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Bob Cerf

Founder

Bob has a BA from Cal Berkeley and an MBA. He took many math and science courses at UC Berkeley. Bob entered the education profession in 2004. Prior to that Bob was a senior merchandising executive for Macy's and J. Crew and co-managed an Angel Fund.

Bob has tutored and mentored students that went on to be graduates of Stanford, Princeton, Colorado College, University of Colorado Boulder Honors Program and many other top schools. Bob was a Division I tennis player (UCLA) and his three sons played lacrosse in college. He walks daily and plays tennis regularly and loves to ski with his family. Bob has a burning passion to create FUN experiential, hands-on, discovery learning opportunities that ignite kids' interest in STEAM.


Adrian P.

M.F.A, Digital Arts and New Media, University of California, Santa Cruz
B.A., Interdisciplinary Computing in the Arts & Computer Science, University of California, San Diego

Adrian is an interactive media designer, developer, and educator. Working primarily through the creation of compelling stories through emergent gameplay and systems oriented design, he is fascinated by the intersection of games and education. While not working at Starfire, he is a freelance designer and developer working with a number of clients, from startups to art galleries. He obtained his Master's of Fine Arts in Digital Arts and New Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz, with an emphasis in Playable Media. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of California, San Diego with a major in Interdisciplinary Computing in the Arts and a minor in Computer Science.

 
 

Augustine N.

Augustine graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He has a passion for robotics, with seven years of experience and competing at the VEX Robotics World Championships four times. Before joining Starfire, Augustine had worked with a variety of classroom settings including English classes in Taiwan, summer robotics camps in public school, and Sunday school at his church. Outside of engineering and teaching, Augustine enjoys good food with good company, clever games, and trying out things with funny names.

 

Edgar L.

Edgar received his BS in Computer Science from California State University East Bay. During his time at college he tutored students in a variety of computer science topics, starting from introductory courses all the way to advanced topics such as AI, Networking, and Automata theory.  Edgar has always had a love for tutoring and helping students discover and understand new ideas. He discovered how rewarding it can be when you can see a student grasp new material during high school where he tutored other students in math. Edgar now works to pass on the knowledge he has learned during his degree to a younger generation in the hopes of inspiring kids to pursue a STEAM career. On his off-time, Edgar likes to practice coding, play games, and spend time with friends and loved ones.

 

Iheoma U-E

Iheoma studied Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford where she refined a passion for STEAM education and community organizing. She uses her engineering skills to develop STEM curriculum for kids and mobile applications for adults. Outside of teaching, she enjoys dancing, especially Tango and Rueda, all things social justice, baking, reading, board games and making ‘fun-petitive’ come alive! You can find her at a bookstore or coffee shop near you turning ideas into reality!

 

Jamin K-S

Jamin attended UC Berkeley and received a B.A. in both Media and Film Studies. After graduating, she had the experience of a lifetime living abroad in Seoul where she taught ESL to elementary school students. While the learning curve for teaching non-English speakers felt incredibly steep at first, the experience eventually shaped her into a confident instructor and ignited her passion for education. Jamin is drawn to the innate curiosity of children and strives to teach in a way that encourages them to continue to want to learn. Outside of Starfire, Jamin enjoys spending her free time exploring the food and music scene in the Bay Area as well as slowly (but surely!) attempting to grow a green thumb.

 

Marisol G.

Marisol graduated from Harvey Mudd College and received her B.S. degree in General Engineering. Before Starfire, she was involved in STEAM. summer camps, teaching programming to middle schoolers and tutoring K-12 students in math. Marisol initially became interested in working with kids because she wanted to encourage girls and kids of underrepresented backgrounds to pursue STEAM She hopes to share her passion for STEAM and spark excitement through teaching with Starfire. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, running and listening to music.

 

Michelle C.

Michelle studied engineering at University of Toronto (Canada), and later at MIT for her Masters and PhD. As a bioengineer, Michelle designs tools to study the fundamental causes for disease, such as cancer and aims to build therapeutic technologies that can combat them. Currently, she is a researcher at Stanford, investigating how the cells in the brain work together to make memories, and how aging and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s can alter these processes. As a student at U of T and MIT, Michelle shared her love of teaching through being a volunteer math and physics tutor, a camp leader for girls in engineering and STEAM, and later a teaching assistant for college students in bioengineering. Michelle understands from personal experience that excelling at math has more to do with persistence and dedication, and not “innate abilities,” and is passionate about passing on that message to her students. When not teaching or doing research, Michelle enjoys going hiking, playing squash, and playing piano. 

 

Mrudani C.

Mrudani graduated from Osmania University where she earned her B.E. in Electronics and Communication Engineering. She's also currently enrolled in a Master’s program in Computer Engineering at San Jose State University; wherein, she's currently working on a Master’s thesis exploring applications of voice recognition systems. While pursuing her master’s program, Mrudani deepened her involvement in STEAM education by tutoring students from K-12. The experience she gained in the process was wonderful.  Mrudani loves spending time with children as they learn, question, grow and discover the amazing world around them. She became a Starfire teacher because she believes in their philosophy to connect STEAM with real-life problems. Through Starfire’s after school program, she wants to inspire children and empower them to reach their potential. Outside of work, Mrudani loves to run in the woods, portrait sketch and cook a variety of vegetarian cuisines.  

