Team Members


Jane Amaral
Sales and Implementation Manager
Jane Amaral
Sales and Implementation Manager

Jane has a diverse human service and sales background, which includes youth advocacy, mental health, and substance abuse fields. Jane enjoys gardening, interior renovation, family, and helping others to grow and reach their potential.
Angel Arnaudov
Web Developer
Angel Arnaudov
Web Developer

Angel has over 8 years of .NET / SQL experience, working exclusively in the Microsoft technologies. He graduated from St. Kliment Ohridski University in Bitola, Macedonia and has vast international experience working for companies in Europe and the USA. Angel is constantly learning and diligently keeps up with the industry. When he is not coding, he is a marathon runner and enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
Lisa S. Blackwell, Ph.D.
Co-Founder & VP of Design, Implementation and Evaluation
Lisa S. Blackwell, Ph.D.
Co-Founder & VP of Design, Implementation and Evaluation

Lisa is a psychologist and researcher in adolescent achievement motivation. She collaborated with Carol Dweck on the foundational growth mindset intervention research on which Mindset Works’ resources are based, and was the principal designer and producer for the Brainology® online program. She has a background in education including school leadership coaching and professional development.
Eduardo Briceño
Co-Founder & CEO
Eduardo Briceño
Co-Founder & CEO

Eduardo is the Co-Founder & CEO of Mindset Works. He has spoken at numerous conferences, delivered a popular TEDx talk on the growth mindset, and has been featured on prominent media outlets. He holds bachelor’s degrees in finance and engineering and masters’ degrees in education and business, but most important he continues to enjoy lifelong learning every day.
Kevin Bross
Education Consultant
Kevin Bross
Education Consultant

Kevin has worked for 16 years in public education in both urban and suburban school districts in the Minneapolis-St.Paul area as a teacher and instructional coach. He has worked with education leaders to develop a growth mindset culture in their schools to help students improve and grow as learners. Kevin’s passion for sharing growth mindset research has stemmed from his experiences of watching students persevere and excel as a result of growth mindset interventions.
Kevin Campbell
Web Developer
Kevin Campbell
Web Developer

Kevin is a graduate of the University of Southern California and has been developing websites since 1997. He specializes in the Joomla! Content Management System but also enjoys working with Javascript. Kevin is from Los Angeles, California but currently resides in Rio de Janeiro.
Chelsea Campos
Customer Liaison
Chelsea Campos
Customer Liaison

As a Customer Liaison, Chelsea supports educators in learning about and implementing Mindset Works’ programs. She has over 15 years of experience providing customer service and more than a decade of experience in marketing. Chelsea has a passion for education and learning and holds a B.A. from Webster University, certificates in customer service and marketing research and has participated in a never-ending list of continuing education and open courseware classes in various subjects.
Kendra Coates, D.Ed.
Early Learning Curriculum Developer & Professional Learning Specialist
Kendra Coates, D.Ed.
Early Learning Curriculum Developer & Professional Learning Specialist

Kendra has twenty years of teaching and leadership experience. She was first introduced to a growth mindset in 2008 as a middle school intervention specialist and has been sharing it with others ever since. Her two children inspired her mindset and early learning journey that led to her D.Ed. in Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership. She authored and evaluated GEM, our PreK-3rd curriculum. She also holds degrees in Special Education and Curriculum and Instruction.
Anthony Colannino
Leadership and Professional Learning Specialist
Anthony Colannino
Leadership and Professional Learning Specialist

Anthony Colannino has been a public educator in the Boston area for 17 years. He has taught and led in urban and suburban school systems including Boston, Cambridge, Waltham and Wellesley. His leadership work has centered on creating atmospheres for success and has included a multi-year growth mindset professional development plan, which led to increased student effort and achievement.
Emily Diehl
Director, K-12 Professional Learning & Curriculum Design
Emily Diehl
Director, K-12 Professional Learning & Curriculum Design

