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Our Team

The Science Learning Intitute is managed by two teams, our Core Team and the SLI STEM Impact Team.  Meet our teams members here.

Office Team

Sophia Kim, SLI Director

Sophia KimSophia joined Foothill College in April 2020. She is a transplant from Boston, where she spent almost 15 years working in the nonprofit youth work space, directing programs that primarily served Asian American youth from immigrant and low-income backgrounds, building youth leadership and supporting youth to effect positive change in their communities. Sophia also has a commitment to anti-oppression education and change work through initiatives to develop anti-racism trainings, activist trainings for young adults.

Sophia has a bachelor's degree from Williams College, where she double-majored in biology and history, and a master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts Boston, with a focus on multicultural education at the secondary level.

Sophia spends her free time with her husband and young son, riding their bikes, exploring farmer's markets, hiking, and trying to be outdoors as much as possible. She loves cooking and baking for family and friends, and exploring new places with her family.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sophia-kim-31805626/

Marissa Yañez, STEM Workforce Specialist

Marissa YanezMarissa joins Foothill College in the Fall of 2021 as a STEM Workforce Specialist with the goal of helping empower the next generation of underrepresented students in STEM. She is a Foothill alum who transferred to U.C. Berkeley and majored in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and then went on to get a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Washington. As a scientist, she researched the use of biomimetically coated nano-particles to develop novel diagnostic techniques with applications in developing countries. 

With a deep passion and over 20 years of experience working on efforts to empower underrepresented students to pursue STEM degrees, she eventually pivoted full-time towards developing programs and systems to support increased representation in STEM. She has led efforts for Facebook, and international non-profits to increase representation in Computer-Science across Mexico and Latin America, and currently runs her own non-profit Empoder Latinas Code to empower the next generation of diverse leaders in STEM. Outside of work you can find her hiking, salsa dancing, traveling and spending quality time with friends and family.

Lillian Swedlow, Student Empowerment Specialist

Lily SwedlowLily is a third-year Aerospace Engineering Major. In the middle of the pandemic, after two previous attempts at different colleges, she began studying at Foothill. Her most successful college career yet began with SLI's Techcore Cohort which she joined shortly after she started at Foothill. From there, Lily has worked with SLI through various roles including being a Peer Mentor/TA/Admin Assistant for the Techcore Summer Institute 2021,  a member of the SLI STEM Impact Team, SLI's Social Media Specialist, Program Coordinator for the PRE-STEM Summer Institute 2022, and for the 2022-23 school year the Student Empowerment Specialist. 

When she's not busy tutoring or spreading awareness of SLI at Foothill, she loves hanging out with her friends, playing video games, and spending time at home with her partner and dog. 

Schlyer Martin Rueda, Program Assistant

Schyler Martin RuedaSchyler (they/them) is a third-year environmental science, biology, physics, and math major, as well as part of the Humanities Mellon Scholars program. Originally from Colombia, Schyler moved to the US to pursue a career in astrophysics and found a home in Foothill College. They work in multiple departments at a grocery store and have recently started their job with SLI. In their free time, Schyler likes practicing different forms of art.

Dr. Ram Subramaniam, Administrator Champion

Ram SubramaniamRam Subramaniam (he/him) is the Acting Associate Vice President of Instruction at Foothill College. Prior to this, Ram was the Dean of the STEM Division at Foothill (2017-2022) during which time he supervised the various academic STEM departments and also the Science Learning Institute. Before coming to Foothill , Ram was a chemistry instructor at De Anza College (also part of the California Community College system) from 2008 to 2017 and at Santa Clara University (2003-2008).

Ram has an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Instrumentation Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (1987-1992, Pilani, India) and a Doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Kentucky (1993-1997, Lexington, KY). After completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Case Western Reserve University (1997-2001, Cleveland, OH) Ram was a visiting assistant professor in the chemistry department at Hamilton College (2001-2003, Clinton, NY). Contact at subramaniamram@fhda.edu

SLI STEM Impact Team 2022-23

Find out more information here. This leadership team is dedicated to change efforts to advance SLI's mission both on campus and in the local community. 

Hooseok Lee, Biology Major

Hooseok Lee

My name is Hooseok Lee, and I’m a second-year biology major. I am an international student from South Korea planning on transferring to a UC school after finishing my stay at Foothill College. I watch movies or hang out with friends in my free time. I’m excited to be part of this team and to make Foothill College a better place. 

Trisha Nguyen, Psychology Major

Trisha Nguyen

"Trisha is a third-year student pursuing an AA.T in Psychology at Foothill College. Here, she continues to use her interests in psychology to fuel her mission of diversifying and expanding inclusivity in academia. Her proudest work yet has to be her independent research project that has allowed her to find ways to better serve students with disabilities. Now, she joins the Science Learning Institute as a STEM Impact Team Fellow and is excited to grow as a leader and changemaker.


Outside of Foothill College, Trisha has previously volunteered for non-profit organizations focused on creating social and environmental change by providing underserved communities access to science opportunities. She has also worked to serve residents in assisted living facilities through her involvement with two organizations. Not only that, but she has recently been given the opportunity to conduct research at Stanford University’s Department of Developmental Biology.


During Trisha’s free time, she enjoys caring for Tsuki (her dog), listening to Korean pop music, rewatching the movie Turning Red, and going on walks—with her dog."

Meaghan Pearson, Engineering Major

Meaghan Pearson

Meaghan is a second-year Engineering Major at Foothill Community College. She is planning to transfer to a UC or CSU in the Fall of 2023. She has been the co-president of the Foothill Engineering Club since Winter 2022. She works in the Makerspace at the Krause Center of Innovation. In her free time she enjoys reading dystopian novels, watching Netflix, baking, creative projects, and walking her dog. 

Daisy Rodriguez, Biology Major

Daisy Rodriguez

Hello, my name is Daisy Rodriguez and I am a second-year student, attending Foothill College for this upcoming 2022-2023 school year. I am a biological sciences major and am hoping to pursue a career in medicine. I have gained experience from a Summer Internship/Program at Stanford school of Medicine. I am looking forward to working with SLI this upcoming school year to work with students who also have an interest in STEM. I hope to transfer in the Fall of 2024 to UC Davis. On my free time I enjoy watching Netflix, my personal favorite shows being Grey's Anatomy and The 100, and going on long walks with friends and family. I am the middle child and am excited to part of a dance group at the church I attend. I am willing to share my experience with the Stanford Summer Community College Pre-Medical Program for all of those interested in pre-med.

Fatima Sanchez, Biology Major

Fatima Sanchez

I am Fatima Sanchez and I am majoring in Biology. I am part of the Pre-STEM cohort and the Biology club. I am passionate about sciences and I enjoy lab activities. I like to support the community that has been underrepresented because I can understand the challenges and provide feedback because I have been both audience and staff. In my free time I like to exercise and build Legos.

Lillian Swedlow, Aerospace Engineering Major

see bio above

Click here to find out more about the 2021-22 inaugural STEM Impact Team. They laid an important foundation for the team's work, and SLI could not have done it with them!

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Questions?
Please email me!

Sophia Kim, Director Science Learning Institute

kimsophia@fhda.edu


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