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Instructors

Allen Piyanan (Introduction to Robotics): An honors student studying mechanical engineering at Polytechnic Institute of New York University, has participated in a number of design competitions while matriculating at NYU Poly, including development of a Search and Recovery Robot (SRR), proposing alternate designs for a V-Twin Engine, and developing a prototype aircraft carrier mechanical airplane launcher. A member of the Thai Society of New York, Mr. Piyanan is a recipient of NYU-Poly’s prestigious Promise Scholarship.

Carlton Cyrus Ward (Circus Arts) is a dancer, circus performer and actor from the woods of northern Vermont.  He moved to New York City 14 years ago to study theater at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.  He is currently performing with Third Rail Project in “Then She Fell”. Mr. Ward was recently in The Artigiani Troupe’s “That Beautiful Laugh” and Phantom Limb’s “69 S.” at BAM. He also works with Circus Amok, Becky Radway Dance Projects, and El Gato Teatro.  In the past he has worked with Christopher Williams, Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects, Ateh Theater Company, Proto-type Theater Inc., Freefall, Alex Bag, Maureen Fleming, and Gary Indiana.  In his free time he has also been known to direct and choreograph.

Chetara Murphy (Swimming) has taught many different levels of swimming through the years, specializing in teaching toddler-swimming fundamentals.  Ms. Murphy is trained in Water Safety, Lifeguard, First Aid,  CPR and AED use, all attained through the American Red Cross. Since 2006, Ms. Murphy has served as Head Lifeguard at LIU Brooklyn.

Eli Brandwein (Product Design) is a Brooklyn-based illustrator and comic author. Recently graduated from Pratt Institute ('12), he is currently freelancing while working on his self-published comic Claws.

Felicia Reynolds (Swimming) is an American Red Cross certified Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguard. Ms. Reynolds has been a lifeguard for five years and a swimming instructor for one year.  Felicia has taught all levels of swimming in both group and private settings and particularly enjoys classes involving toddlers.  Before becoming an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor, Felicia spent her summers aiding swim instruction at summer camps and volunteering at local pools in her native New Jersey.

Hedy Shum Fung (Mandarin) is a native Cantonese and Mandarin speaker who has experience teaching Chinese and English to children of various ages at the HKMLC Queen Maud Secondary School in Hong Kong. Ms. Fung, now a pharmacy major in LIU Brooklyn’s Health Sciences department, has experience working with children ages 5 through 12 and looks forward to her first summer as part of the Children’s Academy faculty.

Joshua Vizzi (Design and Build) is a practicing architectural designer who has worked on buildings in New York, California, Seattle, Washington D.C, Europe, and Africa. Mr. Vizzi has designed and constructed sustainable housing for the U.S. Solar Decathlon and served as a jurist at the School of Visual Arts. Joshua graduated with a Bachelor’s of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University.

Mahmoud Raslan (Intermediate Robotics) is a senior Digital Media student at NYU-Poly who has built a variety of robots, including small sumo robots and animatronic puppets, for competitions or for firefighting and other practical applications. In addition to building robots, Mahmoud is also a F.I.R.S.T robotics mentor to local high school students.

Michael Murphy (Lemonade Stand 101) is a Marketing and Advertising Professional who has worked for legendary advertising agency Young & Rubicam and has been fortunate enough to practice his profession in five different countries. Mike has worked on brands like Colgate, Mattel and Citibank and has experience in product development, product design, marketing and advertising.  Mike graduated with a Bachelor’s of English and History from the University of Toronto.

Noelia Brito (Spanish) holds a Bachelor’s degree in education as well as a Master’s degree in early childhood education. Ms. Brito has extensive experience as a teacher in public and private schools in Tenerife, Spain. Additionally, she has developed programs in children’s nutrition. Recently, Noelia has been learning English at Long Island University (Brooklyn Campus) with the goal of returning to Spain to teach English to children.

Reynaldo Vargas (Video Game Design) is a game designer and educator who is interested in teaching children systems thinking and game design. Mr. Vargas is a senior at New York University studying philosophy, critical theory, games studies and game design. His sport, Staccato, is an 2012 IndieCade finalist and his video game Super Atomico 1990 was recently released on Facebook. His personal website/portfolio can be seen at: naldogames.wordpress.com.

Johnna Woods developed her passion for ceramics while attending Herron School of Art where she earned her BFA in sculpture and ceramics. After graduating, she worked as the studio and production manager for a ceramic studio in Brooklyn. Currently, Johnna is a ceramic studio assistant at LIU.