College of Sciences Welcomes Nine New Advisory Board Members

Alumni will lend their expertise to Dean Susan Lozier and College administrators regarding priorities and direction for sciences education and research.

November 1, 2023

Please join the College of Sciences as we welcome new members to our Advisory Board

One alumnus is using his Earth and Atmospheric Sciences degree to perfect state-of-the-art weather forecasting for the business world. Another member’s Biological Sciences education allows her to assist veterans with their cancer treatment plans. Yet another is using her Applied Physiology degree to work on the next generation of wearable electronics. 

They're among nine Georgia Tech College of Sciences alumni who are committed to volunteering their expertise and time to help the College continue its growth and success.

The College of Sciences Advisory Board provides advice to the Dean and administrators regarding priorities and directions for sciences education and research. Board members are from the private sector and academia, and include both alumni and other individuals who are interested in the success of the College and Georgia Tech.

Five of the new members accepted invitations to join the Advisory Board during the 2022-23 school year:

  • James Belanger
  • Eva Heintz
  • Stewart Long
  • Jack McCallum
  • Jessica McDermott 

For the 2023-24 school year, the new board members are:

  • Nigamnarayan “Nigam” Acharya
  • Angela Clark
  • Tracy Giest
  • Tia Williams

New Advisory Board members:

Nigamnarayan “Nigam” Acharya

Nigamnarayan “Nigam” Acharya (M.S. CHEM ‘11) received a Bachelors of Science degree in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Juris Doctorate Degree from Emory School of Law. 

Acharya currently serves as a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, LLP., where he provides long-term representation for companies from initial startup to maturity. He  helps life sciences and chemical companies protect and capitalize on intellectual property rights. His practice includes patent and trademark prosecution, corporate formation and life-cycle advice, negotiating and structuring complex business agreements (licenses, material transfer agreements, research agreements, and partnering agreements). 

Archarya has an in-depth knowledge of business and science that allows him to counsel pharma and chemical companies. He was a founder and board member of a tech company, which he eventually sold. 

James Belanger

James Belanger (B.S. EAS ‘07, Ph.D. EAS ‘12)  joined Engelhart Commodities Trading Partners in August 2021 and is currently the Head of Weather. He is responsible for leading a team of entrepreneurial scientists and software developers who are developing state-of-the-science weather and climate forecast systems to provide a quantitative edge for Engelhart's commodity trading business. 

Prior to joining Engelhart, Belanger was a senior scientist for five years at The Weather Company, a division of IBM, where he was responsible for providing scientific expertise in the design and implementation of IBM’s artificial intelligence algorithms for customer and business weather products.  During that time with the Global Forecasting Sciences and Technology team, Belanger’s science contributions helped IBM’s forecast accuracy edge grow against the competition. In 2021, IBM was named the world’s most accurate forecaster by ForecastWatch, the nation’s premier authority in meteorological accuracy validation. 

Belanger began his graduate work at the University at Albany before returning to Georgia Tech to complete his EAS Ph.D. Before transitioning to the private sector, Belanger was a research scientist and School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences faculty member for four years. His research focused on improving tropical cyclone forecasts and landfall impacts to establish more resilient electrical and emergency management infrastructure systems. 

Belanger and his wife Laura live in Peachtree City with their two children, Andrew and Katherine. 

Angela Clark

Angela Clark (B.S. BIOS ‘94) has spent her career as an environmental scientist evaluating the potential risks of contamination to human health and the environment at hazardous waste cleanup sites for military bases. 

Clark has supported the U.S. Department of Defense for nearly 30 years in its  environmental, facilities engineering, and planning programs, serving as a technical lead, project manager and client account manager. She is currently a senior vice president at HDR Engineering, Inc., the largest employee-owned architecture/engineering firm in the world, and is located in Milwaukee, WI. 

Tracy Giest

As the Lead of the Human Research Lab for Fitbit/Google, Tracy Giest (Ph.D. BIOS ‘15) heads a team of scientists, program managers, and research assistants focused on designing and executing experimental protocols to develop and validate the next generation sensors and algorithms for Fitbit and Pixel Watches.  

Giest’s fascination with human movement and physiology led her to study under School of Biological Sciences Professor Young-Hui Chang, who is also Associate Chair for Faculty Development in the College of Sciences. Her research focused on the intersection of neurological control and biomechanics as it relates to human walking, running, and cycling, and amputee locomotion.  

