Meet the Team

What we do

We strive to offer differentiated educational programs for students 7 to 18 designed to attract and nurture the innovative leaders of tomorrow through challenging, project based experiences that incorporate support from facilitators and industry mentors.

Who we are

We’re a team of STEM professionals, educators, and advocates driven by the belief that individualized, purpose driven learning journeys are imperative for an education that effectively prepares students for the dynamic and rapidly evolving world in which we live. We hope that by encouraging them to indulge their inner curiosity and continuously question the status quo, we can help develop the next generation of thought leaders and innovators ready to embrace the challenges we face as a global community.

Ripal Nathuji, PhD

Ripal Nathuji, PhD

Founder and President

Ripal is a computer scientist and engineer with a passion for technology. He received his Bachelors of Science in EE and CS from MIT, and subsequently attended graduate school at Texas A&M (MS) and Georgia Tech (PhD). As a STEM professional and parent, Ripal believes that education is a community endeavor where each of us has the responsibility to give back and contribute towards the individualized, lifelong learning of those around us. He co-founded STEMed Labs to help ensure students in our communities have access to quality, rigorous educational opportunities that nurture their natural curiosity and prepare them to realize their goals.

Katherine Lippa, PhD

Katherine Lippa, PhD

Curriculum Developer & Junior ILP Facilitator

Katherine is a human factors psychologist. She received her Ph.D. from Wright State University specializing in health care systems and the effects of cross-cultural differences on human interactions with complex systems. She believes in the importance of learning to learn as a critical skill for managing the rapidly evolving complexities of the modern world. In working with Junior ILP, she hopes to channel children’s innate curiosity and capacity to explore in ways that develop conceptual thinking and lead to a deeper engagement with the world around them.

Amanda Nathuji

Amanda Nathuji

Junior ILP Coordinator

Amanda is a microbiologist with a degree in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University. She has a passion for science and endeavors to share her knowledge in order to inspire the future scientists of tomorrow. As a Junior ILP coordinator, it is her hope to take the fear out of STEM subjects for kids, and to encourage an early love for learning.

Yuan Qu

Yuan Qu

Story Teller & ILP Facilitator

Knows a little in many areas, dabbled a little in many fields. Yuan’s experience spans from his service in the Marines, to obtaining Aerospace Engineering degree from University of Texas, to a brief involvement with a startup. His experience took him across the globe, he has set foot on Germany, Middle East, India, and China. Obsessed with evolution and psychology, Yuan is passionate about teaching computer programming, helping students navigate their thoughts, and recording and telling the story of STEMed Labs.

Carolina Folegatti

Carolina Folegatti

Marketing Coordinator

Carolina is a journalist and communications specialist with an MBA in International Relations and has experience in managing complex and sensitive projects in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the US. Deeply interested in global humanitarian issues, she believes that education is fundamental and a smart way – with all double meaning – to promote the necessary transformations in society. She recently moved to Austin and is determined to use her experience in projects that have a real impact and contribute in some way to the world we would like to leave to future generations.

Deepika Sangam, PhD

Deepika Sangam, PhD

Board Member

Deepika is both a STEM professional and education researcher. She received her PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University where her dissertation work focused on analyzing undergraduate education in electrical engineering.

Advisory Council

Elena Carey

Elena Carey

Elena is Development Coordinator at Girls Empowerment Network (GEN). She is originally from eastern Pennsylvania and moved to Austin in spring 2012. Before beginning at GEN, Elena worked as Administrative Director at Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, a green building and sustainable design nonprofit in east Austin. She has also served as Volunteer Coordinator for Movability Austin, Austin’s transportation management association. Elena studied Anthropology and Environmental Policy at the College of William and Mary, where she was awarded a Dintersmith Honors Fellowship and Altshuler Scholarship. Beyond work, Elena volunteers for HeartGift and Austin Bat Cave, along with STEMed Labs. She runs, reads, and creates mixed media cards often.

Rodolfo Jimenez, PhD

Rodolfo Jimenez, PhD

Dr. Rodolfo Jimenez, Jr. is one of the STEM Coordinators for the Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence. As a STEM Coordinator he is responsible for assisting students in the Life Sciences academically, as well as advising students wanting to attend a health profession programs or graduate school after completion of their undergraduate degree. Dr. Jimenez is a native Texan coming from the Rio Grande Valley area. He obtained a B.S. in biochemistry from Texas State University and his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Since his undergraduate career, Dr. Jimenez has been involved in helping underrepresented minorities succeed in STEM, primarily through the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES) and The Society of Advancement for Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).

Nati Rodriguez

Nati Rodriguez

Nati is on a mission to significantly increase education, work opportunities and success for underrepresented groups. As a first-generation college student, she believes education is the path to social and economic mobility. Nati is currently working on FreshSchools, a platform to help parent volunteers communicate and fundraise. She also serves as an education consultant for Progressive Learning, an organization that is redesigning developmental education in post-secondary schools. Nati received her BS and MEd from Stanford University and her MBA from the McCombs School of Business.

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