MEET THE BRIGHTBRAIN TEAM
John Bosco S. Bunyi, Program Director
I've worked with kids in education for over 7 years. I got my Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with the hope of becoming a leader in changing how people see Mental Health-- helping others see just how important Mental Health is in our every day life. A learning skill I've found really useful is to write almost everything down. You'll almost always see me with a pen to write with, and a notebook to go with it. I get distracted really easily and have a lot of new ideas. So, anytime something creeps up into my mind, I take a second to write one word down so I can come back to it later--letting me come back to it later without ruining my flow. And even though I'm a fan of technology, I'm never afraid to put my phone face down in do-not-disturb mode. I love gadgets, but I hate being controlled by them! I've got a lot of other tips and strategies I've found to really help stay focused, learn better, and just stay motivated. Reach out to me, and I'd be glad to share!
Chris Padeo, Development Director
While at UC Irvine, I developed a passion for teaching while working with special needs children, and hope to bring that experience and perspective to my work with BrightBrain. I maintain several hobbies and interests, ranging from participating in e-sports to playing for my church's worship team.
Jamal Fedalizo, Communications & Outreach Director
I believe in being ready for an ever changing world. Being a pioneer of one of UC Merced's first graduating classes, new worlds aren't foreign to me at all, they're my comfort zone. My major studies in the school of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts granted me a BA in Psychology. Additionally, my minor studies in Art were disciplined through my greatest pastimes: City Planning, Museum Curation, Photography and Sculpture instructions. The backbone of my education kept me afloat in post grad experiences. I have elevated myself to management roles in all of my professions on the spectrum for the past 15 years, I'm your Renaissance Man! You're never going to learn until you try. Try. Fail. Try Again. Succeed. Teach. Learning is one of the most fairest things in society.
Phuong Nguyen, Outreach Director
Hello there! My role as an Outreach Director is to maintain strong internal & external communication while nurturing BrightBrain's market growth. As a UCI alumna, my academic background gears toward Public Health Policy with a focus on Corporate Wellness. Although, my professional background has been extensive in outreaching and providing high quality customer care! A learning skill that works for me is to research, rephrase and repeat. I research the material being taught to make sure I fully understand its meaning; I, then, rephrase it in my own words, which ensures my comprehension of the material; lastly, I repeat the material verbally or in writing, which helps me retain the learned information. Give it a try! I hope it works for you, too!
Leslia Salazar, Pod Leader
I discovered my love for teaching when I started volunteering at different after school programs during my undergraduate studies at UC Irvine. When I realized how much of an impact I could have on young lives through academics, I decided to pursue education. I’m currently obtaining my Multiple Subject Credential at Biola University and have learned that teaching isn’t the easiest profession, but it is one of the most rewarding! It is my job to help my students reach academic excellence and teach them in ways they will understand. Ignacio Estrada said it best by saying, “If a child can’t learn the way we teach maybe we should teach the way they learn.” Most importantly, I want to show my students what they are capable of accomplishing because it will motivate them to persevere and reach their goals.
Tiffany Banh, Learning Support Specialist
Hi, I'm Tiffany! I'm currently a fourth year at UCI, majoring in Biology/Education. My ultimate goal is to become a high school Biology teacher. I also love Harry Potter!
Elena Chavez, Learning Support Specialist
Hello! My name is Elena and my passion as an aspiring educator is to make a difference in a student's ability to understand the importance of learning. My hobbies include reading, baking and playing soccer. I hope to bring my experiences I have had at UC Irvine to Bright Brain and make a difference in your student's learning.
Bryan Pham, Learning Support Specialist
My interest in the sciences started from a very young age for me, and like most kids, it came from TV. I would watch those TV shows on the science channel about space, black holes, gravity, etc. and when that was over, I would switch to animal planet watch that. Because of this, I found the sciences to be extremely interesting. I became that one kid who loved to do dissections and build rocket ships. This is what ultimately led me to my pursuit of medicine and my ever ongoing journey to becoming a physician. While studying, I discovered new ways and techniques on how to study, and came to learn how important it is to understand concepts over memorization. Like what Einstein said, “Never memorize something that you can just look up.” I want to help students in this regard. So many times students have relied on memorizing questions and facts without ever knowing what it meant. My practices will focus on helping students learn skills and techniques necessary for not just high school, but also collegiate academia.
I’m outgoing and I’ve been told that I have a very loud personality. I am your typical nerd that likes Star Wars, Sci-Fi, and fantasy. My teaching style focuses on building a strong foundation allowing for growth into more abstract, higher level understanding. I like to simplify elaborate concepts and theorems into colloquial anagrams and phrases--making learning easier to grasp. I understand that high school can be stressful and I highly emphasis the necessity of being rigorous with time management and sleep. My teachings will help students excel in not only their academic career but also in their personal lives as well and I hope to witness their development through our time together.
Marcus Wu, Learning Support Specialist
Hello! I'm excited to be a part of BrightBrain's mission to promote learning and education for the youth. Being a student at UCI, I developed an interest in physical therapy that grew from my involvements with the community and an interest in the sciences. A learning skill I've attained from my time there is to explain content to others to teach yourself. Sometimes I may find a concept hard to understand because of the way it was presented, but conveying it differently may allow me to understand it better. I think talking about something creates a different type of comprehension because you're thinking of what to say about a certain topic. I hope you can use it too!
BEHIND THE SCENES
WITH THE BRIGHTBRAIN TEAM
Learning Support Specialist - Part Time
MEET OUR ALUMNI