About Us

Mission and Vision

STEM Santa Fe advocates for, develops and provides STEM programming, mentoring and resources for all youth, especially underrepresented groups in STEM, to realize their potential and expand their opportunities in a dynamic world. STEM Santa Fe envisions a world filled with analytical citizens exploring complex issues for the betterment of society.

Guiding Principles

1. Inspiring students to remain engaged in school and interested in STEM fields through programs centered on hands-on activities, real-world applications, and culturally relevant projects.

2. Promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM education by working to close the opportunity gap for under-represented groups in STEM – mainly girls, Hispanics, and Native Americans – and under-served groups in Northern NM.

3. Strengthening students’ growth mindset and increasing their confidence in STEM by engaging them with caring STEM professionals and college students who act as mentors and role models.

4. Instilling 21st century skills like teamwork, problem-solving, and resiliency to prepare the youth for the future job market demand through engaging them with project-based learning and nurturing their social-emotional learning and wellness.

5. Fostering friendships between like-minded peers who reinforce each others’ interest in STEM by bringing students together at large events.

6. Cultivating a community of practice of STEM professionals, volunteers, and educators to be a supportive network for students and each other.

7. Invigorating the New Mexico STEM education ecosystem by forming collaborations and coalitions with local groups, schools, and nonprofits that share our vision.

Learn about STEM Santa Fe’s programming initiatives

Inclusion Statement


2020-2021 STEM Santa Fe Annual Report

2019-2020 STEM Santa Fe Annual Report

2018-2019 at a glance summary of STEM Santa Fe

 2017-2018 at a glance summary of STEM Santa Fe

 2016-2017 at a glance summary of STEM Santa Fe

***5th year Anniversary Celebration in February 2021 (virtual)***

Pandemic Year 2020 in Review

Our Team

STEM Santa Fe Team


Lina Germann, Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Lina Germann is the Founder and CEO of STEM Santa Fe. Since moving to Santa Fe in 1997, after earning her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, Lina has been a STEM advocate, spearheading large STEM events, leading afterschool STEM programs, teaching at Santa Fe Community College, and developing curriculum and conducting professional development for teachers. In addition, she worked in the technology industry as a chemist and a marketing specialist as well as served on local boards and committees. Lina is passionate about STEM education as a path for prosperity and diversity, especially for those under-represented in STEM careers. Lina enjoys life-long learning, traveling, watching her sons become young men, and walking her dog while enjoying Santa Fe’s sunsets.

Lina is the recipient of the  2022 NM Mentor of the year in STEM Excellence award by AFRL New Mexico.

Patricia Maslow has a passion for science, health, and education for all ages. Born and raised in Las Vegas, NV she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences from UNLV. She spent many years working as an advocate for health and nutrition, educating the public on new and innovative research to support longevity, as well as working as a peer mentor to help instill confidence in oneself. Patricia moved to Santa Fe in September 2019 with her family and has been enjoying meeting the kind people of the city. She enjoys spending time with her husband and child, fitness, cooking, and listening to music.
Tricia Maslow, Operations and Outreach Specialist

Natasha Farmer, Development and Marketing Associate
A born and raised Santa Fean, Natasha Farmer has always been passionate about science, math, and writing, reaping the benefits of many local STEM and writing programs. She honed her skills in these subjects through a Liberal Arts degree at St. John’s College and then went on to earn a degree in Controlled Environment Agriculture at Santa Fe Community College. She has worked at several Santa Fe non-profits in a variety of fields including education and leadership, urban agriculture, ecology, and natural resource management. Her love of STEM education led her to STEM Santa Fe to help promote their many amazing programs. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and fermenting, hiking, and fussing over her growing collection of houseplants.
A proud daughter of Santa Fe, Riva Merrill has actively served the community her entire life. From volunteering for Farm to Table to being a camp counselor at Randall Davey Audubon Center, Riva has a passion for supporting kids in their journey through their fundamental growth years to adulthood. She worked the previous eight years as a Project and Account Manager at a software company, directly assisting domestic and international Destination Marketing Organization clients to integrate tourism commerce tools into their websites. She studied Business Administration, Management and Marketing, and Graphic Design at UNM and CNM. Riva is a loving mother of two rambunctious cats, Charlie and Jasper. She loves road trips and traveling abroad. She has more National Park stamps and stickers to collect, and next on her travel abroad list are Paris, Japan, and a return to Spain. She is greatly drawn to the natural world, hiking about New Mexico while enjoying bird identification and photography.
Riva Merrill, Programs and Volunteers Coordinator

