Our summer program this year will take place at two colleges, Bard College and Union College. Here are the staff for this summer!
Beam Pathway Staff
David Deutsch earned his B.A. in Physics from Cornell University and M.A. in Science Education from the City College of New York. His official path to teaching came as a charter member of Teach for America. After a brief stay in the Bronx, David began teaching at the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics in East Harlem where he currently teaches Physics at the NYS Regents level. Since 1991, he has taught 9th and 10th grade mathematics, chemistry, computer science, and Advanced Placement Physics (C and B) at Manhattan Center. He presently acts as the advisor to Manhattan Center's Astronomy Club and assists with the Model United Nations Club. David received the Blackboard/Brain Pop Science Citation in 2008, the United Federation of Teachers Excellence in Education Award in 2016, and the Sloan Award for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics in 2018. When not attending professional development at Math for America or his children's' sporting and dance events, Mr. Deutsch looks forward to clear skies and the chance to share the wonders of the solar system and beyond with any interested participants.
Kenny Felder teaches mathematics at Raleigh Charter High School. He is the co-author of the textbook "Mathematical Methods in Engineering and Physics." This is his second year at BEAM.
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, sew, practice yoga, and sing with a world music chorus.
Cecily Santiago just finished her second year of graduate studies in mathematics at the University of Minnesota. She is studying a subset of algebra called representation theory. Besides learning math, she is passionate about teaching and sharing math with the broader community. When not working, Cecily loves to hang out with her cat, cook, or just kick back with friends.
Laura is currently studying Applied Mathematics at Harvard with a minor in Educational Studies. She teaches, volunteers and loves helping people and sharing her passion for math with students. In her free time, she enjoys social dancing of all sorts, painting, theater, and attempting to play piano and ukulele. She can't wait to meet everyone at BEAM this summer!
Mehreen Kabir is a senior at Bard College, where she is majoring in Mathematics. She is a Trustee Leader Scholar project leader for Girls Math Club and also a STEM outreach fellow for middle school children in Hudson and Kingston. In her free time, you can usually find her drawing comics, coding website designs, or optimizing space in her room.
Oluwatisefunmi Osahon Ayo-Idowu
Oluwatise Ayo-Idowu is a freshman mechanical engineering major at Howard University where he studies mechanical engineering. He is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and African Students Association. He has a very active campus life but manages to balance this with his school work and maintain a 4.0 GPA.
Leaf Kalikow is a rising sophomore at Duke University. He is majoring in mechanical engineering and mathematics, with a great interest in probability and number theory. He's always been very involved with math, attending state and national competitions each year. At Duke he currently works for the Academic Resource Center as a tutor. When he's not busy tutoring, he is often working on artwork or playing tennis.
Malachi Shawran Myers
Malachi Shawran Myers currently attends Binghamton University as an Actuarial Science major and is a proud BEAM’s 2013 camp alum. In his free time, Malachi enjoys playing sports of all sorts and watching his favorite subscriptions on YouTube. Malachi has attended math camps for five consecutive summers and can’t wait to enjoy his sixth summer with the incoming BEAM campers!
Jason Bailey Heath
Bailey Heath recently graduated from Gettysburg College, where he double majored in mathematics and psychology, and this fall he will begin pursuing his PhD in mathematics at the University of South Carolina. At Gettysburg, Bailey worked as both a resident assistant (RA) and a math peer learning associate (PLA) for three years. As an RA, he lived on a floor with first-year students whom he led, mentored, and supported throughout their first year. As a PLA, he mentored students and helped them with Calculus II, an intro to proof course, and original mathematical research. Bailey also conducted original research in psychology and in additive combinatorics, the former of which earned him a few journal publications and the latter of which he presented at multiple conferences. Bailey's favorite part of college was being a role model for and forming relationships with fellow students, and he is excited to do the same at BEAM this summer!
