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Chemists Without Borders

Past Contributors

Josiah Bjorgaard
Social Media Manager


Josiah Bjorgaard

Quantum chemical simulation of material properties relevant to organic photovoltaics and other organic electronic devices. Measurement of exciton diffusion length in conjugated polymer nanoparticles. Examining the interplay between conjugated polymer morphology and electronic transport properties.


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Louis Ciabattoni
VP of Membership and HR

John Cihonski

Lou was helping Chemists Without Borders manage, communicate, and interact with our members, chapters, and partners. He was responsible for managing over 450 members in 30 countries and participated in our weekly executive committee meetings.

Lou created SQL*LIMS and its family of laboratory business solutions. Starting his career at Mobil Oil as a biochemist and programmer, has worked at Perkin Elmer, Applied Biosystems, start ups, and Oracle Corporation in product management and/or product marketing.

Lou received his bachelor of arts in Chemistry in 1978 from Rutgers University and attended Babson College Executive Program in 1998. He has over 20 years of experience in LIMS and manufacturing, was a faculty member at the Center of Advanced Placement, and holds an APICS Certification in Production and Inventory Management.

John Cihonski

John Cihonski

John Cihonski, PhD, has over 30 years of experience as an entrepreneurial technical and commercial development professional. He has the ability to identify, evaluate, and direct significant pioneering opportunities in the chemicals, catalysis, electronics and advanced materials areas including nanotechnology. He has focused on identifying commercially viable technology and product options in technically demanding emerging areas. Much of his recent work has been in the area of process intensification, which has direct applicability in the green and sustainable areas that he is addressing with Chemists Without Borders. John’s broad expertise is in part due to his industrial experience at El Paso Products, Engelhard, and Catalytica. He was a founding partner of VentureWest Technologies, an international technical, commercial development and licensing firm. John has also taught advanced undergraduate and graduate level chemistry and materials science courses at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. John received a BA from Slippery Rock State College with a major in chemistry and a PhD from Texas A&M in inorganic and organometallic chemistry. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Organic Reactions Catalysis Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Mengling Jia

Megling Jia

Mengling Jia is responsible for maintaining our data base of all volunteer activities. Ms. Jia grew up in China, obtained her Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Ocean University of China, Qingdao and her Master’s degree in chemical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. She is dedicated to volunteering and was awarded the Excellent Young Volunteer at the 11th National Games of P.R. China.

Sahima Khan
Arsenic Project Manager

Sahima Khan International research specialist in water and urban sanitation, agriculture, environment, and economic development, having experience with various international agencies such as World Bank, USAID, and SDC; over 12 years of business development and franchising set up experiences under the leadership of international corporate organization; has successfully worked and managed various projects, designed task order and single scope contract activities.

Specialties: Qualitative and quantitative research, survey, technical training, project design and management, market planning, small business development, franchising, and cost-benefit analysis.


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Hana Martucci

Hana Martucci

Hana Martucci is a Chemists Without Borders volunteer, primarily working on the website project. She has had a good deal of experience with webpage design (around 10 years of freelance work). Currently, Hana is studying as a biochemistry graduate student at San Francisco State University. She hopes to use her current and future chemistry knowledge to help others via teaching and volunteering with organizations such as Chemists Without Borders.

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Rusty Myers
Professor of Environmental Science
Alaska Pacific University

Rusty Myers

Rusty Myers was Professor of Environmental Science at Alaska Pacific University where he had taught for 35 years. He had a B.Sc. in chemical engineering and holds two Master’s degrees one in physical oceanography and one in environmental engineering from the University of Alaska. He received his Ph.D. from Florida Institute of Technology in science education. His primary teaching duties at Alaska Pacific University involved teaching chemistry and meteorology. Rusty had garnered a number of awards during his teaching career including APU Merit Award for Teaching (1987, 2000), APU President’s Forum Award for Outstanding Teaching (1992, 2008), APU Merit Award for Outstanding Online Instruction (2006), Exemplary Teaching Award, General Board of Higher Education United Methodist Church (1994), and Alaska Professor of the Year (1994).

His professional interests were varied, but had focus on urban environmental issues, science education, and science and the humanities. He had authored 15 articles in journals, numerous reviews, and several books. Early in his career his research focused primarily on air quality. After completing several studies on wood burning impacts on ambient air quality using receptor modeling, he turned his attention to indoor air pollution focusing on indoor air pollutants, and sick building syndrome. Over the last twenty years Rusty had devoted much of his research interests to water quality in urban environments. During this time he had worked with citizen monitoring groups on Anchorage streams and stream rehabilitation. In addition to his teaching and research he had authored three reference books: two in chemistry and one in physics. The most recent is The 100 Most Important Chemical Compounds: A Reference Guide by Greenwood Press (2007). He was directing Chemists Without Borders Lois Ongley Sierra Leone Project.