 
 

Semhar K. 

Semhar Kidane has been teaching and mentoring students for 12 years. She has been teaching English and music to kindergarten students (Eritrea) and chemistry/biology for senior high school students (Finland, Europe).

Born and raised in Eritrea, north-east Africa, she received her BSc degree in biochemistry from the University of Asmara. After founding her own International Eritrean-American kindergarten school and working there for four years, she went to Finland for higher studies. After graduating with an MSc in biochemistry with an emphasis in protein & structural chemistry, she worked as a chemistry and biology teacher for senior high school students for 5 years in Helsinki, Finland.

Her greatest interests are science, math and programming. Her hobbies are doing HIIT cardio workouts, cooking healthy meals, reading, watching and playing European/English soccer games. She is a big fan of Liverpool.

 

Victor M.

Victor is currently completing his last semester at the University of California, Merced, working towards his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Mechatronics. Throughout his education and life, he has been active in many teaching programs and volunteering positions which has led him to devote time to helping others progress and succeed in their goals. Victor initially became interested in giving back to others due to the lack of leadership and scant teaching methods in most settings he encountered growing up. He has experience working with K-12 students as well as university students who have shown an interest in STEAM. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, reading, and working on projects that he designs, builds, and puts to the test.

 

Ying H.

Ph.D.  Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California, Viterbi School of Engineering
M.S.  Electrical Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology

Ying received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, Viterbi School of Engineering, where she did her research on robust adaptive control techniques and applications. Ying was also an instructor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, teaching undergraduates Industrial Control techniques for 2 years, as well as a teaching assistant for the Systems and Control course. Ying is the mother of two boys in 6th and 9th grade in the Cupertino School District, where she has been an active volunteer and sharing her passion for STEAM by working with K-8 students. As a Student & Lecturer at the Beijing Institute of Technology, she was awarded "best student adviser" for her outstanding management and leadership in mentoring a class of 34 students. 

 
 

Joe C.

Joe graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Philosophy, and is an acquisition editor for an academic publisher of graduate-level e-books. Joe works with authors and editors to produce educational resources for researchers at the cutting edge of neuroscience, cell biology, physiology, and experimental biomedicine. Previously, Joe worked at the American Association for Cancer Research, promoting and supporting preclinical and translational cancer research programs for its 30K plus members worldwide. Joe is passionate about training the next generation of scientists and implementing innovation in education. Joe was on the Varsity Fencing team at Princeton and volunteers for SoccerFours, an adult pick-up soccer league in San Francisco.

 
 

Laura D.

M.S.E., Computer Engineering, Control Theory, Santa Clara University
M.B.A., General Management, UC Berkeley and Columbia University
B.S.M.E., Biomedical Mechanical Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis

Laura is an educator, executive consultant, entrepreneur, and judge for STEAM competitions. Laura taught students in 10th through 12th grade in Computer Science at The Bay School of San Francisco for the 2017-2018 school year. In past roles, she has led technology teams in cleantech, software and biotech for 10+ years across multiple functional areas and industries, focused in renewable energy and energy efficiency for 5+ years.

Laura is passionate about all sides of the STEAM field. In parallel to her tech roles, she has taught UC Berkeley, secondary, and elementary school computer science for 10 years; tutored math, and has been an advisor to several STEAM startups. Laura is also a judge for high school, college, and government funded (DOE solar) grants and competitions in STEAM. While teaching at UC Berkeley Extension, Laura developed the UC Berkeley curriculum for Microsoft Windows programming development and published the textbook Windows Programming Under the Hood of MFC, based on her applied approach to teaching students how to develop object-oriented software. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ldraxler/

 

Jennifer Y.

Upon graduation with her M.S. in Computer Science from New York University, Jennifer worked at a variety startup companies in Silicon Valley. Her deep passion for software development led her through the early days of database internal R&D to internet infrastructure systems. In addition, she has broad engineering and project/program management background, and experience working with large development teams and managing cross-continent software releases.

From 2007 to 2013, Jennifer traveled across the continent, meeting with many exceptional teenagers and their families. She gained valuable insights on how to raise a child: proper empowerment, support, and inspiration are all important to the development of every child. An adaptive and open learning environment is essential, and there is no black/white rule.

Jennifer has been teaching college level Computer Science and database courses since fall 2015. She introduced various Computer Science concepts and basic programming in Python and SQL to adult students coming from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. As a teacher for Starfire Education, Jennifer spent the past few years teaching middle school students the Python programming language, Design Thinking, and general applications of Computer Science concepts.

Jennifer loves constructing contemporary structures and enjoys listening to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.

 

Aparna

Aparna has a Graduate degree in Physics (Electronics) with a Post Graduate degree (M.Phil.) in Physics (first rank holder in her batch) from IIT Roorkee, India. She did her pre-doctoral thesis on measuring the size of atmospheric particles. She is a proud mother of a daughter and a son. She taught her kids through their high school studies, and she loves teaching math and science to elementary school kids because this is their age of foundation. Her philosophy is that kids are very creative and they don’t want to stick to one way to solve a problem, but rather, can find solutions to a problem in different ways through trial and error. She became a Starfire teacher because the Starfire philosophy encourages creativity and connects math and science with real life problems. Her hobbies are trying different recipes in the kitchen and painting.