Cameron Middleton, Founder and Executive Director
Cameron has worked as an English teacher, policy analyst, and ethnographer at the intersection of conflict and education in the US and abroad. Cameron approaches education as a tool of community-driven development to create new possibilities out of the broken pieces of our world. She seeks to turn barriers into assets for unlocking the potential of students and fellow language mentors through Nomad Schools. Her education ethnography work in New Orleans, Beijing, Khost, and Beirut has helped her develop new approaches to participatory curriculum design to use stories as a bridge between life experiences and formal literacy. Cameron holds a BA in English and Asian Studies from UVA. She is currently working towards a M.Ed. in Social Foundations of Education at UVA.
Omemma Gillani, Chief Operating Officer
Omemma has extensive experience in designing and managing literacy programs in the US and overseas. She has helped several startup organizations chart their journey from idea to implementation and brings program management skills to helping Nomad grow. Having spent several years working on issues of child labor and education, she is passionate about helping empower grassroots and community organizations to maximize their resources and deliver sustainable solutions that make education accessible for sub-altern & at-risk groups including refugees, adult students, and working and street children. Omemma has a MA in Public Policy from King's College London and a BA in International Relations with a focus on human rights in the Middle East & South Asia from Florida International University.
Jenn Ross, Training Curriculum Lead
Jenn holds a BS in French Language Education and a BA in International Studies from Loyola University Chicago, and is currently a masters candidate in the International Development Studies program at George Washington University, specializing in humanitarian assistance management. She is a certified k-12 French language instructor. A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Uganda 12' - 14'), Jenn has experience in lower grade reading program facilitation, curriculum development, and assessment. In Uganda she also led national teacher training workshops on the subject of Gender Based Violence and corporal punishment in schools. Jenn Ross is currently a volunteer curriculum consultant for Nomad Schools and is helping to develop and streamline curriculum for upcoming teacher training sessions at Jusoor Schools in Lebanon.
Hussain Zaidi, Research and M&E
Hussain is a Ph.D. in Quantum Physics from the University of Virginia. During his Ph.D., he instructed majors’ and pre-med Physics laboratories. After finishing graduate school, he moved to Erlangen on a Max Planck Scholarship to work on Quantum Information. Lacking essential German skills, he took up beginner German lessons, where he spent a great amount of time interacting with other immigrant students. During this time, not only did he get to understand the priorities of language learners (including himself) trying to get up to speed as quickly as possible, but also realized how much room for improvement exists in our traditional modes of education. He is excited to be part of Nomad Schools, and believes in Nomad School’s scalable model for community-based English teacher training.
Board of Directors
Gay Brookes, Board Member-Curriculum
Gay Brookes was Professor of ESL at Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY, from 1973 to 2014 when she retired. At the college, she taught ESL to second language students and served as department chair. She also taught ESL writing and reading workshops and worked with teachers-in-preparation in the MA TESOL program, Teachers College, Columbia. She has conducted teacher development sessions in a variety of settings from high schools to adult education, in the US and abroad. Her interest in ESL developed when she served in Peace Corps, Malaysia. She has an EdD in TESOL from Teachers College, Columbia; her doctoral work was in teaching writing to second language students. She has co-authored two ESL texts, 10 Steps and Inspired to Write, and edited a journal, College ESL. Her professional interests are in effective pedagogy and how writing and reading affect learning and the person.
Bruce Baird Struminger, Board Member
Bruce Struminger is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. He received his BA in Fine Arts from Harvard College, an MD from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and an MA in Medical Anthropology from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Bruce has been teaching since 1986.He is now an internist with a focus on HIV medicine and a public health practitioner who served for six years with the US Indian Health Service on the Navajo Indian Reservation and for six years with the US Centers for Disease Control, as the Country Director in Cote d’Ivoire and in Vietnam .Bruce transitioned to the University of New Mexico in April of 2014 as an Associate Director of Project ECHO [Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes] and an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases. Bruce supports the portfolio of New Mexico based ECHO programs, including a series of collaborations with the Indian Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control, and leads Project ECHO’s global health ECHO programs.
Anna Carella, Advisor, Research and Survey Design
Anna is a PhD candidate in Political Science at Vanderbilt researching differing approaches to international development. Most recently, Anna co-led a research team to conduct a large-scale household survey in Bangladesh as part of a multidisciplinary effort to investigate the interactions between natural and human systems and the effects on society. Anna has worked for the Peace Corps in Senegal, USAID in Rwanda, and the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. She also holds a CELTA certification from Cambridge and has taught ESL to students in the U.S. and France.
Adrienne Fuller, Advisor, PR & Communications
Adrienne is the Nomad Schools' marketing strategist and overall sounding board since its inception. She has worked in non-profit strategic planning and most recently joined a startup team in the Los Angeles area working on a unique concept that supports students' strengths as they grow outside of the classroom. Previously, she had been working in business development at a solar installation company in the Four Corners area. Her strength is helping organizations with a positive mission figure out how they can best reach their audience and communicate their message.
James Larsen, Advisor, Radio Broadcasting
James is a radio man, a traveler and a story teller. By the age of 10 he was creating his own "radio shows" using two Panasonic cassette recorders and his clock radio. After studying journalism in college, he took to the road with his radio, a journal and an insatiable desire to discover the untold stories hidden along America’s “Blue Highways." As a Co-founder of Steel Bridge Radio, James believes the new era of online broadcasting makes it possible to help give communities a voice like never before.
Cristi Rosales-Fajardo, Advisor, Community Organizing
Cristi is the Founder of YOU2 and Los Mundos Unidos. She supports youth and organizing campaigns in New Orleans to promote inclusive education and language access rights. Cristi supports students that need assistance with learning the English language and prevent them from being treated unfairly. YOU2 is devoted to protecting the educational rights of immigrant students and parents by addressing the absence of translation, interpretation, and English Language Learner programs at many of the city’s charter schools. She grew up trilingual, and served as her family’s translator when they first moved from Brazil to Louisiana.
Alison Schmitt, Advisor, Finance & Strategic Planning
Alison is the Board Treasurer for Nomad Schools, assisting with financial planning and growth strategy. She works as a financial analyst at ReNEW Schools, a charter school management organization based in New Orleans. Previously, she worked as a consultant for both non-profit and for-profit organizations, assisting with financial modeling and strategic planning. Alison graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.