Our Team

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.


Board of DirectorsKitsilanoCoquitlamNorth VancouverRichmondBurnabyUBCvictoria


Board of Directors

Jamie Chang
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
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!
Ivo van der Marel
Chief Technical Officer
With a love for game development and travel, Ivo has found himself working as a developer for various game companies in China, Vietnam and since late 2012, Canada. After having worked a few years at the Vancouver Film School as a programming instructor, he became the of Head of Game Design in VFS Shanghai. Although he has been working with Under the GUI since 2014, he has only joined full-time in 2018, and he is now overseeing most operations of Under the GUI Canada.  On top of that, he works as a freelancer and he is still a mentor at VFS. 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.
Jeff Chop
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.

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Kitsilano

Lisa Chun
Principal
Lisa is an educator extraordinaire who specializes in special education and has worked at all levels of public education. Prior to her teaching career, she has owned and managed a cafe at the age of 16 and has an extensive amount of management experience. Actively involved in her community, Lisa loves to volunteer her time being part of organizations such as C3 Korean Society and Lion’s club. She spends her free time she likes to go to the gym, exploring new places to eat, and loves to paint!
Dechen Sherpa
Receptionist
With a passion for helping others and love for technology, Dechen is excited to work for Under the GUI. She has worked a lot with children through workshops/day camps and specifically children with disabilities. She loves web/app development and is excited to see the projects the students make this semester!
Karl Phillips
Instructor
A creator at heart and an unmatched desire to share. Karl loves interactive media and their uncanny ability to deliver messages through creative means. Through programming and clever design, he hopes to revamp how we think about truly engaging teaching. For now, Karl hopes to show kids that their dream projects are not as far as they seem.
Pakarat (Game) Ariyaprayoon
Instructor
Pakarat is a fulltime student in CST (Computer Systems Technology) at BCIT. In school, he has know how to develop a program in many programming languages such as C#, Java, Python, JavaScript and C++. He graduated in Game Design course in VFS (Vancouver Film School) (2016) and he has experiences developing games in PC and game in mobile before. Pakarat has a B.E. in Electrical Engineering in King Mongkut’s Institute Technology Ladkrabang(2013) which is one of a well-known university in Thailand.
Kirsten Howard
Instructor
Kirsten is a recent graduate of UBC’s Bachelor of Computer Science degree program. This, combined with a previous degree in Film Studies, sparked an interest in ideas surrounding digital and media literacy and education. When not teaching programming, Kirsten spends her time volunteering at film festivals and gardening!
Kenan Abdulkarim
Instructor
Kenan is a student currently attending Simon Fraser University, majoring in Computer science. Because of his passion for coding and problem solving, he has developed a number of mobile and web applications. Kenan also has a great passion for soccer and he is likely to be found kicking the soccer ball around with a group of friends during his free time.
Carsten Hooker
Instructor
Ross Metcalf
Instructor
After serving for four years in the United States Air Force as a linguist, Ross changed careers and came to Vancouver to work in the video games industry. He’s worked for Electronic Arts and Bandai Namco and now works at Vancouver Film School in their Programming for Games, Web and Mobile course. He enjoys solving problems through code, coaching soccer and writing fiction stories in his free time.
Leon Trieu
Instructor
Leon Trieu is a computer science undergraduate at Simon Fraser University, who loves what he does and preaches what he teaches. Combining the passion for teaching and problem solving, Leon encourages growth and curiosity of his students as an instructor. His goal is to share his experiences and knowledge to show students their potential and the wonders of technology. On his free time, he enjoys discovering music, cooking up a storm, and living an active lifestyle!
Charlene Chu
Summer Camp Regional Coordinator
Charlene holds a Master of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Toronto (U of T). While at U of T, she studied mathematics and computer science, and worked with the Math Outreach department. Her experiences with computer science, education, and outreach have brought her to Under the GUI where she works as a Summer Camp Regional Coordinator. She is currently working with three of our summer camp locations: Vancouver (Kitsilano), Richmond (Aberdeen), and Vancouver Island (Campbell River). In her spare time, she likes to go on hikes to enjoy the beautiful scenery that British Columbia has to offer.
Derek Brouwer
Summer Camp Instructor
Derek is a graduate of Vancouver Film School’s Game Design program. He is an avid coder, and enjoys challenging himself by creating full video games in 48 hours, also known as game jamming. When he isn’t practicing his technical skills he enjoys drawing, tinkering with Arduinos, and playing video or board games with friends. Derek is looking forward to sharing his passion and knowledge for games as a summer camp instructor.
Max Eisen
Summer Camp Instructor
Max is a Computer Science student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He has always had a strong passion for computers and modern technology, as they both show what humans can accomplish in such a short amount of time if they work together. Although he is from Toronto, he has spent his last two summers working at a summer camp in Kelowna, BC. Max loves travelling and listening to music, especially hip-hop and indie pop! Max is interested in both computer software and hardware, and recently built his first custom PC. Additionally, Max was a head of his high school Robotics team, who competed in the FIRST Robotics Competition in 2016. He can’t wait to instruct at UnderTheGUI this summer, and help to further others’ interests in STEM!
Ryan Kao
Summer Camp Instructor
Ryan, an Under the GUI alumni, has many years of experience coding in  C#, Python, Java, HTML and CSS. He is currently attending Lord Byng Secondary School’s arts program for strings and loves computer programming because it gives him an inside understanding of his favourite video games: Rainbow Six Siege and League of Legends. Ryan is proud to have built his home PC from scratch, and considers it one of his greatest accomplishments. He looks forward to teaching and learning from other students attending UTG summer camps

