Bootcamp Presenters

 

Julian Applebaum '13
Julian, a co-founder of WesHack, is a Software Engineer at Squarespace with more than six years of experience in web development. His first independent project was a roster and statistics management portal for his high school track team that is still relied upon to this day. Since then, he has contributed to multiple open-source projects, pursued research in psychometrics and data science, and engineered core features of Squarespace's integrated e-commerce platform. At Wesleyan, he studied Computer Science, learned letterpress typography, ran varsity cross-country, and played bass in the Top 40 Cover Band. He graduated with Honors in May 2013 and currently lives in Brooklyn.

Joaquin Benares '15
Joaquin Benares is an International student from the Philippines, a member of the class of '15 and hopes to graduate from Wes with a degree in Government.  He's been interested in education, especially the trends emerging in the developing world, since high school.  He was never allowed to own a gameboy growing up, so now he's really passionate about consumer technology.  His Philippine based startup "BUKO" hopes to bring the educational internet to those without, through the use of a wirelessly accessed database of resources. He is a member of the Wesleyan Sailing team and a Brother of Psi Upsilon."

Nakia Booth ’96
Nakia Booth is currently the co-founder of Media Scheme Inc., a digital media company located in New York City, which she started with her husband in 2013. Media Scheme offers photography, video, audio and other business development services to individuals, entrepreneurs and small businesses. Before Media Scheme, Nakia worked as Business Development Manager at Beyond Oblivion, a digital music software startup backed by Newscorp, Allen & Co. and Intertrust Technologies with cross-functional responsibilities including business development, marketing, strategy and social media. Prior to Beyond Oblivion, Nakia served as Human Resources Manager for lifestyle brand, VIBE Media Group responsible for managing all human resources functions including, employee relations, payroll administration, recruitment & selection, salary & benefits administration. Nakia was also instrumental in developing and managing VIBE's college internship program which hosted over 80 students per year. Prior to VIBE Media Group, Nakia has worked at independent record labels, production companies and non-profits. She currently serves on the board of trustees for a charter school in Brooklyn, NY and is a member of the Wesleyan University Alumni of Color Council. Nakia lives in Harlem, NY with her husband and children.

Jason Brandner '16
Bio and photo coming soon

J. Dontrese 'Smack' Brown, Creative Director, Victorinox Swiss Army, Inc
J. Dontrese Brown is a motivational creative design professional who has brought passion, inspiration and dedication to each opportunity in his professional journey. He has led various teams from a creative and development perspective, building strong relationships and pushing processes and design to the maximum. His thirst for brand design, creative strategy and teamwork was the driving force that led him to his current position as Creative Director for Victorinox Swiss Army, North America. Dontrese is a leader amongst leaders who is relentless in his pursuit to challenge those around him in order to stimulate growth and elevate performance. “D” always has a smile on his face and idea in his back pocket. He is a creative workhorse who is true to his craft with a focus on encouraging individuals to simply be great. His passion and drive have resulted in garnering the highest respect and praise from all who know him, personally and professionally. An active tri-athlete, Dontrese also enjoys relaxing with his family and friends, having a great scotch with a nice cigar and reading anything and everything that feed his hunger for motivation and improvement.

Liza Conrad '11
Liza heads Community and Partnerships at Hopscotch, a startup that has built a programming language for iPad that teaches kids how to code.  Prior to Hopscotch, Liza led Development at Girls Who Code, where she helped raise $5M and created and strengthened partnerships with companies including Twitter, Intel, and Google. After graduating from Wesleyan in 2011, she directed international programs and partnerships for the Episcopal Church of Costa Rica and served as an organizer on President Obama's reelection campaign in Broward County, Florida. Liza is an accomplished traveler, eater, and chef. 

