BEAM Discovery will take place in 2019 in two cities, New York and Los Angeles.  

Information is coming soon about staff for 2019! For now, here’s some info on our staff from 2018.

LA Staff


Alphonso Lucero

Alphonso is originally from LA county and went to school at Iowa State where he studied math. He spent two years teaching high school math in Las Vegas with Teach For America. He left the classroom to go to graduate school at UC Riverside where he is now working on his PhD in math. He is passionate about mathematics education in the US and hopes to contribute to developing a new style of teaching for modern mathematics. On the weekends he enjoys being active, hanging out with friends, and working on his classic cars.

Javier Ronquillo Rivera

Javier recently got his PhD in mathematics at Ohio University. Javier grew up in Guatemala City where he enjoyed leading the program that prepared high school students to participate in International Mathematics Olympiads. He loves finding connections between theater games or dance with math. Outside of math Javier likes acting, singing, playing the guitar, hiking and playing soccer.

Lee-Kai Wang

Lee-kai Wang is a bioinformatics research associate at UCLA, studying the genetics of neurodevelopmental disorders. He holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from MIT and previously worked in finance. He moved to Los Angeles in 2016 and is loving getting to know new parts of the city and its residents. Most of all, he is thrilled to be part of BEAM this summer!

Lisa Garcia

Ms. Garcia loves teaching high school. She enjoys making connections with her students and helping guide them on their journey in math and school. Her goal is to help students see the beauty of math in our world.

Sarah Yoseph

Sarah Yoseph is a recent graduate of Claremont Graduate University from the Master's program for Mathematics. Sarah also attended Loyola Marymount University and Santa Monica College where she studied and taught math to middle school, high school, and college students of varying math levels. She wants to continue teaching in Los Angeles where she is from most likely at a community college in Southern California. In her free time, Sarah enjoys travel, family time, dance, and developing websites that promote the participation of women in mathematics.


Andrew Thai

Andrew Thai is a rising sophomore at Williams College where he studies computer science and math. He is involved with various campus organizations including the Chinese American Student Association and the Zambezi Marimba Band. He enjoys a variety of activities ranging from musical performance to magic tricks.

Daniel Gordon

Daniel Gordon is a rising senior at Wesleyan University, majoring in both Computer Science and English. In the past, he served as a counselor at a sleep away camp for two years, working as the wood shop activity counselor. Daniel also worked at the Wesleyan Traveler's Lab, a multi-school project focused on applying modern statistical modeling techniques to medieval documents and resources. When he's not working, Daniel loves to read books, write, build things, and play both piano and saxophone.

Galadriel Brady

Galadriel Brady is a current Math-CS major and TA at Brown. Before attending Brown she traveled for six years and worked various jobs such as cafes and administration for tech startups. Before that, she attended middle and high school in LA. In her free time she enjoys reading, watching movies, and playing frisbee.

Hector Flores

Hector Flores is an undergraduate student at UC Merced studying Mechanical Engineering and will start his second year this fall. He is fascinated by Mathematics and Sciences which influenced his decision to major in STEM. In his free time he enjoys browsing the web, more specifically YouTube and Netflix, playing video games, and exercising to keep himself active.

Juan Gonzalez

Juan Gonzalez is a current first generation student at California State University of Long Beach where he is majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in applied mathematics. Born and raised in south Los Angeles, Juan believes that, regardless of your race or background, anyone has the potential to obtain a higher education. His goal at BEAM is to inspire those of similar upbringing to seek a degree in the STEM fields. In his free time he plays soccer with friends, plays billiards at school.

Manuel Mendoza

Manuel Mendoza is a junior attending UC Merced. He is pursuing a major in Mechanical Engineering. During high school, he was an intern for the California Science Center and a youth facilitator for Play for Peace. In college, he was an assistant project manager for the Merced Children's Museum engineering service learning project. I enjoy to paint, play video games, and read comics in my free time.

Marquia Williams

Marquia Williams is a senior at the State University of New York at Oswego where she majors in Mathematics. Apart from her studies, she is an advisor for the Caribbean Student Association and a member of the Student Conduct Committee. During this summer she has been doing research in combinatorics with her academic advisor. In her free time, she likes to dance, cook, and spend time with family and close friends.

