Our Team

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Christine Kovich

Executive Director

Christine has a Bachelor of Education from McGill University and International MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Canada. She is also Co-Founder of Harlem Biospace, a biotech incubator for early stage life science companies.

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Dr. Aaron M. Kyle

Hk Maker Lab Program Director

Dr. Kyle is a Lecturer in the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at Columbia University. He has spearheaded the formation of a global health technology program in the BME Senior Design course at Columbia. He feels strongly that engineering design is a foundational skill and could be taught to high school students. Exposing minority students to applied STEM, particularly something so tangible as solving real world health problems, will motivate them to pursue STEM degrees.

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Aaron Neal

Elementary Program Director

Aaron Neal graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University with a Masters in Neuroscience and Education. Before moving to New York, he earned his Bachelors in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology at North Carolina A&T State University. While there, he spent quite a bit of his time learning about memory and how stress and sleep effect the human brain in a rat model. He is also interested in students’ perceptions of school and how it can influence their outcomes.

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Devin Elise Wilson

Program Manager

Devin graduated with a Masters in Arts Administration with an emphasis in Arts Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She received her B.A. in Communication from the University of Southern California and subsequently spent two years as a second grade reading, math, and science teacher in Miami with Teach for America.

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Erin Williams

Hk Summer STEAM Site Director

Erin is a graduate student at Teachers College, Columbia University pursuing a degree in Elementary Inclusive Education with a Dual Certification in General Education and Teaching Students Labeled with Disabilities. Erin graduated from Spelman College with a degree in Pre-Med Biology. During her undergraduate degree she studied abroad in Japan and was a lab assistant in a nano-technology lab at Georgia Tech. She was part of the Women’s International Leadership Program at International House which aims to develop individual and team leadership in young women from cross-cultural environments.

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Michael Carapezza

Hk Maker Lab Program Coordinator

Michael graduated from Columbia University with a B.S. in biomedical engineering, focusing on medical imaging technology. After three years working in biomedical research laboratories, Michael joined the World Science Festival where he managed their digital education initiative and produced their science lecture series. 

Educators

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Althea Benloss

Hk Summer STEAM Assistant

Althea is currently a graduate student at Teachers College, Columbia University pursuing a Dual certification in Elementary Inclusive Education and Teaching Children [labeled] with Disabilities. Althea received her Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication from the University of Bridgeport. Afterwards, she spent two years in Bronx classrooms working with children with a variety of learning, intellectual, and physical differences, including Autism, Down syndrome, ID, and Deafness. Althea not only looks forward to helping HYPOTHEkids recognize their full potential, but she is excited to learn from them in order to continue growing as an educator.

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Amy Xia

Amy Xia

After-school Assistant

Amy is a student studying Biology at Columbia University and is interested in medicine, research, and science education/outreach. She loves co-teaching with HYPOTHEkids at local Harlem elementary schools, especially through fun, hands-on science activities. At Columbia, she heads Columbia Science Review, a publication and organization that aims to spread science to the Columbia community. She is also involved in research, public health projects, and hospital volunteering.

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Brittannie Muhammed

Hk Summer STEAM Assistant

Brittannie is a recent graduate from the Neuroscience and Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She previously earned her bachelors in Developmental Psychology at Trinity University in Washington D.C. As a researcher, she is interested in childhood and adolescent social development, as well as, the effect of music (listening and playing) on memory and cognition, specifically with children studying STEM disciplines. Before moving to New York, she taught kindergarten and first grade in Washington, D.C. and has continued that work in various schools in New York City. Brittannie is very excited to learn with and inspire young minds through HYPOTHEkids.

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Christine Coffey

Hk Summer STEAM Teacher

Christine is a 6th grade teacher at East-West School of International Studies. She recently obtained her masters in Curriculum Instruction with a focus in STEM Education from Concordia University. Christine attended Mount Saint Mary College as an undergraduate, where she studied elementary education and special education, and focused in educational technology. She believes that learning should be an engaging, hands on experience, where students develop critical thinking and analytical skills.

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Dejaunique Thomas

Hk Summer STEAM Administrative Coordinator

Hailing from Southern California, Deja Thomas is a graduate student at Teachers College, Columbia University studying Sociology and Education with a concentration in Educational Policy.  Deja graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Child and Adolescent Development with minors in Psychology and Sociology.  Deja currently works at Teachers College Community School as the assistant to the TCCS/TC Liaison.  She also is a research assistant for the Office of School and Community Partnerships, aiding in their study on the effectiveness of their programming.

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Ethan Wu

Hk Summer STEAM Scientist

Ethan is an undergraduate studying biology at Columbia University; he enjoys being amazed by science almost as much as he enjoys teaching people about scientific concepts. At Columbia, he is the photo editor of the Columbia Spectator, as well as a volunteer at Camp Kesem, a summer camp for children whose parents have been affected by cancer. He believes that being immersed in the scientific mindset from a young age makes for quicker and cleverer minds, and can’t wait to test this hypothesis at HYPOTHEkids!

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Henry Love

Hk Summer STEAM Teacher

Henry is working toward his Doctorate in Psychology with a concentration in Human Development and Emotional Regulation at City College. He received his Masters in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University with a focus on school choice and education equity as it relates to communities of color. Prior to that, he spent three years teaching in Harlem and Brooklyn elementary schools. During college, Henry participated in a study abroad Astronomy and Astrophysics program through the University of Chicago’s Paris Centre.

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Jesse Martin

Hk Summer STEAM Scientist

Jesse has been studying biomedical engineering for over eleven years, having received his bachelor’s degree at Columbia University in biomedical engineering. He is currently pursing a PhD after several years of academic research, spanning areas such as genetic modification of tissue function, pharmacological regulation of cellular activity and neuro-biochemistry. Jesse has taught science classes at a local Harlem elementary school with HYPOTHEkids.

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Jiyoon Kim

Hk Summer STEAM Scientist

Jiyoon is a student at Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences concentrating on biosignals and imaging. She has developed and taught a variety of classes for elementary school students before joining the HYPOTHEkids team. She has been co-teaching with us this school year at a local Harlem elementary school. She loves adventuring and exploring new countries. She hopes to combine her passion for teaching, engineering and world travel to share the best with our future scientists and engineers.

 

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Rebecca Green

Hk Summer STEAM Teacher

Rebecca is a special education grade 5 science teacher at an East Village grade school. She recently completed her Masters in Elementary Inclusive Education with a dual certification in Teaching Students Labeled with Disabilities at Teachers College, Columbia University. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. Rebecca has studied with prestigious dance programs including the Joffrey Ballet and the Julliard School program. Her interest lies in connecting kinesthetic and multi-sensory pedagogy approaches to academic concepts.