Founder and CEO of We Can Code IT, Crain's Cleveland 2014 Woman of Note, and software engineer and architect with nearly 20 years of professional experience, Mel McGee has worked with clients like Tyco International, DeLorean Motor company, and hundreds of others to develop software. Her programming experience translated to the classroom nearly as soon as she began coding.
An experienced educator, she has taught computer science and engineering subjects to kids, teens, and adults at We Can Code IT, Colleges, and overseas. Mel's knowledge of over 20 programming languages allows her to adapt curriculum to students in a variety of ways. As a certified Scrum master and a Gestalt trained facilitator, Mel's interests in collaborative work are woven throughout We Can Code IT's culture and classroom experience.
Her love for sharing her creative computing techniques has not gone unnoticed. Her innovative early wearable computer was featured in Howard Rheingold's book Smart Mobs. Her web development expertise was featured in books like Curt Harler's Beyond the Browser. She has been featured on NPR, publications like Motor World, Crain's Cleveland Business, Cleveland's Plain Dealer, and many more. Her artificial intelligence bots, Zoe-bot and Skeletor-bot, have been entertaining the masses online and at community events since the early 2000s. She continues to enjoy innovating with artificial intelligence.
She’s married, has a daughter who is learning how to program, and two dogs who follow her everywhere they possibly can.
Leslie fell in love with the mission of We Can Code IT and joined our team as CGO in December 2015. The mother of 3 daughters, she spent the past several years as Director of Programs at an independent girl's school, launching innovative programs which engaged young women and girls in STEM. She is excited to be in a position to place role models in tech to help women and minorities overcome stereotype threats and other barriers. She works closely with employer partners, foundations and other partners, leading our growth efforts in the market.
Campus Director, Columbus
Angela Lopez believes in influencing change through thought leadership. She uses her energy and passion to actively engage the Columbus technology community, as an active board member of Columbus Women of Technology as well as membership to several professional and user groups like Project Management Institute, Association for Change Management, COHAA, and agileLUNCHBOX.
She holds a Masters in Information Systems from Keller Graduate School of Management and believes in continuous education and has been certified as a Project Manager and Scrum Master, and in the process of a new one in Organizational Change Management.
Her range of experience in the software industry goes from small software start up and independent consultant to National and Global Training and Education leadership roles at IBM. She's been engaged in a number of industries from Retail, Construction, Insurance, Banking, and Utilities.
Angela is an advocate for diversity and she is committed to cultivating change to address the wide gap of opportunity for women and minorities in technology. An idea and creativity addict, she is an avid reader, aspiring geek, and fitness novice.
Director of Education & Culture
Lauren Holloway is a Cleveland native from Shaker Heights, Ohio. After earning her Bachelors degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, she committed her next year to educating others through National Service in AmeriCorps. Following her service year, Lauren returned to her hometown where she began her relationship with We Can Code IT as a volunteer. After transitioning from a volunteer to We Can Code IT staff as a Teaching Assistant, Lauren completed We Can Code IT's very first cohort and has served as an instructor for each cohort thereafter. A panelist at Microsoft and The Hills Computer Science Policy talks, a participant in The White House's technology inclusion efforts, Lauren has lead We Can Code IT's mission of diversity and inclusivity. She now serves as We Can Code IT's Director of Education & Culture. Lauren is currently working on her M.S. in Software Engineering.
Lead Bootcamp Instructor, Cleveland
Jarryd Huntley is a local technologist who has been working in IT for nearly a decade. After graduating with a degree in Computer Science from the University of Akron he has worked at a number of local enterprises including PNC and Sherwin Williams, as well as local startups. He enjoys volunteering at a number of local meetup groups and special events. He also plays important roles in Cleveland’s growing game development scene as both an academic by teaching game development at Lorain County Community College and as an independent game developer.