Megan Manquen

Megan Manquen is a senior at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She is pursuing a degree in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science. At school she is on the board of the Pepperdine Active Minds chapter that focuses on bringing awareness to mental illnesses and their effects on the community, and she is on the board of the campus Mathematics club. Alongside school, she works as a tutor to the local middle and high school students in Malibu. In her free time, she will be spending time with her family or watching a baseball game.

Mohammad Hossain

Mohammad Hossain is an undergraduate student from CSU Northridge majoring in computer engineering and a minor is mathematics. He has been part of many other groups such as Heart of Los Angeles, Gear Up and LA Critical Mass and hopes to find many other philanthropic communities. During his free time, he enjoys biking in the streets of LA, playing sports or traveling to the national parks in USA

Nick Sweeney

Nick Sweeney is a second-year student at The University of Chicago, where he is majoring in Mathematics. On campus, you may find him competing as a Model UN delegate, writing & discussing short stories in a creative writing workshop, or going on climbing trips with the bouldering club at his school. In his free time, his hobbies include distance running, reading books & articles, discovering new music to listen to, and playing old video games as he pretends to be a kid again. This will be his first year as a counselor at BEAM, and he looks forward to helping make BEAM 6 LA a fun, memorable, and educational experience for all involved!

Paula Suárez

Paula Suárez is currently a student at Salem State University in Massachusetts where she is focusing on attaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Education, with a minor in Psychology, and her Master’s Degree in Education. Aside from her full-time student responsibilities, she is actively involved in ministry where her primary goal is to spark the potential and voice of youth. In her free time, you can find her trying out new experiences, planning her next adventure or trip, hanging out with friends and family, searching for good deals on Groupon, watching Netflix, or reading a good book.

Ricardo Espino

Ricardo Espino is a rising junior at Swarthmore College where he is majoring in Peace and Conflict studies and minoring in Arabic. At Swarthmore, Ricardo is a part of ENLACE, the only Latinx group on campus that focuses on fostering a strong and supportive Latinx community on campus and in the greater Swarthmore area. In his free time, Ricardo enjoys playing soccer, video games, working out and reading books that are not a part of a syllabus.

Rose Adkisson

Rose Adkisson is a current student at La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, majoring in Mathematics and Secondary Education. Her days are filled with studying, tutoring in the Mathematics Department, and working as an RA in the dorms. In her free time, Rose can be found in coffee shops, usually reading books about mountaineering or the Vietnamese-American War.

Sammy Stephen

Sammy Stephen is a rising senior at Wesleyan University majoring in English Lit. During her time at Wesleyan, Sammy worked as an RA, a tutor, sang Eastern European folk, and coordinated the tutoring program. Sammy loves working with children, animals, and strives to be some version of a Disney princess. In her free time, she is reading and working on her senior thesis. In the future, she would love to be a preschool teacher.

Yifei Li

Yifei Li is a rising Junior at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona where he majored in pure/teaching Mathematics. It is her fourth year getting the education in the United States, and the experience volunteered in elementary school and worked as an after-school tutor in high school helps her grow a lot. She is on the board of an on-campus nonprofit group called the Chinese student and scholar association which helping away from-home Chinese students in their life, study and serves as a bridge between the Chinese and other communities. She likes listening to music, reading news, hiking and playing sports in her free time. It would be her first time in BEAM, and she is looking forward exploring knowledge and seeking adventures with students and peers together.

Zavier Jenkins

In 2011 Zavier was student for BEAM in its first year. Now he is returning as a Counselor! Zavier is a student at SUNY Albany, studying computer science. Outside of school he takes time to learn about art. He enjoys 3D modeling, games, and skateboarding with his friends.

Junior Counselors

David Hernandez

David Hernandez a recent high-school graduate, where he took AP Calculus. He will be attending San Francisco State University this upcoming fall where he will major in Sociology. In his free time you can catch him playing sports at the local YMCA, checking his email daily at the YMCA, and checking up on college at the YMCA. He does a lot at the YMCA.

Other Staff

Director of Student Life: Valerie Sandoval

Valerie Sandoval is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California where she majored in Social Work. She is currently applying to USC’s PhD program in Neurobiology and hopes to have a private practice in the future. On her free time, she volunteers at Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk and enjoys learning and fostering an individual’s self-growth. When she isn’t volunteering, she spends her weekends with her fiancé at the beach with her two Yorkie puppies or with family. She is an avid reader and relishes in watching old classic movies.

