´╗┐About Us


Erina Vlashi

2021 Science Slam Chair

Erina studies cell biology and drug development and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at UCLA. Erina has one son at Westwood Charter.


Mary Susselman

Future Chair

Mary received her BS in Psychobiology at UCLA and completed her Nuclear Medicine Technology internship at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She is currently an Associate Chief Nuclear Medicine and MRI Technologist at the UCLA Brain Mapping Center. Mary's oldest of two daughters is in 2nd grade at Westwood Charter.


Sonya Chapnick

Past Chair

Sonya holds a degree in environmental biology, and loves exploring and sharing the mystery in all living things including human physiology. She's a certified yoga therapist and a proud and happy mom of two girls. One who is a 5th grader in Westwood Charter.

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Nina Nattiv

Volunteer Coordinator

Nina has has a BA in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley. Currently she practices dentistry at her own dental practice.  She loves doing science experiments with her daughters who are in first grade at Westwood Charter.


Karen Cavassani

Volunteer Coordinator

Karen has a background in cellular immunology and is currently a Project Scientist at Cedars Sinai Medical Center where she is studying the role of immune cells in prostate cancer progression. Karen has two children who attend Westwood Charter.


Heidi Cruz

Treasurer and technology guru

Heidi is a technology lover who works in advertising. She enjoys board & video games, art and science-fiction. She'd like to make a science-fiction experiment for Science Slam, but her teleportation experiments have been unsuccessful. Her daughter is a 3rd grader at WWC.

Christina Close

Teacher representative

Christina is a Family 4-5 teacher and serves the critical role of liaison between the Science Slam steering committee and the teachers and staff at Westwood Charter

Science Slam is  an annual parent organized event endorsed by Westwood Charter School.  This website is owned and operated by a parent steering committee, not by Westwood Charter School.