Alumni Council

The seven-member Flinn Alumni Council supports the Flinn Scholars Program by providing feedback and advice to Flinn Foundation staff, undertaking initiatives to enhance the experience of current Flinn Scholars, and cultivating a meaningful network of Flinn Scholar alumni.

Meet the Flinn Alumni Council:

Shantanu Bala (Chair)

Senior Software Engineer
Art Blocks
Flinn Scholar Class of 2011
Arizona State University

Shantanu Bala has spent the past decade building wearable computers and multimedia software. At Culdesac, he integrated ubiquitous computing into the first car-free neighborhood built from scratch in the United States. In his previous role as CEO of Somatic Labs, he oversaw the design, engineering, manufacture, and distribution of haptic interfaces on behalf of three Fortune 500 R&D groups, two large aerospace companies, and hundreds of individuals. While pursuing undergraduate degrees in computer science and psychology at Arizona State University, he conducted human-computer interaction research at the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing for six years. He was awarded a Thiel Fellowship in 2014, and his contributions to the field of tangible media received first place awards at the Alphalab International Hardware Cup, NASA iTech, and ASU Innovation Open. As someone who has collaborated with Flinn Scholars throughout his career, Shantanu brings enthusiasm for helping foster the same connections in future classes.

Breanne Bushu (Incoming Chair)

Education Policy Leader, Strategic Planner, & Education Designer
Flinn Scholar Class of 2002
University of Arizona

Breanne Bushu is an independent education consultant. She brings to the Flinn Alumni Council expertise in education public policy research, strategic planning, and systems design—from experiences working in schools, nonprofits, and the Arizona Legislature. Breanne is particularly excited to serve on the Alumni Council because of her lifelong commitment to Arizona students and to give back to the Flinn Foundation for its ongoing support. Breanne is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from the University of Arizona, where she earned a Master of Education in educational leadership and Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art. She is also a 2016 Flinn-Brown Fellow.

Timothy Ellsworth Bowers

Timothy Ellsworth Bowers
Support Astronomer
Lowell Observatory
Flinn Scholar Class of 1997
University of Arizona

Timothy Ellsworth Bowers is raising a family in Flagstaff and working a dream job at Lowell Observatory. He attended the University of Arizona, where he eventually obtained degrees in physics and science education while enjoying the quiet of the desert and telescopes on the surrounding mountains. After teaching high-school and community-college physics in Flagstaff, he earned his doctorate at the University of Colorado Boulder in astrophysics before returning to Arizona. In addition to the stars, he is passionate about children in foster care, serving as a board member for Arizona’s Children Association; gardening, especially apple trees; and local history, both human and geologic. Timothy is excited to be able to help weave together the lives of current Scholars with the wider Flinn Alumni community.

Lindsey Chew

Lindsay Chew
MD/PhD Candidate
Duke University School of Medicine
Flinn Scholar Class of 2014
University of Arizona

Lindsey A. Chew graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Arizona Honors College in 2018, with a degree in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science (Neurobiology emphasis) alongside minors in Spanish and Business Economics. She is currently completing her MD/PhD at Duke University School of Medicine through the Medical Scientist Training Program, and she is a PhD candidate in Catherine Bowes Rickman’s lab in the Department of Ophthalmology. Her project focuses on validating gene therapy targets for age-related macular degeneration, as well as understanding the role of specific fat and cholesterol components in the development of this visually-impairing disease. Lindsey aspires to see patients as an ophthalmologist and conduct research to find cures for blindness. She was inspired by her time as a puppy raiser with Guide Dogs for the Blind during her college years in Tucson. After graduating from the UArizona, Lindsey spent several months traveling to guide dog training schools around the world (Czechia, Ireland, Hungary, New Zealand, Canada), meeting with mobility & orientation training experts as well as innumerable guide dog handlers. The Flinn Foundation played a key role in enabling her exploration, and Lindsey looks forward to continuing the adventure on the Flinn Alumni Council.