Norman Danner 
Norman is Associate Professor of Computer Science at Wesleyan University. His primary research focus is the development of practical programming languages with guaranteed resource usage (e.g., the programs are guaranteed to run in polynomial-time). He is also interested in privacy issues in general and anonymizing systems in particular, stemming from the fact that many published attacks on such systems have been investigated primarily by simulation or by a mathematical analysis based on assumptions about traffic through such systems. He teaches courses on crypotgraphy, privacy and security, Computer Science I, Data Structures, Design and analysis of algorithms, Programming methods/software development, Computer graphics, Logic and discrete mathematics, Proof theory, and theoretical computer science.

Mia 'GeGe' Deng'17
Mia is a sophomore potentially majoring in Computer Science and Art History. She is co-founding a tech-ed startup based in Shanghai that improves English learning efficiency (mySACH.com). At Wesleyan, she is co-founding Activate Studio, a platform that matchmakes Wesleyan student filmmakers and social ventures in need of promo videos around Connecticut area. Originally from Beijing, Mia came to the U.S. at age of 16 as an exchange student and lived with a local host family. She also enjoys exploring the overlap of arts, tech and psychology. Coming from a non-profit background, she is passionate about achieving social good with a self-sustainable financial model. Outside Wesleyan, Mia is a licensed scuba diver, mountain-biker, photographer and a freelance model. 

Tim Devane '09
Tim Devane is an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Red Sea Ventures. Tim began his career at Betaworks, which both created and invested in real-time web products and services and eventually moved full-time to the link-shortening service Bitly in various operations, business development, and management roles. In addition to his role at Red Sea Ventures, Tim is currently helping build Alphaworks, an equity crowd-funding platform, and Epic Magazine, a narrative non-fiction digital publication and production studio. Tim graduated from Wesleyan University with a BA in English - Creative Writing and blogs regularly at http://tdevane.tumblr.com/.

Matt Donahue '14
Upon graduating from Wesleyan University this past May with a double major in Psychology & Neuroscience, Matt has since joined the working world as a business analyst at Kantar Retail, a market research and consultancy firm based in Wilton, CT. In his seemingly unlimited "spare time," Matt started a small media group called the Design Dudes with a fellow Wesleyan alumnus, co-founded SkillEd, an online hub for professional skill development, and is currently working on a career development and mentoring platform alongside a Wesleyan parent. 

Lily Herman '16 
Lily Herman is a junior at Wesleyan majoring in Government and Sociology. She is co-founder of The Prospect, a college admissions/college life organization that has over 120 contributors (all under the age of 22!). On campus, Lily has been involved with the WSA, Let's Get Ready, and Wesleying, as well as several entrepreneurial endeavors with the PCSE. In addition to her work on TP and at Wesleyan, Lily is a writer and editor for USA Today College, Her Campus, and The Daily Muse. Her work has also been featured on Forbes, TIME, and the Huffington Post

Olayinka Lawal '15
Olayinka is co-founder of JóòMah, an online platform that seeks to efficiently match the right candidates with the right jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa. JóòMah was founded in 2013 and has recently launched its first services for employers and jobseekers in Ghana. She serves as a founding member and the business strategist. JóòMah has plans to expand to other African countries. In her spare time, Olayinka loves to read, dance, sing, and explore. She is a current senior at Wesleyan majoring in Sociology and receiving a certificate in International Relations. She also serves as the President of the African Students Association and co-chair of the Women of Color Collective.

Arielle Sullivan
Arielle studied economics at Northwestern University (class of 2013) and has always been inspired by the storytelling power of data. She fell in love with programming as a student at the Flatiron School and has not stopped coding since. She currently works as a Ruby on Rails developer in New York.


