Andrew, born in New Haven, CT, graduated from Stonehill College with his BA in Political Science. Andrew attended 3 different high schools (Holy Cross, Notre Dame of Fairfield, and The Kent School). His experience with the challenges of being a new student in an unfamiliar place is what drew him to work at Shearwater. Before Shearwater, Andrew worked as a Development Officer for the Alzheimer’s Association MA/NH Chapter focusing on managing charity Walks in Worcester and New Bedford.
Chris Elia - Higher Education Partnerships
Chris Elia is from East Lyme, CT and graduated from Merrimack College in Andover, MA. After playing lacrosse in college, Chris moved to England where he continued to play and also worked as an ambassador of the sport within schools. This is what drove his interest in international education, and he has built his career working in sales and partnerships within higher ed. Chris came to Shearwater from Hotcourses, where he helped schools build their brand and generate interest from students in their target international markets.
Eliza LaJoie - Director of Student Success
Eliza is passionate about empowering all kinds of curious minds. Before joining Shearwater, she worked as a student advisor, data analyst and program manager in both non-profits and startups -- including Quad Learning and AVID -- focused on non-traditional and underserved students. She graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University, where she studied the history of US education policy and sat on the editorial board of the Cornell Daily Sun.
Eli Rose - Software Developer
Eli is a person, and behaves accordingly. He graduated Oberlin College in Ohio, with majors in Computer Science and Creative Writing. Before coming to Shearwater, Eli worked at Cogo Labs in Kendall Square. He volunteers co-teaching a computer science class at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, and enjoys going to Effective Altruist meetups in Cambridge.
Gaby Yeshua - Community Advocate
Gaby is passionate about reducing educational disparity and supporting students through tricky transitions. While a student teacher in a 2nd grade classroom, Gaby conducted research on mindfulness and applies it to her everyday pedagogy. An eager learner, Gaby received her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Master of Arts in Teaching from Brandeis University. Gaby considers herself to be a life-long learner and hopes to travel the world!
George Boyar - Director of Partnership Operations
George savors taking apart problems. He joined Shearwater to create sustainable social impact. Before Shearwater, George worked with Bain & Company and founded a coworking space in St. Louis dedicated to supporting social entrepreneurs. While at Washington University in St. Louis for his undergraduate degree George studied Chinese, Computer Science, Entrepreneurship and Design.
Jackson Boyar - Co-Founder and CEO
Jackson first developed a passion for mentorship and cultural exchange while living with a Chinese host family during high school. His host parents spoke no English and he spoke no Chinese at the time. It was a transformative experience and inspired Jackson to co-found Shearwater to empower others to embrace the unknown. Prior to founding Shearwater, Jackson worked at L.E.K. Consulting, helping businesses address their most pressing strategic challenges. Jackson is a proud alumnus of Newark Academy (NJ) and Indiana University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in East Asian Languages and Culture. Jackson is a fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese.
James Morrissey - Co-Founder and COO
James, born in New York City, attended elementary school in Taipei. He later attended Stuyvesant High School and graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Carleton College with majors in Chemistry and Chinese. While studying abroad in China at several universities, James became passionate about mentorship as an effective mechanism for cross-cultural growth and integration, leading to the eventual creation of Shearwater. Previously, James worked at L.E.K., a global strategy consulting firm, and worked in recruiting/marketing for Teach for America.
Joe Sutherland - Senior Data Advisor
Joe brings more than 15 years of statistics and software development experience to Shearwater. His academic work uses experimentation and novel statistical techniques to study political inequality and representation. Joe’s research is published in top peer-reviewed outlets. A proven leader in the research and public sectors, he built a successful analytical enterprise at Prattle and managed projects at The White House. Joe is a Ph.D. Candidate at Columbia; he holds a Master’s from Columbia and a Bachelor’s from Washington University in St. Louis.
Max Wallace - Director of Engineering
Maria Van Thienen - Higher Education Partnerships
Maria was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to the States at an early age. After high school, she took a gap year to travel around Europe, while based in Paris working as an au pair. She then moved to Boston to attend Northeastern University where she completed a major in Psychology and a minor in Business. Her most memorable experiences at Northeastern were volunteering as a Husky Ambassador, working as an Orientation Leader, and studying abroad in Australia. Maria also competed in the Ballroom Dance Team and volunteered at a nonprofit, teaching health classes in Boston public high schools. Before Shearwater, she worked in operations, marketing, and project management roles at various startups in Boston. Maria is most passionate about education, travel, and dance. She speaks English, French, and Spanish and her favorite styles of dance are salsa and swing.
