BEAM 7 will take place in 2018 at two colleges, Bard College and Union College. Here are the staff for this summer!

Beam 7 Staff

Bard Faculty


Alex Sutherland

Alex Sutherland is a graduate of Oberlin College where he studied mathematics and economics. He is now a Ph.D student in mathematics at the University of California, Irvine. His research interests broadly lie in algebra and he does outreach with the math department's Math Circles program. When not doing math, Alex likes to go to concerts and explore the outdoors.



Emily Schlafly

Emily Schlafly is a neuroscience PhD student at Boston University where she studies epilepsy using tools from math and statistics. She is an active member of the Boston community and was recently nominated as Outreach Chair for the Neuroscience Graduate Student Organization. Before moving to Boston, Emily completed an MS in Applied Math at the University of Illinois. In her free time she enjoys dancing, origami, and reading outside. This will be her third year teaching at BEAM and can't wait to meet everyone!


Marcus Neal

Marcus Neal studied mathematics as an undergraduate at Princeton University. He is currently a high school mathematics teacher in Columbia, SC, and an instructor for several Art of Problem Solving courses. He has a great enthusiasm for mathematics and also enjoys basketball, chess, music and card games. Marcus joined the BEAM faculty in 2011 and has been back at the program every summer since.


Reva Kasman

Reva Kasman grew up in Toronto and was an undergraduate at York University. She received her mathematics Ph.D. in Geometric Group Theory from the University of Illinois at Chicago and then spent several years teaching at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Reva now lives in Boston and is a mathematics professor at Salem State University. Most recently she has been working on activities that bring mathematical proof into elementary school classrooms. This is Reva's fifth year as an instructor at BEAM 7. Outside of math she loves to quilt and sew, do yoga, and sing with a world music chorus


Rose Johnson-Leiva

Rose Johnson-Leiva is a Master’s student at San Francisco State University studying algebraic geometry. She is originally from San Francisco, but for her undergrad she attended Quest University, a liberal arts school in BC, Canada. She has been passionate about education since she was 18, when she worked at a science museum called the Exploratorium in San Francisco. She was a counselor at MathPath summer camp in 2015 and 2017, and is excited to be a Junior Faculty here at BEAM. In her free time she is watching cartoons, playing board games, or biking around San Francisco.

Bard Counselors


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Joel Groves

Joel Groves is a rising sophomore at Wesleyan University, who attended BEAM in 2012 back when it was called SPMPS. He worked last summer as a junior counselor at BEAM 6 last summer, and is very excited to be here for the next couple of weeks with you all. He is interested in the sciences, particularly Biology and Psychology, and enjoys swimming, running, and listening to music in his free time.

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John Embaba

John Embaba is a current student at Fordham University where he is studying chemistry in the hopes of pursuing a medical career. He is part of the emergency medical service at Fordham and enjoys being able to help people in any way he can. In his free time you'll usually catch him playing basketball, playing video games or watching TV. If you asked John this in middle school/early high school this list of activities would include a whole lot of reading and less video games.


Kaylynn Tran

Kaylynn is a recent graduate from Bard College where she received her BA in mathematics. At Bard, Kaylynn was a 4 year varsity member of the women’s lacrosse team and women’s volleyball team. She was also a tour guide, calculus tutor, and director of a program call Safe Ride. In her free time, Kaylynn likes to watch Netflix, play sports, and learning new games. This summer will be her third year with BEAM.



Maya Miklos

Maya Miklos is an undergraduate at Harvard studying physics and math. She enjoys being a teaching assistant, and conducting astrophysics research aimed towards detecting Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars—just in case things don’t go so well on this one. She spends much of her time running around in circles on her college track team, but also loves playing the cello, soccer, and dog-spotting.



Randy Kuang

Randy Kuang is currently a rising sophomore at Johns Hopkins University where he majors in computer science. There, he serves as an executive board member for math club and works to organize an annual math tournament for Maryland high school students. Randy likes to ski, watch basketball, and play video games in his free time.


Other Staff

Ayinde Alleyne

Site Director: Ayinde Alleyne, The Art of Problem Solving Foundation

Ayinde Alleyne is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where he majored in mechanical engineering. There, he was on the board of an on-campus group called the Race Dialogue Project that holds events to talk about race and race relations. Their goal is to help improve relationships and communication in Penn's community. In his free time, you can usually find him catching up on a TV show, writing a poem, or running to try and relive his high school track "glory days."


Site Director: Malcolm Eckel, Thomas Jefferson High School

Malcolm Eckel teaches mathematics and computer science at Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax, VA, one of the best schools for science and technology in the country. He has written district-wide curriculum for Washington DC public schools, created a middle school math extension program to stretch advanced learners, and taught other teachers techniques for emphasizing problem solving in their classrooms. At TJ, he also works with LIFT, a program designed to increase the number of students from low-performing middle schools that have a chance to get into TJ and excel. In his spare time, he reads voraciously and plays several instruments. This is his fourth summer working with BEAM, and his second summer co-directing the Bard site.

