Executive Team

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Dr. Anu Mahajan

Chief Executive Officer - B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, M.B.A.

Dr. Anu Mahajan is the co-founder and CEO of TinkRworks, an organization focused on providing exceptional and enriching STEAM programs for our children that allow them to reinforce and augment foundational concepts taught by our wonderful and dedicated school teachers.  Academically, Dr. Mahajan has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and an M.B.A.  Prior to TinkRworks, Dr. Mahajan led innovation teams at Owens Corning and served in senior executive roles in a couple of different healthcare companies.  Dr. Mahajan also spent several years in the world of management consulting, including time with McKinsey & Company where he focused on serving high-tech clients and also clients who used “big data analytics” to make decisions. Outside of work, Dr. Mahajan LOVES (triple underlined) to spend time with his wife and two kids, most notably on Sunday mornings watching Formula 1 grand-prix races and cheering on Scuderia Ferrari.

Read Dr. Mahajan’s full biography here.


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Gil Levendel

Chief Technical Officer - B.S. Computer Science

As a child, Gil Levendel loved building. He often stacked wood blocks into tall, complex structures (which his older sister would invariably topple, probably on purpose). He also built all sorts of self-designed contraptions using Lego Technics parts, often sending instant photos of his models to Lego for their review and then hoping for their inclusion into a future Lego set. One day while he was playing with his Legos, his older sister came home from school with an assignment that required help. As their dad and she worked together, Gil observed their interaction and immediately became interested in the subject matter—computer programming.

Read Gil’s full biography here.


Eric Levy-Meyers

Director of Growth - B.A. Philosophy & Political Science, PhD, ABD International Relations

Eric Levy-Myers has over 25 years of experience providing advice to Fortune 100 companies, startups, government research agencies, The White House, as well as defense and intelligence agencies. His expertise is in analyzing the intersection of technology and culture to help organizations apply emerging technology to solve wicked problems. Eric views TinkRworks as the perfect place to apply his skills since our students, as the leaders of tomorrow, will need an understanding how to use and apply technology so they can make the world a better place.


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Ritu Jain

Executive Director, Business Development - B.S.

Ritu is passionate about STEAM learning programs that bring real life meaningful experiences to students. She has been involved in running after school programs for over a decade. She is an electrical engineer by education. She also coaches the Science Olympiad team at her children’s school and is deeply involved with America India Foundation that catalyzes economic change in India. Her other interests are molecular gastronomy and travel.

 

Development Team

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Greg Tourville

Senior Software Engineer - B.S. Computer Science

Greg Tourville is a senior software engineer and maker at TinkRworks with a B.S. in Computer Science from Rose-Hulman. Greg is responsible for developing innovative software and computer hardware that TinkRworks uses as part of its classroom curriculum. Additionally, Greg works in the ACS Makerspace where he teaches computer programming and facilitates the use of toolsets such as 3D printers and lasercutters. Prior to joining TinkRworks, Greg had an exciting career as a video game programmer, making games for Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony game systems. His other interests include playing the drums and spending time with his family.


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Brian Sorich

Product Development Engineer - B.A. Physics, B.S. Material Science

Brian’s focus at TinkRworks is project design, fabrication, and assembly.  His goal is to make our projects as beautiful as possible and accessible to all our students.  His background includes a bachelor’s degree in both Physics and Materials Engineering as well as years of tinkering in a workshop as a hobbyist.  Outside of the shop, Brian enjoys playing golf and tennis AND experimenting in his kitchen making his own sourdough bread and kombucha.


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Emily White

Professional Development - B.A. Secondary Education and Writing Intensive English, M.A. Learning, Design and Leadership

Emily White’s focus at TinkRworks is developing and implementing professional development to our staff and partners. She previously taught Literature/Language Arts and Technology for six years at the middle school level and discovered a passion for EdTech and curriculum design. Today, Emily is pursuing her doctorate from UIUC in Learning, Design and Leadership, focusing her research on Constructivism and Problem-Based Learning in 21st Century education. Outside of work, Emily enjoys spending time with her husband, two-year old daughter, and golden retriever.  Together, they love traveling, playing soccer, and reading stories. 


