Liza Stark is an designer and educator based in New York. Her work combines techniques, tools, and approaches from craft, textiles and technology to explore the role of materiality in learning and the impact of hybrid spaces on identity formation. She is obsessed with building toolkits and designing modular frameworks; exchanging knowledge in open, accessible ways; and creating inquiry-based learning spaces through play.
She has worked with numerous organizations and companies to design STEM and STEAM-focused learning experiences. Her most recent quest was at littleBits as Senior Manager of Learning + Engagement. Prior to that, she was a game designer at the Institute of Play where she had the privilege of embedding in a NYC public middle school to collaboratively design games with teachers and students.
Other past adventures include hosting a web series on DIY electronics for families; facilitating EDesign Labs, a teacher-designer residency incubator; and co-founding gadgITERATION, a series of student-centered, hands-on workshops focused on creative engagement with electronics. She currently teaches in the MFA Design and Technology program at Parsons The New School for Design.
Dr. Tina Manglicmot
Dr. Tina Manglicmot is the new Director of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for the Virginia Department of Education. The office provides leadership, coordination and support of elementary and secondary programs in the areas of science, technology, engineering, technology, gifted education, Governor’s schools, driver’s education, health and physical education. Her office staff provide technical assistance and professional development opportunities to school division personnel and responds to inquiries from educators, parents, and other citizens of the commonwealth. Dr. Manglicmot is dedicated to K-12 education and the integration of technology into the classroom.
Dr. Garret Westlake
Dr. Garret Westlake is leading the transformation of Virginia Commonwealth University into one of the nation’s leading universities for cross-disciplinary collaboration, innovation, and the inclusion of entrepreneurial thinking as a requisite skill for the innovation economy. As executive director, Dr. Westlake advances university-wide student innovation and entrepreneurship through curriculum as well as through curated experiential education opportunities.
As a technology entrepreneur, Dr. Westlake founded a social impact company that employed individuals with autism in STEM. Prior to joining VCU, Dr. Westlake served as the associate dean of student entrepreneurship for Arizona State University’s #1 ranked Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He has worked closely with Ashoka U, the Clinton Global Initiative University, and for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Students and startups he has mentored have been named to Forbes 30 Under 30 for Healthcare Innovation, accepted to Techstars, Y Combinator, SXSW, and awarded Rhodes Scholarships and named Resolution Project Fellows.
Westlake earned his BA in cognitive science from Carleton College, his MEd from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, and his PhD in curriculum and instruction from Arizona State University. When not engaged with students and entrepreneurs you are most likely to find Westlake enjoying Richmond, Virginia’s plethora of bike trails, climbing walls, and river sports with his family.