Gieist’s postdoctoral work focused on investigating robotic exoskeletons for stroke rehabilitation at North Carolina State University with Greg Sawicki, who is now at Georgia Tech). 

As a former middle school teacher with Teach for America, and an industrial biomechanics consultant for one of the largest railroad companies in the U.S., Giest has a unique blend of professional experience that has led to her current leadership role at Google.

Eva Heintz

Eva Heintz (Ph.D. CHEM ‘04) started her career at Procter & Gamble before moving to Solvay, a chemicals/materials company, where she is currently a Global Strategic Key Account Manager and Large Deals Coach. 

Throughout her career at Solvay, Heintz has held various roles including R&D Manager, Global Marketing Manager, and Senior Global Marketing & Sales Excellence Manager. In addition to her day job, she is also the Chairwoman for Solvay North America, Inc. GGF, and Founder/Chairwoman of Solvay X-Factor (ERG).

Her passion for giving back to the community is demonstrated in her roles such as Chair  of the Board of Directors of BEATs, Inc., a local non-profit using hippotherapy for children and adults with physical and mental challenges, as well as previous roles in non-profit boards such as The Swinney Foundation.

Stewart W. Long

Stewart W. Long (B.S. PHYS ‘75) is Managing Director of Energy Consulting Group. A retired engineer and engineering program manager, Long has extensive experience in commercial power reactor engineering and operations, and in defense research & development. 

Long, a retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel who also has a degree in nuclear engineering, is a published author of U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reports and conference papers. 

Long’s experience includes serving as Managing Director and Co-Founder of Patriots for Reliable Electric Power, a Pennsylvania public benefit company providing expert advice on protecting the nation’s electric power grid. He retired from Westinghouse Electric Co. with multiple domestic and international assignments including: Fellow Engineer, Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Commissioning & Operations; Manager, NPP Engineering & Construction Integration; Resident Site Manager at Arkansas Nuclear One NPP; Startup Technical Advisor at Yonggwang NPP (Korea) and Barakah NPP (United Arab Emirates). 

Long was appointed as Senior Fellow for the NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and served as U.S. Army field officer in Korea and as Nuclear Research & Development officer at Lawrence Livermore National Lab.    

Jack McCallum

Jack McCallum (B.S. BIOS ‘66) has a Masters of Science in History from Texas Christian University, a Ph.D. in Medicine from Emory University, and a Ph.D. in History from Texas Christian University. 

McCallum has board certification in both adult and pediatric neurosurgery, and has held teaching appointments in medicine and history at several universities. He has also been founder and chief executive officer for four successful companies. 

A generous gift from the McCallum Family Foundation has provided scholarships to reward outstanding undergraduate students for their academic excellence and performance in Georgia Tech research labs. The McCallum scholarships enable undergraduates to engage in an exceptional undergraduate research program. 

In 2022, the McCallum Family Foundation donated a $1 million gift to create the Jack and Dana McCallum Neurorehabilitation Training Program. The new initiative will be used over the next four years to support research from graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty, as well as train new scientists in neurorehabilitation. 

McCallum has published two books and numerous articles dealing with both medicine and history, and he has taught history at the graduate and undergraduate levels for 17 years.  

 Jessica McDermott

Jessica McDermott (B.S. BIOS ‘04) is Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, at Rocky Mountain Regional Medical Center. Her major committee and service responsibilities include interviewing fellowship applicants in Hematology/ Oncology. She is also a member of the committee that completes final ranking.

Since 2014, McDermott has served as a member of the Head/Neck Cancer Tumor Board at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. She participates in weekly multidisciplinary meetings, where she reviews all head/neck cancer patients at the university. 

McDermott is also a Veterans Administration Hematology/Oncology tumor board facilitator, participating in weekly meetings where she reviews veteran cancer patient treatment plans.  

Tia Williams

Tia Williams (B.S. EAS ‘96) credits her mother, a chemist, for opening her eyes to the world of science, and that fascination was validated when she worked in Georgia Tech’s Air Quality Lab.

Williams originally came to campus as a chemical engineering major, but switched to the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. By leveraging the programming languages she learned while visualizing her lab science data, Williams transitioned into software engineering, building a 25-year career in the software industry working for enterprise software giants Oracle and Salesforce. 

Williams is now a Group Vice President of Design and Product Experience for San Francisco-based New Relic, which provides cloud-based tools that monitor all software and technologies used in a platform, website, or mobile application.


For More Information Contact

Writer: Renay San Miguel
Communications Officer II/Science Writer
College of Sciences