Nurse: Bethany Araujo

Bethany Araujo is a Registered Nurse living in Los Angeles. She studied both visual arts and nursing at Rhode Island College in her hometown of Providence. With the intention of becoming a Certified Nurse-Midwife, Bethany typically works in labor and delivery in the hospital. In the past, she has worked as a nurse for a sleep-away camp in Maine, taking care of over 300 children ages 7-15. In her free time, Bethany continues to practice art and enjoys traveling along the west coast.

NYC staff


Christina Frederick, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Christina Frederick will be a new Assistant Professor of Mathematics at NJIT. She earned a PhD in mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin in 2014 and held postdoctoral fellowships at the Mittag-Leffler Institute of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and Georgia Tech. Her recent work includes applying mathematical techniques to sonar imaging and robotics. Christina is passionate about mentoring students that come from backgrounds that are typically underrepresented in mathematics. In her free time, she loves to travel, play with her dog Addy, and do yoga.


Giselle George-Gilkes, East Side Community High School

Giselle is originally from the Nature Island of the Caribbean, Dominica. She has taught 8th grade Mathematics for the past 12 years at East Side Community High School. She loves Mathematics and it's her goal to get every student who walks through her door to either appreciate Math or fall deeply in love with it. In her free time, she is obsessed with the game 3's. She also loves reading, her favorite author being Jodi Picoult.


Halimeda Glickman-Hoch, Birch Wathen Lenox

Halimeda Glickman-Hoch hails from Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Harvard in 2012 with a degree in mathematics and a teaching certificate and has filled all sorts of roles since then. She's spent the last year teaching elementary school computer science at The Birch Wathen Lenox School. She has also taught 10th grade math and worked for The Mathematics Foundation of America. Halimeda has a wonderful cat named Nova who is a snuggly fuzzball. In addition to math and cats, Halimeda loves reading, backpacking, and thunderstorms. This summer, she'll be returning to BEAM for the fourth time (after two summers as a counselor at BEAM 7 and one summer as faculty at BEAM 6). She'll be teaching Logical Reasoning and Applied Mathematics.

Meghan VanderMale, Grand Rapids Community College

Meghan VanderMale is a Mathematics Professor at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There, she teaches undergraduate mathematics courses, is a leader in the honors program, and helps coordinate community mathematics education opportunities in the city of Grand Rapids and in the migrant working community of West Michigan. When she's not doing or teaching math, she likes dancing and running, reading, spending time outside, and working on her Spanish skills.


David Price, Bard High School Early College Queens

Originally from Austin, Texas, David Price has worked for four years at Bard High School Early College Queens, where he teaches ninth grade math, statistics, and an introductory proofs course. He enjoys board games, riding his bike around New York City, and going to the beach. He's looking forward to being part of the first summer of BEAM 6.



Nafij Ahmed, Queens College


Nafij Ahmed is a rising junior at Queens College. He is studying mathematics and secondary education, and is on the track of becoming a secondary school mathematics teacher. He loves learning about different types of math, but he also enjoys learning about economics, history and political science. His hobbies include playing basketball, cycling in central park, and reading. He loves to travel and take part in outdoor activities. He works as a student tutor at my college math lab. Nafij was raised in Queens, and lives in Astoria. He speaks Bangla in addition to English, and he is taking lessons and trying to learn Arabic. He looks forward to the BEAM 6 program this summer. 


Christopher Bueno, New York University

Christopher Bueno is a current rising junior at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering majoring in Computer Science. This is his second year as a BEAM counselor. In his free time he enjoys watching soccer or movies.



Harry Shi, University of Chicago

Harry Shi is a first year at the University of Chicago planning to major in Statistics and/or Computational Applied Mathematics. At the University of Chicago, he is a member of the Neighborhood Schools Program where he tutors students in the surrounding neighborhood as well as member of the University of Chicago's rowing team where he rows every morning on the Chicago river with his teammates.

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John Embaba, Fordham University

John attended Beam 7 during middle school. He graduated Bard High School Early College in June of 2017 and will be going to Fordham University to study Biochemistry. You can usually find him playing basketball, watching tv, or reading a book. 

Lalita Devadas, Columbia University

Lali Devadas is a student at Columbia University where she is majoring in mathematics and philosophy. She also works for the Columbia Daily Spectator as an editorial page editor.


