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Teach, Inspire, Engage

Our mission is to enhance understanding of world issues by making lessons about them memorable.

Highly NRiched exists to promote informed public discourse through education. Regardless of discipline, Highly NRiched provides college professors and high school teachers with the resources necessary to bring diverse perspectives on science, technology, and society alive for their students. We incentivize educators to incorporate lessons about nuclear weapons into their classrooms by making it easy for educators to share, access, and build bespoke lesson plans, content, and experiential learning material.

Our Story

Highly NRichedโ€™s co-founders met as NSquare Fellows in 2018. The project idea came out of a year-long design process to tackle nuclear weapons risk reduction supported by the Rhode Island Institute of Design. The team coalesced in its current form in 2019 with some members staying on after their year as NSquare Fellows. Sponsored by New Venture Fund, our first-of-its-kind, nonprofit, non-partisan platform creates a synergistic experience by combining teaching resources with a broad-based mentor network of policy practitioners and experts volunteering their time as mentors and classroom speakers.

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Highly NRiched is currently supported by a team of six people. Its four senior leaders and co-founders, Dr. Anne Harrington, Dr. Tara Drozdenko, Mr. Daniel Espisito, and Ms. Kate Hewitt, have been volunteering their time since the project commenced in 2018. The project is also supported by a designer, Rives Matson–also a co-founder–and a lead developer, James Roberts, have been working on a contract basis to build and maintain Highly NRichedโ€™s web presence.

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Dr. Anne Harrington, Co-founder and Project Director

Dr. Anne I. Harrington is an associate professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Cardiff University, Wales, United Kingdom. Her firsthand knowledge of working in higher education, the challenges associated with sourcing active learning exercises, and the tech transformation that is underway in how teaching resources are distributed to students informs this project. Anne teaches on nuclear strategy and nonproliferation; war and society; and diversity and inclusion in global politics. Students in her classes learn, for instance, how to develop informed opinions about US policy towards Iran and North Korea. Anne earned her PhD in Political Science from the University of Chicago in 2010. Since then, she has held fellowships at major universities in the US and Europe, including the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. In 2013-2014, she worked for the United States Congress as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, first as a National Security Fellow in the office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and then at the Congressional Research Service. Her publications have appeared, among other places, in The New York Times, War on the Rocks & Foreign Policy.

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Kathryn Hewitt, Co-founder and Chief of Marketing and Communications

Kate Hewitt is a public affairs specialist and spokeswoman for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). In addition to an extensive network of nuclear policy practitioners, Kate brings expertise on crafting compelling public relations narratives and pushing them out on social media. At the NNSA Kateโ€™s $17 billion public affairs portfolio includes nuclear weapons infrastructure, acquisitions, safety, operations, and project management. Kate is the recipient of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientistโ€™s Leonard M. Rieser award for her article on teaching fundamentals of nuclear history and policy in high schools nationally. Her previous work with the Brookings Institution and Board affiliations has helped to build Nrichedโ€™s network of mentors. She is a regular contributor to InkStick Media and a board member of Girl Security.

the Outrider Foundation in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki
Dr. Tara Drozdenko, Co-founder and Chief of Operations

Dr. Drozdenko has nearly 20 years of experience working in the national security field. She brings expertise in nuclear policy and an extensive network of peers in the nuclear policy space. Tara has spent the past 6 years at Outrider Foundation, a start-up operating foundation, building out the organizationโ€™s administrative and operating functions and managing the programming for its nuclear mission area. She earned a Ph.D. in plasma physics from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has worked for the U.S. Navy on issues related to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), for the U.S. State Department on Nonproliferation and Arms Control issues, and the Treasury Department on terrorist financing

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Dan Esposito, Co-founder and Chief of Technology

Daniel Esposito is the co-founder and CEO of Guardion, Inc. where he leads technical research and development to transition novel nanotechnologies into products for industrial process monitoring and counter weapons of mass destruction. Dan built the alpha version of Highly NRichedโ€™s website and brings extensive project management and entrepreneurial experience to the team. Dan serves as Principal Investigator for over $2M in funding from NASA, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, US Air Force, and the National Science Foundation. Daniel won a Gold Prize at the MassChallenge Global Business Competition and is a winner of the NASA Science Mission Directorate Entrepreneurship Challenge. He also led Guardion through the first Air Force-sponsored Techstars accelerator. Prior to forming Guardion, he ran Daniel Esposito Research and Development, which focused on helping small and medium-sized businesses and nonprofits examine and build solutions for business and technical problems. Daniel operated his business for 6 years, working with small businesses to e-commerce companies with $3-5 Million in revenue.

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Rives Matson, Co-founder and Creative Director

Rives Matson is a freelance graphic designer. A creative person interested in experimenting with design to solve complex problems facing the world, Rives has been the key creative contributor to Highly Nrichedโ€™s logo and brand identity. Rives graduated in 2019 from Rhode Island Institute of Design with a BFA in Industrial/Product Design. Upon graduation, she became an experiential 3D and 2D designer at Freeman, a leading global event agency where she created live experiences that connected and engaged with a variety of audiences. She worked on projects for companies including VISA, TwitchRivals, Million Dollar Round Table, and OracleWorld.

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James Roberts, Lead Developer

James is a web developer who has been working in the industry for over a decade, specializing in custom WordPress integrations, with a strong background in underlying web technologies. James implemented a major site update for Highly NRiched and will continue to develop our web infrastructure. James has worked with clients in many different industries, such as foreign exchange, forensic science, professional services, and others, and has provided services for clients of various sizes, from small start-ups through to large corporate entities