STEM ALL STARS
FOUNDER AND CEO
Sajni Vederey, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Since her childhood Sajni has been noticing gender stereo types such as girls are bad at math, and girls do not fit for engineering. Not only at school, but she started to see how even toy companies and children's TV shows were having a boy and a girl versions. As she got more involved into STEM, she noticed that kids, even at early ages, are developing a sense of gender identity and bias. Then, STEM All Stars was born with the intention of sparking interest in STEM for girls and giving them an opportunity to explore these fields in greater depths. Sajni's target audience is girls who do not have enough self confidence or knowledge about STEM. She is a freshman at Northeastern University.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
MLA Sivaram Raju
Vetukuri Venkata Siva Rama Raju, also known as Kalavapudi Siva is an Indian politician and member of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly representing Telugu Desam Party (TDP) from Undi (his Assembly constituency).He received his Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Dantuluri Natrayana Raju College (D.N.R. College - Andhra University) Bhimavaram, in 1989. He is an active director of VEM Technologies Private Limited which operates in assembly and systems integration for aerospace and defense systems.In 2009 he was elected as a representative from the Undi constituency in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly election, 2009. He ran again in the 2014 general elections and was elected to the Andhra Pradesh assembly from the Undi constituency with a vote share of 58.21%.
Dr. Kamaljeet Sanghera is the Executive Director of STEM Outreach and the Associate Professor in the Information Sciences and Technology (IST) department, Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University. Dr. Sanghera has served as the Aspirations project Co-Lead in Executive Committee of National Center of Women in Information Technology (NCWIT). She received the NCWIT Extension Services to implement systemic change to increase enrollment, retention, and graduation of women in technology and engineering undergraduate programs. Dr. Sanghera is also an active member of Students and Technology in Academia, Research and Service (STARS) program. Her focus is on developing opportunities for K-12 teachers’ professional development, offering engineering and technology related camps for K-12 students while creating a community of practice for like-minded people who wish to participate in and contribute to STEM initiatives.
Ramprasad Kesiraju - Director of Currciulum Development
Ramprasad Kesiraju is the curriculum developer of STEM All Stars and has more than 26 years of experience in psychology and counseling.He specialized in udnerstanding problems of students in their learning. He helps students learn, implement, and get ahead in their studies. He is also part of the education directory board in Bhimavaram. Ramprasad Kesiraju is an author of the book titled How to Make Your Children Victorious.
Gita Karan - Director of Communications
Mrs. Gita Karan has been an educator for over 40 years and is a recipient of the Best Teacher award by India's past President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Mrs. Karan even now provides personal attention to oversee the progress of each child enrolled in a Gitanjali School. In 2005, Ms. Gita received the national award instituted by the HR Ministry Government of India. Under her leadership, the school has continued to innovate in teaching methodology and cultivate life long learning within our student and teacher community. She has a desire to combine the latest quality of education system available in India to suit the school’s needs and developed a school board based on these concepts. Ms.Karan has collaborated with STEM All Stars to help girls’ STEM education in undeserved areas.
Maya Sukumaran - Director of Marketing
Maya Sukumaran holds a degree in education and a post graduate in mathematics. She did a course in vedic mathematics and from then, her love for STEM began. Maya has 29 years of teaching experience in schools of repute. She conducts workshops and seminars, authored mathematics text books, and presented her papers in an international conference at IIT Madras. She was also the head of the department of mathematics in the Ivy League Academy. Ms. Sukumaran now wants to change the lives of many students by her teaching experience and her love for various topics in STEM.
Devi Bhupathyraju - Director of Porgrams and Co-Director of Finances
Mrs. Bhupathyraju is our coordinator in India. Mrs. Bhupathyraju is a commerce graduate and law graduate from Osmania University. From the time she was a child, she was always interested in women and children rights. She has a post graduate diploma in law of ethics from Central University. Served interacts with various children on different social causes. She believes that technology should reach common man globally and simple thinking is the way to success. "One small difference can change the whole world," she says. Mrs. Bhupathyraju proved service to others as a lawyer by standing on the side of justice, helping girls in STEM, and adopting children to educate them. She hopes to help the maximum possible with her greatest efforts.
Dayanand Konda - Co-Director of Finances
Holds bachelor of engineering graduate degree and master of engineering (embedded systems) post graduate degree from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad. He is an ambitious researcher and a visionary having a concern for society and women empowerment. Dayanand is an eminent scholar who is working on several social causes and developing distinct social models for a safe and secure world for a girl child. Since his childhood he developed vivid images of equally competent women sustaining in a male dominant society paving a path for a glorious world. He Strongly believes in a philosophy "The fastest way to change society is to mobilize the women of the world.".
