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
Jenn Fogarty, PhD.

Jenn Fogarty, PhD.

Director at Large
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.

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 receiving her Master’s of Science 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.

María José Valladares, AHFP

María José Valladares, AHFP

Human Factors Specialist

María José joined Sophic in September 2019 as a Human Factors Intern. She transitioned to a fulltime specialist in May 2020. She received a Master’s in Applied Cognitive Psychology with a specialization in Human Factors from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

María José has research experience in trust in automation, social activism gaming and virtual reality. Her interests include behavior predictors in virtual environments and human error.

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 website design. However, he most enjoys creating graphics for our social media pages.

Samantha Hinds

Samantha Hinds

Public Relations Specialist

Samantha joined Sophic in June 2020 as a Communications Intern. In August 2020, she graduated from the University of Houston-Clear Lake with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and joined the Sophic team as a Public Relations Specialist.

Samantha previously worked in customer service industries. Her interest include writing, planning events, and working with social media.

Candace Howard

Candace Howard

Communications Intern
Candace joined the Sophic team in August 2020. She is currently attending the University of Houston-Clear Lake and is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. Her expected graduation date is December 2020.
Her interests include designing page layouts and graphics, managing websites, and creating content for social media.