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Back Row, Left to Right: Benjamin Rubin, Dharia McGrew, Stephen Francis, Matthew Holland, Mandy Arens;
Front Row, Left to Right: Erika Bustamante, Le Ondra Clark, Alena Pribyl, Rebecca Newhouse, Lawrence Baskett
"Each of these men and women have brought a vital body of knowledge and experience...On behalf of all of us, I'd like to thank them for their service to the people of California." - Former Speaker of the Assembly John Pérez

Mandy Arens
Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee


Mandy received a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and a Master's in Veterinary Public Health from the University of California, Davis. She also completed a Ph.D. in comparative pathology from UC Davis. Mandy has practiced as a small animal veterinarian and has been a consultant working on animal health public policy. Mandy is a Program Manager at the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security at UC Davis.

Larry Baskett
Senate Office of Research


Larry has received an M.S. in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Stanford. Larry was most recently a senior mechanical engineer with Sparkfactor Design, a product design firm based in Palo Alto. He worked under contract with Apple Inc. and has previously worked on robotic aircraft. Larry is currently an engineer with Cisco Meraki.

Erika Bustamante
Office of Assembly Member Alejo


Erika received a Ph.D. from the Department of Developmental Biology at Stanford University and a B.S in molecular, cell and developmental biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Erika is now Assistant Director of the Office of Government & Community Relations at Stanford University.

Le Ondra Clark
Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee and Office of Senator Price


Le Ondra received her M.S. in Counseling and her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She did her pre-doctoral clinical internship at the University of Southern California, post-doctoral fellowship at the UC, Los Angeles, and she also examined the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the mental health system during her policy fellowship at the Center for Policy Analysis. Le Ondra is the Chief Consultant with the Assembly Business and Professions Committee.

Stephen Francis
Office of Assembly Member Perea


Stephen received a Ph.D. in cell biology from Yale University and a Sc.B. in neuroscience from Brown University. He concluded his Ph.D. dissertation research in Genentech's Research Oncology department in South San Francisco, where he investigated how cells control the distribution of proteins on their surface. Stephen is a Legislative Analyst at Congressional Research Service in Washington, D.C.

Matt Holland
Office of Assembly Member Mitchell


Matt received a Ph.D. in population biology from the University of California, Davis and an A.B. with honors in biology from Cornell University. He specializes in ecological modeling, using mathematical and computational methods. His most recent research addressed fish populations in the context of changing climate. Matt is now Supervisor in the Division of Water Rights at the State Water Resources Control Board.

Dharia McGrew
Assembly Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials Committee and the office of Assembly Member Wieckowski


Dharia received a PhD from Brandeis University in Molecular biology specializing in vision science and inherited retinal degeneration. Her B.A. in biology is from Mount Holyoke College. Dharia is a Consultant with the Assembly Health Committee.

Rebecca Newhouse
Senate Environmental Quality Committee


Rebecca received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz in physical chemistry and a B.S. in biochemistry from Western Washington University. She studied the synthesis and characterization of metal nanomaterials for molecular sensing and cancer therapy applications. In addition, she investigated novel solid-state hydrogen storage materials at Sandia National Laboratories. Rebecca is an Environmental Scientist in the Air Division for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9.

Alena Pribyl
Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee


Alena received a Ph.D. in Fisheries Science from Oregon State University, an M.A. in Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her area of expertise is Pacific rockfish and by-catch related injuries. Alena was a National Research Council post-doctoral fellow at NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center near San Diego. Alena Prybl is currently a laboratory manager at the Australian Centre for Ecogenomics at the University of Queensland. She is also volunteering with ReefCheck Australia as a survey diver.

Ben Rubin
Senate Health Committee


Ben received a Ph.D. in neurobiology from Duke University for his work on how the brain processes information about odors, and a B.A. in Biology and Psychology from Cornell University. As a postdoctoral researcher at the California Institute of Technology and Brandeis University he has continued to study how the chemical senses guide behavior. Ben is now Senior Health Policy Associate at Children Now in Oakland, CA.

Updated 3/10/16