Executive Committee

Melissa H.

Melissa Hendershott

President

Melissa joined Minds Matter Seattle in 2014 as a junior mentor and now serves as the chapter president. She graduated from Boston University with a degree in biochemistry and completed a PhD in cell biology at the University of California-San Francisco. She now works in the Assay Development group at the Allen Institute for Cell Science. Melissa is looking forward to helping Minds Matter continue to grow to support more students, and make Minds Matter Seattle one of the best college-prep organizations in the Seattle area.

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Katie Moran

VP of Operations

Katie Moran began with Minds Matter in 2014 as a mentor and has been a part of the executive committee since 2015, serving various roles including Director of Volunteer Recruitment, Director of Summer Programs, and currently as VP of Operations. She has been working at Adaptive Biotechnologies since 2015, currently as a Project Manager for the Discovery team. She previously worked as a Research Associate at Spectrum Research in Tacoma, WA. Katie graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 2013 with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. During her time at UPS, she was President of the Phi Sigma Biological Honors Society, a biology course assistant, as well as an outdoor trip leader.

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Nancy Li

VP of Strategy

Nancy joined Minds Matter Seattle as a Mentor in 2015. Prior to serving as the VP of Strategy, Nancy led volunteer recruitment and community engagement efforts. A transplant from Northern California, Nancy is a senior program manager at Amazon. She received her MBA from University of Washington, Foster School of Business and she is a proud graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. Nancy is an avid traveler, a committed foodie, and a devoted owner of a 11-year old bichon-frise.

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Valerie Walker

Co-Director, Volunteer Operations Committee

Valerie joined Minds Matter in 2017 as a mentor. This will be her fourth year with Minds Matter and her first year serving in the role of Co-Director of Volunteer Operations with Paul Lee and Alex Diaz. Valerie graduated from Occidental College in 2013 with a degree in Politics and graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 2017. Since graduating from law school, she has represented public sector clients, including school districts and cities, as general counsel on a variety of school law and municipal law issues. As of the fall of 2020, she will be serving as a law clerk at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. When Valerie is not reading about the law, she loves reading novels (sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, etc.). She also likes to spend time singing and playing keyboard or ukulele. If you have questions about volunteering with Minds Matter Seattle, Valerie would be more than happy to chat with you and learn about your volunteering interests.

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Coco Liu

Director of Mentoring & Academic Planning (Senior Program)

Coco joined Minds Matter Seattle in fall 2015 as a Senior Mentor and is now Director of Volunteers. She immigrated to the United States at age 14 from China, an experience that taught her the importance of education and diversity. She holds a BBA from the University of Washington, and has worked in banking and investment management field. She is now a portfolio manager at Russell Investments.

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Katherine Voo

Director of Mentoring & Academic Planning (Junior Program)

Katherine joined Minds Matter as a mentor and currently serves as Co-Director of Mentoring & Academic Planning (Junior Program). She is passionate about helping students realize their full potential and has served in a variety of mentoring, tutoring, and diversity and inclusion initiatives across the country. Katherine received a B.S. in Learning & Organizational Change and a certificate in Marketing Communications at Northwestern University in 2014 and currently works at Amazon.

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Anukul Veeraraghaven

Director of Academic Mentoring (Sophomore Program)

Anukul joined Minds Matter Seattle in 2015 as a mentor and now serves as the Director of Sophomore Academic Mentoring. He studied Math at the University of Washington and currently works as a Software Engineer at Microsoft. His goal is to share his joy for learning with the students and help them explore the opportunities that lie ahead.

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Devon Harris

Co-Director of Test Prep

Devon has been with Minds Matter Seattle since its first year and is currently Director of the Test Prep program. She enjoys standardized testing a little too much and enjoys sharing her passion and knowledge with the junior classes. Devon graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 2013 with a degree in biomedical engineering, moved to Seattle shortly after, and fell in love with the PNW. She is a Manufacturing Engineer at EKOS, a Boston Scientific company, which makes blood vessel catheters that treat DVT and PE by using ultrasonic waves to clear blood clots.

