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Angela Santomero is best known as the Creator and Executive Producer of acclaimed children’s television hits such as Blue’s Clues on Nick Jr., and Super Why! and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on PBS KIDS. She is the Founding Partner and Chief Creative Officer of Out of the Blue Enterprises, LLC, and oversees the creative development and research of all the company’s projects, with a mission and vision to bring educational entertainment to a whole new level. Angela is also host of PBS’ The Parent Show at www.PBSparents.org and writes a personal blog about being a parent who creates children’s media at www.AngelasClues.com. She is a prestigious Peabody Award Winner for Outstanding Children’s Programming and a Gold and Silver Parents Choice Awards recipient. She currently lives in New York with her husband and two adorable daughters.
Dr. Michael H. Levine is the Founding Director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, an independent non-profit organization based at Sesame Workshop. The Center conducts research and builds multi-sector partnerships to scale innovation and investment in promising educational media technologies for children. Prior to joining the Center, Michael served as Vice President for Asia Society, managing the global nonprofit’s interactive media and educational initiatives to promote knowledge and understanding of other world regions and cultures.
Michael previously oversaw Carnegie Corporation of New York’s groundbreaking work in early childhood development, educational media, and primary grades reform and was a senior advisor to the New York City Schools Chancellor, where he directed dropout prevention, afterschool, and early childhood initiatives. Michael has been a frequent adviser to the U.S. Department of Education and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, writes for public affairs journals, and appears frequently in the media. He was named by Working Mother magazine as one of America’s most influential leaders in family and children’s policy and serves on numerous nonprofit boards, including Classroom, Inc., Forum for Youth Investment, We Are Family Foundation, PBS’ Next Generation Learning Media, and Journeys in Film. Michael received his Ph.D. in Social Policy from Brandeis University’s Florence Heller School and his B.S. from Cornell University.
Derek Lomas is a Ph.D. student in the Human-Computer Interactions Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where he is researching the underpinnings of fun and learning within commercial video games and helping to develop new design processes for building effective computer-aided learning games. Lomas is a co-founder of the Playpower Foundation, which recently received support from the MacArthur Foundation to further its goals of building affordable, effective and fun learning games to improve education around the world. Lomas received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts from UC San Diego and his BA in Cognitive Science from Yale University.
Nicolas Jaramillo is the Director of the Hilltop YMCA Computer Center in Pittsburgh, PA.
While working on a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Nicolas developed an interest in working with youth. Upon graduation, still yearning for a global experience, Nicolas went to El Salvador as a Peace Corps volunteer where he worked with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, as well as leaders of provincial governments to help them utilize technology to solve real world problems.
Nic returned from the Peace Corps with the belief that technological literacy is the greatest vehicle for social mobility. He found that through exposure to technology people are empowered in a way that is uniquely their own. In an effort to combine his education with this belief, Nic set out to build a program from scratch, using the grassroots development concepts he learned in the Peace Corps. This program was started in November 2011 by the YMCA, in collaboration with Neighborhood Learning Alliance.
With Nic’s leadership and a team of equally passionate individuals, the Hilltop YMCA has become a free community center where neighborhood residents, including the growing refugee population, flock to explore their passions and interests in technology, art, and music. The primary goal of the Hilltop YMCA is to change the way we interact with technology, both in school and at home, by providing opportunities for students to engage in hands-on, self-directed technology projects in a fun and relaxed environment.