Alumni Highlights

Andy Artz is an internet entrepreneur based in San Francisco, CA. Andy grew up in Colorado and attended the Frontiers of Science Institute in the summer of 2001. At FSI, Andy worked under Dr. Ed Bilsky as part of a Medtronic Foundation grant to study the effects of certain opioid drugs on mice. The purpose of the research was to develop new drugs for pain management as well as treatments for opioid addiction and overdose. Andy loved the experience and was invited to continue research with Dr. Bilsky in the following summer of 2002 at the University of New England. FSI provided Andy with a tremendous appreciation for scientific research and a wealth of fun and friendship, and propelled him to continue his pursuit of science.

In 2007, Andy attended Harvard University and earned a bachelor's degree in physics. After college, Andy joined IBM's corporate development team in Armonk, NY where he led M&A activity in the software and tech services sector. Following IBM, in 2009 Andy joined the social-gaming startup OMGPOP as an early employee where he was VP of finance and analytics. OMGPOP created the hit app "Draw Something" which became the fastest growing app at the time and broke several records for downloads on iPhone and Android. In 2012, OMGPOP was acquired by Zynga for $180M. After the acquisition, Andy took a long trip to travel across Africa and Europe. He recently moved to San Francisco to start a new company focused on developing behavior-change apps and has recently married.

Andy Artz, 2001

FSI is one of those things that will change your life! Not only do you learn so much during your time there, you make friends all across the state. You may lose contact after a few years but life has a funny way of bringing you all back together. For me, two people that were in my FSI class now go to university with me and I even share classes with them! It’s also one of those things that can jump start a friendship when you see someone wearing their FSI shirt even if they were in a different class than you!

Samyuktha Senthikumar 2014

Attending FSI was truly an experience like no other. The opportunity to work with real professional staff at a university, and conduct my own research, all while learning how to operate as a young professional has still left me with life lessons that I apply to my daily life. I could not be more thankful for the opportunity, and the direction it has pointed me in.

Lenina Serna 2013

Having experienced FSI as a student and a staff member, I have had the privilege of seeing FSI change my life and the lives of others. FSI is a uniquely transforming program connecting students, teachers, and researchers in very meaningful ways. Thank you!

Christopher (Topher) Krause 2008, 2013-15

FSI is part o the reason why I have the job I have now! Really solidified my interest in the sciences, and I owe the program a lot!

Nissa Schmidt 2004

As I reminisce about my FSI experience 13 years ago, I realize that summer helped to motivate and mold the person I am today. FSI invigorated my passion for science, specifically astrophysics, in an atmosphere where I could pursue my interests and explore questions I could not pose at home. My mentor granted me my first taste of actual scientific research - not just problem sets - but real, original discoveries into the nature of the cosmos. The classes were a breath of fresh air compared to the mundane courses at my high school. And I had the great opportunity to build solid friendships with other science enthusiasts. I still stay in touch with several FSIers from 2003. But most importantly, FSI helped to develop my character and individuality. It was my first time living an extended period of time away from home, and FSI gave me a glimpse into adulthood as I attempted to balance classes, research, and time with friends and family. I am eternally grateful for FSI and the staff, mentors, and sponsors who make it possible.

Max Moe 2003

FSI was a fabulous awakening--to other young scientists' ideas, to college life and great professors' lectures, to growing up, to staying up late for philosophical talks, to exploring science in its many realms of the real world.

FSI Alumnus 1978

I am very grateful to UNC and my participation in the FSI program. I think it broadened my horizons and helped my college application to MIT. I met some amazing people, one of whom has stayed in touch for 40 years! (Richard Willson)

Rokosz Malloy 1976

I learned a great deal in the Summer of 1975, and not just about science! It was about a glimpse of college life, about learning to be an adult (someday), and getting along with others who were different. I'm very glad to know that FSI still exists, and hope it will continue long into the future.

David Vanderburgh 1975

[It was a] memorable event in my life, but I feel like I may have been one of the ones who made the top 90% possible... [I'm] interested in finding out how the other people spent their careers, since my group is close to wrapping up...

Shannon Jacobs 1973

Extraordinary summer for a misfit Nerd from Grand Junction to join a broad range of fellow Nerds and expand horizons. I have very fond memories of lots of adventures, classes, field trips, and friends.

Thom Johnson 1971

Frontier's of Science was a turning point for me and made me realize I could compete in a male dominated field of science. I learned that science is the true magic in the world and understanding that magic leads to breakthroughs. Frontiers of Science prepared me for the rigors of Medical School much better than four years of college. I gained confidence in my reasoning abilities and enjoyed the collaboration of fellow students and staff. It was the best!

Shirley Isgar 1966

One of the major influences on my view of this world, a wonderful introduction to life beyond high school...I think every class I took in college and almost everything I've learned since has been 'tinted' by my FSI experience.

FSI Alumnus 1965