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Coquitlam

Jeffrey Hopkin
Acting Principal
Jeff obtained his Bachelor of Education and started teaching Biology, Chemistry, and Physics in Port Coquitlam. Jeff then became a tutor in the sciences before becoming a Director of Education for private tutoring companies. During his education journey, Jeff’s unique experiences – like working with the Special Olympics – made Jeff understand the importance of an inclusive environment, and he strives to make everyone feel involved. Jeff is now the Principal for the Coquitlam location and is excited to continue his exciting career in education. In his spare time Jeff enjoys playing his guitar and piano and getting outdoors.
Charlene Chu
Principal (Maternity Leave)
Charlene holds a Master of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Toronto (U of T). While at U of T, she studied mathematics and computer science, and worked with the Math Outreach department. Her experiences with computer science, education, and outreach have brought her to Under the GUI where she currently works as the Principal at our Coquitlam location. During the summer of 2018 she coordinated three of our summer camp locations: Vancouver (Kitsilano), Richmond (Aberdeen), and Vancouver Island (Campbell River). In her spare time, she likes to go on hikes to enjoy the beautiful scenery that British Columbia has to offer.
Jason Ngan
Instructor
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. He also enjoys developing games and interactive experiences, exploring new technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D printing, and sensors like the Leap Motion.
Solomon Yu
Instructor
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 Savage
Instructor
Cameron is currently a student at Simon Fraser University, studying Computing Science. He loves tinkering with computers, programming, and learning about technology. In his free time, Cameron enjoys reading, mountain biking, martial arts, and playing music.
Jim Randa
Instructor
Jim is currently studying Computer Science at Simon Fraser University. Interested in pursuing a career in game development, Jim often spends his free time programming, and tinkering with various game engines, like Unity. Some of his favourite sports include mountain biking and tennis.
Russell Wong
Instructor
Russell is a student currently attending Simon Fraser University, majoring in Computer Science and minoring in business. Fuelled by curiosity and an insatiable hunger for knowledge, he enjoys using programming to solve difficult problems to help others. When he’s not programming, he likes to play sports, go on hikes and of course play video games!

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North Vancouver

 
Bea Valles
Principal
After completing her bachelor’s degree in Marketing at the University of British Columbia, Bea went on to pursue Interior Design and finished the diploma program at Lasalle Vancouver. Although her passion is in interior design, she is open to learning new things, exploring different industries and meeting new people, which is why she is excited to be part of the team at Under the GUI. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, working out, reading books and hanging out with friends.
Derek Brouwer
Instructor
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.
Shervin Mortazavi
Instructor
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.
Paul Hanberry
Instructor

Paul Hanberry is a Technical Artist who graduated with honors from Vancouver Film School’s Game Design program. He has a passion for the psychology behind games, and understanding the user’s experience. He enjoys sharing his love for creating games.

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Richmond

Lucy Zhang
Principal
Lucy is a UBC Sauder School graduate (2009) majored in Accounting. She worked for Deloitte as an auditor, and was the controller at a bio-tech company, then she became an independent financial advisor who helped many families and individuals with their financial needs. Although accounting and finance seems to be very different from game development, Lucy loves to explore the different possibilities and industries. In her spare time, she loves to play with her 2.5 year old daughter and travelling.
Kassy MA
Receptionist
Kassy graduated from early childhood education and has worked in various fields. Kassy loves children and is passionate about education, so she chooses to work for Under the GUI where she can fully utilize her expertise in children and parent communication. In her spare time, she likes painting, photography, music and various games. Kassy is also proficient in Cantonese, Mandarin and various Chinese dialects.
Taryn Stickney
Instructor
Taryn is a graduate of BCIT with a diploma in computer science. She has been passionate about video games ever since she was able to hold a mouse, and decided to take that passion behind the scenes to see what coding was all about! She is delighted to get to share her knowledge and excitement with others, and enjoys letting her students get creative. If she isn’t playing video games, she might be playing with her puppy, or enjoying a book and a cup of tea.
Shubhra Sarker
Instructor
Shubhra Sarker is a MSc Student at Simon Fraser University and has been working on 2D and 3D games for different platforms for last three years. His research area is child computer interaction and computer vision. His recent work is mostly focused on Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technology. He enjoys making games as well as teaching game development.
Anam Hussain
Instructor
Anam is a Software Programmer who has professional experience at Capgemini. She has a Bachelors in Computer Engineering and holds post-graduate diploma in Project Management. She loves to build an idea into reality through coding. She enjoys the problem solving and critical thinking process involved in programming. Anam likes to travel and explore new places during her free time. For her being around children and coding is a fun experience. She is excited about sharing creativity and innovation with others.
Haitham Hany
Summer Camp Instructor
Haitham is has a Bachelor of Science in Computer science and has a post graduate diploma in Game Development. He has played a lot of games and has always wanted to be a game developer. He studied Computer science for that reason and studied Game development for the same reason. He has passion for game/coding/ AR/VR. When he’s not thinking about computer science and gaming, his hobbies are traveling and fitness. Haitham wants to encourage students to do their best. He got into teaching in the first place to pass on his own knowledge and personal experiences. He believes this may be one of the biggest joys of teaching.
Andy Jian
Summer Camp Instructor
Andy is currently studying Computer Science at McGill University and he is passionate in software design and web development. With the growing demand for talent in the technology sectors, Andy looks forward to nurturing young and promising innovators by making coding a fun and enjoyable experience for his students. In his spare time, Andy enjoys going hiking and snowboarding, playing violin and fingerstyle guitar, and playing video games.

