MIT Alumni Mentors

Alumni Mentors

Terrascope Mentors are MIT Alumni who lend their experience and expertise.

Our MIT Alumni Mentors:

Alfredo Kniazzeh

MIT 1959 Course 2

After MIT Alfredo joined NASA and the US Army to work on power systems for deep space (at the time when man first walked on the moon). Then he worked thirty-five years at Polaroid Corp, receiving thirteen patents while developing instant photographic and imaging systems, batteries using zinc and lithium, and thin-film photovoltaic sources.


Since retirement in 2005, his interest in singing has expanded to include traveling with “Sharing A New Song” to sing in Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, Turkey, Nicaragua, South Africa, New Orleans, Russia, Cuba, Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil. To celebrate his fiftieth MIT reunion he danced with the MIT Ballroom Dance Team at the class gala.


Mentoring for 12.000 since 2006 has been a great pleasure. The resulting awareness of environmental issues has helped simplify living.

Ali Trueworthy

MIT 2017 Course 2OE

Ali was a member of Mission 2017 and a UTF for Mission 2018, she also took 1.016 in the Spring of 2014. Her degree from MIT was in Mechanical and Ocean Engineering (2OE). After MIT, Ali worked in underwater passive acoustic sensing at OASIS Inc. in Lexington, MA before leaving in April of 2018 for a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. Directly after the trail, Ali began her PhD work in Mechanical Engineering at Oregon State University. There, she does research in ocean wave energy through the Pacific Marine Energy Center. Her research is specifically focused on design and assessment methodologies for marine energy systems and wave energy powered desalination. She is currently working on a project developing a small-scale, easily-deployable seawater desalination system for remote communities and disaster areas. Along with her engineering work, Ali recently joined the Environmental Arts and Humanities program at Oregon State through which she will earn her Master’s of Art and do research in communication, rhetoric, and renewable energy. Ali makes an effort to make marine energy research accessible and exciting to people outside her specific research field by writing a column for the Pacific Marine Energy Center website and social media and participating in outreach events around the University. She has a fair bit of experience leading teams and her research in design engineering can provide insight to effective methodologies for creating solutions to major problems such as those presented in Terrascope. Ali is happy to share her professional and personal experiences with Terrascope, at MIT, and beyond and would love to hear from students this year’s students! 

Allison Patton

MIT 2009 Course 1E

I joined Terrascope as a freshman for Mission 2009: Tsunami Threat in the Pacific, and served as a UTF in Mission 2011: Saving the Oceans and Mission 2012: Clean Water. I joined the Terrascope alumni mentorship team last year for Mission 2020: Future of Cities, and am excited to be able to help again.


After leaving MIT, I completed a Ph.D. in environmental engineering at Tufts University and postdoctoral training in exposure science at the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute of Rutgers University. My research interests have included air pollution exposures and health effects related to ultrafine particles in neighborhoods near highways, in commuting vehicles and residential green buildings, and near ports. I am currently a scientist at the Health Effects Institute in Boston, where I am involved in research oversight and review of studies investigating exposure to traffic-related air pollution and accountability assessment of air pollution regulations.

Andrew Wickert

MIT 2008 Course 12

Andy Wickert (SB 2008, Course 12; PhD 2014, Geology, University of Colorado Boulder) investigates how rivers, glaciers, and landscapes change, both over Earth’s past and into the future. He is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota, where he runs a lab dedicated to developing and building open-source instrumentation for environmental and water-resources research. He and his group are currently investigating the effects of climate and land-use change on rivers in the upper Mississippi valley, studying changes in rock uplift and erosion in response to glacier retreat in southern Patagonia, experimentally determining the physical forces that control landslide size, and assisting with efforts to monitor and model coupled groundwater-surface water systems in Ecuador and around the globe. 

