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The iEducateUSA Team

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Dr. Roopa Gir

President

Roopa has been in the oil & gas industry for over 30 years, working in engineering and operations in the US and overseas. Her passion is education – she has volunteered at inner-city schools in Houston, and is an advisor to the Innovation Mobile School for Children of Migrant Laborers. Currently, she serves on the board of IAPAC and Samskriti, and is a charter member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).

Arun Gir

Executive Director

Arun holds degrees in Chemical Engineering and Applied Math & Statistics from The Johns Hopkins University. He was the Chief Research Officer at WILSA Holdings, LLC, an R&D company focused on bettering water treatment processes. Arun has always been passionate about bettering primary school education, having worked with YO! Baltimore – a tutoring program serving out-of-school Baltimore youth and young adults – through his college years.

Shantanu Agarwal

Secretary / Director of Business Development

Shantanu is a Partner at Energy Ventures, a leading energy focused private equity firm.
He has deep expertise in Energy domain with experience in managing businesses for Schlumberger and founding a compression technology company Hicor. Shantanu has a MBA from Harvard University, and has also worked with McKinsey Climate Change Special Initiative, consulting to US utilities. Shantanu has a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee.

Ajit Paralkar

Treasurer

Ajit Paralkar, a Mechanical Engineer, has a MBA in Finance, is a Texas CPA and has worked for over 35 years in the energy, aviation, consulting, distribution, & retail industries. The last 10 years he has been involved in tutoring at-risk students in the Houston, Fort Bend & Alief Independent School Districts through the Sathya Sai organization. He served on its board for 8 years and currently serves on the Community Outreach Committee.

Robert Moll

Legal Counsel

Robert Moll has practiced international law for over 20 years and has served on the boards of several Houston-area nonprofits, including the Houston Area Model United Nations (HAMUN) and the Houston Chapter of the United Nations Association of the United States (UNA-USA). His mother was an English teacher and he has both tutored and taught many high school and college students throughout the years.

Ravi Brahmbhatt

Director of Recruiting

Ravi Brahmbhatt is currently a Director of Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Houston Community College (HCC) and a faculty member for the Computer Science and Business Marketing Department, He also holds adjunct professor roles at University of Houston for the College of Liberal Arts and Bauer College of Business. Ravi is passionate about education and entrepreneurship; he sees STEM education as a key factor to a being a successful entrepreneur.

Rachana Wood

Director of Professional Development

Rachana Wood is a Human Resources professional at Shell Oil and has held various roles in the areas of HR, Compensation & Benefits, Employee Relations, and Industrial Relations, among others. She has a Masters in Human Resources from Purdue University and a BA in Business and Spanish from Hanover College. Rachana speaks 4 languages: English, Hindi, French, and Spanish.

Amir Eskafyan

Director of Outreach

An accomplished philanthropist, company advisor, and entrepreneur, Amir manages a portfolio of over twenty consumer web, mobile, and technology start-ups as well as an array of mature enterprises, proudly serving on the Board of Directors for seven of the organizations. Previously, Amir served as Chief Product Officer at Torch Energy Inc. Amir is a first-generation American with Mexican and Iranian heritage, born in Chicago and raised in Houston.

Natasha Bajaj

Director of Summer Programs

Natasha Bajaj is a Financial Planning Analyst at DistributionNOW, and holds an MBA from the University of St. Thomas. She is leading the design and implementation of iEducate’s Summer Enrichment program.

Haripriya Rathod

Operations Manager

Haripriya Rathod is a Horticulture major with an MBA from the University of St. Thomas. She holds experience working in the private as well as government sectors. Haripriya is currently working with iEducate to oversee operations at HISD schools. She is a strong supporter of encouraging kids towards STEM education.

Ryan Arnold

Recruiting Coordinator

Ryan Arnold has worked in governmental public health and non-profit healthcare, and he is currently a Project Director at Houston Methodist. He is passionate about child health and wellbeing, working for Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery in 2007-08 through his current work with iEducate. Ryan holds an MPH from the University of Texas and a BA in English Literature from Washington State University.

Audrey Buth

Recruiting Coordinator

Audrey Buth is a Chemical Engineer with more than 20 years of experience in the petrochemical industry. She has a Masters in Chemical Engineering and an MBA from UH.
She has a passion for educating the next generation and believes that the most guaranteed way out of poverty is a STEM education. Prior to iEducate, she has volunteered in various programs in the Pasadena ISD.

John Aquino

Recruiting Coordinator

John Aquino is a process engineer & consultant for Sulphur Experts, an Environmental Services company in the oil & gas industry. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Chemical Engineering, John was a Teach for America mathematics teacher on the Big Island of Hawai’i. While in Houston, John served as an iEducate school coordinator for Braeburn Elementary.

Christine Ehlig-Economides

UH Recruiting Coordinator

Dr. Christine Ehlig-Economides is Professor of Petroleum Engineering and holder of the William C. Miller Chair at the University of Houston.

Dr. Poonam Gulati

UHD Recruiting Coordinator

Dr. Poonam Gulati Salhotra is an Associate Professor of Microbiology and the Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning at the University of Houston-Downtown. In addition to teaching, Dr. Salhotra engages her students in the community via teaching in elementary schools. She is passionate about bringing science to students in elementary schools. Dr. Salhotra also conducts research in Microbiology.

Ranjana Narasimhan

Summer Curriculum Coordinator

Ranjana Narasiman holds an undergraduate degree in Chemistry, a masters in Philosophy, and an MBA in Finance. In order to balance work and family, she became a high school teacher in Houston, teaching AP Physics. She has served on the board of non-profits such as the Meenakshi Temple Society in Pearland, the Classical Arts Society of Houston, and ICATS, where she organized seminars for high school social studies teachers on Indic Cultures and Traditions.

Jessica DeBoe

HISD Student Congress Coordinator

Jessica is speaker of the HISD Student Congress, an organization that represents the voice of over 200,000+ students in the Houston Independent School District. Jessica is the liaison between iEducate and StuCon, and facilitates the involvement of 100+ HISD high school volunteers every summer across the iEducate summer programs.

Grace Liu

Operations Intern

Grace Liu is a rising senior at Glenda Dawson High School. Prior to iEducate, Grace has volunteered in the Pearland and Houston area with the Alliance of Youth Leaders in the United States and the Leos Club. She hopes to attend the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.

Itmam Azad

Research Intern

Itmam Azad is a rising senior at Kerr High School. He is greatly passionate about the STEM industry and wishes to inspire iEducate students to develop an interest in similar fields. Prior to iEducate, Itmam has worked at the Excel N’ Exit Tutorial Center, privately tutored numerous children, and also has much childcare experience from volunteering at the YMCA of Greater Houston.