Kara Luithjohan, Volunteer, STEM Pathways For Girls Workshops Coordinator
Kara Luitjohan is a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory working on the manufacturing of various metals. She received her Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana along with her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Nuclear Engineering and Materials Engineering, respectively. Beyond her work, Kara enjoys leading outreach activities to excite young students about careers in engineering along with taking advantage of the outdoor activities that New Mexico has to offer!

Mentors and Instructors

Esther Lescht was born and raised in Santa Fe. She is a current student at Northern New Mexico College majoring in Electromechanical Engineering. Her passion lies in teaching and mentoring students to introduce them to new concepts and inspire them to keep exploring. When she is not working with students or planning different ways to engage kids, she loves to be outside, hiking, and exploring the numerous beautiful places in New Mexico.
Esther Lescht, Engineering Mentor and instructor

Edwin Felter
Born & raised in Nambe Pueblo, New Mexico, Edwin is an Electro Mechanical Engineering major from Northern New Mexico College. He is also an Indigenous Language Teacher, and Native Artist
I have been a science educator for over 23 years, 3 years as a science teacher in the Peace Corps (The Gambia, West Africa) and the other 20 at the Santa Fe Indian School.  In addition to being a mom to 2 amazing kids (14 and 11), I work with Lina Germann through STEM SF’s amazing summer program.  The past couple years I have offered the app building camp that has the students build an entire app in a week and submit their project to the Congressional App Challenge.  I love the challenge of coding and introducing students to a new set of skills that can be used in their future endeavors.

Kate Sallah

We also would like to recognize our interns now and in the past


Theo McDonald 2021 – 2022 Mentor and intern
Valentin Ornelas, Summer 2022 intern
Iris Fonseca Castillo, Summer 2021 and Summer 2022 intern
Mariah Mejillas Rivera, Summer 2021 Intern
Barath Kurapati, Summer 2021 Intern
Emily Buxengaard, Summer 2020 intern-Spring 2021
Joshua Haggard, Fall 2020 Intern
Emma Seba, Summer 2020 intern
Santiago Vigil, Spring and Summer 2020 Intern
Emma Kimball, Spring 2020 Intern

We thank our Community Partners and Collaborators:

Dr. Steve Cox, Northern New Mexico College

Colleen Lynch, Santa Fe Community College

Karen Squires, Santa Fe Public Schools

Rebecca Estrada, LANL Community Partnerships Office

Kayla Norris, LANL Community Partnerships Office

Aaron Mitchell, Regional Coordinator, GEAR UP New Mexico

Kelly Horn, Gear Up Director, Espanola Valley Schools

Board of Directors

STEM Santa Fe Board of Directors (2022-2023)

President: Randy Flores, BSME, MBA
Randy Flores is an accomplished engineer currently supporting LANL’s national security manufacturing mission. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with an Economics minor from NMSU and later went on to earn an MBA. He held engineering roles for both Toyota Motor Corporation and LANL for over 16 years. He was selected for an Interagency Personnel Assignment in Washington, D.C. to support Congressman Ben Ray Lujan while remaining a LANL employee and was then later asked by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office to serve on the Board of Regents selection committee for NMSU and NM Tech. He resides in Santa Fe County where he serves as vice-President of the Paseo De Estrellas Road Maintenance Association.
Olga Serafimova is currently the General Counsel for the New Mexico Department of Information Technology. She graduated from Santa Clara University with a major in European History and a minor in Computer Science and later obtained her J.D. degree from McGeorge School of Law. She spent several years specializing in Employment Law, worked for the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office as the Tobacco Bureau Chief, an Assistant Attorney General in the Litigation Division, and as a Staff Attorney with the New Mexico Court of Appeals.  
Vice President: Olga Serafimova, Esq.