Anupong “Mee” Tangpeerachaikul

MIT 2012 Courses 5 & 7

Born and raised in Thailand, I went to high school in Norway before coming to MIT in 2008. I double-majored in courses 5 & 7, and then obtained a Ph.D. in Chemistry & Chemical Biology from Harvard in 2018. I am now a scientist at a biotechnology start-up where I help to discover novel cancer therapeutics. I am passionate about sustainable development–that’s what brought me to Terrascope in the first place–and although I have little knowledge related to this year’s Mission, I can be helpful in areas such as literature review, writing reports, and preparing presentations (making slides may be my most useful contribution to Mission 2012!). I can also give general MIT or career advice, especially for students from an international background or aspiring chemists/biologists. Terrascope was one of my best memories about MIT, and I hope to help make it a lifelong experience for you all too.

Bhupendra Khetani

MIT 1960 Course 10

This is Bhupendra’s seventh year of participation in the Mentor Program. Bhupendra’s educational background is all in chemical Engineering at MIT, where he received S.B (1960), S.M (1962) and Chemical Engineer (1963) degrees. His work experience in actual technical developments was during the early years after MIT in the field of plastic packaging products at the Monsanto Company.


He soon gravitated to manufacturing and finance, which were always his primary work interests. At his next employer, Owens-Illinois, at the time the world’s largest packaging company, he was focused on managing technical developments in plastic packaging products leading to full scale manufacturing operations and green field factory start ups. He has extensive experience in the field of technology licensing and was responsible for development of a vast network of licensees and strategic affiliations at Owens. In the last 15 years or so of his career, he worked nearly exclusively in merger and acquisitions activities for his company, ending as the director of Corporate Planning. He believes that among other possible contributions, he could mentor and work with the student teams in understanding the financial implications and operational trade-offs that are nearly always necessary in successful commercial implementations of technology solutions.

Brandon Wang

MIT 2019 Course 6

My experience with Terrascope started my first year, with Mission 2019: Food Security. Since then, I’ve been a UTF for Missions 2020 and 2022, and most importantly, played for the Terrascope IM hockey team. While at MIT, I was a Course 6-3 and was part of ESP. In the past I’ve interned at a software company, NASA, and in a computational urban science lab. Right now I’m working at a company that GIS/simulation software for the transportation industry while planning my next steps after undergrad. Feel free to reach out if you want to talk about Terrascope, MIT, careers, or anything else!

Catherine “Rin” Yunis

MIT 2016 Course 2A

I am a PhD student at USC studying Biomedical Engineering in my second year. I work with rehabilitation robotics due to a combined interested in hands on engineering and neuroscience. I love to make, cook, read and dance. Terrascope was one of my favorite classes at MIT.

Dirk Stahlecker

MIT 2016 Course 6-3

Dirk was involved in Terrascope in almost every way during his time at MIT as a student in Mission 2016 and continuing on to take both spring classes as well. He loved the experience so much that he spent the next five semesters working as a UTF for all three classes. Much of Dirk’s Mission was spent thinking through the challenges of coordinating so many people and trying to craft a single cohesive solution. He encourages students to reach out to him to discuss aspects of the teamwork, coordination, planning, and leadership that is necessary for a successful Mission in addition to technical questions about the website or project. 


Dirk currently works as a software developer at Ab Initio. Outside work he can usually be found playing ice hockey or racing his racecar (and fixing it after the inevitable crash). He lives in Cambridge and hasn’t really gotten away from the MIT student sleep cycle and therefore is often available to answer late night questions. He can’t wait to see what this year’s class is able to come up with!

Eleanor ``Kellie`` Stokes

MIT MS Course 2

Dr. Eleanor Stokes is a remote sensing and urban land scientist interested in the planetary impacts of urbanization.  Her work revolves around questions about how urban land patterns impact emissions and equity, as well as how cities can mitigate carbon emissions and adapt to a changing climate.   She currently works at NASA Goddard Space Flight center as the science PI of the NASA Black Marble, a global satellite dataset of Earth’s lights at night.  This dataset has been used to study energy infrastructure development in urban areas, as well as the impacts of natural disasters, like Hurricane Maria, on the grid.  Before joining Goddard, she received a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from Yale FES working at the urbanization and global change lab, a MS in mechanical engineering at MIT, and a BA from Dartmouth College in math and studio art.  She has six years of professional experience in the building technology field, specializing in high performance building design, daylight analysis, renewable energy feasibility studies, and energy efficient mechanical and lighting design, and serves as an advisor to student teams at Auburn University Rural Studio on principles of environmental design. 

