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Our Founders

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Justin J. Shaifer - Co-Founder & Executive Director

Also known as Mr. Fascinate - Justin is a PhD student at Columbia University, professional keynote speaker and popular STEM advocate. He has a B.S. in Marine and Environmental Science from Hampton University, where he graduated with the highest GPA in his department. He is a national board member for the March for Science and the National Hampton Alumni Association, and has earned significant press for his STEM outreach efforts from media outlets across the country.

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Lionel Durant - Co-Founder & Director of Operations

A former U.S. Marine and technical recruiter in Silicon Valley, Lionel has been honing his technical skills for decades. Mr. Durant has received a multifaceted education via programs from Cornell University, Ithaca College, Fordham University for business and Columbia University management education. As the CEO of the Modern Black Inventors Exhibit, he performed a 22 city tour presenting to students about the importance of diverse inventors. He is incubating this project with Justin as a member of NYU Veteran’s Future Labs via the Tandon School of Engineering