Open Minds 2013 Video Competition

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The 2013 Judging Panel

Special thanks to this year's judges!

John Calvert, United States Patent and Trademark Office
John Calvert is Administrator of the Inventor Assistance Program, which includes inventor outreach and university outreach initiatives. He has expanded the Inventor Assistance Program to include educational initiatives for students, inventors and small businesses and has created inventor assistance through pro bono and pro se initiatives both inside the USPTO and through working with universities and Bar organizations. Prior to being named Administrator, John was responsible for supervising as many as 25 examiners in the areas of textile technology and absorbent products. He also served as Acting Director for the Office of Independent Inventor Programs. Mr. Calvert has received numerous achievement awards, including the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for superior Federal service and the United States Patent and Trademark Office Exceptional Career Award.


Tanya Garner-Burden, Smithsonian's National Museum of American History
Tanya is the Interpretive Exhibitions Manager for the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Her role includes the overall management and daily operation of the Center’s two high-profile public venues, the Spark!Lab activity center and the Lemelson Hall of Invention exhibition. These venues serve over 600,000 visitors annually and have attracted a diverse team of part-time staff, docents, interns, and youth volunteers to interpret and facilitate education activities, coordinating community outreach initiatives to foster collaborative partnerships. Tanya works with the education team to develop and implement interpretive, educational and entertainment programs for the visiting public. Tanya has enjoyed a diverse professional background spanning more than 25 years at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH), and throughout her career, she has exhibited flexibility and a zest for taking on new learning opportunities.   Since joining the Center in 1995, Tanya has served a variety of roles ranging from program producer and graphic designer to public relations and community outreach coordinator.  In addition, she has extensive experience in audience development, public relations and event planning.


Joe Palca, National Public Radio
Joe Palca is a science correspondent for NPR. Since joining NPR in 1992, Joe has covered a range of science topics — everything from biomedical research to astronomy. Joe began his journalism career in television in 1982, working as a health producer for the CBS affiliate in Washington, DC. In 1986, he left television for a seven-year stint as a print journalist, first as the Washington news editor for Nature, and then as a senior correspondent for Science Magazine. Joe has won numerous awards, including the National Academies Communications Award, the Science-in-Society Award of the National Association of Science Writers, the American Chemical Society James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public, the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Prize, and the Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Writing. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz where he worked on human sleep physiology. With Flora Lichtman, Joe is the co-author of Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us (Wiley, 2011).


Dr. Robert Lemelson, The Lemelson Foundation
Robert Lemelson, Ph.D., is co-Vice President and Secretary of The Lemelson Foundation. Rob is an anthropologist who received his M.A. from the University of Chicago, and Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology, UCLA. He was a Fulbright scholar in Indonesia in 1996-1997, has conducted research for the World Health Organization, and is additionally trained as a clinical psychologist. His area of specialty is Southeast-Asian Studies, psychological anthropology and transcultural psychiatry. He is currently a research anthropologist at the Semel Institute of Neuroscience at UCLA He is also the president and founder of The Foundation for Psychocultural Research, a non-profit research foundation supporting research and training in the neurosciences and social sciences. In addition, Dr. Lemelson is the director of Elemental Productions, a documentary film production company.


Ben Schrag, National Science Foundation
Ben Schrag joined the National Science Foundation in 2009 as a Program Director in the small business programs, with responsibility in the areas of advanced materials and nanotechnology. Prior to this, he served for four years as Director of Research and Development at Micro Magnetics, where he led a development effort to commercialize a new family of high-performance magnetic microsensor products for demanding consumer and military applications. Before this, he served as manager of the metrology group at Micro Magnetics, directing an engineering team developing a new magnetic diagnostic system for failure analysis and fault isolation in semiconductor devices. During this time, Ben also served as a visiting scientist at Brown University and as the PI on a number of federal awards, including NSF Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovation Research projects and an Advanced Technology Program award from NIST. He received his PhD in Physics from Brown University, with a specialization in materials.