Rupali Dhumne is a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Along with plasma and oxygen, she likes to believe computer programming is in her blood.
Rupali developed Project CODEt after signing up with a fellowship with the She++ program, for which she had to develop a unique initiative supporting women in STEM movement. She hopes to inspire other young girls to get involved with programming. She would love to see more women enter the tech field at equal pay—and for the word “brogrammer” to be removed from the English language permanently. Rupali believes that coding is an important life skill and should be taught at an early age—when students are more likely to approach a new concept—rather than in high school, where many students are intimidated by the words “Computer” and “Science.”
In 2014, Rupali was recognized by the National Center for Women and Information Technology for her efforts. Rupali is a member of her school’s Coding Lady Colonials Club, and her school’s WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) club. When she isn’t coding, you can probably find her on the dance floor with her friends.
Executive Team Vice President and Chief Operations Officer
Eleni Georgiou is a Senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She has a strong passion for Computer Science, including the fields of Web and App development. Currently, she is an officer of her school’s Coding Lady Colonials Club and a member of the school’s WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) club. In her free time, she enjoys baking, playing soccer, and running her own food blog.
Eleni joined Project CODEt in order to further her passion of working with younger children and believes that programming is an important skill to have, especially in a world of continuously changing technology. By working with children and exposing them to computer science at an early age, she believes we can motivate students to further their studies in a field overlooked by other STEM fields and subjects in general.
Alex Gurung is a Junior at TJHSST. He became interested in computer science in 5th grade after deciding to dual boot Windows and Linux, and has continued to work on many coding related projects since, creating websites with Bootstrap and programming in Python, C, C++, Java, as well as small projects in other languages. During freshman year he joined the computer security club and took Foundations of Computer Science Accelerated, and he is now taking AP Computer Science. In his free time Alex enjoys participating and mentoring in computer security and coding events, doing Model United Nations, and volunteering at a local Elementary School.
Chief Financial Officer
Jenny Zhang is a Senior attending Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She developed a strong passion for Computer Science in middle school, especially for web and software development. Currently, she is an officer of her school’s TWIST (Tomorrow’s Women in Science and Technology) club, and a member of Chemistry Team and Intermediate Computer Team. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing video games, and learning new programming languages.
Jenny joined Project CODEt in order to inspire younger children to break down social barriers and pursue their interests. Studies have shown that the achievement gap between students in STEM, whether it be gender or racial, begins increasing as they enter middle and high school. Jenny believes it’s important that students can gain hands-on experience, and gain the confidence that computer science is a field they can pursue. By exposing children to computer science before they’re held back by social barriers, many more students will be motivated to rise to the top of the Computer Science field. For Jenny, coding is both a creative hobby and a path to a great career.
Chief Development Officer
Jessica Wang is a Senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and views computer science as a challenging yet invigorating process. She is an officer for her school’s Future Problem Solving club and is an active member in Model United Nations. In her spare time, she also volunteers as a tutor at the Writing Center and as a teacher’s aide for a second grade class. She loves working with younger students and believes that motivation and encouragement can lead to the success of any student. She believes that through her work with Project CODEt, she can help students from all over the country develop a passion for computer science, increasing interest in an extremely promising field.
Chief Technology Officer
Jessie Shen is a Senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She loves the logical and problem-solving approach that is key to computer science, and thinks the values and skills learned through exposure to programming can serve anyone regardless of what path they choose in life. She’s been a debater since seventh grade, and a member of her school’s Policy Debate team for three years. She is also an officer of her school’s Media Analysis and member of her school’s WISE clubs. She volunteers at her local hospital and does private tutoring for her neighborhood. In her spare time, she likes to paint, to play lacrosse, and to bake.
You can see a full list of the Production Team members and their biographies here.
These talented members of the Project CODEt Outreach team serve as “CODEt ambassadors” to their respective communities and school districts. They contribute to Project CODEt through their service and awareness for our programs.
Director, IT Project Management Office, Deltek
Nadia Hill currently leads the IT Project Management Office (IT PMO) at Deltek, the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for project-based businesses. In this role, Nadia is responsible for delivering enterprise-wide technology solutions to support Deltek’s business operations and strategy, with projects ranging from traditional process, change-management and technology initiatives to corporate-wide acquisition integration. Nadia helped develop Deltek’s acquisition integration framework and has led the successful integration of seven acquisitions since starting at Deltek in 2011.
Before Deltek, Nadia worked for over fifteen years as an IT consultant providing a wide-range of business and technology solutions to both commercial and government clients. Her key areas of expertise include project and program management, change management, business process analysis and system development methodologies. Most recently, Nadia was the Director of Operations for the Government Consulting practice at Ventera. In this role, Nadia was responsible for solution delivery, client relationships, business development and internal consulting operations. She provided management and oversight across projects within her business unit to ensure quality delivery, client satisfaction and delivery alignment with strategic objectives.
Prior to Ventera, Nadia was a Manager within the Government Consulting Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers (previously Coopers & Lybrand).
Nadia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce (Management Information Systems and Marketing) from the University of Virginia, and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Nadia is an alumnus of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology (TJHSST), Alexandria, VA.
