Odyssia Team

“If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.”
– Chinese proverb

Tamara Weinstein

Tamara Weinstein is a passionate educator with over 16 years experience teaching students in grades 2-6 in both the United States and the United Arab Emirates. Presently, Tamara works as an Education Specialist with the Escondido Union School District in San Diego, California. Tamara earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Literature from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music. Currently, Tamara is pursuing a Master’s degree in Special Education from California State University San Marcos for students with mild to moderate disabilities. In her spare time, Tamara enjoys hiking, biking, traveling and spending time at the beach.

Dr. Shaana Berman

Dr. Shaana Berman is an accomplished early childhood development specialist and educational consultant in the Los Angeles area. She holds a Masters degree and teaching credential in Early Childhood Special Education from California State University, and an Educational Doctorate with an Educational Psychology concentration from the University of Southern California. Since 1998, Dr. Berman has worked in both private and public settings since to teach academic skills, reduce maladaptive behaviors, and increase functional and social skills among a variety of populations including but not limited to: students with autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, cognitive delays, genetic syndromes, processing disorders, and physical disabilities. Dr. Berman has designed and delivered graduate-level curriculum, has trained public school staff, and has conducted parent education workshops. Her philosophy is that all children can learn, given the right type of supportive instruction.

Sadaf Ahmed

Sadaf Ahmed is a media management and marketing professional based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her areas of expertise include artist management, communication design, creative development and management, and social media marketing. Sadaf received her B.A in International Relations and Media Studies from Claremont Mckenna College during which time she was awarded a scholarship to participate in the prestigious Hansard Society Scholars Program in the UK. Sadaf has consulted for companies, NGOs, and educational institutions all over the world and she joined the Odyssia Learning team in 2010 to build the companies creative and communication design.

Kausar Z. Ahmed: Pakistan

Ms. Ahmed is an early childhood and special education expert in Pakistan. She is an educator and a TV Producer. She is Odyssia’s director and official correspondent of special education in Pakistan. With over 20 years of experience in television, advertising, food, and education related services, Kausar has a range of experience in different areas: Head of TV1’s morning transmission, Creative Consultant for Geo, Senior Producer, Head of Content at Masala TV, teacher at institutions like the Karachi Grammar School, and food and prop stylist for big companies like Dalda, Pepsi, Unilever and Nestle.

Ahad Dada: Pakistan

In 2004, Ahad graduated from the prestigious Karachi Grammar School. He attained his Honors B.Sc from the University of Toronto at the St. George campus. His undergraduate studies comprised of a major in Human Biology, a minor in Economics, and a minor in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. After graduating in 2008, he returned to Karachi in pursuit of his passion for teaching. Since then, he has been tutoring students for standardized admission tests and both O and A Level subjects. Soon after, Ahad started counseling students for university admissions and has helped several students maximize their potentials and gain admissions to top universities around the world. Students tutored by him and his group have gone on to prestigious universities in UK and USA, a list can be reviewed here.

Tresta Neil

Tresta Neil is a mother of eight darling children and many borrowed children. Her husband introduced her to the idea of homeschooling after her fourth was born and she thought he was crazy. Twenty years later she is a strong advocate for homeschooling. Mrs. Neil currently teaches online classes in language, math, science, symbology, constellations, and addiction prevention. She is a mentor for homeschool mothers and their parenting/schooling/mental needs. Her favorite homeschool subject is symbolic math. Mrs. Neil graduated from BYUI in Science and Weber State University in Nursing before her mission to the Netherlands, where she used her nursing skills in the field. She is the author of God Saw That It Was Good and other homeschooling books. She directs homeschool and other faith promoting events and is the co-founder of “Called to Learn.” Her passions are teaching and writing.

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Sandra Hamilton

President and CEO of EdNet Career Institute, Inc. in Woodland Hills, California, Ms. Hamilton directs education programs including English speaking, computer training, basic skills and education, programs for disadvantaged women and young adults, and security guard training. In the area of school start-ups, Ms. Hamilton is responsible for preparing applications for more than 10 vocational schools, all of whom received permanent state approval as a result of Ms. Hamilton’s efforts. Ms. Hamilton was appointed to serve on the Governor’s Task Force to Implement the Master Plan for Adult Education in the State of California and acted as Committee Chair to the State’s One-Stop Educational Services. Ms. Hamilton was elected the “Most Outstanding Young Woman” in her home state of Rhode Island for her accomplishments professionally and her civic contributions. In 2006, Ms. Hamilton was honored by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal as one of the “Most Successful Women in Business” and has been published in many national journals, newsletters and publications.

