W.I.S.E. Workshop Leaders & Speakers 2018
Nina Tandon is CEO and Co-Founder of EpiBone, the world’s first company growing living human bones for skeletal reconstruction. She is the co-author of Super Cells: Building with Biology, a book that explores the new frontier of biotech. Nina has also been awarded Crain’s New York, Forty Under 40; Ernst & Young, Winning Woman; and Goldman Sachs, 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs. She has a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the Cooper Union, a Master’s in Bioelectrical Engineering from MIT, a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, as well as an MBA from Columbia University. Her PhD research focused on studying electrical signaling in the context of tissue engineering, and has worked with cardiac, skin, bone, and neural tissue. Visit Nina Tandon's website.
2017 Keynote Speaker
Keiana Cavé is an incoming sophomore studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan. Her background is in chemical research, nanotechnology, and experimental design. She also has web development experience. Originally from New Orleans, Keiana began conducting independent research on the BP oil spill at Tulane University at the age of 15. Her work resulted in two published scientific research papers and two patents.
She was honored in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2017 in the "Energy and Cleantech" Category and more recently was named as one of the “100 Top Women in the World” beside Michelle Obama, Ellen Degeneres, Emma Watson, and Hillary Clinton. Keiana spent the past summer interning at Intel Capital, where she worked on developing wearable technology for Intel.
Eileen Antonison is a curriculum developer for Mosa Mack Science, where she creates science and engineering experiences for students in grades 4-8. Eileen has been teaching middle school science, gifted education, and STEM for over 13 years. She wrote the integrated STEM curriculum in grades 6-8 for her school in Franklin Lakes, NJ, for which she won a Program Excellence Award from the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. Her achievements also include receiving an Earthwatch Fellowship to study whales and dolphins alongside scientists in the Moray Firth, Scotland, overseeing green initiatives in her school as the Green Team Coordinator, and presenting science and technology workshops at state and national conferences.
Marie Corkhill has been teaching at Poly Prep for 39 years. During that time, she has taught AP Biology and Form I Science, as well as some Reading and Math classes. She is currently teaching 5th- and 6th-grade science (her favorite classes) and is one of the coaches for the Middle School Science Olympiad team. Before coming to Poly, Marie worked in the Education Department at the American Museum of Natural History.
Becca del Monte is a product engineer at OXO, where she builds and tests kitchen tools from egg poachers to cheese graters. In previous jobs she has worked on faucets, LED light fixtures, and vibrators, but designing for food has been by far the most delicious. She studied product design at Stanford University and loves to combine technical and creative work to make real-world stuff that everyone can use.
Emily Giurleo is a Poly Prep alumna (class of 2013) who is passionate about education and software. She graduated from MIT with a degree in computer science, and she is now working as a software developer at Codecademy. She is interested in using technology to help children learn about math and science and hopes to one day found her own educational technology startup or become a teacher.
Shannon Gracie graduated Emmett O’Brian High School with Honors and her NIMS Certification in Manufacturing. She has been working for STEMPilot since 2014 doing everything from fabrication and assembly, to computer build and setup, and now technical/customer support. STEMPilot designs and builds flight simulators for schools to use as a hands on and visual learning tool for the K-12 Project Based Learning STEM Curriculum they wrote based around aviation. Shannon loves, and more importantly enjoys her job. In addition to customer support, she does design/marketing, and can often be found representing the company at events or running the Professional Development training for the New England schools.
Juliette Guarino-Berg is the Lower School Science Teacher at Poly Prep Country Day School, where she teaches life, physical, and Earth sciences to students in kindergarten through fourth grade. She is also a co-advisor of the Lower School Ecology Action Team, which focuses on environmental initiatives. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences from Binghamton University and her Master of Science in Childhood Education from Hunter College. Her passions lie in developing and implementing STEM curricula for elementary-aged students.
Kari Jacobsen has specialized in evaluating and improving train safety, including conducting accident investigations, performing full-scale testing, and developing safety standards for the last 16 years. Kari earned a B.S. and M.S.c in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University and has authored over 20 technical publications on train safety. She was one of four women in her undergraduate class of 42 mechanical engineers. Kari resides in Oakland, California and teaches yoga classes locally, as well as yoga retreats in Costa Rica and Bali. Her goal in life is to do meaningful work that helps people be safe, healthy, well-balanced, and stress-free.
Nicole Karpf de Castillo is an architectural designer living in Los Angeles, CA. She earned her masters' degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture in 2013, and is a specialist in Building Information Modeling. For the past four years, she has worked on civic, commercial and adaptive reuse projects in the Los Angeles area. She enjoys learning about new technologies, and is currently learning how to create virtual and augmented reality experiences for her projects. In her free time, she loves to run, hike, and camp in the desert.