Treasurer: Caroline Cavalie
Caroline has led Information Technology programs for The Coca-Cola Company for over 25 years, building multi-cultural teams across the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific. Her passion is to create trusted partnerships to build better, faster solutions.
Caroline holds a Master in Management from ICN Business School (France). She started her career with Ernst & Young Management Consulting in Paris, prior to joining Coca-Cola in France. She relocated to Atlanta 20 years ago to take on global Information Technology responsibilities which she held through multiple roles until she retired.
Jenna deCastro holds a BS in Business Administration and a MS in Counter Terrorism and Homeland Security. She has worked full-time for Wildflower International, Ltd.(a federal contractor based in Santa Fe) providing critical onsite warranty support for Sandia and Los Alamos National Labs. She was the only onsite warranty technician for both labs with a combined customer base of 22,000 lab employees for roughly one year. After hiring and training a team to replace her, Jenna transitioned back into the DOE Sales Team, first as a Solutions Architect in 2018 and then as the Just in Time (JIT) Sales Program Manager in 2020. She began working as an intern at Sandia National Labs in May of 2021. During her free time, Jenna can be found training for local Olympic lifting competitions, chipping away at the never-ending list of home improvements for her off-grid homestead, or wandering through the forest with her dog.
Secretary: Jenna DeCastro, M.Sc.

Founder & Chief Executive Officer: Lina Germann, Ph.D., MBA
Lina Germann is the Founder and CEO of STEM Santa Fe. Since moving to Santa Fe in 1997, after earning her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, Lina has been a STEM advocate, spearheading large STEM events, leading afterschool STEM programs, teaching at Santa Fe Community College, and developing curriculum and conducting professional development for teachers. In addition, she worked in the technology industry as a chemist and a marketing specialist as well as served on local boards and committees. Lina is passionate about STEM education as a path for prosperity and diversity, especially for those under-represented in STEM careers. Lina enjoys new challenges, life-long learning, traveling, and Santa Fe’s sunsets.
Steven Rudnick is an Environmental Scientist and Educator. He received a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts Boston, a BSEE from MIT, and a MSEE from Northeastern University. He served as the director of UMB’s Environmental Studies and as research faculty in the Environmental, Earth, and Ocean Sciences Department. He has taught environmental science and environmental history. He has been involved with water issues in Santa Fe County and frequently lectures with Santa Fe’s Renesan program.
Steven Rudnick, Ph.D.
Joseph Sanchez is the State Representative for District 40, and Vice-Chairman of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee. He was born and raised in the Espanola Valley and graduated from Espanola Valley High School. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from UNM, and his MBA from NMSU. Joseph worked as an Engineering Manager at LANL and as CEO and General Manager at Jemez Mountains Electric, the largest electric cooperative in the state. He is a former board member of United Way of Northern New Mexico and also a former big brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Joseph Sanchez, MSEE, MBA

Douglas Medin, Ph.D.
Doug Medin is a Louis W. Menk Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Professor Emeritus of
Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. Trained as a cognitive psychologist and best known for his research on concepts and categorization, Doug has extended his research interests to cross-cultural studies of biological expertise and its effect on categorization, reasoning and decision making. He has been Editor of the journal Cognitive Psychology, written four editions of a Cognitive Psychology textbook, and is co-author of several books. He has also served on three National Research Council committees – covering informal science learning, broadening psychological research to include culture, and on how people learn. Doug Medin has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Education.