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Tamara Hudgins Executive Director

Tamara's professional background is in nonprofit management and development. She has managed and raised support for educational organizations, and was executive director of a community foundation serving Williamson County, Texas before joining Girlstart. Before her move to Texas in late 2005, Tamara was executive director of a nonprofit that served more than 11,000 Chicago teachers and children every week.

Julie Shannan Deputy Director

Julie Shannan has created, launched and managed some of the most innovative and effective informal education programs for girls, parents and teachers. Ms. Shannan is a recipient of the prestigious “Austin Under 40” Award for leadership in Youth and Education. She currently serves on the Texas Girls Collaborative Project Leadership Council, a member of NASA Human Health and Performance Center, and is an advisory board member for SciGirls, a PBS show for girls and science. She is also a graduate of Leadership Austin ('05) and Leadership Texas ('13). 

Kristi Anderson After School Coordinator

Ms. Anderson received her Bachelor of Science in Applied Learning and Development from the University of Texas at Austin. An experienced teacher and informal educator, Kristi most recently taught 6th grade math in Clear Creek ISD, where she also served as Girls Coach and Math Interventionist. While an undergraduate at UT, she interned at Girlstart in our After School programs and has continued to spend her summers with us as Camp Counselor and, most recently, a member of our ‘travel team,’ bringing Girlstart Summer Camp to other states.

Sharlym Aquino Gil Program & Volunteer Coordinator

Sharlym is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations. She coordinates Girlstart's programs and volunteers. She is very involved in the Austin community and enjoys hiking and biking on Lady Bird Lake. Her greatest passion is helping volunteers connect with Girlstart to make a difference in STEM. 

Lauren Bussiere Manager, Corporate and Foundation Relations

Ms. Bussiere builds and maintains relationships with Girlstart’s corporate and private foundation partners: connecting donors to our programs, preparing grant proposals and comprehensive program reports, and managing the organizational development calendar. She earned her MA in Anthropology at University of California, San Diego, and a BA in Anthropology from Texas State.

To contact her directly, please use first name at girlstart dot org.

Itzel Gutierrez Program Coordinator

Itzel led Girlstart After School as a member of the STEM CREW team in 2011-2013, working directly with girls in advancing their acumen, interest, and confidence in STEM. She has also been a part of our Girlstart Summer Camp 'to Go' team, leading summer camp in 6 states in 2012, 2013, and 2014. After earning her BA in Urban Studies and Geography from UT-Austin, she joined Girlstart full time as a program coordinator. Itzel ensures the consistency, fidelity, and success of Girlstart's programs outside Central Texas, and plans for Girlstart's future replication in new communities. 

Casey Hatfield Development Assistant

Casey supports all aspects of Girlstart’s development work, and assisting with community outreach. She joined Girlstart in 2014 after working with the American Red Cross and the United Way through the Americorps Vista program. Casey earned her BA in Sociology from Southwestern University, where she researched factors that affect college retention rates in the STEM fields. Casey enjoys paddle boarding, trail running on the Greenbelt, and playing the piano. 

Kara Torbert Program Assistant

Kara earned her Bachelor's degree in Earth and Planetary Science, with an emphasis in Geology, from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to joining Girlstart, Kara led after school science programs for AmeriCorps, and served as a summer camp counselor at the elementary and middle school levels. Kara enjoys orienteering, hiking, step aerobics, and finding fun trivia nights in Austin.

Katelyn Wamsted Program Director/Summer Camp Director

Katelyn Wamsted is Girlstart’s Director of Programs, where she develops and leads all of Girlstart’s nationally-recognized STEM education programs for girls. She recruits, trains, and leads program staff--including the college students, preservice teachers and STEM majors, who conduct our programs, the STEM CREW—as well as curriculum developers who ensure that Girlstart’s continually-refreshed content are standards- and research-based. Under Katelyn’s leadership, Girlstart After School has grown to serving 54 schools in Texas, and Girlstart Summer Camp now reaches more than 650 girls in Central Texas and in states nationwide. As part of her collaborative engagement with the national informal science community, Katelyn is a lead trainer for WaterBotics as well as for SciGirls and serves on the Informal Science Education Association of Texas Board of Directors. Having joined Girlstart in 2005, Katelyn has been an informal educator for more than 14 years.

Jodi Hayes Accounting Manager

Jodi has been the Accounting Manager for Girlstart since 2010.  Prior to joining Girlstart she worked for many years at Dell Inc. in various roles that included Global Accounts Payable Manager, Financial Systems and Business to Business Project Management, where she was recognized for creating a process patent. She earned her B.S. in Accounting from the University of Rhode Island and her M.B.A. from St. Edwards here in Austin. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband trying to keep up with their identical twin girls.

Meera V. Angus Social Media Manager

Meera is a social media and IT consultant with experience in the technology industry, non-profits, and retail. Prior to joining Girlstart, she worked at Google where she lead the global training and onboarding teams for the Enterprise Support division. After flexing her social media skills in a 20% project, Meera became the Google Apps Online Community Manager and developed strategies to better utilize social media to interact with and support Google Apps users. Meera holds a B.B.A. in Management Information Systems with a minor in Asian Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. She’s an avid reader, dog lover, traveller, and Pinterest addict.

 

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Board of Directors

The goal of Girlstart and its board is to provide strategies, resources and programs to increase the numbers of young women pursuing education and careers in science, math and engineering.

 

  • Dawn Anderson
  • Becky Austen, Chair
  • Wendy Benson
  • Bronwyn Blake, Secretary 
  • Janet Cinfio
  • Yen Florczak
  • Lyn Herr
  • Doug Hillary
  • Arcie Jordan
  • Rick Morales
  • Shantel Norman
  • Todd Penner, Treasurer
  • Arleene Porterfield
  • Sharon Reddehase
  • Michelle Roebuck
  • Randy Sabbagh
  • Sara Spivey, Vice Chair