Meet the 2022-23 CSTA Equity Fellows – Instructional Allies Cohort!
- Allen Antoine, Associate Director of Mathematics and Computer Science, at Rice University Office of STEM Engagement (Houston, TX)
- Krystal Chatman, Instructional Technology Facilitator, at the Jackson Public School District (Jackson, MS)
- Justine Chavez-Crespin, Digital Learning Innovation and Computer Science Coordinator, at Santa Fe Public Schools (Santa Fe, NM)
- Jasper Gunn, Instructional Design Lead, at CodeVA (Richmond, VA)
- Michelle-Noelle Magallanez, Director of Special Projects, at the AVID Center (San Diego, CA)
- Candyce Monroe, Learning Programs Manager, at Ed Farm (Birmingham, AL)
- Jigar Patel, Coordinator of Innovation and Special Projects, at Tuscarora Intermediate Unit 11 (McVeytown, PA)
- Laura Ventura, AI & CS Instructional Specialist, K-5, at Gwinnett County Public School (Suwanee, GA)
- Andrea Wilson Vazquez, Director of Educator Training and School Partnerships, at Code Savvy (Minneapolis, MN)
Allen Antoine, M.Ed. is Director of Computer Science Education Strategy for EPIC (Expanding Pathways in Computing) at UT Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) where he provides leadership in Computer Science education to manage rapidly expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and represents EPIC programs at a state and national level. He serves as the Project Director for the Computer Educator Diversity Initiative (CEDI), where he trains educators in equitable teaching practices in computer science courses while preparing them for the unique challenges of teaching computer science with diversity in mind. He also serves as a lead with the Scaling Inclusive Pedagogy (ScIP) project to support the national dissemination of equity-explicit professional development.
Allen has over 15 years of experience in the educational field, working with elementary students to improve their literacy and numeracy skills, teaching 8th-grade mathematics and Algebra I, and developing curriculum for Alief ISD and Rice University. He regularly gives keynote presentations, consults, and leads workshops, covering a wide variety of STEM, School Culture, Equity and Inclusion, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Inquiry-Based Learning, and Computer Science topics. He also is currently the vice president of CSTA Greater Houston Chapter.
Krystal Chatman is an Instructional Technology Facilitator in the Jackson Public School District in Jackson, Mississippi. She has been an educator in the biomedical research industry and classroom for 14 years, teaching and training students from high school to undergraduate, graduate, and physician students. She is a graduate of Millsaps College, earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and obtained a Master of Science in Biological Sciences from Mississippi College. In her current role, she provides support to all PK-12 teachers to help them maximize technology integration into their daily instructional practices, impacting learning for over 18,000 students.
Justine Chavez-Crespin is currently the Digital Learning Innovation Coordinator for Santa Fe Public Schools. She provides instructional support to CS teachers as well as coaches, co-teaches with, and facilitates hands-on professional development for Pre-K to 12th-grade teachers. She has been an educator for the last decade. Her passion and life’s work is around supporting the youth of New Mexico in educational opportunities and future ready skills. She holds two BA, one in Communication Studies and the other in Spanish Linguistics and she has an MA in Communication Studies from New Mexico State University. Justine is also an ISTE Certified Educator.
Jasper Gunn works as the Instructional Design Lead in the curriculum department of CodeVA, a Virginia CS ed nonprofit, where they have developed computer science curriculum across grade levels, supported professional learning, and taught out-of-school time experiences. They are also a member of the Scratch Education Collaborative. Before joining CodeVA full-time, Jasper taught for 5+ years at preschool and K-8 levels at a Reggio-Emelia inspired school, where they learned the importance of wonder, play, and exploration in supporting the growth of the whole child. Jasper graduated from the University of Richmond with a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies: Critical Technology Studies. They are a proud member of the LGBTQ+ and disability communities with a strong belief in intersectional feminism and anti-racism. In their free time, Jasper maintains their urban homestead with a garden and chickens, swims at the river, writes poetry, helps out in the neighborhood food forest, and plays ample video games.
