EPIC Staff

EPIC Team

Maria Manzano

EPIC Program Director

Photo of Maria Manzano

I have 16 years experience in higher education of which the last ten have been with Cal Poly. I’m also an alumna from Cal Poly with a M.A. in Educational Leadership and Administration. I’m really excited to be able to work with you all and promote engineering.  This year I celebrate my 15th year wedding anniversary.  I have five amazing children Cevina 12, Victor 11, Aleena 6, Emma 2 and Edward who turns 1 in September!  I'm one busy Mom to say the least.

Sigrid Derickson

Logistics Planner

Photo of Sigrid Derickson

Major: Mechanical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose this major because it has classes from so many different aspects of engineering. I get to learn computer programming, I get to learn about welding and metal pouring, I get to learn about air conditioning, I even get to learn about robotics! I love mechanical engineering because I have endless possibilities with this degree.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I’m looking forward to meeting all the students who come to camp, and sharing all the cool things about engineering with you, but most importantly I am looking forward to driving the EPIC golf cart around campus, if you see me zooming by don't be shy, wave and say hi! 

 

Fun fact:

I attended EPIC in 2011 as a camper, and I am building an electric skateboard. 

 

 

Valerie Kettering

Night Head Counselor

Photo of Valerie Kettering

Major: Aerospace Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose my major because I have always had a passion for air travel and airplanes, so paired with my love of science and math, Aerospace Engineering seemed like the perfect fit.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to meeting all of the wonderful campers and sharing my passion for both engineering and Cal Poly with them! EPIC is going to be amazing!

 

Fun Fact:

I am a barista at Starbucks and a HUGE coffee lover.

Summer Rutherford

Planner

Photo of Summer Rutherford

Major: Electrical Engineering

 
Why did you choose your major?
I enjoyed math and science in H.S. and I wanted to learn more about how electronics work!
 
What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?
I'm looking forward to seeing students learn about and have fun with engineering.
 
Fun Fact:
Despite my name, my favorite season is winter!

Nicole Abraham

Counselor

Photo of Nicole Abraham

Major: Biomedical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose Biomedical Engineering because I attended this camp as a junior in high school and was super interested in the labs specific to Biomedical Engineering. I fell in love with math and science as a high school and knew that this was the path for me.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am super stoked about the fact that I get to share my passion for engineering with younger kids who have an interest in the math and science field as well and hope that they can fall in love with engineering.  


Fun fact:

A fun fact about me is that I have played just about every sport but stopped my love for athletics when coming to college because I wanted to focus on my education.

Saraith Aispuro

Counselor

Photo of Saraith Aispuro

Major: Manufacturing Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose manufacturing engineering because I enjoy working on large projects and seeing them come to life! Also, the manufacturing and machining classes at Cal Poly are really cool and I can't wait to take more of them.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am excited to meet all the campers and showing them all the fun things that engineering entails. I can't wait to make great memories at EPIC!

 

Fun Fact:

A fun fact about me is that I have a passion for gardening and especially eating what I harvest.

Jordan Ambrose

Counselor

Photo of Jordan Ambrose

Major: Biomedical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose this major because I've always been interested in math and science and I really want to improve the lives of others through medicine.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I'm really looking forward to meeting new people and being able to live in SLO for another month!

 

Fun fact:

In high school, I played soccer, volleyball, and swimming.

Beau Bikakis

Counselor

Photo of Beau  Bikakis

Major: Mechanical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I enjoyed doing robotics club in high school and I wanted to continue that through mechatronics.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am most looking forward to having fun with the campers and staying in lovely San Luis Obispo  

Angelee Breuninger

Counselor

Photo of Angelee Breuninger

Major: Materials Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I want to be a Materials Engineering because I love working with metal and its endless applications.  


What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to learning about other majors!  

 

Fun fact:

I know how to weld.
 

Samantha Brown

Counselor

Photo of Samantha Brown

Major: Mechanical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I choose my major because I love how broad it is and all the different possibilities it has. As a mechanical engineer, I can work on robots, cars, planes, and so much more.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to sharing my passion for engineering with all of the EPIC campers

 

Fun fact:

I am a part of the Cal Poly Racing team where every year we design, build, and test a mini Baja car.

Gerome Cacho

Counselor

Photo of Gerome Cacho

Major: Electrical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I was really into Bionicles as a kid. The idea behind how everything was interconnected to each other once assembled really appealed to me. From then on, I was always curious about how things worked, and if something broke down, how to fix it. I chose Electrical Engineering specifically because I wanted to learn about circuitry since I felt it really appealed to my passions when I was young.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am really looking forward to interacting with all of the students, and making great memories at the camp.

 

Fun fact:

I play piano, and record piano covers of popular song which I upload onto YouTube.

