Meet the Team

by Cynthia Rando

Meet The Sophic Team

Cynthia RandoCynthia Rando, CEO & Founder, MS, MBA, CHFP

Cynthia is a Certified Human Factors Professional (CHFP) and the V.P. of the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Human Factors Engineering from Clemson University and an MBA from Northeastern University.

Cynthia has worked in human-centered design for over 17+ years. She spent over 15 years at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, providing leadership and proactively addressing several critical areas in human factors and human-centered design. The projects which she was involved in include user interface design, ergonomics, safety and risk mitigation strategies, usability and user experience, accident investigation and root cause analyses. Cynthia assisted in the implementation of culture change initiatives and innovative solutions including the U.S. government’s first use of crowdsourcing as a disruptive business model. She also assisted with the development of the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation and the NASA Human Health and Performance Center.

Cynthia’s passion for the propagation of education in human factors principles and human-centered design as a business model is shown throughout her career. She has served as an associate professor at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, providing instruction in human factors and ergonomics course material. Currently, she serves as a trusted advisor and consultant for the Texas Medical Center Innovation Incubator’s medical device startup cohorts and The Texas Committee on Autonomous Systems.

As founder and CEO of Sophic Synergistics, Cynthia brings all of her academic, technical, and professional experience to the table. Along with her team, Sophic provides support to companies in a holistic and human-centered strategy that has never been seen before.

“At the end of the day, your business is our business. We’re here to make sure you succeed.”
-Cynthia Rando
Jennifer Fogarty, PhD.

Jennifer Fogarty, PhD.

Director of Applied Health & Performance

Jennifer Fogarty, PhD, is the Director of the Applied Health and Performance Division at Sophic Synergistics, LLC. Sophic Synergistics is a Human Centered Design firm specializing in integrating the best practices associated with human factors and medical physiology into a business model. Jennifer has over twenty years’ experience in human physiology and extreme environments and was most recently the NASA Human Research Program (HRP) Chief Scientist (CS) from November 2017 to January 2021. Jennifer led the development and oversight of an extensive research portfolio that addressed a very diverse set of human system risks to enable human exploration of space. This HRP CS role required communication and collaboration with Industry and Academic research and development laboratories, current NASA flight Programs, International Partners, and developmental spaceflight Programs that will be implementing human system risk reduction strategies. In addition, Jennifer established and maintained relationships and collaborations with research Programs at NASA, external institutions, and other government agencies to assess fundamental and mechanistic discoveries as well as innovative prevention and treatment strategies for application during mission design and execution. Before taking on this leadership role in the HRP, Jennifer was the Translational Scientist for NASA Space and Clinical Operations Division in the Human Health and Performance Directorate. In this role she facilitated project development and Program interactions between the operational and research communities. She identified candidates for the transition to operations process to reduce risk and resource utilization with the overall goal of preserving astronaut health and performance during and after missions. Previously, Jennifer was the Open Collaboration and Innovation Manager responsible for developing and maturing collaborations and applying tools such as technical gap analysis and open innovation platforms to further research, enhance clinical capabilities, and facilitate technology development.

Dr. Fogarty received a PhD from Texas A&M University System Health Science Center. She is currently on the editorial team for the Fundamentals of Aerospace Medicine 5th edition, regularly lectures on space physiology and human system risk management.

Kelly Powell

Kelly Powell

Partnerships Coordinator

Kelly began her career with Sophic in September 2018. She helps manage daily operations, partners with existing clients and leads the team in leveraging new ideas to promote business development.

Kelly has a degree in Communications from Lamar University. After graduating, she spent 15 years as an auto insurance claims adjuster where she excelled at relationship building and production management. Kelly is driven to provide experience that provide customer satisfaction and employee loyalty, understanding they are our most valuable assets.

Brittany Walton

Brittany Walton

Strategic Operations Lead

Brittany joined Sophic in June 2021 as the Strategic Operations Lead.

She has several years of professional experience working in the space industry. Her experience includes working as a certified real-time flight controller supporting the International Space Station (ISS) at the Payload Operations and Integration Center (POIC) at Marshall Space Flight Center. She has also worked as a subcontractor for NASA’s Human Landing System (HLS) program in both Operations and Systems Engineering and Integration (SE&I) roles. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Brittany has an interdisciplinary background and is passionate about developing business strategies and implementing a human-centered design approach in order to optimize the end-user experience while ensuring cohesive integration between stakeholders.

Raquel Garcia, AHFP

Raquel Garcia, AHFP

Human Factors Specialist

Raquel started her career at Sophic in March 2019. She joined us as a Human Factors Intern from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. After earning her Master of Science degree in Applied Cognitive Psychology with a specialization in Human Factors, Raquel transitioned to a fulltime specialist.

Raquel has research experience in the negative effects of virtual reality, iconography, displays, and perception and attention. She currently works closely with our medical device clients.

Lisa Calkins

Lisa Calkins

Human Factors Specialist

Lisa joined the Sophic team in May 2021. She earned a B.S. in psychology from the University of Washington and an M.S. in Human Factors and Ergonomics from the Loughborough University Design School in the U.K.

She has worked in the healthcare industry for the last four years. The previous and current projects she is involved with include: conducting safety consultations and workflow analysis, managing usability studies and evaluations, participating in Human Factors research, and performing ergonomic assessments.  

Lisa is passionate about advocating for the user and inclusive design. She loves to assist clients in making their products and services human-centered and can’t wait to work with you.

Joshua Valdez

Joshua Valdez

Graphic Communications Specialist

Josh joined the Sophic team in January 2020 as a Communications Intern. He went on to graduate from the University of Houston-Clear Lake with a bachelor’s degree in Communication. In May 2020, he transitioned to a Graphic Communications Specialist.

Josh has an extensive background in photography, graphic design, and web design.