Katy Kasmai is the Founder of Team Exponent and ExponentialEdu.org, building high-impact teams for 10x solutions to our toughest challenges, and cultivating moonshot projects in K-12. She is also a senior engineering PM at Google, Inc. Katy is passionate about 10x thinking, sustainability and the pursuit of change and innovation. She develops and executes strategies to solve complex problems using technology, with a focus on achieving product excellence.
Denisha Kuhlor is the founder and CEO of Almafind. Almafind is a web and mobile platform designed to help high school students discover colleges that are the best fit for them by using the insights and perspectives from current college students. Raised in Wallingford, CT, Denisha attended the Academy of Aerospace and Engineering in Hartford, CT where she served as school president her senior year. Denisha got the idea for Plucked her senior year in high school after going through the college application process herself. To test her idea, Denisha set out to apply to as many schools as possible for free. When Denisha successfully applied to 40 schools for less than $35, Plucked was officially born. This summer, Denisha interned at Silicon Valley Bank and she currently goes to the College of Mount St. Vincent where she is a double major in nursing and communication.
Ann Oransoff has been a techie and tinkerer since she was a child and loves all things technology. She holds many IT certifications, and is both a Common Sense Media and Google Certified Educator. Ann has been teaching at Poly for 15 years, where she teaches Computer Science and Technology to both the 5th and 6th grades. She enjoys reading, jigsaw puzzles, Pokemon Go, and her two cats, Kacie and Navy.
Linda Sandor is a Poly Prep alum (class of 2016) and is currently a sophomore at Northwestern University where she is studying Civil Engineering with a minor in Film and Media Studies. She was on the WISE planning committee and taught basic engineering lessons to local elementary school students throughout high school. She serves as a member of the social committee of Northwestern's chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. Through that role she served as a facilitator for Career Day for Girls and helped to lead a group of female engineers to the Chicago March for Science.
Ella Schwartz is a Poly Prep alumna (Class of 1992) and received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in engineering from Columbia University. Today, she works as a cybersecurity specialist with the U.S. Federal Government on strategic technology initiatives. She holds a Department of Defense-issued top secret clearance to support her role. Ella is also the author of several science nonfiction books for young readers. Her debut, IS IT OKAY TO CRACK THE CODE? (Bloomsbury, 2018), is the first book in a nonfiction STEM-based middle grade series, exploring concepts in cryptography and internet security.
Amanda Solarsh is middle school (grades 6-8) STEM teacher at MS 104 Simon Baruch Middle School in Manhattan, where she has taught for ten years. She co-developed a new curriculum for the STEM course at her school which focuses on utilizing the engineering design process to solve real world problems. Her achievements include receiving a Math for America Master Teacher fellowship, presenting at several National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conferences, and being awarded Outstanding STEM Educator from the New York Institute of Technology in 2014. She is passionate about engaging students in environmental sustainability and STEM.
Zab Steenwyk found design by Googling “Art that helps People”after her freshman year of college at Lawrence Technological University where she fell in love with the design process. She has worked on everything from hiking packs at REI to virtual reality experiences, always maintaining a human-centric focus. She graduated with a B.S. in Industrial Design in May 2017 and now works in New York as an industrial designer at OXO, creating kitchen, home and baby products that help people live better every day.
Kelley Surun is a designer and maker of places, spaces, and things. Prior to moving to New York in 2012 she had been working in Boston, MA for 10 years. She received both her B.F.A. in Industrial Design and her Masters of Architecture from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. This education, in addition to her varied onsite experiences, combine to influence how she designs each aspect of object, home or workplace that people interact with. A vinyasa yoga instructor, Kelley integrates elements of mindfulness and introspection into her designs and artwork, creating moments for her audience to stop and reflect.
Laura Wacker graduated from Poly Prep in 2009 and is now working in the financial services industry, where she hopes to develop her own AI-driven investment machine. She received her B.S. from MIT in Mathematics with Computer Science, and currently works to build and systematize the portfolio oversight process as a portfolio associate at Bridgewater Associates in Westport, CT. Outside of work, Laura enjoys playing sports, such as skiing (water and snow!), lacrosse, squash and kiteboarding. Laura has worked with python inside and outside of the classroom to build statistics and/or rules-driven AI systems, which she is looking forward to introducing to her students at W.I.S.E.!
Micco Wu loves the process of design and develop that she spent most of her time either in the kitchen or in the lab, doing (includes but not limits to) cake sculpting or 6 ft tall anesthetic machine building. She went to Northwestern University to get a degree in Engineering Design&Innovation so she can be a master in creating and building things. Currently she's a product engineer at OXO, which is a company that makes home products that make everyday life better. She 's in charge of bringing all sorts of bath products from concepts to shelves in the store. Previously, she worked as a design engineer (both mechanical and electrical) in developing machines used in the Operation Room.