Russell Caletena

Counselor

Photo of Russell Caletena

Major: Electrical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose to pursue Electrical Engineering because I wanted to learn more about the function, fabrication, and design of electronic devices.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

As an EPIC counselor, I am looking forward to meeting new people, sharing my passion for Electrical Engineering with others, being a resource for students who want to talk about anything, and most importantly, having a great time!

 

Fun Fact:

I can do a good Stitch impression of "Ohana means family."

Gudrun Derickson

Counselor

Photo of Gudrun Derickson

Major: Industrial Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose my major because I like organization and efficiency, and IE is all about efficiency.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to meeting all the excited campers and doing fun educational activities with them

 

Fun fact:

I love dogs!

Jared Efrain

Counselor

Major: 

Electrical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I'm interested in the electronics all around us.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I want to have a summer with a supportive team that all enjoy helping spread the mustang way.

 

Fun Fact:

I love music, I can play the guitar, violin and a bit of the piano :)


Zachary Emard

Counselor

Photo of Zachary Emard

Major: Aerospace Engineering

 

Why did you chose your major?

I have always been interested in aircraft and spacecraft. Growing up I would try to learn as much as I could about planes and space and that carried into college.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to meeting all my campers and showing them the wonders of college and engineering!

 

Fun Fact:

I live in a pillow fort in my living room

Alan Faz

Counselor

Photo of Alan Faz

Major: Aerospace Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

Since I was a kid I always wanted to be a pilot. I would constantly look up in the air in search of a plane or something moving in the sky. I also loved figuring out how things work. Everywhere I go I wondered how everything came to be and the “magic” behind it and so Voila! Aerospace Engineering.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to transmitting that passion I have for engineering to other students.

 

Fun fact:

I was born and raised in Mexico and speak 3 languages.

Carey Fuchs

Lab Instructor

Photo of Carey Fuchs

Major:  Industrial Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose my major because it's all about improving processes. I will be able to take anything and make it more efficient, faster, easier, more environmentally friendly. It's cool to know that I'll be able to make a difference!

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I'm excited to meet all the campers and watch them learn in the different labs. Their excitement and energy is the best part of the EPIC program

 

Fun Fact:

I can play the ukulele! (Thanks to a camper teaching me last year!!)

Samuel Guerra

Counselor

Photo of Samuel Guerra

Major: Electrical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I am very interested in electronics and circuits and I am interested in how our technology is posted.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to another great summer and the chance to grow as a leader and meet new people.

 

Fun Fact:

A fun fact about me is that I've been to 36 concerts!

Andrew Heim

Counselor

Major: Industrial Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I took an online quiz for choosing engineering majors and IE is what came up

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I'm looking forward to meeting the campers and having an unforgettable week!

 

Fun fact:

I have eaten 62 oreos in one sitting before.

Isaac Hirata

Counselor

Major: Electrical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I blindly chose electrical engineering knowing it was math oriented. 


What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to meeting new people and providing my group with the best possible camp experience.

 

Fun fact:

I played baseball for 12 years!
 

Michael Hostetler

Counselor

Photo of Michael Hostetler

Major: Biomedical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I choose my major because I really like biology and knowing how the body works to build devices that can help people who need them.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I'm looking forward to giving students a look into what engineering can be and how it's really a fun way of problem solving.

 

Fun fact:

I'm from San Diego but I lived in Memphis, TN for three years.

Timothy Jeong

Counselor

Photo of Timothy Jeong

Major: Electrical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I really like working with the hardware side on electronics and robots and how everything worked together in a machine.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to help the campers see the fun and beneficial side of being an engineer and what interests they would want to pursue when it comes to their time to apply to college.  

Fun fact:

I really love to go hiking and adventure to new places.


Marissa Kephart

Counselor

Photo of Marissa Kephart

Major: Enviornmental Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose my major because I have a passion for the environment and want to help improve current climate issues.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am excited to get to know the campers and see them find their own passions in engineering!  


Fun fact:

I'm really tall, but no, I don't play basketball.

Kayla Kim

Counselor

Photo of Kayla Kim

Major: Civil Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I really like the Structural aspect of Civil Engineering and being able to see how different concepts are used in real life. I'm also a hands on learner and building things is very enjoyable for me.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I'm looking forward to seeing students grow or develop their passion for engineering through a Cal Poly experience.

 

Fun fact:

I'm a nerd for Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Harry Potter.
 

Ben Klave

Counselor

Photo of Ben Klave

Major: Computer Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I've always been interested in math, science, and technology, so I came into Cal Poly as an electrical engineering major. After my 1st year, I realized that while I liked working with hardware, I also really enjoyed programming. So, I switched my major to computer engineering, where I could continue learning about both software and hardware.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am really looking forward to meeting all the EPIC campers and having the opportunity to show everyone how great Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and engineering all are!

 

Fun fact:

When applying to colleges I did not apply anywhere in my home state (Washington).