Site Director: Sarah Hunt
Sarah Hunt joined BEAM after completing her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. She has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Caltech, where she volunteered tutoring local high school students. During graduate school she coordinated and managed a STEM outreach to local public schools, continued tutoring, and spent the last year before BEAM teaching university sophomores in chemical engineering. At BEAM, Sarah supports and teaches our high school students and coordinates Saturday programming, including BEAM Next. She’s really looking forward to meeting all the new summer students!
Site Director: Malcolm Eckel
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.
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 he 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 has been sharing her experiences through education, while teaching college students through EMT courses.
Mia Smith is a mathematics faculty at Proof School and is passionate about building mathematical communities. She traces her enthusiasm for teaching back to the Mathcounts team she coached in high school. Since then, she has taught in numerous contexts, including the Ithaca Math Circle, the Brayton Math Club, and Canada/USA Mathcamp. In her free time, you can usually find Mia running, hiking, crossword puzzling, and questing for the perfect banana bread recipe.
Alexander James Sutherland
Alex Sutherland is currently a Ph.D student in mathematics at the University of California, Irvine. His research lies in the theory of resolvent degree and uses techniques from algebra, geometry, and topology. He is currently one of UC Irvine's Pedagogical Fellows - a fellowship that is dedicated to advanced pedagogy training and preparing fellows for a future in academia. Alex was an undergraduate at Oberlin College, where he obtained his bachelor degrees in mathematics and economics and was a member of the marching band. Outside of mathematics, he loves music, playing games, and taking road trips.
Gabriel T Davis
Gabriel Davis is currently a PhD student in the Graduate Group in Science and Mathematics Education (SESAME) at the University of California, Berkeley, where his research focuses on the relationship between mathematical talk, identity development, and sense-making, as well as on educational technology and using video games in classroom settings. Before that, he taught high school math in New York City for 6 years, where he was a Math for America Fellow. Outside of math and teaching, Gabe's passions are reading, exploring outdoor spaces, and playing and designing games of all kinds. He holds a BA in Mathematics from Carleton College in Minnesota, and an MA in Mathematics Education from the City University of New York.
Joshua Wilson is currently the 7th grade mathematics teacher at NEST+m in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Besides teaching, Joshua also coaches one of the middle grades math teams and serves as the adviser for the middle grades LGBTQ+ Club. In his free time, Joshua likes to watch any of the Star Trek series, play board games, or go for runs.
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.
Megan Powell is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of North Carolina Asheville, where she is actively involved in both the infectious disease modeling and sports analytics community. She is an avid hiker, spends lots of free time outdoors with her dog and plays classical violin.
Preety N. Tripathi
Preety Tripathi is a professor of Mathematics at SUNY Oswego. Her Ph.D. is in Mathematics Education from Syracuse University. She is extremely interested in gender, diversity and equity issues. Preety is committed to ensuring access, particularly to under-represented groups in STEM areas. She loves to interact with students even outside of class and in her spare time likes to catch up with her reading, walking, and gardening.
Rebin Muhammad is from Kurdistan of Iraq and is currently a PhD candidate at the Center for Ring Theory (CRA) in the Mathematics Department at Ohio University. From 2014 and continuing to the present day, Rebin has been active in Math Circle, where he is currently interested in utilizing Math Art as a learning tool. One learning tool being Islamic Geometric Patterns, which is a pattern you create using only a compass and a straightedge. Rebin has used IGP to teach from elementary to university levels, from concepts as basic as symmetry to as advanced as wallpaper groups. In his free time Rebin enjoys hiking, mountain biking, and developing his inner artist by creating his own Islamic Geometric Patterns.
Alexander Alfredo Caines
Alexander Caines is a rising junior at Washington and Lee University where he is pursuing a double major in Philosophy and Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. In addition to his studies he is a member of the track team and the MetaData team of the 27th Mock Convention. If he is not in the library or on a run, you can probably find him thinking and walking around, listening to music (of any variety), reading a book, or musing about how good of a show Better Call Saul is.