Emily Moberg

MIT 2011 & 2016 Courses 1E & 7

Emily Moberg is a research scientist at the World Wildlife Fund and is a national leader in climate change communication. She was a member of Mission 2011 and continued as an undergraduate and alumni mentor thereafter. She majored in Environmental Engineering, and then pursued her doctorate in Biological Oceanography in the MIT-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program. She currently works at the World Wildlife Fund in DC on the nutritional, livelihood, and environmental impacts of protein provisioning. She is the incoming executive chair for the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation. Her areas of expertise are mathematical ecology, bio-economic modelling, biological oceanography, and climate science communication. 

Emily Shorin

MIT 2016 Course 1

I am currently a Senior Research Analyst in the energy practice at The Brattle Group, an economic consulting firm. My role entails quantitative analysis, developing presentations, and writing reports for clients in the electricity space, including market operators, power plant owners, and utilities. I also developed and implemented a firm-wide program for achieving carbon neutrality and providing education on sustainable practices in the office.  I graduated from MIT in 2016 with a degree in Environmental Engineering and a minor in Urban Studies and Planning. During my freshman fall at MIT, I participated in Terrascope: Mission 2016, which focused on strategic minerals and rare earth elements. Terrascope sparked a passion for pursuing a career where I could impact the environment.


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Eric Plosky

MIT 1999 Course 11

I’m the Chief of the Transportation Planning Division at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, right in Kendall Square. As a transportation planner and program manager, I lead a team of 40, working closely with DOT components and other federal agencies on many different types of transportation-planning efforts, at the project, program, and policy levels. With both DOT and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, my team has been active on a number of international-development projects. I’m also a disaster-recovery coordinator; I was stationed in Louisiana for five months following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, and I helped to write the National Disaster Recovery Framework.

Hal Gustin

MIT 1973 Course 2

I’ve been an Alumni Mentor for about 14 years, and each year, I look forward to learning about the course topic from the students in the class. I have MIT degrees (SB, SM) in Mechanical Engineering, and spent most of my career working as a consultant in the energy industry, mostly supporting nuclear power plants in the US and internationally.  My principal technical areas include power plant systems, materials, failure analysis, regulatory issues and complex emergent issues. I also participated on several ASME Codes and Standards development committees as an officer and member for many years. I am a licensed Professional Engineer in several States. In addition to my engineering background, I am a licensed Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and volunteer with the local fire/rescue organization on training and testing of EMT candidates, and on mass casualty simulation activities. I also volunteer at a domestic violence crisis center and a seasonal homeless shelter. 


I could possibly offer some input on topics like power generation security and hardening for disaster preparedness, based in part on the industry experiences in responding to the Fukushima event in 2011. 

John Hixson

MIT 1974 Course 11

John Hixson grew up in Greenwich Village, NYC, playing chess in Washington Square Park and walking 10 blocks to elementary school on his own.  He came to Cambridge at MIT in 1969, was one of the first undergrads in Course XI, DUSP, with his SB in 1974.  His internship with the Cambridge Planning Dept., now Community Development, was in transportation planning, forming a citizens group to advise the City Council, then becoming a full-time planner upon graduation and working on the Red Line Extension from Harvard to Alewife.  He moved into affordable housing development with the Somerville Community Corporation in 1981 and continued in that field until his semi-retirement in 2016.  He drives a senior van two days a week.  His wife and he have a solar-heated (since 1984) Victorian house in North Cambridge, and they live without a car since his retirement.  Their daughter is a landscape architect in St. Paul, MN, and their son is Director of Communications for a large firm in Los Angeles.  He is Clerk of Homeowners Rehab, a nonprofit in Cambridge, and volunteers with Green Cambridge and the 350MA.

