Meet the Instructors

DSC 2894 CompressedOur awesome robotics instructors are STEM leaders from local univerisies and young professionals in pursuing STEM careers. They are highly trained in our guided-discovery pedagogy and are passionate, fun individuals who love making education fun and engaging. Strong communicators, fun personalities, and multi-talented individuals, our STEM Center USA family showcases that engineers and STEM leaders are diverse and far from any stereotype!


 Interested in joining the STEM Center USA Family? Email your resume and availability to [email protected]!

  Dominique Acuna

Dominique Acuna

Dominique will be in her senior year at California State Polytechnic University Pomona starting this fall. She is a highly energetic individual that enjoys working with students and likes to learn new things.

Major: Industrial Engineering

Dream Job: Professor

Hometown: Riverside, CA

Favorite motivational quote: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

Other Involvments: Avionics Technician as an Air Force Reservist, member of the Mexican American Student Association, member of Institute of Industrial Engineers

My favorite part about STEM Center USA? Through my time at STEM Center USA, the thing that I enjoy the most is interacting with the students. Getting to be a part of the learning process and getting to see their excitement when they’ve realized why their program isn’t working or how they can attach additions to their creation is truly priceless.

Darren DeWitt

Darren DeWittDarren is an ambitious, enthusiastic senior on the verge of finishing his Bachelors Degree in Manufacturing Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona and is his headed for his doctoral studies at the University of California, Riverside. He grew up primarily in beautiful Southern California, with a short stint in the lovely state of Arkansas. 

Major: Manufacturing Engineering (B.S, graduating!), entering PhD. student in Materials Engineering at UC Riverside.

Dream Job: Tenured professor at a research university, or an engineer at SpaceX, Tesla Motors, or NASA

Favorite Motivational Quote? I've made dozens of mistakes in my life, so this easily goes to Mr. Albert Einstein: "A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new". 

Other involvements: Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society (Current President), Associated Manufacturing Societies (Member representative), Don Zook Memorial Scholarship (2013-2014, 2011-2012), IME Department First Year scholarship (2010-2011), Henry Boney Scholarship (2011-2012). Dean's Distinguished Fellowship (2014-2015)

Shadé Darnell

Shade DarnellShadé is a lover of all things education, especially school! She has worked in math and outreach educational programs since high school and hopes to be nurse one day. Her secret? She love school so much that she goes to bed extra early on Sundays!

Major: Nursing

Dream Job:  Nurse at the RN at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles (her birthplace)

Favorite Motivational Quote?  "It's no use to grumble and complain, it's just as cheap and easy to rejoice; when God sorts out the weather and sends rain-- why rains my choice." James Riley

My favorite part about STEM Center USA? Seeing how interested the kids are in robotics at such a young age. It is crazy to see the potential that these kids have!

Elisabeth King

Elisabeth KingElisabeth (or Lis for short!) is a SoCal native, animal lover, and photography extraordinaire. She is actively involved in her univiersity's student government and is one of the most patient and understanding young ladies you will ever meet!

Major: Animal Science

Dream Job: To open and run my very own vet clinic

Favorite Motivational Quote? “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”- C.S. Lewis

Other involvements: Photography freelancer (everythign from photo shoots with friends to landscapes and robotic builds!), Baldwin Park Animal Shelter volunteer, Mt. San Antonio College Associated Student Elections Senator, Historian Senator, and Student at Large

My favorite part about STEM Center USA? What I enjoy most about working with STEM Center USA is having the opportunity to work with wonderful students and staff, a very warm and welcoming feeling. I love seeing the enthusiasm and effort that the students put into their robots!


Nianna Ocampo

Nianna OcampoNianna is a student at Cal State Fullerton. She has one younger sister and a plump cat named Pookie. She is a movie buff and the only thing she loves more than teaching at STEM is dessert.

Major: Communicative Disorders 

Dream Job: To be paid to travel the world and eat different types of food

Favorite Motivational Quote? "At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can." - Frida Kahlo

Other involvements: I enjoy reading comic books and novels of all genres. I love watching movies especially science fiction films. Sometimes in my spare time I like to draw and paint. However, most of the time I just try to eat as much dessert as I can in one day. Also, I know how to dance Salsa and I speak three different languages. Those being English (of course) and two different Filipino dialects: Tagalog and Kapangpangan.

My favorite part about STEM Center USA? I enjoy being able to be a part of a child's learning experience. I love seeing the looks on my students' faces when they finally understand something they never knew before. But of course building and designing robots is probably the best part of my job!

Kevin Ruble

Kevin RubleKevin is a senior at Cal Poly, Pomona working toward his BS in Industrial Engineering. He envisions himself as a future entrepreneur and is constantly striving to find ways to make himself a better leader. He loves inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders through the use of robotic challenges. He is an active member of the Sigma Alpha Pi National Society of Leadership, Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), and currently stays fit both physically and mentally by actively participating in the Army ROTC program. 

Major: Industrial Engineering

Dream Job: CEO of tech startup company

Favorite Motivational Quote? “Desire is the key to motivate, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek” - Mario Andretti

Other involvements: Founder and President of Cal Poly Pomona’s International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) Student Division. 1/4 individuals from the IME CPP Department to receive a Boeing scholarship for academic and leadership excellence. Also, major lover of technology! I spend countless hours reading about the newest and greatest. I also love sports, especially soccer and try to play whenever I can. If I’m not doing either of those I spend time at the gym and eating healthy.

My favorite part about STEM Center USA? I love the feeling of engaging and encouraging future STEM leaders in the classroom.

Other STEM Center USA Family: Felicia Chow, Stephen Espinosa, Vicky Medinilla, Veronica Salcedo, Yaham Palliyage

Interested in joining the STEM Center USA Family? Email your resume and availability to [email protected]