Team SciTech

Jeremy Babendure, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Dr. Jeremy Babendure is the Executive Director of the Arizona Technology Council Foundation, the Annual Arizona SciTech Initiative, Associate Professor of Molecular Sciences at Arizona State University and a research fellow at the Institute for Learning Innovation. The annual AZ SciTech festival includes over 800 collaborators, 1200 events and draws over 400,000 participants. Most recently […]

Marisa Ostos

Director, Arizona SciTech Festival

Marisa Ostos has a passion for STEM, education, and equal opportunity for all. Intrigued by the idea of a statewide STEM initiative, she started with the Festival during its very first season as a student intern through Arizona State University. Now in her 6th year with the organization, Marisa holds the position as the Director of […]

Kaci Fankhauser

AmeriCorps Vista, STREET Team Lead

Kaci Fankhauser works full time with Arizona SciTech, primarily on the Chief Science Officer Initiative, through the AmeriCorps VISTA program. She comes from a diverse educational background; she attended a Montessori school through 8th grade, completed the International Baccalaureate program in high school, and attended Arizona State University through Barrett, The Honors College to earn […]

Don Ruedy

Tucson Market Liaison, STREET Team Lead

Don Ruedy serves as executive emeritus- Southern Arizona, with the Arizona Technology Council and assists with the coordination of Festival events in Tucson. He is a retired engineering executive from Raytheon (Hughes) where he served for 37 years in many management positions including Founding Director of the Knowledge Center Southwest. He continues to serve on […]

Cindy Ruedy

STREET Team Liaison Volunteer

Cindy Ruedy has assisted her husband Don at numerous AZ SciTech events from its start in 2012. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Phoenix and spent over 15 years in the aerospace industry at Hughes/Raytheon. She has a passion to help young people realize the importance of a STEM education. Three of […]

Denise Hicks

STREET Team Lead

Denise Hicks is an Education Specialist in GATE with a focus in STEM. As a member of the Arizona Association of Gifted and Talented Board of Directors, she serves as a GATE District Lead in the Avondale School District and Instructor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Center for Equity in STEM at […]

Destiny Madaje

STREET Team Lead

In 2014, Destiny Madaje and her husband decided to educate their children at home. Encountering the challenge a lot of new homeschool parents face on how to create or supplement their children’s science education, Destiny stumbled upon AZ SciTech during an AZ SciTech Festival Signature Event at Heritage Square. Since then, her family takes advantage […]

Kathleen Szczepaniak

STREET Team Lead

Kathleen Szczepaniak is a World History, American Government, and Economics teacher at three Phoenix high schools. She has been a teacher for 21 years. Szczepaniak is currently working on her Masters Degree in Technology Integration. In 2013, she was chosen the APS AzTEC Awards 2013 Volunteer of the Year for her volunteer work during the Arizona […]

Jasper Peña

STREET Team Lead

Jasper Peña is a part time STREET Team member for Arizona SciTech, part time assistant in his school’s Bindery, and a full time student at the University of Advancing Technology. He is currently studying for his Bachelors Degree in Game Programming and Advancing Computer Science. Originally from Chicago, he has come to Arizona to further […]

Christopher Babb

Website Design Team

Christopher Babb is an advanced web application developer and software engineer for ConnectZen Marketing. His contributions have helped advance and expand the experience.

Carmen Cornejo

Hispanic Community Outreach

Longtime STEM supporter Carmen Cornejo has joined the AZ SciTech Festival’s team to promote the participation of the Spanish speaking and bilingual communities. She has extensive experience as mentor and donor for the Carl Hayden Robotics Team which named a robot to honor her in 2009. Her company, Critical Mass Communications, LLC, has provided marketing […]

Michele Peters


In November 2015, Michele Peters was asked by Dr. Jeremy Babendure to join the AZ SciTech Festival team in a new initiative as their writer to interview and write articles that highlight the Festival, its sponsors and participants. Keenly interested in the AZ SciTech Festival since its inception, the collaboration was a natural fit. Peters […]

Al Maag

Strategic Consultant; Social Media Team

After a unique career spanning four decades, Al retired in 2013 as chief communications officer for Avnet, Inc., a Fortune 500 company and one of the world’s largest technology distributors. Prior to joining Avnet in 1998, he ran his own public relations and communications consultancy, had served as director of advertising and communications for Molex, […]

Tiffany Hoffman

Strategic Consultant; Social Media Team

Tiffany is a dedicated communications professional, with over six years of experience in communications, public relations and marketing. She is responsible for the development and execution of all the social media and marketing plans within MaagComm+. She specializes in public relations, social media, strategic planning, marketing and brand building within various industries, including retail, and […]

Debbie Gubernick

STREET Team Liaison Volunteer

Debbie Gubernick is an enthusiastic supporter of learning and education. As a writer for AZ SciTech in Tucson, Gubernick keeps up on and immerses herself in community issues that count. She blogs on Agents of STEAM and is also active with Arizona STEM Adventure and the Kuiper Circle Community Outreach Committee. Gubernick has been involved […]

David Drennon

Foundational Partner Advisory Team

Following 15 years of producing and managing award winning television news, David Drennon joined the Arizona Department of Commerce in May 2005 to lead the agency’s communication and public outreach activities. Currently, as the Vice President for Strategic Initiatives for the Arizona Commerce Authority, he continues his efforts to promote the state of Arizona and […]

Chevy Humphrey

Foundational Partner Advisory Team

When Ms. Humphrey assumed the President & CEO role, she accelerated the strategic growth both financially and through high impact science programming. In her tenure of six years as President & CEO she has grown the Center’s assets from $3M to more than $21M. She provided the leadership for the planning, design, fundraising and implementation […]

Chuck Kazilek

Foundational Partner Advisory Team

Mr. Kazilek currently serves in the Office of the University Provost and is the Vice Provost for Technology. In this role he works closely with the University Chief Information Officer and oversees technology integration and innovation. He focuses on broad range of technologies that can be implemented in the classroom, research, marketing, and outreach. His […]

Steven G. Zylstra SC.D. (Hon.)

Foundational Partner Advisory Team

Steven G. Zylstra Sc.D. (Hon.) serves as president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council, a role he assumed in December of 2007. He is responsible for strategy, development, operations and accomplishment of policy development, business goals and objectives and all financial matters related to the Council. Zylstra is a vocal spokesman for the value […]

Dr. Elliot Cheu

Foundational Partner Advisory Team

Dr Cheu’s research focuses on searches for Supersymmetry and new phenomena at the Large Hadron Collider. He was one of the leaders of the team that established the existence of direct CP violation, which is one of the components required to explain the observed matter/anti-matter asymmetry in the Universe. He has served on national review […]