Jillian James

MIT 2010 Course 16

Jillian James is an MIT course 16 alumni (SB ’10, SM ’16).  She works at MIT Lincoln Laboratory (LL) as an engineer in the Space Systems Analysis and Test Group.  As a systems engineer, she is passionate about solving complex problems that impact people and the environment.  She has technical expertise in power systems and familiarity with sensing technologies.  Jillian has close ties to Puerto Rico, as she visits every year to see her close family who grew up there.  Having heard about the devastation in Puerto Rico from hurricane Maria, and then seeing it herself, she is committed to sharing the story to educate people and build a more resilient island. 

Johnathan Reinharth

MIT 2006 Course 9

Hi new Terrascope members! I was a member of Mission/Terrascope 2006, and was grateful for the opportunity to try to use my knowledge to make a positive difference to address the complex issues our world faces. As some of you may end up doing, I have gone on to a career different from most at MIT. I am now a Clinical Psychologist, working with young people who have had psychotic experiences. I also play the violin, and enjoy theater. I was very active in the theater community and with ESP while at MIT. I live in mostly liberal Brooklyn with my wife and son, but work in largely conservative Staten Island. My grounding in science through Terrascope and MIT has been invaluable to me as a psychologist, to be able to cut through the pseudoscience to provide services that are compassionate, empowering particularly for the disenfranchised, and which work. I think this knowledge may connect well to empowering a new college student to empower the chronically disenfranchised Puerto Ricans.

Johnny Yang

MIT 2004 Course 15

Johnny was one of the first guinea pigs to participate in 12.000: Solving Complex Problems as student in Mission 2004 (Mars).  Because he loved 12.000 so much, he joined the staff for the class, serving as an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow (UTF) for several Missions before becoming an alumni mentor beginning with Mission 2007 

Though he grew up in the South, Johnny has resided in New England ever since coming to MIT. Still in the process of figuring out what he wants to be when he “grows up,” he has worked in a variety of industries, ranging from aerospace to finance to supply chain to early-stage software companies.


Johnny has also been known to be a stickler for correct grammar and to be a crusader against incomprehensible PowerPoint slides.  His current interests include short trips to faraway places, penguins, microfinance, underwater basket weaving and competitive squirrel tossing.  He lives in Cambridge, MA and will do his best to make it to campus to meet the class.


Pronouns: he/him/hey you/you there/y’all

Jorge Phillips

MIT 1972 Course 6

This is Jorge’s twelfth year mentoring 12.000. He is a deep technologist, successful entrepreneur and business executive with experience in Silicon Valley, the East Coast and overseas. He has had a lifelong interest since his MIT years in complex physical and social systems, as well as in advanced technologies, politics and technology policy making, the environment, and social and economic development. He holds a B.Sc. degree from MIT in Computer Science, and two M.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science as well as a Ph.D. degree in artificial intelligence, all from Stanford University. Dr. Phillips has been involved with MIT in many ways over the years: he is a member of the MIT Education Council, past member of MITAA’s Advisory Committee on globalizing MIT, and a Founder, past President and past Vice-President of International Relations of LAMIT, MIT’s Iberoamerican affinity group. He has also held Cabinet-level government positions in Colombia and diplomatic positions in Europe, as well as academic appointments in universities in the US, South America and Europe. He is a founding member of the Children’s Museum and International Center of Physics in Colombia, and member of the Eta Kappa Nu and Sigma Xi national honorary societies to which he was inducted as an undergraduate at MIT. Jorge is a patented inventor in the US, Japan and Europe. He lives in the Research Triangle area in North Carolina, where he is involved in artificial intelligence and machine learning, blockchain, banking and fintech, and several entrepreneurial efforts.

Kate Buggs

MIT 2016 Course 14

Kate graduated from MIT in 2016 with a degree in Economics (Course 14) and minor in Spanish. She works at an economic consulting firm in Boston and is slowly but surely working on applications to law school. She sometimes gets a little too excited about data analysis and statistical software. Kate was an alumni mentor for last year’s Terrascope Mission and drove the Cool Van on the spring break trip to Navajo Nation. Kate spends much of her time walking with her rescue dog, Rosie, on the Esplanade and cheering on the Chicago Cubs.