Emily Diehl translates the latest educational research on mindsets and motivation into growth mindset programs and practices. She delivers professional learning talks and workshops for parents, educators and leaders all over the country, and is Editor of the Mindset Works blog. With 16 years of experience as a teacher and instructional coach, Emily is always excited to take on a new challenge!
Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
Co-Founder & Board Director
Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
Co-Founder & Board Director

Dr. Carol Dweck, author of the best selling book Mindset, is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation. Her research has focused on why people succeed, and the role of mindsets in students’ motivation. In particular, her work has illuminated how praise for intelligence can undermine motivation and learning. She is a professor of psychology at Stanford University.
Joseph Edwards
Education Consultant
Joseph Edwards
Education Consultant

Joseph Edwards has been in education for more than 30 years working as an educator, School Reform Coach, and administrator in the District of Columbia, Syracuse, New York and New York City. He has extensive experience designing and implementing programs that support the social-emotional and academic guidance needs of students. He is a graduate of Syracuse University. Before joining Mindset Works, Joseph was the coordinator of the Brainology program for District of Columbia Public Schools.
Afiya Fredericks, Ph.D.
Program Implementation Manager
Afiya Fredericks, Ph.D.
Program Implementation Manager

Afiya is the Program Implementation Manager at Mindset Works, where she currently manages the Mindset Works implementation in approximately 15 schools in DCPS. She has studied and researched the growth mindset throughout her academic career. A St. Croix native, Afiya enjoys traveling home and taking in the magnificent views.
Steve Goldband, Ph.D.
Board Member
Steve Goldband, Ph.D.
Board Member

Dr. Steve Goldband has a background in both Clinical Psychology and technology entrepreneurship. He works on creating new and innovative collaborations between Stanford researchers and industry to benefit the population at all ages.
Maria Hade
Customer Liaison
Maria Hade
Customer Liaison

As Customer Liaison, Maria supports educators in learning about and implementing Mindset Works’ programs. Maria’s professional work experience spans over 25 years and includes working with professionals in the areas of medicine, education, law, substance abuse and community services. Maria grew up in Queens, NY, speaks Spanish fluently, and loves being a mom to her three children.
Gwen Harrison
Accounting Specialist
Gwen Harrison
Accounting Specialist

Gwen has worked in the administrative field with businesses and nonprofits for more than 25 years. At Mindset Works, she handles financial and administrative operations. Gwen lives in Alabama and enjoys genealogy, gardening, day hiking, reading, and cooking.
Elizabeth Highsmith
Accounting Specialist
Elizabeth Highsmith
Accounting Specialist

Elizabeth supports the Finance Team. She has a true passion for accounting and finance with over 20 years in the field of accountancy. She has worked in various industries over the course of her career, holding a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Bachelor of Science in Accounting, and an Associate of Science in Accounting and Computer Information. Elizabeth lives in Alabama where she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking and serving others.
Mandy Kirk
Science Content and Game Design Consultant
Mandy Kirk
Science Content and Game Design Consultant

Mandy brings nearly 25 years of experience in designing educational media and delivering science instruction to her collaboration with Mindset Works, where she works with the team bringing the Growth Mindset to science education through scaffolded immersion in meaningful problem-solving contexts. Mandy holds a M.S. in Education, and is passionate about technologies that provide access to science education for all students.
Ellen Konar, Ph.D.
Board Member
Ellen Konar, Ph.D.
Board Member

Ellen is an entrepreneurial executive and advisor with a track record of game-changing research and marketing strategy. She was an Intel Fellow and founder of the Mindset Collaborative, who has built and managed global marketing and research teams at companies like Google and Intel, held teaching and researching appointments at Stanford University, University of California Berkley and University of Western Ontario, and served on several for profit and non-profit advisory boards.
Jennifer Lawson, Ed.D.
Education Consultant
Jennifer Lawson, Ed.D.
Education Consultant