Louisa Silang

Louisa Silang is a board certified behavior analyst specializing in the treatment of children, adolescents and adults with autism and related disorders. Her experience expands to teaching graduate-level courses in Applied Behavior Analysis through the University of West Florida and National University, obtaining several professional affiliations along the way. With the School District, Ms. Silang was a member of the leadership team and studied with the UC Davis MIND Institute (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) on evidence-based practices in Autism. In 2001, Ms. Silang earned her B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior followed by her M.A. in Education with concentration in Psychology from Pepperdine University. Soon after, she earned a second M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education with a Level II Credential from California State University. In addition to providing program development and supervision to individuals in both school district and non-public settings, Ms. Silang has experience coordinating and administering staff training on ABA principles.

Erika Nichols

Erika Nichols is a passionate writer, non-profit development professional, humanitarian, and activist. She is the Development Associate at the educational nonprofit for high school students, the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont, where she attended the Current Issues and Youth Activism Institute during high school. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts with concentrations in Creative Writing and Global Development from Sarah Lawrence College. She completed two semesters abroad with the School for International Training, studying “Globalization in the Modern Arab World” in pre-revolution Tunisia and “Arts in the Post-communist System” in the Czech Republic. She also has experience volunteering in a primary school in Ghana, working with immigrants of the African Diaspora in New York City, and as a paralegal for an immigration law firm. She co-authors a blog called riversongvagabond.wordpress.com, contributes to the online art and literary journal Runaway Parade, and has poetry, short fiction and creative non-fiction published or forthcoming in Please Do Not Remove: A Collection Celebrating Literature and Libraries, The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2013 (Poetry Editor) and 2014 editions,Haggard & Halloo and elsewhere.

Jasmin Londono

Jasmin Londono is a learning support teacher based in Vienna, Austria, who works at the Danube International School. She holds a BS in Health Science from the University of Miami and is currently obtaining her MSc in Profound and Complex Learning Disabilities from the University of Manchester. She is a certified K-6 teacher and has over six years of experience with students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Jasmin is also currently working as a lecturer speaking about Social and Emotional Support for prominent autism organizations in the Czech Republic. She hopes to move to South East Asia in the near future to spread autism awareness and provide enhanced access to education in countries where developmental disabilities are still stigmatized.

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Andre Costa

Andre Costa has extensive experience in e-Commerce, Online Video Marketing, video production, management and training, with a B.S. in Electronics Engineering earned at the University of Santa Ursula in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and a PMP Certification in the US. He has served many U.S. and International Corporations including PepsiCO, McAfee and Banco Itau. Andre is a skilled storyteller, focusing his projects on spinning a compelling tale. His skills earned him 7 Storytelling awards, and as a video Storyteller he won first place in the Texas Association of Television Officers and Advisors, First and Second prizes at the National Association of Television Officers and Advisors and a Lone Star Emmy. He believes that everyone should thrive to live with passion, and Andre’s passion is education. He is a strong believer in the idea that learning should be fun, engaging and exciting; something you actually want to do, not that you have to.

Frida Gjermeni

Frida Gjermeni is a young successful IT technologist and professeur. She holds a BSc and Msc degree in Computer Engineering where she was ranked in the top five students of her class from Polytechnic University of Tirana in her native country Albania. Ms. Gjermeni also holds a PhD in Computer Science, specialization in e-learning. During the last year of her Master studies thanks to her competitive abilities she began her work as IT Specialist at the “Aleksander Moisiu” Univesity of Durres in Albania, where she is also a proffesseur at the Faculty of Information Technology. Although the young age and few years of experience she has been able to effectively teach different subjects of Information Technology. She strongly believes that Technology and Innovation Platforms can positively improve the way people work, communicate, gain knowledge and improve lifestyle.

Zamir H. Soomro: Pakistan

Mr. Soomro has a Master of Arts in Economics, Master of Computer Science from the School of Management & Computer Science and over 19 years of foreign and domestic experience in Strategic Management, I.T. and Project Management Consultancy in technology, training and development, monitoring and evaluation and HRD sectors in both commercial and industrial environments, Mr. Soomro is a highly experienced individual. He has been instrumental in acquiring and successfully managing large government contracts in the areas of local and national government departments. Mr. Soomro’s accomplishments include the Award of Excellence in 2004 by City Nazim, Karachi, many awards and certificates from the Ensign CEO and executives for outstanding performance, a Commendation Award by WELTH Foundation in 2014 and a 3rd Global Award in 2016. Mr. Soomro is a member of the UNGM, EFQUEL, European Commission – PADOR, FPCCI, E-Learning Association of Pakistan (ELAP), the Project Management Association of Pakistan (PMAP), Project Management Experts (PME), Supply Chain Association of Pakistan (SCAP), The EQ Network, a leadership think tank, and the Dubai Professionals Forum, Funds of Fund Network, the NGO World, CCP.