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Cheryl Hammond

Director of College Counseling

Like many of Minds Matter Seattle’s students today, Cheryl grew up in the Boulevard Park neighborhood south of Seattle, attended Highline High School, and had no idea how she was going to pay for college until she discovered the magic of need-based financial aid from generous out-of-state private colleges. Smith College, one of the original Seven Sisters, was a life-changing experience and her most affordable option—considerably less expensive than in-state! A poster child for the flexibility of a liberal arts education, Cheryl graduated with a B.A. in Women’s Studies, Sociology, and Anthropology which she promptly transitioned into a career as a software developer. She is a consultant and west regional services leader for Pivotal Labs; regularly speaks at and organizes technology conferences; and serves as chair of the alumnae admissions volunteer board for Smith. She joined Minds Matter Seattle in 2017, and is best known for waving her paper Map of US Colleges and Universities at each class at least once a year.

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Ling Shao

Co-Director, Senior Class - Academic Mentoring

Ling joined Minds Matter Seattle as a mentor in 2015. Prior to teaching the Senior class, Ling mentored two students in the past five years. Ling enjoys challenging students to explore new ideas. Ling is an Economist at Amazon. He received his Ph.D in Economics from University of California, San Diego and his BA from Stanford University. During his spare time, he loves to travel, cook, read, and play with his puppy.

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Jonny Locher

Director of Senior Enrichment

Jonny joined Minds Matter in the Spring of 2017 as a Junior mentor and currently serves as co-director of Senior Enrichment. Jonny attended Highline High School, where he currently volunteers as an assistant baseball coach. Jonny graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Economics, and was an outfielder on the baseball team. He hopes to share the lessons and values that he’s learned from the many coaches and teachers who’ve had a positive impact on his life.

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Karen Beaty

Co-Director of Math Matters

Shashank joined Minds Matter in 2015 as a Test Prep instructor and is now a co-director for Test Prep. He has been a tutor at various levels, from high school to college to his professional career. He graduated with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and then worked as a federal consultant for IBM in Washington, D.C. Shashank moved to Seattle to work for Amazon and in his current role works as a Data Engineer supporting Amazon's device and digital businesses.

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Elana Botha

Director of Communications

Elana has been with Minds Matter since 2019 as a sophomore mentor, and currently oversees brand strategy and communications. She graduated from Ohio State with a degree in Finance and Accounting, and is a Senior Finance Manager at Microsoft. In her free time she prefers to spend time exploring the PNW.

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Bob McNamara

Director of Writing & Critical Thinking

Bob joined Minds Matter as a Writing and Critical Thinking instructor in 2016, having recently retired after 30 years of teaching writing in the Interdisciplinary Writing Program at the University of Washington. In 2017, Bob joined the executive committee as Director of Writing and Critical Thinking. When he’s not working with Minds Matter, he spends much of his time writing and reading poetry. He has published three books of poems, most recently Incomplete Strangers. Additionally, he published a co-translation of selected poems of the Bengali poet Sarat Kumar Mukhopadhyay, The Cat Under the Stairs.

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Forrest Collman

Board Liaison

Forrest has been a mentor with Minds Matter since 2014, and is currently acting as the Board Liaison. Forrest was born and raised in Franconia, a small town in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Forrest has an undergraduate degree in Physics from Princeton University, and a Phd. in Neuroscience and Molecular Biology also from Princeton. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University before moving to Seattle to work at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, where he is currently an Assistant Investigator. His research presently focuses on the patterns of how different neuronal cell types in the brain connect with one another.

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Erin Murphy

Co-Director of Fundraising

Erin has been with Minds Matter since 2019 and currently serves as Co-Director of Fundraising and as a student mentor. She graduated from the University of Redlands with a degree in International Business and works as a Contracts & Operations Manager at Chronus, a mentoring software company. In her free time, Erin likes to travel, read, find new restaurants around Seattle, and spend time outdoors.