Steven Bueno, New York City College of Technology

Steven Bueno is a New York City College of Technology student and a Computer Engineering major. He loves math and science and is excited about helping children in math.


Marquia Williams, SUNY Oswego

Marquia Williams is from Brooklyn, NY, and is a rising junior at the State University of New York at Oswego majoring in mathematics.  She enjoys learning about French culture and language and plas to declare a minor in French and study abroad in French. She hopes to one day work for NASA.  Her hobbies include dancing, reading, writing, and reading. She also enjoys meeting new people and is extremely excited to meet her fellow counselors and students who all share a great love for mathematics at BEAM 6 this summer.

Meg Crenshaw, Carleton College

Meg Crenshaw is a recent graduate of Carleton College where she majored in mathematics and computer science. While there, she helped to start a Girls Who Code chapter at the local middle school, trying to get young women excited about computer science. She was also involved in faith-based organizing on campus, in town, and in the state of Minnesota, working for economic and racial justice. She can be found with a frisbee and a deck of cards, ready to play either at any time, unless she is first tempted by a particularly pernicious math problem, in which case, watch out: game’s over.

Samson Leung, Stony Brook University

Samson Leung is a rising junior in college studying Computer Science and Applied Mathematics. He regularly attends hackathons and is a lab engineer for spinal cord research. In his free time he enjoys biking, swimming, and exploring the city.


Darien Willis, Brooklyn College

Darien Willis is a junior at Brooklyn College. His experience as a BEAM 6 counselor last year encouraged him to study Mathematics Education. This past year he served as a math teacher assistant at The International School of Brooklyn where he collaborated with the head teacher to put forth appropriate lessons for the 6th-8th grade students. His duties entailed one on one help with students, creating lesson plans, and occasionally substituting for the head teacher when necessary. In his free time, he likes to play basketball, find new music for his record collection as well as play music with his family.


Sherilyn Tejada, SUNY Potsdam

Sherilyn Tejada Martinez was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. She currently attends SUNY Potsdam with a double major in Computer Science and Mathematics. Her goal is to be a programmer in a gaming company and hopefully be able to give back to her community in any way possible.

Tanasia Gordon, The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology

Tanasia is a incoming senior in high school that is excited for what the future has to offer her. She loves reading and trying new things. Also, she can't wait to work with amazing people this summer at BEAM.

Zavier Jenkins, University at Albany

In 2011 Zavier was a student for BEAM in its first year. Now he is returning as a counselor! Zavier is a student at SUNY Albany, studying computer science. Outside of school he takes time to learn about art. He enjoys 3D modeling, making small games, and skateboarding with his friends.



Site Director: Ruthi Hortsch, The Art of Problem Solving Foundation

Ruthi joins BEAM after finishing her Ph.D. in Mathematics from MIT. She's been teaching in one form or another for 10 years, and spent the last 7 summers straight working for various math programs, including Canada/USA Mathcamp, and Michigan Math and Science Scholars. When not teaching or thinking about math, Ruthi spends her time dancing, cooking, and volunteering. Originally from Michigan, Ruthi received her B.S. in Mathematics and Interdisciplinary Physics, and M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan.


Executive Director & Faculty: Daniel Zaharopol, The Art of Problem Solving Foundation

Dan Zaharopol founded Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics in 2011. He also founded Learning Unlimited, a nonprofit organization that helps college students create their own educational outreach programs. He's also been involved at many levels at Canada/USA Mathcamp. Dan got his SB in mathematics from MIT and masters' degrees in mathematics and teaching mathematics from the University of Illinois.



Director of Student Life and Guidance Counselor: Sylvia Ortega, The Art of Problem Solving Foundation

Sylvia was born and raised in the Bronx, NY and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. She attended the University at Albany where she attained her B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice and graduated with her Master's in Social Work. Sylvia has worked with high school aged students in many different settings. Sylvia has traveled to Africa and South America where she has participated in two service programs. Sylvia enjoys dancing, playing volleyball, watching her favorite shows on TV, going to museums, and enjoying all the free events that NYC has to offer. Sylvia is a HUGE Yankees fan and enjoys going to games when she has the time off. During the year, Sylvia is BEAM's 8th grade coordinator and family outreach assistant.