Pandata is Proud to be the Diversity and Inclusion sponsor at ODSC West! Join us virtually or in person, Nov 16 – 18 

Meet Team Panda...

Team Panda Leadership

Cal Al-Dhubaib

CEO, AI Evangelist

Nicole Ponstingle McCaffrey

COO, AI Translator

Hannah Arnson, PhD

Director, Data Science

Team Panda

Bob Wood

Data Scientist

Merilys Huhn, JD

Associate Data Scientist

Chris Brace

Associate Data Engineer

Dan Miller

Project Manager

Scott Purvis, PhD

Operations Manager

Technical Editor & “Chief Inspiration Officer”

Aisha Key

Technical Editor & “Chief Inspiration Officer”

After a 24-year career in Human Resource Development with Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia, I am currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Organizational Change and Leadership at USC. My last project as a founding member of the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture was to oversee the staffs’ and volunteers’ professional development. Having a deep appreciation for the perspectives of others in diverse, multi-cultural settings, I strive to cultivate more of that which enables us to thrive and flourish.

What I wanted to be when I grew up: Growing up in Cleveland, I loved being in libraries, thinking one day I’d be a librarian.

Scott Purvis, PhD

Operations Manager

I started as a research scientist at Case Western Reserve University studying Immunodeficiency in HIV infections. In the late 90s, I found myself interested in the entrepreneurial world and took a position leading project and data managers in the clinical trials space. Since then, I’ve built clinical diagnostic labs and helped a few startups as a consultant. After meeting and working with Pandata during their early days, I decided to join them and help build a strong financial and operations infrastructure.

What I wanted to be when I grew up: When I was growing up, I wanted to be a Marine Biologist. I couldn’t wait for the Sunday night Jacque Cousteau prime time specials as I was totally captivated by the imagery.

Dan Miller

Project Manager

My life has been a constant balancing act between adventure and curiosity. A lifelong Clevelander, I earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cleveland State University and built a medical device company before becoming the school’s first Venture for America Fellow. I now lead project management efforts for the Pandata team while pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Michigan. Whether I’m training Jiu-Jitsu, hiking the flatirons, or learning the ins and outs of data science, a sense of adventure and curiosity still guide me.

What I wanted to be when I grew up: I really, adamantly wanted to be an astronaut. I think it’s because I love adventure and massive challenges. It’s part of the reason I eventually studied Mechanical Engineering!

Chris Brace

Associate Data Engineer

Born and raised in Massachusetts, I’ve always had a passion for tinkering, programming, and asking too many questions. At Case Western Reserve University I picked up as many majors as I had passions, and ended up graduating with minors in Psychology and Philosophy (tinkering) and majors in Computer Science and Cognitive Science (programming and asking too many questions). When I’m not designing and implementing technical solutions for Pandata I’m usually indulging my hobbies in home technology or audio design, so don’t hesitate to ask me about headsets, humidifiers, or smart homes!

What I wanted to be when I grew up: When I was younger I thought planes were the coolest things around, and wanted badly to be a pilot or an Aerospace Engineer. Turns out programming is more my speed, but I haven’t given up on piloting yet!

Merilys Huhn, JD

Associate Data Scientist

Though born and raised in Cleveland, I have lived all over the US from Washington, DC to California driven by the pursuit of understanding. I am deeply intrigued by the concept of how people work and act together. After earning my JD and working in social services for a few years, I decided to pursue a PhD in sociology at Stanford where I am currently using a mix of machine learning solutions and qualitative analysis to understand social interaction. My background in law and sociology power my work in designing ethical AI solutions through a human-centered approach. When I’m not working on my PhD or at Pandata, I like to spend my time outdoors testing new routes on my bicycle.

What I wanted to be when I grew up: When I was a kid, I wanted to be an engineer. I loved problem-solving!

Bob Wood

Data Scientist

While I was born outside of Chicago, our family moved around a lot, including several years living overseas in the Middle East. I moved back stateside and completed my undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, followed by a Master of Engineering and Management degree. After working as a Quality Manager in the aerospace industry for many years, I decided to pivot and pursue a career in Data Science, where I could apply my problem-solving skills and focus on learning new technologies. When I’m not coding, I enjoy spending my time behind the lens exploring macro photography and capturing photos of nature.

What I wanted to be when I grew up: I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and be a doctor. Then I found out how much school was involved.
Ethical AI

Julie Novic, PhD

Data Scientist

Growing up in a multi-ethnic, multicultural, immigrant household gave me a thirst to understand human culture and behavior on a fundamental level. This thirst was something that I tried to satiate with a PhD in anthropology, focusing on quantitative methods, archaeology, and consumer economics, but that was not enough. I wanted to take an applied approach and understand humans in ways that benefit consumers in a hands-on way. Soon after getting my PhD, I got a certificate in data science from Case Western Reserve University and haven’t looked back. In addition to my hands on technical work designing and developing human centered AI, I apply my background in the social sciences and humanities in helping clients and lay folk better understand the ethical and social implications of AI.

What I wanted to be when I grew up: I wanted to be an archaeologist since I was 8. I was one from age 21-36.

Hannah Arnson, PhD

Director, Data Science

A Cleveland native, I channeled my lifelong sense of curiosity and problem solving to pursue a career in science. I began with undergraduate training in neuroscience and mathematics, followed by a Ph.D. in neuroscience, followed by additional postdoctoral research. As a neuroscientist, I studied topics ranging from how the brain perceives smells to pigeon navigation. Then, I traded brain cells for business problems to become a data scientist with Pandata where I leverage my skills in identifying patterns to explain complex phenomena. Here, my passions lie in designing ethical and transparent AI and in making complex technical concepts accessible to all. Outside of Pandata, I can be found spending time with my family, enjoying the outdoors, and playing my fiddle.

What I wanted to be when I grew up: As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a scientist. An early toy memory is of my Fisher Price microscope kit.

Nicole Ponstingle McCaffrey

COO, AI Translator

The daughter of an entrepreneur, I was bitten by the marketing bug early in life. In my 20+ year career I have been fortunate to work in consulting, business development and marketing for global brands, KTM Motorcycle & Marathon Oil, but my true passion lies in nurturing small and medium size business growth. As Pandata’s COO, I marry all these experiences to craft and steward our brand, champion culture, build our talent pipeline, act as our resident AI Translator, and advocate for diversity in STEM. Outside of work, I am passionate about marine sports, expanding my knowledge of wine, and animal welfare – I volunteer with Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue and am an obsessed “dog mom” to a Frenchton, Lulu, and Boston Terrier, Clancy.

What I wanted to be when I grew up: I wanted to be Wonder Woman. The invisible plane, Lasso of Truth, and rebellious spirit – as a little girl, no one was cooler!

Cal Al-Dhubaib

CEO, AI Evangelist​

Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, I moved halfway across the world to attend college at Case Western Reserve University where I initially studied neuroscience. After working in public health research, I discovered data science is my true passion and I had the opportunity to become one the first graduates with a formal degree in Data Science. Since then, I’ve dedicated my career to cultivating data science talent both within Pandata and across our region. I’m passionate about inclusion in technology and spend my time creating environments where teams are able to design more fair, ethical, transparent AI solutions. When I’m not working on Pandata, I like to travel and explore arts and cultures around the world. I’ve been to 18 countries so far and hope to hit 50 by the time I’m 50!

What I wanted to be when I grew up: Funny enough, I had always been fascinated with robots. Initially I wanted to be a researcher, but here I am full circle working with AI!