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Camille Yan

Co-Director of Fundraising

Camille joined Minds Matter as a Sophomore Mentor in 2018 and now serves as Fundraising Co-Director. She is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Camille currently works as a Product Manager at Amazon, where she focuses on sales, marketing, and data analytics for Amazon Devices. Camille is passionate about supporting positive youth development and has served in leadership/Board of Directors roles for various youth-serving nonprofits. She is excited to help Minds Matter grow to help even more students realize their full potential in college and beyond. In her free time, Camille enjoys traveling, music, and exploring everything the PNW has to offer. 

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Liz Stone

Director of Marketing

Liz has been with Minds Matter since 2014, and currently oversees the marketing program and co-mentors a Junior student. A 2010 graduate from Seattle University with a B.A. in Strategic Communications, Liz works as the Strategic Content & Brand Manager at a local non-profit organization serving Washington’s home care aides. Off the clock, she can be found planning her next travel adventure, binging on Netflix, or kicking around her hometown.

Paul Lee

Paul Lee

Co-Director of Volunteer Operations

Paul graduated from the University of Michigan in 2012 with a degree in Psychology and currently works as a Software Engineer for a security-tech company, Building IntelligenceThis is Paul’s third year with Minds Matter Seattle, continuing his role as an afternoon mentor and stepping into the co-Director role of Volunteer Operations with Alex Diaz. Feel free to reach out with any friends or colleagues who are interested in hearing more who being a volunteer at MMSEA and he’ll happily chat on the phone or in person!

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Alex Diaz

Co-Director of Volunteer Operations

Alex graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Communication, focused on Behavioral Communication and Cognitive Processes. Currently, Alex works as a Global Product Marketing Manager for Uber. This is his second year with Minds Matter Seattle, continuing his passion as a mentor to developing students and stepping into the co-Director role of Volunteer Operations with Paul Lee. Reach out if you’re interested in grabbing coffee or want to learn more about Minds Matter Seattle, Alex is always game to meet and interact with new individuals!

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Jesus Terriquez Camarena

Director of Mentee Experience/Retention

Jesus joined Minds Matter in 2018 as a Critical Thinking and Writing Instructor. Additionally, he supports IT and hardware initiatives on the executive committee. He graduated from Washington State University in 2013 with a degree in Economics and is a Program Manager in Digital Marketing Operations. Likes geography, helping kids overcome obstacles. Dislikes flat-Earth theories, regressive taxes.

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Vincent Ngo

Director of Content

After graduating from the University of Washington, Vincent became a game tester at Nintendo. He worked for many years there, moving to different positions. He recently quit his job to pursue cryptocurrency trading, writing and videography.

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Daniel Pulse

Director of Corporate Fundraising

Daniel joined Minds Matter Seattle in the fall of 2019 as the Co-Director of Community Engagement. He is a Northwest native, born and raised in Yakima, WA. Collegiate soccer took him to Florida where he earned an MBA from the Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise at Florida Southern College. He returned to Washington and settled in Seattle in 2011. Daniel is a finance and strategy consultant with a focus on helping small businesses and non-profits improve organizational performance and make informed, data-driven business decisions. He is an experienced leader with a background in corporate finance, business development, coaching, and non-profit leadership. In addition to Minds Matter, Daniel is a member of several business associations and currently serves as the President of the Net Impact Seattle Professional chapter. If you can’t find Daniel look for him in the Cascade Range where he and his pup spend time regardless of the season.

Jessica Signorelli

Director of Finance

Jessica joined Minds Matter Seattle in 2019 as part of the EC to take on the role of Director of Finance. She has an undergraduate degree in Accounting and a Masters in Taxation from the University at Albany in upstate New York. She started her career in New York City as part of PwC in Tax before transferring to PwC Seattle and transitioning to Microsoft last year. Currently her role is finance project manager for strategic initiatives across Microsoft.