At Under the GUI, our instructors are passionate about education and about technology. Our instructors are at least post-secondary students or graduates with a degree specializing in technology.
Jamie is a University of Toronto graduate and has taught students from Toronto to Vancouver. With a background in Neuroscience, Psychology and Computer Science, Jamie can draw examples from a wide range of disciplines to help his students understand new content, and loves to see the spark of students “getting it”. Outside of teaching, Jamie’s hobbies include board games, volleyball, mixed martial arts and sometimes he likes to put it all together to make some quirky video games!
Chief Technical Officer
An award winning instructor at the Vancouver Film School, a love for game development and travel, Ivo, who was born and raised in the Netherlands, has found himself working for various game companies in China, Vietnam and since late 2012, Canada. Currently he is working as a full-time game programming instructor at the Vancouver Film School, freelancing for various clients and of course working for Under the GUI as CTO. However, with a job that’s also your greatest passion, there can never be too much work. In his free time Ivo loves to go hiking in the Vancouver mountains.
Chief Financial Officer
Jeff has been the Chief Financial Officer of Under the GUI since 2016. Jeff is a seasoned entrepreneur and financial executive. A former RBC franchise banking specialist, Jeff left the corporate banking field to start his own software solutions company in 1996 and grew the company to over 40 staff. Following the sale of his business, Jeff became a part-time CFO in 2011 to follow his passion for helping young entrepreneurs succeed. Jeff is a Western University finance graduate (1992) and worked at BDC and RBC before growing his own company as CEO for 12 years. As a consultant since 2008 Jeff has served at North Growth Management mutual fund management, Conquer Mobile Inc. mobile solutions and now Under the GUI Academy Inc. Additional professional development achievements include certifications in product management, marketing, investment funds, securities and options management.
Regional Happiness Coordinator
Mary graduated in Psychology and has a postgraduate certificate in Human Resources. After working for 6 years as an IT recruiter, she decided to go on an adventure and move to Canada to study Hospitality. She loves being able to work for UTG where she can into to action all knowledge she has learned from her previous degrees and the diploma that she is studying for now. In her free time, she enjoys going to the gym, watching the latest TV series and during the summer doing as many outdoor activities as she can.
HR and Operations Specialist
As a psychology graduate, Nevena tried herself out in various fields, gradually accumulating experience in psychotherapy, HR, and child psychology. After she explored a good deal of her people-oriented personality, she started building up on her tech side. For a while now, she has been fascinated with data science and all the possibilities it yields. In her free time, she likes to play adventure video games and watch all kinds of movies and quirky tv shows. Also, she looooves to run, but only if it’s sunny and the temperature is right.
Outreach Director & Regional Client Manager
Milly graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Economics and holds a certificate in TEFL. She has taught English in Japan and Korea and has experience working with children from kindergarten to university students, and continues to be impressed by their imagination, learning capacity and endless creativity. She is proud to be part of a school that encourages and fosters innovation. In her free time, she volunteers in Scouts Canada and enjoys being outdoors! Recently, she founded and organized Vancouver’s First Youth Hackathon, The Ultimate Canadian Youth Game Jam, to inspire and connect all youth within the lower mainland in coding!
Curriculum Advisor & Past Principal
Dr. Shahnaz Koji holds a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, MA in Behavioural Neuroscience and BSc in Honours Psychology from the University of Waterloo. Dr. Koji is incredibly passionate about the role of metacognition in education. Her experience working with students ranging from early childhood education to university has allowed her to accumulate a wealth of experience. Her teaching philosophy is guided by her knowledge of the human mind. She is excited to be part of an organization that not only teaches relevant skills, but that also teaches the mindful processes required to become an innovative and creative thinker.
Wendy is currently a business student focusing in accounting at Capilano University. Accountants may sound boring to some, but believe it or not, accountants can be interesting too! She grew up playing sports and computer games, and eventually developed an interest in editing pictures and videos too. On her spare time, she loves to discover new music and finding new places to explore.
Svetozar is an end-game student pursuing a doctorate in computer systems. In the past, he worked in the embedded computing industry, but figured out he’d much rather learn and experiment for now. As a vocal advocate of tech literacy, he loves doing what he can to bring programming closer to the future movers of the world. In his spare time, he plays video and tabletop games, reads hard sci-fi and Lovecraftian horror novels, and dabbles in various art forms. He goes by the nickname Case, which he stole from a book.
With a desire to constantly check how things really work, it comes to no surprise that Karl took interest in the internet. An upcoming web designer, Karl loves the idea of creating games for anyone, anywhere and hopes to inspire an entire generation to do the same.
Richard is a computer science student at the University of British Columbia with a strong interest in Game Development and Robotics. He hopes to put a smile on people’s faces with the games that he creates! When he’s not making games, he loves to study robotics and tinkering on projects. He participated in the FIRST robotics competition while in high school and his team won several rookie awards!
