Full bios for the people who can help you
Meet the People Who Can Help You
Hassan Brown is a second-year Doctor of Education Leadership candidate at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Prior to arriving in Cambridge, Hassan worked in Oakland on collective impact, education finance, and family & community engagement initiatives as well as workforce development initiatives in Seattle. A native of Brooklyn, NY, Hassan became a New York City Teaching Fellow after serving several years as a child protective worker. Hassan has worked in various capacities across the country addressing systemic resource and education inequities at the municipal, school district and nonprofit level. Brown currently serves as a board member for the Institute for Child Success, a national health and education policy think-tank and is a founding advisor to Ladon Technologies, a Bay Area language and translation technology startup that serves families and students for whom English is not their native language. Hassan is actively working to bridge the gap between social justice, education, and emerging technologies. Hassan holds a Bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College and a Masters in Education from Hunter College. Hassan is the co-founder of VRsatility, a simulation lab harnessing the power of virtual reality to close decision-making skills gaps for both education practitioners and students.
Jyoti Gupta is a second year Master in Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to HKS, she was a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group in their New Delhi and San Francisco offices, where the majority of her work was in the social impact and public sector practices. At BCG, she worked on a large-scale system transformation project with the state government of Haryana in India to improve student learning outcomes for the state’s 2 million public school students across 15,000 public schools. Subsequently, she worked with a leading education-focused non-profit in San Jose, California to design their 5-year growth and funding strategy. She is passionate about returning to the K-12 education space after HKS and working at the intersection of technology, policy, and public education. Jyoti holds an engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, where she graduated as department gold medalist and institute silver medalist.
For 15 years the New York City Department of Education has been integral in Kevin Bryant’s formation as a student, educator, and leader. Prior to becoming an educator, Kevin spent 3 years as a coder and web developer for Metlife. These experiences have shaped much of how he sees the intersection of education and technology to increase student and educator engagement. Kevin entered education through the New York City Teaching Fellows where he taught Mathematics in Canarsie Brooklyn. Seeking to have a larger impact, Kevin obtained his Masters of Education Leadership from Columbia University’s Teachers College Summer Principal Academy and participated in New Leaders Emerging Leaders and Aspiring Principals Program. Throughout his time in the NYCDOE, he served in many leadership capacities, most notably a Turnaround and Master Principal. Kevin has used his role as an urban school leader to ensure that zip code or ethnic background is not an indicator for academic success specifically amongst marginalized groups. He is eager to utilize his passion and background for technology, teaching and learning to challenge traditional teaching methodology as he continues his studies as a doctoral candidate in the Doctor of Education Leadership Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Marina Watanabe is a Ph.D. candidate in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program at Harvard University where she researches novel combination therapies for HER2+ breast cancer. She has over eight years of biological research experience working on topics ranging from plant stress response hormones to stem cell identity and has spent much of that time trying to figure out how to best explain her research projects to her non-scientist friends and family. She is an avid storyteller, performer, and science communicator with a passion for creating easily-accessible, high-quality science educational materials. Marina works with various organizations that utilize her extensive experience designing and teaching courses that break down complex scientific concepts into lessons that are digestible to non-experts. She works as a curriculum developer and instructor for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) program and as a mentoring director for Harvard Medical School's Health Professions Recruitment & Exposure Program (HPREP). Both organizations seek to recruit high school and undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds into science and medicine and align with Marina's commitment to equity in education--especially in STEM fields.
Maurizio Fazio, MD, is a scientist and educator passionate about using entrepreneurship to deliver innovations addressing unmet needs in biomedicine, public health and education. He is a Ph.D. candidate in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program at Harvard University. His graduate research at Boston Children's Hospital focuses on identifying drivers that sculpt the genetic evolution of metastatic melanoma. For the past three years, Maurizio has been an Instructor at the Harvard Summer School Pre-College Program, where he develops and teaches courses on cancer biology, regenerative medicine, and gene therapy, connecting basic biology with the clinical, economic, ethical and societal challenges of delivering effective new therapies. In addition, Maurizio has served as VP of Clinical Outreach for Sling Health, an incubator program launching medical technology entrepreneurs.
Maurizio grew up in Sicily in a family of winemakers and graduated with an MD from the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan, Italy. Prior to moving to Boston, he worked in New York as a Research Fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, investigating novel epigenetic therapies for high-risk pediatric leukemia. Maurizio is a recipient of the Boehringer Ingelheim Fellowship in Biomedicine, and the American Italian Cancer Foundation fellowship.
Mercy is a second-year MBA candidate at MIT Sloan School of Management. Prior to Sloan, Mercy worked in product strategy at MarkLogic, a database start-up in California, where she helped shape the marketing strategy of the company’s flagship database product. As a Kenyan native, Mercy has always been passionate about advancing education equity and access in the developing world. To that end, she interned as a pre-MBA fellow at Nova Pioneer, an independent system of primary and secondary schools in Kenya and South Africa, where she helped the school identify the next seven counties for school expansion in 2020. When she is not in class, Mercy is busy building an education venture that is aimed at upskilling entry-level employees in mid-sized, private sector firms in Kenya. Mercy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Princeton University.
Shermin is an MPP student with interests in social entrepreneurship and impact investing. Prior to HKS, she worked for an AI start-up and she has co-founded an education nonprofit, Global Youth Mentorship Initiative (GYMI), which is dedicated to achieving excellence with equity in education by providing underprivileged students in China with mentorship focused on independent learning, interdisciplinary studies, and emotional intelligence. Shermin also serves as a member of the NGO Youth Representatives Steering Committee to the United Nations Department of Global Communication. Her involvement at HKS includes the impact investing club, Social Enterprise Conference, Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching, Education PIC and Business & Government PIC. In her spare time, Shermin enjoys doing street-style dance, running, and offering image consulting service to her friends as she is a certified fashion stylist in London and NYC. She is interning with Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) in NYC this summer.
Wes is a second year MBA student at Harvard Business School. He began his career as a management consultant in Accenture’s state and local government practice where he worked with multiple Massachusetts state agencies. Wes then joined the Massachusetts Teach for America corps and transitioned to a role as a math and science teacher at Chelsea High School. In his four years at Chelsea, he taught both AP Physics and AP Calculus and in his final year served as the head of the math department. During that time, Wes also served as a mentor teacher for the Harvard Teacher Fellows. Wes is passionate about working for educational equity at all levels, but he is particularly interested in post-secondary persistence and success.
Meet Our Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR)
Sam works to connect education-innovation and creative-entrepreneurship communities. He is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Harvard University for HILT's Operation Impact. Before joining Harvard, Sam was an arts administrator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for more than a decade. He has also worked as a lecturer in Creative Entrepreneurship at Boston University, a school teacher, and an arts department chair. Through his arts and education startups, he independently consults on education innovation, seeding innovation communities, and arts-education integration best practices. He advises multiple startups, and serves on several creative venture boards.