Katie Adler

MIT 2016 Course 1E

I participated in Mission 2016, which worked on solutions for future strategic mineral scarcities around the world. At MIT, I majored in course 1E and was on the open weight crew team. Now, I’m still studying Environmental Engineering as a PhD candidate in Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology with a minor in Sustainable Energy Systems at Cornell University. My past work experience includes internships with Geosyntec Consultants and the EPA, as well as a couple of UROPs. I enjoy getting involved in outreach programs to educate the local community, especially girls, about STEM topics. Also, I’m legally blind and would like to promote inclusion of other visually impaired or otherwise disabled individuals in academia. 

I am especially excited about this year’s Terrascope project because I was involved in a proposal to help design small scale (nano– and micro-grid), resilient, energy generation infrastructure in Puerto Rico after the destruction of Hurricane Maria in 2017.  For instance, I’m particularly interested in innovative Run of River hydro power generation mechanisms. Looking forward to seeing how this and other energy solutions will fit into this year’s Terrascope mission. 

Lauren Kuntz

MIT 2013 Course 2 & 8

Back in the day, Terrascope sparked Lauren’s passion for environmental issues. After MIT, she moved up the road to Harvard to complete a PhD in climate science, researching both physical oceanography as well as continuing her passion for understanding the barriers to decarbonizing energy systems. Most recently she left academia to start her own company, Gaiascope, focused on increasing the investability of renewables in the electric grid. 


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Marcela Rodriguez

MIT 2013 Course 1E

Marcela investigated the feasibility of geo-engineering solutions to climate change in her freshman year, and visited the UAE’s green city Masdar that spring. After graduating from 1E in ’13, she took an unconventional path into programming when learning how to create games, with a goal of helping others better understand climate change. Now working as a software engineer at a consulting firm, she has been looking for ways to get more involved in environmental issues. 


Marcela has family in Puerto Rico, and her father has been working on a venture to improve satellite communications during emergencies. She would love to help students with the process of finding solutions and writing proposals, and learn more about how she can help Puerto Rico in the process. 

Missy Showers

MIT 2013 Course 2A

Hi everyone! My name is Missy Showers. I was a 2013 Course 2A, with a focus in Energy & Sustainability. I dual minored in Energy Studies and Applied International Studies. While at MIT, I researched renewable energy, energy efficiency and the electric grid. I was part of Terrascope 2013 – Carbon Sequestration. After graduating, I worked for a year at a consulting firm that focused on the electricity sector, monitoring the energy market and regulatory policies and researching emerging technologies/policies. This past fall, I got my PhD in Energy Science and Engineering, with a focus in nuclear fusion, from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. I did my research at Oak Ridge National Lab on the Prototype Material Plasma Exposure eXperiment (Proto-MPEX), a linear plasma device working towards plasma-material interaction studies for future fusion devices. I just moved out to California to work for Lockheed Martin on the Compact Fusion Reactor. I’m really excited to get more involved with Terrascope again!  


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Patricia Crumley

MIT '03 & '04 Course 1

Patricia Crumley lives in Puerto Rico, and experienced first-hand the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in September 2017.  She graduated  with a B.S in Civil Engineering in 2003. In 2004, she completed her MEng in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a concentration in Information Technology. She went on to work for a while in IT but later returned to the “true profession” as her MIT advisor, Professor Einstein, refers to engineering, as the Resident Geotechnical Engineer at the Rio Blanco Off-stream Dam in Naguabo, Puerto Rico.


Later on, Patricia held various high-level positions in government, including serving as Director of Planning and Environmental Protection at the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) in 2011 and Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Luis Fortuño in 2012. In 2013 she returned to the private sector becoming the owner of GeoConsult, which expanded its offerings to not only include geotechnical engineering solutions, but also environmental work and project management, and general infrastructure advising. After Hurricane Maria devastated the island in September 2017, GeoConsult has also been involved in the evaluation of damages and handling of FEMA claims of multimillion-dollar losses for large infrastructure agencies in Puerto Rico.


This will be her first year as a Terrascope mentor.

