About Us Nerd Girls, Inc.

Our Mission

To encourage and inspire girls through media that they can change their world around them by pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. We celebrate individuality, diversity, and passion.

Our Story

Nerd Girls was founded by Dr. Karen Panetta, a professor and Dean at Tufts University and an IEEE Fellow, to empower female engineering students and challenge the stereotypes and myths about women in the profession. Panetta teamed up with award-winning producer Karen Johnson and Oscar® and Emmy®-nominated filmmaker Paola di Florio to create media content and further develop the Nerd Girls brand. One of Nerd Girls’ main goals, to “redefine nerd,” aims to debunk stereotypes and serve as a catalyst in shifting the negative results of female portrayal in the media through positive messaging, opportunities and support for young women. The Nerd Girl Nation web series, which was directed by Paola di Florio, is cohosted by Dr. Panetta and Craig “Lowie” Low, an award-winning Australian comedian, TV host, radio host, and writer.

Meet the Team

Dr. Karen Panetta

Karen is professor at Tufts University, an engineer at the forefront of her field. She travels the globe inspiring youth to pursue science and engineering. Her work pushes innovation and she has received awards such as: Presidential Award from Barack Obama for Education, Norm Augustine Award and IEEE Award for ethical practices.

Founder Nerd Girls, Inc.

Karen is professor at Tufts University, an engineer at the forefront of her field. She travels the globe inspiring youth to pursue science and engineering. Her work pushes innovation and she has received awards such as: Presidential Award from Barack Obama for Education, Norm Augustine Award and IEEE Award for ethical practices.

Paola Di Florio

Paola is the director of Nerd Girl Nation. She is an Oscar and Emmy-nominated filmmaker and TV producer whose work has featured extraordinary individuals and the triumph of the human spirit. Her films include: AWAKE:The Life of Yogananda, Home of the Brave, and Speaking in Strings.

Co-founder Nerd Girls, Inc. Producer | Director

Paola is the director of Nerd Girl Nation. She is an Oscar and Emmy-nominated filmmaker and TV producer whose work has featured extraordinary individuals and the triumph of the human spirit. Her films include: AWAKE:The Life of Yogananda, Home of the Brave, and Speaking in Strings.

Karen Johnson

Karen is a producer who is interested in stories that are by, for, and/or about women. Her award winning productions have played at top film festivals, won awards, and been distributed and broadcasted throughout the world. Her films include: Double Dare, Twice Upon A Yesterday.

Co-founder Nerd Girls, Inc. Producer

Karen is a producer who is interested in stories that are by, for, and/or about women. Her award winning productions have played at top film festivals, won awards, and been distributed and broadcasted throughout the world. Her films include: Double Dare, Twice Upon A Yesterday.

Peter Rader

Peter has worked in the film industry for 20 years and has helped develop numerous projects for studios, and industry leaders such as Steven Spielberg, Dino De Laurentiis and John Davis. He most recently produced the award-winning documentary AWAKE:The Life of Yogananda,

Producer, Nerd Girl Nation

Peter has worked in the film industry for 20 years and has helped develop numerous projects for studios, and industry leaders such as Steven Spielberg, Dino De Laurentiis and John Davis. He most recently produced the award-winning documentary AWAKE:The Life of Yogananda,

Kathryne Jansen

Kathryne graduated with honors from The Los Angeles Film School. As a producer her short films have won awards such as, The Audience Choice Award and Best Short Thriller. She also produced, wrote, and directed her short film, A Crow's Whisper, the official selection for the Cibra and Tallinn Film Festival.

Associate Producer, Nerd Girl Nation

Kathryne graduated with honors from The Los Angeles Film School. As a producer her short films have won awards such as, The Audience Choice Award and Best Short Thriller. She also produced, wrote, and directed her short film, A Crow’s Whisper, the official selection for the Cibra and Tallinn Film Festival.
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