Ken is a Mechanical Engineering student studying at UBC. He is interested in creating robots and programming, and he will be pursuing Mechatronics Engineering in the future. Outside of school, he loves to go to the gym, play board games with friends, and go to music concerts. His dream is to help create some new, innovative technology that changes how we see the world.
Lauren is currently a Science student at the University of British Columbia majoring in Mathematics. Taking some Computer Science courses sparked her interest in the world of technology. She is passionate about science and youth education so she decided to put her two interests together as an instructor. She has a mission to change the way kids think about STEM. She loves working with kids, doing yoga, and playing the guitar.
Chanté is a Philosophy graduate who studied games programming at Vancouver Film School. She discovered her passion for programming later in life, and has gained an enormous sense of satisfaction from watching her skills develop. Having learned these skills, Chanté is passionate about passing them on, and helping students learn that same sense of fulfilment.
Michael is currently a Software Developer at a game studio in Vancouver. He also holds a Bachelor of Software Engineering and Software Engineering from the University of Victoria.
Having discovered a joy for developing games through his Software Systems program at Simon Fraser University, Jason learned how to create simple Unity games through school and personal projects. He enjoys designing fantasy worlds, playing strategy games, and making games in his spare time.
Solomon is a student currently attending Simon Fraser University, majoring in Computer Science. He loves programming for the ability to create and design for a variety of topics. When he’s not programming, Solomon likes to spend his time playing card games and doing sports. He is excited about sharing his passion for computers with others!
Cameron is currently a student at Simon Fraser University, studying Computing Science. He’s always loved tinkering with computers and learning more about any aspect of them. In his free time, Cameron enjoys reading, mountain biking, and martial arts.
Jim is currently studying Computer Science at Simon Fraser University. Having an interest in computers from a young age, Jim has always thought that pursuing an education in Computer Science would be the right decision. Often he’ll spend his free time learning new programming concepts, but when he’s not doing that, he’ll most likely be playing video games or doing sports like tennis, or mountain biking.
Principal (& Coquitlam)
Hyacinthe holds a master’s degree in Pedagogical Sciences and Socio-linguistics from the University of Rennes 2 in France. He has taught French as a Foreign/Second Language in Wales, Texas, Finland and in France, and was always interested in using modern, original approaches in his classes. Ever since his parents bought an Atari 520, he had a strong interest in computers. Upon moving to Vancouver, he joined his two passions together, and is now working at Under the GUI as the Curriculum Developer and Principal in North Vancouver. In his spare time, he enjoys playing obscure board games and tabletop role-playing games. He also loves corgis.
Shervin is a Vancouver-based guru of microbiology and computer science. He is very passionate about the merging of education and technology, and hopes to combine his skills to make a difference in both fields. Shervin’s favourite video game is Halo: Combat Evolved, but the series ended with Halo 3 as far he is concerned.
Derek is a graduate of Vancouver Film School’s Game Design program. His passion in creating video games has led him to participate in many game jams, where he loves collaborating with new people. Derek’s favorite type of games are ones that require cooperation between players. In his spare time, he works on side projects, which are games that are teamwork oriented. He hopes that his games can be enjoyed by many. When he isn’t working, he can be found drawing, playing with an Arduino, or playing video and board games with friends.
Xin Tong is a game designer and developer, university instructor, and academic researcher in Vancouver. She received her Master of Science from Simon Fraser University and is now pursuing her Ph.D. degree in Interactive Arts and Technology. She teaches Game Design, Computational Art and Design, and other programming courses in university. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. Xin’s M.Sc. thesis is about facilitating motivation and self-reflection of physical activity data using gamification strategies. Her research interests are designing technology for healthcare and patients, including Virtual Reality, digital games and wearables. She is good at Mandarin and English, and she also speaks a little Spanish. Outside working time, she enjoys playing board games, hiking and cooking.
Sindy graduated with degree in Marketing and has worked in various fields from marketing for a local Asian newspaper to working for different government agencies. In her spare time, she is a vocalist in a band and has weekly live music gatherings. She also enjoys PC games, movies and loves travelling. She is fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin Chinese and has a working knowledge in Japanese.
Li is currently studying Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. He has participated in many hackathons and has won LumoHacks 2017 with a therapy virtual reality application. He is interested in Virtual Reality and is working towards creating more apps to use with Google Cardboard! If he is not in school or working, he’ll most likely be playing games on Steam!
Krista Smith is the Regional Director for Under the GUI Vancouver Island. Krista has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours degree from the University of Victoria, where she majored in mixed media installation sculpture. She has spent the past 15 years facilitating Art Outreach Programs in Campbell River and on Cortes Island. Krista also teaches studio practices in the sculpture department at NIC’s Fine Arts Program. She believes strongly in experiential project- based learning and strives to foster creativity and curiosity in all her students. When she isn’t creating art or working with youth she can be found at the beach or in the forest exploring with her family.