Gautham Pillai - Elementary and Middle School Liaison Officer
Gautham is a talented young man who has had a very strong passion for STEM since his childhood. While he was visiting his grandparents in India, he was amazed to see a meticulously designed bridge created by a girl a couple years ago for her science project in school. Sadly, he realized that she was unable to continue getting quality education because of her disadvantaged family’s financial situation. Her younger brother, however, got preference over her to go to a reputed private school since their family could only support one kid’s education. Gautham was immediately able to connect this with a similar situation while he was attending Colvin Run elementary school. Though he was a very active member of STEM related clubs such as MATHCOUNTS and Science Olympiad, he noticed that the number of boys participating significantly outnumbered the number of girls participating. This was when Gautham realized that gender bias stereotypes and lack of encouragement was everywhere. Ever since then, he joined STEM all stars and has been a proud supporter of helping young girls pursue their interests in STEM.
Michele Joseph - Co-Director of Partnerships
Michele Joseph is the founder and executive director of the Student Global Ambassador Program (SGAP). SGAP is a 501(C) 3 charitable organization. SGAP designs customized out-of- the classroom experiences for youth, 7 th grade and up. All SGAP themes and program activities inspire, engage and empower youth to become global leaders. Past themes included the plight of the child soldier, human trafficking, renewable energy, fair trade and the clean water crisis. SGAP has teamed with the following Universities and Colleges: Fairleigh Dickinson University’s - Office of Global Learning, Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship, and the Institute for Sustainable Enterprise; Columbia University’s Child Rights Working Group; Drew University, Princeton University Keller Center, and Chestnut Hill College’s Global Educator Motivators. Furthermore, Joseph fostered partnerships with like-minded corporations and organizations such as the Urban League of Morris County, and Covanta Energy. Moreover, Joseph and her partners have secured funding for SGAP-related programs through the generosity of FirstEnergy Foundation, Constellation Energy, and TD Bank Charitable Foundation. Over the past few years, SGAP has inspired, engaged, and empowered upwards of 1400 students from 61 private, public, charter, independent and religious middle and high schools within 6 states. Ms. Joseph attained her MBA in strategy and marketing from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, and her BSc in Biology/Environmental Sciences from Catholic University of America. She was the team lead for Net Impact, formally the Students for Social Responsibility while attending Georgetown University. She also earned a certificate in Sustainable Practices for the Workplace and has several CEU in Internal Branding and Marketing Campaign ROI. She has over 10 years of strategy, marketing and branding experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Ms. Joseph resides with her son and husband in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Krishna Belino - Co-Director of Partnerships
Krishna Belino Cart, a National Board Certified Reading Specialist, is the Curriculum Director. As a Reading Specialist, she provides specific teaching strategies to English and Language Arts K-12 classroom teachers. Having more than 22 years of teaching experience, she is regularly invited as a presenter in various local, national, and international conferences here and abroad. She helps modify the FCPS International Baccalaureate (IBMYP) standards and rubric, serves as a member of Governmental Relations Committee, and International Reading Association (IRA). Committed to helping other teachers excel, she likewise serves as a panelist of ReadWriteThink.Org, a collection of research-based lesson plans of IRA and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
Raja Selvakumar - Blog
Raja Selvakumar, a junior at MIT majoring in Chemical Engineering. His passion for STEM started with assembling his first LEGO set; he was fascinated by how individual components can come together to create an impressive whole. In high school, he came up with the idea of taking electricity from stomach bacteria, and he found that there was enough to power small medical devices! He had the opportunity to participate in numerous science fair competitions for his project, along with being heavily involved with his robotics team. He is known for being a finalist at the 2013 Intel Science Talent Search for his project, "Gastro Midrobial Fuel Cell." He had worked everywhere from NASA to Shell, and many different chemical engineering labs at MIT. He thoroughly enjoys learning about all sciences, and this enthusiasm led him to create his own science blog- where everything from quantum physics to psychology is discussed. In his copious free time, he enjoys playing ice hockey, volunteering, playing his guitar, and pondering the meaning of life.
Rao Mulpuri - Elementary and Middle School Liaison Officer
Dr. Rao realized early in life that he had an appreciation for material science and engineering. This awareness became apparent as he learned of the fact that all technological advances are made possible with new materials. With this in mind, he pursued his master’s degree in materials science at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai. This broadened his horizons and motivated him to specialize in semiconductor materials and devices during his Ph.D. studies at the Oregon State University and the University of Michigan. Following his dream, he started his teaching and research career at George Mason University. In just 9 years, he became a full professor and received 28 years of continued research funding from prestigious funding agencies including the National Science Foundation (NSF). He has always wanted to impart his knowledge to educate young children and parents alike.. In 2006, Dr. Rao and his wife Savitri started classes at the Durga Temple, to raise funds for the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to providing basic education in tribal villages in India. In the past 8 years, the program has grown into multiple numbers of Curie Learning centers. They also opened an early elementary education day school program called The Madame Curie School of Science and Technology. The focus of this program is both science and technology, along with a strong foundation in math and language arts.
Our volunteers help out with running our clubs, event, and competitions. They are responsible for organizing events and managing schedules.
