Alumni Profile: Tepring Piquado ’13 Leads National Science Policy Network as First Executive Director

A graphic with blue, yellow, and white colors featuring CCST's logo, the blog title, and a photo of Dr. Tepring Piquado speaks at a podium with other notable leaders sitting behind her on stage in front of some NSPN branded materials, to an audience sitting at round tables.
Tepring Piquado, PhD, kicks off the National Science Policy Symposium at UC Riverside on April 13 with other leaders, including Congressman Mark Takano. | Mikel Shybut/CCST

Profile by CCST Program Officer for Alumni Engagement Perry Gee, originally featured in the Summer 2024 CCST S&T Policy Fellows Alumni Newsletter and modified for publication here with additional images.

Dr. Tepring Piquado (’13) joined the National Science Policy Network (NSPN) in March 2024 as its first Executive Director. NSPN provides policy training, resources, and platforms for scientists to connect with policymakers and the public, addressing complex challenges through evidence-based advice.

Tepring was a CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow from 2012-13 and served with the Senate Human Services Committee in the California State Legislature. There, she assisted legislators, legislative staff, and the public in all matters relating to legislation, which encompassed issues such as child welfare, cash and food aide, and the supplemental poverty measure.

“I learned about CCST from a professor while serving as a Board Member with SACNAS, but I didn’t apply until two years later.” In 2010, she earned her PhD in Neuroscience from Brandeis University and followed that with a postdoctoral research position under the direction of Dr. Gregory Hickok at UC Irvine’s Auditory & Language Neuroscience Laboratory.

Reflecting on her fellowship, Tepring notes, “CCST gave me the training and experience I needed to feel confident in participating in policy making.”

 

A Tweet by NSPN announcing Tepring as their new Executive Director.
Tepring was announced as NSPN’s first-ever Executive Director in March 2024. | @SciPolNetwork on Twitter/X

 

Since her fellowship, Tepring continued her involvement with CCST, including a three-year term as the Alumni Representative on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee of CCST’s Board of Directors. During her term, she helped elevate diverse voices from our vibrant alumni community and provided invaluable contributions and ideas, particularly on the working definition of underrepresented minority groups (URMs) and recruitment for the fellowship program.

In September 2021, Tepring co-founded ADDSTEAM, a nonprofit organization that develops a diverse science, tech, engineering, agriculture, and math workforce to address the most complex problems in our world. As ADDSTEAM’s President, her aim is to empower the next generation of STEM leaders and innovators while advancing social justice and equity in STEM fields.

 

CCST gave me the training and experience I needed to feel confident in participating in policy making.

 

Tepring has logged years of experience in education, policy and research, and working with government and nonprofit entities in areas such as cognitive neuroscience, computer science, workforce development, education, and military health. She also conducted data analysis, qualitative research, and scientific writing for various projects and publications. She plans to continue leveraging her skills and expertise with NSPN and ADDSTEAM to create and implement programs that support and inspire individuals, especially from communities traditionally underrepresented in science and technology.

 

A LinkedIn post by ADDSTEAM advertising a Careers in Science Policy Panel.
Tepring co-founded ADDSTEAM, which is hosting a “Careers in Science Policy Panel,” featuring alum La’Shaye Cobley and 2024 Fellow Ellia La. | ADDSTEAM on LinkedIn

 

Additionally, Tepring hopes to foster NSPN’s agenda of cultivating scientists to actively participate in policymaking, equipping them with the necessary tools, skills, and community support to champion the use of science in solving complex public policy issues.

She explains, “My first goal is to achieve long-term sustainability. The second goal is to grow our community to 10,000 active and engaged scientists and science enthusiasts. The third goal is to have NSPN be the leader in the creation of the science policy ecosystem, an interconnected network of individuals, organizations, and institutions that collaboratively work to integrate scientific knowledge into public policy.”

With this in mind, Tepring’s presence and influence was certainly evident at the 2024 NSPN Symposium, which was hosted at UC Riverside and organized in partnership with UCR Science to Policy Students, led by former CCST Executive Director, Susan Hackwood, and former CCST Program Advisor, Doug Brown.

We’re thrilled to congratulate Tepring in her new role with NSPN. We look forward to more opportunities to work with her and NSPN to develop the science policy ecosystem of advisors, consultants, educators, and leaders.

Quickfire Q&A:
Favorite place at the California Capitol: The Gallery
Favorite quote: “Talent wins games. Teamwork and intelligence win championships.”
Favorite movie character: Iron Man
Favorite way to refuel: Korean Spa Day
Last book you read: Leadership and Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute
Where do you call home: Long Beach, CA

 

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About the CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellowship
The CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows program places PhD-level scientists, engineers, and social scientists in the California State Legislature, State Agencies, and Offices of the Governor for a year of public policy, leadership training, and public service—training scientific thinkers to be policy-savvy, while helping equip California’s decision makers with science-savvy staff. Discover how our CCST S&T Policy Fellows make a difference in California’s policy arena and learn how to apply at CCST.us/CCST-Science-Fellows-Program.

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