The Science Learning Intitute is managed by two teams, our Staff Team and the SLI STEM Impact Team. Meet our teams members here.
Sophia Kim, SLI Director
Sophia joined Foothill College in April 2020. She is a transplant from Boston, where she spent almost 15 years working in the nonprofit youth work space, directing programs that primarily served Asian American youth from immigrant and low-income backgrounds, building youth leadership and supporting youth to effect positive change in their communities. Sophia also has a commitment to anti-oppression education and change work through initiatives to develop anti-racism trainings, activist trainings for young adults.
Sophia has a bachelor's degree from Williams College, where she double-majored in biology and history, and a master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts Boston, with a focus on multicultural education at the secondary level.
Sophia spends her free time with her husband and young son, riding their bikes, camping in the forests and by the beach, hiking, and trying to be outdoors as much as possible. She loves cooking and baking for family and friends, and exploring new places with her family.
Jovanah Arrington, MESA Program Coordinator
Jovanah joined Foothill College as the MESA Program Coordinator in September 2023. Prior to this, she was the Athletics Academic Advisor at De Anza College. During this time, she worked closely with student-athletes to support them in meeting their academic and athletic goals. Prior to De Anza, Jovanah interned for UCLA Athletics where she was an Academic Mentor for student-athletes from a variety of teams.
Jovanah has an Associate’s degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Merced College, and both a Bachelor’s in Education and Master’s in Sociology degree from Cal Poly Humboldt where she was a former Women’s Basketball student-athlete.
Paty Villegas, MESA Counselor
Patricia Villegas (Paty) server Foothill College students as a Counselor for the MESA Program. She is also a MESA Counselor at Mission College and an Adjunct Lecturer at Evergreen Valley College where she provides educational counseling and teaches courses on career planning and study skills. Paty is highly passionate in working with youth and young adults from underserved communities and guiding them with their academic and career goals.Paty’s life mission is to equip and empower students to pivot their mindset, find career fulfillment, and live a life with purpose and intention.
She says, “I recognize the struggle that students experience in identifying their gifts and talents and how to use their strengths in the workforce. I am determined to help them acknowledge their unique traits.” Paty holds advanced degrees from San Jose State University and the University of Southern California in Social Work.
Lillian Swedlow, Student Empowerment Specialist
Lily is a fourth-year Aerospace Engineering Major. In the middle of the pandemic, after two previous attempts at different colleges, she began studying at Foothill. Her most successful college career yet began with SLI's Techcore Cohort which she joined shortly after she started at Foothill. From there, Lily has worked with SLI through various roles including being a Peer Mentor for the Techcore Summer Institute 2021, a member of the SLI STEM Impact Team 2021-23, SLI's Social Media Specialist, Program Coordinator for the PRE-STEM Summer Institute 2022, and now the SLI Student Empowerment Specialist.
When she's not busy building community and spreading awareness of SLI at Foothill, she loves hanging out with her friends, playing video games, and spending time at home with her partner and dog.
Gina Hua, SLI Program Assistant
Gina is a second year Biology/BioE major interested in research. She got involved with SLI as a peer tutor before working as a program assistant. Her mission is to provide background support to SLI. Concurrently, she is an active member of the science and honors communities at Foothill. One of her interests is in honey which she pursued at a honey microbe lab at Stanford. As a lover of music and cats, she spends her leisure time scrolling through photos of felines and headbanging to Eminem.
Dr. Ram Subramaniam, Administrator Champion
Ram Subramaniam (he/him) is the Acting Associate Vice President of Instruction at Foothill College. Prior to this, Ram was the Dean of the STEM Division at Foothill (2017-2022) during which time he supervised the various academic STEM departments and also the Science Learning Institute. Before coming to Foothill , Ram was a chemistry instructor at De Anza College (also part of the California Community College system) from 2008 to 2017 and at Santa Clara University (2003-2008).
Ram has an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Instrumentation Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (1987-1992, Pilani, India) and a Doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Kentucky (1993-1997, Lexington, KY). After completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Case Western Reserve University (1997-2001, Cleveland, OH) Ram was a visiting assistant professor in the chemistry department at Hamilton College (2001-2003, Clinton, NY). Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more information here. This leadership team is dedicated to change efforts to advance SLI's mission both on campus and in the local community.
Bim Bolarinwa, Public Health Major
Hi, my name is Bim Bolarinwa, and I am a third-year student studying Public health/Nursing. I was part of the Pre-STEM cohort and enjoyed connecting with others and learning more about how we could create a more diverse STEM program here at Foothill. As a member of the SLI impact team, I hope to continue motivating and growing STEM education. In my free time, I like listening to music, hanging out with my family, and watching movies.
Juan Marin, Biochemistry Major
Juan Marin Melo is a second year Biochemistry Major. Native to Mexico, Juan is a first-gen DACA recipient who wants to pursue a career in research. Juan finds both Biology and Chemistry to be very fascinating and applicable subjects. In his free time, Juan loves to stay active whether it be in sports or going on likes. His favorite football team is the San Francisco 49ers! His favorite Fútbol team is C.D. Guadalajara (Club Deportivo Guadalajara).
Fatima Sanchez, Radiology/ Public Health Major
I am Fatima Sanchez and I am majoring in Public Health and/or Radiology. I was part of the Pre-STEM cohort and the Biology club and was involved with the STEM Impact Team last year. I am passionate about sciences and I enjoy lab activities. I like to support the community that has been underrepresented because I can understand the challenges and provide feedback because I have been both audience and staff. In my free time I like to exercise and build Legos.
Karla Alvarez, Mechanical Engineering Major
Hello! My name is Karla Alvarez and I am pursuing a major in Mechanical Engineering. I'm also part of PRE-STEM and PUENTE as well as other clubs on campus. I am a student with a passion for innovation and problem-solving. I am dedicated to gaining a strong foundation in the field and applying my knowledge to real-world challenges. During my free time I enjoy going to the beach with my dog and hanging out with friends.
Krizza Shae Millare, Biology Major
Krizza Shae C Millare is a proud Filipina immigrant who embarked on her college journey at Foothill College in 2020 while working as a full-time medical assistant. During her time here, she was offered admission to Stanford University for a Stanford Summer Session Pilot Program 2022. This opportunity reignited her resolve to pursue a career in medicine. Hence, she is majoring in AST Biology.
Her proudest achievement to date is winning the RSLS Judge’s Award 2023. Her award-winning research, focused on regenerative medicine, was conducted during her participation in the SLI Winter Micro-internship 2023 at the Interventional Radiology Innovation at Stanford Laboratory.
In her leisure time, Krizza enjoys watching Korean dramas and anime series. She cherishes moments spent walking with her mom and siblings. Exploring the world is one of her life goals.
Sabrina Sanchez, Biology Major
My name is Sabrina Sanchez, I am a Mexican-American Biology Major. I am a 2nd year Pre-Med student, I work part time as a cashier but am currently attending as an Intern at Standford working on a project with mesoplasma florum.
Click here to find out more about the 2021-22 inaugural STEM Impact Team. They laid an important foundation for the team's work, and SLI could not have done it with them!