Nancy McCabe

Nancy established Greatview Coaching in 1999 after more than 20 years in the entertainment business. Her executive roles at Lifetime Television, Warner Brothers, Viacom, and Foote, Cone & Belding Advertising gave her a keen understanding of the complexities and challenges of both corporate cultures and creative endeavors. Ultimately, her entertainment background inspired her passion for coaching and provided her with a uniquely creative and solution-driven view of life and work. Nancy studied at Wesleyan University and earned her BA in Government from Pomona College. She is certified by the Coaches Training Institute and the International Coach Federation. Nancy is also licensed to administer The Leadership Circle and ISEI assessment tools.

Leila Shauk

Leila Shauk is a voracious reader, a strong writer, a food enthusiast, and a passionate and dedicated yogi. She grew up in Santa Monica where her strong progressive and writing based education at Wildwood School truly helped shape the rest of her path. The natural progression after Wildwood was going across country to New York to attend Sarah Lawrence College–a small liberal arts Hogwartsian haven in Bronxville known for it’s strong writing program and outstanding faculty. Junior year, she studied abroad at King’s College London with a focus on European history and comparative literature. Since being back home by the beach, she has embraced her love of both food and yoga. Her writing can be seen at ravishingshaukwaves.wordpress.com. Apart from reading, writing, and eating, she is a 200 hour YogaWorks certified yoga instructor and teaches yoga at Mount St. Mary’s College in Brentwood, CA.

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Jessica Wigley

Jessica has over 17 years of experience as an educator. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in early childhood special education. Ms. Wigley has worked in a variety of educational settings and has held several positions in education including: special education preschool teacher, autism program specialist, home/hospital teacher, tutor, college instructor, parent educator, and educational consultant. She works with children at every level from preschool through college and beyond. Ms. Wigley developed many programs and trainings for students, parents, and teachers and participated in curriculum writing and program development at the preschool, elementary school and college level. Ms. Wigley takes a humanistic, relationship-based approach to teaching and is an advocate for progressive educational approaches. Residing in Los Angeles, California, she currently specializes in homeschooling.

Kiran Zubair: Pakistan

Kiran Zubair is an Internationally Certified Counsellor by IHK Projecktgesellschaft GmbH & German Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( CCI) Germany. She obtained her M.Ed. from AKUIED in 2012 with a specialization in Educational Leadership and Management and holds a bachelor in Law and Commerce. Ms. Zubair’s professional experience includes working for NGOs/INGOs, the Ministry of Education and Labor Pakistan and Afghanistan, the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Girls Education South Sudan (GESS), Development Organizations, Schools and Universities. Ms. Zubair primarily tutors school students, out of school children (OOSC) and youth (OOSY) at risk. Her expertise is in the area of teaching-learning, leadership and management, interlocution, capacity building, career guidance, policy and development, curriculum designing, research and lifelong learning programs. Ms. Zubair has designed and conducted workshops of language, pedagogy and didactic internationally for government and private sector teachers and students. Ms. Zubair is also the Managing Director of KZ Consulting Group.

Sara Rodriguez Arias

Sara Rodríguez Arias is Ambassador of Iversity and Ambassador of (GEYC)-Group of the European Youth for Change. She collaborated in a project as Co-founder of one of the Teams that was featured in Gallery of Innovation at MIT. Her project: “A Sustainable Education Framework for Knowledge Societies” won the Second Prize in the International Conference on Operations and Information Technology and took part in the 29th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning Madison, Wisconsin, USA. Sara’s areas of expertise are English Language and Literature. Having studied at ULPGC in English Philology with honors in Literature, Sara is continuing her studies adapted to the European Plans in Modern Languages at ULPGC. Sara is also trained in Design Thinking through Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford through DTAL. Apart from this, she is the Founder of The Book Park, Influencer at XZEN; and Coordinator at Medison University. Sara’s main goal is making a change in education by designing a new learning environment for students, believing that education must be open to the public across the world. Sara has a Stanford’s Blog where her project: ‘The Sleepe Framework’ was featured among top projects.

Guy Strickland

Mr. Strickland has written extensively on testing and education: Bad Teachers, Pocket Books; Elementary School Test Evaluations; Investigating Test Bias and other articles on testing. His work on elementary school goals has been part of the USOE Handbook for State Administrators. Mr. Strickland has worked at the California Test Bureau and the Center for the Study of Evaluation at UCLA. He has been teaching test preparation for more than 30 years. He created and maintains the website ISEEprep.com. Mr. Strickland has a BA in Economics from Williams College and an MA in Educational Measurement and Statistics from UCLA. He spent years evaluating California school districts and has taught at Curtis and JT Dye, and was Elementary Director of the Pilgrim School. Mr. Strickland has been honored as a nationally outstanding teacher by the Governor of California, by the US Secretary of Education, and by the CTY at Johns Hopkins University.

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