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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.


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.

Lily Swedlow, Social Media Specialist

Lily SwedlowLily is a second-year Mathematics 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 new SLI STEM Impact Team, and SLI's budding Social Media Specialist. Lily is also a Math peer tutor through a couple of different programs. 

When she's not busy tutoring or working on bringing SLI to Social Media, she loves practicing her web & graphic design skills. She primarily enjoys spending time with her cat, Dozer, or her very energetic puppy, Jack. 

Daniel Chavez, Administrative Assistant

Daniel ChavezDaniel is a second-year Chemistry student at Foothill College. He started working with SLI as an administrative assistant in Spring 2022 after having participated in the SLI Micro Internship Program. His goal is to transfer into a Chemical Engineering program at a UC. Out of school, Daniel enjoys hiking and exploring San Francisco. He also loves to cook in his spare time!

SLI STEM Impact Team 2021-22

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

Anh Clerkin, alum

Anh ClerkinI’m Anh Clerkin, I go by Ann. I’m currently a Chemical Engineering student at SJSU, graduating from FH in 2020. I enjoy anything and everything space exploration, with the pipe dream of working for NASA on closed life-support systems for space voyages. I am a proud former Owl and I hope to make an impact on giving back to the FH community, which I hold very dearly.

Lana Devlikamova, alum

Lana DevlikamovaLana is a Legal Operations Manager at CapitalG where she manages legal operations. Before CapitalG, Lana was a Corporate Paralegal at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where she worked with medical device companies primarily on entity formations, private company financings, and corporate governance. Lana studied Communications at Foothill and then graduated with high honors from University of California, Berkeley with a BA in Media Studies.

Daisy Fragoso

Daisy FragosoDaisy Fragoso is a second-year Computer Science student at Foothill. She graduated from Silver Creek High School. In her free time, she likes to draw.

Brandon Gomez

Brandon GomezBrandon is a second-year student at Foothill College studying Computer Engineering. He is planning on transferring to a UC/CSU to finish his degree and has been with the SLI STEM Impact Team since it was created in 2021. Some activities he enjoys outside of the academic field include playing basketball, watching sports, exploring the outdoors, and adding to his sneaker collection.

Leo Kim

Leo KimLeo is a first-year Computer Science major at Foothill College. Born and raised in South Korea, he is excited to start the new chapter of his life in the United States.

Before attending Foothill, Leo interned at Samsung, where he assisted company executives with business research and decision making. He also worked for various non-profit organizations at the intersection of public education and competitive debate.

His recent academic interests center around digital privacy and tech policy. During his free time, he enjoys re-watching his favorite dramas and movies, exploring delicious foods, or swimming.

Marisela Landaverde

Marisela LandaverdeHope you are doing well! I just upload my picture and this is my  little bio: Hey everyone! I am a third-year Civil Engineering major here at Foothill College. Some of the programs that I have been part of during these three years are EOPS, PUENTE, Pass the Torch, and SLI. A quick fact about myself is that I came to this country when I was 16 years old from El Salvador, and now I am a first-generation Latina in STEM.

Yash Gandhi

Yash GandhiYash is a college re-entry student working towards a business administration degree. Outside of school, he’s an active real estate advisor and co-founder of a wellness-centered company focusing on accessibility to movement. He’s passionate about mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Yash loves chanting, cycling, and reading Srimad Bhagavatam. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, following Formula 1 and go-karting.

Drake Jha

Drake JhaDrake is a second-year Computer Science Major. He has been a participant in the SLI ever since he started studying at Foothill in August of 2020, when he took a summer-introductory course in Python. Shortly after that, he joined the Tech Core Cohort (Now Pre-STEM) where he has helped in a couple of leadership roles, such as being a helper in a youth STEM workshop and hosting tutoring sessions for people in the cohort. Drake also interns part-time at the SLAC National Accelerator Facility, where he works on software-related tasks concerning SLAC's linear accelerator.

Alexandra Sugatan

AJ SugatanMy name is Alexandra "AJ" Sugatan (she/her/hers), and I am a second-year computer science major. As an advocate for educational equity and social and economic justice, I hope to make significant changes to benefit more students at both Foothill College and the local community.

Lily Swedlow

see bio above

Michael Xu

bio to come

Danielle Vintayen

Danielle VintayenDanielle is a first-year Biology student at Foothill College. She plans to transfer to a UC or a private school as a science major. She has been working as an administrative assistant with SLI since Fall 2021. Danielle graduated from James Logan High School. In her free time, she enjoys baking and reading.

Foothill hills

Please email me!

Sophia Kim, Director Science Learning Institute