Partner for IBM Global Business Services
Sunia Akbary is a Partner for IBM Global Business Services and has over 15 years of professional experience leading large and complex information technology implementation programs for federal clients. In addition, Ms. Akbary has over twenty years of experience in enterprise-level software application development and COTS Package implementation for various clients.
Ms. Akbary holds a Bachelors and Masters of Science in Computer Science from George Mason University. Ms. Akbary leverages her deep technical skills and broad consulting skills to provide solutions to a wide range of diverse clients. In her current role as Delivery Executive, Ms. Akbary’s responsible for program management and leadership for a large scale, multi-year programs which includes IT services scope of application sustainment and enhancements, production support, and hosting; Consulting scope of change management, customer outreach, training, and business architecture support and operational support services.
A Bay Area native and a Computer Science major at Stanford, Niharika has grown up surrounded by technology. However, for a long time, she never thought CS was the place for her, and was intimidated by many of the stereotypes surrounding the field. Luckily, after conversations with passionate and moving mentors, Niharika was inspired to enter the dynamic, revolutionary world of Computer Science, and is passionate about ensuring that all girls have the confidence to enter the world of STEM. Outside of being a student, Niharika is an avid female empowerment activist, has done work in education, and can always be found with a bowl of raspberries and a bar of dark chocolate by her side.
From a young age, Vicki has loved building things. Over time, the building material morphed from LEGOs to robots to software. Currently, she studies computer science at Stanford and is most excited about the potential for technology to create social change. At Stanford, she works on mobilizing students to use their technical skills for good through an organization called CS+Social Good. Additionally, Vicki is active in initiatives that support racial, socioeconomic, and gender diversity in the tech industry.
Vice President, Operations and Facility Security, Universal Consulting Services
Byron Owens is Vice President of Operations and Facility Security Officer (FSO) at Universal Consulting Services (UCS). In his position, Byron manages the day-to-day operations and administration of the company as well as the all government security program requirements. He also advises the leadership and helps to develop, guide, and implement the corporation’s strategic goals.
Byron possesses a wide range of business and leadership expertise in both the public and private sectors. In addition to 25 years of military service, he has experience in the private sector as a consultant for various Department of Defense (DoD) consulting firms and with international logistics and program management. He possesses expertise in healthcare, operations, finance, and resource management.
Byron also serves as a member on the Board of Directors of another International Charity, American Friends of Georgia.
Byron holds an M.A. in International Business from Webster University in St. Louis, MO (studied at the international campus in London, England) and a B.S. in Healthcare Management from Southern Illinois University.
Ms. Dupree-Culman brings 30 years of experience in corporate finance, non-profit fundraising, and community involvement to the Board of Directors of Project CODEt. As an officer of Sallie Mae in the Corporate Finance Division, she directed over $20 billion annually of short-term and long-term financings, managed a multi-billion dollar derivatives portfolio, maintained the asset/liability risk profile and capitalization requirements, and forecasted cash flow needs. In this role, Ms. Dupree-Culman managed relationships with investment and commercial banks, bond rating agencies, and equity specialists to ensure Sallie Mae’s funding needs and capital requirements were met. Prior to Sallie Mae, Ms. Dupree-Culman was Assistant Treasurer – Corporate Banking for Credit Suisse on Wall Street, where she provided banking and advisory services for Fortune 500 companies including leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and loan agreements.
Since retiring from her finance career, Ms. Dupree-Culman has been active in the community on the Executive Board of the Jefferson Partnership Fund serving as Treasurer and a member of the Finance Committee; Parent Liaison for the Department of Student Services at Thomas Jefferson HS for Science and Technology (TJ); Scholarship Database specialist for TJ’s College and Career Center; and serves on the Board of ChildHelp, a national non-profit organization for the prevention and treatment of child abuse. Ms. Dupree-Culman has a special interest in promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) among our youth and serves as the STEMbassador Liaison for elementary and middle schools in the community.
Ms. Dupree-Culman graduated with a BSBA in Finance and International Management from Georgetown University and earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Christopher Bock’s career spans over twenty years, focusing primarily on implementing process and technology innovations to improve the way our Federal Government does business. He currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of 540.co, LLC, a technology startup created to bring Silicon Valley technology approaches to Federal Government challenges. Prior to joining 540, Mr. Bock was an Associate Partner on the Public Sector Team at IBM, leading IBM’s US Public Sector Procurement Consulting Practice. He delivered multimillion-dollar business solutions to a myriad of Federal agencies including the Departments of Defense, Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, and the General Services Administration. Before entering the world of consulting, Mr. Bock began his career as a civil servant in the Department of the Navy’s Contracting Intern Program, graduating in 1995. His work with the Navy provided the foundational knowledge in public sector procurement that Mr. Bock continues to leverage, and he is recognized as a thought leader in the procurement field. He remains passionate about driving more efficiency in the Federal procurement process, and taking advantage of the latest technologies to make that happen.
Mr. Bock is Certified Level III in the field of Contracting under the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act, and earned his undergraduate degree in business from James Madison University in 1992. Mr. Bock also earned Master of Business Administration degree from The George Washington University in 1996.
Mr. Bock currently resides in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife, and splits his leisure time between sports and music. He plays bass guitar in the local rock band “Lloyd Braun Band”, which he co-founded in 1994.