Our Team

 

VPACC's team of volunteers

board members:

Karl Bushby (UK) Founder / President  Board Member 

Karl Bushby (UK) Founder / President  Board Member 

British ex-paratrooper turned adventurer and author.  Two things keep him awake at night:  strange noises in the forest and his concerns over scientific literacy.  Not much to be done about the first, but scientific literacy has become his mission.   

Mary Williams (USA) Vice President / Secretary                Board Member 

Mary Williams (USA) Vice President / Secretary                Board Member 

Mary has been a science geek for most of her life, and is currently a STEM Educator at a children’s science center as well as a science enrichment specialist at a preschool.  She also has ten years' experience in sales and customer service in the chemical industry.  Mary holds a Bachelor of Science degree and enjoys inspiring others to learn more about the world and the universe.

Brooke Buckley (USA) Board Member / Education 

Brooke Buckley (USA) Board Member / Education 

Brooke Buckley is a 4th grade teacher leader from Fayetteville, Arkansas who is passionate about maximizing student engagement by bringing learning to life. She is constantly on the hunt for innovative ways to get students on the path to lifelong learning. With a background in business and and a zeal for education, she brings a unique perspective to the VPAC team.

Kisha Ferguson (Canada) Board Member / Media 

Kisha Ferguson (Canada) Board Member / Media 

Kisha Ferguson is an award-winning journalist, who has more than twenty years of experience producing news and current affairs programs for both television and radio. In addition to being an adjunct journalism professor, she has also written and edited several books of non-fiction, launched a multi award-winning adventure travel magazine, and been hired as a consultant and advisor on various new media projects.

Yi Wang (China)   Board Member / Business

Yi Wang (China)   Board Member / Business

Yi is currently a master student in Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Sciences. She actively participates in social innovation as a NGO youth representative to UN commission in 2012 and founded her social enterprise in 2013. Prior to CMU, she graduated with a BA degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. and started as a Corporate Management Trainee and in Finance in a Fortune 50 food company and then as a National Strategic Finance and Pricing Associate in Uber China. Knowing that she has always had an interest in technology and coding, she decided to do a master in CS. In her spare time, she loves reading and cooking/baking.

Anthony Accetta (USA) Board Member / Treasurer

Anthony Accetta (USA) Board Member / Treasurer

Anthony is an accounting associate for a local DC CPA firm and has recently started his own bookkeeping and business management company. In the past four years he has worked with multiple small business and non-profits providing bookkeeping, accounting, and management services as they grow and develop. Anthony has a history of science promotion. In college he began and developed a science club which was able to bring Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss to the University of Maryland as well as promote an accurate understanding of essential topics in science to the UMD community. In his spare time, he enjoys watching movies and listening to film industry podcasts. 


Communications Team

Victoria Hill  (USA) Creative writer

Victoria Hill  (USA) Creative writer

Victoria Hill is currently a high school senior living in Virginia. She has a strong passion and dedication towards creative writing and education. Her creative writing skills have been recognized by her school's literary magazine. Also, she has previously worked with many other non-profit organizations in various roles, predominantly as a researcher.

Tony Tran (USA)  Software Developer

Tony Tran (USA)  Software Developer

Tony is a software developer living in Connecticut. He earned his Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science from Western New England University. Since then, Tony has over 7 years of experience developing digital solutions from small businesses to global consulting companies.


3D Art and Design Team

Jose Duque (Colombia)      Software Specialist 

Jose Duque (Colombia)      Software Specialist 

Jose has extensive experience as a software specialist including as a project leader, programmer and game designer.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree.

Scott Herring (USA)  3D Artist

Scott Herring (USA)  3D Artist

Scott graduated with a BA in Visual Effects. He has a passion for games and art, as well as aircraft and space thanks to his Navy and Air Force family. He's worked in Photoshop for his friend's home-business since he was 14. He expanded into 3D art during High School. His objective is to mix his art with his love of aerospace and futurism. When he's not working or practicing: you might find him "studying" games. www.rune-fx.com

Michael Banks (USA)   3D Artist

Michael Banks (USA)   3D Artist

Michael is a 3D artist who specializes in hard surface and environment art, but his favorite thing to do is texturing. Working at Epsilon, he is becoming a master of high and low poly modelling. 

He has a Masters degree in Art Creation from The Guildhall at SMU and a BFA with a concentration in 3D and Traditional Art from The University of Kansas. At the Guildhall he was able to work on team games as Lead Artist with up to 4 artists on his crew. His passion is what drives him to be the best artist and designer he can be.

Jay Gaskell (USA)      3D Artist

Jay Gaskell (USA)      3D Artist

Jay has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Graphics and Interactive Media which trained him in a variety of graphical disciplines. Jay has worked on Operator Training Simulators for Caterpillar, and is currently the 3D Art Director for the game StarMade. There he uses his talents to help others develop their creativity and passion for space. His experience in the Simulation and Game Industries, along with his passion for space and flight, have led him to seek a career as a graphic artist in the Aerospace Industry.


Engineering, Design And Innovation

Samer Najia (USA)   Engineer / Pilot 

Samer Najia (USA)   Engineer / Pilot 

Samer operates a small IT consultancy serving the Federal Government in the DC metro area.  Samer's passion is anything that flies.  He holds a Flight Instructor (CFI, MEI) certificate and is a commercially rated pilot.  He has built and worked on small one and two seat aircraft, building in his garage.  Samer led a team that developed a flight simulator for the NoVa Mini Maker Faire using the fuselage section of an old airplane.  He has also assembled his own personal simulator using a Saitek instrument and control suite and runs them off X-Plane and Microsoft's Flight Simulator X.  Samer is also an avid model rocketeer with several low, mid and high power designs successfully built and flown, including a 7ft tall camera ship.  

Spruce Cox (USA) Aerospace Engineer

Spruce Cox (USA) Aerospace Engineer

Spruce Cox is a retired aerospace engineer and rocket scientist. He received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle and worked on defense and space programs at the Boeing company for 36 years before retiring in 2013.  Mr. Cox worked approximately half of his career in spacecraft to launch vehicle integration, leading interface requirements development and integration of multiple spacecraft and payloads on Space Shuttle, Pegasus, Titan, and Sea Launch. He also contributed significantly to the development of the international Sea Launch System, and as mission manager led spacecraft integration for four successful commercial satellite launches including Sea Launch’s first. His volunteer activities include Scouting, helping students in STEM disciplines, and helping people living with MS. He currently lives with his wife and extended family in the Pacific Northwest. 

Anthony Ehiri (USA) Engineer 

Anthony Ehiri (USA) Engineer 

Anthony is an engineer with passion in design and aerospace, has a bachelor’s degree in physics and master’s degree in electrical engineering. Has experience on different engineering design projects, also has studied and worked in different countries. He is very passionate and driven in his field; he is multicultural and uses his talents to assist others. He is a certified internet trailblazer and wannabe astronaut.   

Markus Lankes (Germany) Engineer

Markus Lankes (Germany) Engineer

Markus heads an award winning design and engineering team and has more than 23 years of experience for national and international projects, both in the entertainment and the aerospace simulation industry.