Outside of work Rusty liked to spend time with his wife Chris enjoying the Alaskan outdoors, athletics and traveling.

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Lois K Ongley (deceased)
Secretary and Treasurer
Distinguished Member

Lois K Ongley

In 2011, the Executive Committee of Chemists Without Borders awarded Professor Lois Katherine Ongley of Unity College, Maine, the Distinguished Member of Chemists Without Borders Award for her dedication and accomplishments for the organization. Lois joined the ranks of only two other Distinguished Members, Nazneen Khanam and K. C. Wang. Lois brought broad knowledge and expertise, not just in technical and scientific areas, but also in the development of an organization like ours. She was a major player in both our arsenic remediation and green chemistry education efforts. Her passion for teaching and for making a difference took her half way around the world and back on our behalf. Lois also served as Corporate Secretary of Chemists Without Borders, and with her dedication, patience and initiative, she made a massive contribution to our growth and development. The mission and vision of Chemists Without Borders which Lois helped create and implement persists, and the Sierra Leone "chemistry-in-a-baggie" education project will be officially named the Lois K. Ongley Chemistry Kits for Sierra Leone Project, colloquially referred to as “Lois Labs”. Sadly, Dr. Ongley died of cancer on November 16th, 2013. Lois was a person whom we are most happy and honored to call our friend. She will be greatly missed.

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Nina Paquette

Nina PaquetteNina has initiated and organized our collaborations with the American Chemical Society (ACS). She is currently active in helping the Chemists Without Borders/ACS/UNICEF collaboration on arsenic mitigation and education in Bangladesh. She also reviews communications materials and tools such as this website, presentations, newsletters, annual reports, etc.

Nina is a freelance communicator and owner of Brand New Ideas, L.L.C., in Midland, Michigan. She has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin- Madison and, before starting her own business, she was a senior account executive in a marketing and communications agency in Midland. She and her husband, Dr Michael Paquette, live in Midland and have three grown sons who currently live in San Francisco, Chicago and Ulsan, South Korea.

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Jay Raghunathan
Advisory Board

Jay RaghunathanAfter being primarily responsible for building the information technology (IT) capabilities, leading the efforts and sustaining strong growth of our IT organization, Jay Raghunathan is now a member of the Chemists Without Borders Advisory Board. Jay brings many years of experience in IT and expertise in application development, change management, framework development, global implementation, lean project delivery, process improvement, strategy development and management consulting, with a proven track record in creation and growth of agile delivery organizations. Jay has spearheaded numerous business and technology transformation initiatives spanning diverse business functions and industry segments in the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. He has offered and implemented automation, application modernization, business analytics, business process re-engineering, collaboration, knowledge management, systems integration and workflow solutions at small, medium and large companies. Jay has a master's degree in Information Systems from the University of San Francisco.

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Danella Rugile

Danella Rugile balanceDanella Rugile has a law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law. Currently, Danella volunteers as an attorney with the Pro Bono Project of Silicon Valley, representing low-income litigants in civil domestic violence hearings.

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Dhruti Shah
Internal Communications Officer

Dhruti ShahDhruti Shah was primarily responsible for internal communications.

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Ronelly Bem Garcia Taborite
Clean Water Project Manager

Ronelly Taborite

Ronelly Taborite was initially responsible for the Arsenic Removal project and developed our first comprehensive project plan. She worked in association with Professor Abul Hussam and K.C. Wang to allow a Chemists Without Borders member team to undertake a project providing Filters that remove arsenic from drinking water in Bangladesh.

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K.C. Wang
Distinguished Member

K.C. Wang

K. C. Wang is a Distinguished Member of Chemists Without Borders and was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) who helped create a solid foundation for its growth. He is a seasoned management executive with more than fifteen years of experience in progressive leadership positions combining requirements in operations, sales, marketing, services, manufacturing, supply chain and partnership development in the for-profit sector. Specifically, he develops and manages organizational infrastructure including processes, methodologies, training, tools, resources, policies, protocols and culture. He also supports CEO’s duties in fundraising, public affairs, membership and partnership functions. Mr. Wang grew up in Taiwan, attended National Taiwan University (BS, Chemical Engineering) there. He also earned his degree of Masters of Business Administrations from San Jose State University, and Masters in Chemical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. He is a consultant in business strategies, partnerships, operational and intercultural management.

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