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SSEA 2019 Staff


Lourdes Andrade

Position: Director, Equity & Inclusion

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Bio: Lourdes has worked at Stanford University for over 15 years in various capacities and loves developing relationships with students. Lourdes currently works as the Director of Diversity Equity & Inclusion in the School of Engineering where she gets to focus on developing programs and experiences to help graduate and undergraduate students who wish to be engineers thrive at Stanford. 

Gaby Velazquez

Position: Office & Equity and Inclusion Progams Administrator

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Bio: Gaby works closely with the Equity and Inclusion team developing programs for graduate and undergraduate students at the School of Engineering. She will be graduating from the University of San Francisco with an M.A degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs in May 2019. She enjoys visiting her family in Southern California and exploring new coffee spots around the Bay Area.

Brooke Krajancich

Position: Graduate Student Coordinator

Hometown: Perth, Australia

Bio: Brooke Krajancich is a PhD student in electrical engineering at Stanford School of Engineering and 2018 Knight-Hennessy Scolar. Her research is focused on combining new optics, computational techniques and vision science to develop cutting-edge display technologies, such as augmented reality. Brooke is the first in her family to attend college, earning her bachelor’s degree at the University of Western Australia (UWA). 



Resident Fellows  (RFs)

Are current Stanford graduate students responsible for the residential well being of the SSEA program.


Melanie León

Degree program: Modern Thought & Literature (PhD)

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Bio: Melanie is a Social Justice and Community Engagement Fellow at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Her doctoral research explores a troubling pattern in the global management of mass migrations through a critical analysis of the role of asylum in controlling human mobility. As a researcher and teacher, Melanie has extensive experience conducting and teaching ethnographic research methods. Melanie is passionate about social justice issues and loves chatting with students about how to incorporate social justice into research frameworks. In her spare time, Melanie loves to read fiction, cook, and travel. 


Keiko Nagami

Major: Aerospace Engineering (masters)

Hometown: Ridgewood, NJ

Bio: Keiko's research interests are in aircraft dynamics and controls. Prior to her graduate career, she studied at Stony Brook University and earned a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering, and minored in Sustainability Studies. During her time at Stony Brook, she worked at the iCREATE innovation lab, an on-campus makerspace. Here, she taught workshops for the campus community on additive manufacturing. During the summer months, Keiko has also interned at NASA Ames Research Center, working on projects related to rotorcraft aerodynamics. In her free time, Keiko enjoys playing guitar and going on hikes around the Bay Area. 

Resident Assistants (RAs)

Are current undergraduate Stanford students, many of which are SSEA alumni, who plan activities, tutor, mentor, advise and enhance the SSEA experience while serving as residential staff during the program.

"I can't wait to get to know and bond with this year's cohort of SSEA students. It should be an awesome summer!"

Jasmine Jones

Major: Electrical Engineering

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

Fun Fact: I randomly met Hulk Hogan in an elevator when I was a kid.

"I'm excited to just hang out with and get to know the new frosh, and go on trips around the bay!"

Danny Nguyen

Major: Chemical/Environmental Engineering

Hometown: Portland, OR 

Fun Fact: One time when I was little, I took all the ornaments off of our Christmas, put them in a pile and smashed all of them. 

"I'm looking forward to showing the freshmen my favourite places!"

Isaiah Dawid

Major: BioChemistry

Hometown: Westcliffe, CO

Fun Fact: I have dislocated my shoulder 20 times.

"I'm looking forward to talking with the incoming students!"

Laura Pelaez

Major: Symbolic Systems

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Fun Fact: I eat whole raw tomatoes.

"I'm looking forward to spend a month helping students feel comfortable and confident not only at Stanford but with their choice to check out the field of engineering!"

Kiara Bacasen

Major: Environmental Systems Engineering

Hometown: Chula Vista, CA

Fun Fact: Someone once tried initiating me into buddhism with breakfast, roaring lions, and some really good cookies.

"I'm super excited to meet the students and slowly make them fall in love with Math and Engineering! I'm also eager for the trips and the process to form a SSEA family!"

Luis Gerardo Govea Moreno

Major: Bioengineering

Hometown: Irving, TX

Fun Fact: I'm a fan of horror movies! Catch me at 2 AM watching "The Exorcist" in a pitch dark room!

"I'm looking forward to getting to know the students by hanging out with them in the evenings and going to all the weekend events!"

Serena Debesai

Major: Physics

Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland

Fun Fact: While backpacking last summer,  a bear ate my ChapStick.

"I'm looking forward to the free gear, and getting to meet really cool people."

Marco Vasquez

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Hometown: Oxnard, CA

Fun Fact: I'm always open to try new things and explore.