Samantha Winter McAlpin (Past Chair)

General Attorney (Tax)
IRS, Office of Chief Counsel
Flinn Scholar Class of 2004
Arizona State University

Samantha Winter McAlpin graduated from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University in 2008 with degrees in English Literature, Spanish, and History. She earned her law degree at Notre Dame Law School in 2011, and her LL.M. in Taxation from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2015.  Currently, Samantha practices law as a tax attorney with the Internal Revenue Service’s Office of Chief Counsel.  In addition to her work with the Alumni Council, Samantha volunteers with the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA, serves as an Emerging Leader on the ASU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Council, judges high-school mock trial competitions, and sings with the ASU Choral Union.  She and her husband, Greg, live in Phoenix with their young sons and rambunctious yellow lab mix.

Jennifer (Manuszak) Nelson

Jennifer Nelson
Vice President & General Counsel, Aerospace
Honeywell International
Flinn Scholar Class of 1989
University of Arizona

Jennifer (Manuszak) Nelson graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from University of Arizona in 1993 with degrees in Political Science, Economics and Criminal Justice Studies. She earned her law degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1996. Jennifer Nelson is the Vice President & General Counsel for Honeywell Aerospace, and is also the Vice President of Aerospace Strategic Licensing. Based in Phoenix, Honeywell Aerospace is a $12 billion strategic business group of Honeywell International. Prior to joining Honeywell, Jennifer practiced transactional law in private law firms in Boston, Massachusetts and Dallas, Texas. Jennifer is a founding member of the Honeywell Aerospace Women’s Leadership Council, and she participates as a sponsor in the Women and Diversity Career Advancement programs. Jennifer is a board member of Sandia National Laboratories, a multimission laboratory managed and operated for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security. She also sits on the board of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. Jennifer is honored to be part of the Flinn Alumni Council and to have the opportunity to interact with and enrich the experiences of fellow Flinn alumni and scholars.    

Benjamin Sanchez

Benjamin Sanchez
Antitrust and Aviation Attorney
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Flinn Scholar Class of 2009
Arizona State University

Benjamin Sanchez is an antitrust and aviation attorney at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Washington, D.C. He represents transportation companies before the federal government and maintains an active pro bono practice working on housing, civil rights, and transportation equity matters. His childhood love of trains and planes was nurtured into a professional vocation by his Flinn-sponsored travel to Madrid, Spain; Seoul, South Korea; and Dhaka, Bangladesh. After a year of riding world-class commuter rail, one of the world’s most expansive subway systems, and witnessing infrastructure failures in one of the largest cities, he returned to Arizona State University focused on the study of transportation and graduated summa cum laude with degrees in geography and economics. After spending time at American Airlines, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Regional Transportation District, the Maricopa Association of Governments, and the Tempe Transportation Commission, he returned to school and received a Master of Science in Transportation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a law degree from Harvard Law School.

Past Alumni Council Members

Ruth Allard Past Chair
Flinn Scholar Class of 1990

Ruben Alonzo
Flinn Scholar Class of 2001

Jennifer Banks – Past Chair
Flinn Scholar Class of 1991

Aaron Cain
Flinn Scholar Class of 1997

Michael ChuPast Chair
Flinn Scholar Class of 1992

Darryl Davis-Rosas
Flinn Scholar Class of 2006

Heidi Ernst
Flinn Scholar Class of 1998

Nathan Johnson
Flinn Scholar Class of 1986

Ajay Karpur
Flinn Scholar Class of 2012

Renata Keller
Flinn Scholar Class of 2000

Arielle King
Flinn Scholar Class of 2007

Susan Luu (Lai) Past Chair
Flinn Scholar Class of 1987

Michael Mitchell
Flinn Scholar Class of 1986

Margaret Neff
Flinn Scholar Class of 2003

Am Norgren
Flinn Scholar Class of 2006

Matt Rolland
Flinn Scholar Class of 2005

Amy Shahar (Stabler)Past Chair
Flinn Scholar Class of 2007

The Flinn Scholars Directory