2017 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-Ferre   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 a doctoral candidate in mathematics education and educational equity. She has worked for the Girls Math & Technology Program in various roles since 2007. She has recently been honored with Northern Nevada's Outstanding Mathematics Educator Award, the Moss Family Award in Graduate Elementary Math Education, and UNR's Outstanding Graduate Student award. She currently serves as an Education Programs Professional for the Nevada Department of Education.

Year 1 Instructors

Claudia Bertolone-Smith  is currently a seventh-grade math instructor for Douglas County School District. She has instructed grades 1-7, and her favorite subject to teach is mathematics. She earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Oregon. Ms. Bertolone-Smith also holds a master's degree in mathematics education from Walden University and a doctoral degree in mathematics education at the University of Nevada, Reno. 

Christin O'Keefe  holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and earned her Master of Science degree with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2014. Ms. O'Keefe has taught 3rd- and 6th-grade STEM and currently serves as the STEM Implementation Specialist at Agnes Risley Elementary School. She is a board member for both the Northern Nevada Math Council and Coral Academy of Science Charter School and serves as a member of Washoe County School District's Math Content Leadership Team. She received Accord Education's Teacher of the Year in 2011.

Year 1 Instructional Assistants

Nicole Chavez  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. She currently teaches first grade at Desert Heights Elementary School in Reno and is working on a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

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. She is currently working towards her Master of Science degree in Equity and Diversity in Education. As an undergraduate student, she was a member of the UNR track and field team. She has taught kindergarten and first grade. This fall she will begin her fourth year of teaching at Double Diamond Elementary School in first grade.

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 at UNR with a focus on mathematics education and educational equity. Ms. Hanzlik-Wilcox taught sixth- through eighth-grade math for five years in Nampa, Idaho and has spent the past seven years teaching seventh- and eighth-grade math students for the Washoe County School District. She currently teaches at Traner Middle School. This is her sixth year working with the Girls Math & Technology Program. She also serves as Vice President of the Northern Nevada Math Council.

Carrie Hair   has taught middle and high school mathematics for the past 16 years. She is currently a teacher at McQueen High School in Reno. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from San Francisco State University and holds a Master of Arts degree in secondary mathematics education. Ms. Hair is a board member for both the Northern Nevada Math Council and the Nevada Math Council. She received Northern Nevada's Outstanding Mathematics Educator Award in 2011 and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics in 2013. Her passion is to build curiosity, discovery, and understanding within her math classes.

Year 2 Instructional Assistants

Monika Bharti   is an international student from India. She holds a master's degree in chemistry from the University of Delhi, India, and in 2016 she graduated from UNR with a master's degree in elementary education and a teaching degree. She is currently a teacher at I-School of North Lake Tahoe, where she teaches third-grade through high school students. She has also worked as a student teacher at Dorothy Lemelson STEM Academy focusing on STEM teaching at the elementary level and has worked as an assistant teacher at UNR's Child and Family Research Center, where she taught preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. Ms. Bharti plans to become an elementary school teacher in the near future.

Monica Colbert  graduated with a dual Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and mathematics education from Syracuse University in 2012. While at Syracuse University, she was 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 improve English-speaking skills of international students. Ms. Colbert completed one year of national service with City Year Inc., an AmeriCorps organization, where she tutored students in Washington, DC who were academically and behaviorally at-risk. Ms. Colbert is entering her fourth year as a "highly-qualified" middle school math teacher in Gaithersburg, Maryland teaching Algebra I, Algebra Support, and Math 6. This fall, she will begin a master's program in teacher leadership in STEM at the University of Maryland.


Years 1 and 2 Computer Instructor

Stephanie Vega  graduated magna cum laude from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in elementary and special education and in 2010 with a master's degree in education with an emphasis in multicultural education. Ms. Vega is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at UNR with a focus on mathematics education and educational equity. This is her ninth year working with the Girls Math & Technology Program. She has been a teacher for nine years in grades K-8 and currently teaches kindergarten at Alice Maxwell Elementary. In 2016, she was honored as a Nevada State Mathematics finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics.

Guest Speaker

Pamela Moyo  earned a bachelor's degree in metallurgical engineering in 1999 in Zimbabwe. She then worked in a diamond mine in Zimbabwe and thereafter taught metallurgical engineering at Bulawayo Polytechnic College in Zimbabwe. In 2000 she moved to Canada to pursue a master's degree in engineering, which she completed in 2005 at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She thereafter worked in Canada for five years before moving to Elko, Nevada to work for Barrick Gold Corporation as a metallurgist. She is currently a Process Technical Services Superintendent. 

Program Interns

Alyssa Conner is a recent graduate of Wooster High School in Reno, where she completed the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, along with other AP classes. She is an incoming freshman at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she plans to obtain degrees in both mathematics and education in the NevadaTeach program. This summer Alyssa serves as an intern for the Girls Math & Technology Program through Deans Future Scholars, a program designed to help students find success in academics from middle school to college and beyond. This is her first year working with the camp, and she is excited to help the campers pursue their passion for mathematics. 

Andrea Forsyth graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. Later she returned to the university and completed a master's degree and licensure in special education. She taught special education in elementary and middle schools, both self-contained and resource programs. Currently, she is a full-time doctoral student at UNR with a focus in special education and intellectual disabilities. She recently completed her first research study focusing on teaching multiplication skills to students with intellectual disabilities. 

Volunteers

Brooke Covington  recently graduated with an advanced diploma from Reed High School in Reno. This summer she has worked for AmeriCorps, assisting the Washoe County School District Curriculum and Instruction Department. This fall she will attend Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, majoring in science. Ms. Covington attended the math camp in the years 2011 and 2012 as a camper, and she has continued to volunteer for the program in the years thereafter. This will mark her fifth year volunteering for the program. She looks forward to working with and mentoring the campers each summer.  

Krysti Vega  currently attends Wooster High School, where she will be a junior this fall. She is determined to complete the Middle Years Program (MYP) and International Baccalaureate Program (IB) that are offered at Wooster. With the International Baccalaureate Diploma and other recognitions she may receive, she hopes to earn academic scholarships that will allow her to attend Stanford, UC Davis, or California Tech to pursue chemical engineering. Ms. Vega is a three-sport student athlete who also plays volleyball at Bump Set Spike and maintains a 4.0 GPA. She attended the math camp in 2013 and is in her second year volunteering for the program. She is excited to work with the campers now and in the future.

Ruth Saake is about to enter her freshman year at either AACT (the Academy of Arts Careers and Technology) to study education and training, or Coral Academy of Science. She has experience with and enjoys caring for and teaching children. In her spare time, she flies planes (and aims to get her pilot's license in 1.5 years), makes and watches YouTube videos, provides childcare services, sings, and spends time with friends and family. Ms. Saake attended the math camp in 2015 and 2016. This will be her first year serving as a volunteer.