About Tech Em Studios

Tech Em Studios is an after-school and homeschool technology program started in 2013 that offers classes, camps and training focused on applied computer science and computer-aided design. With courses in coding, 3D printing, software design and device building, Tech Em's instructors teach students at all levels the critical STEM-related skills required in the 21st century. By emphasizing art in technology (STEAM), Tech Em helps students understand the exciting and evolving relationship of technology and art. Furthermore, Tech Em offers practical classes and training for adults and the entire family to ensure everyone can efficiently leverage the current device-laden environment.

The Owners

Ashley Sigrest & Wray Mills

Ashley Sigrest Ph.D., Systems Engineer

Mother of three

19 years IT industry experience

Security programmer to Director at Fortune 200 company

Technology standards and governance

Academic research and presentations

Systems Engineering, Probability and statistics (UVA)


Wray Mills, Director of Instruction and Software Engineer

Father of three

Over 20 years IT industry experience, programmer to CTO

Over 10 years small business executive/owner experience

Research and development/mentoring (UVA)

Technology mentoring, training, instruction, and startup experience

Staff

Gabby

Gabby DeFilippo

Instructor

Gabby is a student at UVA studying Computer Science and Public Policy. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis. She loves teaching and learning about technology. Gabby is also passionate about getting more women and girls interested in STEM.

Chris

Chris Kefalas

Instructor

Chris is a student at VCU who is currently studying Information Systems, with a focus on networking, and the Internet. After college, Chris wants to work with computers, and networks. He thinks it would be awesome to do something with security also. His hobbies include the outdoors especially when it's warm, technology, skiing, and of course video games. He is excited about the intersection of technology and education starting at a younger age. And finds the enthusiasm children have for it incredibly motivating.

Forest

Forest Kim

Instructor

Forest is a student at Virginia Tech. He has an interest in a future with Information Technology or Engineering. Heavily involved with his youth group and church band, Forest also has tons of experience with music and instruments (Ex: Bass Guitar for 7 years now!) and loves to play and even create his own music. Of course, as a young man, he also loved playing sports such as basketball, soccer, and tennis. At Tech Em, he hopes to share his knowledge about technology and music to others!

Maggie

Maggie Liu

Intern

Maggie is a rising senior at the Center for Information Technology at Deep Run High School. She enjoys learning and has taken challenging courses such as AP Calculus and AP Physics. In her free time, Maggie enjoys creative writing and music. In the future, she hopes to go to college and pursue a career in physics.

Davis

Davis Mohar

Instructor

Davis attends Virginia Tech, studying computer science with an interest in computer security. He loves working with kids and seeing their knowledge grow and understand how computers work and help our everyday lives. His hobbies include cars, video games, and playing sports.

Katie

Katie Morgan, M.Ed.

Operations Assistant & Tiny Tech Instructor

Katie has worked part-time in Operations at Tech Em since 2014. She has a BA in Psychology from UVa and a MEd in Educational Counseling from VCU and runs her own business as an Independent Educational Consultant helping students through the college application process. Katie started working at Tech Em after meeting Wray and discovering a shared passion for developing young minds and observing his unique way of enhancing their logic and reasoning abilities in addition to giving them applicable computer skills for the future. As the parent of three kids in elementary and high school, knowing how pervasive technology is in our lives, she appreciates that Tech Em Studios is promoting kids from casual users to masters of that technology.

Alex

Alex Noll

Instructor

Alex is a senior at Glen Allen High School and the ACE Center at Highland Springs. He likes being able to help others improve their understanding of technology and its benefits. His hobbies include computers, electronics, and cars.

Rishi

Rishi Patel

Intern

Rishi is a rising Senior at the Center for Information Technology at Deep Run High School. He loves creative technology and its applications, and that's part of why he's at Tech Em. Next year, he'll be undertaking a Capstone project in ITPM and is very excited about the endeavour. He is most passionate about aviation, loves to fly whenever he can, and wants to immerse himself in various fields of aerospace; he hopes to start with aerospace engineering at UVA or VT.

William

William Saedan

Intern

William Saedan is a rising senior at Deep Run High School in the Center for Information Technology. He is interested in graphic design and user-centered design which emerged from his admiration of the visual arts. In his free time, he frequently practices drawing and has recently been looking into machine learning through Google's machine learning crash course. Next year, he hopes to program movement systems for virtual reality or work further with machine learning for his capstone project.

Joe

Joe Seiler

Lead Technology Instructor

Joe is a Dad, a VCU Biology graduate, an AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate, and AWS Certified Developer - Associate. He is all about concepts-based teaching and realizes the long term benefits of learning computer science and technology at a young age. Joe’s passion for technology began with MS-DOS on a Leading Edge Model D computer and later, playing Windows 95 computer games. --as well as prior work with VIMS, where technology greatly contributes in research projects. Joe enjoys being a part of Tech Em's mission to get students of all ages to understand how computers work and enjoys seeing what they create as they advance their knowledge in everything STEAM!

Ian

Ian Switzer

Instructor

Ian is a senior at Maggie Walker. His favorite subjects are math and chemistry. His hobbies include programming, reading, tennis, and ping pong. He has joined the Tennis Team, Ping Pong Club, and Programming Club at school. His favorite programming language is Scratch, but he also likes Python and Java.

Allison

Allison Tieman

Intern

Allison is a senior at Godwin High School in the Center for Science, Math, and Technology. She enjoys math and is taking various courses such as Calculus AB & BC, Computer Science, and Statistics. In her free time she loves singing, playing viola and guitar, participating in her youth group, and playing volleyball. Next year, Allison hopes to pursue systems engineering and music at either UVA or Virginia Tech.

Our Advisors & Partners

Advisors

Della Sigrest

Della Sigrest is a senior studying illustration at VCUarts.

Janet Gallagher

Head of West End Montessori School in Richmond.

Beth Hutchins

VP, Business Management, IT & Accounting for Flippo Lumber Corp. in Doswell.

Ed Im

Richmond area Entrepeneur and voice of Richmond Good Life.

Professor Roman Krzysztofowicz, Ph.D.

Professor of Systems Engineering and Professor of Statistics at the University of Virginia.

Alexandra Migoya

Co-Founder and Co-Director of Isabella and Ferdinand Spanish Immersion School in DC and Miami.

Bob and Kerin Morgan

Owners of Richmond Aqua-Tots (Morgan Swim School).

Partners