Amanda Cooper

Director of Student Life: Amanda Cooper

Amanda Cooper has a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the University of Illinois and a Master's in Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has worked as an educator in a public school and a museum, and now she spends her school-year as a writer for BEAM. In her spare time, she loves watching movies, going for long walks, and playing all kinds of games and puzzles.



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Guidance Counselor: Gianni Palanca

Gianni Palanca is a graduate of Siena College (Bachelor of Science) and Adelphi University from which he holds a masters degree in social work. He is a NYS licensed social worker and is also a NYS certified school social worker. He currently works for the Wappingers Central School District as a school social worker and was previously employed by the Schenectady City School District. Gianni is particularly interested in the relationship between socioeconomic status and mental health. Gianni believes that change happens when people are given the guidance they need to draw on their own strengths and realize their potential to live fulfilling, happy lives. In his free time, Gianni enjoys being outdoors and being active. He also has coached wrestling for the past ten years. This will be his second year working with BEAM and is extremely excited about this opportunity.

Nurse: Susan Prezzano

Susan Prezzano is an RN and paramedic with over 47 years of experience. Most recently she have been sharing my experiences through Education and teaching college students in EMT classes.


Union faculty

Claire Skrivanos

Claire Skrivanos is in her sixth year as a middle school math teacher at the Brooklyn School of Collaborative Studies. She is a Master Teacher with the Math for America fellowship program and is the 7th grade team leader at BCS. Claire received her B.A. in mathematics from Colorado College and her M.A. in secondary education from Bard College. Originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, she keeps a little bit of home with her through her love of the Louisiana State University Tigers football team and her killer gumbo recipe (the secret is to make the roux in the oven!).


Cory Colbert

Cory Colbert is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. He completed his doctoral study at The University of Texas at Austin in 2017 where he spent his last year writing his thesis and doing doctoral work at Williams College in Williamstown, Ma. He enjoys flight simulation and long walks in his free time.


Dan May

Dan May is an assistant professor of mathematics at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota, and also serves as the assistant director of the Honors program. His Ph.D research focused on Mutually Unbiased Bases, (incorporating topics from linear algebra, group theory and finite geometry). His recent research interests include connections between poetry and discrete mathematics and combinatorics of card games such as Set and Spot It. He has also received Title II grants to create and teach in-service workshops for South Dakota middle school teachers. Dan moonlights as a musicologist, and has presented several seminar talks on a variety of musical genres at his university.


Jorge Perez

Jorge Perez is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico. He graduated from the University of California Riverside with a Masters in Pure Mathematics. He currently teaches Mathematics at College of the Desert in Palm Desert California. Jorge participated in BEAM (SPMPS) in 2012 and has employed some of the ideas from BEAM to programs like Upward Bound, which helps first generation high schools students reach college. In his free time Jorge plays classical guitar and occasionally a little bit of Jazz.


Kenny Felder

Kenny Felder is a high school teacher who has taught Algebra II, Calculus, AP Physics, and a even a computer science course long ago. Actually, he used to be a computer programmer but that was even longer ago. He has four kids. He wrote a textbook with his brother for the "Math Methods" course that is generally taught to Physics and engineering majors in college. He likes playing chess and playing guitar, but says he is not great at either. He also likes singing, but probably won't know any of the songs that our students know.


Ky Quillin

Ky Quillin just finished an MA in math from San Francisco State University and holds a BA, also in math, from Bryn Mawr College. Ky has taught many years of high school math, elementary through high school groups with the San Francisco Math Circle, and summer programs with the Center for Talented Youth; and Ky tutors students of all ages individually. Ky leads students to do math via inquiry and collaboration and is invested in making math more accessible and relevant. Ky also practices yoga, rides a bicycle, and frequently takes solo backpacking trips.

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Siddhi Krishna

Siddhi Krishna was born in Sydney, Australia, but has lived in Boston, MA since she was 10. As an undergraduate at Brandeis University, she studied everything she could, including math, economics, anthropology, computer science, global studies, and more! Soon after graduation, she decided to pursue a career in mathematics. Siddhi is now a PhD candidate in Mathematics at Boston College, specializing in knot theory and low-dimensional topology (the study of 3- and 4- dimensional spaces). She draws a lot of mathematical pictures (you can see them on her instagram: @knotoffthepress)! In her free time, Siddhi enjoys running, trying new foods, and relaxing on her porch. She is thrilled to be spending this summer at BEAM, and cannot wait to meet this year's participants!