Marcial Lamera

Counselor

Photo of Marcial Lamera

Major: Civil Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

Civil Engineering interested me at a very early age when I first visited San Francisco. I remember walking across the Golden Gate Bridge and, upon reaching the end of the bridge, seeing a plaque that was dedicated to the hard work of the Civil Engineers on the project. Ever since then, I knew that I wanted to do what they did; I want to build big things that millions of people will use every day.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I have a great passion for Engineering and its many aspects and applications. I am looking forward to showing kids why I love this field of study. Watching them blossom and learn so much for the duration of each camp will be an amazing process to watch and be a part of. I want these students to leave the camp feeling a love for engineering just as I do.

 

Fun fact:

I have traveled to seven different countries: Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Switzerland.

Jordan Lopez Corley

Counselor

Photo of Jordan Lopez Corley

Major: Mechanical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose to be a Mechanical Engineer because I really enjoyed working with Solidworks on my high school robotics team.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

During EPIC, I look forward to informing potential engineering students of the various opportunities for them on Cal Poly’s campus, as well as answering any questions they may have about campus life.

 

Fun fact:

I have arranged versions of “Hooked on a Feeling” and “Chandelier” for pep band entirely by ear

Gabe Musen

Counselor

Photo of Gabe Musen

Major: Aerospace Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose aerospace engineering because I have always been fascinated by the vastness of space. I hope to one day help mankind land on Mars.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

A couple of years ago, I was a camper at EPIC, and now I am excited to return as a counselor. I want the campers to have as great of a time as I did!

Arelly Ocampo

Counselor

Photo of Arelly Ocampo

Major: Civil Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I choose my major because I was always fascinated with buildings and bridges that I wanted to design my own.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I’m looking forward to meet all the campers and encourage them to pursue engineering.

 

Fun fact:

I can move both eyebrows.

Joseph O'Connor

Counselor

Major: Mechanical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

Growing up, I've always enjoyed pulling things apart and figuring out how they work. I love fixing things, and I find it fascinating to see how all the moving parts fit together. I chose ME because I know I want to pursue a career that deals with moving parts.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I'm excited to show the campers how fun Engineering can be, and why they should come to Cal Poly to study it! 


Fun fact:

My next birthday is on Friday the 13th, in October.

Kristina Pimentel

Counselor

Photo of Kristina Pimentel

Major: Biomedical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I choose to be a biomedical engineer because I have always been interested in biology and had a passion for creativity.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I look forward to bonding with other future engineers.

 

Fun fact:

I'm a big fan of High School Musical.

Daniel Sanchez

Counselor

Photo of Daniel Sanchez

Major: Aerospace Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I have always enjoyed figuring out how things work and I have always had a passion

for planes. I am concentrating in aeronautics, so I will be working with planes. Improving efficiency really interests me.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

Having fun working on the labs and support all the campers and counselors.

 

Fun fact:

I’m left handed and all my fingers are double jointed.

Isabel Skene

Counselor

Photo of Isabel Skene

Major: Mechanical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose my major because I've always been fascinated by fixing things, solving problems, math, and the amazing advances that are made every day in engineering.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I'm looking forward to meeting the campers and other counselors, as well as having the opportunity to promote Cal Poly's awesome engineering program to prospective future students! 

Tedmon Tran

Counselor

Photo of Tedmon Tran

Major: Electrical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

Chose my major because I was interested in lasers and photonic technologies!

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to making the EPIC experience exciting and fun.

 

Fun fact:

I am planning on adding music as a second major, because I am just incredibly passionate for it.

Jacob Tyrrell

Counselor

Photo of Jacob Tyrrell

Major: Industrial Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

So that I can apply engineering principles to manage systems and people.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to how much fun the camp will be and sharing my Cal Poly experiences with prospective students.

 

Fun fact:

I have Heterochromia, which means that my eyes are two different colors!

Delaney Weidlein

Counselor

Photo of Delaney Weidlein

Major: Mechanical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

Mechanical Engineering is very broad, so I can work in almost any industry.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to being an EPIC Counselor again so I can meet more students and help them learn about engineering. I am also excited for the labs!

 

Fun fact:

I was born on April Fools Day.

Tatum Yee

Counselor

Major: Electrical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

Since a very young age, I have enjoyed taking apart electrical devices, such as flashlights and disposable cameras, just to see it function at its most basic form, without all the plastic parts that hold it together and make it user friendly.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I am looking forward to helping students realize their passion in engineering and I hope to help them grow in their fields of interest. I can't wait to work with students on various projects and have fun with them through the many fun activities we'll be doing!

 

Fun fact:

I can fly.

Sean Yueh

Counselor

Photo of Sean Yueh

Major: Mechanical Engineering

 

Why did you choose your major?

I chose Mechanical Engineering because ever since I was little I've always been interested in figuring out how things work. I enjoy working with the mechanical components of things and I love cars.

 

What are you looking forward to most about working at EPIC?

I look forward to meeting many new students and being able to share with them the reason why I enjoy engineering so much.

 

Fun Fact:

During my free time, I enjoy traveling with my camera and taking lots of photos.