René Andrés García Franceschini

MIT 2019 Course 1

René is a first year student in the Technology and Policy Program at MIT. He is originally from Ponce, Puerto Rico, and his research revolves around improving response time after major natural disasters. He is a member of MIT’s Class of 2019, where he studied Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has been involved in numerous initiatives promoting student wellbeing and financial support.

Robert Gurnitz

MIT 1960, '61, & '66 Course 10

This will be Bob’s eighteenth year as a Mission Mentor. Bob is President of the MIT Club of Southwest Florida. Additionally he is on the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity of Collier County (Florida) and is on the Board of Directors of the Everglades Astronomical Society. 


He is a Chemical Engineer by education (S.B., S.M., Ph.D., MIT). Bob briefly taught at MIT prior to going into the Aerospace Industry. He then spent a year in the President’s Executive Interchange Program in Washington working at the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Upon returning to Rockwell International, he subsequently held various positions leading to becoming President of their Passenger Car Components Business. Upon leaving Rockwell, he became President of Bethlehem Steel’s Structural Components Business. His subsequent positions included President of Webcraft Technologies, Chairman and CEO of Northwestern Steel and Wire, and Chairman of Envirosource. 


Bob has spent most of his career in solving complex problems and looks forward to working with the Mission 2022 team. Feel free to contact him anytime (

Schuyler Senft-Grupp

MIT 2006 Course 1E

Schuyler received his BS and PhD from MIT, and has expertise in environmental and electrical engineering, rapid prototyping, energy, and sustainability. He was a student in the inaugural Terrascope class and a Terrascope teaching assistant for two following years. For his graduate work he developed environmental sensors for remote field locations, which gathered water quality data in Singapore, Brunei, and Indonesia. He has worked at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Rocky Mountain Institute, and Cambridge Mobile Telematics. Schuyler can often be found hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, or leading Sierra Club trips for Los Angeles students. 

Sheldon Buck

MIT 1959 Course 16

Worked at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory 1957 to 1973, followed by The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory 1973 to 2000 when I retired.  I was assigned to the Earth and Planetary Science Department, now called EAPS, for 5 years (1968 to 1973) working with Prof. Frank Press and Prof. Nafi Toksoz.  I was Technical Director for the Lunar Traverse Gravimeter Experiment, which flew on Apollo 17 and was a member of the lunar surface EVA team at  Mission Control during the flight.


Designed stable platforms for inertial guidance systems.

Designed seismic monitoring systems for earthquakes and underground explosions.

Designed gravimeters for lunar exploration.

Designed special purpose instrumentation for submarines and oceanography.


Recent retirement activities include being an Alumni Mentor for this course 12.000 Solving Complex Problems for 20 years and attendance at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVentue held in Oshkosh, WI for the last 15 years.  At Carleton- Willard Village I am chairman of the CWV Computer Committee and a member to the Thesbians (theater group).


Of possible interest to this years subject, I have spent considerable time in the following major cities: New York, London, Bay Area-San Francisco, Houston and visited the following: , Tokyo, Kyoto, Honolulu, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Prague, Amman, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Athens, Naples, Rome, Florence, Milan, Cairo, Cape Town.

Tchelet Segev

MIT 2018 Course 1

Tchelet graduated from MIT in 2018 with a Master’s in Environmental Engineering and Bachelor’s in Civil and Environmental Engineering. For her thesis, she launched a citizen science project analyzing drinking water quality with a Native American tribe in Maine. Prior to that, she interned at the World Bank working on environmental safeguards for projects in Nepal, and has worked on projects including wastewater management in India, smallholder agriculture in Kenya, and rainwater harvesting in Mexico City. Last summer, she spent time in South Africa running an incubator for environmental startups and launched a water quality testing project in Puerto Rico for community run water systems. She is now working for the U.S. Forest Service at the Angeles National Forest in Region 5 managing some post-fire restoration efforts. She was on rotation for the Forest Service in the Bay Area managing regional partnerships and will be headed to a rotation on the Chugach National Forest in Anchorage, Alaska managing a multi-agency trail construction project. Some fun facts: Tchelet grew up in Taiwan, South Korea, Israel, and the US and her favorite genre of music is Disney music. 