Union Counselors

Akilah Chatman

Akilah Chatman just completed her second year at Wellesley College studying Mathematics and Environmental Studies. On campus she a member of Zeta Alpha, the literary society, works as a Residential Assistant and leads research on sustainable water use. Akilah uses the rest of her time to cook , kick box or go on road trips with friends. She recently moved to Philly and loves to explore the city when she's home from college.


Bianca Salinas

Bianca “B” Salinas is a rising senior at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX, majoring in mathematics and minoring in philosophy. There, she is involved as the president of both the Math and Physics Club, but will also be working in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as a Community Outreach Coordinator. And finally, as a McNair Scholar, she plans to pursue a PhD in Physics after graduation and (hopefully) work for NASA as an astrophysicist.


Bobae Johnson

Bobae Johnson is a current undergraduate at Harvard University, where she is thinking of studying some combination of math and physics. Before she came to Massachusetts, she spent much of her time working with Harmony Project Phoenix, a program that works to bring musical education to students from low socioeconomic classes. In her free time, she enjoys playing the violin, hiking, and running.


Cassandra (Cassie) Call

Cassandra Call is a graduating senior at Union College where she majors in Math and French. She is beyond happy to be returning to BEAM after working here last summer! On campus she was president of the Association for Women in Mathematics, was involved with Union Pride (LGBTQ+) and the Mountebanks (musical theatre club), and has danced on stage, choreographed, and painted sets in the Theatre & Dance department. In the fall, she will be at Quinnipiac University pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching for Secondary Education. She thanks BEAM for all the wonderful work it does to help our students, and for inspiring her to teach middle school math.


Eileen Connor

Eileen Connor is a recent graduate from Wesleyan University where she double majored in Math and English. She has a variety of work experiences, including math and SAT tutoring, political campaign organizing, and event planning. In her free time, she enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, cooking, and doing crossword puzzles.



Haoyun Cui

Haoyun Cui is a rising senior from University of California, San Diego. His majors are applied mathematics and economics. He also minor in Education Studies. Besides his study at school, Haoyun loves astronomy and is the president of UCSD Astronomy Club. He organizes many stargazing and observation trips over the year. In his free time, you can usually find him watching and playing soccer games.


Hector Miranda

Hector Miranda recently graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology and will be pursuing his PhD in Mathematics at Lehigh University this Fall. At RIT, Hector was involved with research projects in Celestial Mechanics and in Graph Theory. Outside of the classroom, Hector was involved with various performing arts clubs. He served as the president of the improv comedy club, was a member of one the troupes and helped teach workshops. Hector also helped teach workshops for the Latin Dance club and was a member of the Latin Dance team. In his free time, he can be found dancing, playing video games or watching anime.

Israel Montero

Israel Montero is a proud First-Generation college student and was accepted into Lafayette College this past year. As far as his college career goes, he has declared as a Mechanical Engineering major with hopes of minoring in Biotechnical Engineering. At Lafayette he is a part of the Hispanic Society of Lafayette (HSL), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and Minority Scientists and Engineering (MSE). Aside from looking into stuff like SpaceX, supercars and advanced prosthetics, he spends his time admiring the different ways people can express themselves. This includes trying to dissect truthful music, paintings, photographs, and poetry. When he wants to relax and escape reality you can find him playing role-playing video games like Fallout or Skyrim, but he also enjoys the thrill that comes from higher intensity games like Fortnite.


Fred Hernandez

Fred Hernandez is a recent graduate from Union College. He majored in Biomedical Engineering. He is of Dominican descent and takes much pride in being a Latino male with a great interest in the STEM field. He loves watching basketball although, loves to play baseball. He also enjoys dancing and is always willing to try new foods from all over the world. One thing he loves about BEAM is that it has helped him realize the impact he can bring on the students involved. With a similar background with most of the students in the organization, hes want to help students embrace their potential in anything related to the STEM fields!


Other Staff

Site Director: Lynn Cartwright-Punnett, Art of Problem Solving Foundation

Lynn Cartwright-Punnett taught three years of middle school math in Washington Heights before transitioning into non-profit education administration at museums around New York City, where she taught, ran professional development, organized after-school programs, managed grant-funded initiatives, and more.  Immediately before joining BEAM, Lynn helped open the Museum of Mathematics.  At BEAM, Lynn coordinates development efforts, supports alumni mentoring, and is a summer site director. Lynn has a BA with high honors in history and Spanish from Wesleyan University and a MS in teaching from Pace University with a focus in teaching middle school math to English Language Learners. 

Site Director: Don Laackman, Art of Problem Solving Foundation

Don Laackman recently finished his Ph.D. in Mathematics at UCLA, where he worked in the area of theoretical algebra. Don has been teaching and organizing math programs for the past ten years, including at UCLA, Canada/USA Mathcamp, the Los Angeles Math Circle, and the Chicago Young Scholars Program. In his free time, he can be found cooking, writing puzzles, playing board games, and reading.