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Burnaby

Lucy Zhang
Principal
Lucy is a UBC Sauder School graduate (2009) majored in Accounting. She worked for Deloitte as an auditor, and was the controller at a bio-tech company, then she became an independent financial advisor who helped many families and individuals with their financial needs. Although accounting and finance seems to be very different from game development, Lucy loves to explore the different possibilities and industries. In her spare time, she loves to play with her 2.5 year old daughter and travelling.
Anam Hussain
Instructor
Anam is a Software Programmer who has professional experience at Capgemini. She has a Bachelors in Computer Engineering and holds post-graduate diploma in Project Management. She loves to build an idea into reality through coding. She enjoys the problem solving and critical thinking process involved in programming. Anam likes to travel and explore new places during her free time. For her being around children and coding is a fun experience. She is excited about sharing creativity and innovation with others.
Pim v. Schayik
Instructor
Pim has been into games and computing for his whole life. In his spare time, he is a keen sportsman (football, running, skiing, and much more) or plays games. His favorite game is Minecraft, a game that is fun for young and old. He studied Chemistry in the Netherlands, but preferred to work things out on the computer than being stuck in the lab! This led to him beginning to make his own games in his spare time. He also realized his passion for teaching while supervising classes at the university, which he found very fulfilling. With this passion for gaming and teaching, Under the GUI offers the perfect position and he is eager to help everyone to make their own games.

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UBC

Roger Kao
Principal
Roger’s love of computers began the day his elementary school placed an Apple II in his classroom and made the game “Castle Wolfenstein” available for curious students. Roger eventually hacked the game’s graphical interface and tinkered with the program’s code to increase his gold coins and make the storyline more exciting. Later he became a sales trader working with charting software and real-time data feeds. More recently, his computer work involves standard spreadsheets, databases, and reports. Roger has been a Vancouver Canucks fan since the 80’s and hopes they will win the Stanley Cup before he reaches 80. Roger encourages all youth to try computer coding at the Under the GUI at UBC location and gain a head start in today’s digital economy.
Alex Mountain
Summer Camp – Instructor
Alex is an undergraduate student in Computer Science at the University of British Columbia and a member of the AMS Game Designer Association. He has a passion for software design and loves the way computer code can start as a creative idea and transform into reality. He particularly enjoys how clever design can apply to games inventing entirely new experiences for enthusiastic players. As an instructor, Alex makes his lessons genuinely fun and entertaining for young students – and we’re thrilled to have him on our team.
Ryan Hasman
Summer Camp – Instructor
Ryan is currently studying at Point Grey Secondary School. He intends to graduate high school and then study Computer Science at university. Ryan has been coding since he was seven after watching his brother make detailed software games and has not stopped since. He has experience coding in Python, C#, HTML, and CSS and has always strived to make his next software project better than the last. Ryan loves competing in computer science competitions and has achieved a top 25% finish in the Waterloo Canadian Computing Competition. Ryan is a dedicated and helpful instructor – and we’re excited to have him on our team.
Joelle Lejay
Summer Camp – Instructor
Joelle is a recent graduate from the University of Victoria’s electrical engineering program with a focus in biomedical and environmental applications. She has experience working in robot design and fabrication, 3d printed prosthetic hands, and circuit building for robots using C/C++ programming. Joelle enjoys UTG’s inclusive and creative learning environment, and she’s an enthusiastic instructor who makes technology topics fun for young students. During her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors with friends and family, travelling, and playing music! We’re excited to have Joelle join our team.

Victoria

Jesse Bowness
Owner
Jesse is a professionally trained teacher, with loads of experience in sales, small business, and project management. He’s an avid believer in Life-Long-Learning, and always curious! Teaching, gardening, and hiking are some of his favourite pursuits.
Sonia Bowness
Owner
Sonia is an experienced voice teacher, with years of experience working with kids. She loves to share the gift of learning!

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