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About Us

Advisory Board Members

Bruce M. Alberts, Ph.D.

Bruce AlbertsBruce Alberts, a prominent biochemist with a strong commitment to the improvement of science and mathematics education, serves as Editor-in-Chief of Science and as one of President Obama's first three Science Envoys. Alberts is also Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, to which he returned after serving two six-year terms as the president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). During his tenure at the NAS, Alberts was instrumental in developing the landmark National Science Education standards that have been implemented in school systems nationwide. The type of "science as inquire" teaching we need, says Alberts, emphasizes "logical, hands-on problem solving, and it insists on having evidence for claims that can be confirmed by others. It requires work in cooperative groups, where those with different types of talents can discover them - developing self confidence and an ability to communicate effectively with others." Alberts is also noted as one of the original authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, a preeminent textbook in the field now in its fifth edition. For the period 2000 to 2009, he served as the co-chair of the InterAcademy Council, a new organization in Amsterdam governed by the presidents of 15 national academies of sciences and established to provide scientific advice to the world. Committed in his international work to the promotion of the "creativity, openness and tolerance that are inherent to science," Alberts believes that "scientists al around the world must now band together to help create more rational, scientifically-based societies that find dogmatism intolerable." Widely recognized for his work in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology, Alberts has earned many honors and awards, including 16 honorary degrees. He currently serves on the advisory boards of more than 25 non-profit institutions, including the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Shyamoli Banerjee

Shyamoli BanerjeeShyamoli Banerjee has a broad and varied background in deep technology, education and wellness. She started her career designing computer processor chips (semiconductors) for top Silicon Valley companies including Silicon Graphics, AMD and Evans and Sutherland. She then moved to volunteering her time at The Harker School where her two sons attended. She is a certified yoga instructor and taught yoga for several years in Bay Area wellness studios.  

Shyamoli holds an MS in Electrical Engineering from Stonybrook University in New York and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science in India. She currently serves as the president of the  Foothill-De Anza Foundation Board of Directors and is on the Advisory Board of the Harker School in San Jose. She and her husband live in Los Altos Hills. Her hobbies and interests include skiing, hiking, biking, reading and traveling. 

Rimi Bewtra

Rimi BewtraRimi Bewtra is a customer-focused executive with 20+ years of experience in marketing and go-to-market initiatives. She has a proven track record of success at companies like Oracle, PowerSchool, Snowflake Computing, ServiceNow, and Fujitsu. Rimi has served as past president and vice president and is an active Foothill-De Anza Community College District Foundation board member.

Jerry Cain

Jerry CainJerry Cain is a lecturer in computer science at Stanford University, focusing on the department's introductory programming and mathematical curricul. Jerry has been teaching at Stanford for 16 years, and in that time has taught over 7500 students. Jerry also coaches Stanford's ACM Programming teams, who compete yearly in regionals and often advance to the World Finals. When not teaching at Stanford, Jerry works as a sofware developer at Facebook, where he's worked on a number of web application frameworks and products, and was responsible for implementing the now ubiquitous Facebook Like Button. Jerry holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from MIT, and a master's degree in computer science from Stanford.

Bernadine Fong, Ph.D.

Bernadine FongBernadine Chuck Fong is senior managing partner for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching at Stanford and president emerita of Foothill College. She directs the foundation's developmental mathematics initiative for 30 community colleges and universities in eight states. Through this initiative the foundation is building a networked improvement community to increase students success through the improvement of practice in teaching. Fong began her 36-year tenure at Foothill College in the Silicon Valley, as a psychology and child development professor, and has authored two textbooks in these fields. She served as president for 12 years, retiring in June 2006. In her last five years as president, Foothill led California's then 109 community colleges in the percent of students who are successful in transfer, as well as basic skills programs. Under her leadership, Foothill established ETUDES (Easy To Use Distance Education Software) in 1995, one of the first open source learning management systems in the country. This allowed Foothill to offer one of the first online credit courses. Fong also has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University's Institute for Higher Education Research and her research interests include academic leadership, organizational development, and community colleges as agents for educational equity. She served on the Stanford University Board of Trustees, as well as the Board of Directors for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the American Association of Community Colleges. She is currently on the Members Committee for the American Association of Law Schools. She is a fellow of the American Leadership Forum of Silicon Valley and the American Council on Education (ACE), and was named "Phenomenal Woman", an award given by Chicago's Harold Washington College Chapter of the American Association of Women in Community Colleges. Her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. are all from Stanford University. Fong and her husband have two adult children and a collie who is the son of the last Lassie.