Zach Valenti '12
Since graduating from Wesleyan in 2012, Zach Valenti turned his Attention Deficit Disorder diagnosis into an entrepreneurial asset. In addition to working as a film director, producer, video editor, writer, and voice actor in NYC, Zach created a mindfulness-based, tech-powered mental health awareness campaign (http://uplift.is). His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Salon, & The New York Daily News and he has spoken at Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, & Wesleyan University. Zach is also starring in two upcoming comedy series online – Just the Tips with Ruffles (http://ruffles.tv) & WOLF 359 (http://wolf359.fm).  Learn more about Mr. Valenti at zachvalenti.com and follow him on Twitter @zachvalenti

Alex Wilkinson '13
From a young age, Alex knew that he loved two things: writing and helping people with technology. At Wesleyan, Alex pursued his interest in writing on multiple fronts: editing The Argus, writing short stories, and majoring in English. After graduating, he discovered that he wanted to spend the rest of his life coding and became a student at the Flatiron School. He now works as a Ruby on Rails developer in New Haven.

 

Want to read about more lovely people? View the WesHack 2013 presenters here.

 

Hackathon Judges

julianapplebaum

Julian Applebaum '13
Julian, a co-founder of WesHack, is a Software Engineer at Squarespace with more than six years of experience in web development. His first independent project was a roster and statistics management portal for his high school track team that is still relied upon to this day. Since then, he has contributed to multiple open-source projects, pursued research in psychometrics and data science, and engineered core features of Squarespace's integrated e-commerce platform. At Wesleyan, he studied Computer Science, learned letterpress typography, ran varsity cross-country, and played bass in the Top 40 Cover Band. He graduated with Honors in May 2013 and currently lives in Brooklyn.

Transient

Evan Carmi '13
Evan is an experienced software engineer and designer, currently working as an Engineer at Brewster. He has developed Django, Rails, Python and AWS applications among others. He spent two summers at The New York Times building their 2012 London Olympics site in Ruby on Rails, created software for an award-winning professor researching Nonviolent Civil Resistance, developed a website and API for a startup, and managed a team of programmers developing software in multimedia classrooms. At Wesleyan, Evan majored in Computer Science, studied three foreign languages, worked on a Vandercook letterpress, made a book, and took a course titled Acro-Yoga in the Age of Mechanicity. He was awarded the Michael Rice Prize for Excellence in Computer Science.

Transient

Megan Chang '14
Megan Chang recently graduated from Wesleyan University in 2014 with a BA in Computer Science and Mathematics. She has participated in Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS) at Wesleyan, where she worked with Professor Norman Danner on the Tor Project. Shortly after graduation, Megan joined Blizzard Entertainment as an Associate Software Engineer.

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Tim Devane '09
Tim Devane is an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Red Sea Ventures. Tim began his career at Betaworks, which both created and invested in real-time web products and services and eventually moved full-time to the link-shortening service Bitly in various operations, business development, and management roles. In addition to his role at Red Sea Ventures, Tim is currently helping build Alphaworks, an equity crowd-funding platform, and Epic Magazine, a narrative non-fiction digital publication and production studio. Tim graduated from Wesleyan University with a BA in English - Creative Writing and blogs regularly at http://tdevane.tumblr.com/.

carlosfrancisco

Carlos Francisco '11
Carlo Francisco has been working at Groupon where he’s been hacking on a variety of JavaScript, Ruby, and Clojure projects and services. His interests include emerging web technologies and tools, test-driven development, frontend MVC, fast and scalable backends, RESTful services, Agile, and functional programming. He lives in Chicago, loves fried chicken, and tweets at @jcfrancisco.

jonathonlyons

Jonathon Lyons '12
Jonathan Lyons is employed as a software architect at a small Connecticut software company called Jaroop, where he helps design and create cloud-based business applications for many different industries, as well as a cloud sales tool called ClientSky (http://www.clientsky.com). While at Wesleyan, he served as the manager of IMS' programming group, where he helped develop projects like cmdr, a classroom multimedia control system.

micahwylde

Micah Wylde '12
Micah is a software engineer for Sift Science, where he works on large-scale data processing for fraud detection. While at Wesleyan he founded and led the IMS Programming Group, which gives students the opportunity do hands-on programming to improve the school. He also started the CMDR project which now powers the automation and control systems for most of Wesleyan's classrooms. He currently lives in San Francisco.


Read about the WesHack 2013 judges here.