Patrick W. Comstock is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia (B.A. in Religious Studies), Pace University (M.S.T. in Early Childhood Education), Harvard University (M.T.S. in Religion, Ethics, and Politics), and Columbia University (Ph.D. in Philosophy and Education). His doctoral dissertation, “The Retrieval of Contemplation: Mindfulness, Meditation, and Education,” addressed the educational value of contemplative practices. His research interests include the philosophy of education, ethics, Buddhist philosophy, and philosophy for children. Patrick is currently Assistant Professor at Relay Graduate School of Education.
Tempest NeuCollins is originally from Solon, Iowa. She moved to Portland, Oregon to study at Pacific Northwest College of Art for her BFA, then went on to New York City to receive an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in Studio Art. After graduating she worked for many non-profit organizations around New York City that provide an arts education to students in underserved communities, including TimeIn! and Free Arts NYC . Eventually she was asked to found and run an arts program at a Brooklyn based charter school, which she did for two years before founding Doodles Academy. Tempest continues to make her own artwork, design lessons for Doodles Academy as well as act as Executive Director. Her lesson plans have been recognized and published in SchoolArts Magazine.
Originally from the UK, Cathy has worked in arts education for nearly a decade, and believes passionately in the right of all young people to have access to a meaningful, high-quality creative education. She has worked with numerous schools, arts and youth organizations in London and New York to deliver transformative creative projects with young people, including Trinity College London, Youth Music (UK), the Center for Arts Education and NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Cathy has a BA in Art History from University College London and an MA in Arts Administration from Baruch College, City University of New York.
Christian Simamora believes the highest form of work catalyzes personal growth while serving others. Chris has taught elementary school, coached college students and emerging social entrepreneurs, and led nonprofit programs focused on the empowerment of youth of color, leadership development and equity in the workforce.
Born and raised in pre-hipster Brooklyn and now living in Oakland, Chris is extremely grateful: for his wife and son (the loves of his life), his friends and family, and for coming of age during the Golden Age of Hip Hop.
Chris’s daily intention is to use love and compassion to guide his pursuits. Sounds corny, and yet, it is extremely challenging.
His personal practices include meditation, exercise, reciting The Five Remembrances, and reflecting on the question from The Four Rivers.
Ryan Smith is from rural Illinois and currently resides in Denver, CO. Along the way, he has lived and worked in West Africa, South Korea, Brooklyn, and Washington, DC. Ryan has spent the last eight years in education, both in schools and at the district level. His work has included operations and finance, school culture, and curricular support and development. Ryan is driven by the goal of providing high-quality educational opportunities, including arts education, to all young people.
After growing up in Michigan and attending Northwestern University for a film degree, Carey Swanson began her teaching career in the South Bronx starting in 2001 through Teach for America. Carey remained in education, teaching in Harlem and Brooklyn and eventually transitioning to school administration in 2007. She earned an EDM in School Building Leadership through Teachers College at Columbia University and went on to become the founding Academic Director for Explore Exceed Charter School. After serving in this role and then as the Director of Instructional Leadership until 2016, Carey spent time as an educational consultant. She is currently an ELA and Professional Development Specialist for Student Achievement Partners.
Alessandra Mosenifar is a UI Designer at charity: water, a nonprofit organization that uses innovative technologies to raise money to provide clean and safe drinking water for people in developing countries. There, Alessandra leads the strategy and design work of charity: water’s fundraising platform, as well as manages the internal tools that help the organization run more efficiently. Before coming to New York, Alessandra was in China earning her master's in cross cultural design, and ultimately staying to work at a branding agency called Thread Design. Alessandra is passionate about helping people find their creative confidence and is excited to apply this passion toward the important work of Doodles Academy.
Doodles Academy would like to thank the following volunteers for their contributions: