Cohort 9 Students

Ami Abreu
Ami earned her B.A. in Anthropology from Mount Holyoke College and her M.A.T. from USC. She has professional experience as an ABA therapist, a classroom teacher and a learning support specialist in various settings since 2008, both in the United States and the Dominican Republic. She is certified in the areas of special education, elementary education, preschool, middle grade social students and has an endorsement in Autism spectrum disorder. She is currently working for Gwinnett County Public Schools in a cross-categorical special ed PreK classroom.
Maha Al-Romaihi
Maha is the Director of one of Qatar Foundation’s Primary Schools. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English language from Qatar University in 2000. She also obtained a Master’s degree in educational leadership from Qatar University in 2009. Recently Maha has finished a one-year program on leadership from Qatar Leadership Center where she engaged in Modules from Harvard Business school, Oxford University and many elite universities around the world.  Maha has won the Qatar University “Young Alumni Award” in 2009 for her contributions to education and society and the appreciation of her; being a role model of a successful Qatar University graduate. Maha has 20 years of experience in K-12 education starting her career as homeroom teacher through curriculum coordination, middle management until she was promoted to a school director in 2019.
Dinghong (Joy) Chen
Joy is an Entrepreneur in Residence at GSV Venture. She is also an independent director of Class Acceleration Corp (NYSE: CLAS.U). In addition, Joy is the Global Executive Advisor for TAL Education Group (NYSE: TAL), and previously was TAL’s U.S. Chief Investment Officer. She is also an advisor at Berkeley SkyDeck, which is a high-tech entrepreneurship startup accelerator and incubator program at the University of California, Berkeley. Joy is also a limited partner of and advisor to Blue Elephant Capital and EdBeta Fund, two leading early-stage VCs in the China education industry. Joy received her master’s degree from the Indiana University School of Education. She was among the first group of people doing research in online education around the end of last century. Joy is also a Stanford Business School alumnus. She attended Stanford Executive Program in 2015 at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Before, Joy was the founder of FirstLeap Future Leaders Institute, which was acquired by TAL in 2015.  She has also worked for consulting company Ernst & Young, and Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft and Verizon. Joy is also an author. She has published three books and is a columnist for several magazines. Her writing focuses on parenting and education.
Rebecca Dinda
Rebecca has over two decades of experience as a K-12 educator in the United States. She has recently opened a professional coaching practice, RAD Coaching, which focuses on co-actively working with clients on lifestyle, career, and leadership goals and works as a Professional Learning Consultant for NWEA. Prior to starting her coaching practice, she served as Principal at Downtown Miami Charter School, a Title 1 elementary school in Miami, Florida. Prior to that she served as a Director of Education for Charter Schools USA and has previous experience as an Assistant Principal and a School Counselor. Rebecca is a Board Member and Treasurer for Rethink Forward, Inc, who operates Nashville Collegiate Prep in Nashville, Tennessee and has recently been approved to open Rutherford Collegiate Prep in Rutherford, Tennessee. She also volunteers on Accreditation Engagement Teams for Cognia. Rebecca offers a unique perspective as she has worked with traditional public schools as well as public charters in several diverse communities with varying needs. She holds a 6th Year Degree from Central Connecticut State University, a Master’s degree from the Florida International University and a Bachelor’s degree from University of Miami.
Sonya Earley
Sonya is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California where she serves as a Medical Student Educator in the field of Internal Medicine. Professor Earley attended the University of California at Los Angeles and holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Kinesiology and Human Science. Professor Earley completed her post-graduate studies and Physician Assistant Certification at Charles R. Drew University of Science and is currently serving her third term as a gubernatorial appointee on the California State Physician Assistant Board. She holds a Master’s degree in Biology from California State University, Dominguez Hills, completed a Pediatric Residency at LAC + USC Medical Center, and is a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist.
DeVonne Iao
DeVonne is the Vice President of Advertising, Brand Management and Visual Media at Sands China Ltd. (HKEx: 1928), a subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) and the leading developer, owner and operator of multi-use integrated resorts and casinos in Macau. With over 20 years of experience in the marketing and hospitality industries, DeVonne specializes in market development and brand building through consumer and partner education based on insights-led content and strategic communications. Born and raised in Asia, DeVonne has lived and studied in the US, and worked across various countries. She earned a Master of International Business from Seattle University and her Bachelor’s in Biology and Anthropology from Western Washington University.
Rachel Iheanacho
Rachel is the founder and CEO of GREAT Prep, an educational services company that provides test preparation for the ACT and classroom management training. Her focus is the effective preparation and development of high school students interested in STEM careers. Rachel holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Louisiana State University and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Iowa State University. Prior to pursuing a career in education, she had 10 years of professional experience as an engineer in manufacturing and industrial gases companies.