Brandon Johnson

Brandon Johnson

Brandon Johnson is Senior AI Solutions Architect at NVIDIA, a world leader in AI and accelerated computing technology. A tech trailblazer and emerging investor, Brandon provides a unique perspective to enterprises and startups doing large-scale AI model deployment and optimized inference microservices. Prior to NVIDIA, Brandon held roles in venture capital, engineering, and business development. Known for merging innovation with real-world applications, Brandon's passion and ability to leverage multidisciplinary expertise in enterprise tech, GTM and business development, has led to over $2 billion in revenue for customers and partners. In addition to the Science Learning Institute Advisory Board, he serves on the Board of Directors at Heritage STEM Camps, a global nonprofit that provides academic enrichment, entrepreneurship, and leadership development to the youth. Brandon holds a B.S. in Materials and Technology from North Carolina State University.

Waidy Lee

Waidy LeeSince her retirement in 2001, Ms. Lee has been an individual contributor to resolving Global Warming. She has been an EV driver since 2000 and owns two EVs. In 2004, she de-constructed her old home and built a straw bale passive solar home with two living roofs to set an example of zero fossil fuel use and to promote healthy sustainable environmental green living. She is a member of and activist for over 60 organizations, and an advocate on Electric Vehicles. She is knowledgeable and stays up-to-date with current policies and technologies of greenhouse gas reduction and water conservation. Waidy was born in China and grew up in Hong Kong. She became an engineer the hard way, by working her way up in Silicon Valley startups. Currently, she is an Independent Research professional and serves as a Pacific Rim Advisor at Coulomb Technology. Previously Waidy was a Startup Consultant at Exclara, Inc.; a Member of Technical Staff at Tensilica and Silicon Graphics; and a Release/QA Engineer at MIPS Technologies.

Richard M. Levy, Ph.D.

Dick LevyRichard M. Levy was chairman of the Varian Medical Systems Board of Directors from 2002-2014. He was General Manager of the Medical Business from 1986-1999 and CEO of the company from 1999 to 2006. Levy holds a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and a doctorate in nuclear chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley.

Levy has been on the Board of Sutter Health, a $10B Healthcare system, since 2006 and was Chairman of that Board 2013-2014. He has served on the Board of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, an affiliate of Sutter Health, since 2002. He was on the Board of the United Way Silicon Valley 2002-2014, and served as Chair in 2008-2009. He has been a co-chair of the Advisory Committee of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and an active participant in summits for CCI (Center for Corporate Innovation, Inc.), with a focus on improvement of the national healthcare system. That focus remains one of his primary interests today.

Other Boards include The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, where he is Chairman; North Hawaii Community Hospital; Ravenswood Family Health Center; the Berkeley School of Public Health; and Cancer Commons, a not-for-profit company developing information to guide patients through the complexities and variations in cancer treatment. He is a past chairman of the board of directors of the American Electronics Association.

Archana Sathaye, Ph.D.

Archana Sathaye

Archana Sathaye is the CEO & Founder of Proxmal Systems, Inc., a safety devices company. She had a career spanning industry, academia, and nonprofits. She was a Principal Engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation in the Advanced Systems Engineering Group.  

She was an adjunct Electrical Engr professor at the University of Pittsburgh, a tenure-track Professor in Computer Science was at San Jose State University, and an adjunct professor in the Business School at Santa Clara University. 

She has 28 peer reviewed publications in fault-tolerant systems modeling, control systems, and database systems. In the non-profit area, Archana served as the President of the Board of Directors of Foothill-De Anza College Foundation, Board of Directors of The Tech Museum of Innovation, Advisory Board Member of The Harker School. She currently serves on the Carnegie Mellon University Electrical & Computer Engr Advisory Council, Advisory Board Member of the Foothill College Science Learning Institute, Board member of Air Systems Foundation Scholarship Board, and an Advisory Board Member of Sunday Friends Foundation.

Archana has a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, a Masters in Applied Mathematics from Virginia Tech, and a Masters in Pure Mathematics from Bombay University.

Tiffany Shumate

Tiffany Shumate

Education. Strategist. Leader.

Tiffany has been dedicated to challenging the status quo her entire professional career; her mission is to design accessible career pathways for underestimated people, while leveraging business and technology. She's worked in K-12 schools and in higher education as a teacher, administrator, and admission officer; as a social policy research fellow, in corporate partnership management and fundraising, as a founding leader at an education tech startup and currently, as the University Partnerships manager at NVIDIA. Her expertise includes: Education, Business Development & Corporate Social Responsibility.

Ram Subramaniam, Ph.D.

Ram SubramaniamRam Subramaniam, Ph. D., has recently been appointed Vice-President of Student Success and Teaching Excellence at Hartnell College. Dr. Subramaniam's educational background includes a postdoctoral fellowship in Biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University, a Ph. D. in Chemistry from the University of Kentucky, a Master's in Science in Chemistry from Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India, and a Bachelor's in Engineering in Instrumentation Engineering from the same institution.

