Our Team

The Global Alliance of Community Workshops is made up of a network of passionate individuals.  Four officers lead the board of directors:

Manuel Hernandez

He/ Him/ His

Raised in the heart of East Los Angeles, Manuel discovered early in his childhood how to connect with people and pursue his natural curiosity, always approaching life with the request: “Show me how that works!” He attended East Los Angeles City College, where he fell into his electrical trade and was recruited by the first minority program cohort to attend Humboldt State. A life-changing introduction to Dan Sudran (Founder, Mission Science Workshop) linked his motivation for serving underprivileged students to the hard sciences and rooted a mentorship that would help blossom his lifelong passion for tinkering and making. This led him to open Fresno’s first Community Science Workshop and several other science centers in Fresno County, which have been recognized for their success as a national model by the National Science Foundation and National Science Teachers Association. His pedagogy is “My classroom has no walls, which quenches my thirst for the outdoors!”

Curt Gabrielson

He/ Him/ His

After learning the most useful things in life growing up on a hog farm, Curt learned physics at MIT and education at the Exploratorium Teacher Institute. He taught science from junk in China, Timor-Leste, India and California.  He worked at Mission Science Workshop for 2 years, started and ran the Watsonville CSW for 11, and worked beside José Sánchez at the Greenfield CSW for 2. His partner and 2 kids are his most successful science project, and he’s penned 5 books in English and several in Tetun, Timor-Leste’s language.  He thinks the world would work better if every kid had access to a shop and a farm.

Darren Gertler

He/ Him/ His

Darren Gertler directs the City of Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop. He came to this position after working as a classroom science teacher and environmental educator. A coastal native, he taught ocean ecology from the deck of the O’Neill Sea Odyssey catamaran and is an avid fisher and surfboard maker.  In addition to his day job, he holds the elected position of commissioner for the Santa Cruz Port District.  Darren is a firm believer in letting his students be creative with any and all materials that are available to them, especially if those materials are cheap and messy. 

Luis G. Miranda

He/ Him/ His

Luis is a native of Highway City, a small working class neighborhood tucked into the urban sprawl of Northwest Fresno. Luis is a lifelong competitive athlete, was 2005 Referee of the Year, President of his class/FFA Greenhand President, and award winning performing/ martial artist. From Fresno City College, Luis transferred to Cal State Northridge, was Chicano House Coordinator Officer in MEChA, was elected Ballet Folklorico Aztlan de CSUN annual Director, was a member of the inaugural class of McNair Scholars, a Disney College Program participant and graduated with a degree in Chicana/o Studies with an emphasis in education. Luis continues his pursuit of an MBA from Fresno State University, is currently the Coordinator at the Highway City Community Science Center, and a founding member of the Global Alliance of Community Science Workshops where he continues outreach to the community as an ambassador and activist.