Mariana Kou
Mariana is chairperson and CEO of Cinese International Group (1620:HK). She also serves as INED at GMFI:US and a board advisor to EDTXU:US and education ventures. Prior to this, she was CEO of Research Study Education Group and an award-winning equity research analyst specializing in the China education industry and the global luxury goods sector. Mariana started her banking career in New York at Lehman Brothers, and was most recently Head of China Education and HK Consumer Research at brokerage and investment group CLSA, where she was involved in 12 consumer and education IPOs. In 2020, she published her first book “Investing in Dragons: Education Industry and Capital Markets”; and has been keynote speakers and panelists at government and industry conferences as well as interviewed regularly by international media. Mariana was appointed Senator for China by the World Business Angels Investment Forum, an affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) in Jun 2020. She is the founder of Asia Education Society, a member of Pacific Basin Economic Council, and the founding co-lead of Columbia Venture Community’s Hong Kong chapter. Mariana holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and is a graduate of Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship certificate program. She received her BBA from the University of Notre Dame with magna cum laude and Raymond P. Kent Award. She is a CFA charterholder and a member of global business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma and economics honor society Omicron Delta Epsilon. 
Qiuhui (Kellia) Liu
Kellia is a CEO of two international education companies. In one company, she oversees several international departments of a Chinese university and high schools. Her other company is concentrated on real estate and education investments in the U.S., Singapore, and China. Kellia received her MBA from Edinburgh Business School. She was named Outstanding Alumnus of her entire cohort and scored the highest marks among the top successive students. She also holds a BA in Business Administration from China. Kellia is a strong advocate in reducing the inequality gap in higher education and believes that everyone should have access to the best quality of education regardless of ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Veda Ramsay-Stamps
Veda is the founder and co-owner of The Ramsay Group, LLC, a national urban planning and community development consulting firm that has delivered housing, economic, and community development planning services to government and nonprofit agencies for over 17 years. Veda currently serves as a change agent and executive director at the Crenshaw Family YMCA where she is developing transformative programs and services that alleviate educational, health, and economic barriers in South Los Angeles. She is also an acclaimed novelist of Flexible Wings. Veda earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from California State University, Fresno. Additionally, she holds a Certificate in City and County Planning from the University of Southern California.
Kathryn Rogers
Kathryn currently serves as the Vice President of Community Outreach and Engagement at the Charles Butt Charitable Foundation in San Antonio, Texas. Kate graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising and Public Relations from Texas Christian University and received her Master of Public Affairs degree from the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Kate spent almost 20 years in marketing and communications at H-E-B, one of the largest privately held retail chains in the country before transitioning to pursue her passion in public education. While at the company, she helped to create the annual H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards, the largest monetary awards program for educators in the state, the Read 3 early literacy program and a network of career-themed early college high schools. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as the founding President of the Holdsworth Center, a leadership institute for public school professionals located in Austin, Texas. Kate also serves on the board of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation and chairs its workforce committee which oversees the program she developed called SA Works, connecting local employers with the p-16 system.
Jeff Shultz
Jeff is currently the Director of Information Systems at Green Dot Public Schools. He joined Green Dot as PowerSchool Administrator in 2007 and was subsequently promoted to Applications Engineer, Senior Applications Engineer, and Senior Data Systems Manager. Jeff and his team of systems administrators are charged with implementation, administration, customization, and support of various data systems including PowerSchool, Workday, and GSuite. Jeff began his career at the California Psychological Association where he worked for 7 years, ending his tenure as the IT Director of the organization. Jeff earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science from California State University, Sacramento, and a Master’s degree in Science and Technology Leadership from Brown University.
Jihad Turk
Jihad is the founding President and CEO of Bayan Islamic Graduate School, America’s first Muslim graduate school to offer accredited Master’s degrees in the fields of Islamic Studies, Education, Chaplaincy and Leadership. He is a sought-after national speaker on issues related Islam, Muslims in America, Muslim Reform Movements, Ethical Leadership, and Spiritual and Identity Formation of Youth. Jihad spent his college years traveling the Muslim world and exploring his roots and the Islamic tradition. He spent time in both the Islamic University of Medina where he studied Arabic and Islamic Studies and in Iran where he studied Farsi at the University of Tehran and in Qum. He completed his undergraduate study at the University of California, Berkeley where he received his B.A. degree in History and Arabic. Jihad completed his master’s degree at the University of Texas, Austin in Arabic and Islamic law and jurisprudence. In 2000, Jihad came to the University of California, Los Angeles to pursue his Ph.D. in Islamic studies where he also taught as adjunct faculty for many years. Jihad has been consulted by the Obama White House and has traveled around the world (Indonesia, Morocco, Qatar, and France) for the U.S. State Department to speak to Muslim communities abroad and represent the American Muslim Community. Jihad is a member of the USINDO, an NGO that aims to strengthen ties between the US and Indonesia. Jihad has been profiled on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, regularly appears on NPR and other news outlets and has been  recognized as one of the 500 Most Influential People in Los Angeles by the LA Business Journal.
Yingjia Zheng
Yingjia used to be a Mandarin Language lecturer of Gettysburg College, USA. Later she served as the head of Curriculum and Scholarship Office of Yenching Academy of Peking University aiming to build bridges between China and the rest of the world through an interdisciplinary master’s program in China Studies. Currently she is responsible for the Educational Development and Foundation of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen) continuously exploring the new role of higher education. Yingjia received her Bachelor of Art in Chinese language and literature from Shenzhen University, Master of Science in TESOL program from University of Rochester, and then TCSOL program from Columbia University in the city of New York.