this community, but the entire world. And these are people who live right here in Milwaukee.


    1. Thanks for your feedback. We reached out to many different individuals who were interested. Unfortunately, most had other commitments, but we’re looking forward to working with all of the contacts we’ve made and will continue to make as MASA continues planning other exciting events.


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