BEAM is a program of the Art of Problem Solving (AoPS) Initiative.  Read more about the AoPS Initiative staff and its board of directors here.

In addition to 160 summer staff, BEAM employs the following year-round staff. 



Dan Zaharopol, who went to college at MIT and graduate school in mathematics at the University of Illinois, is himself a product of summer math programs.  He is an award-winning teacher with experience teaching at MIT, the University of Illinois, the Boston Math Circle, and Canada/USA Mathcamp.  He is on the board of the Mathematics Foundation of America and serves on the Advisory Board for the New York Math Circle.  Beyond his role as BEAM Founder and AoPS Foundation Executive Director, Dan serves on the summer faculty and as summer site director. 

Lynn Cartwright-Punnett, Director of ProgramS and Development


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. 

Ayinde Alleyne, Program Coordinator

BEAM Ayinde

Ayinde Alleyne is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.  Ayinde grew up in New York City and was helped through high school and college by the Oliver Scholars Program.  He chose to study engineering due to a love of math and science, but his summers in college were spent working for various programs that aimed to help students from low-income backgrounds succeed in the same way that he had been helped.  After spending summer 2014 as a Counselor/TA with BEAM, he joined our full-time staff and helps students with high school, summer program, and college placement.  He also serves as a summer site director.  

Laura Glass-Johnston, Program Assistant

Laura Glass-Johnston

Originally from New York, Laura Glass-Johnston attended Pitzer College, a member of the Claremont Colleges, where she received a B.A. in Linguistics.  During her time at Pitzer, she participated in Circle K (an organization affiliated with Kiwanis), Tutors for a Cause, and worked at Pomona College’s ITS department.  After graduating from Pitzer, Laura spent some time living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area, before participating in CIEE’s Teach Abroad program.  Laura spent a year as an English Teaching Assistant in a public elementary school just outside of Madrid, Spain.  Upon completing her year in Spain, she returned to New York and began working at BEAM.

Ruthi Hortsch, Program Manager

Ruthi Hortsch

Before joining BEAM, Ruthi Hortsch finished her Ph.D. in Mathematics at MIT, where she wrote her dissertation in advanced number theory. Ruthi has been teaching for over 10 years, including at MIT, Canada/USA Mathcamp, and Michigan Math and Science Scholars. She has a Bachelor of Science with Distinction concentrating in Mathematics and Interdisciplinary Physics, and a Master of Science in Mathematics, both from the University of Michigan. At BEAM, Ruthi coordinates summer hiring, supports curriculum development and teaching, and advises students on college admissions, as well as serving as a site director during the summer.

Sylvia Ortega, Family Outreach Assistant


Sylvia Ortega was born and raised in the Bronx. She attended public high school in East Harlem and attended the University at Albany, where she attained a B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice and a Master's in Social Work. Sylvia has worked with children and families for all of her professional life, specifically individuals of underserved and disadvantaged backgrounds. Sylvia has a passion for narrowing the achievement gap found between economically disadvantaged urban children and those with high resources. Sylvia has worked with BEAM for three summers as site guidance counselor, and was moved so much by the work BEAM does that she is now a full time member of the team!  At BEAM, Sylvia works closely with our students and families, directly helping our 8th graders attain admission to NYC's top high schools.

Sarah Hunt

Sarah Hunt, High School Program Assistant

Sarah Hunt joined BEAM after completing her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at the University of Minnesota, where her thesis focused on computational modeling of transport in the kidney. She has a B.S. in chemical engineering from Caltech, where she volunteered tutoring local high school students. During graduate school she coordinated and managed an outreach in STEM to local public schools, continued tutoring, and spent the last year before BEAM teaching university sophomores in chemical engineering. At BEAM, Sarah supports 9th-10th grade BEAM students and coordinates the high school support program, including BEAM Next.


John Embaba, Office Assistant

John Embaba is a recent graduate from Bard High School Early College. He currently attends Fordham University with the hopes of going to medical school afterwards. During college, he is working at the Fordham Emergency Medical Services to have an impact the community that he lives in. John hopes to one day be able to impact different communities and health care systems around the world.  He is majoring in chemistry in preparation for that. John was a part of the BEAM program back in 2012 and loved being surrounded by people that shared his passion.  Four years later he joined the staff as a junior counselor eager to help and nurture the next generation of mathematicians and scientists. Other than math and science, John is also passionate about sports like basketball, soccer, and football.