Dr. Subramaniam's professional experience is quite impressive as well. While at Foothill College, he redesigned the Science Learning Institute to focus entirely on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He also led the implementation of AB705 in the Math department, which provided increased access to transfer-level Math classes for students. Moreover, he developed the Math Performance Success program, which enabled increased success for minoritized students in transfer-level Math classes (statistics and pre-calculus). Furthermore, Dr. Subramaniam expanded Dual Enrollment opportunities to school districts with underserved students to provide Engineering, Computer Science, and Pharmacy Technician certificate classes.

As Vice-President of Student Success and Teaching Excellence, Dr. Subramaniam will oversee these critical areas at Hartnell College. Dr. Subramaniam will serve as the Chief Instructional Officer.

Bruce Swenson, Ph.D.

Bruce SwensonBruce P. Swenson received a B.S. Degree Stanford, M.S. Degree from the University of Wisconsin in mathematics, and a PhD from UC Berkeley in Community College Education. He joined the mathematics faculty at Foothill College in 1967 and was Dean of the Physical Sciences and Engineering Division from 1989-94. In 1994, he became VP of Instruction and Finance and then retired from Foothill in 1999. From 2005 to 2018 he served as a Trustee on the FHDA Board of Trustees and was president of the Board for three of those years. Currently, he is a member of the Palo Alto Rotary Club and the Foothill-De Anza Foundation Board. Bruce lives with his wife Barbara in Palo Alto, where they raised their 2 daughters.

Art Swift

Art SwiftArt Swift has more than twenty years of executive-level history for some of the world’s leading semiconductor, nanotech, and processor IP companies. He has held a range of general management and senior marketing leadership roles including CEO at low power chip-maker Transmeta, CEO of nanotech innovator Unidym, and vice president of marketing at MIPS, a leading provider of microprocessor IP. Earlier in his career Swift was COO at embedded software provider Lynuxworks and vice president and general manager of several large divisions of chipmaker Cirrus Logic.

He also held senior marketing, business development and engineering positions with Summit Microelectronics, Sun Microsystems, Digital Equipment, Bipolar Integrated Technology, and Fairchild Semiconductor.

Swift holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University. He is co-inventor of three U.S. patents relating to programmable logic architectures.

Kristina Whalen

Kristina WhalenDr. Kristina Whalen is the 8th president of Foothill College.

She started in the role in March 2023 after serving five years as a senior executive, including four years as a vice president of instruction at Las Positas College and one year as the associate vice chancellor of Enrollment Management and Instructional Success at City College of San Francisco. While in these positions, she played an active role in strategic planning, accreditation, and preparing the college for the sea change attending the new student-centered funding formula and a swath of legislative mandates.

Her earlier administrative service included working as an instructional dean for Fine, Applied, and Communication Arts at the Fort Mason Campus in San Francisco and serving as a department chair for five years.  Dr. Whalen has a Ph.D. in speech communication and a Master’s in rhetoric from Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in socio-political communication from Missouri State University. Dr. Whalen was a member of the 5th cohort of Aspen Institute Presidential Fellows for Community College Excellence, a group of 40 community college leaders selected for leadership training and transformational change at U.S. community colleges. She is the author of several articles and chapters on feminist rhetorical theory and performative techniques used to further argument.

Kristina was born in the District of Columbia, where her daughter now attends college. The daughter of a Navy veteran and Secret Service agent, she spent her formative years in Virginia, Ohio, and Missouri. In 1998 she moved to California.

Marissa Yáñez, Ph.D.

Marissa YanezMarissa Yàñez, Ph.D., has been the Chief Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Officer for the College of Chemistry at UC Berkeley since September 2023. Before that, she worked tirelessly as the STEM Internship Program Specialist for SLI for almost three years, directing and shaping the SLI STEM Internship program to more fully serve students from underrepresented groups in STEM. She is passionate about walking the walk of DEIB in all she does - higher education, industry, and the community. She founded Empoder in 2014, a nonprofit organization to encourage and support young Latinx girls to enter the field of computer science. Under her leadership, Empoder was a Google Rise Award Winner, a grantee, and supported by numerous community and corporate grants and sponsorships.

Dr. Yàñez has had a varied career, in government, the private sector, and now higher education, and within all those workplaces, she brings her commitment and vision for a more diverse and equitable world where the most marginalized have the opportunity to succeed. Dr. Yàñez is a proud Foothill graduate, and she obtained her bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley in mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering and her doctorate in bioengineering from the University of Washington.

Janice Zdankus

Thanks to the following for their years of service on the board. See the Archive page for background on these individuals:

  • Judy Miner
  • Joe Goodman
  • Carolina Huaranca Mendoza
  • Bill Krause
  • Armand Neukermans
  • Bill Rutter
  • Richard Swanson
  • Marc Tarpennning


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