"I'm looking forward to getting to know the students and also getting to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow staff members."

David Kwentua

Major: Computer Science & Human Biology

Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa

Fun Fact: I once biked a distance of 35 miles after a friend dared me to. 

"I'm looking forward to late night  lounge activities and helping the students explore how cool Stanford is."

Rachel Portillo 

Major: Environmental Systems Engineering

Hometown: Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Fun Fact: I couldn't whistle as a kid, so I learned how to mouth trumpet.

"I'm looking forward to meeting new people and getting to work for the program where  I made my best friends."

Kimberly Juarez-Rico

Major: Environmental Systems Engineering

Hometown: Sebastopol, CA

Fun Fact: I've been doing contact sports for 12 years (martial arts for 6 years, werestling for 4 years, and rugby for 2 years and currently).


Teaching Staff 

Dr Cynthia Lee

Position: Computer science lecturer

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Bio: Cynthia Lee is a Lecturer in the Computer Science Department at Stanford. She specializes in team-based and question-based course design, and founded to support educators in flipping their computer science classrooms using peer instruction. She has a PhD in high-performance computing from UC San Diego and also taught there before moving to Stanford. Her industry work experience includes NASA Ames and startups.

Dr Lisa Yan

Position: Computer science lecturer

Hometown: Holmdel, NJ

Bio: Lisa received her PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 2019. Her research is in computer science education, in particular, how to create tools to help teachers better understand how students learn in the context of large undergraduate classrooms. For the last four years, Lisa has worked with East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring (EPATT), a non-profit dedicated to teaching and inspiring low-income and underserved students in the Palo Alto K-12 school system. 

Dr Jo Boaler

Position: Head math instructor, Graduate School of Education 

Hometown: London, UK

Bio: Dr Jo Boaler is a Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University, and the faculty director of youcubed. She formed youcubed to give teachers, parents and students the resources and ideas they need to inspire and excite students about mathematics. She is the author of the first MOOC on mathematics teaching and learning. Her PhD won the national award for educational research in the UK. She is an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (Great Britain), and a former president of the International Organization for Women and Mathematics Education (IOWME). Her work has been published in the New York Times, TIME magazine, The Telegraph, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal and many other news outlets. She was named by the BBC as one of the 8 "people whose ideas are challenging the future of education.”

Miriam Leshin

Position: PhD student, Graduate School of Education 

Hometown: Newton, MA

Bio: Miriam is a doctoral student in Mathematics Education and Curriculum and Teacher Education at Stanford. She is interested in understanding equity-based instructional moves that allow teachers to support all students to find success in mathematics. Before coming to Stanford, she taught middle school mathematics and designed math curriculum for eight years in Boston, MA and Oakland, CA. She holds a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Mathematics (grades 6-12) and an M.A. in Education from Mills College. Prior to her work as a teacher, she completed her B.A. in African American Studies from Wesleyan University.

Montserrat Cordero

Position: Maths Designer for Youcubed

Hometown: San José, Costa Rica

Bio: Montse Cordero is a maths designer for Youcubed, a center in the Stanford Graduate School of Education and is part of the math teaching team for LSP/SSEA this year. Montse holds a B.S. in mathematics with honors in education from Stanford (’17), and enjoys working to make maths more equitable and accessible to everyone. At youcubed Montse performs a variety of tasks including research and curriculum development. As an undergrad, Montse was a teaching assistant in Jo Boaler’s course How To Learn Math, where they got to work with many Stanford students making their transition to college and helped change their ideas about math and of themselves as math learners. Montse is a Costa Rica native and in their spare time enjoys reading science fiction and fantasy and playing table-top games with their friends.

Megan Selbach-Allen

Position: PhD student, Graduate School of Education 

Hometown: Odessa, WA

Bio: Megan is a PhD Student in Mathematics Education at Stanford University. Her research is focused on making math more accessible and open for all students. Prior to beginning her studies at Stanford she spent 9 years as a Communications Officer in the US Marine Corps and the final 3 years as a mathematics instructor at the US Naval Academy. She was a Fulbright Scholar to the United Kingdom in 2009-10 and earned an M.S. and MPhil from the University of Liverpool in Mathematical Sciences after completing her B.S. in mathematics at the US Naval Academy. 

Guillermo Aboumrad

Position: PhD student (ICME), MATLAB instructor

Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico

Bio: Willie was born and raised in Mexico City. He later moved to the UK to complete his high school studies. In the fall of 2014, Willie arrived at Stanford to begin his undergraduate career in Mathematics. Interested in applications of mathematical theory, he later gained admission to the Master's program at ICME. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree under the advisory of Prof. Daniel Bump.