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Amy Zasadzinski

STEAM Center Director - B.S. Biology

Amy Zasadzinski is a graduate from the Illinois Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Biology and has worked with TinkRworks since she was in college.  She is currently involved in managing the success of after school programs and summer camps, and works with all members of the team to ensure our projects and classes are the best they can be.  Amy has always had a passion for teaching, leading, and performing, and loves the moment of joy people experience whenever they learn something new for the first time!  She aims to incorporate more physical sciences, such as biology and chemistry, into the projects at TinkRworks, and hopes to inspire young girls realize their full potential in the STEAM fields. In her free time, Amy enjoys swing dancing, playing the sport of Quidditch, and sleeping.


Briana Tyler

Operations Coordinator - B.S. M.Eng., Mechanical Engineering

Briana has done a little bit of everything at TinkRworks, including instruction, operations, and development. She recently completed her education at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and loves how TinkRworks brings STEAM to children in a unique and fun way they might not otherwise be exposed to.


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Vesna Andreska

Office Assistant – B.S. Electrical Engineering

Vesna Cupikj Andreska is Office Assistant in TinkRworks. Vesna has B.S. in Electrical Engineering and work experience in Supply chain in telecom industry. Therefore her major role in TinkRworks is the procurement and inventory process, ensuring that all parts and materials for our projects are provided and inventoried properly. But you will find Vesna everywhere in TinkRworks…helping families register their kids, kitting parts, generating invoices/checks making sure all receivables/payments are done, party planner in the office and often arguing with the “Delivery guy” for on-time delivery of her packages.

 

Instructors

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Scott Wessel

Instructor - B.A. English Literature

Scott Wessel has been a teacher for over 12 years, ten of those years were spent in South Korea as an English teacher. He has always loved technology and tinkering around with things. Working at TinkRworks has been a natural fit for his talents. Also he is good at picking up heavy things.


Karl Bitikofer

Instructor - B.S. Engineering Science & Mechanics

Karl is a maker and instructor at TinkRworks, who specializes in amplifying the creativity in STEM classes. His background includes a B.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics and a year of service in Americorps VISTA where he created his own STEM after school program. In his off hours, Karl enjoys building small robots out of cardboard and cooking new things with his girlfriend. 


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Sabrina Haroon Chishti

Instructor - B.A. Child Psychology, M.B.A.

Sabrina earned her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Child Psychology in 2007. Thereafter she pursued her passion for business. As a young entrepreneur she opened up the first training center along with a retail parlor for Breyers Ice Cream. Shortly after she received an Executive MBA in 2010. She volunteered as a teacher in after-school and weekend programs at the elementary and junior high level for 10 years. She also has experience working with children with special needs. She is charismatic, engaging and encouraging! A mother of two, she brings life to the classroom with her playful teaching techniques that engage the students to learn while having fun! 


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Kristine Simantirakis Chung

Instructor - B.S. Marketing & Management, Minor Entp. Studies

Kristie graduated from the University of Illinois – Chicago including Student Leadership and Class Speaker. Her path is sprinkled with drafting, design, music, art, photography, engineering, medical, business, events and community involvement. Her passion for people, children, pets, music, art, health and environment lead her volunteering with non-profits including at church - groups/activities, and volunteer teaching and Bell Choir member. Kristie enjoys being a part of the TinkRworks family, tying passions together. In her personal time, she loves to be with her family; she’s a newlywed, dog mom, cook/baker, gardener and calligrapher.


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Ketki Shah

Instructor - B.S. Electrical Engineering, M.S. Biomedical Engineering

Ketki received an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Iowa and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Shivaji University in India. Ketki has worked with Phillips Consumer Electronics division in manufacturing and logistics. Volunteering at schools inspired her to explore a career in teaching. She brings her technical and teaching experiences to the classroom to make it exciting for our next generation at TinkRworks. In her free time, Ketki enjoys watching movies, hiking, cooking and doing science experiments and crafts with her kids.


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David Wilson

Instructor - B.A. Physics and Secondary Education, Minor Mathematics

David is a graduate from Elmhurst College with a bachelors degree in Physics and secondary education and a minor in mathematics. When not leading summer camps with TinkRworks, he is teaching high school physics at Elmwood Park High School. His passions in life all stem around working with people, being active, and exploring science phenomenon. Whether it is playing tennis, teaching physics, leading summer camps, or learning about science, he is always looking to tie his passions together. David enjoys TinkRworks and having the ability to show students what awesome things you can do when diving into STEAM activities.