Jennifer Swanson's favorite saying to her students is to encourage them to notice the science all around them. Curious about the world at an early age, she started a science club in her garage at the age of 7. She used to gather leaves and flowers and look at them under a microscope. Her love of science continued into college when she studied chemistry at the U.S. Naval Academy and eventually earned her M.S.Ed in K-8 science. Now as a middle school science instructor for Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTYOnline) and nonfiction children's author, Jennifer is always on the hunt to learn something new. How do submarines stay submerged? How do satellites work? Why do bedbugs live in beds? She has learned it all in the courses she teaches and the many nonfiction books she has authored. Like any good scientist and award-winning author, Jennifer is rarely without a notebook and she writes down her observations throughout the day. Her books in the How Things Work series by The Childs World were named to the 2012 Booklists Top 10 Books for Youth: Series Nonfiction. She has received awards from the Pennsylvania TriState Young Adult Review Committee, The Moms Choice Awards, and The Dove Foundation. Top reviews include a starred review in Booklist, and recommended reviews from School Librarians Workshop, Library Media Connection, and the National Science Teacher Association.It is a practice she encourages all of her students. You can visit Jennifer at her website www.JenniferSwansonBooks.com, her special place to explore the world around her.
Ms. Outland has over a decade of teaching experience at all levels including elementary, secondary, and at the collegiate level. She has also taught various subjects over the course of her career including a world renown STEM program for 4th-6th graders that focused on science, math, and technology as it related to space and aviation. She is a passionate and dedicated educator who strives to ensure that all of her students receive an exceptional education that will prepare them for success in life.
Akshara Patel is a high school senior, software developer, social entrepreneur who is passionate about the intersection of computer science and social change. She hopes to teach middle schoolers the logic behind programming and design. For her efforts, she has won regional awards from the Prudential Spirit of Community and National Charity League. She has also been named a National Honorable Mention and Washington state winner of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Award. Akshara organizes hands-on workshops to empower middle-school girls to explore programming and mind-blowing AI concepts. Her favorite activity is attending hackathons and she has attended many such as HackTJ and PennApps where she won the Grand Prize.
Founder of Melodious Productions which is dedicated towards exposing underprivileged children to use cinematography as a way to explore as well as give them an opportunity to express injustices in under-documented areas. He work with kids around the world by running workshops and holding fundraisers to raise awareness about underserved communities. He believes that this will give them a sense of ownership and also open a unique perspective of their world which is often hidden. He has reached around 2000 students and held workshops in India and Africa. Melodious Productions has been featured in TV9 and other Indian media outlets including Sakshi, Times of India, and Eenadu. For his work, he was a participant at TEDxYouth and the White House South Asian Symposium.
Catherine Blake, founder of Sales Protocol International, has a passion for sales, marketing, business, development, and a heart for encouraging others to be their personal best. her professional expertise helps companies grow through strategic initiatives, execution, and hard work. Catherine has a over 20 years of high tech experience with FORTUNE 500 companies plus start-ups and private ventures. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pine Manor College and a Certificate of Special Studies (graduate level) in Administration from Harvard University Extension School. Catherine has served as an adjunct professor in Marketing fro six years at the University of New Hampshire’s Paul College of Busniness and Economics where she founded The Center for Sales Excellence and UNH Sales Club, sales leadership program for undergraduate students. Related to serving her community, Catherine has carried the brand flame as Communications Chair for Harvard university’s Extension School Alumni Association Board and as an appointed Director for the Harvard Alumni Association. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the New Hampshire High Technology Council as the Tech Woman | Tech Girls founding chair, a group focused on STEM education, community and opportunity for women ad girls. In previous years, Catherine has served on the Board of Directors of several nonprofits including The Boys and Girls Club and Girls Inc.
Holly Davis is a full-time graduate student of Psychology in New Mexico, where she recently settled. Her background is in biology and nursing, and for the past twenty-five years, she has worked with the dying, specializing in palliative care and hospice, at Bailey-Boushay House in Seattle, the Shanti Project in San Francisco, various other organizations, and with private clients. Holly believes that death is among the most significant rites of passage for the dying and the living and should be honored as such. Her intention is to foster an holistic approach to dying through a practice of conscious living, integration of the mind, body and spirit, and mindfulness of the beginnings and endings of all transitions. When not in school, Holly volunteers for hospice in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She also has two big dogs that keep her active in the Ponderosa forest, and a wonderful marriage that inspires personal exploration and growth.
Beau Borrero is an online educator who specializes in writing, and adolescent cognitive psychology and neuroscience.Beau is constantly revamping, revising, and reinvigorating his writing. He is a firm believer in the power of MOOCs, online tutoring, and other online educational resources to transform the nature of education from pre-K through post-doc. Beau was a Classics major at Yale College and was a member of the national championship 1992 Yale Lightweight Crew Team. He is also an avid musician and fly fisherman.