|Ovetta Brown – Staff Manager
I graduated from DeVry University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems in 2009. My mother taught me math, including multiplication and division, every day at age 5, which I hated. It wasn't until 1st grade when I realized I was ahead of the rest of my class that I gained a love for math. My love for education began at a very young age when I tutored another student at age 6. I later found I had a passion for young people when I took all the kids on the block to Chuck E. Cheese at the age of 14. My passion ignited me to volunteer at Chicago Area Project's Youth As Resources (YAR) Youth Summits and also work temporarily with the organization's Year-End Solicitation Team while under the direction of Candace Anderson. I joined Project SYNCERE to afford children in underserved communities the opportunity to learn about engineering and offer alternatives to careers they are most accustomed. Hopefully, this chance will spark interests to pursue degrees in STEM and pay it forward to future generations.
|Jason Coleman – Co-Founder / Executive Director
I am a graduate of Whitney M. Young High School and the University of Southern California. I received my Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2001. After graduation, I worked in the aerospace industry for BAE SYSTEMS where I designed and developed flight control systems for military and commercial aircrafts. From 2004-2008, I was employed with Motorola where I developed the mechanical layouts for the latest cellular phones. In 2008, I co-founded Project SYNCERE where I currently serve as the Executive Director. I also sit on the Advisory Board for the Chicago Children’s Museum and serve on the Committee for Educator Capacity Building in PreK-12 Engineering Education with the National Academy of Engineering.
|Seun Phillips – Co-Founder
I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Minor in Mathematics from the University of Michigan in 2006. Upon graduation, I worked at Motorola from 2006-2009 as a Senior Electrical Engineer. While at Motorola, my focus was on audio circuitry and accessory compatibility. As Co-Founder at Project SYNCERE, I focused on building the Project SYCERE brand and expanding our reach. In addition to my work with Project SYNCERE, I have taught college students in research strategies; tutor middle school and high school students in math and science and provide professional development workshops for teachers and college students.
|Adrianne Wheeler – Director of Programs
I received my BS in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Masters of City Planning, with a concentration in Community Development, from University of California, Berkeley in 2010. My work at Project SYNCERE focuses on building the organization's capacity to sustain its growth to continue to meet our mission. Outside of Project SYNCERE, I have served on the National Society of Black Engineers' Executive Board and National Leadership Institute, as well as currently volunteer as the Director of Youth Activities for another local non-profit.
|George Wilson – Co-Founder / Director of Finance
I am a graduate of Kenwood High School and Central State University in Ohio. Prior to my work with Project SYNCERE, I worked at Northwestern University, where I specialized in grant proposal budgets and managing funds awarded to faculty in the Life Sciences department. At Northwestern, I managed a budget of approximately $50 million a year in awarded funds, and also handled the hiring, payroll and termination process for PhD students and Post-doctoral fellows in my department. In addition, I have experience in accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash handling and bookkeeping.
|Eric Fisher - Instructor
I obtained my BS in Packaging Engineering from the University of Florida and my M.Ed in Educational Leadership from St. Leo University. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, exercising, sneaker collecting, church, cars and reading. One of my most recent fun experiences includes travelling to Egypt and scuba diving in the Red Sea and swimming in the Dead Sea. I wanted to work with Project SYNCERE because I was interested in exposing youth to engineering at a young age. I didn't learn about engineering until my senior year in high school and I wanted to help younger kids learn about engineering at an earlier age.
|Brittany Hogan - Instructor
I obtained my BS in Manufacturing Engineering from Central State University in Wilberforce, OH. In addition to having a love for engineering, I am also an entrepreneur graphics designer and photographer. I wanted to work with Project SYNCERE, because I think the idea of equipping students with STEM fundamentals and helping to expand their educational horizons is a great one. I wanted to help in moving the mission forward.
|Montaque Jones - Instructor
I obtained my BS in Electrical Engineering from Howard University in Washington, D.C. I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago and attended Whitney Young HS. I enjoy playing basketball, traveling, staying fit, and listening to music. Project SYNCERE allows me to give back to the community and encourage our youth to also become engineers. I really enjoy the fact that I can help educate children about my field of study and know that they are gaining knowledge in STEM.
|Rahim Sajwani - Instructor
I am attending the University of Illinois at Chicago to acquire a BS in Chemical Engineering. I am also involved in a research project that reviews and devises methods of recovering wasted heat, emissions and water from industrial bakeries. Some of my hobbies include drumming and video gaming. I decided to work with Project SYNCERE because I noticed while going through school, that math and science are seen as difficult relative to other subjects. This typically leads to many students being hesitant about going into the STEM fields. Project SYNCERE counters the stereotype by giving youth hands-on experiences and showing the potential for both great careers in STEM and how fun it can be to build or work on projects.
|Dane Walker - Instructor
I earned a Bachelor's of Science in Applied Mathematics from Millikin University in December 2011 and worked in education for a few years before deciding to change direction. I then enrolled at the Illinois Institute of Technology in the fall of 2014 to study Aerospace Engineering and am set to obtain my Bachelor's Degree in May 2017. In my spare time, I enjoy reading Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels, playing sports, and doing various outdoor activities. I've been skydiving, flown a helicopter, ski as much as possible, and plan to learn how to fly an airplane in the future. I have always been good at problem solving, building/constructing things, and I enjoy teaching others how to do so. At Project SYNCERE, I have the opportunity to share my passion for engineering with Chicago's youth and hopefully instill the desire to pursue a career in, or at least find an interest in, the STEM field.
|Kiel Wash - Instructor
I earned my BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2015. While in college, I joined the I.I.T. branch of the Society of Automotive Engineers, Conducted and lead a senior "independent" (I had a partner) study research project, and joined he I.I.T, branch of Engineers for a Sustainable World. I wanted to work with Project SYNCERE, becuase they have a worth while and noble cause to help the less fortunate. I'm also kind of nerdy and enjoy STEM, so finding a job that allows me to do both felt like Project SYNCERE was the right choice for me.