OUR TEAM

EXPLORE OUR TEAM BIOS

OmniLearn Staff bring a diverse set of skill sets that go beyond scientific expertise. Our passion for inspiring innovation among our students is what makes us so unique.

Jane Powel
President/CEO
Jane’s love of teaching began by obtaining a B.S. in Elementary Education from Syracuse University. She then went on to receive her M.S. in Special Education at Adelphi University. Trained as a K-12 special education teacher, Jane immediately focused on alternative techniques in teaching, particularly for gifted students. This required a deep understanding of learning and memory, which led her to work at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. She served as Education Manager of the DNA Learning Center under James D. Watson, Nobel Laureate, during the early days of the Human Genome Project. This unique opportunity afforded her access to molecular biologists (Carol Greider) working on telomerase (aging) using worms, and learning and memory using flies (Tim Tully). She incorporated their techniques, equipment, and results into curricula for camps and schools on Long Island, NYC, and California. OmniLearn is designated as a sole source vendor for the DOE in NYC. The company’s techniques were cited as “the way to teach science” by Kathy Ordonez, CEO of Celera. OmniLearn is a partner on 21st Century Community Learning Center grants in the Bronx and on a magnet grant in Brooklyn. Jane is certified by the NY Institute of Technology as an On-Line Academy Instructor for the New York State Teachers Centers. She contributes time and energy to the ALS organization in NYC and on LI. She is also a member of NYAS (NY Academy of Sciences), AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), NSTA (National Science Teachers Association), the Physics Club of NY, and has been honored in Who’s Who of American Women since 2006.
Michael Conigliaro
V.P., Operations

Michael received his B.S. in Sports Management at New York University and has been working for OmniLearn for the past 8 years. Prior to OmniLearn, he worked at the DNA Learning Center founded by Dr. James Watson. Michael’s passion for sports led him to work as a statistician and graphics designer for the Boston Red Sox television network (NESN). In addition to ensuring OmniLearn’s infrastructure hums, he utilizes his avid sports knowledge to engage students within the classroom. 

Carolyn Voelker
STEM Specialist

Carolyn has worked at OMNiLEARN since 2011, leading hands-on STEM-based Science labs at OMNiLEARN’s Future Scientists and Engineers Summer Camps.

She received her B.S. in Childhood Education at SUNY College at Oneonta, and an M.S. in Special Education at CUNY Queens College. 

Carolyn has been teaching elementary-level students in New York City over the past five years. In the initial stages of her career, she developed interdisciplinary unit plans tailored for kindergartners, that integrated both literacy and science. Currently she is focusing her talents on students in need of special education innovations. Her literacy and mathematics curriculum is customized to meet the needs of individual students. 

Amelia Ahnert
Science Educator

Amelia conducts hands-on science labs, in addition to developing customized science curricula tailored to the individual needs of each school OmniLearn serves.

Amelia received her B.S. in General Science at Penn State, with a focus in chemistry in 2013. While in college, she completed several science education classes to prepare her for the classroom. She also worked as a curriculum mentor for 5 years with Science-U, a science outreach program for K-12 youth. She went on to hold an internship with The Nurture Nature Center, an environmental non-profit focused on creating science dialogue in communities. After finishing her year as an AmeriCorps VISTA, where she directly supported youth mentoring organizations and other non-profits, she joined OmniLearn as a Science Educator. 

Kate McDaniel
V.P., Program Design

Kate McDaniel earned her B.S. in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution from the University of California, San Diego in 2008. Afterwards, she worked as a laboratory technician in a developmental genetics lab at UCSD studying cardiac tissue formation in zebrafish. 

In 2012 Kate left to pursue her Masters Degree in Ecology at San Diego State University. Kate was able to hone her teaching skills as an instructor for a general biology lab for non-science majors. Additionally, Kate focused on scientific communication and outreach by volunteering with several local organizations including the Marine Ecology and Biology Student Association (MEBSA), Ocean Discovery Institute, Upward Bound and BeWISE. After finishing her degree in 2016, Kate made the move the New York City. In her current role at OmniLearn, Kate leads hands-on science labs and writes tailored science curriculum to meet the needs of individual schools, taking into account their population and demographics. Kate is deeply committed to ensure Science-focused education is accessible to every student. 

Michael Fairchild
Videography Instructor

Michael is an accomplished professional photographer, videographer and graphic design artist. His imagery, highlighting wildlife from exotic locales and historic places around the world, has been shown at museums and cultural centers all over Long Island. Inside the classroom, he teaches students to capture and create their own fascinating images; first with the camera, then with today’s latest graphic design programs. He also encourages children to expand their creativity with short videos on scientific subjects which are edited in school.

Patricia Catalano
Financial Literacy Instructor

Patricia is a Financial Industry professional with extensive management experience in Business and Product Development, Marketing and Technology. 

Patricia has over 30 years’ experience working within stock exchanges, clearing corporations, banks, hedge funds, investment banks and broker/dealers from all over the world. She is a recognized industry expert and speaker on Global and Domestic Market Infrastructure and Business Development.

Patricia channels her extensive and diverse financial knowledge into developing and teaching Financial Literacy curricula appropriate for all academic levels. 

Patricia is a former member of the Board of Directors of Emerging Markets Clearing Corporation, the Luxembourg American Chamber of Commerce and the Women's Bond Club. 