Jennifer promotes educational growth through empowering, motivating, and challenging K-12 students. Jennifer firmly believes that all students have the ability to succeed, and it is our job, as educators, to guide them as they grow, discover their passions, and become life-long learners. Jennifer has the opportunity to support educators and parents as a Mindset Works Educational Consultant and K-12 Common Core Instructional Coach.
Alison Ma
Customer Liaison
Alison Ma
Customer Liaison

Alison supports educators in learning about and implementing Mindset Works’ programs. She offers 20 years of experience in customer service, sports coaching, human services, and life sciences research support. She earned a degree in biology, loves the challenge of long hikes, and delights in healthful cooking hacks. Alison views growth mindset education as an empowering and lifelong practice of inner mastery - of which outward achievement is a natural result.
Jennifer Maichin
Education and Professional Learning Specialist
Jennifer Maichin
Education and Professional Learning Specialist

Jennifer is a middle school special education teacher and Education Specialist with Mindset Works. With over 20 years experience in teaching, Jenn has focused on helping to build students’ self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation, which often results in students becoming self aware, independent learners. Combining this experience with the goals of Mindset Works has become a natural match.
Muhammad Tabish Mirza
Software Engineer
Muhammad Tabish Mirza
Software Engineer

Tab is a Software Engineer and has a Masters in Management Information Systems from Bahria University Karachi in Pakistan. Over the last 9 years he has been working on creating better E-learning systems with the integration of Content Management Systems and Shopping Carts.
Michael Paycer
Database Administrator
Michael Paycer
Database Administrator

Michael started out as a Client/Server Programmer in 2006 but has been focused on SQL Server Development and Administration since 2011. He enjoys Chess, reading and staying fit. Michael currently lives in Minnesota.
Elisha Perez
Customer Support Representative
Elisha Perez
Customer Support Representative

Elisha completes a variety of tasks within Support and Operations. She holds a B.S. degree in Business Applied Management with nearly a decade of combined experience in customer service, small business management, training and development, and sales and marketing. Her well-rounded skills come from working in industries such as medical, health and nutrition, restaurant, sports training, office services and education. Elisha enjoys writing, coaching soccer, and watching her kids grow.  
Janna Peskett
Director, Digital Content and Curriculum Design
Janna Peskett
Director, Digital Content and Curriculum Design

Janna is a lifelong learner and educator with nearly 20 years of experience in teaching math, developing digital and print curriculum, and delivering professional development for K-12 schools as well as higher education. Janna is passionate about sharing the growth mindset message and believes it is the key to closing the achievement gap. Her hobbies include running and playing on the beach with her family.
Jennifer Poyer
Operations Manager
Jennifer Poyer
Operations Manager

Jennifer is the Operations Manager at Mindset Works. She leads Customer Support and manages operational processes for the company. She earned a B.A degree in Forensic Psychology with English Honors from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Family Development Credential from Cornell University.
Sylvia Roberts, Ph.D.
Research Director
Sylvia Roberts, Ph.D.
Research Director

Sylvia manages Mindset Works’ research efforts and pilot implementations. She focuses on growing evidence related to the efficacy of Brainology and the EducatorKit. Previously, her research explored the social, cultural, and cognitive neural underpinnings of student engagement in academics. Sylvia holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, and her hobbies include playing piano and cooking with friends.
Catherine Stemme
Customer Support Representative
Catherine Stemme
Customer Support Representative

Catherine is a member of our Support and Operations team who helps Educators with implementing Mindset Works’ programs. Catherine offers 20 years of experience in the Customer Service and Education Industry along with implementing the development of her personal sales team. She is passionate about helping people and loves to watch them reach their highest potential. She is an avid sports fan and loves spending time with her family at the beach.
Kristin Villanueva
Instructional Designer
Kristin Villanueva
Instructional Designer

Kristin Villanueva is an Instructional Designer focused on the development of SciSkillQuest. She holds a M.A. in Cognitive Studies in Education with a concentration in Intelligent Technologies from the Teachers College of Columbia University. She has a research background in cognition, technology and education; and has a particular interest in mindsets and motivation as they apply to game-based learning.

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