Hello! My name is Tony.
I am an educator and designer that is passionate about creating learning experiences for students of all ages and backgrounds that allow students to learn by creating digital and physical artifacts.
Currently, I am leading a new initiative with Chicago-based, gun violence reduction non-profit Chicago CRED. Chicago CRED recently leased a new space to serve as the hub for the Training & Jobs team, who are responsible for preparing the men for full-time employment.
At Chicago CRED, I am serving as our Makerspace Manager where I am responsible for the planning, building, instruction, and all aspects of the makerspace program. The makerspace will offer programming based in “design-based social-emotional learning”—a new pedagogical framework for design & maker learning that CRED is developing. This programming is being developed to support our participants, who are all Black males between 18 and 30, most of which have criminal records, particularly gun charges, have been shot, or were targeted as being someone “likely to shoot”.
Before my current role at Chicago CRED, I worked as a CPS high school college counselor, a consultant for UChicago & Sony in Learning & Product design, product manager at an AI, smart toy startup, a high school STEM Program Manager, and a graduate teaching fellow. Oh yeah, I’ve worked at 3 different makerspaces:
- MIND+HAND, a community non-profit on the Southwest side of Chicago. The philosophy of our space was to develop an open-access space that lowered as many barriers to using the space as possible.
- Gunsaulus Scholastic Academy, a Level 1 elementary school in Chicago Public School. At Gunsaulus, the makerspace served students in every grade. My role was to help teachers remix their lesson plans to align more closely with constructionist/project-based learning theories.
- CCC/Richard J. Daley College Manufacturing & Engineering Technology Center, a state-of-art facility at Daley College center focused on Advanced Manufacturing. At Daley, I developed programs to engage and expose local CPS high school students in Advanced Manufacturing, along with teaching workshops for NEIU and Daley’s Continuing Education department.
Additionally, I am always sharing my education & design knowledge with different organizations by facilitating maker/design workshops for young students to adult learners, conducting professional development sessions for educators, and assisting in product design & UX research with companies that design learning kits for STEM/maker education.