Staff & Contacts


The ESC team provides highly engaging, experimental, hands-on learning experiences for both students and teachers. The team is always available to work with you and your class, ensuring a memorable experience at ESC. Contact us at

Christine Mazza, Director

Christine graduated from F.I.T. with a Bachelors degree in Marketing and a minor in Art History but decided that her real calling was in education. After earning a Masters degree in Education from St. Johns University, Christine joined the NYCDOE as an elementary science teacher. For the past 17 years she has worn many hats, including technology staff developer, manager of the Court Square Technology Center and grant writer. Christine earned her Administrative Degree from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Christine’s passion for educating students and teachers on the importance of preservation and conservation makes her a perfect fit for ESC.

Fabiana Cellini, Middle & High School Science Specialist

After earning a Bachelors degree in Biology from Molloy College, Fabiana continued her education at SUNY Stony Brook and completed her Masters degree in Geosciences with a concentration in Hydrogeology. She began her professional career as an environmental educator for local gardens and museums and then continued on to be a laboratory technician for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. In 2003, Fabiana was inspired to join the NYC Teaching Fellows and earned a Masters degree in teaching from Pace University. For the last 10 years, she has been a high school Earth Science teacher in Brooklyn.

Sarah Bowers, Middle & High School Science Specialist

 After earning Bachelors degrees in Biology and Medical Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sarah moved to NYC to pursue her teaching career by joining the NYC Teaching Fellows. She received her Masters degree in Science Education from Pace University. Sarah previously taught Living Environment and general science for grades 6, 7 and 8 in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn for 8 years. In addition to teaching, she has worked in marine labs and veterinary clinics and has brought her passion for education, animals and plants to ESC.

Lori Gallagher, Early Childhood Science Specialist

Lori graduated from Siena College with a finance degree and after several years in the business world decided that teaching was her calling. She continued on to Pace University to obtain a Masters degree in Early Childhood and Special Education. Lori began teaching as a Special Education teacher in South Richmond Hill for seven years and now works part time at ESC. While here at the ESC, Lori focuses on early childhood science curriculum to instill in young scientists a love for inquiry.

Kathleen Roberts, Ph.D., Program Coordinator

Kathleen has worked for the NYCDOE for over 20 years in a variety of roles. She was an instructional support and math teacher at the high school level and a Technology Staff Developer and Instructional Specialist for several Title IID grants and a STEM grant. She teaches online STEM courses for PBS Teacherline and is on the Editorial Review Board for the International Society for Technology in Education. She has also supervised science teachers in the NYC Teaching Fellows program through Empire State College (SUNY). Kathleen received her Bachelor’s and Masters degrees from Queens College, a Professional Diploma in Supervision from Hofstra University, and her Ph.D. in Education from Nova Southeastern University.

Victoria DiPaolo, Animal Behaviorist & Caregiver

Victoria most recently worked as an Animal Keeper for Prospect Park Zoo. She has over 10 years experience teaching all age groups, has taught in both informal and formal educational settings, and has extensive knowledge of animal behavior and usage within educational programs. She is a graduate of Brooklyn College with a degree in psychology, and a concentration in animal behavior and husbandry. She is currently pursuing her Masters degree in elementary education with a concentration in special education.

Junior Schouten, Urban Farmer and Edible Landscape Specialist

Owner of Big Apple Edibles, Inc., a landscaping business specializing in food-producing designs and installations, Junior joined the ESC team continuing his passion by bringing hyper-local grown food to ESC. With a background in environmental biology and over seven years of experience working in Horticulture and Children’s Education at The New York Botanical Garden, Junior brings a high level of expertise and professionalism to ESC’s 4,900 square foot edible garden.

Fariha Wasti, Grant Coordinator

Fariha earned her Bachelors degree in Anthropology and Sociology from Pace University. She worked four years at the American Museum of Natural History, developing, writing, and teaching science classes to students of all ages. She has avidly worked with her students to foster learning and make science relatable through cultural and scientific evidence. Fariha has brought her enthusiasm for equity in learning to the NYCDOE as the Grant Coordinator for Project ECS@ESC, an IMLS STEM grant, which supports teachers in developing their own literacy rich practices coupled with inquiry-based science education.