Andy Reyes was born and raised in the Bronx. Andy is a recent graduate of The Bronx High School of Science and he now attends Baruch College as a finance major. He attended BEAM back in 2013. Fast forward 3 years and Andy started working for BEAM as a junior counselor in 2016 because he loved the values that BEAM stands for and felt very passionate about education. Recently, he worked as a math team coach at 3 middle schools across New York City helping middle school students prepare for math competitions like Mathcounts. When Andy’s not in school he’s a big video game nerd and really enjoys playing League of Legends. His hobbies include playing handball, cooking and trying new restaurants.
Jeffrey Alexander Zaeder
Jeff Zaeder is a Mathematics and Economics double major at Union College. He graduated from Phillips Academy in 2018, right in his hometown of Andover, Massachusetts. At Union, Jeff is the co-president and co-founder of One for the World Union, an organization that strides toward ending extreme global poverty through effective giving. He is also a tour guide, a member of the German Club board, and is active in many club sports like hockey, soccer and frisbee. In his free time, you can usually find Jeff playing Spike-ball outside with his friends, or watching his favorite Boston sports team dominate their opponent.
Sophia Alexandra Abanov
Sophia Abanov just completed her sophomore year at the University of Chicago where she is majoring in math with specialization in economics, and is also pursuing a minor in computer science. In her free time she likes to stay active and is a member of UChicago's cheerleading team and gymnastics club. She likes to combine her passion for those sports with her love of kids and teaching by volunteering as a gymnastics and cheerleading coach in the local community.
Taylor Lorraine Francis
Taylor is a rising senior at the University of La Verne in Southern California, where she studies Mathematics and plans to pursue a career in teaching. She works as a math tutor and STEM peer mentor on campus. She plans to use some aspect of her experiences at BEAM toward my senior project! Taylor also serves as the Chapter President of the Alpha Omicron Pi chapter on campus. She love traveling, country music, beach bike riding, learning new games and solving puzzles!
Site Director: Ruthi Hortsch
Ruthi Hortsch has a long history of helping youth develop and nourish their love of mathematics, working at math camps each summer since 2008. She traces her enthusiasm for teaching to her first job TAing Hebrew school when she was 14, and has since taught in many forms, including at MIT, Canada/USA Mathcamp, and Michigan Math and Science Scholars. At BEAM, Ruthi coordinates hiring and training of summer staff as well as managing curriculum development and serving as a site director during the summer. She received her BS in Mathematics and Interdisciplinary Physics and MS in Mathematics from the University of Michigan. Before joining BEAM, Ruthi Hortsch finished her PhD in Mathematics from MIT, where she wrote her dissertation in advanced number theory.
Director of Student Life: Hector Miranda
Hector Miranda is a first year math PhD student at Lehigh University. He got his Bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics from the Rochester Institute of Technology. At RIT, he was involved in the Honors Program, the Improv Comedy club and the Latin Dance club. In his free time, Hector can be found reading, watching television, or dancing somewhere in the Philadelphia area.
Nurse: Anita Pietruk
Anita Pietruk is a registered professional nurse. While in nursing school she was in the honors program and active member of Phi Theta Kappa organization. Nursing is her second degree and previously she received a degree in medical assisting. Anita worked as a medical assistant for five years for a pain management clinic. She loves working with kids and found a BEAM program to be a great opportunity to combine both her passion and skills. Her hobbies include theater, practicing yoga, attending various outdoor activities such as biking, hiking and water sports. She has experience volunteering for the Brooklyn Bridge Boathouse kayaking program for five years where she was teaching children kayaking and was a safety paddler. Anita is CPR certified, which in the past helped keep children safe during water activities. Her additional certifications include infection control, phlebotomy, and EKG. Moreover, she has over two years of military experience for the United States Army New York National Guard, where she participated in various missions and helped to keep the public safe.