Dr. Micheline Laurent Ph.D.,
Biology Mentor

Dr. Laurent instructs, tutors and assists students with scientific research at various Long Island schools on behalf of OmniLearn. She earned her Ph.D. in Developmental and Cell Biology from the University of California at Irvine. She studied Immunology at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) as a post-doctoral fellow and continued her research as an Instructor at M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center in Smithville, Texas. Since moving to New York, she has taught undergraduate Biology courses as well as summer courses for gifted and talented students at Long Island University, C.W. Post. Dr. Laurent is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at Hofstra Medical School. 

Lisa Newman
Lab Assistant

Lisa provides valuable insight to teachers and students in her role as Lab Assistant. 

Lisa received a B.A in Sociology at Long Island University. Born and raised on Long Island, Lisa is a proud mother of three children and resides in Lloyd Harbor. Lisa uses her passion for science and her intra and interpersonal skills to model best practices in collaborative undertakings. 

Dr. Shilpi Paul Ph.D.,
Biotech Consultant

I have a lifelong interest in biomedical sciences and a desire to create strategies for discovery-based science education. To achieve my dreams, I started my career as an American Heart Association pre-doctoral fellow pursuing a Ph.D in Molecular and Cell Biology from USUHS Bethesda, followed by training in cancer biology as a SASS Foundation postdoctoral fellow from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In my current position as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Biological Sciences at SUNY College at Old Westbury, I work closely with students teaching different aspects of Genetics and Molecular Biology and also training them with hands-on molecular biology techniques, presentation and writing skills. I believe that students should be introduced to science as a dynamic field which is constantly changing and my goal is to showcase science as a process in which every student can play a valuable part by adding their curiosity and discovery.

Jonathan Russ
Sound Consultant

Jonathan utilizes his unique talent and passion for music by channeling it into creating physics labs focusing on sound.

Jonathan received his B.A in Music/International Relations, Brown University, and his M.F.A. in the Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at NYU - Tisch School of the Arts. He went on to receive his M.M. in Music Composition at The Boston Conservatory, where he studied with Andy Vores and Curtis Hughes. 

As a composer and songwriter, Jonathan is Composer-In-Residence with the American Chamber Ensemble, and was recently featured in a portrait concert by the ensemble featuring clarinetist Stanley Drucker of the New York Philharmonic. He has worked with Marimolin, the Blueshift Ensemble, members of the JACK Quartet, and International Contemporary Ensemble, as well as pianists Marilyn Lehman and Amir Khosrowpour. Jonathan taught for six summers at the Usdan Center For The Arts as a music director in the theater department, and maintains a private composition studio in New York. Upcoming projects include a book of piano pieces, an indie rock EP, and an opera about a young woman who never leaves her room. 

Andrea Conigliaro
V.P., Marketing

Andrea recently joined OmniLearn as Vice President, Marketing with the goal to develop, lead, and execute marketing strategies per OmniLearn’s Vision and Portfolio of Services. Her role is to generate awareness of OmniLearn’s unique value proposition among both Educators and Administrators, which ultimately benefit the student experience. 

Andrea received her B.A. in Psychology from Fordham University. She honed her skills working at NYC healthcare ad agencies for over 15 years, specializing in pharmaceutical marketing. Her marketing experience spans numerous diverse product launches among a wide array of therapeutic areas, such as: Women’s Health, Vision Care, Rheumatology, Dermatology, CNS, and Diabetes. Previous clients include Johnson and Johnson; Abbott Labs; Pfizer; Galderma; AstraZeneca, and Novartis (Alcon). 

Andrea has spearheaded Award-winning Direct-to-Consumer and Healthcare Professional initiatives spanning TV, print, and digital. She has extensive experience managing US and Global pharmaceutical franchise product portfolios, including brand promotion and scientific content dissemination. 

Shawn Kelly
Camp Counselor

For the past two years, Shawn has worked with Jane Powel as a camp counselor. Prior to that, he participated in the East Woods School OmniLearn ALPS program. He enjoyed the hands-on learning experience so much that when he was too old to be a camper, he wanted to extend his experience and became a counselor for the OmniLearn Summer Camp.

Morgan McCartan
Camp Counselor

Morgan McCartan is currently a junior in high school at Friends Academy in Locust Valley. She became a student of Jane Powel in 2008 when she entered the ALPS program at East Woods. Ever since, she has had a passion for science which has led her to the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair twice, and a mentorship with Dr. Micheline Laurent at C.W. Post. For two summers, Morgan has helped out at science camp, where she uses her past experience to influence and teach the younger students. She is proud to be an intern with Dr. Xin Cheng in the Lee Lab at Cold Spring Harbor Lab.

Connor Sweeney
Camp Couselor

At the age of 8, Connor decided to start attending a OmniLearn summer science camp at East Woods school. He enjoyed it so much that he continued to attend camp until he hit the age limit. To quote Connor: “I never had such a great time in my life”. Like fellow co-worker Shawn Kelly, Connor decided to work at the Summer camp. He has a passion for working with the younger students, as he remembers himself attending Camp at their age and how much he enjoyed the experience. Connor says it’s this memory that drives him to encourage kids to excel in school, and have fun while doing it.

William Schwing
Camp Couselor

William Schwing has been involved with OmniLearn as an employee since 2015, prior to personally being taught by Jane Powel. William has been in the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair (LISEF) 4 times as of 2016, and plans to continue participating. His scientific focus is chemistry, but also has a passion for biology and environmental science.