Maryland Pesticide Education Network Board of Directors

Maryland Pesticide Education Network Board of Directors

Cleo Braver, Esq. is an attorney-turned-farmer and the owner of Cottingham Farm, an organic farm on the Eastern Shore. She currently serves as an MPEN representative on the Maryland Department of Agriculture -led Healthy Soils Consortium. Ms Braver worked as General Counsel for a Baltimore corporation and also worked as an attorney in the non-profit world. She helped form the Environmental Committee of Talbot County Democratic Forum and serving as first Chair. That activism led her to give up being a "gentleman farmer" and becoming a certified organic farmer.

Gwen DuBois, M.D., M.P.H. is an internist practicing in Baltimore and a frequent speaker on issues related to clean energy and toxic air pollution. She is an instructor in Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a member of the Public Health Committee of the Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi) and president of Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility. She is interested in addressing the health implications of toxic air pollution and works for policy change to reduce risk of nuclear war.

Kristen Harbeson, M.A. is the MD LCV Political Director since 2015. Before that she served for five years as senior staff for Chairman Maggie McIntosh. During her tenure with the legislature, she worked for the Environmental Matters Committee through the passage of landmark stormwater and septics legislation, as well as with issues including fracking, pesticides and other land-use concerns. After graduating with a MA in history and museum studies in 2000, Kristen moved to Baltimore to work at the USS Constellation Museum. Her passion for policy, however, led her to shift to advocacy work, first at Preservation Maryland and then the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers. In these roles she built coalitions and advocated for sustainable building practices and conservation, as well as for full funding for the Historic Preservation Fund and the Land and Water Conservation Act.

Michael Ichniowski, M.D., currently serves as Chair of the Environmental Health and Climate Change Committee for the Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He retired from practice in August, 2019 after over 40 years in Primary Care Pediatrics but continues his advocacy work on children’s environmental health issues. In addition to his medical degree, he has also earned a certificate in environmental science. 

  Steve Kraszewski, along with wife Kate and Steve's father-in-law Bill Mason, farm 850 acres known as Mason's Heritage and Mason Farms Produce which represents five generations of farmers. Their farms are mostly dedicated to growing organic corn, soybeans and barley. The farm transitioned to organic beginning in 2006, with the last acres becoming fully in 2018. In addition to the home farm, the family leases three other local farms as well, all of which are tilled organically. Steve also presents on soil health at various events/webinars for fellow farmers in the region.

Sean Lynch joined MOM’s Organic Market as the Environmental Research and Partnership Manager. MOM’s purpose, to protect and restore the environment, appealed strongly to him. He has engaged with environmental organizations and Citizen Science for many years and, over the last year, became a Maryland Master Naturalist with the Audubon Naturalist Society. He has additionally been an Education volunteer at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, educating K-12 students about the Chesapeake and the bay environment and watershed. Sean is a former Product Manager from the telecommunications industry and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland.

Devon Payne-Sturges, Dr.P.H. is an Assistant Professor with the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health and the Dept. of Epidemiology and Biostatistics within the UMD School of Public Health. Her areas of expertise are children’s environmental health, risk assessment and environmental health policy. Prior to joining the faculty at the School of Public Health, she worked for the EPA for 12 years. where she managed the human health extramural research portfolio that included cohort studies on how environmental factors affect children's health. She has also conducted her own research assessing the neurodevelopmental risks to children from cumulative exposures to OP pesticides.

Ana Rule, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health with more than 15 years of research experience. Her areas of expertise include exposure assessment of environmental and occupational hazards, including agricultural, urban and nosocomial environments. Dr. Rule’s main research goal is the development and evaluation of novel sampling and analysis strategies for the assessment of exposure to air pollutants. She is currently director of the Environmental Exposure Assessment Labs, where she develops and applies methods for the assessment of exposures to adult and pediatric populations. She has led projects to evaluate exposures to biological aerosols, electronic cigarettes, and second hand smoke.

Virginia Ruiz is former Director of Occupational and Environmental Health at Farmworker Justice. She focuses on administrative and legislative advocacy and community education for farmworkers and other low-income Latino communities on issues related to environmental justice, occupational health and safety, and access to healthcare. Prior to working at Farmworker Justice, she was Staff Attorney for California Rural Legal Assistance’s Indigenous Project, where she represented indigenous migrants from southern Mexico and Guatemala. Ms. Ruiz has represented farmworkers for over 20 years. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and Stanford Law School.

Tyler Smith, M.P.H. has been a Staff Scientist with Earthjustice's Sustainable Food & Farming Program in New York, and continues to consult to the organization. He is currently also working on his PhD at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Previously, Tyler managed food safety testing at Consumer Reports and was a program officer at the Center for a Livable Future where he led multiple initiatives to eliminate the misuse of antibiotics in livestock and poultry production and conducted research on antibiotic resistance, foodborne chemicals, and air pollution from industrial livestock facilities. An epidemiologist and risk assessor by training, Tyler holds a Master of Public Health in epidemiology and biostatistics from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, as well as a certificate from the Johns Hopkins Risk Sciences and Public Policy Institute.

Roger Williams. M.Eng is a former president of the Central Maryland Beekeepers. He is currently the Program Coordinator for the Culver Center’s innovative New Farmer Training Program. Previously, he was with Cisco Systems Advanced Services supporting national telecom systems in South and Central America and the Caribbean.

*We are sad to report that the death of our Board member/Committee member, Richard Lord Humphrey, M.D. Dr. Humphrey was instrumental in the successful work we have accomplished to date and he will be sorely missed by us all. We were blessed to have known him and worked with this gentle giant. Please see his obituary in the Baltimore Sun.