Education Committee Chair: Becky Herr-Stephenson – Ph.D., Researcher, Writer, & Editor
Becky is a researcher in the area of media and learning. She is a co-author (with Catherine Belcher) of Teaching Harry Potter: The Power of Imagination in Multicultural Classrooms, (Palgrave MacMillan, 2011.) Becky contributed to the book that the LA Makerspace is referencing in the design of its new space: Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out. Becky earned her Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California in 2008. She has been a postdoctoral researcher at the Digital Media and Learning Hub at the University of California, Irvine, a research fellow at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, and a research associate at the Annenberg Innovation Lab at USC. Currently, Becky works in the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University, where she manages an online journal and teaches courses on qualitative research methods.
Tshaka Armstrong – Fox 11 Tech Correspondent and Founder, Digital Shepherds
Tshaka Armstong is also known as myfoxla.com’s Tech Ninja. Technologist and reporter, he helps visitors understand how to be safer, smarter users of the internet and their “gadgets.” He is active in the community, offline, as the co-founder and President of the non-profit organization, Digital Shepherds whose mission is to “help families cross the digital divide” by helping parents, children and educators navigate the best that the world of technology has to offer while equipping them to appropriately handle the worst.
Peter Marx – Vice President, Predix, GE Digital
Most recently Chief Technology Officer of Los Angeles, Marx previously served as the Vice President of Business Development at Qualcomm Labs, Inc, where he focused on making smartphones more aware of users’ environments. In particular, he was involved in developing the company’s Gimbal platform, which improves processing of smartphone sensor information. Marx has worked on the digital and technology side of Mattel, along with media-technology consultancy Analog Protocol; Vivendi-Universal Games; Universal Studios; Electronic Arts; UCLA, and 3M. He serves as an adjunct professor for the Peter Stark Producing Program at the USC School of Cinematic Arts teaching digital media and entertainment to graduate film and TV students.
Sid Mathur – Chief Strategy and Development Officer, Mattel
Sid leads the team that drives medium to long-term growth objectives and executes all strategic transactions and partnerships for the company. He oversees Technology Platforms; Partnerships; Strategic In-Licensing and IP Partnerships; Emerging Markets Acceleration; Corporate Development; and, the successful integration of corporate-wide initiatives into the brand and commercial organization. Earlier in his career, Sid worked at Arthur Andersen and PricewaterhouseCoopers, advising clients in the technology, media, and automotive space. Sid earned an MBA from London Business School in the United Kingdom.
Joe Zenas – CEO, Thinkwell Group
Joe’s leadership has been instrumental in building Thinkwell’s reputation as a company that deals masterfully with many of the world’s most cherished brands and intellectual properties. Whether he’s addressing the concerns of Warner Bros. and the author of Harry Potter or those of cultural institutions like the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Joe advocates for the priorities and values of Thinkwell’s clients as they strategically expand.
Mya Stark – Executive Director
Mya Stark is from Culver City and started out as a filmmaker, writing movies for studios like Disney, Warner Bros, and Paramount. Next, she edited an arts and culture magazine. Then, she began working in nonprofits, as well as founding an art gallery that focused on relational art. Now she applies those experiences to making LA Makerspace a tool people can use to help each other learn anything (even if they are not experts, “techies,” or educators — but also if they are). She likes learning about neuroscience and art the most, because they are such powerful ways to “hack the human brain” and open up more possibilities, freedom, and fun! Mya and the LA Makerspace LAMBOT have never been seen in the same place at the same time.
Kira Watson – Maker Facilitator
Kira Watson is a South Central Los Angeles native with a passion for inspiring future STEAM leaders. She has over 12 years of experience working as a K-12 educator with the Compton, Inglewood and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. She recently completed service with AmeriCorps VISTA as the STEM Project Coordinator at Bethune Middle School in South Los Angeles via the Maker Ed Foundation’s Maker VISTA program. In her spare time, Kira enjoys arts and crafts with her three children, reading, traveling and gardening. She is thrilled to engage in collective impact work that supports our teachers and boosts STEAM academic self-esteem among our youth!
Tora Kim — Maker Facilitator
Tora is a life-long artist, actor, writer and filmmaker with a passion for making and creating. Born in Seoul, Korea, she grew up in New Jersey and attended Barnard College and NYU where she graduated with Honors. After a good 14 years in New York City, she moved to LA in 2010. Working with children continues to be a gratifying experience for her while making a difference in the world through LA Makerspace.
Matthew Clough-Hunter — Maker Facilitator, Education Specialist
Matthew is a musician who loves working with kids. Matthew plays Indonesian music as well as writing and performing songs under his name and other groups like “Sir La Tabla”. He also helps put together art shows in the Los Angeles area.
Amy Amsterdam ✦ Sean Bonner ✦ Jeff Burke ✦ Thomas Edwards ✦ Brian Foley ✦
Jeff Geoffray ✦ Mark Goodstein ✦ Jessica Judd ✦ Gabriel Peters-Lazaro
Elizabeth Reynolds ✦ Ricarose Roque ✦ Avidan Ross ✦ Shah Selbe ✦ Michael Shore
Sangita Shresthova ✦ Tatiana Simonian ✦ Alisa Tager ✦ David Waxman
Past Board Members
Jeff Geoffrey, Levi Simons, Linda Bidrossian, Teresa Gonczy, Michael Wilson, Michelle Leonhart, Sharon Ann Lee,
Kent Nichols, Magalis Martinez, Cecilie Read, Richard Tom, Bill Lay, Scott David Edwards