Micajah Dudley - Director of Partnerships
Micajah is a passionate people-person dedicated to scaling impactful business models. Prior to joining Shearwater, Micajah was a consultant at Development Finance International and worked with companies to expand their business in Latin America and Africa. Among other previous experiences, Micajah has worked for an experiential education organization in Beijing, China and is the Co-Founder of a social enterprise incubator in St. Louis, MO. He holds a B.A. in International Studies from Washington University in St. Louis and considers himself a lifelong traveler.
Polly Goss - Higher Education Partnerships
Polly is passionate about empowering students through personalized learning and mentorship. Before joining Shearwater, she taught high school English in London, U.K, for three years and is a Teach for All Ambassador. Polly’s first hand experience of moving to the U.S.A. compelled her to join Shearwater, to help others successfully integrate into life in the U.S.A. Polly loves to discover new places in her spare time, enjoys going to the theatre and is currently trying to learn Italian.
Polly has a Master’s degree from University College London in Educational Leadership and a Bachelor’s degree majoring in English Literature. Polly considers herself a global citizen and lifelong explorer!
PJ Buddhari - Visual Designer
PJ is a multidisciplinary designer, with an architecture degree from MIT. She’s passionate about helping people turn their dreams into reality through meaningful storytelling and crafting seamless experiences that feel considerate and engaging. She previously worked in marketing communication design, as well as user experience consulting.
Rich Zhang - Program Operations Associate
By the time he matriculated at Boston University, Rich had lived in 3 countries and 6 cities. Rich is all too familiar with the challenges related to acclimating to a new environment and joined Shearwater to help promote its Mentorship Program as a way to address these hurdles.
Rich is passionate about education disparity and is a veteran test-prep coach with over 10 years of experience. He is the founder of RZ Tutor, a test-prep company serving Brighton, MA and the Greater Boston Area.
Rich holds a B.S. in Finance from BU and a MBA from Babson College.
Siobhan Landry - Animator
Siobhan is a filmmaker and photographer with a Bachelors in Art History from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and a Masters of Fine Art from the University of Connecticut-Storrs. She loves working with people to create engaging stories about things that matter. She teaches video and digital media at the University of Connecticut, and Cambridge Community Television, and the International Center of Photography in NYC. She recently completed a short film which was a finalist for a Mass Cultural Council grant, and developed video content for Lipedema Simplified, a transmedia program supported by The Friedman Center at Mount Sinai hospital.
Snow Li - Curriculum Development
Snow is deeply passionate about providing high quality education for all students. She taught as a special education teacher in Chicago and Newark and is currently working as a Literacy Specialist at ANet, an education nonprofit in Boston. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Princeton University with a degree in History and certificates in East Asian Studies and Visual Arts. During her time as an undergraduate, she interned abroad in human rights organizations in Hong Kong and Stockholm. Snow will also be pursuing her MBA at the Wharton School in the fall of 2016.
Tom Egan - Higher Education Partnerships
Tom is an outgoing Bostonian with a passion for helping others. As a student at the University of Vermont, he saw first hand how being mentor made a positive impact on his community. Living in Florence and London showed Tom how important it was to acclimate to a foreign environment. Tom most recently worked at Bigbelly helping universities implement smart waste and recycling systems to beautify campuses. He is a passionate skier and lifelong traveler.
Uchenna Ezibe, Program Operations Associate
Uchenna, who considers himself a lifelong learner, is passionate about improving the educational experiences of others. Uchenna believes that no student should be denied their chance at acquiring an education, and is particularly devoted to helping diverse populations of students feel comfortable and succeed in whatever environment they have found themselves.
Uchenna graduated from Bowdoin College after double-majoring in French and Government (with an International Relations concentration). Uchenna has previously worked in admissions at a study abroad organization, as an English teaching assistant in a university in France, and as a teacher, tutor, and mentor for middle and high school students in the United States and in Morocco.