Dr. Michelle Magallanez is the Director of Special Projects, the innovation incubator at AVID Center, a national educational nonprofit with the mission to close the opportunity gap for all students by helping them build the skills they need to be future ready. She is a proud Mexican American with a PhD in French Medieval Literature from NYU, who to this day continues to work on her math phobia. Third grade multiplication tables were a surprise! She is also an award-winning EdTech interaction designer who has created game-based learning experiences for children and adults in a career that included stints at LeapFrog and leading a studio at Allen Interactions where she advised Fortune 500 Companies. Her path to a CS-related career has been windy. Her role at AVID Center allows her to positively impact students under-represented in CS, helping to make their path to a future filled with possibility a bit less scenic than her own. With 20+ years of experience in product and program development, Michelle’s work currently focuses on designing professional learning and curricular resources in partnership with EdTech companies for K-12 content area teachers new to CS and STEM. Her mission is to build resources for the implementation of computational thinking, CS, and STEM problem-solving in content-area classrooms as foundational learning skills for all students.
Candyce Monroe is an educator that believes in the transformative power of creativity and innovation in the classroom. Throughout her career she has worked to provide computer science, engineering and math based learning experiences for her students. Candyce started her educational career as a science teacher in a high-needs, low income district in Birmingham Alabama. Candyce was instrumental in the creation of a computer science program within her former school district. Her drive to improve the quality of life for students led her to write and secure over $50,000 in grants to support the launch of a makerspace for STEM education and to further fund the computer science program. Candyce currently holds the position of Director of Learning at Ed Farm. In this role she supports educators and students through the development of learning experiences and instructional technology practices infused with creativity and innovation.
Jigar Patel is a proud first-generation Indian-American. Jigar is the Coordinator for Innovation & Special Projects for Tuscarora Intermediate Unit 11 (TIU11), a regional education service center in rural central Pennsylvania. Jigar is Vice-President of CSTA Susquehanna Valley Chapter. Jigar is a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator who has been leading professional development using Raspberry Pi across the commonwealth for over seven years. Jigar supports TIU11’s Spark Lab, a makerspace for educators and learners from K-12. Jigar was named the 2021 Pennsylvania Association for Education and Communications and Technology (PAECT) Outstanding Leader of the Year for providing innovative solutions to remove barriers in distance education and provide equitable learning opportunities to all. Jigar is also part of the 2022 Pennsylvania STEM Ambassador Program. Jigar is passionate about providing equitable learning opportunities to those in rural areas who don’t have the same level of access to resources and opportunities.
Laura Ventura is currently an Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science Specialist serving Gwinnett County Public Schools. Laura enjoyed 14 years in the classroom where she developed her passion for engaging lessons and learner-centered environments. In her current position, Laura brings her lively energy to support K-5 Computer Science teachers across Gwinnett’s 81 elementary schools. She is committed to helping teachers provide high-quality, inclusive computer science education to all students. Laura is dedicated to empowering all kids, starting with the three she is raising.
Andrea Wilson Vazquez
Andrea Wilson Vazquez is the Director of Educator Training and School Partnerships with non-profit Code Savvy, a Minnesota-based non-profit working to expand equitable and engaging K-12 computer science education. She is also a teacher and most recently worked as an innovative instructional coach at an alternative high school, partnering with teachers to engage students with unique learning needs in creative problem solving through maker and computer science education. She also previously served as a Maker and Computer Science educator, as well as a Teacher for English Learners. Andrea holds a B.A. in Spanish and Global Studies, and her K-12 teaching license and M.A. in English as a Second Language Education. She is a CSTA CSforELs Teacher Leader and Facilitator, a Co-PI on the Coaching for Equity in Computer Science initiative, and is passionate about the important role of educators in building equitable CS ed learning experiences.