2015 Girls Math & Technology Camp Staff

Program Director

Lynda Wiest taught elementary and middle school students for 11 years in Pennsylvania before earning a Ph.D. in education at Indiana University in 1996. She has been a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) for 19 years, specializing in mathematics education, educational equity, and teacher education. Dr. Wiest serves on the Advisory Board of the national organization Women and Mathematics Education. She founded the Northern Nevada Girls Math & Technology Program in 1998, for which she won the Nevada Chapter of the American Association of University Women's Sarah Winnemucca Award in 2000 and the Outstanding Outreach Award at the UNR College of Education in 2012. For her work with gender in education, especially in relation to mathematics, Dr. Wiest was selected to be among the Nevada Women's Fund's Women of Achievement honorees in 2006, and she received the national-level Karen Dee Michalowicz Award in 2013. In spring 2015, she was honored with UNR's F. Donald Tibbitts Distinguished Teaching Award.

Assistant Program Directors

Heather Crawford  graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2006 with a dual major in elementary and special education and in 2009 with a Master of Education degree with an emphasis in mathematics education. Ms. Crawford-Ferre is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in mathematics education and educational equity. She has worked for the Girls Math & Technology Program in various roles since 2007. She currently teaches elementary school in the Washoe County School District. In spring 2015, she was honored with Northern Nevada's Outstanding Mathematics Educator Award.

Year 1 Instructors

Claudia Bertolone-Smith has been an elementary school teacher for 24 years. She has taught grades one through six and is currently teaching sixth grade in Douglas County. She received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Oregon. Ms. Bertolone-Smith has a master's degree in mathematics education from Walden University and is currently a doctoral student in mathematics education at UNR.

Amy Taylor has taught in the Washoe County School District for 13 years, rotating among grades 4, 5, and 6. She began at Agnes Risley Elementary and moved to Sierra Vista Elementary seven years ago. For the past four years, she has taught at Clayton Pre AP Academy. She teaches sixth-grade science and sixth-grade math and has earned "highly qualified" status in mathematics teaching through eighth grade. Ms. Taylor graduated from UNR with a master's degree in elementary education in 2003.

Year 1 Instructional Assistants

Nicole Chavez graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education and an endorsement in English as a Second Language. She currently works at Judy's Kidz Klub, a before- and after-school program and summer camp. Nicole will complete a teaching internship this fall at Huffaker Elementary School in Reno.

Baylee Hearns, who is originally from Southern Oregon, graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and an endorsement in English as a Second Language. For the past four years she competed as a student athlete for the UNR track and field team. She currently teaches first grade at Double Diamond Elementary School in Reno. 

Year 2 Instructors

Christine Hanzlik-Wilcox graduated from the College of Idaho in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in history and a minor in educational studies. In 2012, she completed her master's degree in education with a focus on mathematics education and educational equity at UNR. Ms. Hanzlik-Wilcox taught sixth- through eighth-grade math for five years in Nampa, Idaho and has spent the past five years teaching seventh- and eighth-grade math students for the Washoe County School District. This is her fourth year working with the Girls Math & Technology Program. Ms. Hanzlik-Wilcox enjoys spending time with her family (especially her one-year-old son), traveling, biking, hiking, cooking, reading, and Netflix binging.

Misha Miller  taught elementary and middle school mathematics for 14 years in Washoe County School District (WCSD) before taking the position of program specialist in the WCSD 21st Century Learning Division in November of 2012. In 2010, she received Northern Nevada's Outstanding Mathematics Educator Award. Ms. Miller is an active member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the International Society for Technology in Education. She also serves on the board of Northern Nevada Mathematics Council.

Year 2 Instructional Assistants

Brittany Herrera attends California State University Long Beach, where she is in the Multiple Subject Credential Program. In December 2013, she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from California State University Dominguez Hills. She currently works as a substitute teacher for the Palos Verdes Peninsula School District. She has also worked for the high school AVID program for the past six years, tutoring in English and Math. Ms. Herrera plans to become an elementary school teacher in the near future.

Monica Colbert graduated with a dual Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Math Education from Syracuse University in 2012. While at Syracuse University, Ms. Colbert was a a resident advisor for incoming freshmen, a volunteer for Say Yes to Education, a math tutor for student athletes, and an English Conversation Group Leader where she facilitated discussions to enhance English-speaking skills of international students. She did a year of national service with City Year Inc., an AmeriCorps organization, where she tutored students of Washington, DC who were academically and behaviorally at-risk. Ms. Colbert is currently a full-time middle school math focus teacher in Gaithersburg, MD teaching Algebra I, Algebra Prep and Algebra Support to students in grades 6-8.  

Years 1 and 2 Computer Instructor

Jenny Salls taught high school mathematics for 33 years before moving to the GT Magnet at Clayton Middle School. She was Mathematics Consultant for the Nevada Department of Education for one year and Mathematics Program Coordinator for Washoe County School District for nine years. Dr. Salls is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and the Nevada Math Council¹s Dedicated Service Award. She earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in mathematics education at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2006.

Guest Speaker

Jami Dwyer has over 25 year of experience working in mines. She is currently the Superintendent of Maintenance for Barrick Gold's Cortez Mine near Elko, NV, where she oversees 180 mechanics, welders, and mining professionals. She obtained a B.S. degree in applied computer science (with a minor in mathematics) and a B.S. in mining engineering from Montana Tech. She later earned an M.S. in mining engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla, where she also served as an adjunct professor in the mining engineering department for a brief time. Her experience covers a broad range of mining engineering work, including open pit, underground, rock mechanics, and mine safety and health research for the mining industry. She is a licensed professional engineer (P.E.) and a Certified Mine Safety Professional (CMSP). She has served in a number of executive positions for a variety of professional societies and enjoys the technological challenges that a career in mining engineering brings.


Year 1

Brooke Covington  recently completed her sophomore year at Reed High School. While there, she fulfilled her first and second years of the H.O.P.E. Academy (Health Occupation Preparatory Education) in addition to her advanced placement classes. She was also part of the Reed High School Junior Varsity Volleyball Team. In the off season, she plays for the Northern Nevada Juniors Volleyball League in the Northern California Division. As an undergraduate, she is planning to attend UNR hoping to obtain an academic scholarship. Brooke then plans to attend medical school at UC Davis, UCLA, or Oregon University. Brooke is currently studying French and plans to speak it fluently by the end of her senior year. She attended the math camp in the years 2011 and 2012 as a camper, and this will be her third year volunteering for the program. She looks forward to working with the campers each summer, mentoring them during the program.   

Year 2

Jennifer (Jen) Shinn is currently an undergraduate student at California State University, Long Beach working on obtaining a bachelor's degree in Mathematics Education. She has worked as a math tutor for Orange Coast College, California State University Long Beach, various tutoring agencies such as SCORE! Learning Centers and Allison Tutoring, and has privately tutored students spanning from 6th grade to college in classes ranging from Pre-Algebra to Precalculus. She is also a youth leader in an organization where she helps young women to overcome their obstacles to become truly happy in their daily lives. Ms. Shinn's ultimate goal is to take this training to teach mathematics at the high school level where she can have an impact, encouraging their development in mathematics and other aspects of their lives.

Year 1 & 2

Julia Munier graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education. The first eight years of her career she taught elementary students in Lyon County, where she facilitated the math planning for her grade-level team members. Ms. Munier has spent the past two years teaching eighth-grade English language arts and mathematics. She is motivated to favorably influence the perspectives of teachers, students, and parents toward mathematics! Her goal is for each of her students to have a passion for math and when asked what their favorite subject in school is, to shout M-A-T-H!