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Todd Harland-White

MIT 1976 &'77 Course 13

My career after MIT (XIII-C, ’76) involved designing and building manned and unmanned systems operating in the deep sea for Northrop Grumman Undersea Systems, where I was Chief Architect until retiring in June 2018. Responsible for high level system architecture and novel technology concepts for a wide variety of underseas programs with a full complement of system elements: sensors, vehicles, communications, processing, host platforms, and operator interaction. Mission modeling and assessment for system feasibility and optimization; Identification, assessment, and mitigation of technical, cost, and schedule risks; Invention and innovation champion investigating new technologies for underseas systems. All of these efforts have been highly inter-disciplinary not only in the breadth of technical issues but also in the politics and budgeting required to initiate and complete the projects – as is typical of most real problems.  


This is my thirteenth tour of duty as a 12.000 mentor. I also serve as an MIT Educational Counselor. And being retired now, I am devoting more time to making music, voicing and editing audiobooks, and learning to row. 

Yolanda Lau

MIT 2002 Courses 7A & 10C

Yolanda is an entrepreneurship and small business consultant, and founder of many startups. She began her career at MIT’s Technology Licensing Office, where her work with startups piqued her interest in entrepreneurship. She then co-founded a real estate investment company, acted as its COO, and has also started several other ventures over the years. She is a co-founder of a consulting firm, Lau Labs, which provides services to startups and small businesses, specializing in growth. She is also part of 79 Studios, a Los Angeles based startup studio rethinking venture capital with a women-first, product, and community point-of-view. And in 2015, she started a company called FlexTeam ( with two other MIT alumnae. FlexTeam is simplifying the way smart work gets done and is an on-demand, executive-level “right hand women” team for CEOs, founders, small business owners, and other decision makers. On the consultant side, FlexTeam matches talented mid-career women with meaningful, challenging, temporally flexible, remote project-based work opportunities. FlexTeam recently spun out its proprietary software as a separate company to help companies manage their on-demand workforce – Liquid (‪‬).  


Yolanda’s experiences working with businesses in a wide range of industries combined with her operational expertise allows her to provide insights on many different kinds of problems. She enjoys creative problem solving and has served as a 12.000 mentor since 2006 (Mission 2010), as she has long been interested in helping to solve the world’s environmental and sustainability problems. She has been supporting and mentoring students and adults for the last 20+ years. Some of her other MIT alumni activities include leadership in her class, fund raising for the Institute, and serving on the board for the MITAA. 


She is deeply interested in the specific mission of Mission 2023, as her hometown of Honolulu anticipates an increase of major storms due to climate change.  


As she lives in Honolulu, communication will have to be via email, phone, Skype, or Google+ Hangouts. However, she travels to Cambridge frequently and will visit Terrascope on occasion. 

Valentina Chamorro

MIT 2016 Course 2

I graduated from MIT in 2016 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and now work in Boston as an Electrical Engineer designing 3D sensors that allow industrial human-robot collaboration. I was not involved with Terrascope while at MIT, but I did become a member and DJ at WMBR my freshmen year and have been part of that community ever since. My involvement with Terrascope started when I hosted and aired the Terrascope Radio final project on my show in 2018. I had the honor of hosting the students again this year and jumped at the chance to get more involved as an alumni mentor.  Aside from a love for radio, I love making art, being outside, and eating. 

Vrajesh Modi

MIT 2011 & '15 Courses 2 & 15

Vrajesh Modi is currently a startup founder and a member of the MIT Corporation.  Previously, he was a Project Leader at The Boston Consulting Group, where he where he focused on technology, industrial goods, and operations.  As a graduate student, Vrajesh was part of the MIT Leaders for Global Operations program.  As an undergraduate, Vrajesh served as the President of the Undergraduate Association, chaired the UA Committee on Sustainability, and was part of Mission 2011.  Over the years, Vrajesh has also done internships at Amazon, McKinsey, and General Electric.