About Us

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Our Vision

Increase 4-8th grade students’ aptitude in solving problems that arise in STEM using the VEX IQ robotics curriculum.

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Our Mission

Wahjay-STEM seeks to expand a robotics education curriculum to all primary schools in Liberia at no cost to Liberian families

About

Wahjay- STEM is a tax-exempt, not for profit organization to raise money for STEM curriculum in Liberia, West Africa. We hope to go to all public schools 4th – 8th grade in Liberia, and the rest of Africa.

Board Members

Emmanuel Johnson

Emmanuel Johnson is a Fulbright Scholar and NSF fellow currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Southern California. His research centers around Artificial Intelligence. Specifically, he focuses on building computational models of human emotion for virtual humans. Emmanuel holds aBachelor of Science Degree in Computer Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and TechnicalState University (NCA&T), and a Masters of Science Degree in Robotics from the University ofBirmingham, in England. Emmanuel also holds the distinction of being the first student in NCA&T’s History ever awarded a Fulbright Fellowship. Emmanuel believes in giving back and has actively been involved in service projects outside of his academic research.

Julianne M. Pollard-Larkin

Dr. Julianne Pollard-Larkin is an Assistant Professor of Medical Physics at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. She is the Service Chief medical physicist in MD Anderson’s Thoracic Radiation Oncology Clinic. Dr. Pollard-Larkin also conducts clinical research and mentors and teaches Medical Physics residents and graduate students. Her primary research interests include pacemaker radiotherapy dose measurements and improving the efficacy of motion management in thoracic treatments and radiobiology. Julianne is also the Vice-Chair of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee. At MD Anderson, she created a faculty support group over the last 4 years for the women medical physicists at her institution known as the Medical Physics Women’s Group and hosts educational events with local school children to introduce them to her field. She received her PhD in Biomedical Physics at UCLA and her B.S. in Physics and Mathematics at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fl. After receiving her PhD at UCLA, Julianne was accepted into the Medical Physics Residency program at MD Anderson in Houston, Tx. Following her residency, Julianne was hired by MD Anderson as faculty. Beyond her role in the clinic and classroom, Julianne is a firm believer in outreach and increasing the pipeline of women and underrepresented populations in science. Ensuring that more underrepresented students and women follow in her footsteps is Julianne’s passion. In her role as the Project Lead for MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Women and Minority Faculty Inclusion program, she organizes STEM outreach events at her center to encourage the local Houston middle and high school students to study STEM. Every program she graduated from, she was the first and only African-American woman, she works tirelessly to see that she is not the last.

Shaun Smart

Shaun Smart is a mindful and diligent neurologist with over 17 years of experience, serving the community of Houston,TX. He attended the University of Miami where he completed degrees in Biomedical Engineering, Physics and Philosophy while being part of the university of Miami honors college. He then went on to the University of Michigan medical school. From Michigan he went to the University of South Florida for his residency in Neurology. After completing his neurology Residency, he then attended Duke University where he did a 2 year fellowship in neurophysiology and epilepsy. Work in Miami for 4 years before coming to the University of Texas to help develop and grow their neurohospitalist program while working with the epilepsy division to expand their continuous EEG program. He specializes in Advanced Epilepsy and Intraoperative Monitoring.

Founder

Giewee Hammond

Giewee has an extensive mathematics background which she uses to resolve complex problems for Upstream E&P. She is a Lead Data Scientist for her division. Her projects are high profile and information sensitive by nature and require strategic planning with division directors. She is currently leading a company initiative on how knowledge is managed as senior employees leave her company over the next two (2) to three (3) years. She enjoys empowering individuals with information that will better their circumstances. She has volunteered with various Houston, TX organizations that encourage STEM after-school programs and has acted a mentor for undergraduate students that are starting careers. She was on the board of an organization started by the Harris County District of Education for two (2) years before embarking on Wahjay – STEM’s initiative in Liberia.

Advisors

Ama Koram

Ama has worked in Oil & Gas for 7 years as a Human Resources Generalist across various business divisions: Upstream, Downstream, Finance& Information Technology. Her current work comprises of advising and consulting with Global Deepwater leaders in order to deliver business priorities and the HR strategic agenda. Ama’s work also focuses on maintaining positive employee relations. One of her passions centers on career development for young professionals.

Jenny Spalding

Jenny Spalding has worked as Petroleum Engineering Specialist for Upstream E&P. Her primary expertise is in petroleum project economics, portfolio, and reserves assessment. She has authored papers for Saudi Aramco, Aramco-Houston, The World Bank, Shell and CERA while employed with them. At the World Bank, Ms. Spalding was engaged in (a) policy discussions with the Indian Government to reconcile domestic fuel, feedstock pricing and electricity pricing subsidies, (b) leading a task force to Egypt across subsidies between fuel substitutes and (c) coordinating the Global Environmental and Energy fund (GEF) for Eastern Europe. Jenny has been heavily involved in educating youth in the Middle East on oil and economics and reserves and has worked with many education not- for -profit institutions to encourage learning.