Lead Java Instructor, Columbus
With 20 years of Java, Agile, and TDD experience, Brian Forsythe leads instruction for our Columbus campus. His successful, innovative career in software development only amplifies strengths as a We Can Code IT instructor. Above his coding skills, and work experience at organizations like Pillar Technologies, The Gap, and others, his amazing teaching style, and passion for inclusion in technology, bring tremendous value to our students.
Lead Instructor, Cleveland
Cleveland native Jacqueline McCoy is a 16 year veteran of the IT industry, having worked for several Fortune 500 companies, she is also co-founder of Digital Knowtations, a multimedia start-up. She enjoys the problem solving aspect of coding and is looking forward to sharing her knowledge and experience to enrich student learning.
Associate Instructor, Cleveland
Daniel Vivacqua is a We Can Code IT graduate who is happy to be working as a part of the We Can Code IT team. Originally from Buffalo NY, Daniel studied Psychology and Studio Art and worked for several years with people with developmental disabilities. When he decided to make a career change, Daniel attended the We Can Code IT boot camp and grew to love coding. He hopes to inspire and empower new students with his passion for software development.
Associate Instructor, Cleveland
Jordan Johnson was born in Cleveland and grew up in Shaker Heights. After high school he attended Shawnee State University and received a degree in Digital Simulation and Gaming Engineering Technology. He has a been involved with computers since a young age and loves to learn and keep up on new and emerging technology. Outside of coding Jordan can read, write and speak in Japanese he also has a strong interest in the culture. He wants to help students enjoy and understand coding.
Associate Instructor, Columbus
Recent graduate of The Ohio State University and a current student in the Master of Design program, Jessica Jones has spent many years studying computer science from an early age. Participating with many youth coding programs and eventually teaching some of the classes herself, she has used her coding skills to develop websites and video games for independent contractor and local indie game companies. Outside of coding, Jessica is very involved in the animation community and spends a lot of her time animating and learning new innovative technologies like motion capture, virtual reality and 3D printing. With her wide range of teaching expertise and involvement in emerging technology, she hopes to share the knowledge and passion of code to all those who are willing to learn.
Director of Admissions
Sara joined We Can Code IT team in September as the Director of Admissions and is excited about bringing change to her students lives. She has over 10 years of admissions and higher education experience and has worked at colleges such as Southern New Hampshire University, Strayer University, Devry University and Brown Mackie College. She understands that making a big decision can be overwhelming and truly takes the time to explain the process and relates to her individual students needs. She graduated with her Bachelor's degree in Fashion Merchandising from Youngstown State University and her MSM from Argosy University. In her free time she enjoys watching all Cleveland Sporting Teams and spending time with her son, MJ.
Chief Career Strategist
With over 15 years of IT experience, from Fortune 500 to boutique software, Cynthia fully understands the employer's perspective, shaping the proactive career strategies and tactics she advocates. Likewise, she understands the bootcamp experience, as an alum. Articulate and motivating with an infectious enthusiasm, Cynthia has the ability to bring focus and clarity in the midst of "information overload" and seemingly overwhelming circumstances. In particular, she enjoys coaching first-generation professionals reducing the time they feel lost in the career process. An in-demand speaker on career management, she has coached countless job-seekers and professionals. Cynthia is a graduate of Boston College whose favorite saying, adapted from Nelson Mandela, "You win or you learn."
Director of Administration
Amy joins the We Can Code IT team as the Director of Administration and is excited about helping the student’s experience run as smoothly as possible. She has over eight years of admissions and financial aid experience and comes to us from a local independent girl’s school. She graduated with her Bachelor's degree in Psychology with a minor in logic from the University of California at San Diego. In her free time she enjoys going to Cleveland Indians’ games, watching movies and traveling with her husband.
Kacy Ebel earned a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Cleveland State University. After spending a few years in the HVAC industry, Kacy decided to make a career change and enrolled in We Can Code IT’s very first cohort. Kacy spent some time working as a Software Developer at imageNation Web Experts before joining the We Can Code IT staff as a Teaching Assistant.